Often, when we approach public speaking we tend to view the individual speech in the broad terms of what a speech is rather than the details of what a speech is made of. The perfect speech outline is important because the task requires the speaker to lay out the details of the speech which lends confidence on the podium. The basic speech outline also works to highlight what is not needed in the speech and what is most important. A basic speech outline template provides the tool to achieve this confidence and cohesion in the delivery of the speech.
A basic speech outline is very simple and goes a little something like this.
Everything we do in communication starts with a greeting of some kind. New business and acquaintance introductions being with a greeting; our mornings begin with a greeting; telephone calls; office memos; even shopping begins with a greeting. Delivering a speech is no different. Just like any other greeting, when speaking publicly, your speech should have a simple greeting that includes who you are.
This is also a good time to publicly thank the appropriate individuals or institutions. If you’re speaking at a charity function, mention a quick thanks to its host. If you were introduced before taking the podium then thank the person who introduced you. At the very least, thank the audience for their attendance and attention.
Get your audience’s attention. Tell a joke, or mention a curious fact that is out of scope for your speech but relevant to the audience. Consider the audience rather than the speaker here. This is where you cast the bait to hook their attention.
Into the subject matter: This is a very brief transition that will allow you, the speaker, to move from your introductions and into the content matter of your speech.
Make your point:
If your speech is informative in nature then summarize the contents of that information here. If your speech is argumentative then state your position. If your speech is of scientific matter then state your theses.
Have you ever listened to someone talk or speak and wonder why they’re commenting on specific content? Or have you ever watched a debate and thought: “Wow, she really knows what she’s talking about?” When delivering a speech you’ll want more of the latter, and none of the former. Tell your audience why you’re qualified to speak on the subject at hand. This doesn’t have to be a list of degrees. It can be the occasion that led you being invited or asked to give a speech.
This is a brief overview of the main points of your speech. This can be as simple as a brief statement that voices the headers in your outline.
The Main body:
This is the main content of your speech and the reason for your podium visit. This section is the most structured portion of your speech and your speech outline. It’s also the reason why so much importance is ascribed to a speech outline.
The structure here is:
First point or strongest argument
Transition to next point
When developing your speech body, consider your time limits. If the purpose of your speech is to provide an argument time restraints may only allow for three to five points. If you’re a guest speaker at a conference with a 90 minute slot, organization here will be the key to keeping your audience’s attention.
Signal to the end:
It’s a short transition that signals your audience that your speech is nearing its end. Summarize your main points and remember that the time to introduce information is in your speech body, not here.
Restate your original thesis, argument or summary.
Your final thoughts should be a statement that will leave your audience something to remember.
A quick Thank You for the audience’s attention and the opportunity to speak. This should be short and sweet. Don’t linger. Just say give your thanks, and exit stage left.
Here are some templates to help you:
Basic Speech Outline Template
Basic Speech Outline for PDF
Speech Outline Format
Informative Speech Outline Template
Sample Informative Speech Outline Template for PDF
Informative Speech Outline Example
Preparation Outline Template for Introduction Speech
Introduction Speech Outline Example
Sample Introduction Speech Outline
Self Introduction Speech Outline Template
Speech Preparation Outline Sample
Speech Preparation Outline Example
Expository Speech Outline Template
Demonstration Speech Outline Template
Demonstrative Speech Outline Example
Demonstration Speech Outline Sample
Formal Speech Outline Template for Word
Commemorative Speech Outline Example
Sample Commemorative Speech
Elevator Speech Outline Example
Eulogy Speech Outline Example
Extemporaneous Speech Outline for PDF
Extemporaneous Speech Outline Sample
Persuasive Speech Outline Template for Word
Individual Persuasive Speech Outline Template
Persuasive Speech Outline Template (Plus Guide)
Persuasive Speech Outline for PDF
Sample Persuasive Speech Outline
Speech Outline Sample Format
Sample Acceptance Speech Outline
Gradation Speech Outline Example
Narrative Speech Outline
Ceremonial Speech Outline Sample
Speech Presentation Outline Example
Special Occasion Speech Outline Template for Word
Persuasion Speech Outline Template for PDF
Career Speech Outline Template for PDF
Hero Speech Outline for PDF
Speech Outline Format and Reference Guide
Some tips for preparing a speech outline:
- Most speeches or speech outlines will only have three to five main points- Making decisions about what is most important and relevant to your audience is a process greatly aided by the speech outline
- The average audience will give a speaker about 7 minutes before losing interest- This is neither conscious nor intentional. Stand-up comedy acts are just about the only exception to this rule. However, even with this allowance the speaker must still gain the audience’s attention. This need not be humiliating or extravagant. It can be as simple as a clean, quick joke; a relevant short poem; a simple quote; or an interesting fact.
- Practice your speech- Practice your speech in front of a mirror with a stopwatch to perfect your pace, delivery, and body language.
- Write it out- When assembling your speech outline write out your greeting, hook, thesis or main argument, credentials, preview, and transition statements in full sentences to prefect them and their delivery.
- Know your audience- Knowing your audience and fully understanding the purpose of your speech will better help you to make decisions on important points. .
- A properly completed speech outline organizes speech delivery so that the audience can make sense of what they’re hearing. A well developed and delivered speech lends credibility to the speaker and to the organization they are speaking for.