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How to Write an Attention-Winning Speech
When it comes to public speaking – in the student’s case, giving a speech to a classroom of their peers and their instructor – one’s success lies in preparation. Which means that delivering a good speech ultimately depends on the writing of the speech. After all, a speech is like a spoken essay.
Some people are natural-born public speakers who can entertain an entire room without a second of planning; however, the student in higher education who is to give a speech (who is also most likely a novice public speaker) should follow these 10 steps:
1. Plan the speech according to the occasion. The student required to give a speech will probably be speaking in an academic setting, where a serious, informative or persuasive tone will serve them best. Most times, the student will be given a time limit, which should be strictly followed.
2. Recognize the theme/message or purpose of the speech. This will help the student identify which direction they are going to take in the writing/planning/researching of the speech, helping them develop a sort of formula to achieve that purpose.
3. Be creative with the speech’s introduction. Once the student knows what they are going to say, they should consider a brief, interesting way to get their audience’s attention – whether with a joke, an interesting anecdote, famous quote, even a thought-provoking question.
4. Make an outline. This helps the student visualize all the points they need to cover in their speech.
5. Expand on the points in the outline. If they’re given a speech in a persuasive manner, they will need a solid thesis statement defended by strong evidence to support their argument. If giving an informative speech for an assignment, the student should incorporate solid, research-based information. In either case, the student must center their speech on the theme, issue, or subject they are discussing, arguing, or analyzing.
6. Incorporate transitional phrases to cover various points. Words like “First of all,” “Secondly,” “Next,” and “Lastly” help the speaker better transition from point to point, for their own sake and the audience’s.
7. Don’t forget about the conclusion. Just like with an essay or written assignment, a proper conclusion allows the speaker to tie in all the points of their speech, leaving the audience with a comprehensive understanding of what they just discussed.
8. Write the speech out in full, in essay form. Include the introduction, the points to be covered, as well as transitional phrases, and a conclusion – and then evaluate its effectiveness. Edit if needed. Writing more than one draft helps the student add or remove pertinent information.
9. Ask a friend to revise the written speech; revise the draft based on their feedback. Once the student feels their written speech is nearly completed, seeking the help of another person is beneficial. They will see things the writer may not notice, which will ultimately improve the speech.
10. Read the speech aloud. Before the student rehearses their speech first for familiarization, then memorization, they should read the speech aloud to compare how it sounds with how it reads; this could be the difference in an awkward, boring speech or one that is interesting and gets a higher grade.
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