speech writing notes

45,000+ students realised their study abroad dream with us. Take the first step today

Here’s your new year gift, one app for all your, study abroad needs, start your journey, track your progress, grow with the community and so much more.

speech writing notes

Verification Code

An OTP has been sent to your registered mobile no. Please verify

speech writing notes

Thanks for your comment !

Our team will review it before it's shown to our readers.

speech writing notes

Speech Writing


  • Updated on  
  • Jan 16, 2024

Speech Writing

The power of good, inspiring, motivating, and thought-provoking speeches can never be overlooked. If we retrospect, a good speech has not only won people’s hearts but also has been a verbal tool to conquer nations. For centuries, many leaders have used this instrument to charm audiences with their powerful speeches. Apart from vocalizing your speech perfectly, the words you choose in a speech carry immense weight, and practising speech writing begins with our school life. Speech writing is an important part of the English syllabus for Class 12th, Class 11th, and Class 8th to 10th. This blog brings you the Speech Writing format, samples, examples, tips, and tricks!

This Blog Includes:

What is speech writing, speech in english language writing, how do you begin an english-language speech, introduction, how to write a speech, speech writing samples, example of a great speech, english speech topics, practice time.

Must Read: Story Writing Format for Class 9 & 10

Speech writing is the art of using proper grammar and expression to convey a thought or message to a reader. Speech writing isn’t all that distinct from other types of narrative writing. However, students should be aware of certain distinct punctuation and writing style techniques. While writing the ideal speech might be challenging, sticking to the appropriate speech writing structure will ensure that you never fall short.

“There are three things to aim at in public speaking: first, to get into your subject, then to get your subject into yourself, and lastly, to get your subject into the heart of your audience.”- Alexander Gregg

The English language includes eight parts of speech i.e. nouns , pronouns , verbs , adjectives 410 , adverbs , prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections.

  • Noun- A noun is a word that describes anything, such as an animal, a person, a place, or an emotion. Nouns are the building blocks for most sentences.
  • Pronoun – Pronouns are words that can be used in place of nouns. They are used so that we don’t have to repeat words. This makes our writing and speaking much more natural.
  • Verb – A verb is a term that implies activity or ‘doing.’ These are very vital for your children’s grammar studies, as a sentence cannot be complete without a verb.
  • Adjective – An adjective is a term that describes something. An adjective is frequently used before a noun to add extra information or description.
  • Prepositions- A preposition is a term that expresses the location or timing of something in relation to something else.
  • Conjunction- Because every language has its own set of conjunctions, English conjunctions differ from those found in other languages. They’re typically used as a connecting word between two statements, concepts, or ideas.
  • Interjections- Interjections are words that are used to describe a strong emotion or a sudden feeling.

Relevant Read: Speech on the Importance of English

The way you start your English speech can set the tone for the remainder of it. This semester, there are a variety of options for you to begin presentations in your classes. For example, try some of these engaging speech in English language starters.

  • Rhetorical questions : A rhetorical question is a figure of speech that uses a question to convey a point rather than asking for a response. The answer to a rhetorical question may be clear, yet the questioner asks it to emphasize the point. Rhetorical questions may be a good method for students to start their English speeches. This method of introducing your material might be appealing to the viewers and encourage them to consider how they personally relate to your issue.
  • Statistics: When making an instructive or persuasive speech in an English class, statistics can help to strengthen the speaker’s authority and understanding of the subject. To get your point over quickly and create an emotional response, try using an unexpected statistic or fact that will resonate with the audience.
  • Set up an imaginary scene: Create an imaginary situation in your audience’s thoughts if you want to persuade them to agree with you with your speech. This method of starting your speech assists each member of the audience in visualizing a fantastic scenario that you wish to see come true.

Relevant Read: Reported Speech Rules With Exercises

Format of Speech Writing

Here is the format of Speech Writing:

  • Introduction : Greet the audience, tell them about yourself and further introduce the topic.
  • Body : Present the topic in an elaborate way, explaining its key features, pros and cons, if any and the like.
  • Conclusion : Summary of your speech, wrap up the topic and leave your audience with a compelling reminder to think about!

Let’s further understand each element of the format of Speech Writing in further detail:

After the greetings, the Introduction has to be attention-getting. Quickly get people’s attention. The goal of a speech is to engage the audience and persuade them to think or act in your favour. The introduction must effectively include: 

  • A brief preview of your topic. 
  • Define the outlines of your speech. (For example, I’ll be talking about…First..Second…Third)
  • Begin with a story, quote, fact, joke, or observation in the room. It shouldn’t be longer than 3-4 lines. (For Example: “Mahatma Gandhi said once…”, or “This topic reminds me of an incident/story…”)

This part is also important because that’s when your audience decides if the speech is worth their time. Keep your introduction factual, interesting, and convincing.

It is the most important part of any speech. You should provide a number of reasons and arguments to convince the audience to agree with you.

Handling objections is an important aspect of speech composition. There is no time for questions or concerns since a speech is a monologue. Any concerns that may occur during the speech will be addressed by a powerful speech. As a result, you’ll be able to respond to questions as they come in from the crowd. To make speech simpler you can prepare a flow chart of the details in a systematic way.

For example: If your speech is about waste management; distribute information and arrange it according to subparagraphs for your reference. It could include:

  • What is Waste Management?
  • Major techniques used to manage waste
  • Advantages of Waste Management  
  • Importance of Waste Management 

The conclusion should be something that the audience takes with them. It could be a reminder, a collective call to action, a summary of your speech, or a story. For example: “It is upon us to choose the fate of our home, the earth by choosing to begin waste management at our personal spaces.”

After concluding, add a few lines of gratitude to the audience for their time.

For example: “Thank you for being a wonderful audience and lending me your time. Hope this speech gave you something to take away.”

speech writing format

Practice Your Speech Writing with these English Speech topics for students !

A good speech is well-timed, informative, and thought-provoking. Here are the tips for writing a good school speech:

Speech Sandwich of Public Speaking

The introduction and conclusion must be crisp. People psychologically follow the primacy effect (tendency to remember the first part of the list/speech) and recency effect (tendency to recall the last part of the list/speech). 

Use Concrete Facts

Make sure you thoroughly research your topic. Including facts appeals to the audience and makes your speech stronger. How much waste is managed? Give names of organisations and provide numerical data in one line.

Use Rhetorical Strategies and Humour

Include one or two open-ended or thought-provoking questions.  For Example: “Would we want our future generation to face trouble due to global warming?” Also, make good use of humour and convenient jokes that engages your audience and keeps them listening.

Check Out: Message Writing

Know your Audience and Plan Accordingly

This is essential before writing your speech. To whom is it directed? The categorised audience on the basis of –

  • Knowledge of the Topic (familiar or unfamiliar)

Use the information to formulate the speech accordingly, use information that they will understand, and a sentence that they can retain.

Timing Yourself is Important

An important aspect of your speech is to time yourself.  Don’t write a speech that exceeds your word limit. Here’s how can decide the right timing for your speech writing:

  • A one-minute speech roughly requires around 130-150 words
  • A two-minute speech requires roughly around 250-300 words

Recommended Read: Letter Writing

Speech Writing Examples

Here are some examples to help you understand how to write a good speech. Read these to prepare for your next speech:

Write a speech to be delivered in the school assembly as Rahul/ Rubaina of Delhi Public School emphasises the importance of cleanliness, implying that the level of cleanliness represents the character of its residents. (150-200 words)

“Cleanliness is next to godliness,” said the great John Wesley. Hello, respected principal, instructors, and good friends. Today, I, Rahul/Rubaina, stand in front of you all to emphasise the significance of cleanliness.

Cleanliness is the condition or attribute of being or remaining clean. Everyone must learn about cleaning, hygiene, sanitation, and the different diseases that are produced by unsanitary circumstances. It is essential for physical well-being and the maintenance of a healthy atmosphere at home and at school. A filthy atmosphere invites a large number of mosquitos to grow and spread dangerous diseases. On the other side, poor personal cleanliness causes a variety of skin disorders as well as lowered immunity.

Habits formed at a young age become ingrained in one’s personality. Even if we teach our children to wash their hands before and after meals, brush their teeth and bathe on a regular basis, we are unconcerned about keeping public places clean. On October 2, 2014, the Indian Prime Minister began the “Swachh Bharat” programme to offer sanitation amenities to every family, including toilets, solid and liquid waste disposal systems, village cleanliness, and safe and appropriate drinking water supplies. Teachers and children in schools are actively participating in the ‘Clean India Campaign’ with zeal and excitement.

Good health ensures a healthy mind, which leads to better overall productivity, higher living standards, and economic development. It will improve India’s international standing. As a result, a clean environment is a green environment with fewer illnesses. Thus, cleanliness is defined as a symbol of mental purity.

Thank you very much.

Relevant Read: Speech on Corruption

You are Sahil/Sanya, the school’s Head Girl/Head Boy. You are greatly troubled by the increasing instances of aggressive behaviour among your students. You decide to speak about it during the morning assembly. Create a speech about “School Discipline.” (150 – 200 words)


It has been reported that the frequency of fights and incidences of bullying in our school has increased dramatically in the previous several months. Good morning to everyone present. Today, I, Sahil/Sanya, your head boy/girl, am here to shed light on the serious topic of “Increased Indiscipline in Schools.”

It has come to light that instructor disobedience, bullying, confrontations with students, truancy, and insults are becoming more widespread. Furthermore, there have been reports of parents noticing a shift in their children’s attitudes. As a result, many children are suffering emotionally, psychologically, and physically. The impact of this mindset on children at a young age is devastating and irreversible.

Not to mention the harm done to the school’s property. Theft of chalk, scribbling on desks, walls and lavatory doors, destruction of CCTV cameras and so forth. We are merely depriving ourselves of the comforts granted to us by doing so.

Following numerous meetings, it was determined that the main reasons for the problem were a lack of sufficient guidance, excessive use of social media, and peer pressure. The council is working to make things better. Everyone is required to take life skills classes. Counselling, motivating, and instilling friendly ideals will be part of the curriculum. Seminars for parents and students will be held on a regular basis.

A counsellor is being made available to help you all discuss your sentiments, grudges, and personal problems. We are doing everything we can and expect you to do the same.

So, let us work together to create an environment in which we encourage, motivate, assist, and be nice to one another because we are good and civilised humans capable of a great deal of love.

Relevant Read: How to Write a Speech on Discipline?

The current increase in incidences of violent student misbehaviour is cause for alarm for everyone. Students who learn how to manage their anger can help to alleviate the situation. Write a 150-200-word speech about the topic to be delivered at the school’s morning assembly. (10)


Honourable Principal, Respected Teachers, and Dear Friends, I’d like to share a few “Ways to Manage Anger” with you today.

The growing intolerance among the younger generation, which is resulting in violence against teachers, is cause for severe concern. The guru-shishya parampara is losing its lustre. Aggressive behaviour in students can be provoked by a variety of factors, including self-defence, stressful circumstance, over-stimulation, or a lack of adult supervision.

It has become imperative to address the situation. Life skills workshops will be included in the curriculum. Teachers should be trained to deal with such stubborn and confrontational behaviours. Meditation and deep breathing are very beneficial and should be practised every morning. Students should be taught to count to ten before reacting angrily. Sessions on anger control and its importance must also be held.

Remember that Anger is one letter away from danger. It becomes much more crucial to be able to control one’s rage. It’s never too late to start, as a wise man once said.

“Every minute you stay angry, you lose sixty seconds of peace of mind.”

Relevant Read: English Speech Topics for Students

Martin Luther King Jr’s ‘I Have A Dream’ is one of his most famous speeches. Its impact has lasted through generations. The speech is written by utilising the techniques above. Here are some examples:

“still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination” – emotive Language

“In a sense, we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check” – personalising the speech

“to stand up for freedom together” – a call to action.

Importantly, this is an example of how the listener comes first while drafting a speech. The language chosen appeals to a specific sort of audience and was widely utilised in 1963 when the speech was delivered.

  • The Best Day of My Life
  • Social Media: Bane or Boon?
  • Pros and Cons of Online Learning
  • Benefits of Yoga
  • If I had a Superpower
  • I wish I were ______
  • Environment Conservation
  • Women Should Rule the World!
  • The Best Lesson I Have Learned
  • Paperbacks vs E-books
  • How to Tackle a Bad Habit?
  • My Favorite Pastime/Hobby
  • Understanding Feminism
  • Fear of Missing Out (FOMO): Is it real or not?
  • Importance of Reading
  • Importance of Books in Our Life
  • My Favorite Fictional Character
  • Introverts vs Extroverts
  • Lessons to Learn from Sports
  • Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Also Read: How to Ace IELTS Writing Section?

Ans. Speech writing is the process of communicating a notion or message to a reader by employing proper punctuation and expression. Speech writing is similar to other types of narrative writing. However, students should be aware of some different punctuation and writing structure techniques.

Ans. Before beginning with the speech, choose an important topic. Create an outline; rehearse your speech, and adjust the outline based on comments from the rehearsal. This five-step strategy for speech planning serves as the foundation for both lessons and learning activities.

Ans. Writing down a speech is vital since it helps you better comprehend the issue, organises your thoughts, prevents errors in your speech, allows you to get more comfortable with it, and improves its overall quality.

Speech writing and public speaking are effective and influential. Hope this blog helped you know the various tips for writing the speech people would want to hear. If you need help in making the right career choices at any phase of your academic and professional journey, our Leverage Edu experts are here to guide you. Sign up for a free session now!

' src=

Team Leverage Edu

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Contact no. *


This site has been very helpful to me

Wow i have gained more knowledge

lt’s a nice One and l have loved it

Thank you for your feedback! Happy that you loved it.

Thank you for your feedback!

Very educating.

thanks for your valuable feedback

This is indeed very helpful

Thanks for your valuable feedback!

I have learned alot thank you

Hi, Thanks for your feedback!

Wow so reliable, thanks.

browse success stories

Leaving already?

8 Universities with higher ROI than IITs and IIMs

Grab this one-time opportunity to download this ebook

Connect With Us

45,000+ students realised their study abroad dream with us. take the first step today..

speech writing notes

Resend OTP in

speech writing notes

Need help with?

Study abroad.

UK, Canada, US & More


Scholarship, Loans & Forex

Country Preference

New Zealand

Which English test are you planning to take?

Which academic test are you planning to take.

Not Sure yet

When are you planning to take the exam?

Already booked my exam slot

Within 2 Months

Want to learn about the test

Which Degree do you wish to pursue?

When do you want to start studying abroad.

September 2024

January 2025

What is your budget to study abroad?

speech writing notes

How would you describe this article ?

Please rate this article

We would like to hear more.

Speak 2 Impress

No products in the cart.

man speaking in front of crowd

Speech Writing Examples: Format, Tips, and Samples to Inspire Your Audience

Stepping up to the podium can seem like an insurmountable task , right? Believe me, I know that feeling all too well – the racing heart, shaky hands, and the overwhelming fear of facing an audience.

It’s a daunting journey I’ve embarked on myself. But through a mix of conquering those fears and mastering the art of speechwriting , I’ve uncovered some strategies that significantly ease the process.

In this article, you’ll find formats, tips, and examples designed not just to get you through your speech but to ensure you leave your audience feeling inspired and impressed . Let’s dive in together!

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Know your audience before writing a speech. Consider their age, interests, and background to make your message hit home.
  • Use engaging opening lines to grab attention right from the start. A surprising fact or compelling story can set the tone for an unforgettable presentation .
  • Organize your speech with a clear structure : a strong introduction , main points with evidence or examples, and a memorable conclusion. This makes it easier for listeners to follow and remember your message.
  • Visual aids like slides or props can enhance your speech. They help clarify points and keep the audience engaged but keep them simple so they don’t distract.
  • Great speeches come in many forms like persuasive, informative, motivational, impromptu , and graduation speeches . Each type has its own way of connecting with audiences deeply beyond just words.

Understanding Speech Writing

Understanding Speech Writing involves crafting a message for delivery to an audience, ensuring clarity and impact. It is essential for successful public speaking and effective communication.

Speech writing is the art of creating a script for delivering a message to an audience. This process involves choosing a topic, setting goals , and deciding on the best way to present your ideas.

The aim might be to inform, convince, motivate, or entertain listeners. Writing speeches requires clear organization and strong points to make sure your audience understands and remembers what you say.

Good speech writing also means keeping your audience engaged . You can use stories, facts, humor, or quotes to grab their attention right from the start. Knowing who your listeners are helps tailor your speech so it speaks directly to them.

Whether you’re aiming for inspirational messages in public speaking or persuasive writing techniques in debates, how well you write can deeply influence your effectiveness as a speaker.

Understanding the importance of speech writing is crucial for mastering public speaking . Engaging with your audience through a well-crafted speech can inspire, persuade, and captivate.

It’s vital to remember that a good speech has the power to leave a lasting impact and resonate with the listeners . Crafted meticulously, it not only conveys your message effectively but also establishes your authority on the subject matter.

Moreover, delving into different types of speeches opens up opportunities for personalized creative expression tailored towards specific objectives like persuasion or motivation. This underpins the significance of honing your speech writing skills as you embark on your public speaking journey.

Tips for Writing a Successful Speech

To write a successful speech, know your audience and narrow down your topic. Grab attention with engaging opening lines and organize your speech effectively. Use visual aids if applicable to enhance your message.

Know your audience

Understand who will be listening to your speech. Consider their age, background, and interests. This helps tailor your message for maximum impact. When you connect with your audience , they are more likely to listen and engage with what you have to say.

It’s important to speak in a way that resonates with them.

As a speaker, it’s crucial to know what the audience expects from your speech. Tailoring your content towards their needs ensures that they walk away feeling fulfilled by the experience.

Narrow down your topic

Before diving into writing your speech, it’s crucial to narrow down your topic. This means focusing on a specific subject that you are passionate about and that will resonate with your audience.

Think about what message you want to convey and the key points you want to emphasize in your speech. By narrowing down your topic, you can ensure that your speech remains focused and impactful, making it easier for both you as the speaker and for your audience to understand and remember.

Keep in mind that simplicity is key when selecting a topic – choose something meaningful yet manageable for effective communication.

Grab attention with opening lines

Looking to captivate your audience from the start? An intriguing opening line is key. Whether it’s a thought-provoking question , a surprising fact , or a compelling story , the goal is to hook your listeners right away.

For instance, did you know that in just 18 minutes, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech changed history? That’s the power of a gripping opening line! As you craft your speech, think about what will pique curiosity and draw people in immediately.

Remember, those first few words can set the tone for an unforgettable presentation.

Organize your speech effectively

To organize your speech effectively, start by choosing a clear and specific topic that resonates with your audience. Next, create an outline with a strong introduction , main points supported by evidence or examples, and a memorable conclusion.

Make sure to use transitional phrases to guide the flow of your speech. Additionally, consider using visual aids to enhance understanding and engagement . Finally, practice delivering your speech multiple times to ensure confidence and fluency on the day of the presentation.

Once you have chosen your topic and structured your speech accordingly, make sure it aligns with the purpose of the speech – whether it is meant to inform, persuade or entertain. Using supporting materials such as anecdotes or statistics can further reinforce key points in an engaging manner for better retention.

Use visual aids if applicable

Enhance your speech with visual aids , like slides or props , to clarify key points and captivate your audience . Visual aids can help reinforce your message and keep the audience engaged.

When using visual aids, remember to keep them simple and relevant to avoid overwhelming the audience. Integrating visuals can provide a dynamic element to your speech delivery, making it more memorable for your audience.

Ready to dive into crafting compelling speeches? Let’s explore examples of great speeches next!

Examples of Great Speeches

Explore captivating examples of persuasive , informative, motivational, impromptu, and graduation speeches that will inspire your audience. Witness the power of effective speech writing in action!

Looking to persuade your audience? A persuasive speech aims to convince people to see things from a different perspective. Using strong evidence and logical reasoning can help sway opinions.

It’s crucial to understand the audience’s beliefs and concerns in order to tailor the speech accordingly. Engaging storytelling, powerful statistics, and emotional appeal are effective tools for making a persuasive impact.

Remember, the key is to establish credibility and build trust with your audience through well-structured arguments and compelling delivery.

Crafting a persuasive speech requires thorough research, an understanding of rhetorical devices , and clarity in presenting arguments. As you prepare your speech, keep these tips in mind: choose a topic that resonates with the audience; use credible sources to support your claims; anticipate counterarguments and address them convincingly; incorporate persuasion techniques such as repetition or call-to-action statements ; practice delivering your speech with confidence and conviction.


Are you ready to craft an engaging and informative speech? Speech writing is an art that involves choosing a compelling topic , understanding your audience, and creating a clear structure .

Researching your subject thoroughly and using concrete details will make your speech stronger. You can inspire and captivate your audience by being clear about the goal of your speech from the beginning.

Remember to consider the context, including the event’s purpose and location . Understanding these elements will help you tailor your message effectively.

Ready to dive into some great examples of informative speeches? Let’s explore persuasive writing techniques next.


Transitioning from informative to motivational, let’s delve into the art of crafting motivational speeches. As you embark on the journey of speech writing, it is important to note that a well-crafted motivational speech has the potential to inspire, uplift, and energize your audience.

With carefully chosen words and compelling anecdotes, you can ignite passion and drive positive change in those listening. By incorporating real-life examples and powerful stories, you can captivate your audience and leave a lasting impact.

Motivational speeches have the power to instill belief and determination in individuals while also inspiring collective action for a greater cause. Through engaging storytelling and relatable experiences, speakers can connect with their audience on a deeper level, igniting sparks of motivation that lead to meaningful transformation.

Transitioning from preparing motivational speeches to impromptu ones, I can understand the nervousness surrounding speaking off-the-cuff. Being able to give a speech without any prior planning can be daunting, but it’s not impossible.

The key is to stay composed and rely on your knowledge and quick-thinking abilities . When faced with an impromptu speaking situation, remember that simplicity is key . It’s about being clear, concise, and confident in whatever you’re saying.

Drawing on real-life examples or personal experiences can add authenticity to your impromptu speech.

As you prepare for your graduation speech, consider the significance of the moment . Your audience will consist of your peers, teachers, and family members who have supported you throughout your educational journey.

It’s important to reflect on what this achievement means to everyone present and how it symbolizes a transition into a new phase of life . Consider sharing personal stories or challenges you’ve overcome during your academic years to inspire and motivate others as they embark on their own future endeavors.

When crafting your graduation speech, remember that it’s an opportunity to celebrate accomplishments but also offer encouragement for what lies ahead. Keep in mind the impact you want to make with words that resonate and uplift those listening.

Creating a captivating speech can change the world around us. It makes our ideas heard and inspires those who listen. When I stepped into Toastmasters International, my goal was simple: conquer my fear of public speaking .

Little did I know, this journey would not only transform me but also give me insights to share with others eager to master this art.

Understanding speech writing is like learning the rules of a new game; once you know them, playing becomes fun and engaging. Successful speeches hinge on knowing your audience and crafting messages that resonate with them deeply.

Whether using humor or heart-stirring stories, the aim is to connect and leave a lasting impression.

Great speeches come in various forms—persuasive to motivate change, informative to spread knowledge, motivational to inspire action, impromptu for spontaneous moments, and graduation talks that mark new beginnings.

Each type serves a unique purpose but shares common ground: they engage audiences on levels deeper than mere words.

Speech writing is an art perfected over time with practice and dedication. The tips shared here—from understanding your audience’s needs to structuring your message for maximum impact—are tools at your disposal.

Use them wisely as you embark on creating memorable speeches that not only convey your message but do so in an impactful manner that resonates long after the applause fades.

speech writing notes

Ryan Nelson is the founder of Speak2Impress, a platform dedicated to helping individuals master the art of public speaking. Despite having a crippling fear of public speaking for many years, Ryan overcame his anxiety through diligent practice and active participation in Toastmasters. Now residing in New York City, he is passionate about sharing his journey and techniques to empower others to speak with confidence and clarity.

Similar Posts

5-Minute Speech Writing Template: A Guide for Crafting Your Speech

5-Minute Speech Writing Template: A Guide for Crafting Your Speech

Crafting a persuasive 5-minute speech can seem like staring into the abyss of a blank page, wondering where on earth…

10 Heartfelt Eulogy Examples to Honor Your Loved One

10 Heartfelt Eulogy Examples to Honor Your Loved One

Crafting a eulogy for someone you deeply cared about can feel overwhelming. I understand this all too well, as I’ve…

10 Heartwarming Best Friend Speech Examples for Any Occasion

10 Heartwarming Best Friend Speech Examples for Any Occasion

Finding just the right words to honor a best friend can often feel like an overwhelming task. I know what…

10 Effective Public Speaking Exercises for Practice and Improvement

10 Effective Public Speaking Exercises for Practice and Improvement

Standing in front of a crowd used to send my heart racing. It felt like stepping onto a stage with…

40 Impromptu Speech Picture Prompts for Middle School and Upward: Engaging Impromptu Speech Pictures for Students

40 Impromptu Speech Picture Prompts for Middle School and Upward: Engaging Impromptu Speech Pictures for Students

The fear of standing up and speaking in public? Oh, I’ve walked that path too. Back in my graduate school…

50 Inspiring Quotes for Vote of Thanks Speeches

50 Inspiring Quotes for Vote of Thanks Speeches

Crafting the perfect vote of thanks speech can seem like a daunting task. I know the feeling all too well…

  • Games, topic printables & more
  • The 4 main speech types
  • Example speeches
  • Commemorative
  • Declamation
  • Demonstration
  • Informative
  • Introduction
  • Student Council
  • Speech topics
  • Poems to read aloud
  • How to write a speech
  • Using props/visual aids
  • Acute anxiety help
  • Breathing exercises
  • Letting go - free e-course
  • Using self-hypnosis
  • Delivery overview
  • 4 modes of delivery
  • How to make cue cards
  • How to read a speech
  • 9 vocal aspects
  • Vocal variety
  • Diction/articulation
  • Pronunciation
  • Speaking rate
  • How to use pauses
  • Eye contact
  • Body language
  • Voice image
  • Voice health
  • Public speaking activities and games
  • About me/contact

How to write a good speech in 7 steps

By:  Susan Dugdale  

- an easily followed format for writing a great speech

Did you know writing a speech doesn't have be an anxious, nail biting experience?

Unsure? Don't be.

You may have lived with the idea you were never good with words for a long time. Or perhaps giving speeches at school brought you out in cold sweats.

However learning how to write a speech is relatively straight forward when you learn to write out loud.

And that's the journey I am offering to take you on: step by step.

To learn quickly, go slow

Take all the time you need. This speech format has 7 steps, each building on the next.

Walk, rather than run, your way through all of them. Don't be tempted to rush. Familiarize yourself with the ideas. Try them out.

I know there are well-advertised short cuts and promises of 'write a speech in 5 minutes'. However in reality they only truly work for somebody who already has the basic foundations of speech writing in place.

The foundation of good speech writing 

These steps are the backbone of sound speech preparation. Learn and follow them well at the outset and yes, given more experience and practice you could probably flick something together quickly. Like any skill, the more it's used, the easier it gets.

