The Speech Writing Process

By Philippe John Fresnillo Sipacio & Anne Balgos (Page 62)

Just like events planning, or any other activities, writing an effective speech follows certain steps or processes. The process for writing is not chronological or linear ; rather, it is recursive . That means you have the opportunity to repeat a writing procedure indefinitely, or produce multiple

drafts first before you can settle on the right one.

By Philippe John Fresnillo Sipacio & Anne Balgos

The following are the components of the speech writing process.

• Audience analysis entails looking into the profile of your target audience. This is done so you can tailor-fit your speech content and delivery to your audience. The profile includes the following information.

Q demography (age range, male-female ratio, educational background and affiliations or degree program taken, nationality, economic status, academic or corporate designations)

Q situation (time, venue, occasion, and size)

Q psychology (values, beliefs, attitudes, preferences, cultural and racial ideologies , and needs)

A sample checklist is presented below.

The purpose for writing and delivering the speech can be classified into three — to inform, to entertain, or to persuade .

  • An informative speech provides the audience with a clear understanding of the concept or idea presented by the speaker.
  • An entertainment speech provides the audience with amusement.
  • A persuasive speech provides the audience with well-argued ideas that can influence their own beliefs and decisions.

The purpose can be general and specific. Study the examples below to see the differences. The general purpose is to inform ….

These are examples of specific purpose….

  • To inform Grade 11 students about the process of conducting an
  • automated student government election
  • To inform Grade 11 students about the definition and relevance of

information literacy today

  • To inform Grade 11 students about the importance of effective money management

The purpose can be general and specific. Study the examples below to see the differences. The general purpose is to entertain ….

  • To entertain Grade 11 students with his/her funny experiences in

automated election

  • To entertain Grade 11 students with interesting observations of people who lack information literacy
  • To entertain Grade 11 students with the success stories of the people in the community

The purpose can be general and specific. Study the examples below to see the differences. The general purpose is to persuade ….

  • To persuade the school administrators to switch from manual to
  • To persuade Grade 11 students to develop information literacy skills
  • To persuade the school administrators to promote financial literacy
  • among students

The topic is your focal point of your speech, which can be determined once you have decided on your purpose. If you are free to decide on a topic, choose one that really interests you. There are a variety of strategies used in selecting a topic, such as using your personal experiences, discussing with your family members or friends, free writing, listing, asking questions, or semantic webbing .

Narrowing down a topic means making your main idea more specific and focused. The strategies in selecting a topic can also be used when you narrow down a topic. In the example below, “Defining and developing effective money management skills of Grade 11 students” is the specific topic out of a general one, which is “ Effective money management.”

Data gathering is the stage where you collect ideas, information, sources, and references relevant or related to your specific topic. This can be done by visiting the library, browsing the web, observing a certain phenomenon or event related to your topic, or conducting an

interview or survey. The data that you will gather will be very useful in making your speech informative, entertaining, or persuasive .

Writing patterns, in general, are structures that will help you organize the ideas related to your topic. Examples are biographical , categorical / topical , causal , chronological , comparison / contrast , problem-solution, and spatial .

The different writing patterns

An outline is a hierarchical list that shows the relationship of your ideas. Experts in public speaking state that once your outline is ready, two-thirds of your speech writing is finished. A good outline helps you see that all the ideas are in line with your main idea or message. The elements of an outline include introduction, body, and conclusion. Write your outline based on how you want your ideas to develop. Below are some of the suggested formats.

The body of the speech provides explanations, examples, or any details that can help you deliver your purpose and explain the main idea of your speech. One major consideration in developing the body of your speech is the focus or central idea. The body of your speech should only have one central idea.

The following are some strategies to highlight your main idea.

  • Present real-life or practical examples
  • Show statistics
  • Present comparisons
  • Share ideas from the experts or practitioners

The introduction is the foundation of your speech. Here, your primary goal is to get the attention of your audience and present the subject or main idea of your speech. Your first few words should do so. The following are some strategies.

  • Use a real-life experience and connect that experience to your subject.
  • Use practical examples and explain their connection to your subject.
  • Start with a familiar or strong quote and then explain what it means.
  • Use facts or statistics and highlight their importance to your subject.
  • Tell a personal story to illustrate your point.

The conclusion restates the main idea of your speech. Furthermore, it provides a summary, emphasizes the message, and calls for action. While the primary goal of the introduction is to get the attention of your audience, the conclusion aims to leave the audience with a memorable statement.

The following are some strategies.

  • Begin your conclusion with a restatement of your message.
  • Use positive examples, encouraging words, or memorable lines from songs or stories familiar to your audience.
  • Ask a question or series of questions that can make your audience reflect or ponder.

Editing/Revising your written speech involves correcting errors in mechanics, such as grammar, punctuation, capitalization, unity, coherence, and others. Andrew Dlugan (2013), an awar di ng public speaker, lists six power principles for speech editing.

  • Edit for focus.

“So, what’s the point? What’s the message of the speech?”

Ensure that everything you have written, from introduction to conclusion, is related to your central message.

  • Edit for clarity.

“I don’t understand the message because the examples or supporting details were confusing.”

Make all ideas in your speech clear by arranging them in logical order (e.g., main idea first then supporting details, or supporting details first then main idea).

  • Edit for concision.

“The speech was all over the place; the speaker kept talking endlessly as if no one was listening to him/her.”

Keep your speech short, simple, and clear by eliminating unrelated stories and sentences and by using simple words.

  • Edit for continuity.

“The speech was too difficult to follow; I was lost in the middle.”

Keep the flow of your presentation smooth by adding transition words and phrases.

  • Edit for variety.

“I didn’t enjoy the speech because it was boring.”

Add spice to your speech by shifting tone and style from formal to conversational and vice-versa, moving around the stage, or adding humor.

  • Edit for impact and beauty.

“There’s nothing really special about the speech.”

Make your speech memorable by using these strategies: surprise the audience, use vivid descriptive images, write well-crafted and memorable lines, and use figures of speech.

Rehearsing gives you an opportunity to identify what works and what does not work for you and for your target audience. Some strategies include reading your speech aloud, recording for your own analysis or for your peers or coaches to give feedback on your delivery. The best

thing to remember at this stage is: “Constant practice makes perfect.”

Some Guidelines in Speech Writing

1. Keep your words short and simple. Your speech is meant to be heard by your audience, not read.

2. Avoid jargon , acronyms, or technical words because they can confuse your audience.

3. Make your speech more personal. Use the personal pronoun “I,” but take care not to overuse it. When you need to emphasize collectiveness with your audience, use the personal pronoun “we.”

4. Use active verbs and contractions because they add to the personal and conversational tone of your speech.

5. Be sensitive of your audience. Be very careful with your language, jokes, and nonverbal cues.

6. Use metaphors and other figures of speech to effectively convey your point.

7. Manage your time well; make sure that the speech falls under the time limit.


Principles of Speech Writing

Speech is classified according to Purpose—the Expository or Informative Speech, the Persuasive Speech, and the Entertainment Speech—and according to the Manner of Delivery—Reading /Speaking from a Manuscript, Memorized Speech, Impromptu Speech, and Extemporaneous Speech. Given the different Types of Speech , can you identify and explain what goes into preparing a Speech? What are the things to be done before the Speech is delivered?

First Principle: Choosing the topic

A Speech is meant to impart a Message to Listeners. The choice of topic may be up to the Speaker but, more often than not, the Speaker is given the topic because it is the central theme of a program, conference, or presentation. In .any case, the topic should be timely, meaning in existence at the present time (unless a historical event is the reason for the gathering). The topic should be interesting to you (the Speaker), of course, so that you will be enthusiastic in preparing and delivering the Speech. At the same time, it should be just as interesting to your Audience so that they will focus on your Speech and nothing else. If there is a conflict between what you want to say and what your Listeners want to hear, then it is the Audience who wins. A topic that is new, that has not been heard of before by your Listeners, is an attention grabber. So is a topic that is controversial as it encourages the Audience to listen carefully so they can choose a side.

It must be pointed out that when choosing a topic, the Speaker must ever be mindful of the culture of the Speaker and Listener, their ages, their gender as well as their social status and religious affiliation. It is good advice for the Speaker to choose a topic that is at the level of knowledge of both the Speaker and the Audience.

Second Principle: Analyzing the Audience

Before writing down anything about the Speech, one must engage in Analyzing the Audience. A Speech for one occasion cannot simply be used for another. There is no Speech that fits any and all occasions. Each speech has a different Purpose and a different Manner of Delivery. So, given the hundreds of thousands of Speech topics multiplied by the Types of Purpose and Types of Delivery, each Speech, even if delivered by the same person, is unique. Every Speech is specific to the Speaker and may be characterized by the topic chosen, the time and place of Delivery, and the configuration of the Audience listening to this particular Speech.

The Audience is one of the major factors that determine the uniqueness of the Speech. Just as there is no speech that fits all Public Communication Situation, there is no single Audience for a Speech. How do you analyze the Audience if you do not know who the Audience will be?

First , if possible, get or guess the demographic data of the audience: age, gender, ethnic background, occupation, economic and social status, etc., especially if one is addressing a business group, a student club, or a community organization. These data may influence the Audience’s reaction to the Speech. Moreover, the data will influence the way you will write the Speech—what points to choose, what to leave out, the words to use, and even what tone of voice will work on them.

Second , it is important to know the groups to which your Audience belongs as these groups hold certain beliefs and values. You may then be able to ascertain how your Listeners feel about certain issues without having to talk to each and every Listener or do a survey among them. 

Third , it is just as important to find out how your audience feels about the topic of your Speech and what they already know about it (so that you do not repeat it and bore the audience).

Finally , you should try to know how they feel about you as the Speaker and what they already know about you. The Speaker may be able to gauge this from the organizers of the event and the people who extended the invitation.

Third Principle: Sourcing the Information

This involves seeking out all the available means for finding materials to support the Speech. Good sources are newspapers, magazines, books, journals, or any reading material full of useful information. Search engines on the Internet such as Google or Yahoo may also be used. However, the best resource are people, especially the experts or those who are involved in the field to which the topic belongs. A Speech on “How to Take Care of Your Heart” may be built on reading materials, but a cardiologist (heart doctor) may give more accurate data while someone who has suffered a heart attack can provide real-life experiences that a Speaker may use to reach out and touch the Audience.

Information for any Speech topic must be relevant, that is, it discusses the topic directly; must be timely, meaning it focuses on the present or recent past; and must cover most, if not all, of the topic (unless the topic focuses only on a part of a general subject or issue). Information gathered must be at the level of knowledge of both the Speaker and the Audience, without offending any Listener.

Fourth Principle: Outlining and Organizing the Speech Content

This makes sense of all the research conducted. With all the information gathered for the Speech topic, it is quite easy to be overwhelmed. Although one may want to use all the information gathered, that is not possible, particularly since there is a time limit.

The first step is to sort the information into categories: statistics, testimonies and opinions, historical facts, etc. Or they may be classified according to the point they are making, specifically, that part of the topic to be discussed.

The next step is to organize the Speech itself. For this, the best method is an outline. Even a Manuscript Speech and a Memorized Speech begin with an outline, which is then filled out with supporting materials. There are different types of outlines that one can use depending on how the Speech is to be organized:

  • Chronological Outline – a historical/time approach like from the past to the present. Example: Development of Ilocos Region from Martial Law to the Present
  • Spatial/Geographical Outline – going from one place to another, from one direction to another. Example: The Heritage Churches of Pampanga
  • Cause and Effect Outline – involves a discussion of both cause and effect of an issue. Example: The Fish Kill in Laguna de Bay Problem-Solution Outline – explains a problem and suggests a possible solution. Example: Cleaning Up Manila Bay
  • Topical Outline – divides the topic into subtopics based on importance or interest value or simply because the topic requires it; for topics that do not fall under any of the previously mentioned outlines. Example: Social Media Have Made Us Anti-Social

Once there is an Outline, it will be easier to know which supporting material to use where. The outline also helps in pointing out whether a material may be useful or not.

There are two techniques to actually writing the speech, whether in full form for Manuscript or Memorized Speeches, or in outline form for Impromptu and Extemporaneous Speeches. The first technique is to Write the Body of the Speech first, filling in the content of the Speech later with supporting materials. Then write the Introduction and Conclusion after. The other technique is to Write the Conclusion first, which many find very helpful because it shows what the Speech ends with. On the other hand, some use the technique of Writing the Introduction first to guide the Speech in the direction one wants it to go, then filling in the Body and writing the Conclusion. Remember that for Extemporaneous (and even Impromptu) Speech, only the Introduction and the Conclusion can be written out in full. The Body of the Speech should remain in outline form.

