June 23, 2024

To become effective leaders, teens need to hone their public speaking skills. One of the fundamental skills a leadership class must teach is how to structure a speech. Read this article to learn an easy and effective speech structure to use so your message will make an impact on your audience.

Fred’s Concern About His Speech

Fred has to give a speech in his leadership class next week. He is concerned because he has not given many speeches, and he does not know how he should put together the speech. He knows that public speaking is an important skill he needs to learn if he wants to become a leader. He decides to go to his leadership teacher for help. His leadership teacher offers encouragement as well as an outline of how to structure a standard speech…

In a nutshell, here’s what Fred’s teacher said:

“Tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and tell them what you told them.”

Generally, most standard speeches follow the same type of structure, which includes an introduction, a body consisting of three main points, and a conclusion.

The Three Standard Parts of a Speech Structure

Part 1. Introduction

The opening or introduction of the speech sets the tone and the theme for the speech:

  • It usually contains a quote, example, statistics, or a humorous story to get the audience’s attention.
  • The speaker must also give the main topic of the speech.
  • In addition, he or she should outline the major points that are going to be made in the speech.

Part 2. Body Consisting of Three Main Points

A standard speech has a body that contains three main points:

  • These points come from the main topic of the speech given in the introduction.
  • The speaker should give examples, illustrations, statistics, stories, and/or quotes about each of the central points to support them.

Part 3. Conclusion

The classic saying about a speech is that you should “tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them what you’re telling them, and then tell them what you told them.” The first part represents the introduction, the next is the three main points of the body of the speech, and the last – “tell them what you told them” – is the conclusion.

In the conclusion of the speech,

  • The speaker needs to remind the audience of what the main topic was, and how each of the three main points related to it.
  • The speaker should sum up the main ideas of the speech.
  • Depending on the type of speech it is, the speaker should possibly make a call for action based on the ideas in the speech.

How Fred Applied This to His Speech

Given the outline on how to structure a speech from his high school leadership teacher, Fred worked on his speech during the week, and organized his ideas. His speech went great, as he introduced his topic, went over the main points, and gave his conclusion. His teacher was pleased and he got a lot of “high fives” from his classmates for his speech. Afterward, he thanked his student leadership teacher saying,

“Putting together a speech is not as difficult as I thought, when you have the right speech structure.”