The first step in making a speech is choosing a topic. We will assume you already have a topic since your qualifications, the audience, or the occasion usually determines it.
If you do not have a topic, your most effective speeches will come from a topic you are familiar with or that you want to learn more about.
The second step is to define the purpose of your speech. Are you speaking to persuade your audience, inform your audience, or a combination of the two? And, what are you persuading your audience to do, or what are you informing them about? The answers to these questions will define the purpose of your speech.
The third step is to get to know your audience. Get to know the demographic features of your audience. You want to know how large the audience will be, what sort of setting or conditions you will be speaking in, how the audience feels about the topic, and how the audience feels about you as the speaker. Gauge how important these factors will be on the speaking situation and adjust your speech accordingly. Keep in mind the audience is the focus of your speech, and you re looking for a positive response from them.
The fourth step is to gather information for your speech. There are countless sources of information, but here are a few: interviews, the Internet, scholarly journals, government documents, newspapers, and magazines. This information can be used in your speech in a variety of ways. It may be used to supply examples for supporting your ideas, or as statistics to quantify your ideas.
The fifth step is to organize your speech. Start by identifying the main points you want to make, and then put them in an order that makes sense to your topic. You can order them chronologically if your topic covers a sequence of events; spatially if you are describing something from top to bottom, east to west, or according to some other avenue; or, problem-solution order if you are presenting a problem followed by a solution.
The sixth step is adding an introduction to your speech. The introduction is aimed at getting the attention of your audience. There are several ways to accomplish this, the most common are: relating the topic to the audience, shocking the audience with an intriguing or astonishing statement, questioning the audience, or telling a suspenseful or provocative story. The next phases of the introduction are to state the topic of your speech so the audience will know what you are going to talk about, and to preview the main points of your speech so the audience will know what to listen for.
The seventh step is adding a conclusion to your speech. First, signal to the audience that your speech is coming to a close by using phrases such as “In conclusion,” In closing,” and “Let me end by saying.” Second, reinforce the main point of your speech. You can do this by simply restating your main points, ending with a quotation that summarizes your main points, or by making a dramatic statement that emphasizes your main points.