Whichever technique works for you, the Speech, as written, should flow logically from one point to another. This logical progression makes it easy for the Speaker to Deliver the Speech whether in full form like the Manuscript or Memorized Speeches or in outline form like the Impromptu and Extemporaneous Speeches. As a reminder, do not forget the Audience when writing the Speech. They may have their own ideas and opinions about the topic of your Speech that may not necessarily agree with those of the Speaker.

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Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Waldman

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.

what principle of effective speech writing involves demography situation and psychology

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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Chapter Nine – Organizing the Body of your Speech

Creating the Body of a Speech

In a series of important and ground-breaking studies conducted during the 1950s and 1960s, researchers started investigating how a speech’s organization was related to audience perceptions of those speeches. The first study, conducted by Raymond Smith in 1951, randomly organized the parts of a speech to see how audiences would react. Not surprisingly, when speeches were randomly organized, the audience perceived the speech more negatively than when audiences were presented with a speech with clear, intentional organization. Smith also found that audiences who listened to unorganized speeches were less interested in those speeches than audiences who listened to organized speeches (Smith, 1951). Thompson furthered this investigation and found that unorganized speeches were also harder for audiences to recall after the speech. Basically, people remember information from speeches that are clearly organized—and forget information from speeches that are poorly organized (Thompson, 1960). A third study by Baker found that when audiences were presented with a disorganized speaker, they were less likely to be persuaded, and saw the disorganized speaker as lacking credibility (Baker, 1965).

These three very important studies make the importance of organization very clear. When speakers are not organized they are not perceived as credible and their audiences view the speeches negatively, are less likely to be persuaded, and don’t remember specific information from the speeches after the fact.

We start this chapter discussing these studies because we want you to understand the importance of speech organization on real audiences. If you are not organized, your speech will never have its intended effect. In this chapter, we are going to discuss the basics of organizing the body of your speech.

Determining Your Main Ideas

A man with a lightbulb above his head

Matt Wynn –  Lightbulb!  – CC BY 2.0.

When creating a speech, it’s important to remember that speeches have three clear parts: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. The introduction establishes the topic and whets your audience’s appetite, and the conclusion wraps everything up at the end of your speech. The real “meat” of your speech happens in the body. In this section, we’re going to discuss how to think strategically about the body of your speech.

We like the word  strategic  because it refers to determining what is important or essential to the overall plan or purpose of your speech. Too often, new speakers just throw information together and stand up and start speaking. When that happens, audience members are left confused and the reason for the speech may get lost. To avoid being seen as disorganized, we want you to start thinking critically about the organization of your speech. In this section, we will discuss how to take your speech from a specific purpose to creating the main points of your speech.

What Is Your Specific Purpose?

Before we discuss how to determine the main points of your speech, we want to revisit your speech’s specific purpose. Recall that a speech can have one of three general purposes: to inform, to persuade, or to entertain. The general purpose refers to the broad goal for creating and delivering the speech. The specific purpose, on the other hand, starts with one of those broad goals (inform, persuade, or entertain) and then further informs the listener about the  who ,  what ,  when ,  where ,  why , and  how  of the speech.

The specific purpose is stated as a sentence incorporating the general purpose, the specific audience for the speech, and a prepositional phrase that summarizes the topic. Suppose you are going to give a speech about using open-source software. Here are three examples (each with a different general purpose and a different audience):

In each of these three examples, you’ll notice that the general topic is the same—open-source software—but the specific purpose is different because the speech has a different general purpose and a different audience. Before you can think strategically about organizing the body of your speech, you need to know what your specific purpose is. If you have not yet written a specific purpose for your current speech, please go ahead and write one now.

From Specific Purpose to Main Points

Once you’ve written down your specific purpose, you can now start thinking about the best way to turn that specific purpose into a series of main points. Main points are the key ideas you present to enable your speech to accomplish its specific purpose. In this section, we’re going to discuss how to determine your main points and how to organize those main points into a coherent, strategic speech.

Narrowing Down Your Main Points

When you write your specific purpose and review the research you have done on your topic, you will probably find yourself thinking of quite a few points that you’d like to make in your speech. Whether that’s the case or not, we recommend taking a few minutes to brainstorm and develop a list of points. What information does your audience need to know to understand your topic? What information does your speech need to convey to accomplish its specific purpose? Consider the following example:

Now that you have brainstormed and developed a list of possible points, how do you go about narrowing them down to just two or three main ones? Remember, your main points are the key ideas that help build your speech. When you look over the preceding list, you can then start to see that many of the points are related to one another. Your goal in narrowing down your main points is to identify which individual, potentially minor points can be combined to make main points. This process is called chunking because it involves taking smaller chunks of information and putting them together with like chunks to create more fully developed chunks of information. Before reading our chunking of the preceding list, see if you can determine three large chunks out of the list (note that not all chunks are equal).

While there is no magic number for how many main points a speech should have, speech experts generally agree that the fewer the number of main points the better. First and foremost, experts on the subject of memory have consistently shown that people don’t tend to remember very much after they listen to a message or leave a conversation (Bostrom & Waldhart, 1988). While many different factors can affect a listener’s ability to retain information after a speech, how the speech is organized is an important part of that process (Dunham, 1964; Smith, 1951; Thompson, 1960). For the speeches you will be delivering in a typical public speaking class, you will usually have just two or three main points. If your speech is less than three minutes long, then two main points will probably work best. If your speech is between three and ten minutes in length, then it makes more sense to use three main points.

You may be wondering why we are recommending only two or three main points. The reason comes straight out of the research on listening. According to LeFrancois, people are more likely to remember information that is meaningful, useful, and of interest to them; different or unique; organized; visual; and simple (LeFrancois, 1999). Two or three main points are much easier for listeners to remember than ten or even five. In addition, if you have two or three main points, you’ll be able to develop each one with examples, statistics, or other forms of support. Including support for each point will make your speech more interesting and more memorable for your audience.

You may notice that in the preceding list, the number of subpoints under each of the three main points is a little disjointed or the topics don’t go together clearly. That’s all right. Remember that these are just general ideas at this point. It’s also important to remember that there is often more than one way to organize a speech. Some of these points could be left out and others developed more fully, depending on the purpose and audience. We’ll develop the preceding main points more fully in a moment.

what principle of effective speech writing involves demography situation and psychology

Helpful Hints for Preparing Your Main Points

Now that we’ve discussed how to take a specific purpose and turn it into a series of main points, here are some helpful hints for creating your main points.

Uniting Your Main Points

Once you’ve generated a possible list of main points, you want to ask yourself this question: “When you look at your main points, do they fit together?” For example, if you look at the three preceding main points (school districts use software in their operations; what is open-source software; name some specific open-source software packages that may be appropriate for these school administrators to consider), ask yourself, “Do these main points help my audience understand my specific purpose?”

Suppose you added a fourth main point about open-source software for musicians—would this fourth main point go with the other three? Probably not. While you may have a strong passion for open-source music software, that main point is extraneous information for the speech you are giving. It does not help accomplish your specific purpose, so you’d need to toss it out.

Keeping Your Main Points Separate

The next question to ask yourself about your main points is whether they overlap too much. While some overlap may happen naturally because of the singular nature of a specific topic, the information covered within each main point should be clearly distinct from the other main points. Imagine you’re giving a speech with the specific purpose “to inform my audience about the health reasons for eating apples and oranges.” You could then have three main points: that eating fruits is healthy, that eating apples is healthy, and that eating oranges is healthy. While the two points related to apples and oranges are clearly distinct, both of those main points would probably overlap too much with the first point “that eating fruits is healthy,” so you would probably decide to eliminate the first point and focus on the second and third. On the other hand, you could keep the first point and then develop two new points giving additional support to why people should eat fruit.

Balancing Main Points

One of the biggest mistakes some speakers make is to spend most of their time talking about one of their main points, completely neglecting their other main points. To avoid this mistake, organize your speech so as to spend roughly the same amount of time on each main point. If you find that one of your main points is simply too large, you may need to divide that main point into two main points and consolidate your other main points into a single main point.

Let’s see if our preceding example is balanced (school districts use software in their operations; what is open-source software; name some specific open-source software packages that may be appropriate for these school administrators to consider). What do you think? Obviously, the answer depends on how much time a speaker will have to talk about each of these main points. If you have an hour to talk, then you may find that these three main points are balanced. However, you may also find them wildly unbalanced if you only have five minutes to speak because five minutes is not enough time to even explain what open-source software is. If that’s the case, then you probably need to rethink your specific purpose to ensure that you can cover the material in the allotted time.

what principle of effective speech writing involves demography situation and psychology

Creating Parallel Structure for Main Points

Another major question to ask yourself about your main points is whether or not they have a parallel structure. By parallel structure, we mean that you should structure your main points so that they all sound similar. When all your main points sound similar, it’s simply easier for your audiences to remember your main points and retain them for later. Let’s look at our sample (school districts use software in their operations; what is open-source software; name some specific open-source software packages that may be appropriate for these school administrators to consider). Notice that the first and third main points are statements, but the second one is a question. Basically, we have an example here of main points that are not parallel in structure. You could fix this in one of two ways. You could make them all questions: what are some common school district software programs; what is open-source software; and what are some specific open-source software packages that may be appropriate for these school administrators to consider. Or you could turn them all into statements: school districts use software in their operations; define and describe open-source software; name some specific open-source software packages that may be appropriate for these school administrators to consider. Either of these changes will make the grammatical structure of the main points parallel.

Maintaining Logical Flow of Main Points

The last question you want to ask yourself about your main points is whether the main points make sense in the order you’ve placed them. The next section goes into more detail of common organizational patterns for speeches, but for now we want you to just think logically about the flow of your main points. When you look at your main points, can you see them as progressive, or does it make sense to talk about one first, another one second, and the final one last? If you look at your order, and it doesn’t make sense to you, you probably need to think about the flow of your main points. Often, this process is an art and not a science. But let’s look at a couple of examples.

When you look at these two examples, what are your immediate impressions of the two examples? In the first example, does it make sense to talk about history, and then the problems, and finally how to eliminate school dress codes? Would it make sense to put history as your last main point? Probably not. In this case, the main points are in a logical sequential order. What about the second example? Does it make sense to talk about your solution, then your problem, and then define the solution? Not really! What order do you think these main points should be placed in for a logical flow? Maybe you should explain the problem (lack of rider laws), then define your solution (what is rider law legislation), and then argue for your solution (why states should have rider laws). Notice that in this example you don’t even need to know what “rider laws” are to see that the flow didn’t make sense.

Using Common Organizing Patterns

A motivational poster of water running over rocks. The caption says

Twentyfour Students –  Organization makes you flow  – CC BY-SA 2.0.

Previously in this chapter we discussed how to make your main points flow logically. This section is going to provide you with a number of organizational patterns to help you create a logically organized speech. The first organizational pattern we’ll discuss is topical.

By far the most common pattern for organizing a speech is by categories or topics . The topical organizational pattern is a way to help the speaker arrange the message in a consistent fashion. The goal of a topical organization is to create categories (or chunks) of information that go together to help support your original specific purpose. Let’s look at an example.

In this case, we have a speaker trying to persuade a group of high school juniors to apply to attend Generic University. To persuade this group, the speaker has divided the information into three basic categories: what it’s like to live in the dorms, what classes are like, and what life is like on campus. Almost anyone could take this basic speech and specifically tailor the speech to fit their university or college. The main points in this example could be rearranged and the organizational pattern would still be effective because there is no inherent logic to the sequence of points. Let’s look at a second example.

In this speech, the speaker is talking about how to find others online and date them. Specifically, the speaker starts by explaining what Internet dating is; then the speaker talks about how to make Internet dating better for audience members; and finally, the speaker ends by discussing some negative aspects of Internet dating. Again, notice that the information is chunked into three topics and that the second and third could be reversed and still provide a logical structure for your speech


Another method for organizing main points is the comparison/contrast pattern. While this pattern clearly lends itself easily to two main points, you can also create a third point by giving basic information about what is being compared and what is being contrasted. Let’s look at two examples; the first one will be a two-point example and the second a three-point example.

If you were using the comparison/contrast pattern for persuasive purposes, in the preceding examples, you’d want to make sure that when you show how Drug X and Drug Y differ, you clearly state why Drug X is clearly the better choice for physicians to adopt. In essence, you’d want to make sure that when you compare the two drugs, you show that Drug X has all the benefits of Drug Y, but when you contrast the two drugs, you show how Drug X is superior to Drug Y in some way.

