Format for Writing a Speech: A Basic Template & Outline To Use for Any Occasion
The goal of all forms of communication is to convey a clear message or information that fosters understanding. One of the building blocks to achieving this goal is structuring a speech for clarity and coherence.
Speech format is the structure or template used to create a coherent speech. It includes the introduction, body, and conclusion. Another factor that builds an effective speech is the outline. It serves as a guideline and focuses on a speech’s flow or organization.
The format of speech writing vs. outline might be confusing but think of it like a ladder. The side rails are the format of the speech —it holds the ladder together. Meanwhile, the outline serves as the steps to deliver your message.
Speech writing can be an intimidating task. However, knowing the format for writing a speech and the best speech writing strategies makes it as easy as climbing a ladder.
Speech Writing Format
The speech writing format is the structure of every speech. It includes an introduction, body, and conclusion.
Introduction: This part of a speech starts with a brief statement about your topic or purpose. It should be short and straight to the point while catching listeners’ attention. It is because aside from giving an overview, the introduction functions as a hook.
Body: As the meat of the speech, the body is part of a talk where you will present your ideas in detail. The basic guidelines for writing the body are:
- Highlight the main ideas followed by the supporting details.
- Use transition words to guide your audience through your speech.
- Keep the sentences short for ease of pronunciation and delivery.
You can arrange the components of the body chronologically as in writing a narrative speech. Another technique is to write it according to the level of importance and relevance.
Conclusion: This final part of the format of the speech summarizes all the points that you made during your speech. Make sure you briefly restate the key points mentioned earlier in the body. However, more than giving a summary, the conclusion functions to inspire your audience to act and reflect.
Knowing the format of how to write a speech helps you organize your thoughts. It also makes it easy to plan what you want to say and how you would present them.
What is Speech Writing?
Speech writing is the art and process of crafting speeches for public speaking events. As an art, it involves the formation of ideas and creatively packaging them as a message. Meanwhile, it includes the process of researching, planning, outlining, drafting, and editing.
The speech should be well-written and organized to ensure smooth delivery and effective communication. A great speech writer understands how to structure and deliver information effectively. They also know how to connect ideas and use examples to illustrate points.
Writing a speech is a skill every person needs to master as it is part of our daily lives —we communicate with people every day. It’s not something you learn in an hour or two, as it takes practice and time.
You can start honing your English speech-writing skills by reading famous speeches of prominent personalities. Observe how they wrote it and learn their strategies.
Speech in English Language Writing
The foundation of speech in English language writing is grammar. Grammar is the set of rules used to construct meaningful utterances. It helps speakers express themselves clearly and concisely. In addition, it provides us with a framework for organizing thoughts into coherent paragraphs.
Another factor that contributes to speech in the English language is pragmatics. Pragmatics is how speakers use language to send and receive information. It enters the delivery process of speech as the speaker needs to consider how that audience will form meaning with the speaker’s utterances.
Starting to learn how to write speech in English is easy when you take it step by step. Learn the common words and their function or grammar before moving to more complex concepts like knowing phrases and forming sentences and paragraphs.
How to Write a Speech?
Learning how to write a speech after knowing the basic speech format can be tricky. The speech writing process varies for different persons. However, knowing what to place under the introduction, body, and conclusion helps create an effective speech.
The introduction of speech in English states the overview of the topic and sets out the purpose of the talk. It’s necessary to keep it short. Use 125-150 words to grab the attention of the audience. In the age of technology, where the majority owns mobile phones, you must ensure that you can hook the audience into listening to your speech in just a few seconds.
The format of the speech introduction varies depending on the occasion. On special occasions like weddings, one can use an informal speech introduction. Meanwhile, a formal speech introduction would be proper for events like business conferences, award ceremonies, and graduation programs.
2. The Body
The challenging part of how to write a speech is the body. It is the longest part, where you coherently present ideas. Note that the prescribed word limit per paragraph is 150-200 words.
Write the body of a speech with the smooth flow of delivery in mind. As such, section the body into different main ideas or themes. Remember to include two or three supporting details under each key point. Finally, use transition words to guide your listeners and organize your thoughts.
The conclusion is the last part of the format of speech writing. It is crucial when trying to write a perfect speech. Similar to the introduction, the challenge is maintaining the audience’s attention. Accept the possibility that the audience will check cell phones when delivering your talk. So, in your conclusion, craft a powerful statement or pose a question to bring back their attention to you. Most importantly, to make your audience act or reflect on your topic. Having a powerful conclusion makes your speech worth remembering.
