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How to write a speech that your audience remembers

Confident-woman-giving-a-conference-with-a-digital-presentation-how-to-give-a-speech

Whether in a work meeting or at an investor panel, you might give a speech at some point. And no matter how excited you are about the opportunity, the experience can be nerve-wracking . 

But feeling butterflies doesn’t mean you can’t give a great speech. With the proper preparation and a clear outline, apprehensive public speakers and natural wordsmiths alike can write and present a compelling message. Here’s how to write a good speech you’ll be proud to deliver.

What is good speech writing?

Good speech writing is the art of crafting words and ideas into a compelling, coherent, and memorable message that resonates with the audience. Here are some key elements of great speech writing:

  • It begins with clearly understanding the speech's purpose and the audience it seeks to engage. 
  • A well-written speech clearly conveys its central message, ensuring that the audience understands and retains the key points. 
  • It is structured thoughtfully, with a captivating opening, a well-organized body, and a conclusion that reinforces the main message. 
  • Good speech writing embraces the power of engaging content, weaving in stories, examples, and relatable anecdotes to connect with the audience on both intellectual and emotional levels. 

Ultimately, it is the combination of these elements, along with the authenticity and delivery of the speaker , that transforms words on a page into a powerful and impactful spoken narrative.

What makes a good speech?

A great speech includes several key qualities, but three fundamental elements make a speech truly effective:

Clarity and purpose

Remembering the audience, cohesive structure.

While other important factors make a speech a home run, these three elements are essential for writing an effective speech.

The main elements of a good speech

The main elements of a speech typically include:

  • Introduction: The introduction sets the stage for your speech and grabs the audience's attention. It should include a hook or attention-grabbing opening, introduce the topic, and provide an overview of what will be covered.
  • Opening/captivating statement: This is a strong statement that immediately engages the audience and creates curiosity about the speech topics.
  • Thesis statement/central idea: The thesis statement or central idea is a concise statement that summarizes the main point or argument of your speech. It serves as a roadmap for the audience to understand what your speech is about.
  • Body: The body of the speech is where you elaborate on your main points or arguments. Each point is typically supported by evidence, examples, statistics, or anecdotes. The body should be organized logically and coherently, with smooth transitions between the main points.
  • Supporting evidence: This includes facts, data, research findings, expert opinions, or personal stories that support and strengthen your main points. Well-chosen and credible evidence enhances the persuasive power of your speech.
  • Transitions: Transitions are phrases or statements that connect different parts of your speech, guiding the audience from one idea to the next. Effective transitions signal the shifts in topics or ideas and help maintain a smooth flow throughout the speech.
  • Counterarguments and rebuttals (if applicable): If your speech involves addressing opposing viewpoints or counterarguments, you should acknowledge and address them. Presenting counterarguments makes your speech more persuasive and demonstrates critical thinking.
  • Conclusion: The conclusion is the final part of your speech and should bring your message to a satisfying close. Summarize your main points, restate your thesis statement, and leave the audience with a memorable closing thought or call to action.
  • Closing statement: This is the final statement that leaves a lasting impression and reinforces the main message of your speech. It can be a call to action, a thought-provoking question, a powerful quote, or a memorable anecdote.
  • Delivery and presentation: How you deliver your speech is also an essential element to consider. Pay attention to your tone, body language, eye contact , voice modulation, and timing. Practice and rehearse your speech, and try using the 7-38-55 rule to ensure confident and effective delivery.

While the order and emphasis of these elements may vary depending on the type of speech and audience, these elements provide a framework for organizing and delivering a successful speech.

Man-holding-microphone-at-panel-while-talking--how-to-give-a-speech

How to structure a good speech

You know what message you want to transmit, who you’re delivering it to, and even how you want to say it. But you need to know how to start, develop, and close a speech before writing it. 

Think of a speech like an essay. It should have an introduction, conclusion, and body sections in between. This places ideas in a logical order that the audience can better understand and follow them. Learning how to make a speech with an outline gives your storytelling the scaffolding it needs to get its point across.

Here’s a general speech structure to guide your writing process:

  • Explanation 1
  • Explanation 2
  • Explanation 3

How to write a compelling speech opener

Some research shows that engaged audiences pay attention for only 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Other estimates are even lower, citing that people stop listening intently in fewer than 10 minutes . If you make a good first impression at the beginning of your speech, you have a better chance of interesting your audience through the middle when attention spans fade. 

Implementing the INTRO model can help grab and keep your audience’s attention as soon as you start speaking. This acronym stands for interest, need, timing, roadmap, and objectives, and it represents the key points you should hit in an opening. 

Here’s what to include for each of these points: 

  • Interest : Introduce yourself or your topic concisely and speak with confidence . Write a compelling opening statement using relevant data or an anecdote that the audience can relate to.
  • Needs : The audience is listening to you because they have something to learn. If you’re pitching a new app idea to a panel of investors, those potential partners want to discover more about your product and what they can earn from it. Read the room and gently remind them of the purpose of your speech. 
  • Timing : When appropriate, let your audience know how long you’ll speak. This lets listeners set expectations and keep tabs on their own attention span. If a weary audience member knows you’ll talk for 40 minutes, they can better manage their energy as that time goes on. 
  • Routemap : Give a brief overview of the three main points you’ll cover in your speech. If an audience member’s attention starts to drop off and they miss a few sentences, they can more easily get their bearings if they know the general outline of the presentation.
  • Objectives : Tell the audience what you hope to achieve, encouraging them to listen to the end for the payout. 

Writing the middle of a speech

The body of your speech is the most information-dense section. Facts, visual aids, PowerPoints — all this information meets an audience with a waning attention span. Sticking to the speech structure gives your message focus and keeps you from going off track, making everything you say as useful as possible.

Limit the middle of your speech to three points, and support them with no more than three explanations. Following this model organizes your thoughts and prevents you from offering more information than the audience can retain. 

Using this section of the speech to make your presentation interactive can add interest and engage your audience. Try including a video or demonstration to break the monotony. A quick poll or survey also keeps the audience on their toes. 

Wrapping the speech up

To you, restating your points at the end can feel repetitive and dull. You’ve practiced countless times and heard it all before. But repetition aids memory and learning , helping your audience retain what you’ve told them. Use your speech’s conclusion to summarize the main points with a few short sentences.

Try to end on a memorable note, like posing a motivational quote or a thoughtful question the audience can contemplate once they leave. In proposal or pitch-style speeches, consider landing on a call to action (CTA) that invites your audience to take the next step.

People-clapping-after-coworker-gave-a-speech-how-to-give-a-speech

How to write a good speech

If public speaking gives you the jitters, you’re not alone. Roughly 80% of the population feels nervous before giving a speech, and another 10% percent experiences intense anxiety and sometimes even panic. 

The fear of failure can cause procrastination and can cause you to put off your speechwriting process until the last minute. Finding the right words takes time and preparation, and if you’re already feeling nervous, starting from a blank page might seem even harder.

But putting in the effort despite your stress is worth it. Presenting a speech you worked hard on fosters authenticity and connects you to the subject matter, which can help your audience understand your points better. Human connection is all about honesty and vulnerability, and if you want to connect to the people you’re speaking to, they should see that in you.

1. Identify your objectives and target audience

Before diving into the writing process, find healthy coping strategies to help you stop worrying . Then you can define your speech’s purpose, think about your target audience, and start identifying your objectives. Here are some questions to ask yourself and ground your thinking : 

  • What purpose do I want my speech to achieve? 
  • What would it mean to me if I achieved the speech’s purpose?
  • What audience am I writing for? 
  • What do I know about my audience? 
  • What values do I want to transmit? 
  • If the audience remembers one take-home message, what should it be? 
  • What do I want my audience to feel, think, or do after I finish speaking? 
  • What parts of my message could be confusing and require further explanation?

2. Know your audience

Understanding your audience is crucial for tailoring your speech effectively. Consider the demographics of your audience, their interests, and their expectations. For instance, if you're addressing a group of healthcare professionals, you'll want to use medical terminology and data that resonate with them. Conversely, if your audience is a group of young students, you'd adjust your content to be more relatable to their experiences and interests. 

3. Choose a clear message

Your message should be the central idea that you want your audience to take away from your speech. Let's say you're giving a speech on climate change. Your clear message might be something like, "Individual actions can make a significant impact on mitigating climate change." Throughout your speech, all your points and examples should support this central message, reinforcing it for your audience.

4. Structure your speech

Organizing your speech properly keeps your audience engaged and helps them follow your ideas. The introduction should grab your audience's attention and introduce the topic. For example, if you're discussing space exploration, you could start with a fascinating fact about a recent space mission. In the body, you'd present your main points logically, such as the history of space exploration, its scientific significance, and future prospects. Finally, in the conclusion, you'd summarize your key points and reiterate the importance of space exploration in advancing human knowledge.

5. Use engaging content for clarity

Engaging content includes stories, anecdotes, statistics, and examples that illustrate your main points. For instance, if you're giving a speech about the importance of reading, you might share a personal story about how a particular book changed your perspective. You could also include statistics on the benefits of reading, such as improved cognitive abilities and empathy.

6. Maintain clarity and simplicity

It's essential to communicate your ideas clearly. Avoid using overly technical jargon or complex language that might confuse your audience. For example, if you're discussing a medical breakthrough with a non-medical audience, explain complex terms in simple, understandable language.

7. Practice and rehearse

Practice is key to delivering a great speech. Rehearse multiple times to refine your delivery, timing, and tone. Consider using a mirror or recording yourself to observe your body language and gestures. For instance, if you're giving a motivational speech, practice your gestures and expressions to convey enthusiasm and confidence.

8. Consider nonverbal communication

Your body language, tone of voice, and gestures should align with your message . If you're delivering a speech on leadership, maintain strong eye contact to convey authority and connection with your audience. A steady pace and varied tone can also enhance your speech's impact.

9. Engage your audience

Engaging your audience keeps them interested and attentive. Encourage interaction by asking thought-provoking questions or sharing relatable anecdotes. If you're giving a speech on teamwork, ask the audience to recall a time when teamwork led to a successful outcome, fostering engagement and connection.

10. Prepare for Q&A

Anticipate potential questions or objections your audience might have and prepare concise, well-informed responses. If you're delivering a speech on a controversial topic, such as healthcare reform, be ready to address common concerns, like the impact on healthcare costs or access to services, during the Q&A session.

By following these steps and incorporating examples that align with your specific speech topic and purpose, you can craft and deliver a compelling and impactful speech that resonates with your audience.

Woman-at-home-doing-research-in-her-laptop-how-to-give-a-speech

Tools for writing a great speech

There are several helpful tools available for speechwriting, both technological and communication-related. Here are a few examples:

  • Word processing software: Tools like Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or other word processors provide a user-friendly environment for writing and editing speeches. They offer features like spell-checking, grammar correction, formatting options, and easy revision tracking.
  • Presentation software: Software such as Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides is useful when creating visual aids to accompany your speech. These tools allow you to create engaging slideshows with text, images, charts, and videos to enhance your presentation.
  • Speechwriting Templates: Online platforms or software offer pre-designed templates specifically for speechwriting. These templates provide guidance on structuring your speech and may include prompts for different sections like introductions, main points, and conclusions.
  • Rhetorical devices and figures of speech: Rhetorical tools such as metaphors, similes, alliteration, and parallelism can add impact and persuasion to your speech. Resources like books, websites, or academic papers detailing various rhetorical devices can help you incorporate them effectively.
  • Speechwriting apps: Mobile apps designed specifically for speechwriting can be helpful in organizing your thoughts, creating outlines, and composing a speech. These apps often provide features like voice recording, note-taking, and virtual prompts to keep you on track.
  • Grammar and style checkers: Online tools or plugins like Grammarly or Hemingway Editor help improve the clarity and readability of your speech by checking for grammar, spelling, and style errors. They provide suggestions for sentence structure, word choice, and overall tone.
  • Thesaurus and dictionary: Online or offline resources such as thesauruses and dictionaries help expand your vocabulary and find alternative words or phrases to express your ideas more effectively. They can also clarify meanings or provide context for unfamiliar terms.
  • Online speechwriting communities: Joining online forums or communities focused on speechwriting can be beneficial for getting feedback, sharing ideas, and learning from experienced speechwriters. It's an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and improve your public speaking skills through collaboration.

Remember, while these tools can assist in the speechwriting process, it's essential to use them thoughtfully and adapt them to your specific needs and style. The most important aspect of speechwriting remains the creativity, authenticity, and connection with your audience that you bring to your speech.

Man-holding-microphone-while-speaking-in-public-how-to-give-a-speech

5 tips for writing a speech

Behind every great speech is an excellent idea and a speaker who refined it. But a successful speech is about more than the initial words on the page, and there are a few more things you can do to help it land.

Here are five more tips for writing and practicing your speech:

1. Structure first, write second

If you start the writing process before organizing your thoughts, you may have to re-order, cut, and scrap the sentences you worked hard on. Save yourself some time by using a speech structure, like the one above, to order your talking points first. This can also help you identify unclear points or moments that disrupt your flow.

2. Do your homework

Data strengthens your argument with a scientific edge. Research your topic with an eye for attention-grabbing statistics, or look for findings you can use to support each point. If you’re pitching a product or service, pull information from company metrics that demonstrate past or potential successes. 

Audience members will likely have questions, so learn all talking points inside and out. If you tell investors that your product will provide 12% returns, for example, come prepared with projections that support that statement.

3. Sound like yourself

Memorable speakers have distinct voices. Think of Martin Luther King Jr’s urgent, inspiring timbre or Oprah’s empathetic, personal tone . Establish your voice — one that aligns with your personality and values — and stick with it. If you’re a motivational speaker, keep your tone upbeat to inspire your audience . If you’re the CEO of a startup, try sounding assured but approachable. 

4. Practice

As you practice a speech, you become more confident , gain a better handle on the material, and learn the outline so well that unexpected questions are less likely to trip you up. Practice in front of a colleague or friend for honest feedback about what you could change, and speak in front of the mirror to tweak your nonverbal communication and body language .

5. Remember to breathe

When you’re stressed, you breathe more rapidly . It can be challenging to talk normally when you can’t regulate your breath. Before your presentation, try some mindful breathing exercises so that when the day comes, you already have strategies that will calm you down and remain present . This can also help you control your voice and avoid speaking too quickly.

How to ghostwrite a great speech for someone else

Ghostwriting a speech requires a unique set of skills, as you're essentially writing a piece that will be delivered by someone else. Here are some tips on how to effectively ghostwrite a speech:

  • Understand the speaker's voice and style : Begin by thoroughly understanding the speaker's personality, speaking style, and preferences. This includes their tone, humor, and any personal anecdotes they may want to include.
  • Interview the speaker : Have a detailed conversation with the speaker to gather information about their speech's purpose, target audience, key messages, and any specific points they want to emphasize. Ask for personal stories or examples they may want to include.
  • Research thoroughly : Research the topic to ensure you have a strong foundation of knowledge. This helps you craft a well-informed and credible speech.
  • Create an outline : Develop a clear outline that includes the introduction, main points, supporting evidence, and a conclusion. Share this outline with the speaker for their input and approval.
  • Write in the speaker's voice : While crafting the speech, maintain the speaker's voice and style. Use language and phrasing that feel natural to them. If they have a particular way of expressing ideas, incorporate that into the speech.
  • Craft a captivating opening : Begin the speech with a compelling opening that grabs the audience's attention. This could be a relevant quote, an interesting fact, a personal anecdote, or a thought-provoking question.
  • Organize content logically : Ensure the speech flows logically, with each point building on the previous one. Use transitions to guide the audience from one idea to the next smoothly.
  • Incorporate engaging stories and examples : Include anecdotes, stories, and real-life examples that illustrate key points and make the speech relatable and memorable.
  • Edit and revise : Edit the speech carefully for clarity, grammar, and coherence. Ensure the speech is the right length and aligns with the speaker's time constraints.
  • Seek feedback : Share drafts of the speech with the speaker for their feedback and revisions. They may have specific changes or additions they'd like to make.
  • Practice delivery : If possible, work with the speaker on their delivery. Practice the speech together, allowing the speaker to become familiar with the content and your writing style.
  • Maintain confidentiality : As a ghostwriter, it's essential to respect the confidentiality and anonymity of the work. Do not disclose that you wrote the speech unless you have the speaker's permission to do so.
  • Be flexible : Be open to making changes and revisions as per the speaker's preferences. Your goal is to make them look good and effectively convey their message.
  • Meet deadlines : Stick to agreed-upon deadlines for drafts and revisions. Punctuality and reliability are essential in ghostwriting.
  • Provide support : Support the speaker during their preparation and rehearsal process. This can include helping with cue cards, speech notes, or any other materials they need.

Remember that successful ghostwriting is about capturing the essence of the speaker while delivering a well-structured and engaging speech. Collaboration, communication, and adaptability are key to achieving this.

Give your best speech yet

Learn how to make a speech that’ll hold an audience’s attention by structuring your thoughts and practicing frequently. Put the effort into writing and preparing your content, and aim to improve your breathing, eye contact , and body language as you practice. The more you work on your speech, the more confident you’ll become.

The energy you invest in writing an effective speech will help your audience remember and connect to every concept. Remember: some life-changing philosophies have come from good speeches, so give your words a chance to resonate with others. You might even change their thinking.

Elevate your communication skills

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Elizabeth Perry, ACC

Elizabeth Perry is a Coach Community Manager at BetterUp. She uses strategic engagement strategies to cultivate a learning community across a global network of Coaches through in-person and virtual experiences, technology-enabled platforms, and strategic coaching industry partnerships. With over 3 years of coaching experience and a certification in transformative leadership and life coaching from Sofia University, Elizabeth leverages transpersonal psychology expertise to help coaches and clients gain awareness of their behavioral and thought patterns, discover their purpose and passions, and elevate their potential. She is a lifelong student of psychology, personal growth, and human potential as well as an ICF-certified ACC transpersonal life and leadership Coach.

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How to write a good speech in 7 steps

By:  Susan Dugdale  

- an easily followed format for writing a great speech

Did you know writing a speech doesn't have be an anxious, nail biting experience?

Unsure? Don't be.

You may have lived with the idea you were never good with words for a long time. Or perhaps giving speeches at school brought you out in cold sweats.

However learning how to write a speech is relatively straight forward when you learn to write out loud.

And that's the journey I am offering to take you on: step by step.

To learn quickly, go slow

Take all the time you need. This speech format has 7 steps, each building on the next.

Walk, rather than run, your way through all of them. Don't be tempted to rush. Familiarize yourself with the ideas. Try them out.

I know there are well-advertised short cuts and promises of 'write a speech in 5 minutes'. However in reality they only truly work for somebody who already has the basic foundations of speech writing in place.

The foundation of good speech writing 

These steps are the backbone of sound speech preparation. Learn and follow them well at the outset and yes, given more experience and practice you could probably flick something together quickly. Like any skill, the more it's used, the easier it gets.

In the meantime...

Step 1: Begin with a speech overview or outline

Are you in a hurry? Without time to read a whole page? Grab ... The Quick How to Write a Speech Checklist And come back to get the details later.

  • WHO you are writing your speech for (your target audience)
  • WHY you are preparing this speech. What's the main purpose of your speech? Is it to inform or tell your audience about something? To teach them a new skill or demonstrate something? To persuade or to entertain? (See 4 types of speeches: informative, demonstrative, persuasive and special occasion or entertaining for more.) What do you want them to think, feel or do as a result of listening the speech?
  • WHAT your speech is going to be about (its topic) - You'll want to have thought through your main points and have ranked them in order of importance. And have sorted the supporting research you need to make those points effectively.
  • HOW much time you have for your speech eg. 3 minutes, 5 minutes... The amount of time you've been allocated dictates how much content you need. If you're unsure check this page: how many words per minute in a speech: a quick reference guide . You'll find estimates of the number of words required for 1 - 10 minute speeches by slow, medium and fast talkers.

Use an outline

The best way to make sure you deliver a perfect speech is to start by carefully completing a speech outline covering the essentials: WHO, WHY, WHAT and HOW.

Beginning to write without thinking your speech through is a bit like heading off on a journey not knowing why you're traveling or where you're going to end up. You can find yourself lost in a deep, dark, murky muddle of ideas very quickly!

Pulling together a speech overview or outline is a much safer option. It's the map you'll follow to get where you want to go.

Get a blank speech outline template to complete

Click the link to find out a whole lot more about preparing a speech outline . ☺ You'll also find a free printable blank speech outline template.  I recommend using it!

Understanding speech construction

Before you begin to write, using your completed outline as a guide, let's briefly look at what you're aiming to prepare.

  • an opening or introduction
  • the body where the bulk of the information is given
  • and an ending (or summary).

Imagine your speech as a sandwich

Image: gourmet sandwich with labels on the top (opening) and bottom (conclusion) slices of bread and filling, (body). Text: Key ingredients for a superb speech sandwich.

If you think of a speech as a sandwich you'll get the idea.

The opening and ending are the slices of bread holding the filling (the major points or the body of your speech) together.

You can build yourself a simple sandwich with one filling (one big idea) or you could go gourmet and add up to three or, even five. The choice is yours.

But whatever you choose to serve, as a good cook, you need to consider who is going to eat it! And that's your audience.

So let's find out who they are before we do anything else. 

Step 2: Know who you are talking to

Understanding your audience.

Did you know a  good speech is never written from the speaker's point of view?  ( If you need to know more about why check out this page on  building rapport .)

Begin with the most important idea/point on your outline.

Consider HOW you can explain (show, tell) that to your audience in the most effective way for them to easily understand it.   

Writing from the audience's point of view

speech of word good

To help you write from an audience point of view, it's a good idea to identify either a real person or the type of person who is most likely to be listening to you.

Make sure you select someone who represents the "majority" of the people who will be in your audience. That is they are neither struggling to comprehend you at the bottom of your scale or light-years ahead at the top.

Now imagine they are sitting next to you eagerly waiting to hear what you're going to say. Give them a name, for example, Joe, to help make them real.

Ask yourself

  • How do I need to tailor my information to meet Joe's needs? For example, do you tell personal stories to illustrate your main points? Absolutely! Yes. This is a very powerful technique. (Click storytelling in speeches to find out more.)
  • What type or level of language is right for Joe as well as my topic? For example if I use jargon (activity, industry or profession specific vocabulary) will it be understood?

Step 3: Writing as you speak

Writing oral language.