The spatial organizational pattern arranges information according to how things fit together in physical space. This pattern is best used when your main points are oriented to different locations that can exist independently. The basic reason to choose this format is to show that the main points have clear locations. We’ll look at two examples here, one involving physical geography and one involving a different spatial order.

If you look at a basic map of the United States, you’ll notice that these groupings of states were created because of their geographic location to one another. In essence, the states create three spatial territories to explain.

Now let’s look at a spatial speech unrelated to geography.

In this example, we still have three basic spatial areas. If you look at a model of the urinary system, the first step is the kidney, which then takes waste through the ureters to the bladder, which then relies on the sphincter muscle to excrete waste through the urethra. All we’ve done in this example is create a spatial speech order for discussing how waste is removed from the human body through the urinary system. It is spatial because the organization pattern is determined by the physical location of each body part in relation to the others discussed.


The chronological pattern places the main idea in the time order in which items appear—whether backward or forward. Here’s a simple example.

In this example, we’re looking at the writings of Winston Churchill in relation to World War II (before, during, and after). By placing his writings into these three categories, we develop a system for understanding this material based on Churchill’s own life. Note that you could also use reverse chronological order and start with Churchill’s writings after World War II, progressing backward to his earliest writings.


As you might guess, the biographical organizational pattern is generally used when a speaker wants to describe a person’s life—either a speaker’s own life, the life of someone they know personally, or the life of a famous person. By the nature of this speech organizational pattern, these speeches tend to be informative or entertaining; they are usually not persuasive. Let’s look at an example.

In this example, we see how Brian Warner, through three major periods of his life, ultimately became the musician known as Marilyn Manson.

In this example, these three stages are presented in chronological order, but the biographical pattern does not have to be chronological. For example, it could compare and contrast different periods of the subject’s life, or it could focus topically on the subject’s different accomplishments.

The causal pattern is used to explain cause-and-effect relationships. When you use a causal speech pattern, your speech will have two basic main points: cause and effect. In the first main point, typically you will talk about the causes of a phenomenon, and in the second main point you will then show how the causes lead to either a specific effect or a small set of effects. Let’s look at an example.

In this case, the first main point is about the history and prevalence of drinking alcohol among Native Americans (the cause). The second point then examines the effects of Native American alcohol consumption and how it differs from other population groups.

However, a causal organizational pattern can also begin with an effect and then explore one or more causes. In the following example, the effect is the number of arrests for domestic violence.

In this example, the possible causes for the difference might include stricter law enforcement, greater likelihood of neighbors reporting an incident, and police training that emphasizes arrests as opposed to other outcomes. Examining these possible causes may suggest that despite the arrest statistic, the actual number of domestic violence incidents in your city may not be greater than in other cities of similar size.


Another format for organizing distinct main points in a clear manner is the p roblem-cause-solution pattern. In this format you describe a problem, identify what you believe is causing the problem, and then recommend a solution to correct the problem.

In this speech, the speaker wants to persuade people to pass a new curfew for people under eighteen. To help persuade the civic group members, the speaker first shows that vandalism and violence are problems in the community. Once the speaker has shown the problem, the speaker then explains to the audience that the cause of this problem is youth outside after 10:00 p.m. Lastly, the speaker provides the mandatory 10:00 p.m. curfew as a solution to the vandalism and violence problem within the community. The problem-cause-solution format for speeches generally lends itself to persuasive topics because the speaker is asking an audience to believe in and adopt a specific solution.

Selecting an Organizational Pattern

Each of the preceding organizational patterns is potentially useful for organizing the main points of your speech. However, not all organizational patterns work for all speeches. For example, as we mentioned earlier, the biographical pattern is useful when you are telling the story of someone’s life. Some other patterns, particularly comparison/contrast and problem-cause-solution, are well suited for persuasive speaking. Your challenge is to choose the best pattern for the particular speech you are giving.

You should be aware that it is also possible to combine two or more organizational patterns to meet the goals of a specific speech. For example, you might wish to discuss a problem and then compare/contrast several different possible solutions for the audience. Such a speech would thus be combining elements of the comparison/contrast and problem-cause-solution patterns. When considering which organizational pattern to use, you need to keep in mind your specific purpose as well as your audience and the actual speech material itself to decide which pattern you think will work best.

Keeping Your Speech Moving

A rewind knob

Chris Marquardt –  REWIND  – CC BY-SA 2.0.

Have you ever been listening to a speech or a lecture and found yourself thinking, “I am so lost!” or “Where the heck is this speaker going?” Chances are one of the reasons you weren’t sure what the speaker was talking about was that the speaker didn’t effectively keep the speech moving. When we are reading and encounter something we don’t understand, we have the ability to reread the paragraph and try to make sense of what we’re trying to read. Unfortunately, we are not that lucky when it comes to listening to a speaker. We cannot pick up our universal remote and rewind the person. For this reason, speakers need to really think about how they keep a speech moving so that audience members are easily able to keep up with the speech. In this section, we’re going to look at four specific techniques speakers can use that make following a speech much easier for an audience: transitions, internal previews, internal summaries, and signposts.

Transitions between Main Points

A transition is a phrase or sentence that indicates that a speaker is moving from one main point to another main point in a speech. Basically, a transition is a sentence where the speaker summarizes what was said in one point and previews what is going to be discussed in the next point. Let’s look at some examples:

  • Now that we’ve seen the problems caused by lack of adolescent curfew laws, let’s examine how curfew laws could benefit our community.
  • Thus far we’ve examined the history and prevalence of alcohol abuse among Native Americans, but it is the impact that this abuse has on the health of Native Americans that is of the greatest concern.
  • Now that we’ve thoroughly examined how these two medications are similar to one another, we can consider the many clear differences between the two medications.
  • Although he was one of the most prolific writers in Great Britain prior to World War II, Winston Churchill continued to publish during the war years as well.

You’ll notice that in each of these transition examples, the beginning phrase of the sentence indicates the conclusion of a period of time (now that, thus far). The table below contains a variety of transition words that will be useful when keeping your speech moving.

Table 9.1  Transition Words

Beyond transitions, there are several other techniques that you can use to clarify your speech organization for your audience. The next sections address several of these techniques, including internal previews, internal summaries, and signposts.

Internal Previews

An internal preview is a phrase or sentence that gives an audience an idea of what is to come within a section of a speech. An internal preview works similarly to the preview that a speaker gives at the end of a speech introduction, quickly outlining what they will talk about (i.e., the speech’s three main body points). In an internal preview, speakers highlight what they are going to discuss within a specific main point during a speech.

Ausubel was the first person to examine the effect that internal previews had on retention of oral information (Ausubel, 1968). Essentially, when speakers clearly inform an audience what they will talk about in a clear and organized manner, the audience listens for those main points, which leads to higher retention of the speaker’s message. Let’s look at a sample internal preview:

To help us further understand why recycling is important, we will first explain the positive benefits of recycling and then explore how recycling can help our communi ty.

When an audience hears that you will be exploring two different ideas within this main point, they are ready to listen for those main points as you talk about them. In essence, you’re helping your audience keep up with your speech.

Rather than being given alone, internal previews often come after a speaker has transitioned to that main topic area. Using the previous internal preview, let’s see it along with the transition to that main point.

Now that we’ve explored the effect that a lack of consistent recycling has on our community, let’s explore the importance of recycling for our community ( transition ). To help us further understand why recycling is important, we will first explain the positive benefits of recycling and then explore how recycling can help our community ( internal preview ).

While internal previews are definitely helpful, you do not need to include one for every main point of your speech. In fact, we recommend that you use internal previews sparingly to highlight only main points containing relatively complex information.

Internal Summaries

Whereas an internal preview helps an audience know what you are going to talk about within a main point at the beginning, an internal summary is delivered to remind an audience of what they just heard within the speech. In general, internal summaries are best used when the information within a specific main point of a speech was complicated. To write your own internal summaries, look at the summarizing transition words in Table 9.1. Let’s look at an example.

To sum up, school bullying is a definite problem. Bullying in schools has been shown to be detrimental to the victim’s grades, the victim’s scores on standardized tests, and the victim’s future educational outlook.

In this example, the speaker was probably talking about the impact that bullying has on an individual victim educationally. Of course, an internal summary can also be a great way to lead into a transition to the next point of a speech.

In this section, we have explored how bullying in schools has been shown to be detrimental to the victim’s grades, the victim’s scores on standardized tests, and the victim’s future educational outlook ( internal summary ). Therefore, schools need to implement campus-wide, comprehensive antibullying programs ( transition ).

While not sounding like the more traditional transition, this internal summary helps readers summarize the content of that main point. The sentence that follows then leads to the next major part of the speech, which is going to discuss the importance of antibullying programs.

what principle of effective speech writing involves demography situation and psychology

Have you ever been on a road trip and watched the green rectangular mile signs pass you by? Fifty miles to go. Twenty-five miles to go. One mile to go. Signposts within a speech function the same way. Speakers use signposts to guide their audience through the content of a speech. If you look at Table 9.1 and look at the “common sequence patterns,” you’ll see a series of possible signpost options. In essence, we use these short phrases at the beginning of a piece of information to help our audience members keep up with what we’re discussing. For example, if you were giving a speech whose main point was about the three functions of credibility, you could use internal signposts like this:

  • The first function of credibility is competence.
  • The second function of credibility is trustworthiness.
  • The final function of credibility is caring/goodwill.

Signposts are simply meant to help your audience keep up with your speech, so the more simplistic your signposts are, the easier it is for your audience to follow.

In addition to helping audience members keep up with a speech, signposts can also be used to highlight specific information the speaker thinks is important. Where the other signposts were designed to show the way (like highway markers), signposts that call attention to specific pieces of information are more like billboards. Words and phrases that are useful for highlighting information can be found in Table 9.1 under the category “emphasis.” All these words are designed to help you call attention to what you are saying so that the audience will also recognize the importance of the information.

Note from the author, Gruber: As we have previously stated, organization is integral to your audience understanding your message, and thus, being influenced by it. A clear organizational pattern with connectives, such as transitions and summaries, creates a clear and memorable message.

Finally, we sometimes get funny looks when we suggest you write the body of your speech  before  your Introduction & Conclusion. The natural thought may be “The introduction comes first, so I should write  it first.” However, consider the objectives of the Introduction, as described in the next chapter, and you’ll understand why you should always write the body first and then  the introduction and conclusion.

  • Baker, E. E. (1965). The immediate effects of perceived speaker disorganization on speaker credibility and audience attitude change in persuasive speaking. Western Speech, 29 , 148–161.
  • Smith, R. G. (1951). An experimental study of the effects of speech organization upon attitudes of college students. Speech Monographs, 18 , 292–301.
  • Thompson, E. C. (1960). An experimental investigation of the relative effectiveness of organizational structure in oral communication.  Southern Speech Journal, 26 , 59–69.
  • Bostrom, R. N., & Waldhart, E. S. (1988). Memory models and the measurement of listening.  Communication Education, 37 , 1–13.
  • Dunham, J. R. (1964).  Voice contrast and repetition in speech retention  (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from: .
  • LeFrancois, G. R. (1999).  Psychology for teaching (10th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
  • Smith, R. G. (1951). An experimental study of the effects of speech organization upon attitudes of college students.  Speech Monographs, 18 , 292–301.
  • Ausubel, D. P. (1968).  Educational psychology . New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston.

Stand up, Speak out  by University of Minnesota is licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

Principles of Public Speaking Copyright © 2022 by Katie Gruber is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Speechwriting in Theory and Practice pp 187–196 Cite as

The General Steps in the Speechwriting Process

  • Jens E. Kjeldsen 7 ,
  • Amos Kiewe 8 ,
  • Marie Lund 9 &
  • Jette Barnholdt Hansen  
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Part of the Rhetoric, Politics and Society book series (RPS)

In this chapter, we outline the general steps speechwriters ought to follow in the process of writing speeches for others. These guidelines are flexible and allow for comfortable adaptation given the varied implementation of speechwriting practices as well as the different approaches in the European and American systems. Our model follows the classical perspective that focuses on topic selection, the speaker-speechwriter negotiation of rhetorical constraints of context and audience as well as determining the fitting style and delivery. The chapter also develops a master rhetorical plan that can be used as a prompt or an outline for speechwriters when drafting a speech, covering the key variables of speech, situation, audience, and a suitable mode of communication.