In the meantime...

Step 1: Begin with a speech overview or outline

Are you in a hurry? Without time to read a whole page? Grab ... The Quick How to Write a Speech Checklist And come back to get the details later.

  • WHO you are writing your speech for (your target audience)
  • WHY you are preparing this speech. What's the main purpose of your speech? Is it to inform or tell your audience about something? To teach them a new skill or demonstrate something? To persuade or to entertain? (See 4 types of speeches: informative, demonstrative, persuasive and special occasion or entertaining for more.) What do you want them to think, feel or do as a result of listening the speech?
  • WHAT your speech is going to be about (its topic) - You'll want to have thought through your main points and have ranked them in order of importance. And have sorted the supporting research you need to make those points effectively.
  • HOW much time you have for your speech eg. 3 minutes, 5 minutes... The amount of time you've been allocated dictates how much content you need. If you're unsure check this page: how many words per minute in a speech: a quick reference guide . You'll find estimates of the number of words required for 1 - 10 minute speeches by slow, medium and fast talkers.

Use an outline

The best way to make sure you deliver a perfect speech is to start by carefully completing a speech outline covering the essentials: WHO, WHY, WHAT and HOW.

Beginning to write without thinking your speech through is a bit like heading off on a journey not knowing why you're traveling or where you're going to end up. You can find yourself lost in a deep, dark, murky muddle of ideas very quickly!

Pulling together a speech overview or outline is a much safer option. It's the map you'll follow to get where you want to go.

Get a blank speech outline template to complete

Click the link to find out a whole lot more about preparing a speech outline . ☺ You'll also find a free printable blank speech outline template.  I recommend using it!

Understanding speech construction

Before you begin to write, using your completed outline as a guide, let's briefly look at what you're aiming to prepare.

  • an opening or introduction
  • the body where the bulk of the information is given
  • and an ending (or summary).

Imagine your speech as a sandwich

Image: gourmet sandwich with labels on the top (opening) and bottom (conclusion) slices of bread and filling, (body). Text: Key ingredients for a superb speech sandwich.

If you think of a speech as a sandwich you'll get the idea.

The opening and ending are the slices of bread holding the filling (the major points or the body of your speech) together.

You can build yourself a simple sandwich with one filling (one big idea) or you could go gourmet and add up to three or, even five. The choice is yours.

But whatever you choose to serve, as a good cook, you need to consider who is going to eat it! And that's your audience.

So let's find out who they are before we do anything else. 

Step 2: Know who you are talking to

Understanding your audience.

Did you know a  good speech is never written from the speaker's point of view?  ( If you need to know more about why check out this page on  building rapport .)

Begin with the most important idea/point on your outline.

Consider HOW you can explain (show, tell) that to your audience in the most effective way for them to easily understand it.   

Writing from the audience's point of view

speech writing notes

To help you write from an audience point of view, it's a good idea to identify either a real person or the type of person who is most likely to be listening to you.

Make sure you select someone who represents the "majority" of the people who will be in your audience. That is they are neither struggling to comprehend you at the bottom of your scale or light-years ahead at the top.

Now imagine they are sitting next to you eagerly waiting to hear what you're going to say. Give them a name, for example, Joe, to help make them real.

Ask yourself

  • How do I need to tailor my information to meet Joe's needs? For example, do you tell personal stories to illustrate your main points? Absolutely! Yes. This is a very powerful technique. (Click storytelling in speeches to find out more.)
  • What type or level of language is right for Joe as well as my topic? For example if I use jargon (activity, industry or profession specific vocabulary) will it be understood?

Step 3: Writing as you speak

Writing oral language.

Write down what you want to say about your first main point as if you were talking directly to Joe.

If it helps, say it all out loud before you write it down and/or record it.

Use the information below as a guide

Infographic: The Characteristics of Spoken Language - 7 points of difference with examples.

(Click to download The Characteristics of Spoken Language  as a pdf.) 

You do not have to write absolutely everything you're going to say down * but you do need to write down, or outline, the sequence of ideas to ensure they are logical and easily followed.

Remember too, to explain or illustrate your point with examples from your research. 

( * Tip: If this is your first speech the safety net of having everything written down could be just what you need. It's easier to recover from a patch of jitters when you have a word by word manuscript than if you have either none, or a bare outline. Your call!)

Step 4: Checking tone and language

The focus of this step is re-working what you've done in Step 2 and 3.

You identified who you were talking to (Step 2) and in Step 3, wrote up your first main point.  Is it right? Have you made yourself clear?  Check it.

Graphic:cartoon drawing of a woman sitting in front of a laptop. Text:How to write a speech: checking tone and language.

How well you complete this step depends on how well you understand the needs of the people who are going to listen to your speech.

Please do not assume because you know what you're talking about the person (Joe) you've chosen to represent your audience will too. Joe is not a mind-reader!

How to check what you've prepared

  • Check the "tone" of your language . Is it right for the occasion, subject matter and your audience?
  • Check the length of your sentences. You need short sentences. If they're too long or complicated you risk losing your listeners.

Check for jargon too. These are industry, activity or group exclusive words.

For instance take the phrase: authentic learning . This comes from teaching and refers to connecting lessons to the daily life of students. Authentic learning is learning that is relevant and meaningful for students. If you're not a teacher you may not understand the phrase.

The use of any vocabulary requiring insider knowledge needs to be thought through from the audience perspective. Jargon can close people out.

  • Read what you've written out loud. If it flows naturally, in a logical manner, continue the process with your next main idea. If it doesn't, rework.

We use whole sentences and part ones, and we mix them up with asides or appeals e.g. "Did you get that? Of course you did. Right...Let's move it along. I was saying ..."

Click for more about the differences between spoken and written language .

And now repeat the process

Repeat this process for the remainder of your main ideas.

Because you've done the first one carefully, the rest should follow fairly easily.

Step 5: Use transitions

Providing links or transitions between main ideas.

Between each of your main ideas you need to provide a bridge or pathway for your audience. The clearer the pathway or bridge, the easier it is for them to make the transition from one idea to the next.

Graphic - girl walking across a bridge. Text - Using transitions to link ideas.

If your speech contains more than three main ideas and each is building on the last, then consider using a "catch-up" or summary as part of your transitions.

Is your speech being evaluated? Find out exactly what aspects you're being assessed on using this standard speech evaluation form

Link/transition examples

A link can be as simple as:

"We've explored one scenario for the ending of Block Buster 111, but let's consider another. This time..."

What follows this transition is the introduction of Main Idea Two.

Here's a summarizing link/transition example:

"We've ended Blockbuster 111 four ways so far. In the first, everybody died. In the second, everybody died BUT their ghosts remained to haunt the area. In the third, one villain died. His partner reformed and after a fight-out with the hero, they both strode off into the sunset, friends forever. In the fourth, the hero dies in a major battle but is reborn sometime in the future.

And now what about one more? What if nobody died? The fifth possibility..."

Go back through your main ideas checking the links. Remember Joe as you go. Try each transition or link out loud and really listen to yourself. Is it obvious? Easily followed?

Keep them if they are clear and concise.

For more about transitions (with examples) see Andrew Dlugan's excellent article, Speech Transitions: Magical words and Phrases .

Step 6: The end of your speech

The ideal ending is highly memorable . You want it to live on in the minds of your listeners long after your speech is finished. Often it combines a call to action with a summary of major points.

Comic Graphic: End with a bang

Example speech endings

Example 1: The desired outcome of a speech persuading people to vote for you in an upcoming election is that they get out there on voting day and do so. You can help that outcome along by calling them to register their support by signing a prepared pledge statement as they leave.

"We're agreed we want change. You can help us give it to you by signing this pledge statement as you leave. Be part of the change you want to see!

Example 2: The desired outcome is increased sales figures. The call to action is made urgent with the introduction of time specific incentives.

"You have three weeks from the time you leave this hall to make that dream family holiday in New Zealand yours. Can you do it? Will you do it? The kids will love it. Your wife will love it. Do it now!"

How to figure out the right call to action

A clue for working out what the most appropriate call to action might be, is to go back to your original purpose for giving the speech.

  • Was it to motivate or inspire?
  • Was it to persuade to a particular point of view?
  • Was it to share specialist information?
  • Was it to celebrate a person, a place, time or event?

Ask yourself what you want people to do as a result of having listened to your speech.

For more about ending speeches

Visit this page for more about how to end a speech effectively . You'll find two additional types of speech endings with examples.

Write and test

Write your ending and test it out loud. Try it out on a friend, or two. Is it good? Does it work?

Step 7: The introduction

Once you've got the filling (main ideas) the linking and the ending in place, it's time to focus on the introduction.

The introduction comes last as it's the most important part of your speech. This is the bit that either has people sitting up alert or slumped and waiting for you to end. It's the tone setter!

What makes a great speech opening?

Ideally you want an opening that makes listening to you the only thing the 'Joes' in the audience want to do.

You want them to forget they're hungry or that their chair is hard or that their bills need paying.

The way to do that is to capture their interest straight away. You do this with a "hook".

Hooks to catch your audience's attention

Hooks come in as many forms as there are speeches and audiences. Your task is work out what specific hook is needed to catch your audience.

Graphic: shoal of fish and two hooked fishing lines. Text: Hooking and holding attention

Go back to the purpose. Why are you giving this speech?

Once you have your answer, consider your call to action. What do you want the audience to do, and, or take away, as a result of listening to you?

Next think about the imaginary or real person you wrote for when you were focusing on your main ideas.

Choosing the best hook

  • Is it humor?
  • Would shock tactics work?
  • Is it a rhetorical question?
  • Is it formality or informality?
  • Is it an outline or overview of what you're going to cover, including the call to action?
  • Or is it a mix of all these elements?

A hook example

Here's an example from a fictional political speech. The speaker is lobbying for votes. His audience are predominately workers whose future's are not secure.

"How's your imagination this morning? Good? (Pause for response from audience) Great, I'm glad. Because we're going to put it to work starting right now.

I want you to see your future. What does it look like? Are you happy? Is everything as you want it to be? No? Let's change that. We could do it. And we could do it today.

At the end of this speech you're going to be given the opportunity to change your world, for a better one ...

No, I'm not a magician. Or a simpleton with big ideas and precious little commonsense. I'm an ordinary man, just like you. And I have a plan to share!"

And then our speaker is off into his main points supported by examples. The end, which he has already foreshadowed in his opening, is the call to vote for him.

Prepare several hooks

Experiment with several openings until you've found the one that serves your audience, your subject matter and your purpose best.

For many more examples of speech openings go to: how to write a speech introduction . You'll find 12 of the very best ways to start a speech.

speech writing notes

That completes the initial seven steps towards writing your speech. If you've followed them all the way through, congratulations, you now have the text of your speech!

Although you might have the words, you're still a couple of steps away from being ready to deliver them. Both of them are essential if you want the very best outcome possible. They are below. Please take them.

Step 8: Checking content and timing

This step pulls everything together.

Check once, check twice, check three times & then once more!

Go through your speech really carefully.

On the first read through check you've got your main points in their correct order with supporting material, plus an effective introduction and ending.

On the second read through check the linking passages or transitions making sure they are clear and easily followed.

On the third reading check your sentence structure, language use and tone.

Double, triple check the timing

Now go though once more.

This time read it aloud slowly and time yourself.

If it's too long for the time allowance you've been given make the necessary cuts.

Start by looking at your examples rather than the main ideas themselves. If you've used several examples to illustrate one principal idea, cut the least important out.

Also look to see if you've repeated yourself unnecessarily or, gone off track. If it's not relevant, cut it.

Repeat the process, condensing until your speech fits the required length, preferably coming in just under your time limit.

You can also find out how approximately long it will take you to say the words you have by using this very handy words to minutes converter . It's an excellent tool, one I frequently use. While it can't give you a precise time, it does provide a reasonable estimate.

Graphic: Click to read example speeches of all sorts.

Step 9: Rehearsing your speech

And NOW you are finished with writing the speech, and are ready for REHEARSAL .

speech writing notes

Please don't be tempted to skip this step. It is not an extra thrown in for good measure. It's essential.

The "not-so-secret" secret of successful speeches combines good writing with practice, practice and then, practicing some more.

Go to how to practice public speaking and you'll find rehearsal techniques and suggestions to boost your speech delivery from ordinary to extraordinary.

The Quick How to Write a Speech Checklist

Before you begin writing you need:.

  • Your speech OUTLINE with your main ideas ranked in the order you're going to present them. (If you haven't done one complete this 4 step sample speech outline . It will make the writing process much easier.)
  • You also need to know WHO you're speaking to, the PURPOSE of the speech and HOW long you're speaking for

The basic format

  • the body where you present your main ideas

Split your time allowance so that you spend approximately 70% on the body and 15% each on the introduction and ending.

How to write the speech

  • Write your main ideas out incorporating your examples and research
  • Link them together making sure each flows in a smooth, logical progression
  • Write your ending, summarizing your main ideas briefly and end with a call for action
  • Write your introduction considering the 'hook' you're going to use to get your audience listening
  • An often quoted saying to explain the process is: Tell them what you're going to tell them (Introduction) Tell them (Body of your speech - the main ideas plus examples) Tell them what you told them (The ending)

TEST before presenting. Read aloud several times to check the flow of material, the suitability of language and the timing.

Yellow banner. Text: You're most welcome to use this content in your online learning program. Please make it a do follow link.

  • Return to top

speaking out loud 

Subscribe for  FREE weekly alerts about what's new For more see  speaking out loud  

Susan Dugdale - write-out-loud.com - Contact

Top 10 popular pages

  • Welcome speech
  • Demonstration speech topics
  • Impromptu speech topic cards
  • Thank you quotes
  • Impromptu public speaking topics
  • Farewell speeches
  • Phrases for welcome speeches
  • Student council speeches
  • Free sample eulogies

From fear to fun in 28 ways

A complete one stop resource to scuttle fear in the best of all possible ways - with laughter.

Public speaking games ebook cover - write-out-loud.com

Useful pages

  • Search this site
  • About me & Contact
  • Blogging Aloud
  • Free e-course
  • Privacy policy

©Copyright 2006-24 www.write-out-loud.com

Designed and built by Clickstream Designs

speech writing notes

Register now

How it works

Transform your enterprise with the scalable mindsets, skills, & behavior change that drive performance.

Explore how BetterUp connects to your core business systems.

We pair AI with the latest in human-centered coaching to drive powerful, lasting learning and behavior change.

Build leaders that accelerate team performance and engagement.

Unlock performance potential at scale with AI-powered curated growth journeys.

Build resilience, well-being and agility to drive performance across your entire enterprise.

Transform your business, starting with your sales leaders.

Unlock business impact from the top with executive coaching.

Foster a culture of inclusion and belonging.

Accelerate the performance and potential of your agencies and employees.

See how innovative organizations use BetterUp to build a thriving workforce.

Discover how BetterUp measurably impacts key business outcomes for organizations like yours.

A demo is the first step to transforming your business. Meet with us to develop a plan for attaining your goals.

Request a demo

  • What is coaching?

Learn how 1:1 coaching works, who its for, and if it's right for you.

Accelerate your personal and professional growth with the expert guidance of a BetterUp Coach.

Types of Coaching

Navigate career transitions, accelerate your professional growth, and achieve your career goals with expert coaching.

Enhance your communication skills for better personal and professional relationships, with tailored coaching that focuses on your needs.

Find balance, resilience, and well-being in all areas of your life with holistic coaching designed to empower you.

Discover your perfect match : Take our 5-minute assessment and let us pair you with one of our top Coaches tailored just for you.

Find your Coach

Research, expert insights, and resources to develop courageous leaders within your organization.

Best practices, research, and tools to fuel individual and business growth.

View on-demand BetterUp events and learn about upcoming live discussions.

The latest insights and ideas for building a high-performing workplace.

  • BetterUp Briefing

The online magazine that helps you understand tomorrow's workforce trends, today.

Innovative research featured in peer-reviewed journals, press, and more.

Founded in 2022 to deepen the understanding of the intersection of well-being, purpose, and performance

We're on a mission to help everyone live with clarity, purpose, and passion.

Join us and create impactful change.

Read the buzz about BetterUp.

Meet the leadership that's passionate about empowering your workforce.

Find your Coach

For Business

For Individuals

How to write a speech that your audience remembers


Whether in a work meeting or at an investor panel, you might give a speech at some point. And no matter how excited you are about the opportunity, the experience can be nerve-wracking . 

But feeling butterflies doesn’t mean you can’t give a great speech. With the proper preparation and a clear outline, apprehensive public speakers and natural wordsmiths alike can write and present a compelling message. Here’s how to write a good speech you’ll be proud to deliver.

What is good speech writing?

Good speech writing is the art of crafting words and ideas into a compelling, coherent, and memorable message that resonates with the audience. Here are some key elements of great speech writing:

  • It begins with clearly understanding the speech's purpose and the audience it seeks to engage. 
  • A well-written speech clearly conveys its central message, ensuring that the audience understands and retains the key points. 
  • It is structured thoughtfully, with a captivating opening, a well-organized body, and a conclusion that reinforces the main message. 
  • Good speech writing embraces the power of engaging content, weaving in stories, examples, and relatable anecdotes to connect with the audience on both intellectual and emotional levels. 

Ultimately, it is the combination of these elements, along with the authenticity and delivery of the speaker , that transforms words on a page into a powerful and impactful spoken narrative.

What makes a good speech?

A great speech includes several key qualities, but three fundamental elements make a speech truly effective:

Clarity and purpose

Remembering the audience, cohesive structure.

While other important factors make a speech a home run, these three elements are essential for writing an effective speech.

The main elements of a good speech

The main elements of a speech typically include:

  • Introduction: The introduction sets the stage for your speech and grabs the audience's attention. It should include a hook or attention-grabbing opening, introduce the topic, and provide an overview of what will be covered.
  • Opening/captivating statement: This is a strong statement that immediately engages the audience and creates curiosity about the speech topics.
  • Thesis statement/central idea: The thesis statement or central idea is a concise statement that summarizes the main point or argument of your speech. It serves as a roadmap for the audience to understand what your speech is about.
  • Body: The body of the speech is where you elaborate on your main points or arguments. Each point is typically supported by evidence, examples, statistics, or anecdotes. The body should be organized logically and coherently, with smooth transitions between the main points.
  • Supporting evidence: This includes facts, data, research findings, expert opinions, or personal stories that support and strengthen your main points. Well-chosen and credible evidence enhances the persuasive power of your speech.
  • Transitions: Transitions are phrases or statements that connect different parts of your speech, guiding the audience from one idea to the next. Effective transitions signal the shifts in topics or ideas and help maintain a smooth flow throughout the speech.
  • Counterarguments and rebuttals (if applicable): If your speech involves addressing opposing viewpoints or counterarguments, you should acknowledge and address them. Presenting counterarguments makes your speech more persuasive and demonstrates critical thinking.
  • Conclusion: The conclusion is the final part of your speech and should bring your message to a satisfying close. Summarize your main points, restate your thesis statement, and leave the audience with a memorable closing thought or call to action.
  • Closing statement: This is the final statement that leaves a lasting impression and reinforces the main message of your speech. It can be a call to action, a thought-provoking question, a powerful quote, or a memorable anecdote.
  • Delivery and presentation: How you deliver your speech is also an essential element to consider. Pay attention to your tone, body language, eye contact , voice modulation, and timing. Practice and rehearse your speech, and try using the 7-38-55 rule to ensure confident and effective delivery.

While the order and emphasis of these elements may vary depending on the type of speech and audience, these elements provide a framework for organizing and delivering a successful speech.


How to structure a good speech

You know what message you want to transmit, who you’re delivering it to, and even how you want to say it. But you need to know how to start, develop, and close a speech before writing it. 

Think of a speech like an essay. It should have an introduction, conclusion, and body sections in between. This places ideas in a logical order that the audience can better understand and follow them. Learning how to make a speech with an outline gives your storytelling the scaffolding it needs to get its point across.

Here’s a general speech structure to guide your writing process:

  • Explanation 1
  • Explanation 2
  • Explanation 3

How to write a compelling speech opener

Some research shows that engaged audiences pay attention for only 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Other estimates are even lower, citing that people stop listening intently in fewer than 10 minutes . If you make a good first impression at the beginning of your speech, you have a better chance of interesting your audience through the middle when attention spans fade. 

Implementing the INTRO model can help grab and keep your audience’s attention as soon as you start speaking. This acronym stands for interest, need, timing, roadmap, and objectives, and it represents the key points you should hit in an opening. 

Here’s what to include for each of these points: 

  • Interest : Introduce yourself or your topic concisely and speak with confidence . Write a compelling opening statement using relevant data or an anecdote that the audience can relate to.
  • Needs : The audience is listening to you because they have something to learn. If you’re pitching a new app idea to a panel of investors, those potential partners want to discover more about your product and what they can earn from it. Read the room and gently remind them of the purpose of your speech. 
  • Timing : When appropriate, let your audience know how long you’ll speak. This lets listeners set expectations and keep tabs on their own attention span. If a weary audience member knows you’ll talk for 40 minutes, they can better manage their energy as that time goes on. 
  • Routemap : Give a brief overview of the three main points you’ll cover in your speech. If an audience member’s attention starts to drop off and they miss a few sentences, they can more easily get their bearings if they know the general outline of the presentation.
  • Objectives : Tell the audience what you hope to achieve, encouraging them to listen to the end for the payout. 

Writing the middle of a speech

The body of your speech is the most information-dense section. Facts, visual aids, PowerPoints — all this information meets an audience with a waning attention span. Sticking to the speech structure gives your message focus and keeps you from going off track, making everything you say as useful as possible.

Limit the middle of your speech to three points, and support them with no more than three explanations. Following this model organizes your thoughts and prevents you from offering more information than the audience can retain. 

Using this section of the speech to make your presentation interactive can add interest and engage your audience. Try including a video or demonstration to break the monotony. A quick poll or survey also keeps the audience on their toes. 

Wrapping the speech up

To you, restating your points at the end can feel repetitive and dull. You’ve practiced countless times and heard it all before. But repetition aids memory and learning , helping your audience retain what you’ve told them. Use your speech’s conclusion to summarize the main points with a few short sentences.

Try to end on a memorable note, like posing a motivational quote or a thoughtful question the audience can contemplate once they leave. In proposal or pitch-style speeches, consider landing on a call to action (CTA) that invites your audience to take the next step.


How to write a good speech

If public speaking gives you the jitters, you’re not alone. Roughly 80% of the population feels nervous before giving a speech, and another 10% percent experiences intense anxiety and sometimes even panic. 

The fear of failure can cause procrastination and can cause you to put off your speechwriting process until the last minute. Finding the right words takes time and preparation, and if you’re already feeling nervous, starting from a blank page might seem even harder.

But putting in the effort despite your stress is worth it. Presenting a speech you worked hard on fosters authenticity and connects you to the subject matter, which can help your audience understand your points better. Human connection is all about honesty and vulnerability, and if you want to connect to the people you’re speaking to, they should see that in you.

1. Identify your objectives and target audience

Before diving into the writing process, find healthy coping strategies to help you stop worrying . Then you can define your speech’s purpose, think about your target audience, and start identifying your objectives. Here are some questions to ask yourself and ground your thinking : 

  • What purpose do I want my speech to achieve? 
  • What would it mean to me if I achieved the speech’s purpose?
  • What audience am I writing for? 
  • What do I know about my audience? 
  • What values do I want to transmit? 
  • If the audience remembers one take-home message, what should it be? 
  • What do I want my audience to feel, think, or do after I finish speaking? 
  • What parts of my message could be confusing and require further explanation?

2. Know your audience

Understanding your audience is crucial for tailoring your speech effectively. Consider the demographics of your audience, their interests, and their expectations. For instance, if you're addressing a group of healthcare professionals, you'll want to use medical terminology and data that resonate with them. Conversely, if your audience is a group of young students, you'd adjust your content to be more relatable to their experiences and interests. 

3. Choose a clear message

Your message should be the central idea that you want your audience to take away from your speech. Let's say you're giving a speech on climate change. Your clear message might be something like, "Individual actions can make a significant impact on mitigating climate change." Throughout your speech, all your points and examples should support this central message, reinforcing it for your audience.

4. Structure your speech

Organizing your speech properly keeps your audience engaged and helps them follow your ideas. The introduction should grab your audience's attention and introduce the topic. For example, if you're discussing space exploration, you could start with a fascinating fact about a recent space mission. In the body, you'd present your main points logically, such as the history of space exploration, its scientific significance, and future prospects. Finally, in the conclusion, you'd summarize your key points and reiterate the importance of space exploration in advancing human knowledge.

5. Use engaging content for clarity

Engaging content includes stories, anecdotes, statistics, and examples that illustrate your main points. For instance, if you're giving a speech about the importance of reading, you might share a personal story about how a particular book changed your perspective. You could also include statistics on the benefits of reading, such as improved cognitive abilities and empathy.

6. Maintain clarity and simplicity

It's essential to communicate your ideas clearly. Avoid using overly technical jargon or complex language that might confuse your audience. For example, if you're discussing a medical breakthrough with a non-medical audience, explain complex terms in simple, understandable language.

7. Practice and rehearse

Practice is key to delivering a great speech. Rehearse multiple times to refine your delivery, timing, and tone. Consider using a mirror or recording yourself to observe your body language and gestures. For instance, if you're giving a motivational speech, practice your gestures and expressions to convey enthusiasm and confidence.

8. Consider nonverbal communication

Your body language, tone of voice, and gestures should align with your message . If you're delivering a speech on leadership, maintain strong eye contact to convey authority and connection with your audience. A steady pace and varied tone can also enhance your speech's impact.

9. Engage your audience

Engaging your audience keeps them interested and attentive. Encourage interaction by asking thought-provoking questions or sharing relatable anecdotes. If you're giving a speech on teamwork, ask the audience to recall a time when teamwork led to a successful outcome, fostering engagement and connection.

10. Prepare for Q&A

Anticipate potential questions or objections your audience might have and prepare concise, well-informed responses. If you're delivering a speech on a controversial topic, such as healthcare reform, be ready to address common concerns, like the impact on healthcare costs or access to services, during the Q&A session.

By following these steps and incorporating examples that align with your specific speech topic and purpose, you can craft and deliver a compelling and impactful speech that resonates with your audience.


