Public Speaking Outline

This public speaking outline will help you write fantastic speeches. When your talk is well organized, when it flows from one thought to another, you will be on your way to mastering the art of giving speeches.

For general information, go to Public Speaking. Discover why public speaking is important. If you are looking for a topic, you'll find hundreds to choose from. You'll also discover how to find a unique perspective on your choice. Find out how to speak persuasively.

Finally, check out top tips for getting rid of the fear of public speaking and how to master public speaking.  

The Speech Introduction in your Public Speaking Outline

To introduce your topic and grab your audience's attention, you'll need a hook. What is a hook? A hook is a creative device that grabs someone's attention. It could be a catchy phrase, a humorous story or an amazing statistic. It is an important part of your public speaking outline. If you find something really interesting, then it probably has the potential for a great hook. 

Find a Hook

Eight great hooks for your speech

1. An attention getter engages audience.

2. Try a rhetorical question, a question to which the audience knows the answer.

3. Begin with a startling statement, one that will surprise your audience.

4. Use humor to get people laughing right away. Humor is an amazing hook as long as it is relevant to your topic.

5. Give the audience the significance of your topic. Motivate by showing how the topic is relevant to their lives.

6. Give a thesis statement to encapsulate the central idea or purpose of your speech. This is a quick way to underline what you are talking about. The audience gets the point immediately.

7. Preview your speech by giving your three main points.

8. Use a quotation as I have in the introduction to the Toastmaster speech below.

Here's an example of a speech introduction to help you get started

Albert Schweitzer once said, “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success." If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” ‘The Home Run to Happiness.' A couple of weeks ago a long time friend told me a story about two older men she’d seen on the street.
(Tell the story). See more about story telling below.

This story illustrates three aspects of happiness I’d like to talk about – friendship beats money; little things have big meanings and share your problems with friends.

This public speaking outline divides your speech into three main topics. This is best number of topics to start with. Three topics will give you focus, clarity and organization.

Have a look at public speaking for more information. Find out how public speaking will boost your self esteem and earn you success. Learn the importance of public speaking. Check out  topics for public speaking and persuasive speech ideasBecause writing practice helps with speech writing see journal writing.

The Parts of a Speech

 All speeches have an introduction, a body and a conclusion. The best way to get started once you have your topic is to begin a plan and start taking notes. Decide how you'll introduce your topic using the hooks below. Then conduct research for the information in your body.

Follow the guidelines below for the body of your speech and be sure to use transition words to give a rhythm and flow to your talk. Write your ideas as they come to you. Once you have most of your material, write your conclusion using the guidelines below. Edit your speech for repetitions and errors.

Transition Words

Use transition words between the introduction and the body’s first subtopic. Also use them between the other subtopics and before the conclusion.

Because transitions words give your speech a rhythm that's easy to listen to, use them also between words and sentences where you think they work well.

For your public speaking outline,
I'm including many transitions words for you to choose from. If your eyes glaze over with all the detail and you want to get going right away on your speech, skip this section and move right down to "Speech Body."

These words will provide unity, rhythm and flow to your speeches. Use them to link major sub topics and also ideas within sentences, depending upon the purpose of your speech.  Use them to:

give the reason for your statement.

  • consequently
  • clearly, then
  • furthermore
  • additionally
  • and
  • in addition
  • moreover
  • because
  • because
  • besides that
  • in the same way
  • following this further
  • also
  • pursuing this further
  • in the light of the... it is easy to see that

change or contrast your line of reasoning.

  • however
  • on the other hand
  • but
  • yet
  • nevertheless 

 introduce a point

  • certainly  
  • no doubt
  • nobody denies
  • of course
  • to be sure
  • true
  • generally speaking
  • in general
  • at this level
  • in this situation

 provide the final points of your speech

  •  finally

give transitional chains. Use these in your public speaking outline to separate speech sections that are arranged chronologically.

  • first... second... third...
  • in the first place... also... lastly
  • to be sure... additionally... lastly
  • in the first place... just in the same way... finally

conclude your speech.

  • therefore
  • hence (formal speech)
  • in the final analysis
  • in conclusion
  • in final consideration

restate a point within a paragraph in a different way.

  • in other words
  • a point in fact
  • specifically

indicate a sequence or time.

  • after
  • as soon as
  • at first
  • at last
  • before
  • before long
  • finally
  • first... second... third
  • in the first place
  • in the meantime
  • later
  • meanwhile
  • next
  • soon
  • then

Use these transition words in your public speaking outline and your speech will flow.

The Body of Your Speech

This is the largest part of your speech.  

In your public speaking outline, this is where your include most of your speech's information. You've written the introduction and now you can start writing the information for your sub topics.

First decide on the order of importance for delivering your sub-topics:

1. Descending order. Give the most important topic first.

2. Ascending order. Give the least important topic first.

In the speech above, "The Home Run to Happiness," I decided to use a descending order of importance. The order is your choice. You decide the topic you feel is the most or least important to start with. I've chosen to put in my view the most important supporting topic first, sharing problems with friends.

1st sub topic: share your problems with friends.

2nd sub topic: friendship beats money.

3rd sub topic: little things have big meanings.   

Five Ways to Give Support for Your Speech Topics

1. Testimony gives the opinion of an eye-witness or an expert in the field.

2. Analogy is a comparison that reveals likeness or differences. Use these often because they help your audience understand your point of view.

3. Statistics You could use a Decima poll for example -- 'A Decima poll recently concluded ... .'

4. Story Everyone loves to hear a story. As soon as you begin to tell a story, you'll notice that you have your audience's attention. A story has a set-up, climax and conclusion. Suspense, conflict and description will captivate your audience.

Practice telling stories to your friends. "Practice makes perfect" as the saying goes.

5. Examples These can be factual or hypothetical. They illustrate your point.

The Conclusion in your Public Speaking Outline

Review your main points. In this public speaking outline, your final statement should have lasting impact and bring your speech to a close.

You can also end by tying your conclusion to the story you used in your introduction. Try to make your final statement powerful and direct. You could end by pausing and then giving another quotation. 

Ten Top Energizers for Concluding Your Speech

1. ice-breaking jokes
2. inspiring stories
3. vivid pictures
4. fascinating statistics
5. helpful hints
6. spell binding anecdotes
7. memorable poetry
8. interesting verbs
9. slogans
10. a call to action

With this public speaking outline, you have one of the most important tools for effective public speaking. Use this outline or lesson plan and you’ll feel sure and steady when you deliver your speech.

Enjoy the applause. You’ve earned it.

For a helpful introduction to, public speaking. Check out how public speaking will boost your self esteem and earn you success. Find out the importance of public speaking. Have a look at topics for public speaking.
Because writing practice helps with speech writing see at, journal writing

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