A well-written speech will earn you the admiration of everyone, teachers or classmates. However, you probably will not do the kind of speech you hear in movies, but that's also a good thing: people will much prefer an original approach to a speech made of repetitions of clichés heard on television. From the main idea to develop, to successfully overcome the stage flyer, here are the steps you will need to go through if you want to ensure a memorable success in your speech.
Part 1 of 3: write the speech
Step 1. Pick a topic or theme
The bulk of your speech should be on a topic or a few topics related to a theme. The nature of the theme will therefore depend on the nature of the speech. Graduation speeches are often about memory or the future, election speeches are meant to convince people that you will make the right decisions if they elect you, and home speeches are usually discussed. on a controversial point.
- If you are not sure what topic you want to choose, write down a few stories or anecdotes that you would like to include in your speech. Pick the best ones and see if there's a theme that unites them.
- See the “What to do and what not to do” categories below for more advice on choosing a theme.
Step 2. Choose a tone of speech that you are comfortable with
If you like to make people laugh, write a funny speech. If you're a pretty serious person, make sure you take time to think about it. Remember to end on a note that inspires your audience, especially for graduation speeches.
Step 3. Use short sentences and avoid words your audience won't understand
Avoid long sentences and overly complex arguments. Unlike the classic writing exercise, it will be difficult here to explain technical terms or refer to a previous point in your speech. Make each sentence easy to follow. If younger people are expected to attend, be sure to use words and concepts that they understand.
- Do not interrupt a point in your speech with a clause or any precision highlighted by commas or parentheses. Instead of saying, “Our tennis and basketball teams, which we all know won the regional championships two years ago, need extra funds to be able to compete,” say, “Our tennis teams and basketball players both won regional championships two years ago. Now we need to increase their funds so that they can continue to compete against other schools. This will prevent you from drowning the information in long sentences.
- You can refer to the slang used in your school once or twice to make your audience laugh, but don't overdo it, especially if there are parents in attendance.
Step 4. Make your stories and messages seem sincere
You can write a single speech or write several separate stories or inspirational statements that fit your theme. Stick to your own ideas and develop specific points. People will appreciate and relate more easily to personal and detailed feelings, than to generic phrases like "I would make our school proud" or "Our class will continue to do great things.""
- Find a general message that all of your audience can relate to and relate to an event in their life, but that is still tied to a specific idea. For example: “Become an even better version of your favorite hero. But don't steal the "original" idea from this website!
- Your stories and anecdotes may refer to very specific incidents in your life or in history, but you need to keep their connection to a more general idea. You can tell, for example, about a visit you made to a sibling in the hospital and then go on and expand the topic about overcoming fears and difficulties in general.
- If you like what you write, but it doesn't match your chosen theme, you can adjust your subject very well or change it completely. Go back and forth between writing anecdotes and finding a general theme if you continue to get stuck.
Step 5. Find a good hook to start your speech
To start, choose an engaging and theme-relevant anecdote, a story that will engage your audience and set the general tone of your speech. Pay special attention to the first sentence.
- Surprise your audience by going straight to pick a difficult story. “When I was ten, I lost my father. "
- Make your audience laugh by telling a joke, one that everyone in the room will enjoy. " Hi everyone. We warmly applaud whoever installed the air conditioning. "
- Start with a bombastic, thought-provoking statement. “Our galaxy contains billions of Earth-like planets, we are just beginning to discover them. "
- Most likely, someone will introduce you and most of your classmates will already know you. Unless you've been specifically asked to introduce yourself, you can get right to the point.
Step 6. Make the theme clear
Your audience should have understood the theme of your speech from your first sentences. Ask exactly what you are going to talk about or suggest it clearly at the start of the speech.
To use an example used above, if your theme is "Become an even better version of your favorite hero" you can start your speech with a few sentences about your hero and then say: "Each of us has a hero who inspires us., but we don't have to just follow it. We can become even better than the people we admire. "
Step 7. Go from idea to idea naturally, in a logical order
Don't jump from a humorous anecdote to the story of someone who survives a car crash. Think about how the audience feels and what they expect after each section. It's good to surprise your audience, but do it with your ideas, not jumping from rooster to donkey and losing them as you jump from topic to topic.