Tools for writing a great speech

There are several helpful tools available for speechwriting, both technological and communication-related. Here are a few examples:

  • Word processing software: Tools like Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or other word processors provide a user-friendly environment for writing and editing speeches. They offer features like spell-checking, grammar correction, formatting options, and easy revision tracking.
  • Presentation software: Software such as Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides is useful when creating visual aids to accompany your speech. These tools allow you to create engaging slideshows with text, images, charts, and videos to enhance your presentation.
  • Speechwriting Templates: Online platforms or software offer pre-designed templates specifically for speechwriting. These templates provide guidance on structuring your speech and may include prompts for different sections like introductions, main points, and conclusions.
  • Rhetorical devices and figures of speech: Rhetorical tools such as metaphors, similes, alliteration, and parallelism can add impact and persuasion to your speech. Resources like books, websites, or academic papers detailing various rhetorical devices can help you incorporate them effectively.
  • Speechwriting apps: Mobile apps designed specifically for speechwriting can be helpful in organizing your thoughts, creating outlines, and composing a speech. These apps often provide features like voice recording, note-taking, and virtual prompts to keep you on track.
  • Grammar and style checkers: Online tools or plugins like Grammarly or Hemingway Editor help improve the clarity and readability of your speech by checking for grammar, spelling, and style errors. They provide suggestions for sentence structure, word choice, and overall tone.
  • Thesaurus and dictionary: Online or offline resources such as thesauruses and dictionaries help expand your vocabulary and find alternative words or phrases to express your ideas more effectively. They can also clarify meanings or provide context for unfamiliar terms.
  • Online speechwriting communities: Joining online forums or communities focused on speechwriting can be beneficial for getting feedback, sharing ideas, and learning from experienced speechwriters. It's an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and improve your public speaking skills through collaboration.

Remember, while these tools can assist in the speechwriting process, it's essential to use them thoughtfully and adapt them to your specific needs and style. The most important aspect of speechwriting remains the creativity, authenticity, and connection with your audience that you bring to your speech.


5 tips for writing a speech

Behind every great speech is an excellent idea and a speaker who refined it. But a successful speech is about more than the initial words on the page, and there are a few more things you can do to help it land.

Here are five more tips for writing and practicing your speech:

1. Structure first, write second

If you start the writing process before organizing your thoughts, you may have to re-order, cut, and scrap the sentences you worked hard on. Save yourself some time by using a speech structure, like the one above, to order your talking points first. This can also help you identify unclear points or moments that disrupt your flow.

2. Do your homework

Data strengthens your argument with a scientific edge. Research your topic with an eye for attention-grabbing statistics, or look for findings you can use to support each point. If you’re pitching a product or service, pull information from company metrics that demonstrate past or potential successes. 

Audience members will likely have questions, so learn all talking points inside and out. If you tell investors that your product will provide 12% returns, for example, come prepared with projections that support that statement.

3. Sound like yourself

Memorable speakers have distinct voices. Think of Martin Luther King Jr’s urgent, inspiring timbre or Oprah’s empathetic, personal tone . Establish your voice — one that aligns with your personality and values — and stick with it. If you’re a motivational speaker, keep your tone upbeat to inspire your audience . If you’re the CEO of a startup, try sounding assured but approachable. 

4. Practice

As you practice a speech, you become more confident , gain a better handle on the material, and learn the outline so well that unexpected questions are less likely to trip you up. Practice in front of a colleague or friend for honest feedback about what you could change, and speak in front of the mirror to tweak your nonverbal communication and body language .

5. Remember to breathe

When you’re stressed, you breathe more rapidly . It can be challenging to talk normally when you can’t regulate your breath. Before your presentation, try some mindful breathing exercises so that when the day comes, you already have strategies that will calm you down and remain present . This can also help you control your voice and avoid speaking too quickly.

How to ghostwrite a great speech for someone else

Ghostwriting a speech requires a unique set of skills, as you're essentially writing a piece that will be delivered by someone else. Here are some tips on how to effectively ghostwrite a speech:

  • Understand the speaker's voice and style : Begin by thoroughly understanding the speaker's personality, speaking style, and preferences. This includes their tone, humor, and any personal anecdotes they may want to include.
  • Interview the speaker : Have a detailed conversation with the speaker to gather information about their speech's purpose, target audience, key messages, and any specific points they want to emphasize. Ask for personal stories or examples they may want to include.
  • Research thoroughly : Research the topic to ensure you have a strong foundation of knowledge. This helps you craft a well-informed and credible speech.
  • Create an outline : Develop a clear outline that includes the introduction, main points, supporting evidence, and a conclusion. Share this outline with the speaker for their input and approval.
  • Write in the speaker's voice : While crafting the speech, maintain the speaker's voice and style. Use language and phrasing that feel natural to them. If they have a particular way of expressing ideas, incorporate that into the speech.
  • Craft a captivating opening : Begin the speech with a compelling opening that grabs the audience's attention. This could be a relevant quote, an interesting fact, a personal anecdote, or a thought-provoking question.
  • Organize content logically : Ensure the speech flows logically, with each point building on the previous one. Use transitions to guide the audience from one idea to the next smoothly.
  • Incorporate engaging stories and examples : Include anecdotes, stories, and real-life examples that illustrate key points and make the speech relatable and memorable.
  • Edit and revise : Edit the speech carefully for clarity, grammar, and coherence. Ensure the speech is the right length and aligns with the speaker's time constraints.
  • Seek feedback : Share drafts of the speech with the speaker for their feedback and revisions. They may have specific changes or additions they'd like to make.
  • Practice delivery : If possible, work with the speaker on their delivery. Practice the speech together, allowing the speaker to become familiar with the content and your writing style.
  • Maintain confidentiality : As a ghostwriter, it's essential to respect the confidentiality and anonymity of the work. Do not disclose that you wrote the speech unless you have the speaker's permission to do so.
  • Be flexible : Be open to making changes and revisions as per the speaker's preferences. Your goal is to make them look good and effectively convey their message.
  • Meet deadlines : Stick to agreed-upon deadlines for drafts and revisions. Punctuality and reliability are essential in ghostwriting.
  • Provide support : Support the speaker during their preparation and rehearsal process. This can include helping with cue cards, speech notes, or any other materials they need.

Remember that successful ghostwriting is about capturing the essence of the speaker while delivering a well-structured and engaging speech. Collaboration, communication, and adaptability are key to achieving this.

Give your best speech yet

Learn how to make a speech that’ll hold an audience’s attention by structuring your thoughts and practicing frequently. Put the effort into writing and preparing your content, and aim to improve your breathing, eye contact , and body language as you practice. The more you work on your speech, the more confident you’ll become.

The energy you invest in writing an effective speech will help your audience remember and connect to every concept. Remember: some life-changing philosophies have come from good speeches, so give your words a chance to resonate with others. You might even change their thinking.

Boost your speech skills

Enhance your public speaking with personalized coaching tailored to your needs

Elizabeth Perry, ACC

Elizabeth Perry is a Coach Community Manager at BetterUp. She uses strategic engagement strategies to cultivate a learning community across a global network of Coaches through in-person and virtual experiences, technology-enabled platforms, and strategic coaching industry partnerships. With over 3 years of coaching experience and a certification in transformative leadership and life coaching from Sofia University, Elizabeth leverages transpersonal psychology expertise to help coaches and clients gain awareness of their behavioral and thought patterns, discover their purpose and passions, and elevate their potential. She is a lifelong student of psychology, personal growth, and human potential as well as an ICF-certified ACC transpersonal life and leadership Coach.

10+ interpersonal skills at work and ways to develop them

How to write an impactful cover letter for a career change, 6 presentation skills and how to improve them, 18 effective strategies to improve your communication skills, what are analytical skills examples and how to level up, what is gig work and does it make the dream work, the 11 tips that will improve your public speaking skills, self-management skills for a messy world, how to be more persuasive: 6 tips for convincing others, similar articles, how to write an executive summary in 10 steps, how to pitch ideas: 8 tips to captivate any audience, how to give a good presentation that captivates any audience, anxious about meetings learn how to run a meeting with these 10 tips, writing an elevator pitch about yourself: a how-to plus tips, 9 elevator pitch examples for making a strong first impression, how to write a memo: 8 steps with examples, stay connected with betterup, get our newsletter, event invites, plus product insights and research..

3100 E 5th Street, Suite 350 Austin, TX 78702

  • Platform Overview
  • Integrations
  • Powered by AI
  • BetterUp Lead™
  • BetterUp Manage™
  • BetterUp Care®
  • Sales Performance
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Case Studies
  • Why BetterUp?
  • About Coaching
  • Find your Coach
  • Career Coaching
  • Communication Coaching
  • Life Coaching
  • News and Press
  • Leadership Team
  • Become a BetterUp Coach
  • BetterUp Labs
  • Center for Purpose & Performance
  • Leadership Training
  • Business Coaching
  • Contact Support
  • Contact Sales
  • Privacy Policy
  • Acceptable Use Policy
  • Trust & Security
  • Cookie Preferences

speech writing notes

How to Write an Effective Speech Outline: A Step-by-Step Guide

  • The Speaker Lab
  • March 8, 2024

Table of Contents

Mastering the art of speaking starts with crafting a stellar speech outline. A well-structured outline not only clarifies your message but also keeps your audience locked in.

In this article, you’ll learn how to mold outlines for various speech types, weaving in research that resonates and transitions that keep listeners on track. We’ll also show you ways to spotlight crucial points and manage the clock so every second counts. When it’s time for final prep, we’ve got smart tips for fine-tuning your work before stepping into the spotlight.

Understanding the Structure of a Speech Outline

An effective speech outline is like a map for your journey as a speaker, guiding you from start to finish. Think of it as the blueprint that gives shape to your message and ensures you hit all the right notes along the way.

Tailoring Your Outline for Different Speech Types

Different speeches have different goals: some aim to persuade, others inform or celebrate. Each type demands its own structure in an outline. For instance, a persuasive speech might highlight compelling evidence while an informative one focuses on clear explanations. Crafting your outline with precision means adapting it to fit these distinct objectives.

Incorporating Research and Supporting Data

Your credibility hinges on solid research and data that back up your claims. When writing your outline, mark the places where you’ll incorporate certain pieces of research or data. Every stat you choose should serve a purpose in supporting your narrative arc. And remember to balance others’ research with your own unique insights. After all, you want your work to stand out, not sound like someone else’s.

The Role of Transitions in Speech Flow

Slick transitions are what turn choppy ideas into smooth storytelling—think about how bridges connect disparate land masses seamlessly. They’re not just filler; they carry listeners from one thought to another while maintaining momentum.

Incorporate transitions that feel natural yet keep people hooked. To keep things smooth, outline these transitions ahead of time so nothing feels left up to chance during delivery.

Techniques for Emphasizing Key Points in Your Outline

To make certain points pop off the page—and stage—you’ll need strategies beyond bolding text or speaking louder. Use repetition wisely or pause strategically after delivering something significant. Rather than go impromptu, plan out what points you want to emphasize before you hit the stage.

Timing Your Speech Through Your Outline

A watchful eye on timing ensures you don’t overstay—or undercut—your moment under the spotlight. The rhythm set by pacing can be pre-determined through practice runs timed against sections marked clearly in outlines. Practice will help ensure that your grand finale isn’t cut short by surprise.

Free Download: 6 Proven Steps to Book More Paid Speaking Gigs in 2024​

Download our 18-page guide and start booking more paid speaking gigs today!

Depending on the type of speech you’re giving, your speech outline will vary. The key ingredients—introduction, body, and conclusion—are always there, but nuances like tone or message will change with each speaking occasion.

Persuasive Speeches: Convincing With Clarity

When outlining a persuasive speech, arrange your arguments from strong to strongest. The primacy effect works wonders here, so make sure to start off with a strong point. And just when they think they’ve heard it all, hit them with an emotional story that clinches the deal.

You might start by sharing startling statistics about plastic pollution before pivoting to how individuals can make a difference. Back this up with data on successful recycling programs which demonstrate tangible impact, a technique that turns facts into fuel for action.

Informative Speeches: Educating Without Overwhelming

An informative speech shouldn’t feel like drinking from a fire hose of facts and figures. Instead, lay out clear subtopics in your outline and tie them together with succinct explanations—not unlike stepping stones across a stream of knowledge.

If you’re talking about breakthroughs in renewable energy technology, use bullet points to highlight different innovations then expand upon their potential implications one at a time so the audience can follow along without getting lost in technical jargon or complexity.

Ceremonial Speeches: Creating Moments That Matter

In a ceremonial speech you want to capture emotion. Accordingly, your outline should feature personal anecdotes and quotes that resonate on an emotional level. However, make sure to maintain brevity because sometimes less really is more when celebrating milestones or honoring achievements.

Instead of just going through a hero’s whole life story, share the powerful tales of how they stepped up in tough times. This approach hits home for listeners, letting them feel the impact these heroes have had on their communities and sparking an emotional bond.

Incorporating Research in Your Speech Outline

When you’re crafting a speech, the backbone of your credibility lies in solid research and data. But remember, it’s not just about piling on the facts. It’s how you weave them into your narrative that makes listeners sit up and take notice.

Selecting Credible Sources

Finding trustworthy sources is like going on a treasure hunt where not all that glitters is gold. To strike real gold, aim for academic journals or publications known for their rigorous standards. Google Scholar or industry-specific databases are great places to start your search. Be picky. Your audience can tell when you’ve done your homework versus when you’ve settled for less-than-stellar intel.

You want to arm yourself with evidence so compelling that even skeptics start nodding along. A well-chosen statistic from a reputable study does more than decorate your point—it gives it an ironclad suit of armor.

Organizing Information Effectively

Your outline isn’t just a roadmap; think of it as scaffolding that holds up your argument piece by piece. Start strong with an eye-opening factoid to hook your audience right off the bat because first impressions matter—even in speeches.

To keep things digestible, group related ideas together under clear subheadings within your outline. Stick to presenting data that backs up each key idea without wandering down tangential paths. That way, everyone stays on track.

Making Data Relatable

Sure, numbers don’t lie but they can be hard to connect to. If you plan on using stats in your speech, make them meaningful by connecting them to relatable scenarios or outcomes people care about deeply. For instance, if you’re talking health statistics, relate them back to someone’s loved ones or local hospitals. By making the personal connection for your audience, you’ll get their attention.

The trick is using these nuggets strategically throughout your talk, not dumping them all at once but rather placing each one carefully where its impact will be greatest.

Imagine your speech as a road trip. Without smooth roads and clear signs, the journey gets bumpy, and passengers might miss the scenery along the way. That’s where transitions come in. They’re like your speech’s traffic signals guiding listeners from one point to another.

Crafting Seamless Bridges Between Ideas

Transitions are more than just linguistic filler. They’re strategic connectors that carry an audience smoothly through your narrative. Start by using phrases like “on top of this” or “let’s consider,” which help you pivot naturally between points without losing momentum.

To weave these seamlessly into your outline, map out each major turn beforehand to ensure no idea is left stranded on a tangent.

Making Use of Transitional Phrases Wisely

Be cautious: overusing transitional phrases can clutter up your speech faster than rush hour traffic. Striking a balance is key—think about how often you’d want to see signposts on a highway. Enough to keep you confident but not so many that it feels overwhelming.

Pick pivotal moments for transitions when shifting gears from one major topic to another or introducing contrasting information. A little direction at critical junctures keeps everyone onboard and attentive.

Leveraging Pauses as Transition Tools

Sometimes silence speaks louder than words, and pauses are powerful tools for transitioning thoughts. A well-timed pause lets ideas resonate and gives audiences time to digest complex information before moving forward again.

This approach also allows speakers some breathing room themselves—the chance to regroup mentally before diving into their next point with renewed vigor.

Connecting Emotional Threads Throughout Your Speech

Last but not least, don’t forget emotional continuity, that intangible thread pulling heartstrings from start-to-finish. Even if topics shift drastically, maintaining an underlying emotional connection ensures everything flows together cohesively within the larger tapestry of your message.

Techniques for Emphasizing Key Points in Your Speech Outline

When you’re crafting your speech outline, shine a spotlight on what matters most so that your audience doesn’t miss your key points.

Bold and Italicize for Impact

You wouldn’t whisper your punchline in a crowded room. Similarly, why let your main ideas get lost in a sea of text? Use bold or italics to give those lines extra weight. This visual cue signals importance, so when you glance at your notes during delivery, you’ll know to emphasize those main ideas.

Analogies That Stick

A good analogy is like super glue—it makes anything stick. Weave them into your outline and watch as complex concepts become crystal clear. But remember: choose analogies that resonate with your target audience’s experiences or interests. The closer home it hits, the longer it lingers.

The Power of Repetition

If something’s important say it again. And maybe even once more after that—with flair. Repetition can feel redundant on paper, but audiences often need to hear critical messages several times before they take root.

Keep these strategies in mind when you’re ready to dive into your outline. You’ll transform those core ideas into memorable insights before you know it.

Picture this: you’re delivering a speech, and just as you’re about to reach the end, your time’s up. Ouch! Let’s make sure that never happens. Crafting an outline is not only about what to say but also how long to say it.

Finding Balance in Section Lengths

An outline isn’t just bullet points; it’s a roadmap for pacing. When outlining your speech, make sure to decide how much time you’d like to give each of your main points. You might even consider setting specific timers during rehearsals to get a real feel for each part’s duration. Generally speaking, you should allot a fairly equal amount of time for each to keep things balanced.

The Magic of Mini Milestones

To stay on track, a savvy speaker will mark time stamps or “mini milestones” on their outline. These time stamps give the speaker an idea of where should be in their speech by the time, say, 15 minutes has passed. If by checkpoint three you should be 15 minutes deep and instead you’re hitting 20 minutes, it’s time to pick up the pace or trim some fat from earlier sections. This approach helps you stay on track without having to glance at the clock after every sentence.

Utilizing Visual Aids and Multimedia in Your Outline

Pictures speak louder than words, especially when you’re on stage. Think about it: How many times have you sat through a presentation that felt like an eternity of endless bullet points? Now imagine if instead, there was a vibrant image or a short video clip to break up the monotony—it’s game-changing. That’s why integrating visual aids and multimedia into your speech outline isn’t just smart. It’s crucial for keeping your audience locked in.

Choosing Effective Visuals

Selecting the right visuals is not about flooding your slides with random images but finding those that truly amplify your message. Say you’re talking about climate change. In this case, a graph showing rising global temperatures can hit hard and illustrate your chosen statistic clearly. Remember, simplicity reigns supreme; one powerful image will always trump a cluttered collage.

Multimedia Magic

Videos are another ace up your sleeve. They can deliver testimonials more powerfully than quotes or transport viewers to places mere descriptions cannot reach. But be warned—timing is everything. Keep clips short and sweet because no one came to watch a movie—they came to hear you . You might highlight innovations using short video snippets, ensuring these moments serve as compelling punctuations rather than pauses in your narrative.

The Power of Sound

We often forget audio when we think multimedia, yet sound can evoke emotions and set tones subtly yet effectively. Think striking chords for dramatic effect or nature sounds for storytelling depth during environmental talks.

Audiences crave experiences they’ll remember long after they leave their seats. With well-chosen visuals and gripping multimedia elements woven thoughtfully into every section of your speech outline, you’ll give them exactly that.

Rehearsing with Your Speech Outline

When you’re gearing up to take the stage, your speech outline is a great tool to practice with. With a little preparation, you’ll give a performance that feels both natural and engaging.

Familiarizing Yourself with Content

To start off strong, get cozy with your outline’s content. Read through your outline aloud multiple times until the flow of words feels smooth. This will help make sure that when showtime comes around, you can deliver those lines without tripping over tough transitions or complex concepts.

Beyond mere memorization, understanding the heart behind each point allows you to speak from a place of confidence. You know this stuff—you wrote it. Now let’s bring that knowledge front and center in an authentic way.

Mimicking Presentation Conditions

Rehearsing under conditions similar to those expected during the actual presentation pays off big time. Are you going to stand or roam about? Will there be a podium? Think about these details and simulate them during rehearsal because comfort breeds confidence—and we’re all about boosting confidence.

If technology plays its part in your talk, don’t leave them out of rehearsals either. The last thing anyone needs is tech trouble during their talk.

Perfecting Pace Through Practice

Pacing matters big time when speaking. Use timed rehearsals to nail down timing. Adjust speed as needed but remember: clarity trumps velocity every single time.

You want people hanging onto every word, which is hard to do if you’re talking so fast they can barely make out what you’re saying. During rehearsals, find balance between pacing and comprehension; they should go hand-in-hand.

Finalizing Your Speech Outline for Presentation

You’ve poured hours into crafting your speech, shaping each word and idea with precision. Now, it’s time to tighten the nuts and bolts. Finalizing your outline isn’t just about dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s. It’s about making sure your message sticks like a perfectly thrown dart.

Reviewing Your Content for Clarity

Your first task is to strip away any fluff that might cloud your core message. Read through every point in your outline with a critical eye. Think of yourself as an editor on a mission to cut out anything that doesn’t serve a purpose. Ask yourself if you can explain each concept clearly without needing extra words or complex jargon. If not, simplify.

Strengthening Your Argument

The meat of any good presentation lies in its argument, the why behind what you’re saying. Strengthen yours by ensuring every claim has iron-clad backing—a stat here, an expert quote there. Let this be more than just facts tossed at an audience; weave them into stories they’ll remember long after they leave their seats.

Crafting Memorable Takeaways

Audiences may forget details but never how you made them feel—or think. Embed memorable takeaways throughout your outline so when folks step out into fresh air post-talk, they carry bits of wisdom with them.

This could mean distilling complex ideas down to pithy phrases or ending sections with punchy lines that resonate. It’s these golden nuggets people will mine for later reflection.

FAQs on Speech Outlines

How do you write a speech outline.

To craft an outline, jot down your main ideas, arrange them logically, and add supporting points beneath each.

What are the 3 main parts of a speech outline?

An effective speech has three core parts: an engaging introduction, a content-rich body, and a memorable conclusion.

What are the three features of a good speech outline?

A strong outline is clear, concise, and structured in logical sequence to maximize impact on listeners.

What is a working outline for a speech?

A working outline serves as your blueprint while preparing. It’s detailed but flexible enough to adjust as needed.

Crafting a speech outline is like drawing your map before the journey. It starts with structure and flows into customization for different types of talks. Remember, research and evidence are your compass—they guide you to credibility. Transitions act as bridges, connecting one idea to another smoothly. Key points? They’re landmarks so make them shine.

When delivering your speech, keep an eye on the clock and pace yourself so that every word counts.

Multimedia turns a good talk into a great show. Rehearsing polishes that gem of a presentation until it sparkles.

Last up: fine-tuning your speech outline means you step out confident, ready to deliver something memorable because this isn’t just any roadmap—it’s yours.

  • Last Updated: March 5, 2024

Picture of The Speaker Lab

Explore Related Resources

Learn How You Could Get Your First (Or Next) Paid Speaking Gig In 90 Days or Less

We receive thousands of applications every day, but we only work with the top 5% of speakers .

Book a call with our team to get started — you’ll learn why the vast majority of our students get a paid speaking gig within 90 days of finishing our program .

If you’re ready to control your schedule, grow your income, and make an impact in the world – it’s time to take the first step. Book a FREE consulting call and let’s get you Booked and Paid to Speak ® .

About The Speaker Lab

We teach speakers how to consistently get booked and paid to speak.  Since 2015, we’ve helped thousands of speakers find clarity, confidence, and a clear path to make an impact.

Get Started

Let's connect.

[email protected]

Copyright ©2023 The Speaker Lab. All rights reserved.

Rice Speechwriting

Beginners guide to what is a speech writing, what is a speech writing: a beginner’s guide, what is the purpose of speech writing.

The purpose of speech writing is to craft a compelling and effective speech that conveys a specific message or idea to an audience. It involves writing a script that is well-structured, engaging, and tailored to the speaker’s delivery style and the audience’s needs.

Have you ever been called upon to deliver a speech and didn’t know where to start? Or maybe you’re looking to improve your public speaking skills and wondering how speech writing can help. Whatever the case may be, this beginner’s guide on speech writing is just what you need. In this blog, we will cover everything from understanding the art of speech writing to key elements of an effective speech. We will also discuss techniques for engaging speech writing, the role of audience analysis in speech writing, time and length considerations, and how to practice and rehearse your speech. By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of how speech writing can improve your public speaking skills and make you feel confident when delivering your next big presentation.

Understanding the Art of Speech Writing

Crafting a speech involves melding spoken and written language. Tailoring the speech to the audience and occasion is crucial, as is captivating the audience and evoking emotion. Effective speeches utilize rhetorical devices, anecdotes, and a conversational tone. Structuring the speech with a compelling opener, clear points, and a strong conclusion is imperative. Additionally, employing persuasive language and maintaining simplicity are essential elements. The University of North Carolina’s writing center greatly emphasizes the importance of using these techniques.

The Importance of Speech Writing

Crafting a persuasive and impactful speech is essential for reaching your audience effectively. A well-crafted speech incorporates a central idea, main point, and a thesis statement to engage the audience. Whether it’s for a large audience or different ways of public speaking, good speech writing ensures that your message resonates with the audience. Incorporating engaging visual aids, an impactful introduction, and a strong start are key features of a compelling speech. Embracing these elements sets the stage for a successful speech delivery.

The Role of a Speech Writer

A speechwriter holds the responsibility of composing speeches for various occasions and specific points, employing a speechwriting process that includes audience analysis for both the United States and New York audiences. This written text is essential for delivering impactful and persuasive messages, often serving as a good start to a great speech. Utilizing NLP terms like ‘short sentences’ and ‘persuasion’ enhances the content’s quality and relevance.

Key Elements of Effective Speech Writing

Balancing shorter sentences with longer ones is essential for crafting an engaging speech. Including subordinate clauses and personal stories caters to the target audience and adds persuasion. The speechwriting process, including the thesis statement and a compelling introduction, ensures the content captures the audience’s attention. Effective speech writing involves research and the generation of new ideas. Toastmasters International and the Writing Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill provide valuable resources for honing English and verbal skills.

Clarity and Purpose of the Speech

Achieving clarity, authenticity, and empathy defines a good speech. Whether to persuade, inform, or entertain, the purpose of a speech is crucial. It involves crafting persuasive content with rich vocabulary and clear repetition. Successful speechwriting demands a thorough understanding of the audience and a compelling introduction. Balancing short and long sentences is essential for holding the audience’s attention. This process is a fusion of linguistics, psychology, and rhetoric, making it an art form with a powerful impact.

Identifying Target Audience

Tailoring the speechwriting process hinges on identifying the target audience. Their attention is integral to the persuasive content, requiring adaptation of the speechwriting process. A speechwriter conducts audience analysis to capture the audience’s attention, employing new york audience analysis methods. Ensuring a good introduction and adapting the writing process for the target audience are key features of a great speech. Effective speechwriters prioritize the audience’s attention to craft compelling and persuasive speeches.

Structuring Your Speech

The speechwriting process relies on a well-defined structure, crucial to both the speech’s content and the writing process. It encompasses a compelling introduction, an informative body, and a strong conclusion. This process serves as a foundation for effective speeches, guiding the speaker through a series of reasons and a persuasive speechwriting definition. Furthermore, the structure, coupled with audience analysis, is integral to delivering a great speech that resonates with the intended listeners.

The Process of Writing a Speech

Crafting a speech involves composing the opening line, developing key points, and ensuring a strong start. Effective speech writing follows a structured approach, incorporating rhetorical questions and a compelling introduction. A speechwriter’s process includes formulating a thesis statement, leveraging rhetorical questions, and establishing a good start. This process entails careful consideration of the audience, persuasive language, and engaging content. The University of North Carolina’s writing center emphasizes the significance of persuasion, clarity, and concise sentences in speechwriting.