Write down what you want to say about your first main point as if you were talking directly to Joe.

If it helps, say it all out loud before you write it down and/or record it.

Use the information below as a guide

Infographic: The Characteristics of Spoken Language - 7 points of difference with examples.

(Click to download The Characteristics of Spoken Language  as a pdf.) 

You do not have to write absolutely everything you're going to say down * but you do need to write down, or outline, the sequence of ideas to ensure they are logical and easily followed.

Remember too, to explain or illustrate your point with examples from your research. 

( * Tip: If this is your first speech the safety net of having everything written down could be just what you need. It's easier to recover from a patch of jitters when you have a word by word manuscript than if you have either none, or a bare outline. Your call!)

Step 4: Checking tone and language

The focus of this step is re-working what you've done in Step 2 and 3.

You identified who you were talking to (Step 2) and in Step 3, wrote up your first main point.  Is it right? Have you made yourself clear?  Check it.

Graphic:cartoon drawing of a woman sitting in front of a laptop. Text:How to write a speech: checking tone and language.

How well you complete this step depends on how well you understand the needs of the people who are going to listen to your speech.

Please do not assume because you know what you're talking about the person (Joe) you've chosen to represent your audience will too. Joe is not a mind-reader!

How to check what you've prepared

  • Check the "tone" of your language . Is it right for the occasion, subject matter and your audience?
  • Check the length of your sentences. You need short sentences. If they're too long or complicated you risk losing your listeners.

Check for jargon too. These are industry, activity or group exclusive words.

For instance take the phrase: authentic learning . This comes from teaching and refers to connecting lessons to the daily life of students. Authentic learning is learning that is relevant and meaningful for students. If you're not a teacher you may not understand the phrase.

The use of any vocabulary requiring insider knowledge needs to be thought through from the audience perspective. Jargon can close people out.

  • Read what you've written out loud. If it flows naturally, in a logical manner, continue the process with your next main idea. If it doesn't, rework.

We use whole sentences and part ones, and we mix them up with asides or appeals e.g. "Did you get that? Of course you did. Right...Let's move it along. I was saying ..."

Click for more about the differences between spoken and written language .

And now repeat the process

Repeat this process for the remainder of your main ideas.

Because you've done the first one carefully, the rest should follow fairly easily.

Step 5: Use transitions

Providing links or transitions between main ideas.

Between each of your main ideas you need to provide a bridge or pathway for your audience. The clearer the pathway or bridge, the easier it is for them to make the transition from one idea to the next.

Graphic - girl walking across a bridge. Text - Using transitions to link ideas.

If your speech contains more than three main ideas and each is building on the last, then consider using a "catch-up" or summary as part of your transitions.

Is your speech being evaluated? Find out exactly what aspects you're being assessed on using this standard speech evaluation form

Link/transition examples

A link can be as simple as:

"We've explored one scenario for the ending of Block Buster 111, but let's consider another. This time..."

What follows this transition is the introduction of Main Idea Two.

Here's a summarizing link/transition example:

"We've ended Blockbuster 111 four ways so far. In the first, everybody died. In the second, everybody died BUT their ghosts remained to haunt the area. In the third, one villain died. His partner reformed and after a fight-out with the hero, they both strode off into the sunset, friends forever. In the fourth, the hero dies in a major battle but is reborn sometime in the future.

And now what about one more? What if nobody died? The fifth possibility..."

Go back through your main ideas checking the links. Remember Joe as you go. Try each transition or link out loud and really listen to yourself. Is it obvious? Easily followed?

Keep them if they are clear and concise.

For more about transitions (with examples) see Andrew Dlugan's excellent article, Speech Transitions: Magical words and Phrases .

Step 6: The end of your speech

The ideal ending is highly memorable . You want it to live on in the minds of your listeners long after your speech is finished. Often it combines a call to action with a summary of major points.

Comic Graphic: End with a bang

Example speech endings

Example 1: The desired outcome of a speech persuading people to vote for you in an upcoming election is that they get out there on voting day and do so. You can help that outcome along by calling them to register their support by signing a prepared pledge statement as they leave.

"We're agreed we want change. You can help us give it to you by signing this pledge statement as you leave. Be part of the change you want to see!

Example 2: The desired outcome is increased sales figures. The call to action is made urgent with the introduction of time specific incentives.

"You have three weeks from the time you leave this hall to make that dream family holiday in New Zealand yours. Can you do it? Will you do it? The kids will love it. Your wife will love it. Do it now!"

How to figure out the right call to action

A clue for working out what the most appropriate call to action might be, is to go back to your original purpose for giving the speech.

  • Was it to motivate or inspire?
  • Was it to persuade to a particular point of view?
  • Was it to share specialist information?
  • Was it to celebrate a person, a place, time or event?

Ask yourself what you want people to do as a result of having listened to your speech.

For more about ending speeches

Visit this page for more about how to end a speech effectively . You'll find two additional types of speech endings with examples.

Write and test

Write your ending and test it out loud. Try it out on a friend, or two. Is it good? Does it work?

Step 7: The introduction

Once you've got the filling (main ideas) the linking and the ending in place, it's time to focus on the introduction.

The introduction comes last as it's the most important part of your speech. This is the bit that either has people sitting up alert or slumped and waiting for you to end. It's the tone setter!

What makes a great speech opening?

Ideally you want an opening that makes listening to you the only thing the 'Joes' in the audience want to do.

You want them to forget they're hungry or that their chair is hard or that their bills need paying.

The way to do that is to capture their interest straight away. You do this with a "hook".

Hooks to catch your audience's attention

Hooks come in as many forms as there are speeches and audiences. Your task is work out what specific hook is needed to catch your audience.

Graphic: shoal of fish and two hooked fishing lines. Text: Hooking and holding attention

Go back to the purpose. Why are you giving this speech?

Once you have your answer, consider your call to action. What do you want the audience to do, and, or take away, as a result of listening to you?

Next think about the imaginary or real person you wrote for when you were focusing on your main ideas.

Choosing the best hook

  • Is it humor?
  • Would shock tactics work?
  • Is it a rhetorical question?
  • Is it formality or informality?
  • Is it an outline or overview of what you're going to cover, including the call to action?
  • Or is it a mix of all these elements?

A hook example

Here's an example from a fictional political speech. The speaker is lobbying for votes. His audience are predominately workers whose future's are not secure.

"How's your imagination this morning? Good? (Pause for response from audience) Great, I'm glad. Because we're going to put it to work starting right now.

I want you to see your future. What does it look like? Are you happy? Is everything as you want it to be? No? Let's change that. We could do it. And we could do it today.

At the end of this speech you're going to be given the opportunity to change your world, for a better one ...

No, I'm not a magician. Or a simpleton with big ideas and precious little commonsense. I'm an ordinary man, just like you. And I have a plan to share!"

And then our speaker is off into his main points supported by examples. The end, which he has already foreshadowed in his opening, is the call to vote for him.

Prepare several hooks

Experiment with several openings until you've found the one that serves your audience, your subject matter and your purpose best.

For many more examples of speech openings go to: how to write a speech introduction . You'll find 12 of the very best ways to start a speech.

speech of word good

That completes the initial seven steps towards writing your speech. If you've followed them all the way through, congratulations, you now have the text of your speech!

Although you might have the words, you're still a couple of steps away from being ready to deliver them. Both of them are essential if you want the very best outcome possible. They are below. Please take them.

Step 8: Checking content and timing

This step pulls everything together.

Check once, check twice, check three times & then once more!

Go through your speech really carefully.

On the first read through check you've got your main points in their correct order with supporting material, plus an effective introduction and ending.

On the second read through check the linking passages or transitions making sure they are clear and easily followed.

On the third reading check your sentence structure, language use and tone.

Double, triple check the timing

Now go though once more.

This time read it aloud slowly and time yourself.

If it's too long for the time allowance you've been given make the necessary cuts.

Start by looking at your examples rather than the main ideas themselves. If you've used several examples to illustrate one principal idea, cut the least important out.

Also look to see if you've repeated yourself unnecessarily or, gone off track. If it's not relevant, cut it.

Repeat the process, condensing until your speech fits the required length, preferably coming in just under your time limit.

You can also find out how approximately long it will take you to say the words you have by using this very handy words to minutes converter . It's an excellent tool, one I frequently use. While it can't give you a precise time, it does provide a reasonable estimate.

Graphic: Click to read example speeches of all sorts.

Step 9: Rehearsing your speech

And NOW you are finished with writing the speech, and are ready for REHEARSAL .

speech of word good

Please don't be tempted to skip this step. It is not an extra thrown in for good measure. It's essential.

The "not-so-secret" secret of successful speeches combines good writing with practice, practice and then, practicing some more.

Go to how to practice public speaking and you'll find rehearsal techniques and suggestions to boost your speech delivery from ordinary to extraordinary.

The Quick How to Write a Speech Checklist

Before you begin writing you need:.

  • Your speech OUTLINE with your main ideas ranked in the order you're going to present them. (If you haven't done one complete this 4 step sample speech outline . It will make the writing process much easier.)
  • Your RESEARCH
  • You also need to know WHO you're speaking to, the PURPOSE of the speech and HOW long you're speaking for

The basic format

  • the body where you present your main ideas

Split your time allowance so that you spend approximately 70% on the body and 15% each on the introduction and ending.

How to write the speech

  • Write your main ideas out incorporating your examples and research
  • Link them together making sure each flows in a smooth, logical progression
  • Write your ending, summarizing your main ideas briefly and end with a call for action
  • Write your introduction considering the 'hook' you're going to use to get your audience listening
  • An often quoted saying to explain the process is: Tell them what you're going to tell them (Introduction) Tell them (Body of your speech - the main ideas plus examples) Tell them what you told them (The ending)

TEST before presenting. Read aloud several times to check the flow of material, the suitability of language and the timing.

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a good man.

Synonyms: upright , exemplary , worthy , meritorious , conscientious , moral , pure

a good teacher;

good health.

Synonyms: admirable , outstanding , adequate

  • of high quality; excellent.

It is good that you are here.

His credentials are good.

a good child.

Synonyms: heedful , obedient

to do a good deed.

Synonyms: obliging , gracious , humane , benevolent , kindly

a good name.

She has a good background.

His credit is good.

a good quarter.

good judgment;

good reasons.

good advice.

Fresh fruit is good for you.

good teeth.

The meat was still good after three months in the freezer.

in good spirits.

to feel good after surgery.

Have a good time.

She has a good figure.

  • (of the complexion) smooth; free from blemish.

She's a good friend of mine.

a good supply.

Synonyms: adequate , goodly

a good day for fishing.

Synonyms: profitable , beneficial , serviceable , useful

a good manager;

good at arithmetic.

Synonyms: apt , adroit , expert , dexterous , suitable , suited , ready , able , capable , proficient , efficient

a really good job;

a good play.

good English.

good manners.

Don't throw good money after bad.

Don't play in the mud in your good clothes.

He wore his good suit to the office today.

a good day's journey away.

a good amount.

good weather.

  • Medicine/Medical. (of a patient's condition) having stable and normal vital signs, being conscious and comfortable, and having excellent appetite, mobility, etc.

a good political party member.

  • (of a return or service in tennis, squash, handball, etc.) landing within the limits of a court or section of a court.

"More coffee?" "No thanks, I’m good!"

This horse runs best on a good track.

  • (of meat, especially beef ) noting or pertaining to the specific grade below “choice,” containing more lean muscle and less edible fat than “prime” or “choice.”

the good ship Syrena.

What good will that do?

We shall work for the common good.

to do good.

to be a power for good.

  • (especially in the grading of U.S. beef) an official grade below that of “choice.”
  • possessions, especially movable effects or personal property.

canned goods.

to deliver the goods.

If you want real pearls, we have the goods.

to catch someone with the goods.

top-quality linen goods.

  • Chiefly British. merchandise sent by land, rather than by water or air.
  • the ideal of goodness none or morality.
  • good things or persons collectively.

interjection

Good! Now we can all go home.

I wish I could cook this good!

Yes, we knew him pretty good.

a good teacher

a good idea

a good winter coat

a good secretary

vegetables are good for you

the meat is still good

you are good to him

your qualifications are good for the job

I would not do this without good reason

a good family

good securities

a good investment

  • (of a draft) drawn for a stated sum
  • (of debts) expected to be fully paid

he's good at science

a good make of clothes

the good life

the good things in life

a good complexion

a good figure

I took a good look round the house

a good time to ask the manager for a rise

a good rest

did you have a good night?

to keep the good plates for important guests

a good distance away

we have a good supply of food

  • (of meat) of the third government grade, above standard and below choice

the good ship ``America''

how is your good lady?

look here, my good man!

  • an unbelievable assertion
  • a very funny joke

it's as good as finished

  • as good as gold excellent; very good indeed
  • be as good as to or be so good as to would you please
  • come good to recover and perform well after a bad start or setback

good and mad

good grief!

good heavens!

  • an exclamation of approval, agreement, pleasure, etc

for the good of our workers

what is the good of worrying?

  • positive moral qualities; goodness; virtue; righteousness; piety

we must pursue the Good

  • a good thing
  • economics a commodity or service that satisfies a human need

I have left them for good

  • to recompense or repair damage or injury
  • to be successful
  • to demonstrate or prove the truth of (a statement or accusation)
  • to secure and retain (a position)
  • to effect or fulfil (something intended or promised)
  • good on you or good for you well done, well said, etc: a term of congratulation

I never got any good of this machine

I could never get any good of him

  • to receive cooperation from

Discover More

Derived forms.

  • ˈgoodish , adjective

Other Words From

  • qua·si-good adjective

Word History and Origins

Origin of good 1

Idioms and Phrases

Her jealous relatives said that she would come to no good.

to leave the country for good.

This soup is good and hot.

  • certain to repay (money owed) because of integrity, financial stability, etc.

Two thousand stamps are good for one coffeepot.

These tires are good for another 10,000 miles.

a license good for one year.

Good for you!

  • good full , Nautical. (of a sail or sails) well filled, especially when sailing close to the wind; clean full; rap full.
  • to make recompense for; repay.
  • to implement an agreement; fulfill.
  • to be successful.
  • to substantiate; verify.

The convicts made good their getaway.

The check was no good.

That's all to the good, but what do I get out of it?

When he withdrew from the partnership, he was several thousand dollars to the good.

  • as good as . as 1 ( def 20 ) .

More idioms and phrases containing good

  • bad (good) sort
  • do any good
  • do one good
  • for good measure
  • get on someone's good side
  • get out while the getting is good
  • give a good account of oneself
  • give as good as one gets
  • have a good command of
  • have a good mind to
  • have a good thing going
  • have a good time
  • ill wind (that blows nobody any good)
  • in all good conscience
  • in bad (good) faith
  • in (good) condition
  • in due course (all in good time)
  • in good hands
  • in good part
  • in good spirits
  • in good time
  • in good with
  • in someone's good graces
  • keep (good) time
  • make good time
  • make someone look good
  • miss is as good as a mile
  • never had it so good
  • no news is good news
  • not the only fish (other good fish) in the sea
  • one good turn deserves another
  • on good terms
  • on one's best (good) behavior
  • put in a good word
  • put to good use
  • show someone a good time
  • show to (good) advantage
  • so far so good
  • stand in good stead
  • take in good part
  • throw good money after bad
  • to good purpose
  • too good to be true
  • too much of a good thing
  • to the good
  • turn to (good account)
  • up to no good
  • well and good
  • what's the good of
  • with good grace
  • world of good
  • your guess is as good as mine

Synonym Study

Example sentences.

Years of historical data and analysis helped guide the teams on which keywords were historically the best performing.

For best results, however, you should achieve 50 conversions over a 30-day period prior to implementing Target ROAS bidding.

If you own a small salon in Los Angeles, most people looking for salon services will search for very specific phrases like “salons in Los Angeles” or “best hair stylists in Los Angeles.”

Despite the best efforts of all involved, from players to TV producers, things were off all night.

Forwards Bile and Wahab were extremely active during Georgetown’s best runs, but foul trouble kept taking both off the floor.

As an example of good science-and-society policymaking, the history of fluoride may be more of a cautionary tale.

The speaker conjures up centuries of collective sagacity, aligning oneself with an eternal, inarguable good.

I think everybody would like to be handsome and good at karate.

Petty, shade, and thirst are my favorite human “virtues” and the trifecta of any good series of “stories.”

Finding a smuggler in Ventimiglia is easier than finding good food.

We resolved to do our best to merit the good opinion which we thus supposed them to entertain of us.

And with some expressions of mutual good-will and interest, master and man separated.

She did not need a great cook-book; She knew how much and what it took To make things good and sweet and light.

The Seven-score and four on the six middle Bells, the treble leading, and the tenor lying behind every change, makes good Musick.

Those in whom the impulse is strong and dominant are perhaps those who in later years make the good society actors.

Related Words

  • advantageous
  • appropriate
  • respectable

Is Gooder A Word?

And is  gooder  in the dictionary.

Gooder is not listed as a word in this dictionary. It’s not commonly used as a comparative form of good , nor is it commonly used in any other way. However, gooder is occasionally used as a humorous, informal comparative form of good .

Good is an irregular adjective. The accepted comparative form is better and the accepted superlative form is best . 

Note: Just because a word doesn’t appear in the dictionary doesn’t necessarily mean it’s “ not a word .” Some people may use it, and if enough people start using it regularly, it may be added to the dictionary.

Definitions and idiom definitions from Dictionary.com Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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speech of word good

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speech of word good

10 famous speeches in English and what you can learn from them

Speech is an essential element of language, one that we all employ in our daily lives. What about a speech ?

A speech is a formal address, delivered to an audience, that seeks to convince, persuade, inspire or inform. From historic moments to the present day, the English language has given us some extraordinary examples of the spoken word. A powerful tool in the right – or wrong – hands, spoken English can, and has, changed the world.

We’ve chosen ten of the most famous speeches in English. They range from celebrated, world-changing pieces of rhetoric to our personal favourites, but most importantly they still rouse our emotions when we hear them today. We’ve examined each for the tricks of the oratory trade. After each speech you’ll find some bullet points outlining its most distinctive rhetorical features, and why a speech writer would include them.

Remember these celebrated rhetoricians the next time you have to give a speech in public – be this at a wedding, award ceremony or business conference.

Scroll down to the end of this post for our essential tips on crafting speeches.

1. Martin Luther King I Have a Dream 1963

We couldn’t have an article about speeches without mentioning this one. Incredibly famous and iconic, Martin Luther King changed the character of speech making.

I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification – one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.

What makes this a great speech?

– Abstract nouns like “ dream ” are incredibly emotional. Our dreams are an intimate part of our subconscious and express our strongest desires. Dreams belong to the realm of fantasy; of unworldly, soaring experiences. King’s repetition of the simple sentence “I have a dream” evokes a picture in our minds of a world where complete equality and freedom exist.

– It fuses simplicity of language with sincerity : something that all persuasive speeches seek to do!

– Use of tenses: King uses the future tense (“will be able”, “shall be”, “will be made””), which gives his a dream certainty and makes it seem immediate and real.

– Thanks to its highly biblical rhetoric , King’s speech reads like a sermon. The last paragraph we’ve quoted here is packed with biblical language and imagery .

2. King George VI Radio Address 1939

This speech was brought back to life recently thanks to the film, The King’s Speech (2010). While George VI will never go down in history as one of the world’s gifted orators, his speech will certainly be remembered.

In this grave hour, perhaps the most fateful in history, I send to every household of my peoples, both at home and overseas, this message, spoken with the same depth of feeling for each one of you as if I were able to cross your threshold and speak to you myself. For the second time in the lives of most of us, we are at war. Over and over again, we have tried to find a peaceful way out of the differences between ourselves and those who are now our enemies, but it has been in vain.  

– At only 404 words long, the speech is impressively economical with language. Its short length means that every word is significant, and commands its audiences’ attention.

– This is a great example of how speechwriters use superlatives . George VI says that this moment is “the most fateful in history”. Nothing gets peoples’ attention like saying this is the “most important” or “best”.

– “ We ”, “ us ” and “ I ”: This is an extremely personal speech. George VI is using the first person, “I”, to reach out to each person listening to the speech. He also talks in the third person: “we are at war”, to unite British people against the common enemy: “them”, or Germany.

3. Winston Churchill We shall fight on the beaches 1940

Churchill is an icon of great speech making. All his life Churchill struggled with a stutter that caused him difficulty pronouncing the letter “s”. Nevertheless, with pronunciation and rehearsal he became one of the most famous orators in history.

…we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.

What makes it a powerful speech?

– Structural repetition of the simple phrase “we shall…”

– Active verbs like “defend” and “fight” are extremely motivational, rousing Churchill’s audience’s spirits.

– Very long sentences build the tension of the speech up to its climax “the rescue and the liberation of the old”, sweeping listeners along. A similar thing happens in musical pieces: the composition weaves a crescendo, which often induces emotion in its audience.

4. Elizabeth I Speech to the Troops 1588

The “Virgin Queen”, Elizabeth I, made this speech at a pivotal moment in English history. It is a remarkable speech in extraordinary circumstances: made by a woman, it deals with issues of gender, sovereignty and nationality.

I am come amongst you, as you see, at this time, not for my recreation and disport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live and die amongst you all; to lay down for my God, and for my kingdom, and my people, my honour and my blood, even in the dust. I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm; to which rather than any dishonour shall grow by me, I myself will take up arms, I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field.

– Elizabeth puts aside differences in social status and says she will “live and die amongst (her troops)”. This gives her speech a very inclusive message .

– She uses antithesis , or contrasting ideas. To offset the problem of her femininity – of being a “weak and feeble woman” – she swiftly emphasises her masculine qualities: that she has the “heart and stomach of a king”.

– Elizabeth takes on the role of a protector : there is much repetition of the pronoun “I”, and “I myself” to show how active she will be during the battle.

5. Chief Joseph Surrender Speech 1877

We’ve included this speech because there is something extremely raw and humbling about Chief Joseph’s surrender. Combining vulnerability with pride, this is an unusual speech and deserves attention.

Tell General Howard I know his heart. What he told me before, I have it in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our Chiefs are killed; Looking Glass is dead, Ta Hool Hool Shute is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led on the young men is dead. It is cold, and we have no blankets; the little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are – perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my Chiefs! I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever.

What makes this a good speech?

– This speech is a perfect example of a how a non-native speaker can make the English language their own. Chief Joesph’s rhetoric retains the feels and culture of a Native American Indian speaker, and is all the more moving for this.

