Speech Writing and Delivering
A speech is a formal talk which a person gives to an audience for the purpose of informing, persuading or entertaining. Also a speech is meant to convey one’s thoughts or opinions, share information with or spread awareness among a large number of people.
A good speech has clarity of thought and expression, accuracy of facts and an unbiased view of issues.
TYPES OF SPEECHES:
Speeches are categorized differently by various sources. In this book we are going to look at four types of speech.
(a) Impromptu speech
(a) Personal speech.
(b) Persuasive speech
(c) Informative speech
(a) IMPROMPTU/ EXTEMPORANEOUS SPEECH
This is a speech made without preparation or planning. We give impromptu speech when we are called upon to speak on the spur of the moment (or suddenly without planning) when we were not informed in advance that we would be called upon to talk. Although you may not be prepared to talk, you will certainly have to say something.
What can you do then?
Don’t panic or become nervous.
You may quickly jot down important points to guide you.
Walk slowly to the podium/platform if you are invited to do so.
Avoid repetition of points already made by others.
Be brief and straight to the point.
Maintain eye-contact with the audience as you speak.
(b) PERSONAL SPEECH
A personal speech sometimes referred to as a personal essay or self-introduction speech is a public speaking format to introduce you or a particular aspect of your life or personality. Personal speeches are typically given in the beginning of a public speaking class by each student as a way to introduce each person to the class personally.
Writing a personal speech can be a bit difficult, as most people are a bit apprehensive about public speaking, and speaking publicly about one’s self can make this task even more challenging. A good personal speech narrows down a particular aspect or idiosyncrasy about you, giving a brief overview of who you are.
Helpful Tips on Preparing for Your Personal Speech
1. Choose the particular aspect of your life that you wish to share with your audience.
You should try to make this as unique as possible. Choose a situation or circumstance in your life that defines (or helped to define) you as a person. Perhaps why you fell in love with fashion or what motivates you to climb mountains. These personal subjects define who you are.
2. Write the beginning of the speech with an attention-grabbing opening statement or paragraph.
Presenting a peculiar piece of history that is little known to the audience that relates to your life will get the attention of the audience. A good example of an attention-grabbing opening line (if it were true) could be: My name is Marwa Samson; the founder of Facebook.
2. Fill the body of your speech with information relative to your topic only.
Don’t go off on a tangent that deviates from the main subject or aspect of your life that you want to share. A good way to do this is to outline the body of your speech and designate four or five main points that you want to emphasize.
Some sample points could be: background information of why or what happened to make this particular aspect of your life important; how you began to pursue or become more involved with this part of your life; what happened along the way that makes this aspect significant; why you continue to do what you do or what good has come from this.
3. Conclude your speech by presenting the audience with a question that only you can answer.
A good example for this technique would be: So where do I go from here? Answer the question by summarizing your speech and giving the reasons why the particular aspect of your life will continue to affect you.
(c) PERSUASIVE SPEECH
Persuasive speech refers to a kind of verbal argument aimed at convincing the audience of one’s opinion or stance. Usually persuasive speeches are given by politicians to receive votes or by people who support a specific cause.
Helpful Tips on Preparing for Your Persuasive Speech
1. Be Time Conscious
For example, if you want to talk about air pollution, it will make your topic very lengthy and scattered, instead of that choosing to talk about “effects of air pollution on human health” will streamline the topic thus keeping it focused. So it’s wise to choose for a narrow and a clear topic which will be covered within the time frame.
2. Choose an Audience – Relevant Topic
When intending to give a persuasive speech, opt for a topic that would keep the audience’s interest intact and not bore them immensely. Creating a common ground before convincing someone is an essential pre-requisite. You must be able to harmonize with your listeners and they should also be able to synchronize with you. What is their temperament, their interests, their religious beliefs; their social values? Always keep in view the age, interest and mental capacity of the listeners to capture their interest.
3. Tell the Audience You Care for the Topic
You have to personally show conviction and give importance for the chosen topic; otherwise you will lack the necessary sentiments to convince your listeners. Choose a topic that thrills you; something you’re zealous about. If you show casual interest in your topic, why would the audience be interested about the topic?
4. Support Your View Intellectually
Employ generous evidences, illustrations, statistics, quotations, or true stories throughout the speech, but don’t bombard them heavily. Make sure they spring forth from an authentic source. The more supporting data you include, the more undoubted your argument will be. Always make sure to cite your sources. Mention the author and the location (book title, web page, article and journal name) before any reference.
5. Don’t be offensive
Strictly avoid using sarcastic and mocking comments since this can offend the audience and could make your argument sound totally biased and sentimental. Highlight the other side’s viewpoint very liberally and open-handedly. Take their argument very precisely and carefully dissipate each point in a sequence. Integrating a sympathetic tone, humbly state that although you have your own reservations concerning the other stance, you do understand the reasons why people opt for the other view and disagree with you.