Starting with a Compelling Opener

A speechwriting process commences with a captivating opening line and a strong introduction, incorporating the right words and rhetorical questions. The opening line serves as both an introduction and a persuasive speech, laying the foundation for a great speechwriting definition. Additionally, the structure of the speechwriting process, along with audience analysis, plays a crucial role in crafting an effective opening. Considering these elements is imperative when aiming to start a speech with a compelling opener.

Developing the Body of the Speech

Crafting the body of a speech involves conveying the main points with persuasion and precision. It’s essential to outline the speechwriting process, ensuring a clear and impactful message. The body serves as a structured series of reasons, guiding the audience through the content. Through the use of short sentences and clear language, the body of the speech engages the audience, maintaining their attention. Crafting the body involves the art of persuasion, using the power of words to deliver a compelling message.

Crafting a Strong Conclusion

Crafting a strong conclusion involves reflecting the main points of the speech and summarizing key ideas, leaving the audience with a memorable statement. It’s the final chance to leave a lasting impression and challenge the audience to take action or consider new perspectives. A good conclusion can make the speech memorable and impactful, using persuasion and English language effectively to drive the desired response from the audience. Toastmasters International emphasizes the importance of a strong conclusion in speechwriting for maximum impact.

Techniques for Engaging Speech Writing

Engage the audience’s attention using rhetorical questions. Create a connection through anecdotes and personal stories. Emphasize key points with rhetorical devices to capture the audience’s attention. Maintain interest by varying sentence structure and length. Use visual aids to complement the spoken word and enhance understanding. Incorporate NLP terms such as “short sentences,” “writing center,” and “persuasion” to create engaging and informative speech writing.

Keeping the Content Engaging

Captivating the audience’s attention requires a conversational tone, alliteration, and repetition for effect. A strong introduction sets the tone, while emotional appeals evoke responses. Resonating with the target audience ensures engagement. Utilize short sentences, incorporate persuasion, and vary sentence structure to maintain interest. Infuse the speech with NLP terms like “writing center”, “University of North Carolina”, and “Toastmasters International” to enhance its appeal. Engaging content captivates the audience and compels them to listen attentively.

Maintaining Simplicity and Clarity

To ensure clarity and impact, express ideas in short sentences. Use a series of reasons and specific points to effectively convey the main idea. Enhance the speech with the right words for clarity and comprehension. Simplify complex concepts by incorporating anecdotes and personal stories. Subordinate clauses can provide structure and clarity in the speechwriting process.

The Power of Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal cues, such as body language and gestures, can add emphasis to your spoken words, enhancing the overall impact of your speech. By incorporating visual aids and handouts, you can further augment the audience’s understanding and retention of key points. Utilizing a conversational tone and appropriate body language is crucial for establishing a genuine connection with your audience. Visual aids and gestures not only aid comprehension but also help in creating a lasting impression, captivat**ing** the audience with compelling visual elements.

The Role of Audience Analysis in Speech Writing

Tailoring a speech to the audience’s needs is paramount. Demographics like age, gender, and cultural background must be considered. Understanding the audience’s interests and affiliation is crucial for delivering a resonating speech. Content should be tailored to specific audience points of interest, engaging and speaking to their concerns.

Understanding Audience Demographics

Understanding the varied demographics of the audience, including age and cultural diversity, is crucial. Adapting the speech content to resonate with a diverse audience involves tailoring it to the different ways audience members process and interpret information. This adaptation ensures that the speech can effectively engage with the audience, no matter their background or age. Recognizing the importance of understanding audience demographics is key for effective audience analysis. By considering these factors, the speech can be tailored to meet the needs and preferences of the audience, resulting in a more impactful delivery.

Considering the Audience Size and Affiliation

When tailoring a speech, consider the audience size and affiliation to influence the tone and content effectively. Adapt the speech content and delivery to resonate with a large audience and different occasions, addressing the specific points of the target audience’s affiliation. By delivering a speech tailored to the audience’s size and specific points of affiliation, you can ensure that your message is received and understood by all.

Time and Length Considerations in Speech Writing

Choosing the appropriate time for your speech and determining its ideal length are crucial factors influenced by the purpose and audience demographics. Tailoring the speech’s content and structure for different occasions ensures relevance and impact. Adapting the speech to specific points and the audience’s demographics is key to its effectiveness. Understanding these time and length considerations allows for effective persuasion and engagement, catering to the audience’s diverse processing styles.

Choosing the Right Time for Your Speech

Selecting the optimal start and opening line is crucial for capturing the audience’s attention right from the beginning. It’s essential to consider the timing and the audience’s focus to deliver a compelling and persuasive speech. The right choice of opening line and attention to the audience set the tone for the speech, influencing the emotional response. A good introduction and opening line not only captivate the audience but also establish the desired tone for the speech.

Determining the Ideal Length of Your Speech

When deciding the ideal length of your speech, it’s crucial to tailor it to your specific points and purpose. Consider the attention span of your audience and the nature of the event. Engage in audience analysis to understand the right words and structure for your speech. Ensure that the length is appropriate for the occasion and target audience. By assessing these factors, you can structure your speech effectively and deliver it with confidence and persuasion.

How to Practice and Rehearse Your Speech

Incorporating rhetorical questions and anecdotes can deeply engage your audience, evoking an emotional response that resonates. Utilize visual aids, alliteration, and repetition to enhance your speech and captivate the audience’s attention. Effective speechwriting techniques are essential for crafting a compelling introduction and persuasive main points. By practicing a conversational tone and prioritizing clarity, you establish authenticity and empathy with your audience. Develop a structured series of reasons and a solid thesis statement to ensure your speech truly resonates.

Techniques for Effective Speech Rehearsal

When practicing your speech, aim for clarity and emphasis by using purposeful repetition and shorter sentences. Connect with your audience by infusing personal stories and quotations to make your speech more relatable. Maximize the impact of your written speech when spoken by practicing subordinate clauses and shorter sentences. Focus on clarity and authenticity, rehearsing your content with a good introduction and a persuasive central idea. Employ rhetorical devices and a conversational tone, ensuring the right vocabulary and grammar.

How Can Speech Writing Improve Your Public Speaking Skills?

Enhancing your public speaking skills is possible through speech writing. By emphasizing key points and a clear thesis, you can capture the audience’s attention. Developing a strong start and central idea helps deliver effective speeches. Utilize speechwriting techniques and rhetorical devices to structure engaging speeches that connect with the audience. Focus on authenticity, empathy, and a conversational tone to improve your public speaking skills.

In conclusion, speech writing is an art that requires careful consideration of various elements such as clarity, audience analysis, and engagement. By understanding the importance of speech writing and the role of a speech writer, you can craft effective speeches that leave a lasting impact on your audience. Remember to start with a compelling opener, develop a strong body, and end with a memorable conclusion. Engaging techniques, simplicity, and nonverbal communication are key to keeping your audience captivated. Additionally, analyzing your audience demographics and considering time and length considerations are vital for a successful speech. Lastly, practicing and rehearsing your speech will help improve your public speaking skills and ensure a confident delivery.

Expert Tips for Choosing Good Speech Topics

Master the art of how to start a speech.

speech writing notes

Popular Posts

How to write a retirement speech that wows: essential guide.

June 4, 2022

The Best Op Ed Format and Op Ed Examples: Hook, Teach, Ask (Part 2)

June 2, 2022

Inspiring Awards Ceremony Speech Examples

November 21, 2023

Short Award Acceptance Speech Examples: Inspiring Examples

Mastering the art of how to give a toast, best giving an award speech examples.

November 22, 2023

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

What this handout is about

This handout will help you create an effective speech by establishing the purpose of your speech and making it easily understandable. It will also help you to analyze your audience and keep the audience interested.

What’s different about a speech?

Writing for public speaking isn’t so different from other types of writing. You want to engage your audience’s attention, convey your ideas in a logical manner and use reliable evidence to support your point. But the conditions for public speaking favor some writing qualities over others. When you write a speech, your audience is made up of listeners. They have only one chance to comprehend the information as you read it, so your speech must be well-organized and easily understood. In addition, the content of the speech and your delivery must fit the audience.

What’s your purpose?

People have gathered to hear you speak on a specific issue, and they expect to get something out of it immediately. And you, the speaker, hope to have an immediate effect on your audience. The purpose of your speech is to get the response you want. Most speeches invite audiences to react in one of three ways: feeling, thinking, or acting. For example, eulogies encourage emotional response from the audience; college lectures stimulate listeners to think about a topic from a different perspective; protest speeches in the Pit recommend actions the audience can take.

As you establish your purpose, ask yourself these questions:

  • What do you want the audience to learn or do?
  • If you are making an argument, why do you want them to agree with you?
  • If they already agree with you, why are you giving the speech?
  • How can your audience benefit from what you have to say?

Audience analysis

If your purpose is to get a certain response from your audience, you must consider who they are (or who you’re pretending they are). If you can identify ways to connect with your listeners, you can make your speech interesting and useful.

As you think of ways to appeal to your audience, ask yourself:

  • What do they have in common? Age? Interests? Ethnicity? Gender?
  • Do they know as much about your topic as you, or will you be introducing them to new ideas?
  • Why are these people listening to you? What are they looking for?
  • What level of detail will be effective for them?
  • What tone will be most effective in conveying your message?
  • What might offend or alienate them?

For more help, see our handout on audience .

Creating an effective introduction

Get their attention, otherwise known as “the hook”.

Think about how you can relate to these listeners and get them to relate to you or your topic. Appealing to your audience on a personal level captures their attention and concern, increasing the chances of a successful speech. Speakers often begin with anecdotes to hook their audience’s attention. Other methods include presenting shocking statistics, asking direct questions of the audience, or enlisting audience participation.

Establish context and/or motive

Explain why your topic is important. Consider your purpose and how you came to speak to this audience. You may also want to connect the material to related or larger issues as well, especially those that may be important to your audience.

Get to the point

Tell your listeners your thesis right away and explain how you will support it. Don’t spend as much time developing your introductory paragraph and leading up to the thesis statement as you would in a research paper for a course. Moving from the intro into the body of the speech quickly will help keep your audience interested. You may be tempted to create suspense by keeping the audience guessing about your thesis until the end, then springing the implications of your discussion on them. But if you do so, they will most likely become bored or confused.

For more help, see our handout on introductions .

Making your speech easy to understand

Repeat crucial points and buzzwords.

Especially in longer speeches, it’s a good idea to keep reminding your audience of the main points you’ve made. For example, you could link an earlier main point or key term as you transition into or wrap up a new point. You could also address the relationship between earlier points and new points through discussion within a body paragraph. Using buzzwords or key terms throughout your paper is also a good idea. If your thesis says you’re going to expose unethical behavior of medical insurance companies, make sure the use of “ethics” recurs instead of switching to “immoral” or simply “wrong.” Repetition of key terms makes it easier for your audience to take in and connect information.

Incorporate previews and summaries into the speech

For example:

“I’m here today to talk to you about three issues that threaten our educational system: First, … Second, … Third,”

“I’ve talked to you today about such and such.”

These kinds of verbal cues permit the people in the audience to put together the pieces of your speech without thinking too hard, so they can spend more time paying attention to its content.

Use especially strong transitions

This will help your listeners see how new information relates to what they’ve heard so far. If you set up a counterargument in one paragraph so you can demolish it in the next, begin the demolition by saying something like,

“But this argument makes no sense when you consider that . . . .”

If you’re providing additional information to support your main point, you could say,

“Another fact that supports my main point is . . . .”

Helping your audience listen

Rely on shorter, simpler sentence structures.

Don’t get too complicated when you’re asking an audience to remember everything you say. Avoid using too many subordinate clauses, and place subjects and verbs close together.

Too complicated:

The product, which was invented in 1908 by Orville Z. McGillicuddy in Des Moines, Iowa, and which was on store shelves approximately one year later, still sells well.

Easier to understand:

Orville Z. McGillicuddy invented the product in 1908 and introduced it into stores shortly afterward. Almost a century later, the product still sells well.

Limit pronoun use

Listeners may have a hard time remembering or figuring out what “it,” “they,” or “this” refers to. Be specific by using a key noun instead of unclear pronouns.

Pronoun problem:

The U.S. government has failed to protect us from the scourge of so-called reality television, which exploits sex, violence, and petty conflict, and calls it human nature. This cannot continue.

Why the last sentence is unclear: “This” what? The government’s failure? Reality TV? Human nature?

More specific:

The U.S. government has failed to protect us from the scourge of so-called reality television, which exploits sex, violence, and petty conflict, and calls it human nature. This failure cannot continue.

Keeping audience interest

Incorporate the rhetorical strategies of ethos, pathos, and logos.

When arguing a point, using ethos, pathos, and logos can help convince your audience to believe you and make your argument stronger. Ethos refers to an appeal to your audience by establishing your authenticity and trustworthiness as a speaker. If you employ pathos, you appeal to your audience’s emotions. Using logos includes the support of hard facts, statistics, and logical argumentation. The most effective speeches usually present a combination these rhetorical strategies.

Use statistics and quotations sparingly

Include only the most striking factual material to support your perspective, things that would likely stick in the listeners’ minds long after you’ve finished speaking. Otherwise, you run the risk of overwhelming your listeners with too much information.

Watch your tone

Be careful not to talk over the heads of your audience. On the other hand, don’t be condescending either. And as for grabbing their attention, yelling, cursing, using inappropriate humor, or brandishing a potentially offensive prop (say, autopsy photos) will only make the audience tune you out.

Creating an effective conclusion

Restate your main points, but don’t repeat them.

“I asked earlier why we should care about the rain forest. Now I hope it’s clear that . . .” “Remember how Mrs. Smith couldn’t afford her prescriptions? Under our plan, . . .”

Call to action

Speeches often close with an appeal to the audience to take action based on their new knowledge or understanding. If you do this, be sure the action you recommend is specific and realistic. For example, although your audience may not be able to affect foreign policy directly, they can vote or work for candidates whose foreign policy views they support. Relating the purpose of your speech to their lives not only creates a connection with your audience, but also reiterates the importance of your topic to them in particular or “the bigger picture.”

Practicing for effective presentation

Once you’ve completed a draft, read your speech to a friend or in front of a mirror. When you’ve finished reading, ask the following questions:

  • Which pieces of information are clearest?
  • Where did I connect with the audience?
  • Where might listeners lose the thread of my argument or description?
  • Where might listeners become bored?
  • Where did I have trouble speaking clearly and/or emphatically?
  • Did I stay within my time limit?

Other resources

  • Toastmasters International is a nonprofit group that provides communication and leadership training.
  • Allyn & Bacon Publishing’s Essence of Public Speaking Series is an extensive treatment of speech writing and delivery, including books on using humor, motivating your audience, word choice and presentation.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Boone, Louis E., David L. Kurtz, and Judy R. Block. 1997. Contemporary Business Communication . Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Ehrlich, Henry. 1994. Writing Effective Speeches . New York: Marlowe.

Lamb, Sandra E. 1998. How to Write It: A Complete Guide to Everything You’ll Ever Write . Berkeley: Ten Speed Press.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Make a Gift

  • Speech Topics For Kids
  • How To Write A Speech

How to Write a Speech: A Guide to Enhance Your Writing Skills

Speech is a medium to convey a message to the world. It is a way of expressing your views on a topic or a way to showcase your strong opposition to a particular idea. To deliver an effective speech, you need a strong and commanding voice, but more important than that is what you say. Spending time in preparing a speech is as vital as presenting it well to your audience.

Read the article to learn what all you need to include in a speech and how to structure it.

Table of Contents

  • Self-Introduction

The Opening Statement

Structuring the speech, choice of words, authenticity, writing in 1st person, tips to write a speech, frequently asked questions on speech, how to write a speech.

Writing a speech on any particular topic requires a lot of research. It also has to be structured well in order to properly get the message across to the target audience. If you have ever listened to famous orators, you would have noticed the kind of details they include when speaking about a particular topic, how they present it and how their speeches motivate and instill courage in people to work towards an individual or shared goal. Learning how to write such effective speeches can be done with a little guidance. So, here are a few points you can keep in mind when writing a speech on your own. Go through each of them carefully and follow them meticulously.

Self Introduction

When you are writing or delivering a speech, the very first thing you need to do is introduce yourself. When you are delivering a speech for a particular occasion, there might be a master of ceremony who might introduce you and invite you to share your thoughts. Whatever be the case, always remember to say one or two sentences about who you are and what you intend to do.

Introductions can change according to the nature of your target audience. It can be either formal or informal based on the audience you are addressing. Here are a few examples.

Addressing Friends/Classmates/Peers

  • Hello everyone! I am ________. I am here to share my views on _________.
  • Good morning friends. I, _________, am here to talk to you about _________.

Addressing Teachers/Higher Authorities

  • Good morning/afternoon/evening. Before I start, I would like to thank _______ for giving me an opportunity to share my thoughts about ________ here today.
  • A good day to all. I, __________, on behalf of _________, am standing here today to voice out my thoughts on _________.

It is said that the first seven seconds is all that a human brain requires to decide whether or not to focus on something. So, it is evident that a catchy opening statement is the factor that will impact your audience. Writing a speech does require a lot of research, and structuring it in an interesting, informative and coherent manner is something that should be done with utmost care.

When given a topic to speak on, the first thing you can do is brainstorm ideas and pen down all that comes to your mind. This will help you understand what aspect of the topic you want to focus on. With that in mind, you can start drafting your speech.

An opening statement can be anything that is relevant to the topic. Use words smartly to create an impression and grab the attention of your audience. A few ideas on framing opening statements are given below. Take a look.

  • Asking an Engaging Question

Starting your speech by asking the audience a question can get their attention. It creates an interest and curiosity in the audience and makes them think about the question. This way, you would have already got their minds ready to listen and think.

  • Fact or a Surprising Statement

Surprising the audience with an interesting fact or a statement can draw the attention of the audience. It can even be a joke; just make sure it is relevant. A good laugh would wake up their minds and they would want to listen to what you are going to say next.

  • Adding a Quote

After you have found your topic to work on, look for a quote that best suits your topic. The quote can be one said by some famous personality or even from stories, movies or series. As long as it suits your topic and is appropriate to the target audience, use them confidently.  Again, finding a quote that is well-known or has scope for deep thought will be your success factor.

To structure your speech easily, it is advisable to break it into three parts or three sections – an introduction, body and conclusion.

  • Introduction: Introduce the topic and your views on the topic briefly.
  • Body: Give a detailed explanation of your topic. Your focus should be to inform and educate your audience on the said topic.
  • Conclusion:  Voice out your thoughts/suggestions. Your intention here should be to make them think/act.

While delivering or writing a speech, it is essential to keep an eye on the language you are using. Choose the right kind of words. The person has the liberty to express their views in support or against the topic; just be sure to provide enough evidence to prove the discussed points. See to it that you use short and precise sentences. Your choice of words and what you emphasise on will decide the effect of the speech on the audience.

When writing a speech, make sure to,

  • Avoid long, confusing sentences.
  • Check the spelling, sentence structure and grammar.
  • Not use contradictory words or statements that might cause any sort of issues.

Anything authentic will appeal to the audience, so including anecdotes, personal experiences and thoughts will help you build a good rapport with your audience. The only thing you need to take care is to not let yourself be carried away in the moment. Speak only what is necessary.

Using the 1st person point of view in a speech is believed to be more effective than a third person point of view. Just be careful not to make it too subjective and sway away from the topic.

  • Understand the purpose of your speech: Before writing the speech, you must understand the topic and the purpose behind it. Reason out and evaluate if the speech has to be inspiring, entertaining or purely informative.
  • Identify your audience: When writing or delivering a speech, your audience play the major role. Unless you know who your target audience is, you will not be able to draft a good and appropriate speech.
  • Decide the length of the speech: Whatever be the topic, make sure you keep it short and to the point. Making a speech longer than it needs to be will only make it monotonous and boring.
  • Revising and practicing the speech: After writing, it is essential to revise and recheck as there might be minor errors which you might have missed. Edit and revise until you are sure you have it right. Practise as much as required so you do not stammer in front of your audience.
  • Mention your takeaways at the end of the speech: Takeaways are the points which have been majorly emphasised on and can bring a change. Be sure to always have a thought or idea that your audience can reflect upon at the end of your speech.

How to write a speech?

Writing a speech is basically about collecting, summarising and structuring your points on a given topic. Do a proper research, prepare multiple drafts, edit and revise until you are sure of the content.

Why is it important to introduce ourselves?

It is essential to introduce yourself while writing a speech, so that your audience or the readers know who the speaker is and understand where you come from. This will, in turn, help them connect with you and your thoughts.

Leave a Comment Cancel reply

Your Mobile number and Email id will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Request OTP on Voice Call

Post My Comment

speech writing notes

Register with BYJU'S & Download Free PDFs

Register with byju's & watch live videos.

  • PRO Courses Guides New Tech Help Pro Expert Videos About wikiHow Pro Upgrade Sign In
  • EDIT Edit this Article
  • EXPLORE Tech Help Pro About Us Random Article Quizzes Request a New Article Community Dashboard This Or That Game Popular Categories Arts and Entertainment Artwork Books Movies Computers and Electronics Computers Phone Skills Technology Hacks Health Men's Health Mental Health Women's Health Relationships Dating Love Relationship Issues Hobbies and Crafts Crafts Drawing Games Education & Communication Communication Skills Personal Development Studying Personal Care and Style Fashion Hair Care Personal Hygiene Youth Personal Care School Stuff Dating All Categories Arts and Entertainment Finance and Business Home and Garden Relationship Quizzes Cars & Other Vehicles Food and Entertaining Personal Care and Style Sports and Fitness Computers and Electronics Health Pets and Animals Travel Education & Communication Hobbies and Crafts Philosophy and Religion Work World Family Life Holidays and Traditions Relationships Youth
  • Browse Articles
  • Learn Something New
  • Quizzes Hot
  • This Or That Game
  • Train Your Brain
  • Explore More
  • Support wikiHow
  • About wikiHow
  • Log in / Sign up
  • Education and Communications
  • Communication Skills
  • Public Speaking

How to Prepare Notes for Public Speaking

Last Updated: May 21, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Deb DiSandro . Deb DiSandro is the Owner of Speak Up On Purpose, an organization dedicated to improving and teaching public speaking. Deb has over 30 years of experience as a national speaker and has presented at the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Conference and the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. She was awarded the National Speakers Association Member of the Year 2007 and has been published in Writer's Digest, Daily Herald, Women's Day, and Better Homes & Gardens. There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 242,247 times.

You have to give a speech, and you wonder how you can give it without staring at a piece of paper. Rather than memorize the words, you can use notes. Notes are easy to make. First, write and refine your speech. Pick out keywords that represent the main ideas of your speech and write them on notecards. Finish filling out the notecards with important talking points. Good notes make you sound natural as a speaker while having a safety net in case you get lost.

Creating and Breaking Down Your Speech

Step 1 Write your speech.

  • This is a draft. Pay attention to word choice and sentence structure. Make it as good as possible, but remember that you'll be able to fix any mistakes before you make your notes.
  • Get all of your ideas on paper. It doesn't matter if they're crazy, inspiring, or weird. You have a chance to perfect what doesn't work later on. [2] X Research source

Step 2 Read the speech aloud.

  • It's a good idea to time yourself while you do this. That way, you'll know when you need to cut down your speech's length.
  • Learn transitional phrases to help your speech flow naturally. [4] X Research source

Step 3 Edit the speech.

  • Highlight things that worked from your first draft and areas that you want to keep that need to be reworded.

Step 4 Get help from people you trust.

  • Record your own speech and listen to the phrases and pacing. Listen for any awkward phrases and try to smooth them out in the next draft.
  • If you know someone who's given a public speech before, ask them to listen. They will have more experience and will be less biased.

Step 5 Break down your speech into keywords.

Making Your Notes

Step 1 Select one idea per note card.

  • For example, you are speaking about the life of a politician. You can use the word “Military” to show yourself when it's time to talk about their military experience.
  • Images can also help solidify the order of your speech. Visualize uniformed soldiers marching in unison and you won't forget you need to talk about military training.
  • Write out the first words of your transition sentences to help keep yourself on track.

Step 2 Mark your notes with timing details.

  • For example, if you need to introduce your second idea at the three minute mark, write three minutes on the card containing that idea.

Step 3 Write the words legibly.

  • Write the words in a pen that's legible to you. Black or blue ink works best.
  • If you have bad handwriting, you can type out your notes. Cut and glue them onto your notes or print them directly by using the “Size” option in the “Print Layout” tab.

Step 4 Include brief details under the keywords.

  • For example, write out “award” or “Purple Heart” to remind yourself to mention the awards someone earned in service.

Step 5 Write out information that needs to be exact.

  • For instance, write down “75% pass” if you need to inform your audience how many people pass a class.

Step 6 Color-code your notes with highlights.

  • Customize the color code to whatever works best for you.
  • This works best if you color code while you practice your speech, but it could be distracting or confusing by the time you give the speech.

Step 7 Number the notes.

  • You can also bind the cards together. Use a drill or hole punch on the upper left corner of the notes. Loop a string through them. They'll be easy to flip and can't be mixed up.
  • However, make sure the flipping of the notecards is not distracting to the audience.

Rehearsing Your Speech

Step 1 Rehearse the full speech.

  • Memorizing a speech word-for-word is unhelpful because the audience can tell that you're reciting a script. Only use memorization and scripted words if you're painting a picture with your words or you need to tell a joke with comedic timing.

Step 2 Practice the speech with your notes.

  • Because you are using a minimal outline, your speech will sound a little different every time. However, it'll also sound more natural.

Step 3 Master your speech.

  • You can time yourself again while giving the speech so you know exactly how long it is rather than making a guess. It can show you when you're going off-script too much. Keep in mind when you give the speech, you're bound to talk faster and the speech will be shorter.

Community Q&A

The Goat Show

  • Research name pronunciations before writing your speech. Thanks Helpful 4 Not Helpful 1
  • Try to have 3 main points in the middle of your speech so the audience remembers it well. You can back these points up with further information or quotes. Thanks Helpful 4 Not Helpful 1
  • Look at your card quickly and smoothly. Keep your thumb next to the line on your note card so you don't lose your place. Thanks Helpful 3 Not Helpful 1

speech writing notes

  • When using visual aids, make them sparse and with few words. Visual aids are supposed to be for the audience. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 1

Things You'll Need

  • Blue or black pen
  • Colored highlighters
  • Index cards

You Might Also Like

Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking

  • ↑ https://pac.org/content/speechwriting-101-writing-effective-speech
  • ↑ https://wrd.as.uky.edu/sites/default/files/1-Shitty%20First%20Drafts.pdf
  • ↑ http://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/speeches/
  • ↑ https://open.lib.umn.edu/publicspeaking/chapter/10-2-keeping-your-speech-moving/
  • ↑ https://www.unr.edu/writing-speaking-center/student-resources/writing-speaking-resources/editing-and-proofreading-techniques
  • ↑ http://www.washington.edu/doit/presentation-tips-0
  • ↑ https://examples.yourdictionary.com/keyword-outline-examples.html
  • ↑ http://academics.umw.edu/speaking/resources/handouts/preparing-speaking-notes/
  • ↑ https://www.ted.com/participate/organize-a-local-tedx-event/tedx-organizer-guide/speakers-program/prepare-your-speaker/rehearsals
  • ↑ https://www.student.unsw.edu.au/speaking-audience

About This Article

Deb DiSandro

Public speaking can be scary, but using notes can increase your confidence and make it a little easier. To prepare notes for public speaking, begin by writing your speech. Once you’ve written the first draft, read the speech out loud and make any necessary changes so it sounds smooth. When you’re happy with your speech, translate it into notes by highlighting keywords to mark where each new idea begins. Then, write one keyword per notecard. Make sure your writing is clear so you can read it easily as you speak! If you need to remember specific details or statistics, include these on your notecards. For example, you could write ”75%” in your notes if you need to tell the audience how many people pass a class. When you’ve finished making your notes, number each one to avoid getting them mixed up. For more information from our Public Speaking co-author, like how to practice your speech, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

  • Send fan mail to authors

Reader Success Stories

Conrad Pickl

Conrad Pickl

Oct 17, 2017

Did this article help you?

