Speech: Form

Speech: Form

Understanding Speech as a Form

  • Remember that a speech is a verbal form of communication intended to inform, persuade or entertain an audience.
  • Identify the purpose of the speech before you start writing it. The overall structure, tone, and language used in the speech will closely align with its purpose.
  • A speech must be oral-friendly. This means the language and structure should facilitate easy understanding even when listening, not reading.
  • Use rhetorical devices like repetition, alliteration, and emotive language. These can provide emphasis and make the speech more engaging.
  • Speeches often include anecdotes and personal stories to establish a connection with the audience. These can be used to illustrate points and evoke emotions.

Best Practices in Structure

  • The speech should have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Generally, it should introduce the topic, present arguments or points, and conclude nicely.
  • Always signpost your speech. Make it evident when you’re moving from one point to another. This helps to guide your audience through your arguments and prevents confusion.
  • Reiteration is a key tool. Don’t be afraid to repeat important points for emphasis. This can help your audience to remember key details.

Considering Your Audience

  • Adjust the complexity of language based on the understanding and familiarity of your audience with the topic.
  • Remember to engage your audience through direct address. Use ‘you’ and ‘we’ pronouncements to make the audience feel included in your discussion.
  • Be aware of your audience’s viewpoints and sensibilities to avoid offending anyone inadvertently.

The Art of Persuasion

  • Implement persuasive techniques such as logical reasoning, emotive language, and rhetorical questions. These can sway your audience’s opinion in line with your argument.
  • Regularly state your main argument, so your audience is clear about your stance. They will better understand the perspective from which you’re presenting supporting facts or stories.

Performance Aspect of Speech

  • Consider this as you write – how will you deliver it? Think about appropriate pauses, changes in tone and volume, and spots to emphasise for dramatic effect.
  • Remember, non-verbal communication like body language and facial expressions also play a significant role in delivering an effective speech. These should reinforce your verbal message.
  • Keep an engaging opening and strong conclusion – these often make the most lasting impressions. Your opening should grab your audience’s attention, while your conclusion wraps up your speech neatly and reinforces your key points.