How to Create a Speech Outline

Creating a speech outline enables you to formalize your thoughts in order so you can construct your speech effectively. The actual writing for the speech comes last. If you prepare a speech outline, your speech writing will be far easier. An outline will not only organize your ideas but help you link your points. It will give your speech focus.

There are many different ways an outline can be written and you should do whatever works best for you but here are some points to keep in mind when creating your speech outline:

1. Divide your outline in to four sections – Topic, Introduction, Body and Conclusion.

2. Under Topic you need to note the topic of your speech, your objectives for the presentation, the type of audience you are presenting to and the main points you wish to cover. Setting out the information like this under Topic will help you analyze what your speech is really going to be about and how you would like to pitch it. Now you can move into the actual speech itself.

3. The Introduction section will look at setting up your speech. You may like to start with an ice breaker so note down how you will do this (with humor, anecdote, quote, etc) This ice breaker will in some way be related to the topic of the speech and it is here that you note the topic/ purpose of your speech, for example, “Discuss the relevance of homework in today’s education system.” Next you will need to present why you are giving the speech – what makes you able to speak knowledgeably on the topic. “Jim asked me to be his Best Man because we’ve know each other since our first day at school.” Following this, you should note the main points you will be discussing and why you will be using these points in your speech. Now you are ready to move on to the body of your speech.

4. In the Body section you will look at your main points further. You will need to move from the introduction with a transition sentence so note this down in your outline. Now write down all your main points and number them in priority. Try to have between three to five points. Keep in mind how much time you have for your speech and delete those that aren’t vital. List all the supporting arguments for each point. Decide the order in which you are going to present your points. Begin with the most important then go to the least and work back up to the main point and re-emphasize this.
5. The Conclusion will be reached with another transition sentence. In this part of the speech you will be re-summarizing the main points and emphasizing the most important ones. You will also need to finish with a sentence that leaves a lasting impression on your audience. You can think of this as a ‘take-away line’ that attendees will use when discussing the merits of your presentation.

Now that your outline is in place you can begin to write your speech.