Zachary Peel

Zachary Peel

Sep 19, 2021

Megan White

Megan White

Jul 27, 2016

Tambra Shafer

Tambra Shafer

Oct 15, 2017

Anahi Pizano

Anahi Pizano

Feb 10, 2020

Do I Have a Dirty Mind Quiz

Featured Articles

Make Your Mascara Look Great

Trending Articles

18 Practical Ways to Celebrate Pride as an Ally

Watch Articles

Clean Silver Jewelry with Vinegar

  • Terms of Use
  • Privacy Policy
  • Do Not Sell or Share My Info
  • Not Selling Info

wikiHow Tech Help Pro:

Level up your tech skills and stay ahead of the curve

Speech to Text - Voice Typing & Transcription

Take notes with your voice for free, or automatically transcribe audio & video recordings. secure, accurate & blazing fast..

~ Proudly serving millions of users since 2015 ~

I need to >

Dictate Notes

Start taking notes, on our online voice-enabled notepad right away, for free.

Transcribe Recordings

Automatically transcribe (as well as summarize & translate) audios & videos. Upload files from your device or link to an online resource (Drive, YouTube, TikTok or other). Export to text, docx, video subtitles & more.

Speechnotes is a reliable and secure web-based speech-to-text tool that enables you to quickly and accurately transcribe your audio and video recordings, as well as dictate your notes instead of typing, saving you time and effort. With features like voice commands for punctuation and formatting, automatic capitalization, and easy import/export options, Speechnotes provides an efficient and user-friendly dictation and transcription experience. Proudly serving millions of users since 2015, Speechnotes is the go-to tool for anyone who needs fast, accurate & private transcription. Our Portfolio of Complementary Speech-To-Text Tools Includes:

Voice typing - Chrome extension

Dictate instead of typing on any form & text-box across the web. Including on Gmail, and more.

Transcription API & webhooks

Speechnotes' API enables you to send us files via standard POST requests, and get the transcription results sent directly to your server.

Zapier integration

Combine the power of automatic transcriptions with Zapier's automatic processes. Serverless & codeless automation! Connect with your CRM, phone calls, Docs, email & more.

Android Speechnotes app

Speechnotes' notepad for Android, for notes taking on your mobile, battle tested with more than 5Million downloads. Rated 4.3+ ⭐

iOS TextHear app

TextHear for iOS, works great on iPhones, iPads & Macs. Designed specifically to help people with hearing impairment participate in conversations. Please note, this is a sister app - so it has its own pricing plan.

Audio & video converting tools

Tools developed for fast - batch conversions of audio files from one type to another and extracting audio only from videos for minimizing uploads.

Our Sister Apps for Text-To-Speech & Live Captioning

Complementary to Speechnotes

Reads out loud texts, files & web pages

Reads out loud texts, PDFs, e-books & websites for free


Live Captioning & Translation

Live captions & translations for online meetings, webinars, and conferences.

Need Human Transcription? We Can Offer a 10% Discount Coupon

We do not provide human transcription services ourselves, but, we partnered with a UK company that does. Learn more on human transcription and the 10% discount .

Dictation Notepad

Start taking notes with your voice for free

Speech to Text online notepad. Professional, accurate & free speech recognizing text editor. Distraction-free, fast, easy to use web app for dictation & typing.

Speechnotes is a powerful speech-enabled online notepad, designed to empower your ideas by implementing a clean & efficient design, so you can focus on your thoughts. We strive to provide the best online dictation tool by engaging cutting-edge speech-recognition technology for the most accurate results technology can achieve today, together with incorporating built-in tools (automatic or manual) to increase users' efficiency, productivity and comfort. Works entirely online in your Chrome browser. No download, no install and even no registration needed, so you can start working right away.

Speechnotes is especially designed to provide you a distraction-free environment. Every note, starts with a new clear white paper, so to stimulate your mind with a clean fresh start. All other elements but the text itself are out of sight by fading out, so you can concentrate on the most important part - your own creativity. In addition to that, speaking instead of typing, enables you to think and speak it out fluently, uninterrupted, which again encourages creative, clear thinking. Fonts and colors all over the app were designed to be sharp and have excellent legibility characteristics.

Example use cases

  • Voice typing
  • Writing notes, thoughts
  • Medical forms - dictate
  • Transcribers (listen and dictate)

Transcription Service

Start transcribing

Fast turnaround - results within minutes. Includes timestamps, auto punctuation and subtitles at unbeatable price. Protects your privacy: no human in the loop, and (unlike many other vendors) we do NOT keep your audio. Pay per use, no recurring payments. Upload your files or transcribe directly from Google Drive, YouTube or any other online source. Simple. No download or install. Just send us the file and get the results in minutes.

  • Transcribe interviews
  • Captions for Youtubes & movies
  • Auto-transcribe phone calls or voice messages
  • Students - transcribe lectures
  • Podcasters - enlarge your audience by turning your podcasts into textual content
  • Text-index entire audio archives

Key Advantages

Speechnotes is powered by the leading most accurate speech recognition AI engines by Google & Microsoft. We always check - and make sure we still use the best. Accuracy in English is very good and can easily reach 95% accuracy for good quality dictation or recording.

Lightweight & fast

Both Speechnotes dictation & transcription are lightweight-online no install, work out of the box anywhere you are. Dictation works in real time. Transcription will get you results in a matter of minutes.

Super Private & Secure!

Super private - no human handles, sees or listens to your recordings! In addition, we take great measures to protect your privacy. For example, for transcribing your recordings - we pay Google's speech to text engines extra - just so they do not keep your audio for their own research purposes.

Health advantages

Typing may result in different types of Computer Related Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI). Voice typing is one of the main recommended ways to minimize these risks, as it enables you to sit back comfortably, freeing your arms, hands, shoulders and back altogether.

Saves you time

Need to transcribe a recording? If it's an hour long, transcribing it yourself will take you about 6! hours of work. If you send it to a transcriber - you will get it back in days! Upload it to Speechnotes - it will take you less than a minute, and you will get the results in about 20 minutes to your email.

Saves you money

Speechnotes dictation notepad is completely free - with ads - or a small fee to get it ad-free. Speechnotes transcription is only $0.1/minute, which is X10 times cheaper than a human transcriber! We offer the best deal on the market - whether it's the free dictation notepad ot the pay-as-you-go transcription service.

Dictation - Free

  • Online dictation notepad
  • Voice typing Chrome extension

Dictation - Premium

  • Premium online dictation notepad
  • Premium voice typing Chrome extension
  • Support from the development team


$0.1 /minute.

  • Pay as you go - no subscription
  • Audio & video recordings
  • Speaker diarization in English
  • Generate captions .srt files
  • REST API, webhooks & Zapier integration

Compare plans

Privacy policy.

We at Speechnotes, Speechlogger, TextHear, Speechkeys value your privacy, and that's why we do not store anything you say or type or in fact any other data about you - unless it is solely needed for the purpose of your operation. We don't share it with 3rd parties, other than Google / Microsoft for the speech-to-text engine.

Privacy - how are the recordings and results handled?

- transcription service.

Our transcription service is probably the most private and secure transcription service available.

  • HIPAA compliant.
  • No human in the loop. No passing your recording between PCs, emails, employees, etc.
  • Secure encrypted communications (https) with and between our servers.
  • Recordings are automatically deleted from our servers as soon as the transcription is done.
  • Our contract with Google / Microsoft (our speech engines providers) prohibits them from keeping any audio or results.
  • Transcription results are securely kept on our secure database. Only you have access to them - only if you sign in (or provide your secret credentials through the API)
  • You may choose to delete the transcription results - once you do - no copy remains on our servers.

- Dictation notepad & extension

For dictation, the recording & recognition - is delegated to and done by the browser (Chrome / Edge) or operating system (Android). So, we never even have access to the recorded audio, and Edge's / Chrome's / Android's (depending the one you use) privacy policy apply here.

The results of the dictation are saved locally on your machine - via the browser's / app's local storage. It never gets to our servers. So, as long as your device is private - your notes are private.

Payments method privacy

The whole payments process is delegated to PayPal / Stripe / Google Pay / Play Store / App Store and secured by these providers. We never receive any of your credit card information.

More generic notes regarding our site, cookies, analytics, ads, etc.

  • We may use Google Analytics on our site - which is a generic tool to track usage statistics.
  • We use cookies - which means we save data on your browser to send to our servers when needed. This is used for instance to sign you in, and then keep you signed in.
  • For the dictation tool - we use your browser's local storage to store your notes, so you can access them later.
  • Non premium dictation tool serves ads by Google. Users may opt out of personalized advertising by visiting Ads Settings . Alternatively, users can opt out of a third-party vendor's use of cookies for personalized advertising by visiting https://youradchoices.com/
  • In case you would like to upload files to Google Drive directly from Speechnotes - we'll ask for your permission to do so. We will use that permission for that purpose only - syncing your speech-notes to your Google Drive, per your request.
  • Our Writers
  • How to Order
  • Assignment Writing Service
  • Report Writing Service
  • Buy Coursework
  • Dissertation Writing Service
  • Research Paper Writing Service
  • All Essay Services
  • Buy Research Paper
  • Buy Term Paper
  • Buy Dissertation
  • Buy Case study
  • Buy Presentation
  • Buy Personal statement

User Icon

Speech Writing

Speech Format

Barbara P

Understanding Speech Format - Simple Steps for Outlining

speech format

People also read

The 10 Key Steps for Perfect Speech Writing

How to Start A Speech - 13 Interesting Ideas & Examples

20+ Outstanding Speech Examples for Your Help

Common Types of Speeches that Every Speechwriter Should Know

Good Impromptu Speech Topics for Students

Entertaining Speech Topics for Your Next Debate

How to Write a Special Occasion Speech: Types, Tips, and Examples

Introduction Speech - A Step-by-Step Guide & Examples

How to Write the Best Acceptance Speech for Your Audience?

Presentation Speech - An Ultimate Writing Guide

Commemorative Speech - Writing Guide, Outline & Examples

Farewell Speech - Writing Tips & Examples

How to Write an Extemporaneous Speech? A Step-by-Step Guide

Crafting the Perfect Graduation Speech: A Guide with Examples

Writing a speech can be stressful and confusing for many people. Feeling lost and overwhelmed without a clear plan can make the task even harder.

But learning the basics of speech format can make it easier and even enjoyable. This guide will show you step-by-step how to write great speeches with examples and templates.

Arrow Down

  • 1. How to Write a Speech Format?
  • 2. Speech Format Examples for Different Academic Levels
  • 3. Speech Formats For Different Types of Speeches
  • 4. How to Rehearse a Speech?

How to Write a Speech Format?

Speech writing gives you a chance to leave an everlasting and meaningful impression on the audience. You might have always believed that you are not good at public speaking. And speech writing may bring you out in cold sweats, but this is different.

Let’s see how one should write a great speech that engages the audience.

Step 1 - Decide the Purpose of Your Speech 

To understand the purpose of your speech, consider these queries:

  • What is the main motive behind it?
  • Is it to inform or persuade? Is it to entertain or demonstrate? Or is it a combination of these?
  • What do you want to achieve with your speech?
  • Do you want your audience to act upon something, or do you want to convince them to believe what you are saying?

Your answer to all of these questions will decide the organizational structure, type of speech, tone, and content as well. 

Identify your listeners and decide which type of speech is suitable for your targeted audience. If you are going to deliver a speech at a wedding, write a special occasion speech . Similarly, if your motive is to persuade the audience, you’ll have to write a persuasive speech .

Step 2 - Choose a Speech Topic 

Choose an effective speech topic that catches the audience’s attention immediately. A good speech topic is your first step to impress the audience.

You can select any topic according to the type of speech you need to deliver. Pick a motivational speech topic if you want to get the audience to act upon your message. If you want to make your audience laugh, decide on an entertaining speech topic .

Step 3 - Conduct Research 

Conduct thorough research on your particular subject to collect relevant material. Finding credible and updated material is crucial, as good research is the backbone of sound speech. 

Before you write your speech, you need to know what your speech will be about exactly. And how long it needs to be, i.e., 5 minutes or 30 minutes long. So, always collect the data according to the time limit. 

For a 5-minute speech, you only need a brief material. Your speech should revolve around the central idea. If your speech is 30 minutes long, you need to collect enough details to cover in 30 minutes. 

Step 4 - Create an Outline

Now that you have the material for your speech, craft an outline to organize your material. Drafting an outline at first always saves precious time. 

Write keywords in the outline that prompt you to remember what you’ll include in your speech. Having an outline for your speech is like having a road map that guides you throughout the speech delivery.

As mentioned before, the basic speech outline format consists of three things:

  • Introduction

Here is a speech outline template that you can use while crafting an outline for your speech.

Speech Format Outline

Step 5 - Write a Strong Introduction

An introduction will give a brief overview of what you are going to tell your audience. Here are the five things that you should include in your introduction paragraph.

  • Greetings and Your Introduction

Decide how you are going to greet your audience and how you will introduce yourself to the audience. You can start with a fact, a quotation, posing a rhetorical question, or even with one-liner humor. 

Keep in mind that whatever you start with, must be related to your topic and suitable for your audience.

  • A Precise Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is a brief summary of your speech, and it provides the main message of your speech. 

  • Your Credibility

You need to establish your credibility to make your speech effective. Cite your expertise and qualification that gives you the right to speak about your speech topic.

  • Brief Overview

Briefly tell your audience what you are going to share so that they have an idea of what to expect from your speech. 

  • Benefits of Listening to Your Speech

Convince your audience why they should listen to you. Tell them what's in your speech for them and why should they pay attention. Give them reasons and be specific about the benefits.

Step 6 - Write a Detailed Body 

The body of your speech is where you will write the details of what you want to share with your audience. Generally, the body section has three main points, but it can have more than 3 points. 

It is always a good idea to be specific and inform the audience of only essential things. 

Quite frankly, if you introduce the audience to an abundance of ideas or topics, they might not remember them all! To leave a lasting impact, decide on 2 or 3 ideas, so the crowd remembers them all!

While crafting the body section of your speech, you should keep the following things in mind:

  • Choose the three strongest points that describe your topic efficiently. 
  • Always provide supporting examples. Make sure that the evidence you provide matches the type of speech you are going to write.
  • Use transition phrases to make a logical connection between the details.
  • Use visual aids like images, graphs, or tables to help your audience understand your topic better.
  • Keep the sentence structures in check. Make sure there are no grammatical errors and follow an engaging tone. 

Step 7 - Craft a Memorable Conclusion

The final section is the conclusion that sums up the whole speech. Here is how you can write an effective speech conclusion that summarizes and draws all the details together:

  • Summarize all the main points
  • Restate the thesis statement to reinforce your message
  • Remind the audience about the benefits they’ll get if they carry out what you have proposed.
  • Provide a call to action at the end of your speech

Step 8 - Format and Polish Your Speech 

After the final draft, the next step is editing and formatting. Read your speech aloud and check the flow and organization of the information. Refine the draft by removing unnecessary things and correcting any grammatical mistakes.

Proofread your speech to make sure it contains all the vital information. Correct the structure if needed, and ensure that your speech is free from all kinds of mistakes. Revise your speech as many times as possible.

Now, let’s take a look at some comprehensive speech format examples for multiple academic levels and various occasions.

Speech Format Examples for Different Academic Levels

Follow these speech examples to learn how to properly format a speech and easily get through the speech-writing process.

Speech Format for Class 8

Speech Format for Class 9

Speech Format for Class 10

Speech Format for Class 11

Speech Format for Class 12

Speech Format O Level

Speech Formats For Different Types of Speeches

When preparing a speech, understanding the format suitable for your specific occasion is crucial. Different types of speeches require different structures to effectively convey your message and engage your audience.

Here are some sample formats for kinds of speeches:

Debate Speech Format

Impromptu Speech Format

Formal Speech Format

Public Speech Format

Informative Speech Format

Extemporaneous Speech Format

Speech Formats For Different Occasions

Different occasions call for different types of speeches, each with its unique structure and style. Knowing how to format your speech for the occasion helps to make your speech memorable. 

Here are a few speech templates made according to specific events:

Best Man Speech Format

College Speech Format

Welcome Speech Format in English

Persuasive Speech Format

Want to see some outstanding speech examples ? Head over to our detailed blog!

How to Rehearse a Speech?

Rehearsal plays an important role in delivering an effective presentation. You need to practice a lot to be confident with your speech and deliver it perfectly. Here is how you can do it efficiently:

  • Set the time on the stopwatch that is going to be allocated to you. You need to finish your speech within the allocated time.
  • Read your speech out loud. Hearing yourself will help you familiarize yourself with the flow of your speech quickly. Remove or change the phrases that sound awkward, and fix the organization of information.
  • Your habitual unconscious gestures
  • Irregular breathing because of long sentences
  • Taking breaks or pauses at the wrong places
  • The body posture
  • Raising or dropping the voice
  • Repeated fillers, i.e., umm, err, uhh, etc
  • Lack of smiling and eye contact
  • Tone variation
  • If you experience any problems, stop and fix the problem before starting again from where you left off.
  • Make notes of where you need to remember to do something. It will help you improve your speech delivery.
  • If possible, do a proper dress rehearsal at the actual venue in front of a bunch of friends. It will help you to get comfortable with the dress, stage, and actual presentation situation.

If you’ve plenty of time, rehearse at least three times or more, before the final presentation. The more you do the rehearsals, the more you build up your confidence and the easier it becomes to deliver your speech.

Wrapping it up, if you came up with a speech after following the guide, you should be able to grab the attention of the audience within seconds! 

This guide contains all the essentials to crafting a compelling speech and presenting it in a meaningful way!

However, if you still need some help, you can hire a professional writer. Our speech writing service provides top-notch speeches at cheap prices.

You can request your speech at our ' do my essay ' service and get expertly crafted speeches to impress your audience.

So why wait? Hire our writing service and let our experts handle your speech-writing needs!

AI Essay Bot

Write Essay Within 60 Seconds!

Barbara P

Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.

Get Help

Paper Due? Why Suffer? That’s our Job!

Keep reading

speech writing

Public Affairs Council

Speechwriting 101: Writing an Effective Speech

Whether you are a communications pro or a human resources executive, the time will come when you will need to write a speech for yourself or someone else.  when that time comes, your career may depend on your success..

J. Lyman MacInnis, a corporate coach,  Toronto Star  columnist, accounting executive and author of  “ The Elements of Great Public Speaking ,”  has seen careers stalled – even damaged – by a failure to communicate messages effectively before groups of people. On the flip side, solid speechwriting skills can help launch and sustain a successful career.  What you need are forethought and methodical preparation.

Know Your Audience

Learn as much as possible about the audience and the event.  This will help you target the insights, experience or knowledge you have that this group wants or needs:

  • Why has the audience been brought together?
  • What do the members of the audience have in common?
  • How big an audience will it be?
  • What do they know, and what do they need to know?
  • Do they expect discussion about a specific subject and, if so, what?
  • What is the audience’s attitude and knowledge about the subject of your talk?
  • What is their attitude toward you as the speaker?
  • Why are they interested in your topic?

Choose Your Core Message

If the core message is on target, you can do other things wrong. But if the message is wrong, it doesn’t matter what you put around it.  To write the most effective speech, you should have significant knowledge about your topic, sincerely care about it and be eager to talk about it.  Focus on a message that is relevant to the target audience, and remember: an audience wants opinion. If you offer too little substance, your audience will label you a lightweight.  If you offer too many ideas, you make it difficult for them to know what’s important to you.

Research and Organize

Research until you drop.  This is where you pick up the information, connect the ideas and arrive at the insights that make your talk fresh.  You’ll have an easier time if you gather far more information than you need.  Arrange your research and notes into general categories and leave space between them. Then go back and rearrange. Fit related pieces together like a puzzle.

Develop Structure to Deliver Your Message

First, consider whether your goal is to inform, persuade, motivate or entertain.  Then outline your speech and fill in the details:

  • Introduction – The early minutes of a talk are important to establish your credibility and likeability.  Personal anecdotes often work well to get things started.  This is also where you’ll outline your main points.
  • Body – Get to the issues you’re there to address, limiting them to five points at most.  Then bolster those few points with illustrations, evidence and anecdotes.  Be passionate: your conviction can be as persuasive as the appeal of your ideas.
  • Conclusion – Wrap up with feeling as well as fact. End with something upbeat that will inspire your listeners.

You want to leave the audience exhilarated, not drained. In our fast-paced age, 20-25 minutes is about as long as anyone will listen attentively to a speech. As you write and edit your speech, the general rule is to allow about 90 seconds for every double-spaced page of copy.

Spice it Up

Once you have the basic structure of your speech, it’s time to add variety and interest.  Giving an audience exactly what it expects is like passing out sleeping pills. Remember that a speech is more like conversation than formal writing.  Its phrasing is loose – but without the extremes of slang, the incomplete thoughts, the interruptions that flavor everyday speech.

  • Give it rhythm. A good speech has pacing.
  • Vary the sentence structure. Use short sentences. Use occasional long ones to keep the audience alert. Fragments are fine if used sparingly and for emphasis.
  • Use the active voice and avoid passive sentences. Active forms of speech make your sentences more powerful.
  • Repeat key words and points. Besides helping your audience remember something, repetition builds greater awareness of central points or the main theme.
  • Ask rhetorical questions in a way that attracts your listeners’ attention.
  • Personal experiences and anecdotes help bolster your points and help you connect with the audience.
  • Use quotes. Good quotes work on several levels, forcing the audience to think. Make sure quotes are clearly attributed and said by someone your audience will probably recognize.

Be sure to use all of these devices sparingly in your speeches. If overused, the speech becomes exaggerated. Used with care, they will work well to move the speech along and help you deliver your message in an interesting, compelling way.

More News & Resources

Measuring and Communicating the Value of Public Affairs

July 26, 2023

Benchmarking Reports Reveal Public Affairs’ Growing Status

November 16, 2023

Volunteer of the Year Was Integral to New Fellowship

Is the Fight for the Senate Over?

New Council Chair Embraces Challenge of Changing Profession

October 25, 2023

Are We About to Have a Foreign Policy Election?

Few Americans Believe 2024 Elections Will Be ‘Honest and Open’

Rural Americans vs. Urban Americans

August 3, 2023

What Can We Learn from DeSantis-Disney Grudge Match?

June 29, 2023

Laura Brigandi Manager of Digital and Advocacy Practice 202.787.5976 |  [email protected]

Featured Event

Digital media & advocacy summit.

The leading annual event for digital comms and advocacy professionals. Hear new strategies, and case studies for energizing grassroots and policy campaigns.

Washington, D.C. | June 10, 2024

Previous Post Hiring Effectively With an Executive Recruiter

Next post guidance on social media policies for external audiences.

Public Affairs Council 2121 K St. N.W., Suite 900 Washington, DC 20037 (+1) 202.787.5950 [email protected]

European Office

Public Affairs Council Square Ambiorix 7 1000 Brussels [email protected]

Contact Who We Are

Stay Connected

LinkedIn X (Twitter) Instagram Facebook Mailing List

Read our Privacy Notice | Terms of Use | COPYRIGHT 2024 PUBLIC AFFAIRS COUNCIL

  • Browse All Content
  • Upcoming Events
  • On-Demand Recordings
  • Team Training with ‘Membership Plus+’
  • Earn Your Certificate
  • Sponsorship Opportunities
  • Content Search
  • Connect with Our Experts
  • PAC & Political Engagement
  • Grassroots & Digital Advocacy
  • Communications
  • Social Impact
  • Government Relations
  • Public Affairs Management
  • Browse Research
  • Legal Guidance
  • Election Insights
  • Benchmarking, Consulting & Training
  • Where to Start
  • Latest News
  • Impact Monthly Newsletter
  • Member Spotlight
  • Membership Directory
  • Recognition

Enda's English Notes

Enda's English Notes

Junior and Leaving Cert English Notes

Elements of Speech Writing

Use these eight points to help you write your own speech or to analyse a speech, for either Junior or Leaving Cert English.

  • Engage your audience by addressing them in the introduction. Say who you are and explain what you are going to talk about.
  • Structure: Speeches must have a beginning, a middle and a conclusion.
  • Personal pronouns: Using pronouns, like ‘I’ ‘we’ ‘us’ ‘you’ is an effective way of building a relationship with the reader. “It is up to every one of us here today to tackle climate change.”
  • Anecdote: Tell a story in your speech that has a meaning, it may be personal or about someone else. It is a good way to keep people interested. “I recently went to the North Pole, where I saw that many of the ice caps have melted causing polar bears great distress.
  • Repetition: This is a very effective tool, as it can have an impact on the listener. “ We must do what it takes to help our planet. We must be the pioneers of the future, we must be the light in the darkness.”
  • Rhetorical Questions: These questions do not require an answer from the audience but it makes them think about the issue and gets the audience involved in the speech. “Are we prepared to sacrifice our children’s lives by taking the easy option?” or “ Are we willing to make sacrifices now so our children’s lives can blossom?”
  • Triadic Structure: Much like repetition, triadic structure works on the same basis, where similar words are repeated in threes. It is often said that things said in groups of three have the greatest impact. “We have sought justice in the past, we seek justice today, and we will seek justice in the future.” Or “It is my dream that one day we will see a world where people of all race and creed can find equality , liberty and freedom .
  • A call to action: Most speeches have a ‘call to action.’ This means that you are encouraging the listeners to do something, to make a difference. “I ask each and every one of you to leave this room tonight and do what you can to halt global warming.”

Share this:

2 thoughts on “ elements of speech writing ”.

  • Pingback: Speech/Talk – Enda's English Notes
  • Pingback: Comprehension Question A Tips – Enda's English Notes

Leave a comment Cancel reply

' src=

  • Already have a WordPress.com account? Log in now.
  • Subscribe Subscribed
  • Copy shortlink
  • Report this content
  • View post in Reader
  • Manage subscriptions
  • Collapse this bar


Thank-You Speech

Thank you speech generator.

speech writing notes

Crafting a heartfelt thank-you speech is an art that requires eloquence and sincerity. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the nuances of expressing gratitude effectively. Discover a selection of speech examples , each tailored to inspire and assist in conveying your appreciation with impact and grace. Whether for a formal event or a personal occasion, these examples serve as a blueprint for creating a memorable and meaningful message. Let’s embark on this journey of gratitude together, exploring the art of thank-you speeches.

