Preparing a Speech

There are four areas of a speech:
  1. Opening – Your first statement, to arouse interest or curiosity.
  2. Introduction – A concise statement of your theme, background, or purpose
  3. Body – The main points of your speech, in line with your theme or purpose. Use examples, facts, stories, or visual aids to support your points.
  4. Conclusion – Your closing statement, that pulls your speech together in a logical or memorable way. You may include a ‘call to action.’
It will take time to prepare your speech. Make sure you plan enough time to get ready.
Here’s one way of developing a speech:
1. Research
  • – Decide why you are speaking – the purpose. What do you want to do? (inform, persuade, entertain).
  • – Gather information to help you in your speech – ideas, concepts, data, stories, examples, etc.
  • – Create a list or mindmap of your thoughts, ideas, phrases, data, and stories.
  • – Look again at your purpose, and see if you have the right information to help communicate what you want to say. If not, either revise your purpose to fit with the data you have collected, or keep your original purpose and collect new data.
2. Prepare Your Speech
  • – Your speech needs an opening, introduction, body, and conclusion. You need to organise your research material to create this structure.
  • – Always keep in mind where you want to take your audience. Write a brief statement for your conclusion.
  • – Work on the body of your speech. What are the 2-4 main points you will make? What examples or data do you have for each? Make sure they support your purpose.
  • – Write your introduction. How will you clearly state what your speech will cover?
  • – Think of a catchy opening statement, to grab attention, arouse interest, or stimulate curiosity.
3. Rehearse Your Speech
  • – You must practice your speech, at least twice – but the more the better.
  • – Stand in front of a mirror, or the sofas in your living room, and pretend you are giving your speech.
  • – Listen for things that sound strange, and re-word or fix what you were going to say.
  • – Listen for things that confuse you as you say them. If it confuses you, it will confuse your audience.
  • – When you think your speech is ready, find a trusted friend and give the speech to them. Ask for their feedback and ideas.