– Simple, short sentences.

– Declarative sentences such as “I know his heart” and “It is cold” present a listener with hard facts that are difficult to argue against.

6.  Emmeline Pankhurst Freedom or Death 1913

Traditionally silent, women tend to have been left out of rhetoric. All that changed, however, with the advent of feminism. In her struggle for the vote, Pankhurst and her fellow protesters were compelled to find a voice.

You have left it to women in your land, the men of all civilised countries have left it to women, to work out their own salvation. That is the way in which we women of England are doing. Human life for us is sacred, but we say if any life is to be sacrificed it shall be ours; we won’t do it ourselves, but we will put the enemy in the position where they will have to choose between giving us freedom or giving us death.

– Direct acknowledgement of her audience through use of the pronoun you .

– Pankhurst uses stark, irreconcilable contrasts to emphasise the suffragettes’ seriousness. Binary concepts like men/women, salvation/damnation, freedom/imprisonment and life/death play an important role in her speech.

7. John F. Kennedy The Decision to go the Moon 19 61

Great moments require great speeches. The simplicity of Kennedy’s rhetoric preserves a sense of wonder at going beyond human capabilities, at this great event for science and technology.

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

– Simple sentence structures: “We choose to go to the moon” = Subject + Verb + Complement. The grammatical simplicity of the sentence allows an audience to reflect on important concepts, i.e. choice. Repetition emphasises this.

– Kennedy uses demonstrative (or pointing) pronouns e.g. “ this decade”, “ that goal” to create a sense of urgency; to convey how close to success the US is.

8. Shakespeare The Tempest  Act 3 Scene 2 c.1610

Of course, any list of great speeches would be incomplete without a mention of the master of rhetoric, the Bard himself.  If you caught the London Olympic Opening Ceremony you would have noticed that Kenneth Branagh delivered Caliban’s speech, from The Tempest .

Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises, Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not. Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices That, if I then had waked after long sleep, Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming, The clouds methought would open and show riches Ready to drop upon me that, when I waked, I cried to dream again.

– It expresses a wonder and uncertainty of the world, and an inability to comprehend its mystery.

– It is highly alliterative , a rhetorical trick that makes speech memorable and powerful.

– Shakespeare uses onomatopoeia (e.g. “twangling”, “hum”: words whose sound is like they are describing) to make Caliban’s speech evocative.

9.  Shakespeare  Henry V  Act 3 Scene 1, 1598

One of rhetoric’s most primal functions is to transform terrified men into bloodthirsty soldiers. “Once more unto the breach” is a speech that does just that. It is a perfect example of how poetry is an inextricable element of rhetoric.

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; Or close the wall up with our English dead. In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man As modest stillness and humility: But when the blast of war blows in our ears, Then imitate the action of the tiger; Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, Disguise fair nature with hard-favour’d rage

What makes this such a great rousing battle speech?

-Shakespeare uses some fantastic imagery in King Henry’s speech. His “dear friends”, or soldiers, are tigers, commanded to block their enemies’ way with their dead comrades. This appeals to ideals of masculinity that men should be fierce and strong.

– Orders and imperative verbs give the speaker authority.

– Repetition of key phrases and units of sound: the vowel sounds in the repeated phrase “once more” are echoed by the words “or” and “our”. This makes it an extraordinarily powerful piece of rhetoric to hear spoken.

10. William Lyon Phelps The Pleasure of Books 1933

This speech was read a year before Nazis began their systematic destruction of books that didn’t match Nazi ideals. As major advocates of books at English Trackers, we’re naturally inclined to love speeches about their importance.

A borrowed book is like a guest in the house; it must be treated with punctiliousness, with a certain considerate formality. You must see that it sustains no damage; it must not suffer while under your roof. You cannot leave it carelessly, you cannot mark it, you cannot turn down the pages, you cannot use it familiarly. And then, some day, although this is seldom done, you really ought to return it.

– Phelps personifies books in this speech; that is, he gives books human characteristics – like the capacity to “suffer”. Comparing a book to a guest creates novelty , which engages and holds the interest of a listener.

– This speech uses both modal verbs (“must”, “ought”) and prohibitions (“you cannot”) to demonstrate both proper and improper behaviour.

Some tips to bear in mind when writing a speech

– KISS : the golden rule of Keep It Short and Simple really does apply. Keep your sentences short, your grammar simple. Not only is this more powerful than long rambling prose, but you’re more likely hold your audience’s attention – and be able to actually remember what you’re trying to say!

– Rule of 3 : another golden rule. The human brain responds magically to things that come in threes. Whether it’s a list of adjectives, a joke, or your main points, it’s most effective if you keep it to this structure.

– Imagery : Metaphors, similes and description will help an audience to understand you, and keep them entertained.

– Pronouns : Use “we” to create a sense of unity, “them” for a common enemy, “you” if you’re reaching out to your audience, and “I” / “me” if you want to take control.

– Poetry : Repetition, rhyme and alliteration are sound effects, used by poets and orators alike. They make a speech much more memorable. Remember to also structure pauses and parentheses into a speech. This will vary the flow of sound, helping you to hold your audience’s attention.

– Jokes : Humour is powerful. Use it to perk up a sleepy audience, as well as a rhetorical tool. Laughter is based on people having common, shared assumptions – and can therefore be used to persuade.

– Key words : “Every”, “improved”, “natural”, “pure”, “tested’ and “recommended” will, according to some surveys, press the right buttons and get a positive response from your listeners.

About the Author: This post comes to you from guest blogger, Natalie. Currently blogging, editing and based in London, Natalie previously worked with the English Trackers team.

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The 8 Key Elements of Highly Effective Speech

…and why your words barely matter.

Posted July 10, 2012 | Reviewed by Ekua Hagan

I’d like you to take a moment to experience the following sentence, taken from a recent article exploring the nature of human consciousness: “Neuroplastic mechanisms relevant to the growing number of empirical studies of the capacity of directed attention and mental effort systematically alter brain function.”

Exciting? Hardly! In fact, most of the words you read barely register in your brain, and most of the words you speak barely register in the listener’s brain. In fact, research shows that words are the least important part of communication when you have face-to-face conversations with others. So before you utter another word to another person, memorize this list of the 8 key elements of highly effective speech:

  • Gentle eye contact
  • Kind facial expression
  • Warm tone of voice
  • Expressive hand and body gestures
  • Relaxed disposition
  • Slow speech rate
  • The words themselves

Effective communication is based on trust, and if we don’t trust the speaker, we’re not going to listen to their words. Trust begins with eye contact because we need to see the person’s face to evaluate if they are being deceitful or not. In fact, when we are being watched, cooperation increases. [1] When we are not being watched, people tend to act more selfishly, with greater dishonesty. [2]

Gentle eye contact increases trustworthiness and encourages future cooperation, [3] and a happy gaze will increase emotional trust. [4] However, if we see the slightest bit of anger or fear on the speaker’s face, our trust will rapidly decrease. [5] But you can’t fake trustworthiness because the muscles around your mouth and eyes that reflect contentment and sincerity are involuntary. Solution: if you think about someone you love, or an event that brought you deep joy and satisfaction, a "Mona Lisa" smile will appear on your face and the muscles around your eyes will soften.

The tone of your voice is equally important when it comes to understanding what a person is really trying to say. If the facial expression expresses one emotion , but if the tone conveys a different one, neural dissonance takes place in the brain, causing the person confusion. [6] The result: trust erodes, suspicion increases, and cooperation decreases.

Researchers at the University of Amsterdam found that expressions of anger, contempt, disgust, fear, sadness, and surprise were better communicated through vocal tone than facial expression, whereas the face was more accurate for communicating expressions of joy, pride, and embarrassment . [7] And in business, a warm supportive voice is the sign of transformational leadership , generating more satisfaction, commitment, and cooperation between other members of the team. [8]

You can easily train your voice to convey more trust to others, and all you have to do is slow down and drop your pitch. This was tested at the University of Houston: when doctors reduced their speaking rate and pitch, especially when delivering bad news, the listener perceived them “as more caring and sympathetic.” [9] Harvard's Ted Kaptchuk also discovered that using a warm voice would double the healing power of a therapeutic treatment. [10]

If you want to express joy, your voice needs to become increasingly melodic, whereas sadness is spoken with a flat and monotonic voice. When we are angry, excited, or frightened, we raise the pitch and intensity of our voice, and there’s a lot of variability in both the speed and the tone. However, if the emotion is incongruent with the words you are using, it will create confusion for the listener. [11]

Gestures, and especially hand movements, are also important because they help orchestrate the language comprehension centers of your brain. [12] In fact, your brain needs to integrate both the sounds and body movements of the person who is speaking in order to accurately perceive what is meant. [13] From an evolutionary perspective, speech emerged from hand gestures and they both originate the same language area of the brain. [14] If our words and gestures are incongruent, it will create confusion in the listener’s brain. [15] Our suggestion: practice speaking in front of a mirror, consciously using your hands to “describe” the words you are speaking.

speech of word good

Your degree of relaxation is also reflected in your body language , facial expressions, and tone of voice, and any form of stress will convey a message of distrust . Why? Your stress tells the observer’s brain that there may be something wrong, and that stimulates defensive posturing in the listener. Research shows that even a one-minute relaxation exercise will increase activity in those parts of the brain that control language, communication, social awareness, mood-regulation, and decision-making . [16] Thus, a relaxed conversation allows for increased intimacy and empathy. Stress, however, causes us to talk too much because it hinders our ability to speak with clarity.

When you speak, slow down! Slow speech rates will increase the ability for the listener to comprehend what you are saying, and this is true for both young and older adults. [17] Slower speaking will also deepen that person’s respect for you, [18] Speaking slowly is not as natural as it may seem, and as children we automatically speak fast. But you can teach yourself, and your children to slow down by consciously cutting your speech rate in half. A slow voice has a calming effect on a person who is feeling anxious , whereas a loud fast voice will stimulate excitement, anger, or fear. [19]

Try this experiment: pair up with a partner and speak so slowly that … you … leave … 5 … seconds … of … silence … between … each … word. You’ll become aware of your negative inner speech that tells you that you should babble on endlessly and as fast as possible. It’s a trap, because the listener’s brain can only recall about 10 seconds of content! That’s why, when we train people in Compassionate Communication, we ask participants to speak only one sentence at a time, slowly, and then listen deeply as the other person speaks for ten seconds or less. This exercise will increase your overall consciousness about the importance of the first 7 elements of highly effective communication. Then, and only then, will you truly grasp the deeper meaning that is imparted by each word spoken by others.

But what about written communication, where you only have access to the words? When it comes to mutual comprehension, the written word pales in comparison to speech. To compensate, your brain imposes arbitrary meanings onto the words. You, the reader, give the words emotional impact that often differs from what the writer intended, which is why so many email correspondences get misinterpreted. And unless the writer fills in the blanks with specific emotional words and descriptive speech – storytelling – the reader will experience your writing as being flat, boring , dry, and probably more negative than you intended.

The solution: help the reader “paint a picture” in their mind with your words. Use concrete nouns and action verbs because they are easier for the reader’s brain to visualize. Words like “sunset” or “eat” are easy to see in the mind's eye, but words like “freedom” or “identify” force the brain to sort through too many conceptual frameworks. Instead, our lazy brain will skip over as many words as possible, especially the abstract ones. When this happens the deeper levels of meaning and feeling will be lost.

For more information on how to improve your speaking and listening skills, along with additional exercises to practice, see Words Can Change Your Brain: 12 Conversation Strategies for Building Trust, Reducing Conflict, and Increasing Intimacy (Newberg & Waldman, 2012, Hudson Street Press).

[1] Cues of being watched enhance cooperation in a real-world setting. Bateson M, Nettle D, Roberts G. Biol Lett. 2006 Sep 22;2(3):412-4.

[2] Effects of anonymity on antisocial behavior committed by individuals. Nogami T, Takai J. Psychol Rep. 2008 Feb;102(1):119-30.

[3] Eyes are on us, but nobody cares: are eye cues relevant for strong reciprocity? Fehr E, Schneider F. Proc Biol Sci. 2010 May 7;277(1686):1315-23.

[4] Evaluating faces on trustworthiness: an extension of systems for recognition of emotions signaling approach/avoidance behaviors. Todorov A. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2008 Mar;1124:208-24.

[5] Common neural mechanisms for the evaluation of facial trustworthiness and emotional expressions as revealed by behavioral adaptation. Engell AD, Todorov A, Haxby JV. Perception. 2010;39(7):931-41.

[6] Use of affective prosody by young and older adults. Dupuis K, Pichora-Fuller MK. Psychol Aging. 2010 Mar;25(1):16-29.

[7] "Worth a thousand words": absolute and relative decoding of nonlinguistic affect vocalizations. Hawk ST, van Kleef GA, Fischer AH, van der Schalk J. Emotion. 2009 Jun;9(3):293-305.

[8] Leadership = Communication? The Relations of Leaders' Communication Styles with Leadership Styles, Knowledge Sharing and Leadership Outcomes. de Vries RE, Bakker-Pieper A, Oostenveld W. J Bus Psychol. 2010 Sep;25(3):367-380.

[9] Voice analysis during bad news discussion in oncology: reduced pitch, decreased speaking rate, and nonverbal communication of empathy. McHenry M, Parker PA, Baile WF, Lenzi R. Support Care Cancer. 2011 May 15.

[10] Components of placebo effect: randomised controlled trial in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Kaptchuk TJ, Kelley JM, Conboy LA, Davis RB, Kerr CE, Jacobson EE, Kirsch I, Schyner RN, Nam BH, Nguyen LT, Park M, Rivers AL, McManus C, Kokkotou E, Drossman DA, Goldman P, Lembo AJ. BMJ. 2008 May 3;336(7651):999-1003.

[11] Use of affective prosody by young and older adults. Dupuis K, Pichora-Fuller MK. Psychol Aging. 2010 Mar;25(1):16-29.

[12] Gestures orchestrate brain networks for language understanding. Skipper JI, Goldin-Meadow S, Nusbaum HC, Small SL. Curr Biol. 2009 Apr 28;19(8):661-7.

[13] When language meets action: the neural integration of gesture and speech. Willems RM, Ozyürek A, Hagoort P. Cereb Cortex. 2007 Oct;17(10):2322-33.

[14] When the hands speak. Gentilucci M, Dalla Volta R, Gianelli C. J Physiol Paris. 2008 Jan-May;102(1-3):21-30. Epub 2008 Mar 18.

[15] How symbolic gestures and words interact with each other. Barbieri F, Buonocore A,Volta RD, Gentilucci M. Brain Lang. 2009 Jul;110(1):1-11.

[16i] Short-term meditation training improves attention and self-regulation. Tang YY, Ma Y, Wang J, Fan Y, Feng S, Lu Q, Yu Q, Sui D, Rothbart MK, Fan M, Posner MI. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Oct 23;104(43):17152-6.

[17] Comprehension of speeded discourse by younger and older listeners. Gordon MS, Daneman M, Schneider BA. Exp Aging Res. 2009 Jul-Sep;35(3):277-96.

[18] Celerity and cajolery: rapid speech may promote or inhibit persuasion through its impact on message elaboration. Smith SM, Shaffer, DR. Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 1991 Dec;17(6):663-669.

[19] Voices of fear and anxiety and sadness and depression: the effects of speech rate and loudness on fear and anxiety and sadness and depression. Siegman AW, Boyle S. J Abnorm Psychol. 1993 Aug;102(3):430-7. The angry voice: its effects on the experience of anger and cardiovascular reactivity. Siegman AW, Anderson RA, Berger T. Psychosom Med. 1990 Nov-Dec;52(6):631-43.

Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Waldman

Andrew Newberg, M.D ., and Mark Robert Waldman are the authors of Words Can Change Your Brain .

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The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

What this handout is about

This handout will help you create an effective speech by establishing the purpose of your speech and making it easily understandable. It will also help you to analyze your audience and keep the audience interested.

What’s different about a speech?

Writing for public speaking isn’t so different from other types of writing. You want to engage your audience’s attention, convey your ideas in a logical manner and use reliable evidence to support your point. But the conditions for public speaking favor some writing qualities over others. When you write a speech, your audience is made up of listeners. They have only one chance to comprehend the information as you read it, so your speech must be well-organized and easily understood. In addition, the content of the speech and your delivery must fit the audience.

What’s your purpose?

People have gathered to hear you speak on a specific issue, and they expect to get something out of it immediately. And you, the speaker, hope to have an immediate effect on your audience. The purpose of your speech is to get the response you want. Most speeches invite audiences to react in one of three ways: feeling, thinking, or acting. For example, eulogies encourage emotional response from the audience; college lectures stimulate listeners to think about a topic from a different perspective; protest speeches in the Pit recommend actions the audience can take.

As you establish your purpose, ask yourself these questions:

  • What do you want the audience to learn or do?
  • If you are making an argument, why do you want them to agree with you?
  • If they already agree with you, why are you giving the speech?
  • How can your audience benefit from what you have to say?

Audience analysis

If your purpose is to get a certain response from your audience, you must consider who they are (or who you’re pretending they are). If you can identify ways to connect with your listeners, you can make your speech interesting and useful.

As you think of ways to appeal to your audience, ask yourself:

  • What do they have in common? Age? Interests? Ethnicity? Gender?
  • Do they know as much about your topic as you, or will you be introducing them to new ideas?
  • Why are these people listening to you? What are they looking for?
  • What level of detail will be effective for them?
  • What tone will be most effective in conveying your message?
  • What might offend or alienate them?

For more help, see our handout on audience .

Creating an effective introduction

Get their attention, otherwise known as “the hook”.

Think about how you can relate to these listeners and get them to relate to you or your topic. Appealing to your audience on a personal level captures their attention and concern, increasing the chances of a successful speech. Speakers often begin with anecdotes to hook their audience’s attention. Other methods include presenting shocking statistics, asking direct questions of the audience, or enlisting audience participation.

Establish context and/or motive

Explain why your topic is important. Consider your purpose and how you came to speak to this audience. You may also want to connect the material to related or larger issues as well, especially those that may be important to your audience.

Get to the point

Tell your listeners your thesis right away and explain how you will support it. Don’t spend as much time developing your introductory paragraph and leading up to the thesis statement as you would in a research paper for a course. Moving from the intro into the body of the speech quickly will help keep your audience interested. You may be tempted to create suspense by keeping the audience guessing about your thesis until the end, then springing the implications of your discussion on them. But if you do so, they will most likely become bored or confused.

For more help, see our handout on introductions .

Making your speech easy to understand

Repeat crucial points and buzzwords.

Especially in longer speeches, it’s a good idea to keep reminding your audience of the main points you’ve made. For example, you could link an earlier main point or key term as you transition into or wrap up a new point. You could also address the relationship between earlier points and new points through discussion within a body paragraph. Using buzzwords or key terms throughout your paper is also a good idea. If your thesis says you’re going to expose unethical behavior of medical insurance companies, make sure the use of “ethics” recurs instead of switching to “immoral” or simply “wrong.” Repetition of key terms makes it easier for your audience to take in and connect information.

Incorporate previews and summaries into the speech

For example:

“I’m here today to talk to you about three issues that threaten our educational system: First, … Second, … Third,”

“I’ve talked to you today about such and such.”

These kinds of verbal cues permit the people in the audience to put together the pieces of your speech without thinking too hard, so they can spend more time paying attention to its content.

Use especially strong transitions

This will help your listeners see how new information relates to what they’ve heard so far. If you set up a counterargument in one paragraph so you can demolish it in the next, begin the demolition by saying something like,

“But this argument makes no sense when you consider that . . . .”

If you’re providing additional information to support your main point, you could say,

“Another fact that supports my main point is . . . .”

Helping your audience listen

Rely on shorter, simpler sentence structures.

Don’t get too complicated when you’re asking an audience to remember everything you say. Avoid using too many subordinate clauses, and place subjects and verbs close together.

Too complicated:

The product, which was invented in 1908 by Orville Z. McGillicuddy in Des Moines, Iowa, and which was on store shelves approximately one year later, still sells well.

Easier to understand:

Orville Z. McGillicuddy invented the product in 1908 and introduced it into stores shortly afterward. Almost a century later, the product still sells well.

Limit pronoun use

Listeners may have a hard time remembering or figuring out what “it,” “they,” or “this” refers to. Be specific by using a key noun instead of unclear pronouns.

Pronoun problem:

The U.S. government has failed to protect us from the scourge of so-called reality television, which exploits sex, violence, and petty conflict, and calls it human nature. This cannot continue.

Why the last sentence is unclear: “This” what? The government’s failure? Reality TV? Human nature?

More specific:

The U.S. government has failed to protect us from the scourge of so-called reality television, which exploits sex, violence, and petty conflict, and calls it human nature. This failure cannot continue.

Keeping audience interest

Incorporate the rhetorical strategies of ethos, pathos, and logos.

When arguing a point, using ethos, pathos, and logos can help convince your audience to believe you and make your argument stronger. Ethos refers to an appeal to your audience by establishing your authenticity and trustworthiness as a speaker. If you employ pathos, you appeal to your audience’s emotions. Using logos includes the support of hard facts, statistics, and logical argumentation. The most effective speeches usually present a combination these rhetorical strategies.

Use statistics and quotations sparingly

Include only the most striking factual material to support your perspective, things that would likely stick in the listeners’ minds long after you’ve finished speaking. Otherwise, you run the risk of overwhelming your listeners with too much information.

Watch your tone

Be careful not to talk over the heads of your audience. On the other hand, don’t be condescending either. And as for grabbing their attention, yelling, cursing, using inappropriate humor, or brandishing a potentially offensive prop (say, autopsy photos) will only make the audience tune you out.

Creating an effective conclusion

Restate your main points, but don’t repeat them.

“I asked earlier why we should care about the rain forest. Now I hope it’s clear that . . .” “Remember how Mrs. Smith couldn’t afford her prescriptions? Under our plan, . . .”

Call to action

Speeches often close with an appeal to the audience to take action based on their new knowledge or understanding. If you do this, be sure the action you recommend is specific and realistic. For example, although your audience may not be able to affect foreign policy directly, they can vote or work for candidates whose foreign policy views they support. Relating the purpose of your speech to their lives not only creates a connection with your audience, but also reiterates the importance of your topic to them in particular or “the bigger picture.”

