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Steps for Writing a Speech

The steps for writing a speech for public speaking are for similar to the steps for writing a presentation in general. However, at each stage of the writing process you need to keep your audience in mind.

Whenever you do any type of writing you need to consider who you are trying to reach with your writing. Speech writing is no different. In general, the more you know about your target audience the more effective your writing will be in reaching them.

While it is deeply satisfying to start putting words on a page, it’s more important to spend a few minutes thinking about what you want this speech or presentation to accomplish. After all, as Yankee great Yogi Berra once remarked, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”

In the example above, you know that your audience is going to be the other members of the Chamber of Commerce who are likely to be small business owners just like you are.


Note that the small business owners who fit in the last two categories could potentially be your clients. It would be a good idea to get a list of the Chamber of Commerce members and look at their websites before you make your speech publicly. You might be able to identify some problems with their existing websites.

Pedagogical Approach

In the example we've been going over, you probably don't need to do a lot of research. And you've already narrowed your topic down. But some public speaking situations may require that that you cover a topic that you are less familiar with.

Learning Outcomes

For most presentations, you'll want to use a professional presentation tool such as PowerPoint, Google Slides, or a similar package. A presentation tool allows you to add visual interest to your public speaking speech. Many of them allow you to add video or audio to further engage your audience.


A presentation template controls the look and feel of your presentation. A good template design can make the difference between a memorable public speech with eye-catching graphics and a dull, forgettable talk.

You could design your own presentation template from scratch. But, if you've never designed a presentation template before, the result might look less than professional. And it could take a long time to get a good template. Plus, hiring a designer to create an original presentation template can be pricey.

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