What is a Speech? Find Out the Answer

What is a SpeechPerhaps, everyone has seen famous people addressing a large audience.  It can be President’s speech, Leonardo DiCaprio’s speech after receiving the Oscar, or popular TED talks. At the first thought, it may seem obvious that everyone can master public speaking. However, it is not enough to have the ability to speak to interact with the audience. In order to prepare a good speech, it is necessary to know what is a speech and define its purpose. Moreover, a number of steps require being done in order to make a speech effective. Being aware of what is a speech, its types, elements and how to develop a good structure are the most important in making a speech successful.

Defining a Speech

A speech is a formal address delivered by a speaker to the audience. The primary task of a speech is not only to share knowledge but to share some new ideas and thoughts, influence the listeners’ points of view, and motivate them to perform certain actions. Delivering speeches is an art that requires considerable efforts. The speaker should have profound language skills, he/she should be confident, and make the speech well-structured. Before discussing some pieces of advice on how to deliver an effective and interesting speech, it is worth to mention the main types of speeches.

Types of Speeches

Generally, there are three basic types of speeches: the informative, the persuasive, and on the special occasion. The type of speech depends on the aim of the speaker. The central topics of informative speeches are historic or current events, people, processes, objects, and facts. Persuasive is the type of speech that most people are engaged in. This type of speech may be anything – from arguing about politics to motivating people to engage in sports activities. The third type of speeches, on a special occasion, include valedictorian, graduation, commencement, wedding, funeral speeches. In addition, one may identify entertaining and demonstrative types. The speeches of the first type are aimed at entertaining audience and of the second type – at teaching.

One can also identify different types of speech delivery. Namely, there are four of them: impromptu, extemporaneous, manuscript, and memorized. Impromptu speeches are delivered without a preliminary preparation. Extemporaneous speeches, as well as impromptu, are not prepared beforehand but the speaker uses notes while delivering a speech. When delivering a manuscript speech, a speaker reads the full transcript. If the speech is memorized, the speaker pronounces everything learned by heart.

Tips on Writing and Delivering a Good Speech

  • Make a speech memorable using various stylistic devices, such as parallelism, chiasmus, metaphors, similes;
  • Develop a good structure so that there are logical connections between different parts of speech;
  • Chose the right tone, which is appropriate for your target audience;
  • Include your personal experience or examples from the real life;
  • Use as many transitions as possible because it helps to catch the listeners’ attention. For instance, a rhetorical question, such as “What does it mean?” or “So, what do we have to do?…” followed with a pause makes listeners anticipate and get interested;
  • Try not to stand still, use facial expressions and gestures.

To sum up, delivering a successful speech requires a lot of effort to be made. The speaker should only share information, ideas or thoughts. He should be able to present information in the form that makes it interesting for each listener. Using all these pieces of advice will help to make your speech informative and unforgettable.