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Module 9: Audience Analysis

Categories of audience analysis.

No matter which of the above inquiry methods you choose to do your audience analysis, you will, at some point, need to direct your attention to the five “categories” of audience analysis. These are the five categories through which you will learn to better appreciate your audience. Let’s now examine these categories and understand the variables and constraints you should use to estimate your audience’s information requirements.

Situational Analysis

bored students

Untitled by Konrad-Adenauer-Gemeinschaftshauptschule Wenden. CC-BY-NC-SA .

The situational audience analysis category considers the situation for which your audience is gathered. This category is primarily concerned with why your audience is assembled in the first place. [1] Are they willingly gathered to hear you speak? Have your audience members paid to hear you? Or, are your audience members literally “speech captives” who have somehow been socially or systematically coerced into hearing you? These factors are decisively important because they place a major responsibility upon you as a speaker, whichever is the case. The entire tone and agenda of your speech rests largely upon whether or not your audience even wants to hear from you.

Many audiences are considered captive audiences in that they have no real choice regarding the matter of hearing a given speech. In general, these are some of the most difficult audiences to address because these members are being forced to listen to a message, and do not have the full exercise of their own free will. Consider for a moment when you have been called to a mandatory work meeting. Were you truly happy to listen to the speaker, in all honesty? Some might say “yes,” but usually most would rather be doing something else with their time. This is an important factor to keep in mind when preparing your speech: some people simply do not want to listen to a speech they believe is compulsory.

The voluntary audience situation, in stark contrast, is completely different. A voluntary audience is willingly assembled to listen to a given message. As a rule, these audiences are much easier to address because they are interested in hearing the speech. To visualize how this works, reflect upon the last speech, concert, or show you’ve chosen to attend. While the event may or may not have lived up to your overall expectations, the very fact that you freely went to the occasion speaks volumes about your predisposition to listen to—and perhaps even be persuaded by—the information being presented.

Sometimes audiences are mixed in their situational settings, too. Take the everyday classroom situation, for instance. While students choose to attend higher education, many people in the college classroom environment sadly feel as if they are still “trapped” in school and would rather be elsewhere. On the other hand, some students in college are truly there by choice, and attentively seek out knowledge from their teacher-mentors. What results from this mixed audience situation is a hybrid captive-voluntary audience, with those who are only partially interested in what is going on in the classroom and those who are genuinely involved. You literally get to hone your speech skills on both types of audiences, thereby learning a skill set that many never get to exercise. You should begin this wonderful opportunity by considering ways to inform, persuade, and humor a mixed situation audience. Think of it as a learning occasion, and you’ll do just fine.

Being popular with an audience is a very rickety ladder to be on. – Louis C. K.

Demographic Analysis

The second category of audience analysis is demography . As mentioned before, demographics are literally a classification of the characteristics of the people. Whenever addressing an audience, it is generally a good idea to know about its age, gender, major, year in school, race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, et cetera. There are two steps in doing an accurate demographic analysis: gathering demographic data and interpreting this data. [2]

Sometimes, this information is gathered by the questionnaire sampling method, and is done formally. On other occasions, this information is already available in a database and is made available to the speaker. Some noteworthy speakers even have “scouts” who do demographic research on an audience prior to a speaking event, and make interpretations on that audience based upon key visual cues. For example, congresspersons and senators frequently make public appearances where they use stock speeches to appeal to certain audiences with specific demographic uniqueness. In order to know what type of audience he or she will be addressing, these politicians dispatch staff aides to an event to see how many persons of color, hecklers, and supporters will be in attendance. Of course, studying demographic characteristics is, indeed, more an art form than a science. Still, it is a common practice among many professional speakers.

Speaker at Wiki Conference 2011

“Wiki Conference 2011” by Sucheta Ghoshal. CC-BY-SA .

Consider for a moment how valuable it would be to you as a public speaker to know that your audience will be mostly female, between the ages of 25 and 40, mostly married, and Caucasian. Would you change your message to fit this demographic? Or, would you keep your message the same, no matter the audience you were addressing? Chances are you would be more inclined to talk to issues bearing upon those gender, age, and race qualities. Frankly, the smart speaker would shift his or her message to adapt to the audience. And, simply, that’s the purpose of doing demographics: to embed within your message the acceptable parameters of your audience’s range of needs.

This, of course, raises an extremely important ethical issue for the modern speaker. Given the ability to study demographic data and therefore to study your audience, does a speaker shift his or her message to play to the audience entirely? Ethically, a speaker should not shift his or her message and should remain true to his or her motives. Only you will be able to alleviate the tension between a speaker’s need to adapt to an audience and his or her need to remain true to form. [3]

My greatest challenge has been to change the mindset of people. Mindsets play strange tricks on us. We see things the way our minds have instructed our eyes to see. – Muhammad Yunus

Psychological Analysis

Unless your selected speech topic is a complete mystery to your audience, your listeners will already hold “attitudes, beliefs, and values” toward the ideas you will inevitably present. As a result, it is always important to know where your audience stands on the issues you plan to address ahead of time. The best way to accomplish this is to sample your audience with a quick questionnaire or survey prior to the event. This is known as the third category of audience analysis, or psychological description . When performing a description you seek to identify the audience’s attitudes, beliefs, and values. [4] They are your keys to understanding how your audience thinks.

In basic terms, an attitude is a learned disposition to respond in a consistently favorable or unfavorable manner with respect to a person, an object, an idea, or an event. [5] Attitudes come in different forms. You are very likely to see an attitude present itself when someone says that they are “pro” or “anti” something. But, above all else, attitudes are learned and not necessarily enduring. Attitudes can change, and sometimes do, whereas beliefs and values do not shift as easily. A sample list of attitudes can be found in Table 5.2.

These are just a small range of issues that one can either be “for” or “against.” And, while we are simplifying the social scientific idea of an attitude considerably here, these examples serve our purposes well. Remember, attitudes are not as durable as beliefs and values. But, they are good indicators of how people view the persons, objects, ideas, or events that shape their world.

Other people’s beliefs may be myths, but not mine. – Mason Cooley

Beliefs are principles [6] or assumptions about the universe.

Beliefs are more durable than attitudes because beliefs are hinged to ideals and not issues. For example, you may believe in the principle: “what goes around comes around.” If you do, you believe in the notion of karma. And so, you may align your behaviors to be consistent with this belief philosophy. You do not engage in unethical or negative behavior because you believe that it will “come back” to you. Likewise, you may try to exude behaviors that are ethical and positive because you wish for this behavior to return, in kind. You may not think this at all, and believe quite the opposite. Either way, there is a belief in operation driving what you think. Some examples of beliefs are located in Table 5.3.

A value, on the other hand, is a guiding belief that regulates our attitudes. [7] Values are the core principles driving our attitudes. If you probe into someone’s attitudes and beliefs far enough, you will inevitably find an underlying value. Importantly, you should also know that we structure our values in accordance to our own value hierarchy, or mental schema of values placed in order of their relative individual importance. Each of us has our own values that we subscribe to and a value hierarchy that we use to navigate the issues of the world. But we really aren’t even aware that we have a value hierarchy until some of our values come in direct conflict with each other. Then, we have to negotiate something called cognitive dissonance , or the mental stress caused by the choice we are forced to make between two considerable alternatives.

For example, let’s assume that you value “having fun” a great deal. You like to party with your friends and truly enjoy yourself. And, in this day and age, who doesn’t? However, now that you are experiencing a significant amount of independence and personal freedom, you have many life options at your disposal. Let’s also say that some of your close personal friends are doing drugs. You are torn. Part of you wants to experience the “fun” that your close friends may be experiencing; but, the more sane part of you wants to responsibly decline. In honesty, you are juxtaposed between two of your own values—having “fun” and being responsible. This real life example is somewhat exaggerated for your benefit. Realize that we make decisions small and grand, based on our value hierarchies. Some basic values common to people around the world can be found in Table 5.4.

Values aren’t buses… They’re not supposed to get you anywhere. They’re supposed to define who you are. – Jennifer Crusie

Multicultural Analysis

Demography looks at issues of race and ethnicity in a basic sense. However, in our increasingly diverse society, it is worthy to pay particular attention to the issue of speaking to a multicultural audience (as discussed in Chapter 14 Speaking to a Global Audience ). Odds are that any real world audience that you encounter will have an underlying multicultural dimension. As a speaker, you need to recognize that the perspective you have on any given topic may not necessarily be shared by all of the members of your audience. [8] Therefore, it is imperative that you become a culturally effective speaker. Culturally effective speakers develop the capacity to appreciate other cultures and acquire the necessary skills to speak effectively to people with diverse ethnic backgrounds. Keep these factors in mind when writing a speech for a diverse audience.

Many people speak different languages, so if you are translating words, do not use slang or jargon, which can be confusing. You could add a visual aid (a poster, a picture, a PowerPoint slide or two) which would show your audience what you mean – which instantly translates into the audience member’s mind. [9]

Audience applauding

“Audience Applause at MIT meeting in Beijing” by Philip McMaster. CC-BY-NC .

Realize that different cultures have different cultural-cognitive processes, or ways of looking at the very concept of logic itself. Accordingly, gauge your audience as to their diverse ways of thinking and be sensitive to these differing logics.


Remember that in many cases you will be appealing to people from other cultures. Do not assume that your culture is dominant or better than other cultures. That assumption is called ethnocentrism, and ethnocentric viewpoints have the tendency to drive a wedge between you and your audience. [10]

Christian, Jew, Muslim, shaman, Zoroastrian, stone, ground, mountain, river, each has a secret way of being with the mystery, unique and not to be judged. – Rumi

Not only do individuals have value systems of their own, but societies promote value systems, as well. Keep in mind the fact that you will be appealing to value hierarchies that are socially-laden, as well as those that are individually-borne.

Communication Styles

While you are trying to balance these language, cognition, cultural, and value issues, you should also recognize that some cultures prefer a more animated delivery style than do others. The intelligent speaker will understand this, and adapt his or her verbal and nonverbal delivery accordingly.

Interest and Knowledge Analysis

Audience laughing

“25th March 2011” by Grace Flora. CC-BY-NC-ND .

Finally, if the goal of your speech is to deliver a unique and stirring presentation (and it should be), you need to know ahead of time if your audience is interested in what you have to say, and has any prior knowledge about your topic. You do not want to give a boring or trite speech. Instead, you want to put your best work forward, and let your audience see your confidence and preparation shine through. And, you don’t want to make a speech that your audience already knows a lot about. So, your job here is to “test” your topic by sampling your audience for their topic interest and topic knowledge. Defined, topic interest is the significance of the topic to a given audience; often related to the uniqueness of a speaker’s topic. Likewise, topic knowledge is the general amount of information that the audience possesses on a given topic. These are not mere definitions listed for the sake of argument; these are essential analytical components of effective speech construction.

Anyone who teaches me deserves my respect, honoring and attention. – Sonia Rumzi

Unlike multicultural audience analysis, evaluating your audience’s topic interest and topic knowledge is a fairly simple task. One can do this through informal question and answer dialogue, or through an actual survey. Either way, it is best to have some information, rather than none at all. Imagine the long list of topics that people have heard over and over and over. You can probably name some yourself, right now, without giving it much thought. If you started listing some topics to yourself, please realize that this is the point of this section of this module; your audience is literally thinking the same exact thing you are. Given that, topic preparation is strategically important to your overall speech success.

Again, do not underestimate the power of asking your audience whether or not your topic actually interests them. If you find that many people are not interested in your topic, or already know a lot about it, you have just saved yourself from a potentially mind- numbing exercise. After all, do you really want to give a speech where your audience could care less about your topic—or even worse— they know more about the topic than you do yourself? Not at all! The purpose of this section is to help you search for the highly sought-after public speaking concept called uniqueness , which is when a topic rises to the level of being singularly exceptional in interest and knowledge to a given audience.

We know that you wish to excel in giving your speech, and indeed you shall. But first, let’s make sure that your audience is engaged by your topic and hasn’t already heard the subject matter so much that they, themselves, could give the speech without much (if any) preparation.

One final note: There’s an old adage in communication studies that reasons: “know what you know; know what you don’t know; and, know the difference between the two.” In other words, don’t use puffery to blind your audience about your alleged knowledge on a particular subject. Remember, there is likely to be someone in your audience who knows as much about your topic, if not more, than you do. If you get caught trying to field an embarrassing question, you might just lose the most important thing you have as a speaker: your credibility. If you know the answer, respond accordingly. If you do not know the answer, respond accordingly. But, above all, try and be a resource for your audience. They expect you to be something of an expert on the topic you choose to address.