How to Write a Speech Format?
Understanding the public speech format is a valuable asset you can add to your skill set. It will help you write better speeches. Additionally, it will make you more confident when speaking in front of an audience. Here are ten tips on how to write a speech format and create an amazing speech:
1. Decide the purpose of your speech
The three main goals of speeches are to inform, persuade, and entertain.
Facts are meant to be presented to the audience on informative speeches. Convincing the audience to take action is the aim of a persuasive speech. Lastly, an entertaining speech aims to make people relax, laugh, and smile.
A lecture or speech about music theories and a speech on disaster risk prevention are examples of informative speeches. Conversely, a speech on the importance of a learning management system delivered to respected teachers is a persuasive speech. Stand-up comedies, birthday greeting speeches, and award acceptance speeches are entertaining in nature.
2. Know your audience
Another factor that determines how you write a speech is your audience. You have to adjust your outlining strategy and style with the end goal of connecting to your audience. A formal speech would be proper when delivering a speech with English teachers and college students in the audience. Meanwhile, when giving a speech to your fellow students, you may use an informal tone of speech.
Note that your audience is people from different walks of life. Therefore, your style of speech must relate to various demographics. Craft a public speech format on a topic or speech people would want to hear.
3. Choose a speech topic
After knowing your audience, decide on what to write in a speech. Ensure that the topics you discuss are of interest and would be beneficial to them. For example, if you’re giving a lecture to your class, you can talk about the topic they’ve been studying all semester. If you’re giving a talk at a wedding, you can share a funny anecdote about the bride or groom. When giving a commemorative speech, focus on the accomplishments to pay tribute to a person, group, or institution.
Considering the subject matter in the early planning stage of your speech saves you from revising your draft multiple times.
4. Do the research
The “unskippable” process of writing a speech is research. Remember that your information must be factual, no matter the type of speech you are writing or its purpose. Research is crucial in the speech writing process because it will help you to know what to write in a speech.
Visiting your school library or browsing the internet are great ways to research. Moreover, you can also reach out to your English teacher to help you find resources.
5. Craft the outline
More than knowing the format, mastering how to write a speech writing outline is a valuable asset or skill that helps you stay organized. It is necessary no matter the style of speech you’re going to write.
Break down your main topic into subtopics to create a speech outline. For example, when writing a 5-minute speech about “should art be a part of the school curriculum?” for a school assembly: take the keywords from the topic and define it. What is art? Briefly enumerate forms of art. Next, what is a holistic curriculum? Answer why art plays a crucial role in the holistic curriculum. End your speech with the benefits of art. Finally, create a punchline on why a curriculum is incomplete without art.
6. Start with a hook
In English speech writing, a hook is a statement that draws the audience in and makes them want to listen more. The best hooks are memorable, unexpected, and attention-grabbing.
Speech has time limits. Therefore, it is best to engage people instantly with the first few sentences of your talk. You can use a rhetorical question, powerful quote, or narrative as your hook.
7. Include narratives
Speech writers are story writers. Hence, weaving a narrative into your speech structure is the best way to pique the audience’s interest. You can narrate a personal story or an anecdote.
Stories make your point more memorable. In fact, research has shown that people remember stories better than they do facts. So, to maintain the crowd’s attention, use narratives to relay facts and help them understand your message.
8. Include a call to action
One of the basic guidelines for writing following the format of public speech is the call to action (CTA). A CTA is a statement that tells your audience what they should do next. A good way to work out which call to action will help achieve your goals is to ask yourself “what would I like my audience to do as a result?” It could be as easy as “let’s give the newlyweds a toast” in a wedding speech. Or inspiring people to cut their carbon footprint when delivering a speech about global warming.
9. Conclude your speech
The last structure of a speech you should not forget is the conclusion. Concluding speeches give you the chance to reiterate your message and leave attendees reflecting on it. Summarize your main points and connect them to your call to action to accomplish this. You can end your speech with an engaging question to make your audience reflect on your message.
10. Review your speech
Finally, the last step in how to write a speech writing format or outline is reviewing your output. This process involves editing for grammar consistency, paraphrasing complex sentences, and rearranging topics for better flow and coherence. The final check you perform before delivering your speech is necessary because it helps ensure that your message will be clear and concise.
How to Rehearse a Speech
Delivery brings your speech to life from the paper to the crowd. But to avoid breaking into cold sweats or feeling anxious, practice or rehearsal is essential. A popular trick in public speaking that coaches suggest is to imagine your audience are frogs instead of real persons. This trick works during the rehearsal stage.
