Speech Structure | Critical Studies

Speech Structure | Critical Studies

  • Introduction

    Speech Structure

    • Greeting
    • Explain briefly who you are and why you are the appropriate person to give this speech.
    • Identify the topic of the speech.
    • Identify your main argument about the speech topic.
  • Body of Speech

    • The body should be made up of paragraphs. Each new idea should get its own paragraph. Paragraphs should be logically ordered.
    • Each paragraph should have a topic sentence which neatly states the idea.
    • Explain what you mean – the details of this topic sentence.
    • Each paragraph should provide some support or proof of your idea, such as an anecdote, statistics, or a quote.
    • Sentences should be kept short and punchy. Keywords should be made the first word of the sentence wherever possible.
  • Conclusion

    • Give a “take-away message” a main idea that your speech was arguing.
    • Explain why this idea is important for the audience – themselves, their school, society of Speech Structure.
    • Leave the audience with something mature to think about. This should prove your emotional sensitivity to important issues in society.
  • Objectives

    • What is the speaker’s goal? Is it to educate, to motivate, to persuade, or to entertain?
    • What is the primary message being delivered?
    • Why is this person delivering this speech?
    • Was the objective achieved?
  • The Audience and Context

    • Where and when is the speech being delivered?
    • What are the key demographic features of the audience?
    • How large is the audience?
    • In addition to the live audience, is there an external target audience? (e.g. on the Internet or mass media)
  • The Opening

    Words, body language and visuals in the speech opening are all critical to speaking success.

    • Was a hook used effectively to draw the audience into the speech? Or did the speaker open with a dry “It’s great to be here today.
    • Did the speech open with a story? A joke? A startling statistic? A controversial statement? A powerful visual?
    • Did the speech opening clearly establish the intent of the presentation?
    • Was the opening memorable?
  • The Body

    • Was the presentation focused? i.e. Did all arguments, stories, anecdotes relate back to the primary objective?
    • Were examples or statistics provided to support the arguments?
    • Were metaphors and symbolism use to improve understanding?
    • Was the speech organized logically? Was it easy to follow?
    • Did the speaker bridge smoothly from one part of the presentation to the next?
  • The Conclusion

    Like the opening, the words, body language, and visuals in the speech conclusion are all critical to speaking success.

    • Was the conclusion concise?
    • Was the conclusion memorable?
    • If appropriate, was there a call-to-action?
  • Enthusiasm and Connection to the Audience

    • Was the speaker enthusiastic? How can you tell?
    • Was there audience interaction? Was it effective?
    • Was the message you– and we-focused, or was it I- and me-focused?
  • Humour

    • Was humour used?
    • Was it safe and appropriate given the audience?
    • Were appropriate pauses used before and after the punch lines, phrases, or words?
    • Was it relevant to the speech?
  • Language

    • Was the language appropriate for the audience?
    • Did the speaker articulate clearly?
    • Were sentences short and easy to understand?
    • Was technical jargon or unnecessarily complex language used?
    • What rhetorical devices were used? e.g. repetition, alliteration, the rule of three, metaphors and similes, antithesis (focus on opposites to set ideas against each-other eg “We go, you stay.”)  And were clichés avoided?  “in this day and age” “by and large” “the fact of the matter is…”

Try our Comprehensive English Courses!