What is Thank You Speech? A thank you speech is a short talk where you express your gratitude towards people or organizations for their support, help, or contribution to a particular event, achievement, or occasion. It’s a way to acknowledge and appreciate the efforts and kindness of others, often highlighting specific examples of how they’ve assisted or influenced you. This speech can be given at various events, like award ceremonies, weddings, retirements, or any occasion where you want to publicly thank those who have helped you.

Thank-You Speech Bundle

Download Thank You Speech Bundle

Have you ever heard of an old saying, “No man is an island”? We probably heard that a million times. That saying is actually true because when we became successful, we usually achieve that because someone has helped us. And our thank-you speech skills could be the best thing we can do in return. You may also see presentation speech examples. A thank-you speech template is your chance to express how truly and sincerely grateful you are to all the people who helped you along the way. It doesn’t matter how long your thank-you speech is, as long as you speak from the heart and making your thank-you speech a heartfelt and meaningful one.

Thank You Speech Format


Start with a warm greeting to the audience. Mention the occasion or reason for your speech.

Acknowledgment of the Audience

Acknowledge the presence of important guests, if any. Express your appreciation for everyone who has taken the time to be there.

Expression of Gratitude

Specify the person or group you are thanking. Describe the support, gift, or contribution they have made. Explain how their support was significant to you or the event/achievement.

Personal Reflections

Share a brief personal story or reflection that illustrates the impact of the support or contribution. Highlight the personal qualities of the individuals you are thanking, if appropriate.
Summarize your feelings of gratitude. End with a warm closing statement, wishing everyone well or expressing hope for the future.

Example of Thank You Speech

“Good evening, everyone. I stand before you today filled with immense gratitude. First and foremost, I want to express my deepest thanks to the organizing committee for this wonderful event and the opportunity to address this gathering. I am truly honored and humbled by the overwhelming support and encouragement from my colleagues, friends, and family. Your unwavering belief in me has been a constant source of strength and motivation throughout this journey. I also want to extend my heartfelt appreciation to the mentors and teachers whose guidance has shaped my path and instilled in me the values of perseverance and determination. A special thanks to the incredible team whose hard work and dedication made today possible. Your commitment and collaboration have been instrumental in achieving our collective goals. Lastly, to each person in this room, your presence here tonight signifies a shared commitment to our cause. Your support has not gone unnoticed, and I am deeply grateful for your continuous encouragement and belief in our vision. Thank you all for being a part of this remarkable journey. Your support means the world to me. Thank you.”

Thank You Speech Samples to Edit & Download

  • Thank you Speech for Farewell
  • Thank you Speech for Principal
  • Thank you Speech for Science Exhibition
  • Thank you Speech for Birthday Wishes
  • Thank you Speech for Seniors on Farewell Party
  • Thank you Speech for Teachers from Students
  • Thank you Speech for Students
  • Thank you Speech for Guest
  • Thank you Speech for Support
  • Thank You Speech to Boss
  • Thank You Speech to Colleagues
  • Thank You Speech after Winning Election
  • Thank You Speech for Parents
  • Thank You Speech to Wedding Guests
  • Thank you Speech for Freshers Party
  • Thank you Speech for Award
  • Thank you Speech for Teachers
  • Thank you Speech for an Event
  • Graduation Thank You Speech
  • Thank You Speech to Volunteer

Thank You Speech Examples & Templates

1. thank you speech example.

Thank You Speech Example

Free PDF Download

2. Thank You Speech for Students

Thank You Speech for Students

Edit & Download

3. Thank You Speech for Support

Thank You Speech for Support

4. Short Thank-You Speech Example

Short Thank You Speech

5. Wedding Thank-You Example

Wedding Thank You Example


6. Business Speech Sample Example

Business Speech Sample

7. Retirement Thank-You Speech Example

Retirement Thank You

8. Teacher Thank-You Example

Teacher Thank You Example


9. Appreciation Short Thank You Speech

Appreciation Short Thank You Speech

11. Formal Thank-You Speech

Formal Thank You Speech1


12. Award Acceptance Speech Example

Award Thank You Example


13. Thank-You Speech for Volunteers

Thank You Speech for Volunteers


10 Lines on Thank You Speech for an Event

Parts of a Thank-You Speech

Just like any other speeches, a thank-you speech has 3 main part: the introduction speech , the body of your speech, and the conclusion.

1. The introduction

In the introduction or opening of your speech, you need to tell everyone the reason why you are giving a thank-you speech. May be you just achieve a new milestone or just want to thank everyone. You may also see informative speech examples & samples

2. The body

This is where you mention the people that helped you work your way through and the things that they did.

3. The conclusion

This is the part where summarize your speech and end it by saying thanks. You may also like motivational speech examples & samples

What to Include in Writing a Thank-You Speech?

In a thank-you speech, there are three major essentials to include. You may also like award speech examples

1. Who are you thanking?

Note all the people that helped you achieve a personal or career milestone. It helps to rank them—the most important first.

2. What are you thanking them for?

Write the things that you are grateful about. It will make your thank-you speech more meaningful and significant. You may also see special occasion speech examples & samples

3. How much their gifts, lesson, time, guidance, and encouragement mean to you.

Appreciate and praise all the things people gave you that help you become successful.

How to Write a Thank-You Speech

The most exhausting part in writing a thank-you speech is that you have to remember the people who helped you along the way. But that shouldn’t stop you from giving them a thank-you. Follow these steps to write a meaningful thank-you speech for them. You may also check out appreciation speech examples & samples

  • Prepare a thank-you speech outline.
  • Make a complete list to all the people you should be thanking and arranged them according to their level of priority.
  • Write what are you thanking them for.
  • And, state your heartfelt appreciation for their gifts, time, and encouragement.

If you are looking for other kinds of speeches, we have wedding speech examples here as well.

Tips for Writing a Thank-You Speech

Your thank-you speech should be one of the most memorable keynote speeches you ever talk. That’s because it highlights the people and the things they did that means so much to you.

Do you have a thank-you speech coming up soon? Follow these tips and you’ll be fine.

  • Always be prepared ahead of time.
  • Write as if you are talking to one person only.
  • Keep your thank-you speech short and sweet.
  • Don’t be too formal. You are not writing a retirement speech . Include some funny events too.
  • Practice and rewrite your speech.

How to Deliver a Thank You Speech for an Award or Special Occasion

  • Begin with a warm greeting and express gratitude to the audience for their presence.
  • Acknowledge the significance of the award or occasion. Express genuine appreciation for the recognition.
  • Thank the individuals or organization presenting the award. Acknowledge their role and the value of the honor.
  • Acknowledge and thank those who contributed to your success or the event’s success. Mention mentors, colleagues, or loved ones.
  • Share briefly how the award or occasion has impacted you personally or professionally.
  • Offer a brief inspirational message or reflect on the significance of the award or occasion.
  • Conclude by expressing heartfelt thanks once again. Reiterate your gratitude and end on a positive note.
  • Rehearse your speech to ensure a confident and sincere delivery. Maintain eye contact and speak clearly and passionately.

What do you say in a thank you speech?

  • Acknowledging the Occasion: Recognize the significance of the event or award.
  • Thanking the Hosts/Organizers: Express appreciation to those who organized the event or granted the award.
  • Recognizing Supporters: Acknowledge the contribution of mentors, colleagues, or loved ones.
  • Personal Impact: Share briefly how the occasion or award has affected you.
  • Inspiring or Reflecting: Offer an inspirational message or reflect on the importance of the occasion.
  • Closing with Thanks: Conclude by reiterating heartfelt gratitude and end positively.


How do you start a thankful speech.

Begin a thankful speech by warmly greeting the audience, acknowledging the occasion’s significance, and expressing heartfelt gratitude toward the hosts, organizers, supporters, and attendees.

Is a thank you speech just meant for expressing gratitude?

While a thank you speech primarily expresses gratitude, it also acknowledges support, shares appreciation, reflects on significance, and inspires, fostering a deeper connection and meaningful engagement with the audience.

Does a thank you speech have to be formal?

A thank you speech can range from formal to informal, depending on the occasion. It should match the event’s tone, audience, and context while maintaining sincerity and respect.

How do you say thank you in speaking?

In spoken English, you can express gratitude by saying “Thank you,” or use variations like “Thanks a lot,” “Thank you so much,” “I really appreciate it,” or “I’m grateful.” Each phrase communicates appreciation in different levels of formality.

In the closing section, summarize your main points, reiterate your thanks, and end on a positive, forward-looking note. For detailed guidance on crafting each of these parts, you might find the following resources helpful. Harvard University offers practical tips on public speaking, which can be adapted for thank-you speeches. More information can be found on their website  Harvard Tips for Public Speaking .


Text prompt

  • Instructive
  • Professional

Write a Thank You Speech for a community service project.

Create a Thank You Speech for donors at a fundraising event.

  • Biden Administration

Fact-Checking What President Joe Biden Said in His 2024 Interview With TIME

Read our full cover story on President Joe Biden here . You can also read the transcript of the interview here

President Joe Biden sat down for an interview with TIME about America’s role in the world and his foreign policy agenda.

Below is a review of Biden’s statements from the interview. TIME has also published the transcript of the conversation.

What Biden Said : “The Russian military has been decimated. You don’t write about that. It’s been freaking decimated.”

The Facts: This is a fair assessment, according to a Reuters report on a declassified U.S. intelligence assessment provided to Congress. The intelligence determined that Russia had 360,000 active military personnel when it invaded Ukraine in February of 2022. By December of last year, 315,000 Russian troops had been either killed or injured in the war—a reduction in troop strength by 87%.

What Biden Said: "We spent a lot of money in Ukraine, but Europe has spent more money than the United States has, collectively."

The Facts : The European Union has provided over $107 billion dollars in financial, military, humanitarian, and refugee assistance since the war in Ukraine began, as of April 24. Comparatively, the United States has provided $175 billion in aid to Ukraine—$107 billion has gone directly to the Ukrainian government, while the remainder has supported other U.S. government activities associated with the war. Some European governments have made larger financial contributions to Ukraine relative to the size of their economies than the United States, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

speech writing notes

What Biden Said : I spent a month in Ukraine when I was a Senator and Vice President.

The Facts : Biden’s trips to Ukraine include six he made as Vice President—more than any previous President or Vice President. He was also involved in Ukraine during his 36 years as a US Senator. He sponsored or co-sponsored 39 pieces of legislation in support of Ukraine, and worked on issues involving Ukraine as a longtime member of the Foreign Relations Committee, including 12 years as chairman or ranking member.

What Biden Said : "Japan [is] devoting 3% of its GDP to defense..."

The Facts : Japan aims to spend 2% of its GDP on defense by 2027, according to a statement by Prime Minister Kishida Fumio . From 1960 to 2022 , Japan’s defense spending was 1% of GDP or lower.

What Biden Said : "I put together a Quad that never existed before."

The Facts : The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, known as the Quad, is a partnership between the US, Japan, Australia and India that began in 2004, following the Indian ocean tsunami. The group was formalized by then-Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2007, but was inactive until reforming in 2017. The Quad’s first in-person summit was held at the White House in Sept. 2021, during Biden’s first year as President.

What Biden Said : “Wage increases have exceeded what the cost of inflation…”

The Facts : New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows hourly wage growth topping inflation for the past 12 months. In April, nominal hourly earnings were up 3.9% from a year ago; inflation held at 3.4%. But cumulative inflation has outpaced wage growth for most of the Biden presidency.

What Biden Said : “I remember when I was heading to Taiwan, excuse me, to South Korea, to reclaim the chips industry that we had gotten $865 billion in private-sector investment, private-sector investments since I’ve been in. Name me a president who’s done that.”

The Facts: The White House announced an $866 billion private-sector investment in May, not when Biden went to South Korea in 2022. The funding was also meant for initiatives across clean energy and manufacturing industries, and is not limited to just the chips industry.

What Biden Said: “There are going to be a billion people in Africa in the next several years.”

The Facts : Africa’s total population already exceeds one billion people—an estimated 1.4 billion people live on the continent. That number is expected to reach nearly 2.5 billion by 2050, according to the United Nations .

What Biden Said: “I mean, that line that Macron used, and it says that…I was making notes for this. It said, Macron, they know the experience of brain death unlike anytime. Because lack of US leadership, we should reassess the reality of NATO in light of the lack of US leadership.”

The Facts: Biden appears to be referencing what French President Emmanuel Macron said in a October 2019 interview with The Economist , in which he warned that European countries could no longer rely on the United States to come to the defense of NATO allies. “What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO,” he said, adding that the alliance “only works if the guarantor of last resort functions as such. I’d argue that we should reassess the reality of what NATO is in the light of the commitment of the United States.”

Correction, June 4

The original version of this story incorrectly described one definition of “decimate” as being “reduce to one-tenth.” It means to reduce by one-tenth. The relevant sentence has been removed.

More Must-Reads from TIME

  • How Joe Biden Leads
  • TIME100 Most Influential Companies 2024
  • Javier Milei’s Radical Plan to Transform Argentina
  • How Private Donors Shape Birth-Control Choices
  • What Sealed Trump’s Fate : Column
  • Are Walking Pads Worth It?
  • 15 LGBTQ+ Books to Read for Pride
  • Want Weekly Recs on What to Watch, Read, and More? Sign Up for Worth Your Time

Write to Simmone Shah at [email protected] and Julia Zorthian at [email protected]

More From Forbes

Communication of the future: 5 tips for sending voice notes.

  • Share to Facebook
  • Share to Twitter
  • Share to Linkedin

Smartphone with voice messages bubbles icon. Chat notification template. Audio waves recording on ... [+] cell phone. Vector illustration isolated.

Friends and random Hinge matches aren’t the only ones pivoting to voice notes these days—the other day, my boss sent me one, too. I was taken aback, but once I listened to it, I realized there’s a lot it had to offer that emails don’t. Like it or not, voice notes are the way of the future. Fortunately, we have six tips to ensure your voice notes are totally up to scruff, if they’re new to you.

Be Appropriate

Honestly, critical for any and all workplace communication. Before hitting the record button, evaluate whether a voice note is the appropriate medium for your message. Voice notes are ideal for times when you want your communication to have a personal touch—like nuanced feedback or instructions. But they might not be for everyone, so maybe sure it’s the right medium. Unlike texts or emails, which can be quickly scanned, listening to a voice note requires a certain level of attention. So be wary of your tone, audience, and timing.

The charm of voice notes lies in their brevity. Otherwise, we’re back to voicemails, and no thank you, the 90s can stay dead. Aim to keep your messages concise—ideally under 90 seconds. Plan what you want to say beforehand to avoid rambling. Clear and direct communication is the best way to have your message understood.

Make Your Purpose Clear

Emails can be scanned; voice notes can’t. Begin your voice note by briefly stating the purpose of your message. This approach is just respectful of the listener’s time—they can decide if it’s something they need to address immediately, or if they can wait until later.

Best High-Yield Savings Accounts Of 2024

Best 5% interest savings accounts of 2024, choose your place wisely.

To maintain professionalism and ensure your message is clear, record your voice notes in a quiet environment. Background noise can be distracting and may even make your message difficult to understand, reducing the effectiveness of your communication.

Offer an Alternative

Not everyone likes voice notes as a communication method. Believe it or not, there are people who prefer emails, randomly. Some may think that voice notes are a violation of their boundaries—or they just don’t like it when their phones make noise—and you need to be respectful of that. In your initial voice messages, indicate that you're willing to adapt if the recipient prefers another communication method.

Virginia Hogan

  • Editorial Standards
  • Reprints & Permissions

Join The Conversation

One Community. Many Voices. Create a free account to share your thoughts. 

Forbes Community Guidelines

Our community is about connecting people through open and thoughtful conversations. We want our readers to share their views and exchange ideas and facts in a safe space.

In order to do so, please follow the posting rules in our site's  Terms of Service.   We've summarized some of those key rules below. Simply put, keep it civil.

Your post will be rejected if we notice that it seems to contain:

  • False or intentionally out-of-context or misleading information
  • Insults, profanity, incoherent, obscene or inflammatory language or threats of any kind
  • Attacks on the identity of other commenters or the article's author
  • Content that otherwise violates our site's  terms.

User accounts will be blocked if we notice or believe that users are engaged in:

  • Continuous attempts to re-post comments that have been previously moderated/rejected
  • Racist, sexist, homophobic or other discriminatory comments
  • Attempts or tactics that put the site security at risk
  • Actions that otherwise violate our site's  terms.

So, how can you be a power user?

  • Stay on topic and share your insights
  • Feel free to be clear and thoughtful to get your point across
  • ‘Like’ or ‘Dislike’ to show your point of view.
  • Protect your community.
  • Use the report tool to alert us when someone breaks the rules.

Thanks for reading our community guidelines. Please read the full list of posting rules found in our site's  Terms of Service.

Highlights: Closing arguments wrap in Trump hush money trial

Coverage on this live blog has ended. Follow the latest news here.

What to know about the hush money trial

  • Prosecutors finished delivering their closing statements in the trial shortly before 8 p.m. Former President Donald Trump's lawyers presented their arguments this morning .
  • Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass, who spoke for more than four hours, argued that Trump falsified business records to cover up what was essentially an illegal campaign contribution meant to help him get elected in 2016.
  • Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records in connection with a hush money payment to adult film actor Stormy Daniels to buy her silence about an alleged affair with Trump. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
  • Court adjourned for the day at 8 p.m. and will resume at 10 a.m., when the judge will give instructions to the jury before it begins deliberations.

Judge lays out timeline for the rest of the week

speech writing notes

Gary Grumbach

Zoë Richards

Tomorrow's trial proceedings are expected to get underway at 10 a.m., instead of the regular 9:30 a.m., with Judge Juan Merchan saying he expects jury instructions to last about an hour.

After that, the case will be in the hands of the jury.

Merchan said tomorrow's proceedings will conclude at 4:30 p.m., but he left the door open for the rest of the week, noting that if proceedings are needed on Thursday and Friday, the timing will be determined by how deliberations are progressing.

Trump makes no comments after leaving courtroom

speech writing notes

Katherine Koretski

Trump did not make any comments as he left the Manhattan courtroom after the prosecution delivered closing arguments that went until just before 8 p.m.

Trump, who has often spoken outside the courtroom, instead raised his fist as he left.

Closing arguments are done; court to resume at 10 a.m. tomorrow

speech writing notes

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass has finished his closing argument, which began shortly after 2 p.m.

Judge Juan Merchan told jurors they will start tomorrow at 10 a.m.

Merchan told jurors that jury instructions will take around an hour before deliberations begin. He said the plan is to go until 4:30 p.m. for the day.

Prosecutor gets fired up during end of closing argument

speech writing notes

Phil Helsel

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass began accelerating and emphasizing his delivery to jurors during closing arguments with minutes to go before an 8 p.m. deadline.

Steinglass reiterated to the jurors that it is a crime to willfully create inaccurate tax forms and that Trump’s intent to defraud in this case is clear. He argued that why else would Stormy Daniels be paid in what he described as an elaborate scheme, instead of all at once.

Steinglass argued that that and other steps show Trump wanted the issue to be kept quiet until after the election.

“The name of the game was concealment,” he said.

Defense objects to prosecutor's remarks about Trump and Fifth Avenue

speech writing notes

Jillian Frankel

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass urged the jury to hold Trump accountable, suggesting by way of analogy that he can’t shoot someone on Fifth Avenue during rush hour and get away with it.

Trump's defense team objected to the comment, which Judge Juan Merchan sustained.

Mixed level of visible engagement among jurors at this late hour

speech writing notes

Laura Jarrett

At least one juror appears to be visibly engaged in prosecutor Joshua Steinglass’ presentation — offering an affirming smile.

Others, however, appear considerably less focused and can be seen twisting their hair and rubbing their faces.

The jury is approaching an 11-hour day at the courthouse.

Prosecutor talks about difference between reasonable doubt and certainty

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass told the jury that it does not need to evaluate each piece of evidence alone and in a vacuum but as part of a whole that he argues proves Trump’s guilt.

“You will see that the people have proven this case beyond a reasonable doubt,” he said.

During his remarks, the defense objected. Judge Juan Merchan sustained the objection.

“I’ll instruct them on the law and the evidence,” Merchan said.

Prosecutor launches into rapid-fire recap of Trump’s involvement in Daniels and McDougal stories

speech writing notes

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass is recapping all of the evidence intended to show Trump’s direct involvement in the settlements with Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels, beginning with an August 2015 Trump Tower meeting.

A screen the prosecution displayed during closing arguments read “Mr. Trump involved every step of the way” as Steinglass went through a timeline of events.

Joshua Steinglass passes 4-hour mark in his closing arguments

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass has passed the four-hour mark since he began giving the prosecution’s closing argument in Trump’s trial.

Steinglass began giving the prosecution’s closing arguments at around 2:07 p.m., but there have been several breaks since then.

Today's trial proceedings to continue until 8 p.m., judge says

After he returned to the bench, Judge Juan Merchan indicated to the attorneys that the court will push forward until 8 p.m. but will need to wrap up after that.

That would make an 11-hour day for the jury.

Last recess of the day

Judge Juan Merchan announced at 6:52 p.m. what he said will be the last recess of the day.

It's expected to last just a few minutes.

Merchan earlier said that the plan was to go until at least 7 p.m. and “finish this out if we can.”

'A bold-faced lie': Prosecutor revisits Robert Costello's testimony

Given the hour, it was initially unclear why prosecutor Joshua Steinglass began revisiting the testimony of Robert Costello , a Trump ally and lawyer who has clashed with Michael Cohen.

But the prosecution's display of an email exchange between Costello and Cohen hinted that the DA's office aims to portray Trump’s attitude toward Cohen changing only after his former attorney's compliance was in doubt, not because of anything else Cohen did.

Recounting Costello's testimony, Steinglass argued that Costello's assertion that he was acting in Cohen’s best interest and that he didn’t care at all about the defendant’s interest "was a bold-faced lie.”

‘You guys good to go a little bit longer?’ prosecutor asks, as 7 p.m. draws near

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass asked jurors, “You guys good to go a little bit longer?” and said “Alright!” after a bench meeting to discuss scheduling at around 6:30 p.m.

Judge Juan Merchan earlier today said the plan was to go until at least 7 p.m. and “finish this out if we can.”

Prosecutor refers to 'devastating' testimony by Hope Hicks

Given the largely chronological order of the prosecution's closing arguments, prosecutor Joshua Steinglass could be nearing the end of his remarks.

He discussed what he called Hope Hicks’ “devastating” testimony earlier in the trial, adding that she burst into tears because she realized the impact of what she had told the court.

Defense attorney Todd Blanche objected to that characterization, but Judge Juan Merchan allowed it.

Prosecutor argues Trump wanted to be 'involved in everything'

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass mocked former Trump aide Madeleine Westerhout’s testimony in which she said Trump was often so busy that sometimes he absent-mindedly signed presidential proclamations.

Steinglass, who dismissed Westerhout's remarks as a narrative Trump’s team encouraged, said that overall she gave the opposite impression — that the former president remained very attentive to outlays of his personal expenses, and that his most frequent contacts included his former attorney Michael Cohen and a former top executive of his company, Allen Weisselberg. Westerhout's testimony also conveyed that Trump continued to be the sole signatory on his own accounts, even though he easily could have added other signatories, Steinglass argued.

Trump wanted to maintain control — and “he insists on signing his own checks," Steinglass said, adding that Trump boasted about his frugality and micromanagement in his books, which Steinglass read excerpts from.

Steinglass also rejected the defense's argument that Trump was too busy to be involved in certain financial transactions.

“He’s in charge of a company for 40 years. The defendant’s entire business philosophy was to be involved in everything,” Steinglass said.

Prosecutor: Cohen's time being cross-examined exceeded his legal work for Trump in 2017

speech writing notes

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass said that Michael Cohen did very few hours of legal work for Trump on 2017, and that “these payments had nothing to do with the retainer agreement and nothing to do with services rendered in 2017.”

“Cohen spent more time being cross-examined in this trial than he did doing legal work for Donald Trump in 2017,” Steinglass said. He also told the jury that none of the Trump invoices went through the Trump Organization’s legal department because they weren’t for legal services rendered.

Steinglass also commented on how Cohen was paid pretty well, and had the title of personal attorney for the president.

“He was making way more money than any government job would ever pay, and don’t I know that,” Steinglass joked.

Some jurors cracked smiles and small laughs when Steinglass joked about government salaries compared to what Cohen was making.

Prosecutor says ‘these documents are so damning that you almost have to laugh’ at defense's argument

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass told the jury that “these documents are so damning that you almost have to laugh” at an argument presented by Trump’s defense.

Steinglass was referring to a comments by defense attorney Todd Blanche that the records were not false because, if they were false, they would have been destroyed.

Steinglass also argued that the 1099s forms on which Trump reported payments to Michael Cohen of $105,000 and $315,000 were another “unlawful means” through which the conspiracy was acted upon.

EXCLUSIVE: Elise Stefanik requests probe into Merchan's selection as judge

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., issued a complaint letter today to the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct and an inspector general for the New York State Unified Court System, requesting an investigation into Judge Juan Merchan’s selection to preside over Trump’s hush money case.

Stefanik pointed to Merchan’s role as presiding judge for a pair of other cases related to Trump and his allies, saying, “The probability of three specific criminal cases being assigned to the same justice is infinitesimally small.”

“One cannot help but suspect that the ‘random selection’ at work in the assignment of Acting Justice Merchan, a Democrat Party donor, to these cases involving prominent Republicans, is in fact not random at all,” Stefanik wrote. “The simple answer to why Acting Justice Merchan has been assigned to these cases would seem to be that whoever made the assignment intentionally selected Acting Justice Merchan to handle them to increase the chance that Donald Trump, the Trump Organization, and Steven Bannon would ultimately be convicted.”

The letter marks a continued effort by Trump allies to attack people involved with the case by filing complaints. The board overseeing the judges has made clear that Merchan didn’t need to recuse himself over issues that some of his critics have called a conflict of interest.

Trump posts on Truth Social during break in courtroom action

speech writing notes

Vaughn Hillyard

During the court's roughly 20-minute break, Trump on his Truth Social platform disparaged the proceedings as "boring" and a " filibuster ."

Trump's Truth Social account has been active today with posts referring to his criminal trial and the closing arguments, which have continued as the prosecution continues its argument into this evening.

Judge says closing arguments to continue into the evening

speech writing notes

Adam Edelman

Judge Juan Merchan announced a short courtroom break and said the plan is to go until at least 7 p.m. and "finish this out if we can."

“I was watching the jurors, they look pretty alert to me. I don’t think we’re losing anyone. So I think right now we’re going to try to finish this out if we can," he told the attorneys.

“Let’s see what we can do," Merchan continued, adding that they will revisit the timeline at 7 p.m.