6. Use a Dash of Humor
You don’t want to bore your audience with monotonous repetitious content. Try fitting in sensible and pertinent humor as it refreshes the audience, compels them to reflect on the subject and enhances their receptivity. So, comedy is a convincing element in persuading crowd.
7. Identify Your Weaknesses
Do in-depth self-analyses. Discover your bad habits, if any. Do you tend to pause in between your sentences like using “um” frequently? Do you fidget your hands a lot or just stick it on your sides? Does your voice tremble adopting a monotone? Watch out for these unwanted notions, and speak with a clear, distinct accent in your voice. Occasionally use hands to stress points.
(d) INFORMATIVE SPEECH
Informative speaking offers you an opportunity to practice your researching, writing, organizing, and speaking skills. If you take the time to thoroughly research and understand your topic, to create a clearly organized speech, and to practice an enthusiastic, dynamic style of delivery, you can be an effective “teacher” during your informative speech.
Finally, you will get a chance to practice a type of speaking you will undoubtedly use later in your professional career. The purpose of the informative speech is to provide interesting, useful, and unique information to your audience.
By dedicating yourself to the goals of providing information and appealing to your audience, you can take a positive step toward succeeding in your efforts as an informative speaker.
Helpful Tips on Preparing for Your informative Speech
1. Selecting a Topic
In many cases, circumstances will dictate the topic of your speech. However, if the topic has not been assigned or if you are having difficulty figuring out how to frame your topic as an informative speech, the following may be useful.
Begin by thinking of your interests. If you have always loved art, contemplate possible topics dealing with famous artists, art works, or different types of art. If you are employed, think of aspects of your job or aspects of your employer’s business that would be interesting to talk about. While you cannot substitute personal experience for detailed research, your own experience can supplement your research and add vitality to your presentation.
2. Framing a Thesis Statement
Once you settle on a topic, you need to frame a thesis statement. Framing a thesis statement allows you to narrow your topic, and in turns allows you to focus your research in this specific area, saving you time and trouble in the process. Selecting a topic and focusing it into a thesis statement can be a difficult process
3. Researching Your Topic
As you begin to work on your informative speech, you will find that you need to gather additional information. You may most likely be required to locate relevant materials in the library and cite those materials in your speech.
THE BASIC FORMAT OF A SPEECH
i. Heading – It should show the place, date, audience and purpose of the speech. E.g.
A SPEECH ON THE IMPORTANCE OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE TO TANZANIAN SECONDARY SCHOOLS TO BE DELIVERED TO HERITAGE COMMUNITY ON 24TH NOVEMBER 2018.
A SPEECH ON THE CAUSES OF ROAD ACCIDENTS TO BE DELIVERED TO TANDAHIMBA COMMUNITY ON 24TH APRIL 2018.
ii. Salutation – the greetings are given while observing the protocol. More often than not greetings are given from higher rank to lower rank. E.g.
Honorable Guest of Honour,
Honorable Chairperson of the school board,
Honorable Managing Director,
Teaching staff and non-teaching staff,
Distinguished guests ladies and gentlemen.
Good morning/Praise the LORD!
Other common phrases include;
Honourable president… Your majesty
Your highness…, Your Excellency,
2. MAIN BODY
i. Opening statement.
Write the beginning of the speech with an attention-grabbing opening statement or paragraph. Presenting a peculiar piece of history that is little known to the audience that relates to your life will get the attention of the audience.
E.g. Let me begin by quoting what Charles Jones said; “You are the same today as you’ll be in five years except for two things; the books you read and the people you meet”.
I greatly appreciate your invitation to speak on the graduation day on
I feel honoured to stand before you today…
I am happy to join with you today…
May I take this opportunity to …
I am pleased to …
It gives me much pleasure to …
On behalf of …
ii. Development of the topic :
Make references to reliable sources like books, journals, researches, historical figures, newspapers statistics etc, to show effects and results, establish arguments, etc.
iii. Use transitions/Link words to organize your paragraphs logically.
Besides…, Additionally…, again and again…, finally…, last but not least…, lastly…,
iv. Regular reference to the audience.
Dear ladies and gentlemen…,
Dear my fellow students…,
You may end your speech with
Call/appeal for action,
A word of encouragement or hope
A summary of the main points
End with a word of thanks to the listeners for listening to you.
Thank you for listening,
Thank you for your attention.