Practicing for effective presentation

Once you’ve completed a draft, read your speech to a friend or in front of a mirror. When you’ve finished reading, ask the following questions:

  • Which pieces of information are clearest?
  • Where did I connect with the audience?
  • Where might listeners lose the thread of my argument or description?
  • Where might listeners become bored?
  • Where did I have trouble speaking clearly and/or emphatically?
  • Did I stay within my time limit?

Other resources

  • Toastmasters International is a nonprofit group that provides communication and leadership training.
  • Allyn & Bacon Publishing’s Essence of Public Speaking Series is an extensive treatment of speech writing and delivery, including books on using humor, motivating your audience, word choice and presentation.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Boone, Louis E., David L. Kurtz, and Judy R. Block. 1997. Contemporary Business Communication . Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Ehrlich, Henry. 1994. Writing Effective Speeches . New York: Marlowe.

Lamb, Sandra E. 1998. How to Write It: A Complete Guide to Everything You’ll Ever Write . Berkeley: Ten Speed Press.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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  • 11 Tips for Giving a Great Speech

speech of word good

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Chances are you’ll be asked to give speeches or presentations in classes at school. If you get involved in volunteer groups, brief speeches to open events or thank participants are a must. Then there are the speeches at events such as weddings, as well as speeches that you might have to give in the workplace. That amounts to the average person being required to give quite a lot of speeches, even if they don’t get involved in an area such as politics where the ability to give a good speech becomes even more important. You might also have suffered through quite a number of bad speeches from other people – whether that’s at family events where the microphone squeaks the whole way through or a school presentation where the headteacher can’t quite make the jokes work. If you don’t want to inflict the same sort of experience on others, here are our top tips for giving a great speech.

1. Practise your microphone technique

Correct spacing is key - you want to be heard but don't want to end up deafening your audience!

2. Keep it short

Be strict with yourself when it comes to timing.

Particularly at something like a party or a wedding, no one will be unhappy if your speech runs a little short; it’ll just give them more time to investigate the canapés. If you are giving a speech for a class in school, and it’ll be assessed, you need to prioritise keeping it within the required time limits. But even under these circumstances, if you’ve been tasked – say – with giving a 10-15 minute speech, it’s usually better to come in nearer the 10 than the 15 minute mark. Put simply, even if your speech is terrible, your audience can probably tolerate it for 10 minutes. Much longer, and they’ll be struggling. This shouldn’t limit what you can cover; in the film Up , the whole of Carl and Ellie’s heartbreaking love story is told in under 12 minutes. Do you really need longer to make your points? Achieve brevity by writing out the speech you would give if you had all the time in the world, and then cut anything that seems extraneous or boring.

3. Consider what your audience wants to hear

If you are giving a speech in class because it’s your assignment, what your audience wants to hear is likely to be “the bell ringing for lunch”; you can’t help them there. But under other circumstances, consider what your audience wants to hear and what you want to say, and strive for there to be as much overlap as possible. In the context of a political speech, for instance, what you want to say might be why your party should receive votes; what your audience wants to hear is what your party would do for them, if they won power. Hopefully it should be possible to write a speech that meets both sets of needs, rather than focusing solely on whatever it is that you want to say and leaving your audience disappointed.

4. Pick a theme and stick to it

Beware: digressions ahead.

Here’s a goal for giving a speech: someone sitting near the back, who’s messing around on their phone for at least two-thirds of it and focusing mainly on how long it will be until lunch, should nonetheless be able to give a reasonably accurate answer to the question, “what was it about?” If you’re supposed to be giving a speech in defence of the nuclear deterrent, for example, both the topic and your position on it should be clearly identifiable. This means – to stick with the nuclear deterrent example – not talking for a while about jobs, and then the wider economy, and then the North-South divide, and then Scottish independence, and then Ukraine with a brief digression into South Ossetia before rounding off by squeaking out “and that’s why we should renew Trident!” seconds before you run out of time – no matter how relevant that cornucopia of topics may feel (and they are all relevant, albeit tenuously). It means that even if you do have to take a while to explain a more complex idea, you need to be concise, and bring it back to your theme as quickly as you can.

5. Speak slowly

Most people speak more quickly than they realise when they’re on stage, especially if they’re nervous. But no one will be able to follow your speech if you’re jabbering it out. Thankfully, this one is easy to fix with a little effort and practise. First of all, figure out how quickly you’re actually speaking: do a word count for your speech and then time yourself saying it. A fast speaker will speak at maybe 160 words per minute, a slow speaker at 100 wpm and an average speaker at 130 wpm. For a formal speech, you want to be speaking on the slow side. While this will vary by culture and environment, 120 wpm is a reasonable target to aim for; slow enough that everyone should be able to understand you, and fast enough that you hopefully won’t be sending them to sleep.

6. Tell a couple of jokes

A touch of humour won't go amiss, even if you're not a natural comedian.

This is a tricky tip because there are lots of pitfalls in the world of telling jokes. For instance, there’s the temptation to include an in-joke that three of your friends will understand and find hilarious, that is utterly baffling to everyone else in the room. Avoid this – if you include any jokes, witty references or anything along those lines, make sure they are accessible to everyone present. All the same, if you can manage a joke or two, it can be a useful way to break up a speech and retain the audience’s interest. A little self-deprecation (not too much!) or the use of classic joke formats such as “the scene was chaotic; it looked as if a bomb had hit and we didn’t know where to start on repairs – but that’s enough about the hen party…” work nicely even if you’re not very confident. Don’t turn it into a stand-up comedy sketch if you’re not a comedian, don’t wait for ages for laughter that’s not showing up, and don’t make jokes at the expense of anyone who you don’t know for sure can take it.

7. Don’t be afraid to repeat yourself if you need to

If you follow US or UK politics at all, you’ve probably heard some of these phrases recently: take back control, make America great again, long-term economic plan, son of a bus driver. Three of these have already led the party or people they’re associated with to electoral victory; the fourth remains to be seen. To take the ‘son of a bus driver’ as an example, this refers to Sadiq Khan, now Mayor of London. There can be hardly anyone in London who doesn’t know what their Mayor’s dad did for a living. Meanwhile, many of them probably can’t remember his rival Zac Goldsmith’s name, let alone anything he said during the campaign. The point is that repetition works. In pursuit of point 4, if you want people to remember your key theme, you’re going to have to say it more than once. Don’t assume that everyone will have paid attention to everything you’ve said, unless you’re in a classroom setting where they’ll get told off if they don’t.

8. Only use the visual aids you need

Scratch the notes and speak directly to your audience.

This tip applies to two things: PowerPoints and notes. If you can do without either (and your assignment allows it), then do. Every time you’re glancing over your notes or up at the screen, fiddling with the laptop to get the slide to move on, fighting with a video that isn’t working or struggling to read your own handwriting, is time that you’re not spending engaging with your audience. A well-written, clear speech delivered without notes is always going to be better than someone awkwardly reading aloud the bullet points on their PowerPoint slides. If you must do a presentation – for instance, because there are photos that need to be included – have as little text on it as possible, preferably none. That way, if there are people at the back who can’t really see the screen through the sea of heads in front of them, they’ll still be able to follow what you’re saying.

9. Get a friend to check for awkward mannerisms

Mannerisms that are entirely fine in normal life become awkward and strange when you’re speaking in public. Perhaps you’re inclined to fiddle with your hair or your cuffs, you rock back and forth on the balls of your feet, or you have a habit of reaching your hand to your cheek when you’re talking. No one would notice in everyday conversation, but when you’re on a stage, it’ll become all they’ll see. Some of this is easily avoidable – for instance, if you have long hair that you’re inclined to twirl or otherwise fiddle with, tie it up. For other mannerisms, get the critical friend who helped you sort out your microphone technique to tell you what they are, and do your best to suppress the more annoying ones.

10. Look around the room

Overly intense eye-contact can easily feel intimidating.

Talking about eye contact usually has the effect of making normal eye contact a lot harder, and so does giving a speech. All of a sudden, you’re up on stage, and you have no idea what a normal way to look at a group of people is. Some speakers deal with this by picking a point in the middle distance and speaking to it; others by picking a particular person near to the back and addressing their entire speech at them. This is obviously no fun for that person, who probably spends the whole thing feeling extremely uncomfortable, but it’s not too weird for everyone else. Better still, though, if you can manage it, is to look slowly and steadily around the room, trying to make eye contact with a decent range of people, before returning to the middle distance for a while, rinse and repeat. This needs to be slow and steady, or you give the impression that you’ve just smelled smoke and are casting about for a fire exit before the stampede beings.

11. Don’t be scared of a good reaction

If your speech is genuinely engaging, funny, inspiring or any of the other things you might hope it would be, your audience will react to it. There might be laughter, or applause, or even a bit of cheering depending on the setting. This can be daunting because when you’re practising your speech in front of your bedroom mirror, there’s no way to prepare for it. And it’s where even the best speakers can go wrong, by launching straight into what they were going to say next without waiting for the laughter or applause to stop, or by looking painfully awkward while it’s going on. It’s a pitfall that’s mostly solved by being aware it might happen. If your audience is applauding you or otherwise reacting well, it’s OK to smile, look up, wait for them to stop and then keep going with your speech – it’s as simple as that. You could even throw in a “thank you” before you continue in the knowledge that it’s all going well. Image credits: microphones ; audience ; boy with microphone ; clock ; winding road ; enjoy a joke ; sticky notes ; 

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What Makes a Great Speech?

Simon sebag montefiore considers the qualities of great oratory throughout history.

Friends! Brothers and sisters! Comrades! Fellow citizens! Your majesties and highnesses! My countrymen! My children! Fellow soldiers! Ladies and gentlemen!

You can tell much by the opening of a speech. Elizabeth I begins hers majestically, “My loving people.” Mandela says, “Comrades and friends.” Lincoln starts: “Fellow countrymen.” Toussaint Louverture combines “Brothers and friends!.” For Robespierre: “Citizen-representatives of the people.” Michelle Obama calls her audience of schoolgirls “future leaders of the world.” Stalin changes his entire relationship with the Soviet peoples when, after the Nazi invasion, he addresses them on July 3, 1941 not just as Communist “comrades” but as “brothers and sisters, I am addressing you, dear friends.” Eleazar, Jewish rebel leader, calls his people “generous friends” when he asks them to commit mass suicide with him. Calling an audience “friends” is often a good start, though Cromwell, talking to English Parliamentarians, takes a different approach: “Ye pack of mercenary wretches . . . Ye sordid prostitutes.”

Donald Trump does not address his audience directly but just says: “Wow! Whoa! That’s some group of people. Thousands!” The opening is all about defining the relationship—the terms of the contract, contact and compact—between speaker and audience. Invite them in, make them comfortable, but not necessarily too comfortable, because even the most egalitarian speaker must hold the helm and set the course.

It is easy to make rules on the best oratory. It must be short without glibness; substantial without ennui; powerful without haughtiness; dramatic without contrivance; confident without bombast; intimate without condescension; emotional without melodrama; courageous without bravado; beautiful without artifice; passionate without posturing; poignant without plangency; honest without vanity; world-historical without grandiloquence. “In an orator, the acuteness of the logicians, the wisdom of the philosophers, the language almost of poetry, the memory of lawyers, the voice of tragedians, the gesture almost of the best actors, is required,” wrote Cicero, one of the Rome’s best speakers, in his essay On Oratory. “Nothing therefore is more rarely found among mankind than a consummate orator.” It was written in 55 BC but is just as true today.

The most revealing speeches are those that are the most personal: in Alexander the Great’s speeches, we can hear across two millennia his pride in his own divine greatness—and fury at the ingratitude and impertinence of his mutinous men. Nixon’s farewell to his staff must be the most awkward speech of his life. In Stalin’s secret last speech, we are witnessing the real tyrant as vicious old man.

Authenticity and brevity. The essence of a great speech is always the ability to communicate a simple message crafted to suit the chosen audience, not only through words but through the fusion of the character of the speaker and the message itself. The authenticity of that matching of speaker and message decides its success or failure. It’s this that makes Elizabeth II’s COVID-19 speech so effective.

Oratory is theatrical. It requires some of the gifts of the thespian and the tricks of the showman but it is very different. At the theatre, the audience knows the actor is playing an imaginary part and wishes to enter into the fantasy. In oratory, it is the opposite. There is indeed a stage, a show, a drama, but while knowing this is a performance, the audience must trust that the “actor” is not acting at all, must believe in his or her sincerity and recognize their total self-belief. “The eloquent man is he who is no beautiful speaker but who is desperately drunk with a certain belief,” noted Ralph Waldo Emerson. That self-belief, abnormal in most mortals, essential in leaders, can be both virtue and sickness: the asset of confidence can so easily degenerate into psychopathic narcissism.

“All great speakers were bad speakers at first,” argued Emerson. This is not always true: Danton was a born speaker—you can hear his passionate energy. Compare Hitler and Churchill. Both worked exceedingly hard on their speeches. Photographs of Hitler by his court photographer show him posing like a camp actor as he worked on his stage show. His henchman Goebbels recalled that he rewrote each speech about five times, dictating changes to three secretaries simultaneously. Churchill, who started with a slight stammer and a lisp, proves Emerson’s point. He wrote his speeches by hand, over and over again, correcting and polishing. Hitler’s performances were theatrical spectaculars of physical athleticism, sometimes lasting hours, delivered to crowds first in sweaty beer halls then in illuminated stadiums.

Yet on paper, his phrases seem mediocre. Churchill’s were the opposite, delivered stolidly in House of Commons or BBC studio, but the phrases are golden and timeless. Both worked well on radio: Would either have worked on television? Certainly not Churchill. Yet the melodrama of the movie Triumph of the Will shows that Hitler might have shone if CNN had existed to broadcast his long rallies.

In some ways, the speaker is extraordinarily exposed but the payoff is the ability to communicate directly to the audience. The speeches of the French Revolution often ended with the arrest and beheading of the speaker—a spontaneity that Robespierre and Danton both encouraged, both fell victim to. It was the same in the assembly of democratic Athens. Alexander the Great could have been cut down by his mutinous soldiers when he addressed them so rudely. The speaker is taking a risk, and that very gamble can win the love of the audience: Napoleon’s speech to his Old Guard appeals to the intimacy of general and soldier. When he returned to seize power for the Hundred Days, he only had to speak to them and they defected to him.

In 1989, the Romanian dictator Nikolai Ceauşescu lost control of his country in a speech that culminated in booing then revolution. He fled by helicopter and was then arrested and executed. In 21st-century Venezuela, the brutal, bungling dictator Nicolás Maduro regularly revealed his coarseness with comical mispronunciations: during a speech on education, he meant to quote Jesus multiplying the “loaves and the fishes,” but instead said, “to multiply ourselves like Christ multiplied the penises—sorry the fish and the bread,” to national guffaws. The Spanish words for fish and penis are similar—but not identical.

The length of a speech is often proportional to its vainglory. “Brevity is the great charm of eloquence,” decreed Cicero, who believed “the best orator is to the point and impassioned.” While Lincoln’s masterpiece at Gettysburg is just 278 words long, Fidel Castro, Communist dictator of Cuba, once spoke for seven hours: the image he was seeking was machismo personified; virile, almost priapic, endurance coupled with dictatorial omnipotence. The wartime speeches of Hitler and Italian dictator Mussolini were also preposterously long. “Speeches measured by the hour,” said Jefferson, “die with the hour.” Pitt the Younger’s speech lasted a few seconds but is sublime. The power to bore an audience is a classic manifestation of tyranny. The freer an audience the less it will tolerate.

Yet fairground hucksterism not only works—it is often mesmerizing. As Hitler, Eva Perón and others show, audiences revel in the brazenness of charisma, bombast and melodrama: bold theatricality and the excitement of crowd behavior can combine to enchant and intoxicate, audiences embracing a sort of frenzied madness.

There is a difference between demagoguery and oratory: “Eloquence cannot exist under a despotic form of government,” wrote Tacitus in his essay The Corruption of Eloquence. “It can only exist in lands where free institutions flourish. There is nothing in the world like a persuasive speech to fuddle the mental apparatus and upset the convictions and debauch the emotions of an audience not practiced in the tricks and delusions of oratory.” But the difference between vulgarity and eloquence is in the eye of the beholder.

Worthy virtue can bore its listeners to death: “In doing good, we are generally cold, and languid, and sluggish; and of all things afraid of being too much in the right,” comments Edmund Burke. “But the works of malice and injustice are quite in another style. They are finished with a bold, masterly hand; touched as they are with the spirit of those vehement passions that call forth all our energies, whenever we oppress and persecute.” The Devil often has the best lines. Robespierre’s call for Terror is powerful, elegant and bloodthirsty. But not always. Himmler is no orator.

Speeches are tools of power as essential as artillery or gold: “instruments that a president uses to govern,” in the words of JFK’s speechwriter Ted Sorenson. Even without the poetry of a Martin Luther King Jr., there are methods to make them work. “If you have an important point to make,” said Churchill, “don’t try to be subtle and clever, use a piledriver. Make that point one time, hit it again. A third time. A tremendous whack!”

Each speech tells a story in which hindsight can be heartbreaking. Egyptian president Sadat and Israeli prime minister Rabin both had made their careers as warlords—and when they made peace, their speeches were powerful, not just because they were superbly written (Rabin’s especially touching since he was in person shy, rough and reticent). They are even more poignant now that we know that both of them paid for their courage with their lives. It is impossible to read Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I’ve seen the Promised Land” without feeling that he understood that he was doomed.

Then we have the ritual of the last goodbye. The dying Evita’s adieu from the Casa Rosada is every bit as emotional as the song from the musical she inspired. Napoleon’s tearful departure verges on cheap melodrama—very different from the sad elegiac haughtiness of Charles I before his execution. It is hard to grieve for the merciless secret police killer Yezhov who appeals to his master Stalin before he is shot.

The best speakers have the ability to make ideas and aspirations come alive—“thoughts on fire,” as William Jenning Bryan, the American populist, put it—so that their audiences feel they are part of something greater than themselves, part of a dream that may come true. JFK’s inaugural speech and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” both achieve this.

Wartime speeches have special functions: they depend on the management of expectations. Elizabeth I made a virtue of the perceived weakness of femininity. Churchill “mobilized the English language and sent it into battle” (in the words of CBS reporter Edward Murrow and reused by JFK) by offering only blood and tears. The Jewish commander Eleazar at Masada persuaded nine hundred men, women and children that they should commit suicide en masse rather than face execution, slavery and rape at the hands of the Roman victors.

Speeches that begin wars offer easy prizes in return for little blood spilled—and that blood hopefully foreign. Pope Urban II invented Christian holy war as the equivalent of Islamic jihad and inspired the first crusaders to take Jerusalem, offering a mix of faith, penance and plunder. Hitler’s speech opening the Second World War with his invasion of Poland is full of militaristic bravado. His audience believed victory was assured since he had outwitted all the great world powers and annexed two countries without a shot fired. Similarly, when he declared war on America in December 1941, he believed he was losing nothing and intimidating America to keep out of Europe. The consequences were the opposite of those intended.

Elizabeth, Hitler, Churchill, Lincoln wrote their own speeches, but JFK worked on his with Sorenson; Reagan’s were brilliantly written by Peggy Noonan. The best speech writers are literary ventriloquists. They are molded to the speaker, but they can also invent a new persona. Noonan’s cowboy’s lament for Reagan’s retirement evokes the myth of an old cowboy of the American West:

There’s still a lot of brush to clear out at the ranch, fences that need repair and horses to ride. But I want you to know that if the fires ever dim, I’ll leave my phone and address behind just in case you need a foot soldier. Just let me know and I’ll be there, as long as words don’t leave me and as long as this sweet country strives to be special during its shining moment on Earth.

But it must be plausible to maintain authenticity. Slickness can be suspicious; loquacity so quickly becomes verbosity. Trotsky was the wizard of oratory during the Russian Revolution, but ultimately the rough Bolsheviks distrusted his showmanship, preferring a speaker who made a virtue out of his own lack of magic which he presented as plain-speaking: Stalin. Gladstone’s performances to huge audiences were astonishing for their sanctimonious energy but they were also displays of grandiloquent vanity pricked by his witty rival Disraeli, who called Gladstone “a sophisticated rhetorician, inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity.”

The nature of speeches has changed over history thanks to technology. Some of the speeches from the ancient world were recorded by historians who wholly or partly invented speeches they had not heard—but it is likely that Josephus, Tacitus and others quoted here did talk to those who were present. Some of these speeches were the regular table talk of a monarch given to tiny groups of courtiers, such as Genghis Khan’s reflections on conquest and Muawiyah’s on the art of ruling. Cleopatra’s line about her fate was probably repeated by Octavian and recorded by the well-connected historian Livy—I count it as a speech because she was aware they were perhaps her last words on history’s stage.

Nero’s entire life as emperor was a self-conscious theatrical performance—as if he was living on a Roman reality TV show. If he had been alive today, he would certainly have starred in one. Of all the tyrants of the ancient world, he is strangely the most modern. He would have fitted well into the brutal buffoonery of 21st-century politics.

For most of human history, speeches could only be heard by a small number of people, thousands, not more. Those given in the Roman Senate, the Athenian Ecclesia or the English Parliament were initially heard only by those present. It was the same with the battlefield speeches of Alexander the Great before Issus or Henry V before Agincourt. The problem was solved on battlefields by the officers repeating the speeches to their regiments. In the age of printing, the public could read an official version—Elizabeth I’s Tilbury speech was published. Before TV or radio, political speeches were a form of entertainment, almost as much as theatre or musical recital. Thousands turned up to hear Gladstone’s Midlothian Campaign.

The invention of the microphone in 1877 meant that by the early years of the 20th century, speakers could address much larger crowds, leading to stadium spectaculars: “I know that men are won over less by the written than by the spoken word, that every great movement on this Earth owes its growth to great orators and not to great writers,” Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf. But live harangues to large crowds lacked the intimacy that the new technologies of TV delivered in the 1950s.

Television favored some, undermined others. Kennedy looked glamorous, Nixon furtive. Speakers could reach an even larger audience yet attention spans grew shorter. Some speeches were reduced to just the phrases—“the soundbite.” Tape recordings and video also meant that speeches could be given in private then copied and broadcast. The Iranian Revolution was won not on the streets or the minbars but in cassettes smuggled into the country bearing the speeches of Khomeini; Osama bin Laden spread his jihadism through smuggled videotapes.

