speech writing

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Speech writing : 

Speech writing A guide to speech writing and great speech writers. Christchurch primary school 2006


Today you will be writing your own speech. To help you do this we are going to look at two things in this presentation. Firstly we are going to look at how to structure a good speech. Then we are going to look at two excellent speech writers from the twentieth century. We will look at how they made their speeches so effective. We will try to use what we learn when we write our own speeches.

So how do I structure my speech?: 

So how do I structure my speech? Firstly, introduce yourself – people need to know how is talking to them Then ask for their attention – you are trying to convince people of something. Be polite! Then state your position. What do you believe?


Now make a point – then ELABORATE on it. Saying what you believe is not enough. You must say WHY you believe it and WHY other people should believe it. Make as many points as you can. The more points you make the more convincing you become. In a speech you should try to give COUNTER ARGUMENTS, we will look at this later in the presentation.

How should I order my speech?: 

How should I order my speech? You need to grab your audience. Do this by: Making your best argument first. This will get people’s attention. Save your second best argument for last – people will remember this. Give the rest of your arguments in order; second best to least best.

Now lets look at an example!!: 

Now lets look at an example!!


Meet Mr William Shakespeare He lived about 400 years ago He wrote many many plays In his plays there were many great speeches We’ll now look briefly at one to see if it follows our structure This is the speech given by Mark Anthony after the death of Julius Caesar in the play Julius Caesar

Brief outline of the plot: 

Brief outline of the plot The characters Brutus and Marc Antony were involved in the assassination of the leader of the Holy Roman Empire, Julius Caesar. Marc Antony is now doing the dirty on Brutus. Marc Antony and Brutus were friends and they had a plan together. Brutus has just given a speech essentially saying the Julius Caesar had to be killed for the good of Rome. Marc Antony is now going to try to turn the people against Brutus with his speech.


Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones; So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus Hath told you Caesar was ambitious: If it were so, it was a grievous fault, And grievously hath Caesar answer'd it. Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest-- For Brutus is an honourable man; So are they all, all honourable men-- Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral. He was my friend, faithful and just to me: But Brutus says he was ambitious; And Brutus is an honourable man. He hath brought many captives home to Rome Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill: Did this in Caesar seem ambitious? When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept: Ambition should be made of sterner stuff: Yet Brutus says he was ambitious; And Brutus is an honourable man. You all did see that on the Lupercal I thrice presented him a kingly crown, Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition? Yet Brutus says he was ambitious; And, sure, he is an honourable man. I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke, But here I am to speak what I do know. You all did love him once, not without cause: What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him? O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts, And men have lost their reason. Bear with me; My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar, And I must pause till it come back to me. ASKING PEOPLE TO LISTEN FIRST POINT _ VERY STRONG LOTS OF COUNTER ARGUMENT. HE IS VERY CLEVERLY AND POLITELY DISAGREEING WITH EVERYTHING BRUTUS SAID THE KEY TO THIS SPEECH IS REPETITION AGAIN AND AGAIN ANTONY SAYS “AND BRUTUS IS AN HONOURABLE MAN” WHAT EFFECT DOES THIS HAVE?

What have we learnt?: 

What have we learnt? Repetition works well in speeches. (we will look at this more in a bit) A really good trick to convince people is to sound like you are on the other side of the debate. Have your speech convince yourself. It shows people how they could be convinced.

Who shall we look at now?: 

Who shall we look at now?

Martin Luther King Jr. : 

Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr. argued for equal rights for all Americans. At the time in America black people were treated as second class citizens. On August 28th 1963 King gave the most famous speech of the 20th century. It changed many people’s lives. King was a powerful public speaker who lived for his beliefs. He was assassinated on April 4th 1968 as he stood to give a speech.

Lets look at a part of his speech: 

Lets look at a part of his speech I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.

What makes it great?: 

What makes it great? The repetition of a very powerful phrase: “I have a dream” Use repetition in your speeches Create a powerful phrase Repeat it again and again It makes a speech POWERFUL

Who next?: 

Who next? Harold McMillan was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He gave a speech in South Africa about giving African people the right to govern themselves The extract we will look at is taken from a speech made on 3rd February 1960.

What effect does this have?: 

What effect does this have? The wind of change is blowing through this continent, and whether we like it or not, this growth of national consciousness is a political fact. We must all accept it as a fact, and our national policies must take account of it.

Using metaphors in speeches: 

Using metaphors in speeches The wind of change is a metaphor It is used to put a picture in people’s minds Metaphors are very effective in speeches Can you think of some metaphors?

Now you are going to write a speech about the skate park: 

Now you are going to write a speech about the skate park Structure, introduce yourself Ask the audience to listen to you State your position Make your best point Elaborate on it Make the rest of your points, elaborating on each


Save your second best point until last Summarise your position Give a conclusion Thank the audience for their attention

And remember: 

And remember Use repetition Convince yourself in your speech Use metaphors


Finally I will now give you a writing frame to help you remember all these points. Good luck! And get writing!

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