Outline For Preparing a Speech
Start by addressing the chairperson. Example: “(Mr. or Madam) Chairman, Honourable Judges,
Fellow 4-H members and friends.”
Speakers should not introduce themselves;
Make it a different opening - ask a question to start off - that usually gets people's attention;
Then introduce your topic, “The topic I am going to speak on is ....” or “Today I'm going to talk to you
is important to me." I'm going to share a few thoughts with you on that topic;
Your introduction should get attention and give a clear idea of what the speech is about.
The main part of your talk
Use illustrations or examples
Make them timely, close to home and personal, if possible.
Have something on hand you can show.
A brief summary of your main points. (no new ideas at the end)
Make it a natural ending — think of a catchy way to let people know you are finished — ask “Doesn't
this make you want to go out and get a pet for your family?” or “Life sure was good back then,
wasn’t it?” “I’m concerned about this topic. I hope you'll think about it, too.” or “I’ve enjoyed
sharing my experiences with you today.”
The words, “thank you” do not constitute an effective way to end a speech. It usually feels very
natural, though, to say thank you just before you sit down upon finishing your speech. (But, instead,
it is the audience that should say “thank you” to you - not to them – and they do it by clapping.) So,
practice, especially, your ending so it is effective and not awkward.
Write your talk using your outline as a guide. Then go over it several times. Make up notes that pick out
the main parts of your talk. Then try to go over the speech just using your notes. It may be different
from when you wrote it out long. Don't worry - only you knew just exactly what you had before. As long
as it still says what you wanted - that's all that’s important. Keep your notes then and that's all you'll
When you get your speech written PRACTICE TO YOUR FRIENDS,
PRACTICE TO YOURSELF IN FRONT OF A MIRROR,
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!