Here are five steps when rehearsing a speech:
1. Start by silent reading and assigning or marking pauses in your speech.
Your speech / should look like this / after marking your pauses.//
2. Stand in front of a mirror, read aloud, and practice your pauses and voice modulation.
3. Record your speech to identify where you stumbled.
4. Try speaking without your copy to test your retention.
5. Simulate the event by practicing in front of your friends.
Speech Writing Tips
After learning about speech format and speech outline, here are actionable steps you can do to start honing your speech writing skills:
1. Choose an easy topic to start with.
2. Use a blank speech outline template to guide you as a beginner.
3. Fill out the blank template with the main idea, supporting details, and conclusion of your topic.
4. Read about something that interests you.
5. Lose the blank template and create your own outline to summarize what you read.
6. Create a speech based on your outline.
7. Edit and revise to make it spotless.
8. Write for different types of audiences.
9. Change your style depending on the event (e.g., birthday speech, graduation ceremony).
10. Practice consistently to build your unique speech-writing voice.
The basic format of speech writing is easy to follow: the introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction sets up your thesis or argument; the body explains it in detail, and the conclusion summarizes what you’ve said and includes a call to action. This blog is your guide on writing your next amazing speech — from start to finish!
Frequently Asked Questions
The five steps on how to write a speech in English are the following:
1. Know about your topic by identifying main themes or ideas and their supporting details.
2. Create your outline and arrange how you will present your message.
3. Write your first draft following the basic format: introduction, body, and conclusion.
4. Read and rewrite your draft to ensure proper grammar and organization.
5. Use your final output to practice your speech out loud.
There are four types of speech delivery: impromptu, extemporaneous, memorized, and manuscript. An impromptu delivery happens on the spot and makes you think on your feet. Think of when you got called for a class recitation. Another school activity is reporting or presenting in class — that’s an example of extemporaneous speaking. You will have time to research the topic and deliver your speech naturally. As the name suggests, memorized speech is written and remembered by the writer word by word. Lastly, manuscript delivery is a formal speech wherein a speaker reads the material on paper. News anchors, politicians, and other public speakers use this speech delivery method.
Preparation and practice are the two requirements of good speech delivery. The preparation phase includes researching, outlining, drafting, editing, revising, and finalizing processes. Meanwhile, practice is the speaking phase. It is when one reads the manuscript out loud with proper pacing, tone, and pauses.
An outline is the skeleton of your speech. It helps you in organizing the information you want to convey during your speech.
The first step of outlining is to know about your topic by researching it. Next, extract and arrange the main ideas, either chronologically or by the level of importance or relevance. Finally, insert supporting details in every main idea you identified. Take an overall review of the outline you created and adjust as necessary.
The format of public speech writing includes the introduction, body, and conclusion. To write the introduction, start with a topic sentence stating what you will talk about in your speech. Don’t forget to include a hook in your introduction.
The body of your speech expounds on the main idea of your topic and supports it with relevant examples. For each point, make sure you provide evidence and support for your claims. In addition, add transition words between points to help the listener understand the flow of your speech.
Finally, conclude your speech with a summary statement that restates the main idea of your speech and integrates a call to action.
Learn from History – Follow the Science – Listen to the Experts
What’s the one thing that makes LillyPad so special? Lilly! She is a personal English tutor, and has people talking all over the world! Lilly makes improving your English easy. With Lilly, you can read in four different ways, and you can read just about anything you love. And learning with Lilly, well that’s what you call liberating!
For learners of all ages striving to improve their English, LillyPad combines the most scientifically studied and recommended path to achieving English fluency and proficiency with today’s most brilliant technologies!
Additionally, the platform incorporates goal-setting capabilities, essential tracking & reporting, gamification, anywhere-anytime convenience, and significant cost savings compared to traditional tutoring methodologies.
At LillyPad, everything we do is focused on delivering a personalized journey that is meaningful and life-changing for our members. LillyPad isn’t just the next chapter in English learning…
…it’s a whole new story!
Do you want to improve your English? Visit www.lillypad.ai.
Valentina has always been a teacher at heart. After spending eight years teaching college-level English, she realised that her true passion was helping people learn and grow – especially when it came to learning English. She firmly believes that in order for language learning to be successful, it’s important to create a comfortable and welcoming environment where students feel safe to experiment and take risks. When she’s not writing for the Lillypad community, Valentina loves travelling, reading and going for long walks with her dog Freddy.