The Internet and the podcast restored interest in listening to words, yet one might have expected twenty-four-hour news, multi-channel radio and TV, and the epidemic of smartphone distraction to shorten the patience of audiences. The laconic Lincoln would have found no problem with this, even if his lanky simian looks and clumsy, jerky movements would not have worked on screen. Yet the merging of news and entertainment has worked for some. The elegant Obama gave speeches—beautiful, almost Classical phrases, exquisite delivery (touches of Dr. King), inspirational themes (echoes of Lincoln)—that carried him to the presidency. Yet his polar opposite, the bombastic Trump, is an unconventional but very successful communicator and orator, improvising long meandering speeches that delighted rallies of his supporters. They were often broadcast in full, and proved compelling even to his critics. One does not recall the phrases but the impression is authentic and unforgettable.

Trump’s speechmaking highlights something bigger: today, oratory is flourishing in a way that is more visceral and popular than it ever was, even in Cicero’s Rome or Pericles’s Athens. Young speakers like Greta Thunberg and Malala can become instantly world-famous in one televised speech fighting for climate change reform or education. A brilliant novelist like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie can talk about feminism as a podcast and reach millions. Speeches—or often visionbites or extracts of speeches—are viewed many millions of times on the Internet. The speech has never been more powerful because television and Internet have never been more dominant, while the “old”-style media—newspapers, mainly, and trustworthy news TV—has withered dangerously. So far it is autocrats and populists who have exploited this best by appealing over the heads of traditional media directly to “the people.” But if they can do so, others can, too.

______________________________________________

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Adapted from Voices of History: Speeches That Changed the World by Simon Sebag Montefiore. Copyright © 2021 by Simon Sebag Montefiore. Excerpted by permission of Vintage, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Simon Sebag Montefiore

Simon Sebag Montefiore

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The Top Characteristics Of A Good Speech

“I tell my story, not because it is unique, but because it is not. It is the story of many…

The Top Characteristics Of A Good Speech

“I tell my story, not because it is unique, but because it is not. It is the story of many girls… Though I appear as one girl, one person, who is 5ft 2in tall, if you include my high heels, I am not a lone voice, I am many. I am Shazia. I am Kainat Riaz. I am Kainat Somro. I am Mezon. I am Amina. I am those 66 million girls who are out of school.”

The youngest-ever Nobel Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai, then 17, uttered these evocative words at her acceptance speech in 2014.

A good speech such as this one is provocative, inspiring and personal. It is structured to present a clearly defined message and convey the speaker’s ideas and thoughts.

At work, you may be asked to speak at meetings, seminars and conferences. These are important events in your professional career that will help you establish your credibility, and build your personal brand and professional network.

Learning how to deliver a good speech will equip you for career success. Let’s look at the characteristics of a good speech to push you in the right direction.

Characteristics Of A Good Speech

If you want to make a good speech that leaves a lasting impression, focus on what you’re going to speak and how. A good speech isn’t only about your words but also how you present yourself. Body language and gestures play a critical role in transforming an average speech into a memorable one.

If you’re wondering what a good speech is, here are some of its qualities:

Clear Message And Key Ideas

A good speech always starts with a key idea and a well-defined message. Many people make the mistake of burying their ideas in the middle or at the end. That’s a mistake. The audience may get distracted halfway into your speech, and leave without even knowing what you’re talking about. If you want people to understand your big idea, present it right at the start. That will set the context for the rest of the speech.

Impactful Oral Delivery

Remember to consider every aspect of the speech. Your oral delivery—pitch, pause and pace—also influences the audience’s response. ( klonopin ) Modulate your voice and pace to keep your listeners interested in your words. You should be also prepared to make impromptu adjustments to your delivery if you sense the audience drifting away. For instance, if you’re talking about statistical data, make it interesting by asking questions or engaging in a dialogue with the audience. This way, you keep them involved.

Sprinkled With Personal Anecdotes

Don’t rely only on facts and figures. If you can support your claims with personal experiences, it’ll make it more interesting. Start with a personal anecdote that’s linked to your big idea and that your audience can relate to. Humor is also a fun way to break the ice and put everyone at ease.

Informative, But Not Repetitive

Your speech needs to be informative and packed with fresh and new information to have an impact. Be careful not to recycle old ideas packaged in fancy words. . Being original and sharing relevant, critical and helpful information will make your speech memorable. Edit your speech carefully to ensure there are no repetitions or data gaps. You can also add inspiring quotes for a good speech.

Powerful Nonverbal Cues

One of the most important qualities of a good speech is nonverbal communication . You may believe that your words do all the work. But your posture, facial expressions and gestures are equally, if not more, important. Imagine someone making a speech with a blank expression on their face or just reading their words off a page without emotion. That doesn’t make for a good speech. It’s about building tension, asking provoking questions and engaging with the audience. There’s power in using nonverbal cues, like making eye contact with someone in the audience. Using these cues well can greatly improve the quality of your speech.

There are many more characteristics of a good speech that you can incorporate. Harappa Education’s Speaking Effectively course is designed for professionals who want to improve their communication skills. You can use these skills for public speaking or formal workplace conversations, to connect and empathize with others. Build meaningful connections, share ideas effectively, and deliver memorable speeches with our high-impact online course.

Explore topics & skills such as Public Speaking , Verbal Communication , Oral Communication , Speaking Skills & Oratory Skills from Harappa Diaries and learn to express your ideas with confidence.

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10 Tips for Improving Your Public Speaking Skills

Few are immune to the fear of public speaking. Marjorie North offers 10 tips for speakers to calm the nerves and deliverable memorable orations.

Marjorie North

Snakes? Fine. Flying? No problem. Public speaking? Yikes! Just thinking about public speaking — routinely described as one of the greatest (and most common) fears — can make your palms sweat. But there are many ways to tackle this anxiety and learn to deliver a memorable speech.

In part one of this series,  Mastering the Basics of Communication , I shared strategies to improve how you communicate. In part two, How to Communicate More Effectively in the Workplace , I examined how to apply these techniques as you interact with colleagues and supervisors in the workplace. For the third and final part of this series, I’m providing you with public speaking tips that will help reduce your anxiety, dispel myths, and improve your performance.

Here Are My 10 Tips for Public Speaking:

1. nervousness is normal. practice and prepare.

All people feel some physiological reactions like pounding hearts and trembling hands. Do not associate these feelings with the sense that you will perform poorly or make a fool of yourself. Some nerves are good. The adrenaline rush that makes you sweat also makes you more alert and ready to give your best performance.

The best way to overcome anxiety is to prepare, prepare, and prepare some more. Take the time to go over your notes several times. Once you have become comfortable with the material, practice — a lot. Videotape yourself, or get a friend to critique your performance.

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2. Know Your Audience. Your Speech Is About Them, Not You.

Before you begin to craft your message, consider who the message is intended for. Learn as much about your listeners as you can. This will help you determine your choice of words, level of information, organization pattern, and motivational statement.

3. Organize Your Material in the Most Effective Manner to Attain Your Purpose.

Create the framework for your speech. Write down the topic, general purpose, specific purpose, central idea, and main points. Make sure to grab the audience’s attention in the first 30 seconds.

4. Watch for Feedback and Adapt to It.

Keep the focus on the audience. Gauge their reactions, adjust your message, and stay flexible. Delivering a canned speech will guarantee that you lose the attention of or confuse even the most devoted listeners.

5. Let Your Personality Come Through.

Be yourself, don’t become a talking head — in any type of communication. You will establish better credibility if your personality shines through, and your audience will trust what you have to say if they can see you as a real person.

6. Use Humor, Tell Stories, and Use Effective Language.

Inject a funny anecdote in your presentation, and you will certainly grab your audience’s attention. Audiences generally like a personal touch in a speech. A story can provide that.

7. Don’t Read Unless You Have to. Work from an Outline.

Reading from a script or slide fractures the interpersonal connection. By maintaining eye contact with the audience, you keep the focus on yourself and your message. A brief outline can serve to jog your memory and keep you on task.

8. Use Your Voice and Hands Effectively. Omit Nervous Gestures.

Nonverbal communication carries most of the message. Good delivery does not call attention to itself, but instead conveys the speaker’s ideas clearly and without distraction.

9. Grab Attention at the Beginning, and Close with a Dynamic End.

Do you enjoy hearing a speech start with “Today I’m going to talk to you about X”? Most people don’t. Instead, use a startling statistic, an interesting anecdote, or concise quotation. Conclude your speech with a summary and a strong statement that your audience is sure to remember.

10. Use Audiovisual Aids Wisely.

Too many can break the direct connection to the audience, so use them sparingly. They should enhance or clarify your content, or capture and maintain your audience’s attention.

Practice Does Not Make Perfect

Good communication is never perfect, and nobody expects you to be perfect. However, putting in the requisite time to prepare will help you deliver a better speech. You may not be able to shake your nerves entirely, but you can learn to minimize them.

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About the Author

North is a consultant for political candidates, physicians, and lawyers, and runs a private practice specializing in public speaking, and executive communication skills. Previously, she was the clinical director in the department of speech and language pathology and audiology at Northeastern University.

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Words for Speaking: 30 Speech Verbs in English (With Audio)

Words for Speaking: 30 Speech Verbs in English (With Audio)

Speaking is amazing, don’t you think?

Words and phrases come out of our mouths — they communicate meaning, and we humans understand each other (well, sometimes)!

But there are countless different ways of speaking.

Sometimes, we express ourselves by speaking quietly, loudly, angrily, unclearly or enthusiastically.

And sometimes, we can express ourselves really well without using any words at all — just sounds.

When we describe what someone said, of course we can say, “He said …” or “She said …”

But there are so many alternatives to “say” that describe the many different WAYS of speaking.

Here are some of the most common ones.

Words for talking loudly in English

Shout / yell / scream.

Sometimes you just need to say something LOUDLY!

Maybe you’re shouting at your kids to get off the climbing frame and come inside before the storm starts.

Or perhaps you’re just one of those people who just shout a lot of the time when you speak. And that’s fine. I’ve got a friend like that. He says it’s because he’s the youngest kid in a family full of brothers and sisters — he had to shout to make sure people heard him. And he still shouts.

Yelling is a bit different. When you yell, you’re probably angry or surprised or even in pain. Yelling is a bit shorter and more “in-the-moment.”

Screaming is similar but usually higher in pitch and full of fear or pain or total fury, like when you’ve just seen a ghost or when you’ve dropped a box of bricks on your foot.

Comic-style drawing of a man who has just dropped a brick on his foot. He's screaming and "Argh!" is written in large black letters.

“Stop yelling at me! I’m sorry! I made a mistake, but there’s no need to shout!”

Bark / Bellow / Roar

When I hear these words, I always imagine something like this:

Text: Bark, bellow, roar / Image: Aggressive man shouting at two boys on a football field

These verbs all feel rather masculine, and you imagine them in a deep voice.

I always think of an army general walking around the room telling people what to do.

That’s probably why we have the phrase “to bark orders at someone,” which means to tell people what to do in an authoritative, loud and aggressive way.

“I can’t stand that William guy. He’s always barking orders at everyone!”

Shriek / Squeal / Screech

Ooooohhh …. These do not sound nice.

These are the sounds of a car stopping suddenly.

Or the sound a cat makes when you tread on her tail.

Or very overexcited kids at a birthday party after eating too much sugar.

These verbs are high pitched and sometimes painful to hear.

“When I heard her shriek , I ran to the kitchen to see what it was. Turned out it was just a mouse.”

“As soon as she opened the box and saw the present, she let out a squeal of delight!”

Wailing is also high pitched, but not so full of energy.

It’s usually full of sadness or even anger.

When I think of someone wailing, I imagine someone completely devastated — very sad — after losing someone they love.

You get a lot of wailing at funerals.

“It’s such a mess!” she wailed desperately. “It’ll take ages to clear up!”

Words for speaking quietly in English

When we talk about people speaking in quiet ways, for some reason, we often use words that we also use for animals.

In a way, this is useful, because we can immediately get a feel for the sound of the word.

This is the sound that snakes make.

Sometimes you want to be both quiet AND angry.

Maybe someone in the theatre is talking and you can’t hear what Hamlet’s saying, so you hiss at them to shut up.

Or maybe you’re hanging out with Barry and Naomi when Barry starts talking about Naomi’s husband, who she split up with last week.

Then you might want to hiss this information to Barry so that Naomi doesn’t hear.

But Naomi wasn’t listening anyway — she was miles away staring into the distance.

“You’ll regret this!” he hissed , pointing his finger in my face.

To be fair, this one’s a little complicated.

Whimpering is a kind of traumatised, uncomfortable sound.

If you think of a frightened animal, you might hear it make some kind of quiet, weak sound that shows it’s in pain or unhappy.

Or if you think of a kid who’s just been told she can’t have an ice cream.

Those sounds might be whimpers.

“Please! Don’t shoot me!” he whimpered , shielding his head with his arms.

Two school students in a classroom whispering to each other with the text "gossip" repeated in a vertical column

Whispering is when you speak, but you bypass your vocal cords so that your words sound like wind.

In a way, it’s like you’re speaking air.

Which is a pretty cool way to look at it.

This is a really useful way of speaking if you’re into gossiping.

“Hey! What are you whispering about? Come on! Tell us! We’ll have no secrets here!”

Words for speaking negatively in English

Ranting means to speak at length about a particular topic.

However, there’s a bit more to it than that.

Ranting is lively, full of passion and usually about something important — at least important to the person speaking.

Sometimes it’s even quite angry.

We probably see rants most commonly on social media — especially by PEOPLE WHO LOVE USING CAPS LOCK AND LOTS OF EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!!!!

Ranting always sounds a little mad, whether you’re ranting about something reasonable, like the fact that there’s too much traffic in the city, or whether you’re ranting about something weird, like why the world is going to hell and it’s all because of people who like owning small, brown dogs.

“I tried to talk to George, but he just started ranting about the tax hike.”

“Did you see Jemima’s most recent Facebook rant ? All about how squirrels are trying to influence the election results with memes about Macaulay Culkin.”

Babble / Blabber / Blather / Drone / Prattle / Ramble

Woman saying, "Blah blah blether drone ramble blah blah." Two other people are standing nearby looking bored.

These words all have very similar meanings.

First of all, when someone babbles (or blabbers or blathers or drones or prattles or rambles), it means they are talking for a long time.

And probably not letting other people speak.

And, importantly, about nothing particularly interesting or important.

You know the type of person, right?

You run into a friend or someone you know.

All you do is ask, “How’s life?” and five minutes later, you’re still listening to them talking about their dog’s toilet problems.

They just ramble on about it for ages.

These verbs are often used with the preposition “on.”

That’s because “on” often means “continuously” in phrasal verbs .

So when someone “drones on,” it means they just talk for ages about nothing in particular.

“You’re meeting Aunt Thelma this evening? Oh, good luck! Have fun listening to her drone on and on about her horses.”

Groan / Grumble / Moan

These words simply mean “complain.”

There are some small differences, though.

When you groan , you probably don’t even say any words. Instead, you just complain with a sound.

When you grumble , you complain in a sort of angry or impatient way. It’s not a good way to get people to like you.

Finally, moaning is complaining, but without much direction.

You know the feeling, right?

Things are unfair, and stuff isn’t working, and it’s all making life more difficult than it should be.

We might not plan to do anything about it, but it definitely does feel good to just … complain about it.

Just to express your frustration about how unfair it all is and how you’ve been victimised and how you should be CEO by now and how you don’t get the respect you deserve and …

Well, you get the idea.

If you’re frustrated with things, maybe you just need to find a sympathetic ear and have a good moan.

“Pietor? He’s nice, but he does tend to grumble about the local kids playing football on the street.”

Words for speaking unclearly in English

Mumble / murmur / mutter.

These verbs are all very similar and describe speaking in a low and unclear way, almost like you’re speaking to yourself.

Have you ever been on the metro or the bus and seen someone in the corner just sitting and talking quietly and a little madly to themselves?

That’s mumbling (or murmuring or muttering).

What’s the difference?

Good question!

The differences are just in what type of quiet and unclear speaking you’re doing.

When someone’s mumbling , it means they’re difficult to understand. You might want to ask them to speak more clearly.

Murmuring is more neutral. It might be someone praying quietly to themselves, or you might even hear the murmur of voices behind a closed door.

Finally, muttering is usually quite passive-aggressive and has a feeling of complaining to it.

“I could hear him muttering under his breath after his mum told him off.”

Drunk-looking man in a pub holding a bottle and speaking nonsense.

How can you tell if someone’s been drinking too much booze (alcohol)?

Well, apart from the fact that they’re in the middle of trying to climb the traffic lights holding a traffic cone and wearing grass on their head, they’re also slurring — their words are all sort of sliding into each other. Like this .

This can also happen if you’re super tired.

“Get some sleep! You’re slurring your words.”

Stammer / Stutter

Th-th-th-this is wh-wh-when you try to g-g-g-get the words ou-ou-out, but it’s dif-dif-dif-difficu-… hard.

For some people, this is a speech disorder, and the person who’s doing it can’t help it.

If you’ve seen the 2010 film The King’s Speech , you’ll know what I’m talking about.

(Also you can let me know, was it good? I didn’t see it.)

This can also happen when you’re frightened or angry or really, really excited — and especially when you’re nervous.

That’s when you stammer your words.

“No … I mean, yeah … I mean no…” Wendy stammered .

Other words for speaking in English

If you drawl (or if you have a drawl), you speak in a slow way, maaakiiing the voowweeel sounds loooongeer thaan noormaal.

Some people think this sounds lazy, but I think it sounds kind of nice and relaxed.

Some regional accents, like Texan and some Australian accents, have a drawl to them.

“He was the first US President who spoke with that Texan drawl .”

“Welcome to cowboy country,” he drawled .

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

That’s my impression of a dog there.

I was growling.

If you ever go cycling around remote Bulgarian villages, then you’re probably quite familiar with this sound.

There are dogs everywhere, and sometimes they just bark.

But sometimes, before barking, they growl — they make that low, threatening, throaty sound.

And it means “stay away.”

But people can growl, too, especially if they want to be threatening.

“‘Stay away from my family!’ he growled .”

Using speaking verbs as nouns

We can use these speaking verbs in the same way we use “say.”

For example, if someone says “Get out!” loudly, we can say:

“‘Get out!’ he shouted .”

However, most of the verbs we looked at today are also used as nouns. (You might have noticed in some of the examples.)

For example, if we want to focus on the fact that he was angry when he shouted, and not the words he used, we can say:

“He gave a shout of anger.”

We can use these nouns with various verbs, usually “ give ” or “ let out .”

“She gave a shout of surprise.”

“He let out a bellow of laughter.”

“I heard a faint murmur through the door.”

There you have it: 30 alternatives to “say.”

So next time you’re describing your favourite TV show or talking about the dramatic argument you saw the other day, you’ll be able to describe it more colourfully and expressively.

Did you like this post? Then be awesome and share by clicking the blue button below.

8 thoughts on “ Words for Speaking: 30 Speech Verbs in English (With Audio) ”

Always enlighten and fun.. thank you

Great job! Thank you so much for sharing with us. My students love your drawing and teaching very much. So do I of course.

Good news: I found more than 30 verbs for “speaking”. Bad news, only four of them were in your list. That is to say “Good news I’m only 50 I still have plenty of time to learn new things, bad news I’m already 50 and still have so much learn. Thanks for your posts, they’re so interesting and useful!

Excellent. Can I print it?

Thanks Iris.

And yes — Feel free to print it! 🙂

Thanks so much! It was very interesting and helpful❤

Great words, shouts and barks, Gabriel. I’m already writing them down, so I can practise with them bit by bit. Thanks for the lesson!

Thank you so much for sharing with us. .It is very useful

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Speech transitions: words and phrases to connect your ideas

June 28, 2018 - Gini Beqiri

When delivering presentations it’s important for your words and ideas to flow so your audience can understand how everything links together and why it’s all relevant.

This can be done using speech transitions because these act as signposts to the audience – signalling the relationship between points and ideas. This article explores how to use speech transitions in presentations.

What are speech transitions?

Speech transitions are words and phrases that allow you to smoothly move from one point to another so that your speech flows and your presentation is unified.

This makes it easier for the audience to understand your argument and without transitions the  audience may be confused  as to how one point relates to another and they may think you’re randomly jumping between points.

Types of transitions

Transitions can be one word, a phrase or a full sentence – there are many different types, here are a few:

Introduction

Introduce your topic:

  • We will be looking at/identifying/investigating the effects of…
  • Today I will be discussing…

Presentation outline

Inform the audience of the structure of your presentation:

  • There are three key points I’ll be discussing…
  • I want to begin by…, and then I’ll move on to…
  • We’ll be covering… from two points of view…
  • This presentation is divided into four parts…

Move from the introduction to the first point

Signify to the audience that you will now begin discussing the first main point:

  • Now that you’re aware of the overview, let’s begin with…
  • First, let’s begin with…
  • I will first cover…
  • My first point covers…
  • To get started, let’s look at…

Shift between similar points

Move from one point to a similar one:

  • In the same way…
  • Likewise…
  • Equally…
  • This is similar to…
  • Similarly…

Presentation transitions at a meeting

Shift between disagreeing points

You may have to introduce conflicting ideas – bridging words and phrases are especially good for this:

  • Conversely…
  • Despite this…
  • However…
  • On the contrary…
  • Now let’s consider…
  • Even so…
  • Nonetheless…
  • We can’t ignore…
  • On the other hand…

Transition to a significant issue

  • Fundamentally…
  • A major issue is…
  • The crux of the matter…
  • A significant concern is…

Referring to previous points

You may have to refer to something that you’ve already spoken about because, for example, there may have been a break or a fire alarm etc:

  • Let’s return to…
  • We briefly spoke about X earlier; let’s look at it in more depth now…
  • Let’s revisit…
  • Let’s go back to…
  • Do you recall when I mentioned…

This can be also be useful to introduce a new point because adults learn better when new information builds on previously learned information.

Introducing an aside note

You may want to introduce a digression:

  • I’d just like to mention…
  • That reminds me…
  • Incidentally…

Physical movement

You can  move your body  and your standing location when you transition to another point. The audience find it easier to follow your presentation and movement will increase their interest.

A common technique for incorporating movement into your presentation is to:

  • Start your introduction by standing in the centre of the stage.
  • For your first point you stand on the left side of the stage.
  • You discuss your second point from the centre again.
  • You stand on the right side of the stage for your third point.
  • The conclusion occurs in the centre.

