There are many different kinds of speeches. Today we’re going to be looking at how to structure a simple, informative speech. Other speeches have other kinds of structures. A motivational speech, for example, may contain a story, or a series of stories, to illustrate various points.
A basic speech
Our basic informative speech is structured a little like an essay – it has an introduction, a body and a conclusion. There’s an old adage in speech making which says:
First you tell the audience what you’re going to tell them, then you tell them, then you remind them of what you’ve just said.
Introductions (or beginnings of speeches) are discussed in more detail elsewhere on the website, but it should give an indication of the purpose of the speech e.g. ‘Have you ever wondered about the importance of bees? Today I’m going to tell you about one of nature’s busiest workers.’
Following the introduction should be the body. This includes a number of main points. Short informative speeches usually contain around three main points. Longer speeches can contain more, but it’s important for the speech to never be any longer than necessary.
These main points – or paragraphs – start with an introductory sentence that presents the idea. e.g. ‘Bees are important because they pollinate flowers.’
The speaker then expands on this idea. e.g. ‘Bees collect pollen and nectar as food for their colony. As they move from flower to flower, they pollinate plants. The nectar becomes honey which workers store in the cells of the honeycomb. Without the process of pollination, the entire food chain would collapse.’
Each of these paragraphs may be joined by a connecting phrase. For example, ‘My next point…’ or ‘Next, I want to mention…’ or ‘Furthermore…’
After the main points comes the conclusion. This will often restate the main argument of the speech, as well as summarising each of the key points.
The conclusion may also contain a, ‘call to action’. This is how we want the audience to modify their behavior after hearing the speech. So it might be delivered as follows, ‘Bees are vital to our environment. They are vital because of A, B and C. I urge you to cut down on your use of pesticides in your garden, or use pesticides that cause no harm to our environment. Our children’s future depends on it.’
And that’s a basic speech!
Good luck with your writing!