Speech Format: A Basic Template & Outline
Most of the speakers avoid using a written speech because they believe that reading makes them feel uncomfortable and stiff. In contrast, others can’t deliver a speech until they have a well-written script in their hand. The success of a speech depends on both careful preparation and effective presentation. Hence, speech writing is very important.
Writing a speech should not be a nail-biting or anxiety-provoking experience. If you learn the basic speech format, you can easily write an incredible speech.
This step-by-step guide on speech format can make this nerve-racking task simple and straightforward.
Speech Writing Format
The basic speech format is very simple. It only consists of three parts: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. In order to deliver an effective and influential speech, you need to do both; careful preparation and a careful presentation.
Preparation is really important, as you have to choose the right content for your speech, and organize it properly. Most people get nervous when they think of public speaking. But, if they have a well-written speech in hand, their confidence builds up automatically.
Presentation is as important as preparation. You need to concentrate on your style, how you speak, and how you deliver your content. In order to deliver an impressive speech, you need to practice your speech as much as you can.
How to Write a Speech Format?
Speech writing gives you a chance to leave an everlasting and meaningful impression on the audience. You might have always believed that you are not good with words. And speech writing may bring you out in cold sweats, but this is different.
Let’s begin to learn how to write a great speech that impresses the audience.
1. Decide the Purpose of Your Speech
Think of the purpose of your speech. What is the main motive behind it?
Is it to inform or persuade? Is it to entertain or demonstrate? Or is it a combination of any of these?
What do you want to achieve with your speech?
Do you want your audience to act upon something, or do you want to convince them to believe what you are saying?
Your answer to all of these questions will decide the organizational structure, type of speech, tone, and content as well.
Identify your audience and decide which type of speech is suitable for your targeted audience. If you are going to deliver a speech at a wedding, you will have to write a special occasion speech. Similarly, if your motive is to persuade the audience with your perspective, you’ll have to write a persuasive speech.
2. Choose a Speech Topic
Choose an effective speech topic that catches the audience’s attention immediately. A good speech topic is your first step to impress the audience.
You can choose any topic according to the type of speech you need to deliver. Choose a motivational speech topic if you want to get the audience to act upon your message. And if you want to make your audience laugh, choose an entertaining speech topic.
3. Do the Research
Conduct thorough research on your particular subject matter to collect relevant material. Credible and updated material is really important for crafting an effective speech. Good research is the backbone of a sound speech.
Before you write your speech, you need to know what your speech will be about exactly. And how long it needs to be, i.e. 5 minutes or 30 minutes long. Collect the data according to the time limit.
If your speech is only 5 minutes long, you only need a little and brief material. Your speech needs to be specific to the central idea of your speech. Whereas, if your speech is 30 minutes long, you need to collect a lot of material so that you have enough details to cover in 30 minutes.
4. Craft the Outline
Now that you have the material for your speech, craft an outline to organize your material. Save yourself time and stress that is included in speech writing by crafting a speech outline. Write keywords in the outline that prompts you to remember the complete line. Having an outline for your speech is like having a road map that lets you know where you’re now and where you’re going to end up.
The basic speech outline format is consist of three things:
Here is a speech outline template that you can use while crafting an outline for your speech.
Speech Format Outline
5. Write an Effective Introduction
An introduction will give a brief overview of what you are going to tell your audience. Here are the five things that you should include in your introduction paragraph.
Greeting and Your Introduction
Decide how you are going to greet your audience and how you will introduce yourself to the audience. You can start with a fact, a quotation, or posing a rhetorical question, or even with one-liner humor. To be effective, make sure whatever you start with, it must be related to your topic and suitable for your audience.
A Precise Thesis Statement
A thesis statement is a brief summary of your speech, and it provides the main message of your speech.
You need to establish your credibility in order to make your speech effective. Cite your expertise and qualification that gives you the right to speak about your speech topic.
Briefly tell your audience what you are going to share so that they have an idea of what to expect from your speech.
Benefits of Listening to Your Speech
Convince your audience why they should listen to your speech. Tell them what is in your speech for them and why should they pay attention and listen to you carefully. Give them reasons and be specific about the benefits.
6. Write a Detailed Body
It is the section where you will write the details of what you want to share with your audience. Generally, the body section has three main points, but it can have more than 3 points. However, it is always a good idea to be specific and tell the audience only essential things.
It is usually the case that the audience doesn’t remember most of the things from the speech. If you give them so many ideas to think about, they might not remember anything. Whereas, if you give them just 2 or 3 ideas, they may remember all of them.
While crafting the body section of your speech, you should keep the following things in mind:
- Choose the three strongest points that describe your topic efficiently.
- Provide supporting examples. Make sure that the evidence you provide matches the type of speech you are going to write.
- Use transition phrases to make a logical connection between the details.
- Use visual aids like images, graphs, or tables to help your audience understand your topic better.
7. Craft a Compelling Conclusion
The final section is the conclusion that sums up the whole speech. Here is how you can write an effective speech conclusion that summarizes and draws all the details together.
- Summarize all the main points
- Restate the thesis statement to reinforce your message
- Remind the audience about the benefits they’ll get if they carry out what you have proposed.
- Provide a call to action and end your speech with a clincher
8. Do the Formatting
After writing the final draft, the next step is editing and formatting. Read your speech aloud and check the flow and organization of the information. Refine your draft by removing unnecessary things and correct any spelling or grammatical mistakes.
Proofread your speech to make sure it contains all the necessary information. Correct the structure if needed, and make sure your speech is free from all kinds of mistakes. Revise your speech as many times as required to make it free from errors.
How to Rehearse a Speech
Well, rehearsal plays an important role in delivering an effective presentation. You need to practice a lot to be confident with your speech and deliver it perfectly. Here is how you can do it efficiently:
- Set the time on the stopwatch that is going to be allocated to you. You need to finish your speech within the allocated time.
- Read your speech out loud. Hearing yourself will help you familiarize yourself with the flow of your speech quickly. Remove or change the phrases that sound awkward and fix the organization of information.
- Practice in front of the camera or a mirror as you have to work on your expressions. It will help you control
- your habitual unconscious gestures
- Irregular breathing because of long sentences
- Taking breaks or pauses at wrong places
- The body posture
- Raising or dropping of the voice
- Repeated fillers, i.e. umm, err, uhh, etc
- Lack of smiling and eye contact
- Tone variation
- If you experience any problems, stop and fix the problem before starting again from where you left off.
- Make notes of where you need to remember to do something. It will help you improve your speech delivery.
- If possible, do a proper dress rehearsal at the actual venue in front of a bunch of friends. It will help you to get comfortable with the dress, stage, and actual presentation situation.
You should rehearse at least three times before the final presentation in front of the audience. If you have time, you should do as many rehearsals as you can, but if not, aim for three rehearsals. The more you do the rehearsals, the more you build up your confidence and the easier it becomes to deliver your speech.
Speech Format Examples
Follow these speech examples to learn how to properly format a speech and easily get through the speech writing process.
Best Man Speech Format
Persuasive Speech Format
However, if you need some help, you can hire a professional writer. MyPerfectWords.com is a custom essay writing service that provides high-quality speeches at cheap prices.