Given the choice between trivial material brilliantly told versus profound material badly told, an audience will always choose the trivial told brilliantly. – Robert McKee
  • Caernarven-Smith, P. (1983). Audience analysis & response (1st Ed.). Pembroke, MA: Firman Technical Publications. ↵
  • Benjamin, B. (1969). Demographic analysis. New York: Praeger. ↵
  • Natalle, E.J. & Bodenheimer, F.R. (2004) The woman’s public speaking handbook. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. ↵
  • Campbell, K.K. & Huxman, S.S. The Rhetorical Act: Thinking, Speaking, and Writing Critically (3rd Ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. ↵
  • Jastrow, J. (1918). The psychology of conviction: A study of beliefs and attitudes. New York: Houghton Mifflin. ↵
  • Bem, D. J. (1970). Beliefs, attitudes, and human affairs. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole Pub. Co. ↵
  • Rokeach, M. (1968). Beliefs, attitudes, and values; a theory of organization and change (1st ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. ↵
  • Ting-Toomey. S & Chung, L.C. (2005). Understanding intercultural communication. Los Angeles: Roxbury Publishing. ↵
  • Klopf, D.W. & Cambra, R.E. (1991) Speaking skills for prospective teachers (2nd Ed.). Englewood, CO: Morton Publishing Company. Tauber, R.T. & Mester, C.S. Acting Lessons for Teachers, Using Performance Skills in the Classroom. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers. ↵
  • Pearson, J.C., Nelson, P.E., Titsworth, S. & Harter, L. (2011). Human communication (4th Ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill. ↵
  • Chapter 5 Categories of Audience Analysis. Authored by : Peter DeCaro, Ph.D., Tyrone Adams, Ph.D., and Bonnie Jefferis, Ph.D.. Provided by : University of Alaska - Fairbanks, University of Louisiana - Lafayette, and St. Petersburg College. Located at : . Project : The Public Speaking Project. License : CC BY-NC-ND: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives
  • Untitled. Authored by : Konrad-Adenauer-Gemeinschaftshauptschule Wenden. Located at : . License : CC BY-NC-SA: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
  • Wiki Conference 2011. Authored by : Sucheta Ghoshal. Located at : . License : CC BY-SA: Attribution-ShareAlike
  • Audience Applause at MIT meeting in Beijing 00071. Authored by : Philip McMaster. Located at : . License : CC BY-NC: Attribution-NonCommercial
  • 25th March 2011. Authored by : Grace Flora. Located at : . License : CC BY-NC-ND: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives

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Audience Analysis

Audience analysis involves identifying the audience and adapting a speech to their interests, level of understanding, attitudes, and beliefs. Taking an audience-centered approach is important because a speaker’s effectiveness will be improved if the presentation is created and delivered in an appropriate manner. Identifying the audience through extensive research is often difficult, so audience adaptation often relies on the healthy use of imagination.

As with many valuable tools, audience analysis can be used to excess. Adapting a speech to an audience is not the same thing as simply telling an audience what they want to hear. Audience analysis does not mean ‘grandstanding’ or ‘kowtowing’ to a public. Rather, adaptation guides the stylistic and content choices a speaker makes for a presentation. Audience adaptation often involves walking a very fine line between over-adapting and under-adapting – a distinction that can be greater appreciated by understanding the general components of this skill. The Communications Department offers  tips for analyzing an audience .

Audience Analysis Factors

Audience expectations.

When people become audience members in a speech situation, they bring with them expectations about the occasion, topic, and speaker. Violating audience expectations can have a negative impact on the effectiveness of the speech. Imagine that a local politician is asked to speak at the memorial service for a beloved former mayor. The audience will expect the politician’s speech to praise the life and career of the deceased.

If the politician used the opportunity to discuss a piece of legislation, the audience would probably be offended and the speaker would lose credibility. Of course, there may be some situations when violating the audience’s expectations would be an effective strategy. Presenters that make political statements at the Academy Awards do so precisely because the message’s incongruity with the occasion increases the impact of the proclamation.

Knowledge of topic

Audience knowledge of a topic can vary widely on any given occasion, therefore, communicators should find out what their audience already knows about the topic. Never overestimate the audience’s knowledge of a topic. If a speaker launches into a technical discussion of genetic engineering but the listeners are not familiar with basic genetics, they will be unable to follow your speech and quickly lose interest. On the other hand, drastically underestimating the audience’s knowledge may result in a speech that sounds condescending.

Try to do some research to find out what the audience already knows about the topic. Giving a brief review of important terms and concepts is almost always appropriate, and can sometimes be done by acknowledging the heterogeneous audience and the importance of ‘putting everyone on the same page.’ For example, even if the audience members were familiar with basic genetics, a brief review of key term and concepts at the beginning of a speech refreshes memories without being patronizing.

Attitude toward topic

Knowing audience members’ attitudes about a topic will help a speaker determine the best way to reach their goals. Imagine that a presenter is trying to convince the community to build a park. A speaker would probably be inclined to spend the majority of the speech giving reasons why a park would benefit the community.

However, if they found out ahead of time that most neighbors thought the park was a good idea but they were worried about safety issues, then the speaker could devote their time to showing them that park users would be safer in the park than they currently are playing in the streets. The persuasive power of the speech is thus directed at the most important impediment to the building of a park.

Audience size

Many elements of speech-making change in accordance with audience size. In general, the larger the audience the more formal the presentation should be. Sitting down and using common language when speaking to a group of 10 people is often quite appropriate. However, that style of presentation would probably be inappropriate or ineffective if you were speaking to 1,000 people. Large audiences often require that you use a microphone and speak from an elevated platform.


The demographic factors of an audience include age, gender, religion, ethnic background, class, sexual orientation, occupation, education, group membership, and countless other categories. Since these categories often organize individual’s identities and experiences, a wise speaker attends to the them. Politicians usually pay a great deal of attention to demographic factors when they are on the campaign trail. If a politician speaks in Day County, Florida (the county with the largest elderly population) they will likely discuss the issues that are more relevant to people in that age range – Medicare and Social Security.

Communicators must be careful about stereotyping an audience based on demographic information – individuals are always more complicated than a simplistic identity category. Also, be careful not to pander exclusively to interests based on demographics. For example, the elderly certainly are concerned with political issues beyond social security and Medicare. Using demographic factors to guide speech-making does not mean changing the goal of the speech for every different audience; rather, consider what pieces of information (or types of evidence) will be most important for members of different demographic groups.

The setting of a presentation can influence the ability to give a speech and the audience’s ability and desire to listen. Some of these factors are: the set-up of the room (both size and how the audience is arranged), time of day, temperature, external noises (lawn mowers, traffic), internal noises (babies crying, hacking coughs), and type of space (church, schoolroom, outside). Finding out ahead of time the different factors going into the setting will allow a speaker to adapt their speech appropriately. Will there be a stage? Will there be a podium or lectern? What technology aids will be available? How are the seats arranged? What is the order of speakers?

While these issues may appear minor compared to the content of the speech and the make-up of the audience, this foreknowledge will soothe nerves, assist in developing eye contact, and ensure that the appropriate technology, if necessary, is available. Take into account the way that the setting will affect audience attention and participation. People are usually tired after a meal and late in the day. If scheduled to speak at 1:00 PM, a speaker may have to make the speech more entertaining through animation or humor, exhibit more enthusiasm, or otherwise involve the audience in order to keep their attention.


Audiences are either voluntary, in which case they are genuinely interested in what a presenter has to say, or involuntary, in which case they are not inherently interested in the presentation. Knowing the difference will assist in establishing how hard a speaker needs to work to spark the interest of the audience. Involuntary audiences are notoriously hard to generate and maintain interest in a topic (think about most people’s attitudes toward classes or mandatory meetings they would prefer to not attend.)


Most audience members are egocentric: they are generally most interested in things that directly affect them or their community. An effective speaker must be able to show their audience why the topic they are speaking on should be important to them.

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Related Resources

  • —Types of Speeches

Lesson Plan in Oral Communication (Principles of Speech Writing) Quarter 2 Week 2 with GAD Integration View Download

Lesson Plan  |  DOCX

Curriculum Information

Copyright information, technical information.

