www.whyville.net Mar 13, 2011 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

How to Write a Speech

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Hey there, this week I am here after a break from writing to give you advice on how to write a well-structured speech! Most of you probably have speech anxiety, which goes away after the first couple of times you go up in front of the class. Read on to find out how to survive the pressure, and deliver an awesome speech!

1. Have a strong introduction.

Here is an example of what not to do: Today, I am giving my speech on [topic]. That is boring and lame. The audience will automatically be bored from the start! In order to have a strong introduction, you need to be creative and/or exciting. There are different ways to do this. They are to start with a quote, interesting statement/fact, a rhetorical question, or humor that relates to the topic. An example of a good first sentence would be: Take the number 10,000, then add 7,000 to this. That is the number of how many people die each year from not wearing seat belts in the United States. This topic sentence uses big numbers to get the audience's attention.

2) Use statistics and details to have a powerful body to your speech.

In order to have a well-written body to a speech, you have to follow some guidelines. If you are giving an informative speech, then the use of details and statistics are both needed to have the audience's attention. You could also compare an informative speech to a five paragraph essay. A common structure form for informative speeches is the topic paragraph, then three main points about your topic formed into three paragraphs followed by a closing paragraph. For a persuasive and visual speech, the use of statistics is far more important than the need for details. In both of these speeches, you are almost always trying to persuade or show the viewers why or why you shouldn't do something. Also, in persuasive speeches, be sure to have a paragraph or two that shows how to correct the problem(s) being addressed.

3) Have a closing that will be talked about for days.

Unlike in essays, a speech closing does not have to be about what the introduction was about. The closing is usually a rhetorical question, along with a powerful statement. But how do you transition into a closing? Well, that's easy. All you do is simply say something along the lines of: In conclusion, All in all, Finally . . . You get the picture? Now I will show you an example of one of my closings from a speech in which I received a 100% on.

In conclusion, we have to find out why shadow people are here, and what their purpose is. Are they friendly? Or do they like to terrorize people for fun? Who knows, you might be the scientist who finds out their purpose . . . so what do you think they are here for?

That conclusion is almost nothing like the intro, but it still stays on topic and leaves people wondering.

4) Cite your sources!

Citing is a major thing to do in high school, and in speech class. The teacher will take off a lot of you do not cite you sources because if you don't, who is to say that you aren't making it all up? If you don't know how to cite a source, then don't fret; it's easy! All you have to do in a speech is to say is, "According to [source], 17,000 people die every year from not wearing their seat belts in the U.S." This allows the speech to flow smoothly, and not seem choppy. If you want to make it choppy, which you shouldn't, then this is how it will sound. "I got my information from [source], [source], and [source]." Lame. Even worse is if you do that at the end which is a giant NO.

5) Random tips.

Be organized with your speech. When you plan your speech, write a rough draft. This will allow you to have more ideas about it, and probably make your speech better. Label your note cards whatever you do! This is major help if you accidentally drop them while giving your presentation. Pick a middle number! If your teacher allows you to draw for numbers then trade, try to get a number in the middle. This will allow you to see other people and maybe fix what you say. Also, this relieves some tension because if you are close to last, people tend to get very nervous.

I hope you all enjoyed this, and are much more informed about speeches! If you have any other questions, do not hesitate to y-mail me and ask away. Also, if you are struggling with what to write, I will help you to move on since I have a 100% in Speech so far. All you have to do is ask. Have fun writing!


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