Include link phrases. Include phrases like “Now, what I would like to talk about…” and “But you should also remember,” to move from idea to idea
Step 8. End with a powerful statement that echoes the general idea of your speech
A good joke or a thought-provoking idea are two great ways to end a speech. This advice is to be adapted according to the general mood, the general tone of the speech. If you are arguing in one direction, summarize your idea briefly and end by rephrasing your position firmly.
- You can have a nice ending, bring it up and then end your speech with a joke. “And I know that when you walk to the ballot box tomorrow, you'll be ready to make the right choice. Protect your interests and those of your school by washing your hands right after. Do you know how many people touch this box? "
- If you are giving a graduation speech, let your audience be excited or worried about the future. It's a great time and you have the power to make them realize it. “In a few years, you will be the father or mother that your children will take as a model. The writer who changes the way we think. The inventor who creates new ways of living. So come on the stage and start being heroes! "
Step 9. Organize and refine your speech as much as possible
Well done, you have completed your first draft. Wait, because the job is not done yet! To write a good speech, you will have to work on it, think about it, and probably rewrite it in its entirety.
Have grammatical errors checked and ask for feedback from a teacher, trusted friend or family member. The spelling is not very important, as you will be speaking this speech orally
Step 10. Consider using visual aids
Using cards, pictures or other materials is convenient and useful for speeches given during presentations, as you will have something to write without having to carry your materials from outside the classroom. class. On the other hand, during a graduation ceremony, you will not need any of these.
If your topic involves handling a lot of numbers, plan to write them on the board so the audience can remember them
Step 11. Put your speech on index cards and practice
No one wants to hear you read an essay out loud. You will need to be familiar enough with what you have written that you can say it naturally while watching your audience. It is really a good idea to put notes on small index cards to practice memorizing your work.
Your notes are there to remind you of what to say next and some important facts. “Continue with the Bear Fighting Story (person's name is Paul Bunyan)”: This is an example of the level of detail that should be included in your notes
Part 2 of 3: practice and give your speech
Step 1. Think about the movement and the material aspect of the speech
Will you be sitting or standing? Do you have room to move around a bit or will you have to stay static? Will you keep your notes, a visual aid or other material? What will you do with it after the speech is over?
- Practice giving your speech in a situation as close as possible to where you will be on the big day.
- In general, try to stay relatively still during your speech. It is quite possible to do a few hand gestures as long as it remains occasional and to move around briefly, especially if it helps you feel and appear confident.
Step 2. Practice speaking loudly
If you are speaking to a room full of people, learn to project your voice and not to mumble or shout. Stand with your back straight, legs at the same spacing as your shoulders. Try to speak using your diaphragm, pushing air out from the bottom of your chest.
Step 3. Time yourself as you speak out loud
Use the positions and techniques described above. If you have already memorized your speech, use your cards with just an index finger. If not, that's okay too, read it right on the page where you wrote it.
If your speech is too long, you should definitely cut it out and shorten the longest stories or ideas. If you are giving a graduation speech, make it 10 to 15 minutes at most. An election speech should not last more than a few minutes, and your teacher should give you a time limit for your speaking time for an oral presentation
Step 4. Speak slowly and pause between thoughts
We get carried away easily when we are nervous. Pause at the end of each sentence. At the end of a section, before moving on to the next idea, pause for a longer time and stare at your audience in front of you, eyeing a few people.
If you can't seem to calm down, write down how much time you should spend on each section and write the number of minutes at the top of your card or paragraph. Practice near an alarm clock so you can check if you are at the right pace
Step 5. Do your speech in front of a mirror until you can do it without having to read it
Start by reading your speech aloud, then try to look less and less at your page and to catch your reflection more and more in the mirror. Pay close attention to the following.