Emphasising importance

You need to ensure that the audience get the message by informing them why something is important:

  • More importantly…
  • This is essential…
  • Primarily…
  • Mainly…

Internal summaries

Internal summarising consists of summarising before moving on to the next point. You must inform the audience:

  • What part of the presentation you covered – “In the first part of this speech we’ve covered…”
  • What the key points were – “Precisely how…”
  • How this links in with the overall presentation – “So that’s the context…”
  • What you’re moving on to – “Now I’d like to move on to the second part of presentation which looks at…”

Speech transitions during a team meeting

Cause and effect

You will have to transition to show relationships between factors:

  • Therefore…
  • Thus…
  • Consequently…
  • As a result…
  • This is significant because…
  • Hence…

Elaboration

  • Also…
  • Besides…
  • What’s more…
  • In addition/additionally…
  • Moreover…
  • Furthermore…

Point-by-point or steps of a process

  • First/firstly/The first one is…
  • Second/Secondly/The second one is…
  • Third/Thirdly/The third one is…
  • Last/Lastly/Finally/The fourth one is…

Introduce an example

  • This is demonstrated by…
  • For instance…
  • Take the case of…
  • For example…
  • You may be asking whether this happens in X? The answer is yes…
  • To show/illustrate/highlight this…
  • Let me illustrate this by…

Transition to a demonstration

  • Now that we’ve covered the theory, let’s practically apply it…
  • I’ll conduct an experiment to show you this in action…
  • Let me demonstrate this…
  • I’ll now show you this…

Introducing a quotation

  • X was a supporter of this thinking because he said…
  • There is a lot of support for this, for example, X said…

Transition to another speaker

In a  group presentation  you must transition to other speakers:

  • Briefly recap on what you covered in your section: “So that was a brief introduction on what health anxiety is and how it can affect somebody”
  • Introduce the next speaker in the team and explain what they will discuss: “Now Gayle will talk about the prevalence of health anxiety.”
  • Then end by looking at the next speaker, gesturing towards them and saying their name: “Gayle”.
  • The next speaker should acknowledge this with a quick: “Thank you Simon.”

From these examples, you can see how the different sections of the presentations link which makes it easier for the audience to follow and remain engaged.

You can  tell personal stories  or share the experiences of others to introduce a point. Anecdotes are especially valuable for your introduction and between different sections of the presentation because they engage the audience. Ensure that you plan the stories thoroughly beforehand and that they are not too long.

Using questions

You can transition through your speech by asking questions and these questions also have the benefit of engaging your audience more. There are three different types of questions:

Direct questions require an answer: “What is the capital of Italy?” These are mentally stimulating for the audience.

Rhetorical questions  do not require answers, they are often used to emphasises an idea or point: “Is the Pope catholic?

Loaded questions contain an unjustified assumption made to prompt the audience into providing a particular answer which you can then correct to support your point: You may ask “Why does your wonderful company have such a low incidence of mental health problems?”.

The audience will generally answer that they’re happy. After receiving the answers you could then say “Actually it’s because people are still unwilling and too embarrassed to seek help for mental health issues at work etc.”

Speech transitions during a conference

Transition to a visual aid

If you are going to introduce a visual aid you must prepare the audience with what they’re going to see, for example, you might be leading into a diagram that supports your statement. Also, before you  show the visual aid , explain why you’re going to show it, for example, “This graph is a significant piece of evidence supporting X”.

When the graphic is on display get the audience to focus on it:

  • The table indicates…
  • As you can see…
  • I’d like to direct your attention to…

Explain what the visual is showing:

  • You can see that there has been a reduction in…
  • The diagram is comparing the…

Using a visual aid to transition

Visual aids can also be used as transitions and they have the benefit of being stimulating and breaking-up vocal transitions.

You might have a slide with just a picture on it to signify to the audience that you’re moving on to a new point – ensure that this image is relevant to the point. Many speakers like to use cartoons for this purpose but ensure its suitable for your audience.

Always summarise your key points first in the conclusion:

  • Let’s recap on what we’ve spoken about today…
  • Let me briefly summarise the main points…

And then conclude:

If you have a shorter speech you may choose to  end your presentation  with one statement:

  • In short…
  • To sum up…
  • In a nutshell…
  • To summarise…
  • In conclusion…

However, using statements such as “To conclude” may cause the audience to stop listening. It’s better to say:

  • I’d like to leave you with this…
  • What you should take away from this is…
  • Finally, I want to say…

Call to action

Requesting the audience to do something at the end of the presentation:

  • You may be thinking how can I help in this matter? Well…
  • My aim is to encourage you to go further and…
  • What I’m requesting of you is…

Common mistakes

When transitions are used poorly you can annoy and confuse the audience. Avoid:

  • Using transitions that are too short – transitions are a key part of ensuring the audience understands your presentation so spend sufficient time linking to your next idea.
  • Too many tangents – any digressions should still be relevant to the topic and help the audience with their understanding, otherwise cut them out.
  • Incompatible transitions – for example, if you’re about to introduce an example that supports your statement you wouldn’t introduce this by saying “but”. Use transitions that signify the relationship between points.
  • Over-using the same transition because this is boring for the audience to hear repeatedly. Ensure that there is variety with your transitions, consider including visual transitions.
  • Miscounting your transitions – for example, don’t say “first point”, “second point”, “next point” – refer to your points consistently.

Speech transitions are useful for unifying and connecting your presentation. The audience are more likely to remain engaged since they’ll be able to follow your points. But remember that it’s important to practice your transitions beforehand and not just the content of your arguments because you risk looking unprofessional and confusing the audience if the presentation does not flow smoothly.

Frantically Speaking

50 Speech Closing Lines (& How to Create Your Own) | The Ultimate Guide

Hrideep barot.

  • Public Speaking , Speech Writing

speech closing lines

While speech openings are definitely one of the most important components of a speech, something that is equally as important is the way you conclude your speech.

There are few worse ways to end your speech than with a terse ‘thank you’–no elaboration or addition whatsoever.

Speech endings are just as crucial to the success of your speech as speech openings, and you must spend just as much time picking the perfect ending as you do to determine your best possible speech opening.

The words you speak at the beginning and end of your speech are words that your audience will pay the most attention to, and remember longer than any other part of your speech.

Speech endings can put even the most experienced speaker in flux, and increase their anxiousness manifold as they sit there attempting to figure out the perfect way to end your speech.

If you’re someone who’s in flux about your speech ending too, don’t worry. We’ve got some amazing ways to conclude your speech with a bang!

1. Circling Back To The Beginning

The idea behind circling back to the beginning of your speech is to reinforce the idea of your speech being a complete whole. By circling back to the beginning and connecting it to your ending, you let the audience understand that the idea of your speech is complete & standalone.

Circling back to the beginning of your speech also acts as an excellent way of reinforcing the central idea of your speech in the audience’s mind, and makes it more likely that they will remember it after the speech ends.

Need more inspiration for speech opening lines? Check out our article on 15 Powerful Speech Opening Lines & Tips To Create Your Own.

How To Circle Back To The Beginning

The easiest way to do this is to set up your beginning for the conclusion of your speech. That is, if you’re saying something like, say, a story or joke in the beginning, then you can leave your audience in a cliffhanger until the ending arrives.

Another great way to circle back to the beginning is by simply restating something you said at the start. The added knowledge from attending the rest of your speech will help the audience see this piece of information in a new–and better–light.

1. Will Stephen

Ending Line: “I’d like you to think about what you heard in the beginning, and I want you to think about what you hear now. Because it was nothing & it’s still nothing.”

2. Canwen Xu

Speech Ending: My name is Canwen, my favorite color is purple and I play the piano but not so much the violin…

Think of a memorable moment from your life, and chances are you’ll realize that it involved a feeling of happiness–something that we can associate with smiling or laughter. And what better way to generate laughter than by incorporating the age-old strategy of good humor.

The happy and lighthearted feeling you associate with good memories is the kind of emotional reaction you want to create in your audience too. That’s what will make your speech stick in their memory.

Done incorrectly, humor can be a disaster. Done right, however, it can entirely transform a speech.

Humor doesn’t only mean slapstick comedy (although there’s nothing wrong with slapstick, either). Humor can come in many forms, including puns, jokes, a funny story…the list is endless.

How To Incorporate Humor In Your Speech Ending

The simplest way to incorporate humor into your speech ending is by telling a plain old joke–something that’s relevant to your topic, of course.

You can also tell them a short, funny anecdote–may be an unexpected conclusion to a story you set up in the beginning.

Another way would be by employing the power of repetition. You can do this by associating something funny with a word, and then repeating the word throughout your speech. During the end, simply say the word or phrase one last time, and it’s likely you’ll leave off your audience with a good chuckle.

1. Woody Roseland

Ending Line: “Why are balloons so expensive? Inflation.”

2. Andras Arato

Ending Line: “There are three rules to becoming famous. Unfortunately, nobody knows what they are.”

3. Hasan Minhaj

Ending Line: “And you want to know the scariest part? Pretty soon every country on the earth is going to have its own TLC show.”

4. Sophie Scott

Speech Ending: In other words, when it comes to laughter, you and me baby, ain’t nothing but mammals.

5. Tim Urban

Speech Ending: We need to stay away from the Instant Gratification Monkey. That’s a job for all of us. And because there’s not that many boxes on there. It’s a job that should probably start today. Well, maybe not today, but, you know, sometime soon.

6. Hasan Minhaj

Speech Ending: Showing my legs on TV is probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done. And keep in mind last week I went after the Prince of Saudi Arabia.

3. Question

The idea behind posing a question at the end of your speech is to get the wheels in your audience’s minds turning and to get them thinking of your speech long after it has ended. A question, if posed correctly, will make your audience re-think about crucial aspects of your speech, and is a great way to prompt discussion after your speech has ended.

How To Add Questions To Your Speech Ending

The best type of questions to add to your speech ending is rhetorical questions. That’s because, unlike a literal question, a rhetorical question will get the audience thinking and make them delve deeper into the topic at hand.

Make sure your question is central to the idea of your speech, and not something frivolous or extra. After all, the point of a question is to reinforce the central idea of your topic.

1. Lexie Alford

Speech Ending: Ask yourself: How uncomfortable are you willing to become in order to reach your fullest potential?

2. Apollo Robbins

Speech Ending: If you could control somebody’s attention, what would you do with it?

Quotes are concise, catchy phrases or sentences that are generally easy to remember and repeat.

Quotes are an age-old way to start–and conclude–a speech. And for good reason.

Quotes can reinforce your own ideas by providing a second voice to back them up. They can also provoke an audience’s mind & get them thinking. So, if you add your quote to the end of your speech, the audience will most likely be thinking about it for long after you have finished speaking.

How To Use Quotes In Your Speech Ending

While adding quotes to your speech ending, make sure that it’s relevant to your topic. Preferably, you want to pick a quote that summarizes your entire idea in a concise & memorable manner.

Make sure that your quote isn’t too long or complicated. Your audience should be able to repeat it as well as feel its impact themselves. They shouldn’t be puzzling over the semantics of your quote, but its intended meaning.

1. Edouard Jacqmin

Speech Ending: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”

2. Chris Crowe

Speech Ending: “It’s more certain than death and taxes.”

3. Olivia Remes

Speech Ending: I’d like to leave you with a quote by Martin Luther King: “You don’ have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.”

4. Tomislav Perko

Speech Ending: Like that famous quote says, “In twenty years from now on, you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did do.

5. Diana Nyad

Speech Ending: To paraphrase the poet, Mary Oliver, she says, “So, what is it? What is it you’re doing with this one wild and precious life of yours?”

5. Piece Of Advice

The point of giving a piece of advice at the end of your speech is not to pull your audience down or to make them feel bad/inferior about themselves. Rather, the advice is added to motivate your audience to take steps to do something–something related to the topic at hand.

The key point to remember is that your advice is included to help your audience, not to discourage them.

How To Add Piece Of Advice To Your Speech Ending

To truly make your audience follow the advice you’re sharing, you must make sure it resonates with them. To do so, you need to inject emotions into your advice, and to present it in such a manner that your audience’s emotions are aroused when they hear it.

Your advice shouldn’t be something extra-complicated or seemingly impossible to achieve. This will act as a counter-agent. Remember that you want your audience to follow your advice, not to chuck it away as something impossible.

Our article, 15 Powerful Speech Ending Lines And Tips To Create Your Own , is another great repository for some inspiration.

1. Ricardo Lieuw On

Speech Ending: “Learn something new, or a new way of approaching something old because there are a few skills are valuable as the art of learning.”

2. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

Speech Ending: “If we want to improve the competence level of our leaders, then we should first improve our own competence for judging and selecting leaders.”

3. Sharique Samsudheen

Speech Ending: “Some people love money, some people hate money, some people crave money, some people even kill for money. But what they miss is they just need to learn how to manage money well, and that will give them financial freedom.”

4. Kate Simonds

Speech Ending: Teens, you need to believe in your voices and adults, you need to listen.

5. Melissa Butler

Speech Ending: When you go home today, see yourself in the mirror, see all of you, look at all your greatness that you embody, accept it, love it and finally, when you leave the house tomorrow, try to extend that same love and acceptance to someone who doesn’t look like you.

6. Iskra Lawrence

Speech Ending: Speak to your body in a loving way. It’s the only one you got, it’s your home, and it deserves your respect. If you see anyone tearing themselves down, build them back up And watch your life positively grow when you give up the pursuit of perfection.

6. Contemplative Remark

As the name itself suggests, contemplative remarks are intended to make your audience contemplate or mull over something. The ‘something’ in question should be the idea central to your speech, or a key takeaway that you want them to return home with.

The idea is to get your audience thinking and to keep them thinking for a long, long time.

How To Add A Contemplative Remark To Your Speech Ending

To add a contemplative remark to your speech ending, you first need to figure out your key takeaway or main theme. Then, you want to arrange that as a question, and propose it to your audience at the end of your speech.

Remember that your question shouldn’t be something too wordy or complicated to understand. As with the quotes, you don’t want your audience stuck on the semantics. Rather, you want them to focus on the matter at hand.

1. Lisa Penney

Speech Ending: “So I invite you to pay more attention to your thoughts & consider the legacy you leave behind.”

2. Grant Sanderson

Speech Ending: “Some of the most useful math that you can find or teach has its origin in someone who was just looking for a good story.”

3. Greta Thunberg

Speech Ending: “We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up & change is coming whether you like it or not.”

4. Bill Eckstrom

Speech Ending: Now, think about this: it’s not the complexity-triggering individuals or events you should fear the most, but it’s your own willingness to accept or seek discomfort that will dictate the growth of not just you, but our entire world.

5. Robert Hoge

Speech Ending: Choose to accept your face, choose to appreciate your face, don’t look away from the mirror so quickly; understand all the love, and the life, and the pain that is the part of your face, that is the art of your face. Tomorrow when you wake up, what will your choice be?

7. Personal Anecdote

Personal anecdotes, as the name suggests, are anecdotes that are personal to the speaker or instances from their life. Personal anecdotes are a great way to incorporate the magical powers of storytelling in your speech, as well as to make a personal connection with the audience. Using personal anecdotes, you can hit two birds with one stone!

How To Add Personal Anecdotes To Your Speech Ending

To add personal anecdotes to your speech ending, you need to filter through your life experiences to find out ones that directly relate to your topic at hand. You don’t want to include an anecdote, no matter how compelling it is, if it doesn’t relate to your topic.

Remember to not keep your anecdote too long. Your audience will most likely lose their attention if you do so.

1. Sheila Humphries

Speech Ending: “Why do you go work for these people?” My answer to them was, “If I could help one child make it in this world, it’ll be worth it all.”

8. Call To Action

A call-to-action is one of the absolute best ways to conclude a speech with a bang. A well-written speech should aim to alter the audience’s mind or belief system in some way and to make them take an action in that direction. One crucial way to assure your audience does this is by using a call to action.

How To Add A Call To Action To Your Speech Ending

A call to action comes right before the ending of your speech to provide your audience with a clear idea or set of instructions about what they’re supposed to do after your talk ends.

A call to action should provide a roadmap to the audience for their future steps, and to outline clearly what those future steps are going to be.

1. Armin Hamrah

Speech Ending: “So tonight, after you finish your Math homework & before you lay your head down on that fluffy pillow, bring a piece of paper and pen by your bedside…”

2. Graham Shaw

Speech Ending: “So I invite you to get your drawings out there & spread the word that when we draw, we remember more!”

3. Andy Puddicombe

Speech Ending: You don’t have to burn any incense, and you definitely don’t have to sit on the floor. All you need to do is to take out 10 minutes out a day to step back, familiarize yourself with the present moment so that you get to experience a greater sense of focus, calm, and clarity in your life.

4. Amy Cuddy

Speech Ending: Before you go into the next stressful evaluative situation, for two minutes, try doing this in the elevator…

5. Jia Jiang

Speech Ending: When you are facing the next obstacle or the next failure, consider the possibilities. Don’t run! If you just embrace them, they might become your gifts as well.

9. Motivational Remark

As the name clearly explains, a motivational remark motivates your audience to carry out a plan of action. It ruffles the audience’s mind and emotions and has a powerful impact on the steps that your audience will take after you’ve finished speaking.

How To Add A Motivational Remark To Your Speech Ending

The key to a good motivational remark is to inspire your audience. Your motivational remark should act as a ray of hope to your audience and positively inspire them to take a desired course of action.

Your motivational remark should not be negative in any way. You don’t want to guilt or coerce your audience into doing something or feeling a certain way. You want to leave them on a positive note to move forward with their life.

1. Khanh Vy Tran

Speech Ending: “No matter what you’re going through right now & no matter what the future holds for you, please don’t change yourself. Love yourself, accept yourself & then transform yourself.”

2. Mithila Palkar

Speech Ending: “Get a job, leave a job, dance, sing, fall in love. Carve your own niche. But most importantly: learn to love your own randomness.”

3. Andrew Tarvin

Speech Ending: “Anyone can learn to be funnier. And it all starts with a choice. A choice to try to find ways to use humor. A choice to be like my grandmother, to look at the world around you and say WTF–wow, that’s fun.”

4. Laura Vanderkam

Speech Ending: There is time. Even if we are busy, we have time for what matters. And when we focus on what matters, we can build the lives we want in the time we’ve got.

5. Julian Treasure

Speech Ending: Let’s get listening taught in schools, and transform the world in one generation into a conscious listening world, a world of connection, a world of understanding, and a world of peace.

6. Mariana Atencio

Speech Ending: Let’s celebrate those imperfections that make us special. I hope that it teaches you that nobody has a claim on the word ‘normal’. We are all different. We are all quirky and unique and that is what makes us wonderfully human.

10. Challenge

Much like a call to action, the aim of proposing a challenge at the end of your speech is to instigate your audience to take some desired course of action. A challenge should make an appeal to your audience’s emotion, and motivate them to meet it.

How To Add A Challenge To Your Speech Ending

To apply a challenge effectively to your speech ending, you need to make sure that it’s something relevant to your topic. Your challenge should drive the central topic of your speech forward, and make your audience engage in real-life steps to apply your idea in the real world.

While its always a good idea to set a high bar for your challenge, make sure its an achievable one too.

1. Jamak Golshani

Speech Ending: “I challenge you to open your heart to new possibilities, choose a career path that excites you & one that’s aligned to who you truly are.”

2. Ashley Clift-Jennings

Speech Ending: So, my challenge to you today is, “Do you know, would you even know how to recognize your soulmate?” If you are going out in the world right now, would you know what you are looking for?

11. Metaphor

Metaphors are commonly used as a short phrase that draws a comparison between two ideas in a non-literal sense. People use metaphors quite commonly in daily life to explain ideas that might be too difficult or confusing to understand otherwise. Metaphors are also great tools to be used in speech, as they can present your main idea in a simple and memorable way.

How To Add Metaphors To Your Speech Ending

To add a metaphor to your speech ending, you need to first decide on the main idea or takeaway of your speech. Your metaphor should then be organized in such a way that it simplifies your main idea and makes it easier for your audience to understand & remember it.

The key is to not make your metaphor overly complicated or difficult to retain and share. Remember that you’re trying to simplify your idea for the audience–not make them even more confused.

1. Ramona J. Smith

Speech Ending: “Stay in that ring. And even after you take a few hits, use what you learned from those previous fights, and at the end of the round, you’ll still remain standing.”

2. Shi Heng YI

Speech Ending: “If any of you chooses to climb that path to clarity, I will be very happy to meet you at the peak.”

3. Zifang “Sherrie” Su

Speech Ending: “Are you turning your back on your fear? Our life is like this stage, but what scares are now may bring you the most beautiful thing. Give it a chance.”

12. Storytelling

The idea behind using stories to end your speech is to leave your audience with a good memory to take away with them.

Stories are catchy, resonating & memorable ways to end any speech.

Human beings can easily relate to stories. This is because most people have grown up listening to stories of some kind or another, and thus a good story tends to evoke fond feelings in us.

How To Incorporate Stories In Your Speech Ending

A great way to incorporate stories in your speech ending is by setting up a story in the beginning and then concluding it during the end of your speech.

Another great way would be to tell a short & funny anecdote related to a personal experience or simply something related to the topic at hand.

However, remember that it’s the ending of your speech. Your audience is most likely at the end of their attention span. So, keep your story short & sweet.

1. Sameer Al Jaberi

Speech Ending: “I can still see that day when I came back from my honeymoon…”

2. Josephine Lee

Speech Ending: “At the end of dinner, Jenna turned to me and said…”

Facts are another excellent speech ending, and they are used quite often as openings as well. The point of adding a fact as your speech ending is to add shock value to your speech, and to get your audience thinking & discussing the fact even after your speech has ended.

How To Add Facts To Your Speech Ending

The key to adding facts to your speech ending is to pick a fact that thrusts forward your main idea in the most concise form possible. Your fact should also be something that adds shock value to the speech, and it should ideally be something that the audience hasn’t heard before.

Make sure that your fact is relevant to the topic at hand. No matter how interesting, a fact that doesn’t relate to your topic is going to be redundant.

1. David JP Phillips

Speech Ending: 3500 years ago, we started transfering knowledge from generation to generation through text. 28 years ago, PowerPoint was born. Which one do you think our brain is mostly adapted to?