  • 19.7 Spotlight on … Delivery/Public Speaking
  • 1 Unit Introduction
  • Introduction
  • 1.1 "Reading" to Understand and Respond
  • 1.2 Social Media Trailblazer: Selena Gomez
  • 1.3 Glance at Critical Response: Rhetoric and Critical Thinking
  • 1.4 Annotated Student Sample: Social Media Post and Responses on Voter Suppression
  • 1.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About a “Text”
  • 1.6 Evaluation: Intention vs. Execution
  • 1.7 Spotlight on … Academia
  • 1.8 Portfolio: Tracing Writing Development
  • Further Reading
  • Works Cited
  • 2.1 Seeds of Self
  • 2.2 Identity Trailblazer: Cathy Park Hong
  • 2.3 Glance at the Issues: Oppression and Reclamation
  • 2.4 Annotated Sample Reading from The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois
  • 2.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically about How Identity Is Constructed Through Writing
  • 2.6 Evaluation: Antiracism and Inclusivity
  • 2.7 Spotlight on … Variations of English
  • 2.8 Portfolio: Decolonizing Self
  • 3.1 Identity and Expression
  • 3.2 Literacy Narrative Trailblazer: Tara Westover
  • 3.3 Glance at Genre: The Literacy Narrative
  • 3.4 Annotated Sample Reading: from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
  • 3.5 Writing Process: Tracing the Beginnings of Literacy
  • 3.6 Editing Focus: Sentence Structure
  • 3.7 Evaluation: Self-Evaluating
  • 3.8 Spotlight on … The Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives (DALN)
  • 3.9 Portfolio: A Literacy Artifact
  • Works Consulted
  • 2 Unit Introduction
  • 4.1 Exploring the Past to Understand the Present
  • 4.2 Memoir Trailblazer: Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • 4.3 Glance at Genre: Conflict, Detail, and Revelation
  • 4.4 Annotated Sample Reading: from Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain
  • 4.5 Writing Process: Making the Personal Public
  • 4.6 Editing Focus: More on Characterization and Point of View
  • 4.7 Evaluation: Structure and Organization
  • 4.8 Spotlight on … Multilingual Writers
  • 4.9 Portfolio: Filtered Memories
  • 5.1 Profiles as Inspiration
  • 5.2 Profile Trailblazer: Veronica Chambers
  • 5.3 Glance at Genre: Subject, Angle, Background, and Description
  • 5.4 Annotated Sample Reading: “Remembering John Lewis” by Carla D. Hayden
  • 5.5 Writing Process: Focusing on the Angle of Your Subject
  • 5.6 Editing Focus: Verb Tense Consistency
  • 5.7 Evaluation: Text as Personal Introduction
  • 5.8 Spotlight on … Profiling a Cultural Artifact
  • 5.9 Portfolio: Subject as a Reflection of Self
  • 6.1 Proposing Change: Thinking Critically About Problems and Solutions
  • 6.2 Proposal Trailblazer: Atul Gawande
  • 6.3 Glance at Genre: Features of Proposals
  • 6.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Slowing Climate Change” by Shawn Krukowski
  • 6.5 Writing Process: Creating a Proposal
  • 6.6 Editing Focus: Subject-Verb Agreement
  • 6.7 Evaluation: Conventions, Clarity, and Coherence
  • 6.8 Spotlight on … Technical Writing as a Career
  • 6.9 Portfolio: Reflecting on Problems and Solutions
  • 7.1 Thumbs Up or Down?
  • 7.2 Review Trailblazer: Michiko Kakutani
  • 7.3 Glance at Genre: Criteria, Evidence, Evaluation
  • 7.4 Annotated Student Sample: "Black Representation in Film" by Caelia Marshall
  • 7.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About Entertainment
  • 7.6 Editing Focus: Quotations
  • 7.7 Evaluation: Effect on Audience
  • 7.8 Spotlight on … Language and Culture
  • 7.9 Portfolio: What the Arts Say About You
  • 8.1 Information and Critical Thinking
  • 8.2 Analytical Report Trailblazer: Barbara Ehrenreich
  • 8.3 Glance at Genre: Informal and Formal Analytical Reports
  • 8.4 Annotated Student Sample: "U.S. Response to COVID-19" by Trevor Garcia
  • 8.5 Writing Process: Creating an Analytical Report
  • 8.6 Editing Focus: Commas with Nonessential and Essential Information
  • 8.7 Evaluation: Reviewing the Final Draft
  • 8.8 Spotlight on … Discipline-Specific and Technical Language
  • 8.9 Portfolio: Evidence and Objectivity
  • 9.1 Breaking the Whole into Its Parts
  • 9.2 Rhetorical Analysis Trailblazer: Jamil Smith
  • 9.3 Glance at Genre: Rhetorical Strategies
  • 9.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Rhetorical Analysis: Evicted by Matthew Desmond” by Eliana Evans
  • 9.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically about Rhetoric
  • 9.6 Editing Focus: Mixed Sentence Constructions
  • 9.7 Evaluation: Rhetorical Analysis
  • 9.8 Spotlight on … Business and Law
  • 9.9 Portfolio: How Thinking Critically about Rhetoric Affects Intellectual Growth
  • 10.1 Making a Case: Defining a Position Argument
  • 10.2 Position Argument Trailblazer: Charles Blow
  • 10.3 Glance at Genre: Thesis, Reasoning, and Evidence
  • 10.4 Annotated Sample Reading: "Remarks at the University of Michigan" by Lyndon B. Johnson
  • 10.5 Writing Process: Creating a Position Argument
  • 10.6 Editing Focus: Paragraphs and Transitions
  • 10.7 Evaluation: Varied Appeals
  • 10.8 Spotlight on … Citation
  • 10.9 Portfolio: Growth in the Development of Argument
  • 11.1 Developing Your Sense of Logic
  • 11.2 Reasoning Trailblazer: Paul D. N. Hebert
  • 11.3 Glance at Genre: Reasoning Strategies and Signal Words
  • 11.4 Annotated Sample Reading: from Book VII of The Republic by Plato
  • 11.5 Writing Process: Reasoning Supported by Evidence
  • 12.1 Introducing Research and Research Evidence
  • 12.2 Argumentative Research Trailblazer: Samin Nosrat
  • 12.3 Glance at Genre: Introducing Research as Evidence
  • 12.4 Annotated Student Sample: "Healthy Diets from Sustainable Sources Can Save the Earth" by Lily Tran
  • 12.5 Writing Process: Integrating Research
  • 12.6 Editing Focus: Integrating Sources and Quotations
  • 12.7 Evaluation: Effectiveness of Research Paper
  • 12.8 Spotlight on … Bias in Language and Research
  • 12.9 Portfolio: Why Facts Matter in Research Argumentation
  • 13.1 The Research Process: Where to Look for Existing Sources
  • 13.2 The Research Process: How to Create Sources
  • 13.3 Glance at the Research Process: Key Skills
  • 13.4 Annotated Student Sample: Research Log
  • 13.5 Research Process: Making Notes, Synthesizing Information, and Keeping a Research Log
  • 13.6 Spotlight on … Ethical Research
  • 14.1 Compiling Sources for an Annotated Bibliography
  • 14.2 Glance at Form: Citation Style, Purpose, and Formatting
  • 14.3 Annotated Student Sample: “Healthy Diets from Sustainable Sources Can Save the Earth” by Lily Tran
  • 14.4 Writing Process: Informing and Analyzing
  • 15.1 Tracing a Broad Issue in the Individual
  • 15.2 Case Study Trailblazer: Vilayanur S. Ramachandran
  • 15.3 Glance at Genre: Observation, Description, and Analysis
  • 15.4 Annotated Sample Reading: Case Study on Louis Victor "Tan" Leborgne
  • 15.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About How People and Language Interact
  • 15.6 Editing Focus: Words Often Confused
  • 15.7 Evaluation: Presentation and Analysis of Case Study
  • 15.8 Spotlight on … Applied Linguistics
  • 15.9 Portfolio: Your Own Uses of Language
  • 3 Unit Introduction
  • 16.1 An Author’s Choices: What Text Says and How It Says It
  • 16.2 Textual Analysis Trailblazer: bell hooks
  • 16.3 Glance at Genre: Print or Textual Analysis
  • 16.4 Annotated Student Sample: "Artists at Work" by Gwyn Garrison
  • 16.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About Text
  • 16.6 Editing Focus: Literary Works Live in the Present
  • 16.7 Evaluation: Self-Directed Assessment
  • 16.8 Spotlight on … Humanities
  • 16.9 Portfolio: The Academic and the Personal
  • 17.1 “Reading” Images
  • 17.2 Image Trailblazer: Sara Ludy
  • 17.3 Glance at Genre: Relationship Between Image and Rhetoric
  • 17.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Hints of the Homoerotic” by Leo Davis
  • 17.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically and Writing Persuasively About Images
  • 17.6 Editing Focus: Descriptive Diction
  • 17.7 Evaluation: Relationship Between Analysis and Image
  • 17.8 Spotlight on … Video and Film
  • 17.9 Portfolio: Interplay Between Text and Image
  • 18.1 Mixing Genres and Modes
  • 18.2 Multimodal Trailblazer: Torika Bolatagici
  • 18.3 Glance at Genre: Genre, Audience, Purpose, Organization
  • 18.4 Annotated Sample Reading: “Celebrating a Win-Win” by Alexandra Dapolito Dunn
  • 18.5 Writing Process: Create a Multimodal Advocacy Project
  • 18.6 Evaluation: Transitions
  • 18.7 Spotlight on . . . Technology
  • 18.8 Portfolio: Multimodalism
  • 19.1 Writing, Speaking, and Activism
  • 19.2 Podcast Trailblazer: Alice Wong
  • 19.3 Glance at Genre: Language Performance and Visuals
  • 19.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Are New DOT Regulations Discriminatory?” by Zain A. Kumar
  • 19.5 Writing Process: Writing to Speak
  • 19.6 Evaluation: Bridging Writing and Speaking
  • 19.8 Portfolio: Everyday Rhetoric, Rhetoric Every Day
  • 20.1 Thinking Critically about Your Semester
  • 20.2 Reflection Trailblazer: Sandra Cisneros
  • 20.3 Glance at Genre: Purpose and Structure
  • 20.4 Annotated Sample Reading: “Don’t Expect Congrats” by Dale Trumbore
  • 20.5 Writing Process: Looking Back, Looking Forward
  • 20.6 Editing Focus: Pronouns
  • 20.7 Evaluation: Evaluating Self-Reflection
  • 20.8 Spotlight on … Pronouns in Context

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Implement various technologies effectively to address an audience, matching the capacities of each to the rhetorical situation.
  • Apply conventions of speech delivery, such as voice control, gestures, and posture.
  • Identify and show awareness of cultural considerations.

Think of a speech you have seen or heard, either in person, on television, or online. Was the speech delivered well, or was it poorly executed? What aspects of the performance make you say that? Both good and poor delivery of a speech can affect the audience’s opinion of the speaker and the topic. Poor delivery may be so distracting that even the message of a well-organized script with strong information is lost to the audience.

Speaking Genres: Spoken Word, Pulpit, YouTube, Podcast, Social Media

The world today offers many new (and old) delivery methods for script writing. While the traditional presidential address or commencement speech on a stage in front of a crowd of people is unlikely to disappear, newer script delivery methods are now available, including many that involve technology. From YouTube , which allows anyone to upload videos, to podcasts, which provide a platform for anyone, celebrities and noncelebrities alike, to produce a radio-like program, it seems that people are finding new ways to use technology to enhance communication. Free resources such as YouTube Studio and the extension TubeBuddy can be a good starting place to learn to create these types of media.

Voice Control

Whether the method is old or new, delivering communication in the speaking genre relies not only on words but also on the way those words are delivered. Remember that voice and tone are important in establishing a bond with your audience, helping them feel connected to your message, creating engagement, and facilitating comprehension. Vocal delivery includes these aspects of speech:

  • Rate of speech refers to how fast or slow you speak. You must speak slowly enough to be understood but not so slowly that you sound unnatural and bore your audience. In addition, you can vary your rate, speeding up or slowing down to increase tension, emphasize a point, or create a dramatic effect.
  • Volume refers to how loudly or softly you speak. As with rate, you do not want to be too loud or too soft. Too soft, and your speech will be difficult or impossible to hear, even with amplification; too loud, and it will be distracting or even painful for the audience. Ideally, you should project your voice, speaking from the diaphragm, according to the size and location of the audience and the acoustics of the room. You can also use volume for effect; you might use a softer voice to describe a tender moment between mother and child or a louder voice to emphatically discuss an injustice.
  • Pitch refers to how high or low a speaker’s voice is to listeners. A person’s vocal pitch is unique to that person, and unlike the control a speaker has over rate and volume, some physical limitations exist on the extent to which individuals can vary pitch. Although men generally have lower-pitched voices than women, speakers can vary their pitch for emphasis. For example, you probably raise your pitch naturally at the end of a question. Changing pitch can also communicate enthusiasm or indicate transition or closure.
  • Articulation refers to how clearly a person produces sounds. Clarity of voice is important in speech; it determines how well your audience understands what you are saying. Poor articulation can hamper the effect of your script and even cause your audience to feel disconnected from both you and your message. In general, articulation during a presentation before an audience tends to be more pronounced and dramatic than everyday communication with individuals or small groups. When presenting a script, avoid slurring and mumbling. While these may be acceptable in informal communication, in presented speech they can obscure your message.
  • Fluency refers to the flow of speech. Speaking with fluency is similar to reading with fluency. It’s not about how fast you can speak, but how fluid and meaningful your speech is. While inserting pauses for dramatic effect is perfectly acceptable, these are noticeably different from awkward pauses that result from forgetting a point, losing your place, or becoming distracted. Practicing your speech can greatly reduce fluency issues. A word on verbal fillers , those pesky words or sounds used to fill a gap or fluency glitch: utterances such as um , ah , and like detract from the fluency of your speech, distract the audience from your point, and can even reduce your credibility. Again, practice can help reduce their occurrence, and self-awareness can help you speak with more fluency.

Gestures and Expressions

Beyond vocal delivery, consider also physical delivery variables such as gestures and facial expressions . While not all speech affords audiences the ability to see the speaker, in-person, online, and other forms of speech do. Gestures and facial expressions can both add to and detract from effective script delivery, as they can help demonstrate emotion and enthusiasm for the topic. Both have the ability to emphasize points, enhance tone, and engage audiences.

Eye contact is another form of nonverbal, physical communication that builds community, communicates comfort, and establishes credibility. Eye contact also can help hold an audience’s attention during a speech. It is advisable to begin your speech by establishing eye contact with the audience. One idea is to memorize your opening and closing statements to allow you to maintain consistent eye contact during these important sections of the script and strengthen your connection with the audience.

Although natural engagement through gestures, facial expressions, and eye contact can help an audience relate to a presenter and even help establish community and trust, these actions also can distract audiences from the content of the script if not used purposefully. In general, as with most delivery elements, variation and a happy medium between “too much” and “too little” are key to an effective presentation. Some presenters naturally have more expressive faces, but all people can learn to control and use facial expressions and gestures consciously to become more effective speakers. Practicing your speech in front of a mirror will allow you to monitor, plan, and practice these aspects of physical delivery.

Posture and Movement

Other physical delivery considerations include posture and movement. Posture is the position of the body. If you have ever been pestered to “stand up straight,” you were being instructed on your posture. The most important consideration for posture during a speech is that you look relaxed and natural. You don’t want to be slumped over and leaning on the podium or lectern, but you also don’t want a stiff, unnatural posture that makes you look stilted or uncomfortable. In many speeches, the speaker’s posture is upright as they stand behind a podium or at a microphone, but this is not always the case. Less formal occasions and audiences may call for movement of the whole body. If this informality fits your speech, you will need to balance movement with the other delivery variables. This kind of balance can be challenging. You won’t want to wander aimlessly around the stage or pace back and forth on the same path. Nor will you want to shuffle your feet, rock, or shift your weight back and forth. Instead, as with every other aspect of delivery, you will want your movements to be purposeful, with the intention of connecting with or influencing your audience. Time your movements to occur at key points or transitions in the script.

Cultural Considerations

Don’t forget to reflect on cultural considerations that relate to your topic and/or audience. Cultural awareness is important in any aspect of writing, but it can have an immediate impact on a speech, as the audience will react to your words, gestures, vocal techniques, and topic in real time. Elements that speakers don’t always think about—including gestures, glances, and changes in tone and inflection—can vary in effectiveness and even politeness in many cultures. Consideration for cultural cues may include the following:

  • Paralanguage : voiced cultural considerations, including tone, language, and even accent.
  • Kinesics : body movements and gestures that may include facial expressions. Often part of a person’s subconscious, kinesics can be interpreted in various ways by members of different cultures. Body language can include posture, facial expressions (smiling or frowning), and even displays of affection.
  • Proxemics : interpersonal space that regulates intimacy. Proxemics might indicate how close to an audience a speaker is located, whether the speaker moves around, and even how the speaker greets the audience.
  • Chronemics : use of time. Chronemics refers to the duration of a script.
  • Appearance : clothing and physical appearance. The presentation of appearance is a subtle form of communication that can indicate the speaker’s identity and can be specific to cultures.