Prosecutor argues Trump didn't sign confidentiality agreement for a reason

speech writing notes

Kyla Guilfoil

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass tried to turn one of defense attorney Todd Blanche’s better arguments on its head.

Steinglass said that Trump didn’t sign the agreement because that was the point: The agreement was no less enforceable without his signature.

The timing of the payment on Oct. 27, 2016, Steinglass argued, further showed that Trump's primary concern was not his family but the election.

Prosecutor seems to say for first time there were 2 calls between Cohen and Weisselberg in late October 2016

speech writing notes

Rebecca Shabad is in Washington, D.C.

Joshua Steinglass mentioned that in the phone records they have, prosecutors saw six calls between Michael Cohen and Allen Weisselberg over three years, two of which were in late October 2016, right before the Stormy Daniels deal was reached.

This appears to be the first time the calls have been mentioned in the case.

Steinglass also emphasized that Trump and Cohen spoke twice on the morning of Oct. 26, 2016, right before Cohen went to First Republic to submit paperwork to open his new account and to send the wire transfer to Keith Davidson on Daniels’ behalf.

Prosecutor walks through Michael Cohen's bank papers

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass is now going through the false claims and omissions in former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s paperwork to First Republic to open an account in the name of his new LLC.

Those forms could serve as the “unlawful means” through which the alleged conspiracy to promote Trump’s election was acted on.

Prosecutor: Stormy Daniels' testimony shows Trump was 'not just words'

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass is going at Trump now, referring to Story Daniels' testimony to argue that Trump is "not just words."

"Stormy Daniels was a walking, talking reminder that Trump was not just words" at a time when Trump was trying to distinguish between his words and the actions of both Clintons, Steinglass said.

He also noted that Daniels' story got little to no traction until the day after the "Access Hollywood" tape became national news, with phone traffic exploding among Keith Davidson, Dylan Howard, Michael Cohen and Trump.

Prosecutor describes ramifications of the 'Access Hollywood' tape

After a brief break, prosecutor Joshua Steinglass resumed his closing argument by describing the "Access Hollywood" tape, which multiple witnesses during the trial described as catastrophic for Trump's 2016 campaign.

Steinglass said the tape eclipsed coverage of a Category 4 hurricane, according to Hope Hicks; debate prep at Trump Tower was disrupted as campaign leadership discussed how to respond; and elected Republicans raced to disavow Trump's comments on the tape, with some withdrawing their endorsements.

Trump aide Madeleine Westerhout testified that senior Republican National Committee officials were even discussing dropping Trump from the 2016 ticket, Steinglass said.

“The video was vulgar, to say the least," he added.

Prosecution's closing arguments are one-third of the way done

Asked by Judge Juan Merchan "how much longer" the prosecution's closing arguments would take, Joshua Steinglass replied that there was still a lot to get through.

"We’re about a third of the way through," he said.

The prosecution's closing arguments began today shortly before 2:15 p.m.

Prosecutor says Cohen-Trump call shows effort to influence 2016 election

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass told the jurors that it's their decision what the tape between Michael Cohen and Trump from Sept. 6, 2016, said.

Steinglass said it showed Trump suggested paying in cash — whether it means no financing, lump sum, it doesn’t matter, he said. Steinglass said they were trying to take steps that would not get noticed.

“This tape unequivocally shows a presidential candidate actively engaging in a scheme to influence the election," Steinglass said.

Prosecutor defends Michael Cohen's phone records

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass is making arguments to defend Michael Cohen's phone records after the defense questioned their integrity.

Steinglass said that Cohen had no idea the Manhattan district attorney's office would ask for phone records again in January of last year, and there would be no conceivable reason for him to delete evidence of a crime he’d already been convicted and served time for.

Prosecution using graphics to illustrate points during closing arguments

The graphics that the Manhattan district attorney's team is using during their summation are high-tech and modern.

In presenting them, prosecutors are isolating certain calls and using zoom functions to highlight them. The graphics offer a clean and accessible way for the attorneys to illustrate their points to the jury.

Prosecutor: Call between David Pecker and Trump makes it 'impossible' to claim Cohen acted independently

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass discussed a call between David Pecker and Trump in which Pecker apprised him that Michael Cohen had told Trump about Karen McDougal coming forward.

"This call makes it impossible for the defense to claim that Cohen was acting on his own here," Steinglass said.

He said the transaction was an unlawful corporate contribution to the Trump campaign — and not only did Trump know about it, Steinglass said, but he participated as well.

Prosecutor details Karen McDougal catch-and-kill scheme

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass is going through the Karen McDougal catch-and-kill scheme in minute detail — call by call, text by text and day by day.

Virtually no testimony is needed to illustrate the negotiations — and to the extent that testimony is used, it’s not from key witness and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen. It's from David Pecker, former publisher of the National Enquirer.

Analysis: Steinglass pokes hole in defense's argument around National Enquirer

Steinglass makes a very good point about the Dino Sajuddin story and corresponding payment.

Sajuddin is the former Trump Tower doorman who claims Trump fathered a child out of wedlock, a claim the former president has denied.

Given that everyone believed Sajuddin's claim to be false, purchasing the story was not something David Pecker did because of his fiduciary duty to shareholders; there was no reason to do it other than to benefit the 2016 Trump campaign.

Steinglass calls 2015 meeting at Trump Tower a 'subversion of democracy'

Steinglass characterized a meeting at Trump Tower almost a decade ago as a “subversion of democracy.”

He said the entire purpose of the August 2015 meeting was to “pull the wool over [voters’] eyes” before they made their decisions.

He also pointed out that while NDAs are not unlawful, nor are contracts illegal, a contract to kill your wife is illegal, and therefore an NDA designed to prevent certain information from becoming public during a political campaign is also illegal.

Steinglass tells jurors to think of Cohen as a 'tour guide'

speech writing notes

Daniel Arkin

Trump's lawyers repeatedly attempted to make Cohen's trustworthiness and motives a focal point of the trial — a strategy that Steinglass flat-out rejected in his summations. "This case is not about Michael Cohen," Steinglass told the jury. "This case is about Donald Trump."

Steinglass encouraged the jury to instead think of Cohen as a "tour guide" through the evidence introduced during the proceedings, including what the state has presented as falsified business records aimed at covering up an election law violation. Cohen, according to Steinglass, "provides context and color to the documents" — but he is not the trial's main character.

Steinglass begins touching on campaign finance violations

Steinglass is teasing the crux of the prosecution’s argument, saying, “Once money starts changing hands on behalf of the campaign, that’s election law — that’s federal election campaign finance violation.”

“We’ll get back to that,” he adds.

Prosecution argues there is a 'mountain of evidence' against Trump

Steinglass is fighting back against the defense's rhetoric that the only evidence in this case came from Michael Cohen's testimony.

The prosecutor told the jury that Judge Merchan will say Cohen is an accomplice because he participated in these crimes, but you cannot convict Trump on Cohen’s word alone — unless there is corroborating evidence.

Steinglass said that there is a mountain of evidence in the case, saying "it’s difficult to conceive of a case with more corroboration than this one.”

Steinglass looks to counter questions on details of Cohen's stories

Steinglass is now using an imaginary conversation to explain Cohen’s retelling of some of the stories or dates he’d recounted to the jury that Trump’s lawyers had questioned.

“These guys know each other well, they speak in code. A better explanation is that Cohen could have gotten the time and place of the call wrong. This is one date in many, he spoke to the defendant 20 times in the month of October,” Steinglass said.

“Let’s say you had dinner at a restaurant with an old friend and the friend says they were getting married. Later you find a receipt and think that was the night they told you they were getting married, but found out the friend was actually in California on that night. That does not mean that you are lying about the fact that you had dinner with the friend or about the fact that your friend told you they were getting married,” Steinglass said.

Steinglass: We didn't pick Cohen at the 'witness store'

Steinglass is forcefully pushing back on the Trump team's attempts to tarnish Cohen's character and motives, reminding the jury that the ex-fixer was once a valued member of the former president's inner circle: "We didn't choose Michael Cohen. We didn't pick him up at the witness store. Mr. Trump chose Mr. Cohen for the same qualities his attorneys now urge you to reject."

Cohen's top quality was loyalty to his former boss, Steinglass said. Cohen was "drawn to the defendant like a moth to a flame, and he wasn't the only one. David Pecker saw Mr. Trump as a mentor; Mr. Trump saw David Pecker as a useful tool."

On Trump attacks on Cohen: 'That is what some people might call chutzpah'

Steinglass is explaining that Cohen had lied at Trump’s direction and that Trump was now using those lies to harm Cohen’s credibility in the trial.

“The defense also tells you you should reject his testimony because he lied and took pleas in federal court. He has had some trouble accepting responsibility,” Steinglass said. “For bank fraud conviction and his tax law violation, he said he admitted to you that he did the things. He pleaded guilty.”

“He feels like he was treated unfairly and as a first offender he should have been able to pay a fine and back taxes and he believes the Trump Justice Department did him dirty. Whether that is true or not, he accepted responsibility and went to prison for it,” Steinglass added.

“You should consider all of this for his credibility” he continued. “The lies he told to Congress had to do with the Mueller investigation and the Russia probe, and what he lied about was the number of dealings the defendant had with Russia, and the only benefit was he stayed in the defendant’s good graces.”

“Those lies that he told are being used by the same defendant to undermine his credibility,” Steinglass said. 

“That is what some people might call chutzpah,” he added, using a Yiddish word meaning audacity.

Prosecution is careful to repeatedly call Trump 'the defendent'

There’s subtle but notable rhetorical move happening in this closing by the prosecution.

Steinglass is repeatedly referring to Trump as “the defendant” instead of “Mr. Trump” or “the former president.” This contrasts greatly from the defense's language, as Trump's lawyers almost always refer to him as "the president."

It will be important to watch for Steinglass to argue at some point that no one is above the law, even the former president of the United States -- something we’ve seen other state and federal prosecutors say about Trump over the last year.

Steinglass focuses on inconsistencies in defense argument

Steinglass zeroed in on an example of what the prosecution considers an inconsistency in the defense team's case. He told the jury that if the $420,000 payment for Cohen was for legal services, as the defense argued, Cohen could not have stolen $60,000 from the Trump Organization, as the defense also argued. It's either one or the other, the prosecutor argues — not both.

Steinglass: 'I'm not asking you to feel bad for Michael Cohen'

Steinglass is trying to reason with the jury, telling the jurors that they don't need to feel bad for Cohen, but they should understand where Cohen is coming from.

“I am not asking you to feel bad for Michael Cohen. He made his bed," Steinglass said.

“But you can hardly blame him that he’s making money for the one thing he has left," he added, referencing Cohen's knowledge of the inner workings of the Trump organization.

Steinglass admits that Daniels’ testimony was “messy” — but 'Stormy Daniels is the motive'

Steinglass is laying out how “the defense has gone to great lengths to shame Stormy Daniels, saying that she changed her story” but adds that “her false denials have been thoroughly discussed and explained.”

“She lived 2017 in pure silence, Michael Cohen came out and said sex never happened” and Daniels “felt compelled to set the record straight,” he said.

Steinglass said that “parts of her testimony” were “cringeworthy” and “uncomfortable.”

But details like “what the suite” at Harrah’s “looked like” and how the toiletry bag appeared “ring true.”

“They’re the kind of details you’d expect someone to remember,” Steinglass explained, adding that, “fortunately, she was not asked or did she volunteer specific details of the sexual act itself.”

“It certainly is true you don’t have to prove that sex took place — that is not an element of the crime, the defendant knew what happened and reinforces the incentive to buy her silence,” explained Steinglass.

“Her story is messy,” he said. “But that’s kind of the point. That’s the display the defendant didn’t want the American voter to see.”

“If her testimony were so irrelevant, why did they work so hard to discredit her?” he added. “In the simplest terms, Stormy Daniels is the motive.”

Steinglass undercuts defense argument that Trump was totally in the dark on Daniels payment

Steinglass displayed quotes from one of the state's exhibits: a phone call in which Cohen — well before he started cooperating with prosecutors — tells Davidson that Trump hates the fact that his team settled with Daniels.

The quotes undercut the defense team's insistence that Trump knew nothing about the hush money payments to Daniels.

Steinglass to jury: You don't need to believe Cohen to find there was a conspiracy

Steinglass defended the state's witnesses against the Trump team's accusations of lying, but he added that the jury does not necessarily need to believe every word of Cohen's testimony to find that there was a conspiracy to unlawfully influence the 2016 election.

"You don’t need Michael Cohen to prove that one bit," Steinglass said, referring to the state's accusation of a conspiracy.

He added that Hope Hicks, Rhona Graff, Madeleine Westerhout, Jeffrey McConney and Deborah Tarasoff were all witnesses who like Trump but confirmed Cohen's testimony.

Steinglass: 'You don't get to commit election fraud or falsify your business records'

Steinglass is appealing to the jury by explaining to them that it doesn't really matter why Trump broke the law, as long as they feel he did break the law. The argument appears to be a response to the claim by Blanche, during his own closing arguments, that Stormy Daniels had attempted to extort Trump.

"In the end it doesn’t really matter, because you don't get to commit election fraud or falsify your business records because you think you’ve been victimized," he said.

"In other words, extortion is not a defense for falsifying business records," he added.

"You've got to use your common sense, here," Steinglass continued. "Consider the utterly damning testimony of David Pecker."

Steinglass rebuts defense arguments about phone records

"The defense seems to be questioning our integrity,” Steinglass told the jury near the top of his summation.

But, he argued, it was the defense that didn't properly depict phone records.

The call summaries were made to help guide you, the prosecutor explained to the jury. The phone records are all in evidence and you can look through them at your leisure, he added.

It’s also an interesting accusation, Steinglass points out, given that the defense’s summary of calls between Cohen and Costello double-counts their calls. He also reminds them that not every phone call is accounted for in their phone records. Cohen had 11 phone numbers for Trump; they had records corresponding to two of them.

Prosecution kicks off closing arguments

The prosecution is now kicking off its closing arguments. Joshua Steinglass will give them.

Merchan told jury to disregard Blanche's 'prison' comment

Merchan, who chastised Blanche for imploring jurors not to send Trump to prison, told the jury that the lawyer's comment was "improper, and you must disregard it."

"If there is a verdict of guilty," the judge added, "it will be up to me to impose a sentence."

He went on to explain that a "prison sentence is not required in the event of a guilty verdict."

We are back

Merchan is at the bench. Trump is seated at the defense table.

Trump's family shows support outside the courthouse

Trump's sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump along with Eric's wife, Lara Trump, the co-chair of the Republican National Committee, slammed the proceedings in remarks to reporters outside the courthouse during the lunch break.

"Michael Cohen is the embodiment of reasonable doubt," Donald Jr. said. "This entire case hinges on someone who has quite literally lied to every single person and body he's ever been in front of in his life before."

Both he and Eric Trump echoed their father's often repeated characterization of the trial, calling it a "political witch hunt" and a "sham."

Eric went on to say that the district attorney's office is ignoring crimes across the city and using the trial to attack Trump.

"They're sitting there, they're laughing, they're giggling," Eric said. "This was their moment. This is how they embarrass Donald Trump."

Laura Trump added that the trial has been "banana republic-type stuff."

"This is a case about politics, pure and simple," she said.  

After walking away from the news conference, Donald Trump Jr. added that Democrats "talk about democracy but are laughing about it like it's a soundbite," and claimed they are “trying to scare anyone who has any kind of belief that doesn’t go 100% with what they believe.”

Merchan says he will give curative instructions after Blanche's 'prison' comment

Merchan appeared to chastise Blanche after the defense lawyer implored jurors not to send Trump to prison — an unlikely outcome in this case

"I think that statement was outrageous, Mr. Blanche," Merchan said after jurors were excused for their daily lunch break, later adding: "It's simply not allowed. Period. It’s hard for me to imagine how that was accidental in any way."

Merchan told the court that he plans to give jurors a curative instruction — in other words, general direction that is aimed at clearing up an erroneous statement.

Prosecutor slams Blanche's 'prison' comment

Joshua Steinglass, the prosecutor who is expected to deliver the state's closing arguments, blasted Blanche's comment to the jury about prison time as a "blatant and wholly inappropriate move" by the defense.

Steinglass asked Merchan to provide a curative instruction, a direction given by a judge to correct an erroneous statement.

Trump lawyer tells jurors that 'this isn't a referendum on your views of' Trump

speech writing notes

Summer Concepcion

Toward the end of his closing arguments, Trump lawyer Todd Blanche told jurors that the verdict “isn’t a referendum on your views of” Trump, or “a referendum on the ballot box,” stressing the importance of basing their decision on evidence that emerged throughout the trial.

“If you focus just on the evidence you heard in this courtroom, this is a very very quick and easy not guilty verdict. Thank you,” he said.

‘You are gangsters!’: Robert De Niro clashes with Trump supporters in New York

speech writing notes

Katherine Doyle

Amanda Terkel Politics Managing Editor

President Joe Biden’s campaign held a news conference outside the Manhattan courtroom where  Donald Trump is on trial  in his hush money case, with actor Robert De Niro and  two officers who defended the Capitol  from the Jan. 6 mob warning about the dangers of re-electing the former president.

“The Twin Towers fell just over here, just over there. This part of the city was like a ghost town, but we vowed we would not allow terrorists to change our way of life. ... I love this city. I don’t want to destroy it. Donald Trump wants to destroy not only the city, but the country, and eventually he can destroy the world,” De Niro said.

Afterward, on the way back to his car, De Niro mixed it up with some pro-Trump protesters, who yelled that he’s a “wannabe,” “paid sell-out” to the Democratic National Committee, “nobody” and a “little punk” whose “movies suck.”

“You’re not going to intimidate,” De Niro replied. “That’s what Trump does. ... We are going to fight back. We’re trying to be gentlemen in this world, the Democrats. You are gangsters. You are gangsters!”

Read the full story here.

Blanche finishes summation

Blanche finished his summation at 12:49 p.m. ET, about three hours after he began the closing arguments.

Blanche refers to jail time

Blanche told the jurors: "You cannot send someone to prison based on the words of Michael Cohen."

It's worth noting that it's unlikely the former president will be sentenced to prison in this case.

Blanche says Michael Cohen is the 'GLOAT'

Blanche says that Michael Cohen is the "greatest liar of all time."

“Michael Cohen is the GLOAT. He’s literally the greatest liar of all time," Blanche said, a play on the sports term GOAT "greatest of all time. “He has lied to every single branch of Congress.”

He added, “He has lied to the Department of Justice.”

Blanche outlines 10 reasons why he believes jury should have reasonable doubt

Blanche presented jurors with a list:

  • The invoices. Blanche argues Cohen created the invoices, Trump had no intent to defraud, and prosecutors did not present evidence that Trump knew about them.
  • Valentine's Day 2017 vouchers. Blanche argues there is no proof Trump ever saw the vouchers.
  • No evidence of intent to defraud.
  • No evidence to commit or conceal a crime. "There is no falsification of business records, period," Blanche argued.
  • No evidence Trump was involved in illegal agreement to influence election.
  • AMI would have run Sajudin's story. Dino Sajudin is the former Trump Tower doorman who tried to sell a story about Trump fathering a child out of wedlock.
  • McDougal did not want her story published .
  • Daniels' story was already public .
  • Alleged manipulation of evidence .
  • Cohen is the "embodiment of reasonable doubt." "He lied to you repeatedly," Blanche said. "He is biased and motivated to tell you a story that is not true."

Blanche insists there was no felony because even if there was a conspiracy, it wasn't through 'unlawful means'

Blanche is insisting that there can be no felony falsification of business records because even if there was a conspiracy to influence the election, it was not carried out through any “unlawful means.”

To support his “no unlawful means” argument, Blanche said there is no proof Trump ever knew, for example, about certain paperwork Michael Cohen submitted to his bank or paperwork prepared to transfer Karen McDougal’s life rights from AMI to Trump.

Trump’s knowledge, however, is not required. All that matters legally is that a member of the conspiracy undertook those “unlawful means.”

Trump lawyer plays audio of Cohen screaming on his podcast

After playing audio of Cohen excitedly talking about the prospect of Trump being convicted, Trump lawyer Todd Blanche then played two excerpts of Cohen screaming on his podcast in a tone virtually unrecognizable to anyone who has encountered him only here.

This was more effective than most moments today.

Blanche says Michael Cohen is the 'MVP of liars'

Blanche said that Michael Cohen has lied to his family, including his wife and kids, his banker, the Federal Election Commission, reporters, Congress, prosecutors, business associates and bosses.

"He's literally like the MVP of liars," Blanche said.

Blanche raises his voice in accusing Cohen of lying

Blanche began shouting as he again accused Cohen of lying under oath. He reminded jurors that Cohen testified that he called Trump on Oct. 24, 2016, to provide an update on the Daniels situation, "It was a lie!" he said, pointing out that the call was actually to Trump's bodyguard, Keith Schiller.

"That was a lie and he got caught red-handed,” Blanche added.

Blanche accuses the prosecution of using Stormy Daniels to inflame jury

Over objections by prosecutor Joshua Steinglass, Blanche is accusing the prosecution of calling Stormy Daniels as a witness at trial, but not calling her as a grand jury witness.

Blanche is arguing it was intended to inflame the jury’s emotions and to embarrass the former president.

The jury didn't appear to react to that statement.

Trump lawyer portrays Trump as the victim of the infamous 'Access Hollywood' tape

speech writing notes

Jonathan Allen

Blanche may be the first person to portray Trump as the victim of the “Access Hollywood” tape .

Though Blanche says it was not “so catastrophic” as to motivate Trump to break the law — more precisely, that there’s “no evidence” that it was — he says this of the release of the video Oct. 7, 2016: “This was an extremely personal event for President Trump. Nobody wants their family to be subjected to that sort of thing.”

(The video had Trump on a hot mic discussing getting away with assaulting women because he was famous.)

Blanche accuses Daniels of 'extortion,' and the prosecution stays mum (for now)

Blanche just said of Daniels’ nondisclosure agreement: “This started out as an extortion and it ended up very well for Ms. Daniels, there’s no doubt about that.”

The prosecution has not objected to Blanche’s repeated use of the word “extortion,” which suggests a crime was committed. That could be a strategic choice, because what they say in refuting that characterization during their own summation could be more memorable and powerful than a sustained objection.

Blanche claims that threats against Stormy Daniels never happened

Blanche said that Stormy Daniels decided to go public with her story supposedly because she was trying to protect herself from threats in a parking lot that she received five years earlier.

Blanche said, however, that there are recordings that show that's not true. He said Michael Avenatti, Gina Rodriguez and Daniels were lying about these threats.

“They never happened," Blanche said. “The recording makes clear that Ms. Daniels lied to you.”

Blanche has resumed his summation

The morning break is over and Trump's defense team is continuing with its closing arguments.

Blanche said he expects about 30 to 40 more minutes.

Trial takes a break

The trial took a quick break starting at 11:35 a.m.

Blanche questions why no one in Trump campaign addressed Stormy Daniels issue in April 2016

Blanche questions why no one in the campaign did anything about Stormy Daniels in April 2016 when her manager reached out about it.

But Blanche's point ignores the impact that the leak of the "Access Hollywood" tape in October 2016 had on the campaign. Trump's campaign was beleaguered by accusations of sexism as a result of the tape, so Daniels' claim may have had more of an impact.

Fight appears to break out between pro-Trump supporters outside the courthouse

Elizabeth Maline

A fight appears to have broken out between pro-Trump supporters in Columbus Park across the street from the courthouse.

New York City Police Department officers were seen hopping over the fence into the park to respond to the clash.

Blanche tries to impress upon jury that Cohen's recording of Trump call is unreliable

Blanche wants the jury to believe that Michael Cohen's recording of the call with Trump is unreliable because it cuts off early.

But more than that, Blanche is trying to tell the jury that the transcript of what they have is unreliable because while the recording discussed AMI and Pecker, there is doubt that they are talking about Karen McDougal, whose name is never mentioned, or any payment of $150,000, which cannot be heard on the tape.

Blanche says they were “talking past each other,” and that Cohen’s invocation of “financing” shocked Trump, who had no idea what was going on, and that Cohen’s interpretation of “cash” to mean actual bills is a fiction designed to make the conversation sound more sinister.

Trump team responds outside courthouse immediately following Biden campaign

Moments after the Biden campaign finished its remarks outside the courthouse, Trump campaign members went to the microphone to speak.

Jason Miller, a senior adviser to the campaign, called the Biden campaign's decision to have Robert De Niro — whom he called a "washed-up actor" — speak today as a way to "try to change the subject" from Biden's "falling" poll numbers.

Karoline Leavitt, a Trump campaign spokesperson, called the Biden team's conference "a full-blown confession that this trial is a witch hunt."

"This is a disgrace. President Trump has been locked up in that courtroom for six weeks," Leavitt said. "But guess what, the American people see through this witch hunt, this scam, and that's why President Trump continues to rise in the polls."

Leavitt added that Biden is "weak" and "pathetic" and is using "elitist, out-of-touch Hollywood actors like Robert De Niro who have no idea the real problems that people in this city and across this country are facing." 

Blanche accuses Cohen of lying about Pecker lunch. Pecker didn't dispute it, though.

Blanche is continuing his effort to convince jurors that Cohen is a shameless liar. "Remember when Cohen told you he had lunch with Pecker?" Blanche told the jury. "Pecker said he was really frustrated that he was not getting paid for the McDougal story. Ladies and gentlemen, that lunch did not happen. Cohen made it up."

However, Blanche and Trump's other lawyers never entered any evidence backing up that claim — and Pecker during his testimony did not dispute that the lunch happened.

Blanche appears to want to have it both ways regarding David Pecker

Blanche appears to want it both ways regarding Pecker.

On one hand, he has characterized David Pecker as a “truth teller” and someone who, because of Pecker's immunity deal with the Manhattan DA, had no incentive to lie.

But Blanche also tells the jury that Pecker’s explanation that if the story from Trump Tower doorman Dino Sajuddin had been true, he would have published it — but only after the election — is not entirely credible because such a major story would have been published immediately.

Blanche argues the effort to silence Karen McDougal wasn't a 'catch and kill'

Blanche argued that the effort to silence Karen McDougal "is not a catch and kill either" because she didn't want her story published.

Blanche said McDougal wanted to kick-start her career, be on the cover of magazines and write articles. He said it wasn't McDougal's intention to publish her story.

"She didn't want her story published," he said.

Former Capitol police officers campaign for Biden outside courthouse

Harry Dunn, a former Capitol Police officer, and Michael Fanone, a former D.C. Metropolitan Police officer, who defended the Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack, spoke in support of the Biden campaign outside of the courthouse today.

Fanone, who suffered a brain injury and a heart attack in the assault, recounted the attack adding that "if Jan. 6 didn't happen, we wouldn't be here right now, I'd still be at work."

Dunn went on to say that Trump is "the greatest threat to our democracy and to the safety of communities across the country today."

"Trump does whatever will get him votes and helps Donald Trump," he said.