14. Rhethoric Remark

Rhetoric remarks are another excellent way to get the wheels of your audience’s minds turning. Rhetoric remarks make your audience think of an imagined scenario, and to delve deeper into your topic. Rhetoric remarks or questioned don’t necessarily need to have a ‘right’ or one-shot answer, which means you can be as creative with them as possible!

How To Add Rhethoric Remarks To Your Speech Ending

Since rhetorical questions don’t need to have a definite answer, you have much freedom in determining the type of question or statement you wish to make. However, as with all other speech endings, a rhetorical question shouldn’t be asked just for the sake of it.

A rhetorical question should make your audience think about your topic in a new or more creative manner. It should get them thinking about the topic and maybe see it from an angle that they hadn’t before.

Rhetorical questions shouldn’t be too confusing. Use simple language & make sure it’s something that the audience can easily comprehend.

1. Mona Patel

Speech Ending: Pick your problem, ask “What if?” Come up with ideas. Bring them down. Then execute on them. Maybe you’re thinking, “What if we can’t?” I say to you, “What if we don’t?”

2. Lizzie Velasquez

Speech Ending: I want you to leave here and ask yourself what defines you. But remember: Brave starts here.

Another great way to end your speech with a literal bang is by using music! After all, if there’s something that can impact the human mind with just as much force as a few well-placed words, it’s the correct music.

How To Add Music To Your Speech Ending

To add music to your speech ending, you must make sure that the music has something to do with your speech theme. Remember that you’re not playing music in your concert. The piece of music that you choose must be relevant to your topic & work to have a contribution in your overall speech.

1. Tom Thum

Speech Ending: *ends the TED Talk with beat boxing*

16. Reitirate The Title

The title of your speech is its most important component. That’s why you need to pay careful attention to how you pick it, as it is something that your viewers will most likely remember the longest about your speech.

Your title will also act as a guiding hand towards how your audience forms an initial idea about your speech and is what they will associate your entire speech with.

By repeating your title at the end of your speech, you increase the chances that your audience will remember it–and your speech–for a long time.

How To Retierate The Title In Your Speech Ending

Your title is something that your audience associates your entire speech with. However, you don’t want to simply add the title in your speech end for the sake of adding it. Instead, make it flow naturally into your speech ending. This will make it seem less forced, and will also increase the chances of your audience remembering your entire speech ending and not just the title of your speech.

1. Ruairi Robertson

Speech Ending: I feel we can all contribute to this fight worth fighting for our own health, but more importantly, our future generations’ health by restoring the relationship between microbe and man. There is SOME FOOD FOR THOUGHT!

Need more inspiration for speech closing lines? Check out our article on 10 Of The Best Things To Say In Closing Remarks.

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To sum up, speech endings are just as imperative to the success of your speech as speech openings, and you must spend just as much time picking the perfect ending as you do to determine your best possible speech opening. The words you speak at the beginning and end of your speech are words that your audience will pay the most attention to, and remember longer than any other part of your speech.

Still looking for inspiration? Check out this video we made on closing remarks:

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How to Give an Award Acceptance Speech (With Examples)

  • The Speaker Lab
  • May 9, 2024

Table of Contents

If you’ve recently won an award — congratulations! There’s a good chance that a lot of hard work and blood, sweat, and tears went into the recognition you’re about to receive. Now, your biggest task is nailing the perfect award acceptance speed. After all, it’s important to show gratitude for the honor while also ensuring that your words will touch hearts and minds and hopefully inspire others to follow in your footsteps. But have no fear — we’re here to help.

From heartfelt gratitude to powerful storytelling, these examples showcase the key elements that make an acceptance speech unforgettable. No matter whether you’re leading a company, launching startups, writing books, teaching students, coaching teams, or giving advice as a consultant—there’s plenty for you to learn when it comes to crafting the perfect acceptance speech.

How to Give A Pitch-Perfect Award Acceptance Speech

Your award is a huge accomplishment that deserves to be celebrated. But before you start popping the champagne, there’s one more thing you need to do: prepare your acceptance speech.

While you could just say thanks and be done with it, doing so is a disservice to those who helped you get where you are. After all, an acceptance speech is so much more than just a simple thank you. It’s an opportunity to not just express your genuine gratitude, but also to acknowledge why the award is important and share the glory with those who helped you along the way.

Express Genuine Gratitude and Emotion

First and foremost, an acceptance speech is a chance to express your heartfelt appreciation for the honor you’ve received. This isn’t the time to be modest or downplay your achievements. Let your emotions shine through and show how much the award means to you.

Take a cue from Sandra Bullock’s acceptance speech at the 2010 Oscars. She was visibly moved as she thanked her mother, Helga B., along with all “the moms that take care of the babies and the children no matter where they come from.”

Acknowledge Why It Is Important

Beyond expressing gratitude, your acceptance speech should also acknowledge why the award is significant. What does it represent? Explain how the award is a reflection of your personal principles or highlights where you would like make changes professionally.

For example, when Malala Yousafzai accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, she used her acceptance speech to highlight the importance of education and the ongoing fight for women’s rights. “This award is not just for me,” she said. “It is for those forgotten children who want education. It is for those frightened children who want peace. It is for those voiceless children who want change.”

Share the Glory

Finally, a great acceptance speech shares the spotlight with those who helped make your success possible. This could be your family, your team, your mentors, or even your fans.

When Taylor Swift won Album of the Year at the 2016 Grammys, she made sure to thank her collaborators and supporters. “I want to thank the fans for the last ten years and the recording academy for giving us this unbelievable honor,” she said. “I want to thank all of my collaborators that you see on this stage.”

So as you’re crafting your own award acceptance speech, remember to express genuine gratitude, acknowledge the significance of the honor, and share the glory with those who helped you along the way. With these elements in place, you’ll deliver a speech that not only thanks the right people but inspires and uplifts your audience as well.

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Writing Your Acceptance Speech

You’ve just been honored with a prestigious award and now it’s time to give your acceptance speech. It’s crunch time to create a moment that sticks and sparks motivation in everyone. But where do you even begin?

Crafting an excellent award acceptance speech takes some planning and preparation. You want to strike the right tone, share a meaningful message, and of course, express your heartfelt gratitude. Let’s walk through crafting an acceptance speech that’ll definitely make a mark.

Brainstorm Ideas

Before you start jotting down your speech, take some time to reflect on what this award means to you. Why is it significant? What does it represent in terms of your journey, your values, or your aspirations? Brainstorm some key themes or stories you might want to touch on.

In addition, ask yourself: “What challenges did you overcome? Who helped you along the way? What lessons did you learn? What impact do you hope to make with this recognition?” Your answers to these questions will form the bulk of your acceptance speech.

Write Your Speech

With your brainstorming done, it’s time to start putting pen to paper. Begin with a strong opening line that will grab your audience’s attention. You might share a surprising fact, a thought-provoking question, or even a touch of humor.

As you write the body of your speech, keep in mind the time constraint you’re working with. Most acceptance speeches are fairly short, so you’ll need to be selective about what you include. Focus on a few key points or anecdotes that support your central theme.

Be Specific in Your Speech

When it comes to expressing your gratitude, it’s important to be specific. Don’t just rattle off a generic list of thank-yous. Take the time to acknowledge the individuals or organizations that have played a significant role in your success.

For example, in her Golden Globes acceptance speech , Oprah Winfrey specifically thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press Association as well as several other key individuals by name.

The Power of Storytelling in Your Acceptance Speech

One of the most effective ways to make your acceptance speech memorable is by incorporating storytelling. Share a personal anecdote or experience that relates to your journey or the significance of the award.

Again, consider Oprah Winfrey’s Golden Globes acceptance speech. In it, she opens with a story from her childhood, when she sat on the floor watching Sidney Poitier become the first African American to ever win a Golden Globe. As she states in her speech, “I have tried many, many times to explain what a moment like that means to a little girl…and it is not lost on me that at this moment, there are some little girls watching as I become the first black woman to be given this same award.” With the power of storytelling, Winfrey highlights the men and women who have sought truth and justice no matter the personal cost.

As you craft your award acceptance speech, remember to brainstorm ideas, be specific in your gratitude, and harness the power of storytelling. Remember, just like the acceptance speech examples we’ve looked at, your words have the power to touch hearts and spark change in those listening.

Preparing to Deliver Your Speech

You’ve written a fantastic award acceptance speech, filled with heartfelt gratitude and inspiring stories. Now, it’s showtime. However, public speaking can be nerve-wracking, even for the most seasoned professionals. That’s why the key to a successful speech delivery is preparation. You want to be confident, polished, and engaging when you step up to the podium. Here are some tips to help you get ready for your big moment.

Rehearsing Your Speech

One of the best ways to calm your nerves and boost your confidence is by practicing your speech beforehand. Read it out loud several times, paying attention to your pacing, tone, body language , and emphasis. Consider practicing in front of a mirror or recording yourself so you can see and hear how you come across. In addition, grabbing a buddy or work pal to listen in can provide you feedback for improvement. Remember, the more familiar you are with your speech, the more natural and effortless it will feel when you deliver it for real.

Making Your Speech Memorable

When it comes to making your speech memorable, it’s all about connecting with your audience. Use eye contact, facial expressions, and gestures to engage them and convey your emotions.

You might also consider incorporating a memorable phrase or tagline that encapsulates your message. For example, in his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, Martin Luther King, Jr. repeated the phrase “I have a dream” eight times, driving home his vision for a more just and equal society.

Respecting the Audience and the Clock

When delivering your acceptance speech, it’s important to be mindful of your audience and the time allotted. Express your gratitude sincerely, but avoid gushing or going overboard with your thank-yous. Similarly, respect the time limit you’ve been given. A short award acceptance speech is often more impactful than a long, rambling one. Aim to deliver your message concisely and powerfully, leaving your audience wanting more.

As you prepare to deliver your award acceptance speech, remember to rehearse thoroughly, focus on making it memorable, and respect your audience and the clock. With this game plan ready, stepping up to speak will feel a lot less daunting.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls in an Acceptance Speech

As you’ve seen from the examples above, a great award acceptance speech has the power to move and inspire an audience. But what goes into crafting and delivering a truly impactful speech? Here are a few final tips to keep in mind as you prepare for your big moment.

General Guidelines

While it’s important to express your gratitude and share your story, there are a few common pitfalls to avoid in your acceptance speech:

  • Don’t ramble or go off-topic. Stay focused on your central message.
  • Avoid clichés or generic platitudes. Be specific and authentic in your language.
  • Don’t forget to thank the important people, but keep your list of thank-yous concise.
  • Avoid inside jokes or references that may not resonate with your entire audience.

By steering clear of these pitfalls, you’ll ensure that your speech is clear, meaningful, and memorable.

Avoid Going Overboard with Emotions in Your Speech

When that award is finally in your hands, feeling a rush of emotions isn’t just common; it’s expected. This is particularly true if the honor marks a major highlight in either your work or personal journey. However, it’s important to strike a balance between showing genuine emotion and maintaining your composure.

While a few tears or a quavering voice can be powerful, going overboard with your emotions may distract from your message or make your audience uncomfortable. Aim to express your feelings in a way that is authentic but still allows you to deliver your speech effectively.

Remember, your award acceptance speech is an opportunity to share your gratitude, your story, and your vision with the world. By avoiding common pitfalls and finding the right emotional balance, you’ll be able to deliver a speech that truly resonates with your audience and leaves a lasting impact.

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Examples of Inspiring Award Acceptance Speeches

Need some inspiration as you craft your own award acceptance speech? Look no further than these powerful examples from some of the world’s most influential figures.

Literature Award Acceptance Speech Example

In his 1962 Nobel Prize acceptance speech , writer John Steinbeck used the opportunity to discuss the purpose of literature. He says, “[A writer] is charged with exposing our many grievous faults and failures, with dredging up to the light our dark and dangerous dreams for the purpose of improvement.”

Best Actress Award Acceptance Speech Example

When Emma Stone won the Oscar for Best Actress in 2024 ,  she used her speech to pay tribute to her fellow actors and the power of cinema. “It’s not about me,” she said. “It’s about a team that came together to make something better than the sum of its parts. And that’s the best part about making movies.”

Distinguished Service Award Acceptance Speech Example

In her acceptance speech for the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award , Angelina Jolie spoke about the importance of giving back and making a difference in the world. “I have never understood why some people are lucky enough to be born with the chance that I had,” she said, “to have this path in life and why across the world, there’s a woman just like me, the same abilities, the same desires, same work ethic and love for her family, who would most likely make better films and better speeches—only she sits in a refugee camp.”

These are just a few examples of the many inspiring award acceptance speeches out there. When the spotlight hits you for advancing science, creating art masterpieces, or bettering lives, that moment is more than just applause—it’s a platform. Use it wisely; light a fire under others to follow suit and make waves of their own.

FAQs on Award Acceptance Speeches

What do you say in an acceptance speech.

Start by thanking the giver, mention key people who helped along the way, and highlight what this award means to you.

What is an example short award acceptance speech?

“Thank you to everyone who played a part in this award. This honor isn’t just mine; it belongs to all who stood by me. Let’s keep pushing forward.”

How do you format an acceptance speech?

Kick off with thanks, weave in personal stories or a nod to your team, then wrap up on a hopeful note.

What do you say when accepting an award at work?

Acknowledge the recognition with gratitude, shout out those who supported you, and express excitement for future challenges and opportunities.

Crafting an impactful acceptance speech is an art that requires genuine emotion, storytelling, and a touch of inspiration. Through these examples of amazing award acceptance speeches, we’ve shared some great tips on how to say thanks, share your story, and make an impact on your audience.

Remember, your big moment with that microphone isn’t just for saying thanks for the trophy. It’s also about shouting out those that helped you get there and inspiring anyone listening to follow their own path towards success. So, when it’s your turn to shine, make sure you give a speech that’ll stick in people’s minds for years.

  • Last Updated: May 8, 2024

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Do you wonder how long it takes to deliver your speech?

This website helps you convert the number of words into the time it takes to deliver your speech, online and for free. This tool is useful when preparing a speech or a presentation. The number of minutes you will take is dependent on the number of words and your speed of speech, or reading speed.

Note: This calculator provides an indication only.

Enter details below

The overview below provides an indication of the minutes for a speech (based on an average reading speed of 130 words per minute):

  • Words in a 1 minute speech 130 words
  • Words in a 2 minute speech 260 words
  • Words in a 3 minute speech 390 words
  • Words in a 4 minute speech 520 words
  • Words in a 5 minute speech 650 words
  • Words in a 10 minute speech 1300 words
  • Words in a 15 minute speech 1950 words
  • Words in a 20 minute speech 2600 words
  • How long does a 500 word speech take? 3.8 minutes
  • How long does a 1000 word speech take? 7.7 minutes
  • How long does a 1250 word speech take? 9.6 minutes
  • How long does a 1500 word speech take? 11.5 minutes
  • How long does a 1750 word speech take? 13.5 minutes
  • How long does a 2000 word speech take? 15.4 minutes
  • How long does a 2500 word speech take? 19.2 minutes
  • How long does a 5000 word speech take? 38.5 minutes

speech of word good

Chris Pan wants to set the record straight about his Ohio State commencement speech

Chris Pan wants to clear the air.

He's seen the negative comments online about the speech he gave during Ohio State's spring commencement ceremony Sunday. He's read the headlines and Reddit threads, calling his address "cringe-worthy" and "the worst Ohio State commencement speech ever." He's heard plenty of conspiracy theories about him.

"Without a doubt, on one hand, it's been the hardest week of my life emotionally to see my name get dragged through the mud," Pan told The Dispatch Friday afternoon. "On the other hand, I've been getting messages from neighbors 15 years ago who read it, and were like, 'Dude, we're just sending you love.'"

Pan — a social entrepreneur, early Facebook employee and 1999 Ohio State graduate — said that misinformation has swarmed his address and his character this past week. But Pan said he wants to share his side of the story, behind the speech and backlash, to set the record straight.

Pan 'honored' to be chosen as commencement speaker

When Pan got an email from Ohio State President Ted Carter's office on March 8 with the subject line "Ohio State Special Invitation," he didn't even open it until the next day. It was a busy day, and he figured it might be for a class reunion or small event.

He reread the email and realized it was inviting him to be the featured speaker at spring commencement.

"I honestly didn't think it was a prank" Pan said. "I just didn't like realize because it was such a big deal. Like such a big honor."

Though the ask caught him off guard, he said he was honored to be selected. Pan had spoken at Ohio State multiple times before to small group workshops and honors college gatherings. Public speaking has been his "bread and butter" for the last decade, focusing mostly on emotional and spiritual wellness, trauma and meditation.

Pan started brainstorming ideas for the speech right away. He also used ayahuasca, a psychedelic liquid made from heating or boiling multiple psychoactive plants from South America, multiple times while drafting his speech.

Pan said he's used ayahuasca and psilocybin (also known as magic mushrooms) over the years "to connect me to truth." He added that he thinks there is "a huge misconception" that ayahuasca is harmful or addictive.

"You look at (people) like John Lennon, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, like these are all guys that regularly work with psychedelics, not for recreational but for healing and for creativity," Pan said.

Ohio State didn't give Pan feedback on his speech

Early on in his writing process, Pan said the only advice the university gave him was that a traditional speech would land better with a graduation audience than a non-traditional speech.

Pan said he tried to write a more traditional speech, but it didn't feel authentic to him.

"I just couldn't get myself to do it because that's just not who I am. I wouldn't be authentic," Pan said. "Like, "I'm so committed to impact, I'm so committed to helping people that I just I couldn't in good faith come and just do a traditional thing."

"I have to live by truth. I have to live with myself. And I couldn't live with myself if I didn't," he added.

Pan said he was willing to pass on being the commencement speaker if the university wasn't OK with his decision, but it wasn't a problem.

He did, however, seek feedback on his speech drafts from Ohio State students, parents and community members on social media.

"I did get a lot of feedback from parents and from students. I adjusted things," Pan said. "I took out the words 'Israel' and 'Palestine' and instead I said, 'Racism is not OK' and then I said 'Human collateral damage is not OK.' It's similar point, but it was broader, but (Ohio State) were not the ones that inspired that change."

Pan needed to submit his speech the Monday before commencement so the university could transcribe it for the livestream's closed captions. But after rehearsal on Friday, Pan said he thought he might be a little too non-traditional. He asked the university if he could adjust his speech once more but was told it was too late for major changes.

'Everything was great until I mentioned the word Bitcoin'

Come Sunday, Pan was clearheaded and excited to give his commencement address before 70,000 Ohio State graduates and their guests at Ohio Stadium.

But tragedy struck shortly after the ceremony began when a woman died by suicide at the stadium. Pan said he was told about the incident minutes before walking out with Carter and other administrators.

"My very specific instructions were to obviously keep that in mind, but just don't say anything," he said.

Pan said it was a difficult position and a devastating situation for everyone involved, "but at the same time, I had a job to do, the biggest job of my life. So I just had to deliver, like, I couldn't not deliver."

"You could feel the energy in the room and a section of students was very distraught," Pan continued. "It changes the energy in that in that stadium. So I think some of the backlash is maybe compounded by the fact that that tragedy happened as well."

Pan said he ad-libbed the beginning of his remarks to acknowledge the challenges and accomplishments Class of 2024. Many graduates at Sunday's commencement were high school seniors when COVID-19 shuttered their schools in March 2020 and canceled their high school graduations.

He then moved into a short sing-along to "What's Going On" by the 4 Non Blondes and before giving some scripted remarks. "My goal today is to share new perspectives that will lead you to financial, emotional and spiritual freedom," Pan said Sunday.

Pan discussed how money is one of Americans' biggest stressors right now and personal savings aren't able to keep up with inflation.

"I know this might feel polarizing, but I encourage you to keep an open mind," Pan said to the crowd. "Right now, I see Bitcoin as a very misunderstood asset class."

"Everything was great until I mentioned the word Bitcoin," Pan told The Dispatch on Friday. "I experienced being booed in front of 70,000 people, and that was definitely something that I'll never forget."

Pan said he is not "a Bitcoin bro driving a Lamborghini" and didn't begin getting interested in learning more about Bitcoin until February. He also said it is "pure coincidence" that he likes Bitcoin and Carter is on the board of TeraWulf, a zero-carbon Bitcoin mining company .

In an interview with The Dispatch Friday, Carter said he's been on the board of TeraWulf since November 2021, that he does not own any Bitcoin nor has he ever been paid in Bitcoin. His interest in the company has more to do with its ties to nuclear energy than cryptocurrency, Carter said.

"For those that are claiming that there's some sort of odd connection there, I'm just going to be very honest and upfront that it was completely random," Carter said. "One has nothing to do with the other and nor have I ever promoted nor will I ever."

Pan said he felt like the audience mistook his attempt to encourage young people to invest as an ad for Bitcoin.

"Bitcoin is interesting, but like I don't even care about Bitcoin," he said. "I'm just like, guys, investing is important. Being open-minded is important. Those are the real important things. And then obviously, connecting to your own spirit. Spirituality is really important."

Pan led the audience through a short meditation to find a word that describes their life's intention and shared some emotional remarks about peace.

"Pain causes hate and violence. Hurt people hurt people. Healed people help people," he said Sunday. "When we heal ourselves, we heal the world. World peace starts with inner peace."

He concluded with a final musical number, "This Little Light of Mine" written by Harry Dixon Loes. Pan said he stumbled into singing as a wellness practice after a difficult heartbreak. Daily singing has been a musical therapy for him, Pan said.

The backlash about singing at commencement, he said, fell flat for him.

"Didn't we just sing 'Carmen Ohio' at the end of this whole thing? Which book does it say like, 'Thou shalt not sing at a commencement speech'?" Pan said.

'Was it really that bad?'

Pan's speech was just one reason Ohio State's spring commencement was in the spotlight this week. Carter told The Dispatch in an interview Friday that he is taking feedback about the ceremony seriously.

"At the end of the day, it's my signature that goes on the invitation," Carter said. "So I own it."

"When it comes to commencement, speakers and anything that is that public facing, I commit to doing better," he added.

Despite the onslaught of negative comments about his speech, Pan said he's still received positive feedback as well.

One father of an Ohio State graduate messaged Pan on social media afterward to share that his whole family talked about the speech at dinner and shared the words they thought of during the meditation. He said it led to a wonderful multigenerational conversation about gratitude and empathy.

Another person messaged Pan to say, "This guy just summarized in 10 minutes what I've spent 20 years learning the hard way."

Pan said, at the very least, he hopes that those who listened to or read his speech can walk away with something positive, no matter how small.