Use slightly different words each time you bring up a main idea. Try not to get locked into rote. Your speech will look much more natural if you vary the sentences that convey the same idea
Step 6. Once you are comfortable with your content, pay more attention to the other details
When you can remember each idea and relate them to each other in a natural way, take a closer look at your mirror and correct any flaws you see there.
- If your face looks fixed and stiff, a little mechanical, practice varying your expressions.
- Try to vary your tone of voice as well. Avoid having the tone of someone reciting everything in his head, imagine that you are acting like you are having a regular discussion.
Step 7. Practice facing a “false audience”
Get your family or friends together and ask them to listen to you practice. You will probably feel nervous, but practicing will give you confidence in the “real” speech.
- Try to maintain eye contact with different members of the audience during your speech. Don't stare at one person all the way.
- Resist the temptation to hide by standing in a corner or standing behind a large object.
- Do not stir nervously, stamp your foot or other nervous gestures. Try to slowly walk back and forth across the stage to let go of your nervous energy.
Step 8. Use feedback from loved ones to practice again
Members of your audience may point out issues that you may not have noticed, either in your utterances or in the style you use to speak. Accept their advice gracefully - they're doing you a favor by telling you what you need to improve further.
Step 9. Prepare to be confident on the day of the speech
The day before the speech, go to bed early and eat full, stomach-friendly meals. Entertain your mind with other activities a few hours before the speech.
Dressing well will increase your self-confidence and gain the respect and attention of your audience
Part 3 of 3: Dos and Don'ts
Step 1. Choose an appropriate theme (for an election speech)
Spend little time on your personal qualifications or abilities, but focus on what you plan to change or do if elected. If you can, try to group your arguments into easy-to-remember categories or powerful messages.
Step 2. Choose an appropriate theme (for a graduation speech)
Here are some examples of common themes, although you should try to do your best to arrange them and make them more personalized, original subjects.
- Memories that your class shares and personal memories that many people can relate to, such as your first day at school.
- Overcome the obstacles. Talk about how your classmates overcame academic, financial, health issues and how everyone is proud that they are standing there.
- The diversity of your classmates and the valuation of the varied, personal and interesting experiences that you may have had at school. Describe a few of the many ways people do good in the world.
Step 3. Use techniques to make your speech impactful
Even if you're not a great writer, here are some rhetorical choices you can make that will make any speech more engaging.
- Speak directly to your audience. Ask them questions, even if you aren't expecting an answer, to get your audience thinking.
- Work in groups of three. The human brain loves repetition, especially trios. Start three sentences from the same beginning, speaking louder each time.
- Play on the emotions. Try to elicit a strong emotional response from your audience, don't just present them with a list of facts.
Step 4. Thank specific people, but don't be too long
If that fits your topic, you can thank teachers, parents, or others who have influenced your life. But don't go into too much detail unless it gives you an opportunity to tackle an interesting story: you can very easily annoy or lose your audience.
Step 5. Make references understandable to your audience and avoid all others
Including a few references to a famous movie or a milestone event in your school will help you grab your audience, but it will only be valid sometimes. Do not overuse this technique and use it only a few times.
Above all, don't bring up anecdotes that only a few friends will understand. Even references that your whole class can understand should be used sparingly if there are parents in the room
Step 6. Avoid clichés
The same old stuff comes up a lot, especially in graduation speeches. Here are a few phrases that, through use, have become common places in graduation and election speeches.
- Let's go, let's change the world!
- Today is not the last day of your education, but the first.
- The future is yours.
- If I am elected, I will be the voice of the students.
- It's time for a change!
Step 7. Don't insult or offend anyone
A speech is not the occasion to attack another student, even as a joke. Even if it is an election, you will gain respect by focusing only on your abilities than by attacking your opponent.
If you are giving a graduation speech, remember that not everyone in your class will go to college. Don't joke that your degrees would save you from a “bad” job, there's a good chance that parents present are doing one of those “bad” jobs
- Watch all the fashion in the room. Not a single person.
- Make sure you don't offend or embarrass your audience.