Stage Directions

You can think proactively about ways to enhance the delivery of your script, including vocal techniques, body awareness, and cultural considerations. Within the draft of your script, create stage directions . An integral part of performances such as plays and films, stage directions can be as simple as writing in a pause for dramatic effect or as complicated as describing where and how to walk, what facial expressions to make, or how to react to audience feedback.

Look at this example from the beginning of the student sample. Stage directions are enclosed in parentheses and bolded.

student sample text Several years ago, I sat in the waiting area of a major airport, trying to ignore the constant yapping of a small dog cuddled on the lap of a fellow passenger. An airline rep approached the woman and asked the only two questions allowed by law. (high-pitched voice with a formal tone) “Is that a service animal? (pause) What service does it provide for you?” end student sample text

student sample text (bold, defiant, self-righteous tone) “Yes. It keeps me from having panic attacks,” the woman said defiantly, and the airline employee retreated. (move two steps to the left for emphasis) end student sample text

student sample text Shortly after that, another passenger arrived at the gate. (spoken with authority) She gripped the high, stiff handle on the harness of a Labrador retriever that wore a vest emblazoned with the words “The Seeing Eye.” (speed up speech and dynamic of voice for dramatic effect) Without warning, the smaller dog launched itself from its owner’s lap, snarling and snapping at the guide dog. (move two steps back to indicate transition) end student sample text

Now it’s your turn. Using the principle illustrated above, create stage directions for your script. Then, practice using them by presenting your script to a peer reviewer, such as a friend, family member, or classmate. Also consider recording yourself practicing your script. Listen to the recording to evaluate it for delivery, fluency, and vocal fillers. Remember that writing is recursive: you can make changes based on what works and what doesn’t after you implement your stage directions. You can even ask your audience for feedback to improve your delivery.

Podcast Publication

If possible, work with your instructor and classmates to put together a single podcast or a series of podcasts according to the subject areas of the presentations. The purpose of these podcasts should be to invite and encourage other students to get involved in important causes. Work with relevant student organizations on campus to produce and publicize the podcasts for maximum impact. There are many free resources for creating podcasts, including Apple’s GarageBand and Audacity .

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Public Affairs Council

Speechwriting 101: Writing an Effective Speech

Whether you are a communications pro or a human resources executive, the time will come when you will need to write a speech for yourself or someone else.  when that time comes, your career may depend on your success..

J. Lyman MacInnis, a corporate coach,  Toronto Star  columnist, accounting executive and author of  “ The Elements of Great Public Speaking ,”  has seen careers stalled – even damaged – by a failure to communicate messages effectively before groups of people. On the flip side, solid speechwriting skills can help launch and sustain a successful career.  What you need are forethought and methodical preparation.

Know Your Audience

Learn as much as possible about the audience and the event.  This will help you target the insights, experience or knowledge you have that this group wants or needs:

  • Why has the audience been brought together?
  • What do the members of the audience have in common?
  • How big an audience will it be?
  • What do they know, and what do they need to know?
  • Do they expect discussion about a specific subject and, if so, what?
  • What is the audience’s attitude and knowledge about the subject of your talk?
  • What is their attitude toward you as the speaker?
  • Why are they interested in your topic?

Choose Your Core Message

If the core message is on target, you can do other things wrong. But if the message is wrong, it doesn’t matter what you put around it.  To write the most effective speech, you should have significant knowledge about your topic, sincerely care about it and be eager to talk about it.  Focus on a message that is relevant to the target audience, and remember: an audience wants opinion. If you offer too little substance, your audience will label you a lightweight.  If you offer too many ideas, you make it difficult for them to know what’s important to you.

Research and Organize

Research until you drop.  This is where you pick up the information, connect the ideas and arrive at the insights that make your talk fresh.  You’ll have an easier time if you gather far more information than you need.  Arrange your research and notes into general categories and leave space between them. Then go back and rearrange. Fit related pieces together like a puzzle.

Develop Structure to Deliver Your Message

First, consider whether your goal is to inform, persuade, motivate or entertain.  Then outline your speech and fill in the details:

  • Introduction – The early minutes of a talk are important to establish your credibility and likeability.  Personal anecdotes often work well to get things started.  This is also where you’ll outline your main points.
  • Body – Get to the issues you’re there to address, limiting them to five points at most.  Then bolster those few points with illustrations, evidence and anecdotes.  Be passionate: your conviction can be as persuasive as the appeal of your ideas.
  • Conclusion – Wrap up with feeling as well as fact. End with something upbeat that will inspire your listeners.

You want to leave the audience exhilarated, not drained. In our fast-paced age, 20-25 minutes is about as long as anyone will listen attentively to a speech. As you write and edit your speech, the general rule is to allow about 90 seconds for every double-spaced page of copy.

Spice it Up

Once you have the basic structure of your speech, it’s time to add variety and interest.  Giving an audience exactly what it expects is like passing out sleeping pills. Remember that a speech is more like conversation than formal writing.  Its phrasing is loose – but without the extremes of slang, the incomplete thoughts, the interruptions that flavor everyday speech.

  • Give it rhythm. A good speech has pacing.
  • Vary the sentence structure. Use short sentences. Use occasional long ones to keep the audience alert. Fragments are fine if used sparingly and for emphasis.
  • Use the active voice and avoid passive sentences. Active forms of speech make your sentences more powerful.
  • Repeat key words and points. Besides helping your audience remember something, repetition builds greater awareness of central points or the main theme.
  • Ask rhetorical questions in a way that attracts your listeners’ attention.
  • Personal experiences and anecdotes help bolster your points and help you connect with the audience.
  • Use quotes. Good quotes work on several levels, forcing the audience to think. Make sure quotes are clearly attributed and said by someone your audience will probably recognize.

Be sure to use all of these devices sparingly in your speeches. If overused, the speech becomes exaggerated. Used with care, they will work well to move the speech along and help you deliver your message in an interesting, compelling way.

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Rice Speechwriting

Beginners guide to what is a speech writing, what is a speech writing: a beginner’s guide, what is the purpose of speech writing.

The purpose of speech writing is to craft a compelling and effective speech that conveys a specific message or idea to an audience. It involves writing a script that is well-structured, engaging, and tailored to the speaker’s delivery style and the audience’s needs.

Have you ever been called upon to deliver a speech and didn’t know where to start? Or maybe you’re looking to improve your public speaking skills and wondering how speech writing can help. Whatever the case may be, this beginner’s guide on speech writing is just what you need. In this blog, we will cover everything from understanding the art of speech writing to key elements of an effective speech. We will also discuss techniques for engaging speech writing, the role of audience analysis in speech writing, time and length considerations, and how to practice and rehearse your speech. By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of how speech writing can improve your public speaking skills and make you feel confident when delivering your next big presentation.

Understanding the Art of Speech Writing

Crafting a speech involves melding spoken and written language. Tailoring the speech to the audience and occasion is crucial, as is captivating the audience and evoking emotion. Effective speeches utilize rhetorical devices, anecdotes, and a conversational tone. Structuring the speech with a compelling opener, clear points, and a strong conclusion is imperative. Additionally, employing persuasive language and maintaining simplicity are essential elements. The University of North Carolina’s writing center greatly emphasizes the importance of using these techniques.

The Importance of Speech Writing

Crafting a persuasive and impactful speech is essential for reaching your audience effectively. A well-crafted speech incorporates a central idea, main point, and a thesis statement to engage the audience. Whether it’s for a large audience or different ways of public speaking, good speech writing ensures that your message resonates with the audience. Incorporating engaging visual aids, an impactful introduction, and a strong start are key features of a compelling speech. Embracing these elements sets the stage for a successful speech delivery.

The Role of a Speech Writer

A speechwriter holds the responsibility of composing speeches for various occasions and specific points, employing a speechwriting process that includes audience analysis for both the United States and New York audiences. This written text is essential for delivering impactful and persuasive messages, often serving as a good start to a great speech. Utilizing NLP terms like ‘short sentences’ and ‘persuasion’ enhances the content’s quality and relevance.

Key Elements of Effective Speech Writing

Balancing shorter sentences with longer ones is essential for crafting an engaging speech. Including subordinate clauses and personal stories caters to the target audience and adds persuasion. The speechwriting process, including the thesis statement and a compelling introduction, ensures the content captures the audience’s attention. Effective speech writing involves research and the generation of new ideas. Toastmasters International and the Writing Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill provide valuable resources for honing English and verbal skills.

Clarity and Purpose of the Speech

Achieving clarity, authenticity, and empathy defines a good speech. Whether to persuade, inform, or entertain, the purpose of a speech is crucial. It involves crafting persuasive content with rich vocabulary and clear repetition. Successful speechwriting demands a thorough understanding of the audience and a compelling introduction. Balancing short and long sentences is essential for holding the audience’s attention. This process is a fusion of linguistics, psychology, and rhetoric, making it an art form with a powerful impact.

Identifying Target Audience

Tailoring the speechwriting process hinges on identifying the target audience. Their attention is integral to the persuasive content, requiring adaptation of the speechwriting process. A speechwriter conducts audience analysis to capture the audience’s attention, employing new york audience analysis methods. Ensuring a good introduction and adapting the writing process for the target audience are key features of a great speech. Effective speechwriters prioritize the audience’s attention to craft compelling and persuasive speeches.

Structuring Your Speech

The speechwriting process relies on a well-defined structure, crucial to both the speech’s content and the writing process. It encompasses a compelling introduction, an informative body, and a strong conclusion. This process serves as a foundation for effective speeches, guiding the speaker through a series of reasons and a persuasive speechwriting definition. Furthermore, the structure, coupled with audience analysis, is integral to delivering a great speech that resonates with the intended listeners.

The Process of Writing a Speech

Crafting a speech involves composing the opening line, developing key points, and ensuring a strong start. Effective speech writing follows a structured approach, incorporating rhetorical questions and a compelling introduction. A speechwriter’s process includes formulating a thesis statement, leveraging rhetorical questions, and establishing a good start. This process entails careful consideration of the audience, persuasive language, and engaging content. The University of North Carolina’s writing center emphasizes the significance of persuasion, clarity, and concise sentences in speechwriting.

Starting with a Compelling Opener

A speechwriting process commences with a captivating opening line and a strong introduction, incorporating the right words and rhetorical questions. The opening line serves as both an introduction and a persuasive speech, laying the foundation for a great speechwriting definition. Additionally, the structure of the speechwriting process, along with audience analysis, plays a crucial role in crafting an effective opening. Considering these elements is imperative when aiming to start a speech with a compelling opener.

Developing the Body of the Speech

Crafting the body of a speech involves conveying the main points with persuasion and precision. It’s essential to outline the speechwriting process, ensuring a clear and impactful message. The body serves as a structured series of reasons, guiding the audience through the content. Through the use of short sentences and clear language, the body of the speech engages the audience, maintaining their attention. Crafting the body involves the art of persuasion, using the power of words to deliver a compelling message.

Crafting a Strong Conclusion

Crafting a strong conclusion involves reflecting the main points of the speech and summarizing key ideas, leaving the audience with a memorable statement. It’s the final chance to leave a lasting impression and challenge the audience to take action or consider new perspectives. A good conclusion can make the speech memorable and impactful, using persuasion and English language effectively to drive the desired response from the audience. Toastmasters International emphasizes the importance of a strong conclusion in speechwriting for maximum impact.

Techniques for Engaging Speech Writing

Engage the audience’s attention using rhetorical questions. Create a connection through anecdotes and personal stories. Emphasize key points with rhetorical devices to capture the audience’s attention. Maintain interest by varying sentence structure and length. Use visual aids to complement the spoken word and enhance understanding. Incorporate NLP terms such as “short sentences,” “writing center,” and “persuasion” to create engaging and informative speech writing.

Keeping the Content Engaging

Captivating the audience’s attention requires a conversational tone, alliteration, and repetition for effect. A strong introduction sets the tone, while emotional appeals evoke responses. Resonating with the target audience ensures engagement. Utilize short sentences, incorporate persuasion, and vary sentence structure to maintain interest. Infuse the speech with NLP terms like “writing center”, “University of North Carolina”, and “Toastmasters International” to enhance its appeal. Engaging content captivates the audience and compels them to listen attentively.