"Was it really that bad? Was it really sad or offensive, or maybe, there was some goodness?" he said. "Yes, could I have done better? Absolutely. Could I have done something differently? Absolutely. But maybe like, there's actually some goodness. Maybe there's one if someone was able to get like one little nugget that helped them on their journey. It would make me like so happy. You know, that means mission accomplished."

Sheridan Hendrix is a higher education reporter for The Columbus Dispatch. Sign up for Extra Credit, her education newsletter,  here .

[email protected]

@sheridan120

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Chris Pan wants to set the record straight about his Ohio State commencement speech

Commencement speaker Chris Pan during his address at the Ohio State Spring 2024 Commencement held Sunday, May 5, 2024 in the Ohio Stadium.

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For American Jews, Biden’s Speech on Antisemitism Offers Recognition and Healing

While his message resonated with many Jewish leaders, the president’s remarks drew criticism from Republicans and supporters of Palestinians on the left.

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President Biden, left, stands next to Speaker Mike Johnson, right, as they look forward with four large candles in the foreground.

By Jennifer Medina and Nicholas Nehamas

President Biden, standing in front of six candles symbolizing the six million Jews killed during the Holocaust, delivered on Tuesday the strongest condemnation of antisemitism by any sitting American president.

For Jews monitoring a spike in hate crimes and instances of antisemitic rhetoric amid pro-Palestinian protests on college campuses, Mr. Biden’s speech at a Holocaust remembrance ceremony at the Capitol was both fiercely necessary and fiercely appreciated. The Anti-Defamation League, which has been tracking antisemitic incidents since the 1970s, says the number of such episodes has reached all-time highs in four of the last five years .

“In an unprecedented moment of rising antisemitism, he gave a speech that no modern president has needed to,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, the chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League. “There has not been a moment like this since before the founding of the state of Israel. We have said it will never get worse, but then it has.”

Still, if the president thought he might change minds with his emotional and deeply personal speech — recalling his father’s discussions about the Holocaust at the dinner table and taking his grandchildren to former concentration camps — there were few signs he had caused many to reconsider their views. Instead, initial reactions fell along ideological lines.

Republicans dismissed his comments as meek, while supporters of Palestinians on the left attacked him for conflating criticism of Israel with antisemitism.

Warren David, the co-founder of the Arab America Foundation, an advocacy group, said it was disappointing that Mr. Biden has not spoken more forcefully against anti-Arab racism and the death toll in Gaza.

“I wish that he would also give a speech and talk about the lives of Palestinians that have been lost, and the pain and the agony that we as Palestinians and Arab Americans feel,” said Mr. David, who added that he condemns antisemitism. “Biden has to give more attention in his discourse to Palestinians and Arab Americans.”

The president spoke seven months to the day after the terrorist attack on Israel by Hamas on Oct. 7. About 1,200 people were killed along Israel’s border with Gaza and more than 200 were taken hostage in the deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust.

Echoes of the Holocaust have loomed in the background of the debate over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Activists have relied on slogans evoking the Holocaust both to defend and to attack Israel. While supporters of Israel chant and post on social media the phrase “Never again is now,” critics of Israel frequently invoke the idea that “never again means never again for anyone.”

On Wednesday, several leaders of three public school districts will be questioned by members of a House committee that has already questioned four college presidents about campus antisemitism, leading to the resignations of two of them .

For months, Mr. Biden and other Democrats have faced unrelenting protests against steadfast support of Israel. But the speech Tuesday and his remarks last week about the campus protests signaled that the president appears more concerned with shoring up support among moderates than with rallying the left flank of his party.

Representative Hakeem Jeffries, the House minority leader, who spoke before Mr. Biden on Tuesday, won applause when he decried racism, sexism and Islamophobia, along with other forms of hate. Mr. Biden kept his focus more squarely on antisemitism and offered an “ironclad” commitment to Israel, its security and its existence as an independent state “even when we disagree.”

“To the Jewish community, I want you to know: I see your fear, your hurt, your pain,” Mr. Biden said. “Let me reassure you, as your president, you’re not alone, you belong, you always have and you always will.”

Representative Jared Moskowitz, a Florida Democrat who is Jewish and has relatives who escaped or were killed in the Holocaust, called Mr. Biden’s speech a desperately needed moment of “moral clarity.”

“When we turn on the TV and we see all these people on college campuses protesting, there are people who are old enough to remember that happened at universities in Germany,” Mr. Moskowitz said. “It wasn’t uneducated people in the streets. It was the intelligentsia part of German society as well that got involved.”

He added that “parents of Jewish kids are scared” because “they see this rise going on, and it reminds them of the stories their grandparents told them.”

Just days before Mr. Biden’s speech, Sharon Kleinbaum, the rabbi of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in Midtown Manhattan, received a bomb threat targeting her synagogue, which caters to L.G.B.T.Q. Jews.

“He is walking a very fine line very well by referring to Jews and others, but this was Holocaust Remembrance Day, and we are feeling vulnerable in America,” she said. “While I do not think that all criticism of Israel is antisemitic, there are places where antisemitism is flourishing. It has been messy.”

Diana Fersko, a rabbi in New York City and the author of a book on antisemitism, said she heard the president’s remarks as a kind of pastoral salve.

“There was an effort to hold the Jewish people emotionally — so many of us are so deeply traumatized that it was comforting to hear those words of reassurance,” she said. “We don’t feel our pain has been seen and heard among people who we once considered friends, so the recognition of both then and now was deeply validating and empowering.”

Republicans have used the campus protests as a political cudgel against Mr. Biden and the Democratic Party. Donald J. Trump has called the demonstrators “ raging lunatics ” and praised police officers for arresting them. Last month, Speaker Mike Johnson held a news conference at Columbia University, where he suggested Mr. Biden should send in the National Guard to quell protests. Mr. Johnson also spoke at the event on Tuesday, comparing the protests to what happened in Nazi Germany.

Matt Brooks, the chief executive of the Republican Jewish Coalition, accused the president of not doing enough to support the efforts to defeat Hamas.

“This is a sad example of President Biden saying one thing publicly and privately working behind the scenes to do something radically different,” he said, speaking by phone as he traveled in Israel. “It’s quintessential Joe Biden: He is trying to tell everyone what they want to hear but the reality of what they’re doing is very different.”

Jeremy Ben-Ami, the president of J-Street, a left-leaning lobbying organization that supports Israel but has been deeply critical of its current government, called the speech “very welcome” and praised the president for addressing antisemitism broadly.

“The fight over a millenia-old hatred should not be a partisan issue, but it has become a political football and it’s a shame,” he said.

David Myers, a professor of Jewish history at the University of California, Los Angeles and the director of the Initiative to Study Hate, said the president soberly acknowledged the “extraordinarily surreal dark place we inhabit after Oct. 7, with all the profound political and moral complications.”

But, Mr. Myers said, the president could have said more about the universal message of the lessons of the Holocaust, including the treatment of civilians. “It would have been a brave and important statement to make clear that support for Palestinian freedom and justice need not be by definition antisemitic,” he said. And he added that Mr. Biden also missed an opportunity to explain that the current spike in antisemitism in the United States first emerged from the far right during Mr. Trump’s ascent.

Shane Goldmacher contributed reporting.

Jennifer Medina is a Los Angeles-based political reporter for The Times, focused on political attitudes and demographic change. More about Jennifer Medina

Nicholas Nehamas is a Times political reporter covering the re-election campaign of President Biden. More about Nicholas Nehamas

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Wordle Tips: The Very Best Start Words, Tips and Strategies

Learn to use your six guesses most effectively and keep your streak alive.

speech of word good

  • Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year"​ award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.

Wordle

Winning Wordle is tricky but start words are key. "ADIEU" has been popular since the beginning and that makes sense, since it includes four vowels. But not everyone wants to know the vowels right away.

On the day that the wordle answer is ‘adieu’ social media will implode — vasili (@mockdownblues) January 20, 2022

Want some statistically supported help? I consulted with the people behind the Oxford English Dictionary, who shared an analysis they did showing which letters are most frequently used in English words. Here's the entire alphabet ranked by frequent use .

Use the list, share it, bookmark it, whatever you'd like to do. It will surprise absolutely no one that A and E are the top two. But I was shocked that J was the second-lowest, right in front of Q.

Lately I've been starting Wordle with the one-two punch of "TRAIN" and "CLOSE." That combo uses every single one of the top 10 letters, and it almost always leaves me with a decent group of correct guesses -- though not always in the right spots. That's what guesses three through six are for.

Check out this CNET TikTok , which recommends starting with ADIEU and then throwing in STORY. It's a great one-two punch that covers a lot of popular letters. The first time I tried it out, I was able to use the letter info I gained from those guesses to get the word easily on my third attempt.

I asked more CNET staffers, past and present, to share their Wordle strategies and favorite starting words. Hope it gives you a BOOST or maybe a NUDGE.

Big AUDIO dynamite

AUDIO. Get 4 out of 5 vowels out of the way immediately and focus on narrowing down consonants. Don't be afraid to deviate from your regular starter word, though -- sometimes a random word that pops into your head ends up being way more intuitive than you could have ever imagined. -- Ashley Esqueda

A blank STARE

My go-to is STARE. I'm inspired a little by the Wheel of Fortune move of guessing RSTLNE first, and with this, I also knock off two vowels. At the very least, this often seems to give me something on the board early. -- Eli Blumenthal

I cycle through TEARY, PIOUS and ADIEU as a first word, to knock out some common letters and make inroads with vowels. I then choose my next word based on the results, though sometimes I just throw up my hands and use both TEARY and PIOUS one after the other no matter what. -- Amanda Kooser

MAKER's mark

MAKER. That word puts me in the mood to 'create' the answer based on the data I get from knocking out the above letter combo. Then I move on to animal names like TIGER. It's not so much tactical as it is about just having fun for five or so minutes. -- Mike Sorrentino

Use weird words

You aren't playing Wordle correctly if you use the same word to start every day. That's my official rule and I'm flabbergasted y'all use the same word each day. What? Use weird words. Grab a dictionary, close your eyes and flick to a random page. Start with YACHT one day, try ULCER the next. Look around the room! TOAST? Why not? Just do it! Come on, people. It's not about clearing each day in the least amount of moves, it's about learning to love yourself . -- Jackson Ryan

CHEAT, and try the NYT Spelling Bee

I've been playing around with using FIRST, MANIC or CHEAT to start with. I don't know if that says more about my frame of mind than my word solving skills, but this approach has pretty much led to me solving within three words. (I got PANIC the other day in two!) But I have to say that while I enjoy Wordle, I'm still a bigger fan of the NYT's Spelling Bee , where you're asked to create words using seven letters, and each word has to use the letter at the center of the puzzle. I play Spelling Bee with my husband (he gets half the points to Genius; I get the other half). With Wordle, we play against each other to see who can solve faster. So Spelling Bee just seems nicer. -- Connie Guglielmo

Wheel good plan

First, I make sure to do it before my morning coffee, for an added layer of difficulty. I don't have a go-to word, since that feels sorta cheap, but I do generally aim for initial words that are high in either vowel count or the good old-fashioned Wheel of Fortune letters: RSTLNE. If it works for Pat Sajak's crew, it's good enough for me. -- Andrew Krok

More on Wordle

  • Wordle Explained: What You Need to Know
  • Best Wordle Memes and Jokes: 'I Think I'm Doing This Wrong…'
  • Apple Pulls Wordle Clones From App Store

An argument for ADIEU

I've been using ADIEU from day one. Hilariously, I still sometimes misspell it. Sometimes to shake things up -- mostly based on pressure from Jackson Ryan -- I'll try something different. But every time I stray from ADIEU, it manifests into a gigantic uphill struggle I barely recover from. Either way, I dunno what we're all arguing about. Someone did an experiment on this. The best word is ROATE .  -- Mark Serrels

I steal Mark's word, ADIEU, and follow it up with STORY. Then it's just a matter of putting all the letters I uncovered into the spots I think they're in, and banging my head on the table, saying, "I'm not this stupid, am I?" until I figure it out. -- Oscar Gonzalez

The first word you think of

I'm a high-risk, high-reward Wordle player. I truly pick the first word that pops into my mind, with absolutely no strategy whatsoever. Aside from this being the purest form of Wordling (as the experts say, obviously), when I'm lucky enough to accidentally guess three or four of five letters correctly, it's immensely satisfying. -- Monisha Ravisetti

Not easy being green

TREAD is a winner, but I like to mix up my first word. That said, I always have a few first-guess rules. At least two vowels. Never use an S. (That S guess will come in handy down the track when you realize you're incredibly dim-witted and you can only think of four-letter guesses. Final rule: Your second guess should never include your greens from guess one (unless you're on hard mode). Save those greens for later and throw five new letter guesses into the mix. If I see you post a Wordle answer on Twitter that has tall green columns of letters staying in the same place, I  will  judge you. -- Claire Reilly

Guess it in two

My ultimate goal in Wordle is to guess the word by my second try. To that end, I use STEAR as my first word, which provides a solid set of letters in unusual positions -- so I can often predict where they'll go if they turn up yellow. From there, I make aggressive guesses, even if they're strategically inadvisable (duplicate letters, few vowels, low-likelihood letters, etc.). Since starting this strategy, my average is about the same as ever, but now I occasionally win in two guesses. So, success? - -David Priest

Don't fail

I don't believe in strategies. Pick the word that speaks to you most in the morning and follow your heart. Starting with a tactically effective word makes it too easy anyway. So what if you fail? It's just Wordle! (But I would like to make it clear that I never fail, not even when there's an X in the word.) -- Sarah McDermott

Read more : Over Wordle? Try One of These Other Puzzle Games

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Write a Good Speech: 10 Steps and Tips

    Good speech writing embraces the power of engaging content, weaving in stories, examples, and relatable anecdotes to connect with the audience on both intellectual and emotional levels. Ultimately, it is the combination of these elements, along with the authenticity and delivery of the speaker , that transforms words on a page into a powerful ...

  2. How to write a good speech [7 easily followed steps]

    Tell them (Body of your speech - the main ideas plus examples) Tell them what you told them (The ending) TEST before presenting. Read aloud several times to check the flow of material, the suitability of language and the timing. Return to top. A step by step guide for writing a great speech.

  3. GOOD Definition & Meaning

    Good definition: morally excellent; virtuous; righteous; pious. See examples of GOOD used in a sentence.

  4. How to Write a Great Speech for Public Speaking in 7 Steps

    For example, people use one writing tool to put the speech's theme in a 15-20 word short poem or memorable paragraph, then build your speech around it. 3. Have a Clear Structure. When your speech has a clear structure to it your speech becomes more memorable. When writing your speech, have a clear path and a destination.

  5. 10 famous speeches in English and what you can learn from them

    George VI is using the first person, "I", to reach out to each person listening to the speech. He also talks in the third person: "we are at war", to unite British people against the common enemy: "them", or Germany. 3. Winston Churchill We shall fight on the beaches 1940. Churchill is an icon of great speech making.

  6. The 8 Key Elements of Highly Effective Speech

    So before you utter another word to another person, memorize this list of the 8 key elements of highly effective speech: Gentle eye contact. Kind facial expression. Warm tone of voice. Expressive ...

  7. Here's How to Write a Perfect Speech

    Step 3: Edit and polish what you've written until you have a cohesive first draft of your speech. Step 4: Practice, practice, practice. The more you practice your speech the more you'll discover which sections need reworked, which transitions should be improved, and which sentences are hard to say. You'll also find out how you're doing ...

  8. Speeches

    Ethos refers to an appeal to your audience by establishing your authenticity and trustworthiness as a speaker. If you employ pathos, you appeal to your audience's emotions. Using logos includes the support of hard facts, statistics, and logical argumentation. The most effective speeches usually present a combination these rhetorical strategies.

  9. 11 Tips for Giving a Great Speech

    11. Don't be scared of a good reaction. If your speech is genuinely engaging, funny, inspiring or any of the other things you might hope it would be, your audience will react to it. There might be laughter, or applause, or even a bit of cheering depending on the setting.

  10. What Makes a Great Speech? ‹ Literary Hub

    Ladies and gentlemen! You can tell much by the opening of a speech. Elizabeth I begins hers majestically, "My loving people.". Mandela says, "Comrades and friends.". Lincoln starts: "Fellow countrymen.". Toussaint Louverture combines "Brothers and friends!.". For Robespierre: "Citizen-representatives of the people.".

  11. 40 Big Words That Make an Impact In Speech and Writing

    Whether you're writing an essay or speaking in front of a group, there are certain big words you can use to impress your audience. Dictionary Thesaurus Sentences Grammar ... Whether you're giving a rollicking good speech or writing the next great American novel, being effective comes down to using the right words. ...

  12. Good Speech

    A good speech always starts with a key idea and a well-defined message. Many people make the mistake of burying their ideas in the middle or at the end. That's a mistake. The audience may get distracted halfway into your speech, and leave without even knowing what you're talking about. If you want people to understand your big idea, present ...

  13. 10 Tips for Improving Your Public Speaking Skills

    2. Know Your Audience. Your Speech Is About Them, Not You. Before you begin to craft your message, consider who the message is intended for. Learn as much about your listeners as you can. This will help you determine your choice of words, level of information, organization pattern, and motivational statement. 3.

  14. Famous Speeches: A List of the Greatest Speeches of All-Time

    Famous Speeches and Great Talks. This list is organized by presenter name and then speech topic. Click the links below to jump to a specific speech. On each page, you'll find a full transcript of the speech as well as some additional background information. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, "The Danger of a Single Story"

  15. Good with Words: Speaking and Presenting Specialization

    Based on an award-winning course and workshop series at the University of Michigan that has been taken by students training to enter a wide range of fields—law, business, medicine, social work, public policy, design, engineering, and many more—it removes the guesswork from figuring out how to communicate clearly and compellingly.

  16. Words for Speaking: 30 Speech Verbs in English (With Audio)

    These words simply mean "complain." There are some small differences, though. When you groan, you probably don't even say any words. Instead, you just complain with a sound. When you grumble, you complain in a sort of angry or impatient way. It's not a good way to get people to like you. Finally, moaning is complaining, but without much ...

  17. 65 Speech Therapy Word Lists for Speech Therapy Practice

    Targeted Word Lists for Speech Therapy Practice. The speech therapy word lists are perfect for anyone who needs practice with speech and language concepts.For any type of practice.....you need words to get started.. Now I don't know about you, but when I need to think of targeted words to use.....I suffer from spontaneous memory loss, or SML.. It's more common than you might think ;)

  18. 35 Greatest Speeches in History

    Good Bye. Read full text of speech here. Listen to the speech. 23. Theodore Roosevelt, "Strength and Decency" Roosevelt was an advocate of having many children and making sure the next generation would continue to uphold the great virtues of civilization. He was always concerned that young men not be coddled or cowardly, and grow up to live ...

  19. 15 Powerful Speech Opening Lines (And How to Create Your Own)

    Analyze their response and tweak the joke accordingly if necessary. Starting your speech with humour means your setting the tone of your speech. It would make sense to have a few more jokes sprinkled around the rest of the speech as well as the audience might be expecting the same from you. 4. Mohammed Qahtani.

  20. Free Tutorial

    Introduction 9 lectures • 21min. Writing an effective speech involves several key steps to ensure your message is. 01:02. Stories and Examples: Humanize your speech by including personal stories. 01:48. Define Your Purpose: Determine the primary goal of your speech. 03:03. Craft a Compelling Introduction: Start with a strong opening. 03:45.

  21. What part of speech is the word good?

    Dive deep into the multifaceted usage of the word good in English. Discover how it functions as an adverb, pronoun, noun, interjection, and adjective, complete with definitions and illustrative examples. ... Learn all the parts of speech for different words and understand how to use them in the English language. Noun. Definition:

  22. Speech transitions: words and phrases to connect your ideas

    Speech transitions are words and phrases that allow you to smoothly move from one point to another so that your speech flows and your presentation is unified. This makes it easier for the audience to understand your argument and without transitions the audience may be confused as to how one point relates to another and they may think you're ...

  23. 50 Speech Closing Lines (& How to Create Your Own)

    5. Melissa Butler. Speech Ending: When you go home today, see yourself in the mirror, see all of you, look at all your greatness that you embody, accept it, love it and finally, when you leave the house tomorrow, try to extend that same love and acceptance to someone who doesn't look like you. 6.

  24. How to Give an Award Acceptance Speech (With Examples)

    First and foremost, an acceptance speech is a chance to express your heartfelt appreciation for the honor you've received. This isn't the time to be modest or downplay your achievements. Let your emotions shine through and show how much the award means to you. Take a cue from Sandra Bullock's acceptance speech at the 2010 Oscars.

  25. Welcome to the Purdue Online Writing Lab

    Mission. The Purdue On-Campus Writing Lab and Purdue Online Writing Lab assist clients in their development as writers—no matter what their skill level—with on-campus consultations, online participation, and community engagement. The Purdue Writing Lab serves the Purdue, West Lafayette, campus and coordinates with local literacy initiatives.

  26. Convert Words to Minutes

    Words in a 2 minute speech 260 words. Words in a 3 minute speech 390 words. Words in a 4 minute speech 520 words. Words in a 5 minute speech 650 words. Words in a 10 minute speech 1300 words. Words in a 15 minute speech 1950 words. Words in a 20 minute speech 2600 words. How long does a 500 word speech take? 3.8 minutes.

  27. Chris Pan wants to set the record straight about his Ohio State ...

    One father of an Ohio State graduate messaged Pan on social media afterward to share that his whole family talked about the speech at dinner and shared the words they thought of during the meditation.

  28. In Speech, Biden Describes Surge of Antisemitism in U.S

    President Biden's speech at a Holocaust remembrance ceremony came during weeks of protests on U.S. college campuses against Israel's war in Gaza. He emphasized Americans' responsibility to ...

  29. Biden's Speech on Antisemitism Offers Recognition and Healing For

    Just days before Mr. Biden's speech, Sharon Kleinbaum, the rabbi of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in Midtown Manhattan, received a bomb threat targeting her synagogue, which caters to L.G.B.T ...

  30. Wordle Tips: The Very Best Start Words, Tips and Strategies

    April 25, 2024 10:25 a.m. PT. 5 min read. Sarah Tew/CNET. Winning Wordle is tricky but start words are key. "ADIEU" has been popular since the beginning and that makes sense, since it includes ...