Blanche mixes up details in 'catch and kill' cases

Reporting from Manhattan criminal court

Blanche has been walking through each of the stories that were caught and killed. But he is mixing up details. He mentioned, for example, that Karen McDougal’s business manager was Gina Rodriguez. But Rodriguez worked for Stormy Daniels, not McDougal.

Analysis: Blanche's assertions about the Enquirer don't really hold up to scrutiny

Blanche is arguing that the Enquirer’s reach was not wide enough to influence the election. But especially in today’s social media-fueled age, the idea that a story’s reach is limited to the publication’s own distribution is simply untrue. More significantly, however, the Enquirer’s influence here was in preventing certain stories from ever seeing the light of day.

Blanche pushes back on idea that the Enquirer could influence an election

Blanche, attempting to undercut one of the key planks of the prosecution's narrative, told the jury that it's absurd to believe that positive stories in the National Enquirer could affect the outcome of an American election.

"The idea that even sophisticated people like President Trump and David Pecker believed that positive stories in the National Enquirer could influence the 2016 election is preposterous," Blanche said, referring to the former publisher of the tabloid magazine. He went on to say that many of the articles published in the Enquirer were recycled from other outlets.

Pecker testified earlier in the trial that he purchased potentially damaging stories about Trump and then made sure they never saw the light of day — a practice known as "catch and kill." He also testified that his editorial team attempted to run more glowing stories about Trump in the lead-up to the 2016 election.

Robert De Niro condemns Trump in fiery remarks outside courthouse: 'He could destroy the world'

Robert De Niro reads a statement during a press conference outside of Manhattan Criminal Court.

Actor Robert De Niro spoke to the press as a surrogate for the Biden campaign outside the courthouse, railing against Trump.

"I love this city. I don’t want to destroy it," De Niro, a native New Yorker, said.

"Donald Trump wants to destroy not only the city, but the country and eventually he could destroy the world," he continued.

De Niro, who has also appeared in ads for the Biden campaign, condemned Trump for the violence that occurred Jan. 6 at the Capitol, arguing that if Trump wins in November, "he will never leave."

At the end of De Niro's remarks, a Trump supporter in the crowd called the two former police officers standing with De Niro — both present at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 — "traitors."

The actor engaged in a back-and-forth with the man in the crowd, defending the officers, Harry Dunn and Michael Fanone.

"They stood there. They didn’t have to," De Niro said. "They stood there and fought for us. They fought for you, buddy. You’re able to stand right here."

"They are the true heroes. I’m honored to be with these two heroes today," De Niro continued.

Blanche says every campaign is a 'conspiracy to promote a candidate'

Blanche said that the prosecution wants the jury to believe that the entire scheme was to promote Trump's successful candidacy in 2016.

“Even if you find that’s true, that’s still not enough. It doesn’t matter — as I said to you in the opening statement — it doesn’t matter if there was a conspiracy to win the election," Blanche said. “Every campaign is a conspiracy to promote a candidate.”

Blanche hammers on the question of Trump's intent to defraud

Blanche asked the jury: "Where is the intent to defraud on the part of President Trump?" He then showed a slide labeled "No Intent to Defraud."

The exact language of the charges against Trump in this case accuse the former president of breaking various laws with the "intent to defraud and intent to commit another crime and aid and conceal the commission thereof."

Biden campaign arrives with Robert De Niro outside courthouse

Biden campaign members have arrived outside the courthouse with actor Robert De Niro and Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, who was attacked in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Blanche again suggests Cohen was bitter

Blanche asked the jurors whether they "believe for a second that, after getting stiffed on his bonus in 2016, when he thought he worked so hard," Cohen would then "want to work for free" for Trump.

"Was that the man who testified," Blanche asked rhetorically, "or was that a lie?"

Cohen did indeed testify that he was upset after he did not receive a holiday season bonus after the 2016 presidential election, but he repeatedly rejected the defense team's suggestions that bitterness and vindictiveness drove him to cooperate with prosecutors.

Blanche then argued it was "absurd" that Trump would agree to pay Cohen $420,000 even though the former president owed him only $130,000.

Blanche suggests Trump, as president, was too busy to be part of 'scheme'

Blanche repeatedly refers to Trump being in the White House when the repayments were made. He was very busy, Blanche said. That he was somehow in on a “scheme” to conceal a repayment is “absurd,” he added

His argument also reminds the jury this is no normal defendant: It’s the former president of the United States.

It’s an interesting line to to walk: Trump is so careful about his finances that he would never overpay, but he was also so busy in the White House that he was sometimes careless and wouldn’t know what he was paying for.

Blanche says prosecutors asked jury to believe Michael Cohen

Trump lawyer Todd Blanche said, “What the people have done, what the government did for the last five weeks, at the end of the day, is ask you to believe the man who testified two weeks ago, Michael Cohen.”

Blanche rejects assertion that Trump had full knowledge

Blanche told jurors it was "a stretch" that Trump always "had full knowledge of what was happening" inside the Trump Organization and his other business enterprises.

"That is reasonable doubt, ladies and gentlemen," he said.

Trump lawyer says there's nothing 'sinister or criminal' about the word 'retainer'

Blanche commented on the fact that retainer was listed as the reason for the reimbursement checks from Trump to Cohen.

"There's nothing sinister or criminal about that word," Blanche said.

Blanche said it wasn't put there by Trump or Allen Weisselberg but by Trump Organization accounting employee Deb Tarasoff, who testified earlier in the trial.

What was missing from the chart put up on the screen

When Blanche put up a visual aid for the jurors showing invoices, vouchers and checks, the most glaringly noticeable line on any of the documents was the very familiar, thick-lettered signature of Donald Trump.

Blanche calls attention to the fact that Don Jr. and Eric Trump weren't called as witnesses

As Blanche is calling attention to the fact that Don Jr. and Eric Trump were not called as witnesses, they are sitting in the front row of the courtroom behind their dad.

“The burden is always on the government, they make decisions about who to call," Blanche said, adding, “They did not call Don or Eric.”

The jury did not look over at the Trump children.

Blanche tries to steer jury away from old Trump books

Blanche tells the jury to be wary if the prosecution starts reading from an old Trump book to help prove how involved the former president was in his company’s accounting system.

Those books were co-written by ghostwriters, Blanche says, implying the ghostwriters did the due diligence of figuring out the system in lieu of Trump’s personal knowledge.

Blanche tries to address toughest evidence before prosecution gets to it

Blanche is working hard to try to pre-empt certain arguments the jury is likely to hear from the prosecution after he sits down. Because he goes first and the prosecution will have the last word -- per New York law -- he can’t afford not to address the toughest evidence for his client. 

Blanche pushes back on hush money argument

Blanche appeared to suggest that Cohen received retainer payments not because of the hush money arrangement but because he was Trump's personal attorney.

"There’s a reason why in life usually the simplest answer is the right one, and that’s certainly the case here. That the story Mr. Cohen told you on that witness stand is not true.” 

Cohen was paid $35,000 a month by Trump to be his attorney, Blanche said.

Blanche planting the seeds of reasonable doubt

Blanche is doing two things simultaneously to plant seeds of reasonable doubt early in this closing argument — establish that the internal records at the heart of this case weren't falsified and that Michael Cohen is a liar.

Blanche argues Michael Cohen was working as Trump's personal lawyer

Trump attorney Todd Blanche argued that Michael Cohen was serving as Trump's personal attorney, which he said was not in dispute.

“He talked to every reporter that he could, pushing the fact that he was going to be the personal attorney to President Trump," Blanche said. “This was not a secret. Michael Cohen was President Trump’s personal attorney. Period.”

Biden's campaign set to hold press conference outside the courthouse

President Joe Biden's campaign is scheduled to hold a news conference outside the court this morning at 10:15 ET.

The news conference is set to include the campaign team and "special guests," although the news release didn't say who they would be.

Trump lawyer argues invoices were false and there was no intent to defraud

Trump lawyer Todd Blanche argued that the invoices weren't false and there was no intent to defraud — and that if the jurors are so convinced, they don't have to go further.

As a matter of law, Blanche is correct, but it is also the case that the requisite intent to defraud is defined as including the intent to commit or conceal another crime.

Put another way, if the jurors believe the documents are false, they do have to confront whether Trump intended to conceal the underlying alleged conspiracy.

Jury sees chart that won't be put into evidence

Blanche displayed a chart on the courtroom screen showing what it presented as various financial records, including Cohen's invoices (which were then turned into vouchers, and then turned into checks).

The chart will not be put into evidence, so the jury can't refer back to it — and the general public may never see it publicly produced.

Trump lawyer accuses Michael Cohen of lying for likely the first of many times today

It's 9:48 a.m. and Trump lawyer Todd Blanche just accused Michael Cohen of lying — the first of many times we're likely to hear that claim today.

Blanche: 'This is a paper case'

Blanche continues his sentiment that the testimony that the jury has heard thus far is not enough to convict Trump. Instead, Blanche argues the true evidence for this case lies in documents.

"This case is about documents, it’s a paper case," Blanche said.

Blanche went on to argue that the case is not about Stormy Daniels, but instead about the payments Trump made to Michael Cohen.

“Were those bookings done with an intent to defraud? That’s why you’re here. And the answer to that — to those questions is absolutely positively not," Blanche said.

"The bookings were accurate, and there was absolutely no intent to defraud. And beyond that, there was no conspiracy," he continued.

Blanche tries to undercut Cohen and Daniels testimony

Blanche tells the jury members that “they should want and expect more than the testimony of Michael Cohen. ... You should want and expect more than the word of a woman who claims something happened in 2006.”

He continues by saying they should want and expect more than the testimony of Keith Davidson, who was trying to extort Trump. Notably, the district attorney's office does not object to the characterization of what happened as attempted or actual extortion.

Trump lawyer reiterates to jury that his client is innocent

Trump attorney Todd Blanche told the jury that they, as a group of citizens, decide the facts and decide whether Trump is guilty or not guilty. He said he wanted to repeat what he told them five weeks ago.

“President Trump is innocent," Blanche said. "He did not commit any crimes, and the district attorney has not met their burden of proof. Period.”

Blanche starts his closing arguments

Trump's lawyer Todd Blanche began giving his closing arguments at about 9:40 a.m. ET. He said that he expects he'll need 2½ hours to deliver the end of the defense's case.

He briefly put up a PowerPoint presentation and then took it down.

Merchan to jurors: You are the judges of the facts

Merchan is giving jurors an overview of what they're going to hear today from lawyers on both sides of the case. He explained that the summations "provide each lawyer the opportunity to review the evidence and give you the conclusions that can be drawn."

"You are the finders of fact, and it is for you and for you alone to determine the facts from the evidence," the judge told the jury.

He reminded the jury that the "lawyers are not witnesses," adding that nothing they say in their summations constitutes "evidence."

"You and you alone are the judges of the facts in this case," Merchan said.

Judge tells prosecution and defense: Don't go into the law

Before the jury entered, Judge Merchan told both the prosecution and defense teams that they shouldn't explain the law to the jurors during summation.

"Please do not go into the law. Stay away from the law," he said. "That'll be my job. I'll take care of it."

District attorney staff members are watching from the overflow room

As proceedings begin today, more than eight secondary members of the prosecution team have come into the overflow room to watch the trial.

The members present appear to be senior leadership from the district attorney’s office, including First Assistant District Attorney Meg Reiss and former Executive Assistant District Attorney Peter Pope, who led the investigation of this case leading to the grand jury’s indictment.

The staff members are seated in the jury box in the overflow room -- an area we have not seen used before for seating.

How long will summations last?

Todd Blanche, Trump's lawyer, estimates he'll need around 2½ hours to deliver his closing argument. He goes first.

Joshua Steinglass, one of the prosecutors, says he'll need "somewhere in the vicinity of 4 to 4½ hours."

Trump says 'this is a dark day in America' before heading into courtroom for closing arguments

Shortly before heading into the courtroom for closing arguments, Trump repeated his claims that he was forced to attend courtroom proceedings in the hush money trial because of President Joe Biden, without providing evidence.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee griped that the trial is “election hunting, election interfering” because it is an effort to go after Biden’s political opponent.

Trump again accused Judge Merchan of being “highly conflicted” and “corrupt” and read aloud quotes from legal analysts who support his assertions that the former president did not commit wrongdoing in the case.

Trump also complained about Merchan’s gag order that bars him from making disparaging comments against his family members and others involved in the case, saying that it’s an “unconstitutional thing” to impose on a presidential candidate.

“This is not a trial that should happen. It’s a very sad day. This is a dark day in America,” he said. “We have a rigged court case that should have never been brought, and it should have been brought in another jurisdiction.”

Jury instructions set in stone

Judge Merchan says that he provided the jury instructions to the defense and prosecution on Thursday afternoon and that neither side has commented on them. They are now final.

Merchan is on the stand and they're ready on go

The judge has taken his seat and proceedings are about to get underway.

The prosecution and defense in Trump’s criminal hush money trial will begin making their closing arguments to the jury today as the first criminal trial of a former president enters its final phase. NBC’s Laura Jarrett reports and Hallie Jackson provides analysis for "TODAY."

‘Phony’ checks and hush money payments: Breaking down Trump’s 34 charges in his New York criminal trial

JoElla Carman

Trump faces 34 felony counts in the New York hush money trial that is expected to potentially wrap up as early as this week.

Here's what to know about the charges.

Biden campaign preps for a Trump trial verdict: From the Politics Desk

speech writing notes

Monica Alba

speech writing notes

Natasha Korecki

speech writing notes

Mike Memoli

President Joe Biden has largely steered clear of Trump’s legal woes. But with a verdict in the  hush money trial  coming as soon as this week, Biden’s campaign is exploring a shift to a new, more aggressive posture, according to two people familiar with the strategy. 

Regardless of the outcome, top Biden campaign officials plan to stress to voters that Trump will be on the ballot in the fall and that no potential court proceeding will change that fact.

A person familiar with the discussions summed it up this way: “Donald Trump’s legal troubles are not going to keep him out of the White House. Only one thing will do that: voting this November for Joe Biden.” 

Trump has departed for the courthouse

Brittany Kubicko

The former president has left Trump Tower for the courthouse downtown.

Rudy Giuliani's son argues with anti-Israel protester outside court

Former New York gubernatorial candidate Andrew Giuliani started a heated argument with a protester who was shouting antisemitic tropes outside the courthouse this morning.

Giuliani, a former Trump White House official and the son of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, followed the demonstrator who was wearing a ski mask around a protest zone and yelled at the man about the Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel.

The protester carried a sign with numbers representing Gazans who have been killed in the ensuing conflict and voiced canards about Jews controlling the U.S. government and the entertainment industry.

Trump's guests in court today

speech writing notes

Jake Traylor

Matt Korade

Several of Trump's children will be in court for closing arguments, including Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and his wife, Lara Trump, who is the co-chair of the Republican National Committee, as well as Tiffany Trump, the former president's only daughter with his ex-wife Marla Maples, and her husband, Michael Boulos.

Also in attendance will be Trump's longtime friend Steve Witkoff, a real-estate investor who testified as a defense expert in Trump’s Manhattan civil fraud trial , Will Scharf, a lawyer for Trump who is running for attorney general in Missouri against Republican incumbent Andrew Bailey, and Deroy Murdock, a contributing editor for National Review Online.

Trump lawyer says she has 'zero confidence' Judge Merchan will issue jury instructions 'in an appropriate manner'

Trump legal spokesperson Alina Habba on Sunday expressed concerns about jury instructions in the hush money trial against the former president and the jurors not being sequestered over the holiday weekend.

“Generally, as an attorney, as an American who understands the law and how to apply to laws to facts, there are no facts that support this alleged crime,” Habba said during an interview on Fox News “Sunday Morning Futures.” “We’re not even sure what the crime is. So it’s a books and records issue.”

Habba echoed Trump’s claims that Merchan is “severely conflicted” without evidence, noting the judge’s gag order that bars Trump from issuing disparaging comments on his family members and others involved in the case. Trump has repeatedly accused Merchan of being “conflicted,” often citing his daughter’s work at a digital fundraising and advertising firm that often collaborates with Democratic politicians.

“This judge is the judge that determines the jury instructions. The jury instructions are the road map for non-attorneys and jurors to follow the law,” she said. “It’s going to be critical, and frankly, at this point, I have zero confidence in the fact that this person, who should not be sitting on the bench right now, will do the right thing and give jury instructions that are in an appropriate manner without any persuasion towards the prosecution.”

Habba then raised concerns about jurors not being sequestered over the holiday weekend, arguing that they could be swayed by family and friends who have certain opinions.

“They should have been sequestered because, in my opinion, these jurors are handling something that is completely unprecedented and unwarranted in America, and for them to be able to be out and about on a holiday weekend with friends and families who have opinions, who are watching the news TVs on the background at the pool party — I have serious concerns,” she said.

Trump blasts Merchan and District Attorney Alvin Bragg in Truth Social posts over the weekend

speech writing notes

Alexandra Marquez is based in Washington, D.C.

Isabelle Schmeler

In a series of social media posts over the holiday weekend, Trump attacked Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who brought the charges in this case against him, attacked Judge Juan Merchan and said the case was about a "legal expense" and a "bookkeeping error."

"I have a great case, but with a rigged and conflicted judge," Trump said in one post, before adding in another one, "The City of New York’s D.A., Alvin Bragg, is trying to prosecute a Federal case, which cannot be done, and where there is NO CRIME."

One post blasted the case for blowing a "legal expense" out of proportion, saying, "Let’s put the President in jail for 150 years because a LEGAL EXPENSE to a lawyer was called, by a bookkeeper."

Another post yesterday accused Merchan, without evidence, of being a "corrupt and conflicted" judge and claimed that Bragg is backed by liberal billionaire megadonor George Soros, who has been a target of antisemitic conspiracy theories .

Trump’s lawyers are preparing for the final stretch of the former president’s hush money trial in New York. NBC News’ Gabe Gutierrez reports on Trump’s busy weekend ahead of closing arguments in court.

Closing arguments set to begin in Trump’s criminal trial

speech writing notes

Dareh Gregorian

Closing arguments will begin today in the People of the State of New York v. Donald J. Trump , as the first criminal trial of a former president enters its final phase.

After the prosecution and the defense deliver their concluding arguments, the judge will give instructions to the jury. Then, the 12 ordinary New Yorkers who sit on the jury will begin deliberations on whether or not the former president is guilty of the charges against him.

After 20 days in a courtroom, here's what you missed in the Trump hush money trial

Ahead of this week's closing arguments, catch up on what you missed over the last few weeks of the first criminal trial of a former president.

In sometimes explosive testimony, former Trump "fixer" Michael Cohen said that he did call Trump a "Cheeto-dusted" villain but admitted to past lies and theft upon questioning by Trump's attorneys.

Despite promising to testify, Trump did not ultimately take the stand and pushed back on media reports that he fell asleep multiple times during the trial. On his Truth Social account, the former president claimed he was simply resting his “beautiful blue eyes” while listening “intensely” to the proceedings.


  1. The Ultimate Guide to Speech Writing

    speech writing notes

  2. How To Write A Good Speech

    speech writing notes

  3. How to Take Beautiful & Effective Notes in Class

    speech writing notes

  4. FREE 20+ Speech Writing Samples & Templates in PDF

    speech writing notes

  5. How to Write Speech and Presentation with Example at KingEssays©

    speech writing notes

  6. Speech Writing

    speech writing notes


  1. Speech/ How to write a speech/ English paper one

  2. speech writing format || Speech writing || How to write speech #speechwriting #ssc #class (11-12)

  3. Speech writing on the topic Importance of Education for Students #youtubevideos

  4. Speech writing on the subject what are the reasons that motivated me to use renewable energy?

  5. Speech Writing in English|| Value of time in students Life #viral #english #trending

  6. How to write a speech


  1. Effective Speech Writing Format: A Comprehensive Guide and Examples

    Key Takeaways. Crafting a speech starts with understanding its purpose, such as informing or persuading, and building a connection between the speaker and the audience.; A clear structure with a captivating introduction, logical body, and strong conclusion makes speeches more engaging and easier for audiences to follow.; Choosing impactful words and being authentic are key.

  2. Speech Writing Format, Samples, Examples

    Example 1. Write a speech to be delivered in the school assembly as Rahul/ Rubaina of Delhi Public School emphasises the importance of cleanliness, implying that the level of cleanliness represents the character of its residents. (150-200 words) "Cleanliness is next to godliness," said the great John Wesley.

  3. Speech Writing Examples: Format, Tips, and Samples to Inspire Your

    As you embark on the journey of speech writing, it is important to note that a well-crafted motivational speech has the potential to inspire, uplift, and energize your audience. With carefully chosen words and compelling anecdotes, you can ignite passion and drive positive change in those listening. By incorporating real-life examples and ...

  4. How to write a good speech [7 easily followed steps]

    Tell them (Body of your speech - the main ideas plus examples) Tell them what you told them (The ending) TEST before presenting. Read aloud several times to check the flow of material, the suitability of language and the timing. Return to top. A step by step guide for writing a great speech.

  5. How to Write a Good Speech: 10 Steps and Tips

    Create an outline: Develop a clear outline that includes the introduction, main points, supporting evidence, and a conclusion. Share this outline with the speaker for their input and approval. Write in the speaker's voice: While crafting the speech, maintain the speaker's voice and style.

  6. How to Write an Effective Speech Outline: A Step-by-Step Guide

    When outlining your speech, make sure to decide how much time you'd like to give each of your main points. You might even consider setting specific timers during rehearsals to get a real feel for each part's duration. Generally speaking, you should allot a fairly equal amount of time for each to keep things balanced.

  7. Beginners Guide to What is a Speech Writing

    The speechwriting process relies on a well-defined structure, crucial to both the speech's content and the writing process. It encompasses a compelling introduction, an informative body, and a strong conclusion. This process serves as a foundation for effective speeches, guiding the speaker through a series of reasons and a persuasive ...

  8. How to Write a Structured Speech in 5 Steps

    See why leading organizations rely on MasterClass for learning & development. Learning how to write a speech requires a keen awareness of how to tailor your rhetoric to a given issue and specific audience. Check out our essential speech-writing guidelines to learn how to craft an effective message that resonates with your audience.

  9. Speeches

    Ethos refers to an appeal to your audience by establishing your authenticity and trustworthiness as a speaker. If you employ pathos, you appeal to your audience's emotions. Using logos includes the support of hard facts, statistics, and logical argumentation. The most effective speeches usually present a combination these rhetorical strategies.

  10. How to Write a Speech: A Guide to Enhance Your Writing Skills

    Tips to Write a Speech. Understand the purpose of your speech: Before writing the speech, you must understand the topic and the purpose behind it. Reason out and evaluate if the speech has to be inspiring, entertaining or purely informative. Identify your audience: When writing or delivering a speech, your audience play the major role. Unless ...

  11. How to Prepare Notes for Public Speaking

    To prepare notes for public speaking, begin by writing your speech. Once you've written the first draft, read the speech out loud and make any necessary changes so it sounds smooth. When you're happy with your speech, translate it into notes by highlighting keywords to mark where each new idea begins. Then, write one keyword per notecard.

  12. WC116/WC116: Speech Writing and Types of Speeches

    This publication about speech writing and types of speeches is the second of a three-part series about developing effective public speaking skills. This series also covers an introduction to public speaking and public speaking tools. University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension outreach is a partnership between ...

  13. Question 1 Directed Writing: How to Write a Speech

    A speech is often more persuasive than other forms of writing. You are trying to persuade your audience that your point of view is valid, and sometimes encourage them to join you. Here are some tips for how to make your speech persuasive: Write in the first person (write from your own perspective) Use personal and inclusive pronouns:

  14. PDF Writing a speech

    The ways you use language and vocabulary when writing the words of a speech will depend on the audience the purposeand you are writing for ; for example, in a speech to a group of teachers and parents giving your views on a recent proposal, formal language is most appropriate. Tips for writing a speech . Language - think about: •

  15. Free Speech to Text Online, Voice Typing & Transcription

    Speechnotes is a reliable and secure web-based speech-to-text tool that enables you to quickly and accurately transcribe your audio and video recordings, as well as dictate your notes instead of typing, saving you time and effort. With features like voice commands for punctuation and formatting, automatic capitalization, and easy import/export ...

  16. Speech Format

    Step 6 - Write a Detailed Body. The body of your speech is where you will write the details of what you want to share with your audience. Generally, the body section has three main points, but it can have more than 3 points. It is always a good idea to be specific and inform the audience of only essential things.


    the section Writing your draft speech. You also need to know what sort of speech you are writing because this will help you prepare notes as you research for the speech and decide on the points. There are different types of speeches, although some can be both. 1. an INFORMATIVE speech, where you want to inform or tell your audience about a ...

  18. Speechwriting 101: Writing an Effective Speech

    Arrange your research and notes into general categories and leave space between them. Then go back and rearrange. Fit related pieces together like a puzzle. ... 20-25 minutes is about as long as anyone will listen attentively to a speech. As you write and edit your speech, the general rule is to allow about 90 seconds for every double-spaced ...

  19. Elements of Speech Writing

    Elements of Speech Writing. Use these eight points to help you write your own speech or to analyse a speech, for either Junior or Leaving Cert English. Engage your audience by addressing them in the introduction. Say who you are and explain what you are going to talk about. Structure: Speeches must have a beginning, a middle and a conclusion.

  20. SOAP Notes for Speech Therapy: The Ultimate Guide

    Speech therapy SOAP notes document important data and paint a picture of how the client participated in a session. That's not always easy. A speech-language pathologist's (also known as "SLP") schedule is often filled with back-to-back clients throughout the day. Having a clear understanding of what SLP SOAP notes are, and how to write ...

  21. Speech Writing

    Speech writing is the method of conveying a thought or message to a reader using the correct punctuation and expression. Speech writing isn't much different from any other form of narrative writing. There are8 parts of speech in the English language. These parts are nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and ...

  22. Speechnotes

    The following features make Speechnotes a powerful speech-enabled notepad, designed to empower your ideas and creativity: - Optional backup to Google Drive - so you never lose a note! - Quick timestamps, use the following codes for the f1-f10 keys, to have a one-tap stamping of current date and or time: - Write short or long texts easily.

  23. Thank-You Speech

    How to Write a Thank-You Speech. The most exhausting part in writing a thank-you speech is that you have to remember the people who helped you along the way. But that shouldn't stop you from giving them a thank-you. Follow these steps to write a meaningful thank-you speech for them. You may also check out appreciation speech examples & samples

  24. Fact-Checking President Biden's 2024 TIME Interview

    President Joe Biden sat down for an interview with TIME about America's role in the world and his foreign policy agenda. Below is a review of Biden's statements from the interview. TIME has ...

  25. Communication Of The Future: 5 Tips For Sending Voice Notes

    The charm of voice notes lies in their brevity. Otherwise, we're back to voicemails, and no thank you, the 90s can stay dead. Aim to keep your messages concise—ideally under 90 seconds. Plan ...

  26. Highlights: Closing arguments wrap in Trump hush money trial

    Updates and the latest news on Trump's hush money trial, where he faces 34 counts of falsifying business records to hide payments to Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about an alleged affair.