Maintaining Simplicity and Clarity

To ensure clarity and impact, express ideas in short sentences. Use a series of reasons and specific points to effectively convey the main idea. Enhance the speech with the right words for clarity and comprehension. Simplify complex concepts by incorporating anecdotes and personal stories. Subordinate clauses can provide structure and clarity in the speechwriting process.

The Power of Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal cues, such as body language and gestures, can add emphasis to your spoken words, enhancing the overall impact of your speech. By incorporating visual aids and handouts, you can further augment the audience’s understanding and retention of key points. Utilizing a conversational tone and appropriate body language is crucial for establishing a genuine connection with your audience. Visual aids and gestures not only aid comprehension but also help in creating a lasting impression, captivat**ing** the audience with compelling visual elements.

The Role of Audience Analysis in Speech Writing

Tailoring a speech to the audience’s needs is paramount. Demographics like age, gender, and cultural background must be considered. Understanding the audience’s interests and affiliation is crucial for delivering a resonating speech. Content should be tailored to specific audience points of interest, engaging and speaking to their concerns.

Understanding Audience Demographics

Understanding the varied demographics of the audience, including age and cultural diversity, is crucial. Adapting the speech content to resonate with a diverse audience involves tailoring it to the different ways audience members process and interpret information. This adaptation ensures that the speech can effectively engage with the audience, no matter their background or age. Recognizing the importance of understanding audience demographics is key for effective audience analysis. By considering these factors, the speech can be tailored to meet the needs and preferences of the audience, resulting in a more impactful delivery.

Considering the Audience Size and Affiliation

When tailoring a speech, consider the audience size and affiliation to influence the tone and content effectively. Adapt the speech content and delivery to resonate with a large audience and different occasions, addressing the specific points of the target audience’s affiliation. By delivering a speech tailored to the audience’s size and specific points of affiliation, you can ensure that your message is received and understood by all.

Time and Length Considerations in Speech Writing

Choosing the appropriate time for your speech and determining its ideal length are crucial factors influenced by the purpose and audience demographics. Tailoring the speech’s content and structure for different occasions ensures relevance and impact. Adapting the speech to specific points and the audience’s demographics is key to its effectiveness. Understanding these time and length considerations allows for effective persuasion and engagement, catering to the audience’s diverse processing styles.

Choosing the Right Time for Your Speech

Selecting the optimal start and opening line is crucial for capturing the audience’s attention right from the beginning. It’s essential to consider the timing and the audience’s focus to deliver a compelling and persuasive speech. The right choice of opening line and attention to the audience set the tone for the speech, influencing the emotional response. A good introduction and opening line not only captivate the audience but also establish the desired tone for the speech.

Determining the Ideal Length of Your Speech

When deciding the ideal length of your speech, it’s crucial to tailor it to your specific points and purpose. Consider the attention span of your audience and the nature of the event. Engage in audience analysis to understand the right words and structure for your speech. Ensure that the length is appropriate for the occasion and target audience. By assessing these factors, you can structure your speech effectively and deliver it with confidence and persuasion.

How to Practice and Rehearse Your Speech

Incorporating rhetorical questions and anecdotes can deeply engage your audience, evoking an emotional response that resonates. Utilize visual aids, alliteration, and repetition to enhance your speech and captivate the audience’s attention. Effective speechwriting techniques are essential for crafting a compelling introduction and persuasive main points. By practicing a conversational tone and prioritizing clarity, you establish authenticity and empathy with your audience. Develop a structured series of reasons and a solid thesis statement to ensure your speech truly resonates.

Techniques for Effective Speech Rehearsal

When practicing your speech, aim for clarity and emphasis by using purposeful repetition and shorter sentences. Connect with your audience by infusing personal stories and quotations to make your speech more relatable. Maximize the impact of your written speech when spoken by practicing subordinate clauses and shorter sentences. Focus on clarity and authenticity, rehearsing your content with a good introduction and a persuasive central idea. Employ rhetorical devices and a conversational tone, ensuring the right vocabulary and grammar.

How Can Speech Writing Improve Your Public Speaking Skills?

Enhancing your public speaking skills is possible through speech writing. By emphasizing key points and a clear thesis, you can capture the audience’s attention. Developing a strong start and central idea helps deliver effective speeches. Utilize speechwriting techniques and rhetorical devices to structure engaging speeches that connect with the audience. Focus on authenticity, empathy, and a conversational tone to improve your public speaking skills.

In conclusion, speech writing is an art that requires careful consideration of various elements such as clarity, audience analysis, and engagement. By understanding the importance of speech writing and the role of a speech writer, you can craft effective speeches that leave a lasting impact on your audience. Remember to start with a compelling opener, develop a strong body, and end with a memorable conclusion. Engaging techniques, simplicity, and nonverbal communication are key to keeping your audience captivated. Additionally, analyzing your audience demographics and considering time and length considerations are vital for a successful speech. Lastly, practicing and rehearsing your speech will help improve your public speaking skills and ensure a confident delivery.

Expert Tips for Choosing Good Speech Topics

Master the art of how to start a speech.

what principle of effective speech writing involves demography situation and psychology

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  1. four elements of effective speech writing

    what principle of effective speech writing involves demography situation and psychology

  2. Principles of Effective Speech Writing

    what principle of effective speech writing involves demography situation and psychology

  3. seven principles of effective speech writing

    what principle of effective speech writing involves demography situation and psychology

  4. four elements of effective speech writing

    what principle of effective speech writing involves demography situation and psychology

  5. four elements of effective speech writing

    what principle of effective speech writing involves demography situation and psychology

  6. seven principles of effective speech writing

    what principle of effective speech writing involves demography situation and psychology



  2. Effective Speech Writing by Mike Long

  3. Foundation of Public Health/Unit

  4. Effective Report Writing: Structuring, Language, and Presentation for Impactful Communication

  5. Audience Analysis #oralcommunication #seniorhighschool #videolessons

  6. Motivational Speech By Principle Mam For Parents || Annual Function || Kids Passion Pre School


  1. Lesson Plan in Oral Communication (Principles of Speech Writing

    Attachment: Discuss demography, situation, and psychology. • Demography has to be known to determine the interest of the audience. It will also affect the language style and formality of the speech. • Situation will affect the length of speech, visual aids, and formality of the situation.


    Top creator on Quizlet Terms in this set (4) RECURSIVE that means you have a opportunity to repeat a writing procedure indefinitely or produce multiple drafts AUDIENCE ANALYSIS Entails looking into the profile of your target audience DEMOGRAPHY Scientific study of human populations. DEMOGRAPHY SITUATION The profile for Audience analysis includes:


    Study with Quizlet and memorize flashcards containing terms like Speech writing, audience analysis, logical organization, duration, word choice, grammatical correctness, audience analysis and more. ... principle of speech writing. ... demography, situation, psychology. different aspects in considering audience analysis. demography. age range ...

  4. Principles of speech writing Flashcards

    Principles of speech writing Flashcards Match Q-Chat Get a hint Audience Analysis Click the card to flip 👆 demography, situation, and psychology Click the card to flip 👆 1 / 21 1 / 21 Test Match Q-Chat Created by abbydonato Share Share Students also viewed Principles of Speech Writing 8 terms amielle_graciela Preview

  5. What are the Principles of Speech Writing?

    The table below lists down the features of the formal and informal styles of language. It is important to consider not only the kind of audience but also the speaking situation or occasion when choosing the most appropriate style to use. As in almost any kind of writing, the style must be consistent throughout the speech.

  6. The Speech Writing Process

    The Speech Writing Process. By Philippe John Fresnillo Sipacio & Anne Balgos. The purpose for writing and delivering the speech can be classified into three — to inform, to entertain, or to persuade. An informative speech provides the audience with a clear understanding of the concept or idea presented by the speaker.

  7. Principles of Speech Writing

    First Principle: Choosing the topic A Speech is meant to impart a Message to Listeners. The choice of topic may be up to the Speaker but, more often than not, the Speaker is given the topic because it is the central theme of a program, conference, or presentation.

  8. 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 ...

  9. Chapter Nine

    When creating a speech, it's important to remember that speeches have three clear parts: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. The introduction establishes the topic and whets your audience's appetite, and the conclusion wraps everything up at the end of your speech. The real "meat" of your speech happens in the body.

  10. The General Steps in the Speechwriting Process

    Determining the appropriate style and delivery for the audience and setting. 7. Determining the key points and outlining the speech. 8. Drafting the speech and generating feedback. 9. Completing and, if operative, submitting speech text to the speaker. 10. Feedback, editing, and approval of the speech.

  11. Categories of Audience Analysis

    Demographic Analysis. The second category of audience analysis is demography. As mentioned before, demographics are literally a classification of the characteristics of the people. Whenever addressing an audience, it is generally a good idea to know about its age, gender, major, year in school, race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, et cetera.

  12. Audience Analysis

    Overview Audience analysis involves identifying the audience and adapting a speech to their interests, level of understanding, attitudes, and beliefs. Taking an audience-centered approach is important because a speaker's effectiveness will be improved if the presentation is created and delivered in an appropriate manner. Identifying the audience through extensive research is often difficult ...

  13. ENG12 Oralcomm Quarter 2 WEEK2 Lesson 9 Principle-OF- Speech- Writing

    One of the principles in writing an effective speech is the Audience Analysis. In the preparation of a composition, audience analysis is the process of determining the values, interests, and attitudes of the intended listeners. Using the concept map, think of 5 words that you can associate with the term inside the circle.


    first step in speech writing: knowing the demography, situation, and psychology of an audience identifying the purpose of the speech second step in speech writing: the purpose can be general or specific (can be to inform, entertain, persuade, or inspire) selecting the topic

  15. DepEd Learning Portal

    Attachment: Discuss demography, situation, and psychology. • Demography has to be known to determine the interest of the audience. It will also affect the language style and formality of the speech. • Situation will affect the length of speech, visual aids, and formality of the situation.

  16. 19.7 Spotlight on … Delivery/Public Speaking

    Learning Outcomes. Implement various technologies effectively to address an audience, matching the capacities of each to the rhetorical situation. Apply conventions of speech delivery, such as voice control, gestures, and posture. Identify and show awareness of cultural considerations. Think of a speech you have seen or heard, either in person ...

  17. Q2 SHS Oral Comm Module 3

    Speech Writing Principles. The cited speech above undertook planning. Just like events planning, writing an effective speech follows certain steps and principles. We will understand it step by step. The following are the components of the speech writing process: a. Audience analysis includes the profile of your target audience such as ...

  18. Speechwriting 101: Writing an Effective Speech

    Giving an audience exactly what it expects is like passing out sleeping pills. Remember that a speech is more like conversation than formal writing. Its phrasing is loose - but without the extremes of slang, the incomplete thoughts, the interruptions that flavor everyday speech. Give it rhythm. A good speech has pacing.

  19. Beginners Guide to What is a Speech Writing

    The speechwriting process relies on a well-defined structure, crucial to both the speech's content and the writing process. It encompasses a compelling introduction, an informative body, and a strong conclusion. This process serves as a foundation for effective speeches, guiding the speaker through a series of reasons and a persuasive ...


    Knowing the audience and the occasion is crucial in writing a speech. Rehearsing is a major requirement. Speech writing is recursive process. The approach that you will use in your introduction can determine the success of your speech. The primary objective of speech writing is getting the right or appropriate topic.

  21. Speech Writing Process Flashcards

    1 / 63 Flashcards Learn Test Match Created by paukthv Terms in this set (63) Recursive the process of speech writing is not chronological nor linear Audience analysis Entails looking into the profile of your target audience Demography

  22. The principle of effective writing Flashcards

    • Demography (Age range, Male-Female ratio, Educational background and Affiliations or degree program taken, Nationality, economic status, academic or corporate designations) • Situation (time, venue, occasion, and size) • Psychology (values, beliefs, attitudes, preferences, cultural and racial ideologies, and needs) Click the card to flip 👆 1 / 16

  23. Oral Communication: The Speech Writing Process Flashcards

    Situation. Examples: time, venue, occasion, and size. Psychology. ________ will let the writer know which appeal to use and how to situate his/ her text in the context of the audience. Psychology. Examples: values, beliefs, attitudes, preferences, cultural and racial ideologies, and needs) Topic. - is the focal point of your speech.