Points to remember:
i. If you are not given a topic, then select one that will interest your listeners.
ii. Start the speech with an interesting bit of information, a question or a quotation.
iii. It is very important to hold the attention of the audience. Therefore, keep the speech to the point and appealing.
iv. Convey your opinions and views in an organised and coherent manner. Use transitional words properly and effectively.
v. Write your speech like you talk. When preparing a speech bear it in mind that you are talking to your audience. So your speech should not sound like a composition or an essay. Use simple words ones that are familiar to your audience.
vi. Develop each point properly and then move on to the next one. Use figures of speech
vii. Be accurate by doing a thorough research on the topic you are asked to speak. Provide examples, statistics and facts that are properly researched and authentic. Don’t make empty claims.
viii. Know your audience. Analyse your audience by considering: experience and knowledge of subject, attitude toward subject, attitude toward the speaker, occupation, economic status, educational status, cultural status, sex, age, number etc. Find out what they already know and fill the gap in knowledge by telling them what they don’t know.
ix. Interact with the audience by posing questions and including some humour, if it is appropriate.
x. Time your speech. Most formal occasions have organized timetable. Find out the time allocated for your speech.
xi. You may summarize the message. Go through it again, proofread and edit it by cutting out unnecessary words. You may also give it to a friend to read and give you the comments.
xii. End with an emphasis on your point of view and personal inferences so that the audience thinks about what you have expressed.
xiii. Always thank the audience for listening to you before leaving the stage.
DELIVERING A SPEECH
For many speakers, delivery is the most intimidating aspect of public speaking. It can be a bit difficult, as most people are a bit apprehensive about public speaking. It should be clear that coping with anxiety over delivering a speech requires significant advanced preparation. The speech needs to be completed several days beforehand so that you can effectively deliver your speech.
However, with practice one can become competent and find out that it is so easy and interesting. Although there is no known cure for nervousness, you can make yourself much more comfortable by following a few basic delivery guidelines. Here are some tips to help you prepare in advance to deliver your speech.
After writing your speech you may do the following.
i. Go over your speech3-6 times.
ii. Work to remember ideas not words.
iii. Mentally go through your speech rather than say it aloud.
iv. Practice gestures (only if you are sure they will help you).
v. Practice in front of a mirror (only if you know it will help you)
vi. Tape-record perhaps two practices and listen to your recording or present it to a friend. This helps you to get a feedback.
vii. Time your speech.
viii. Practice using your aid like microphones.
ix. Practice the speech aloud and rehearse it until you are confident that you have mastered the ideas you want to present.
TIPS AND TRICKS WHEN DELIVERING A SPEECH.
1. Speak slowly, loudly and clearly.
Try not to sound rehearsed but be as natural as possible. Concentrate on eye contact and slowing your words down. Public speaking tends to make people speak faster, and, if you have a time quota, then you’ll want to fit the speech perfectly into your allotted time. If you find that your speech is too short, add a few more details or elaborate to fill the void.
2. Avoid using “ums”, like “you know”
This will make you sound doubtful.
3. Avoid using words that you don’t understand just to sound interesting.
4. Be interested in your topic. Even the most boring topics can be interesting if you make it engaging.
5. Stay focused on your main points so that you do not confuse your audience. Just remember to stay on topic-don’t deviate from the scope of your personal speech.
6. Don’t stand at one place, unless you are being recorded by a camera; move frequently to create a feeling of one on one basis interaction.
You have lately read the account of many cases of violent behaviour by school children. Some instances have been quite injurious and harmful to the victims. You are shocked by these accounts and decide to share your views with your schoolmates. Prepare a speech for the morning assembly on the topic ‘Growing violence in children: Causes and cures’.
I would like to share my views on the growing violence among children these days, which is proving to be rather detrimental to the children’s progress.Honourable principal, respected teachers and my dear friends,
Dear teachers and my fellow students, lack of an appropriate environment and good parental care, and pressure of peers are some of the factors that are responsible for giving rise to negative emotions in children. Feelings of neglect and immense pressure cause anger and dissatisfaction in these youngsters.
Dear teachers and my fellow students,The growing exposure to crime films and thrillers too raises the levels of aggression in them. Moreover, the rush of consumerism has aroused a child’s desire to possess whatever he sees in the advertisements on the television. And in case of non-fulfillment of these desires and wants, there is cause for resentment and frustration.
Dear teachers and my fellow students, television shows like WWE and violent scenes in movies etc lead the innocent children to imitate them. The negative characters in movies become their role models whom they want to ape in order to appear ‘cool’.
Parents, teachers and social reformers should inculcate the right values in children through persuasion and instruction. Being the torch-bearers of the future, children need to be guided well and shown the correct path in life.
Dear teachers and my fellow students, Let us hope for a better future, let us create a future with the children of today becoming sensible and sensitive citizens of tomorrow.
1. Imagine that you are the minister for natural resources and tourism. Write a speech on the topic: “TOURISM SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED AS IT PROMOTES SOCIAL RELATIONS AND STABILIZES OUR ECONOMY”.
2. You are a human Rights activist and you are not pleased with the current status of security in your country: Prepare a speech of not more than 250 words to support the motion. “Murderers or thieves who use violence must get life imprisonment.”
3. Tanzania has been losing a lot of citizens in the road accidents. Imagine you are the minister of home affairs, prepare a speech of not more than 250 words on the causes of these accidents.