The sample speech outline template below will help clarify what you want to say as well as help organize your material.
Once done, your outline will form the backbone of your speech guiding you logically and sequentially through all the aspects you need to consider before you write the speech itself.
Why bother with an outline?
Because completing one is a critical step in preparing a successful speech.
It is often overlooked in a misguided effort to get on with the real work of writing the speech itself. The outline is seen as a waste of time!
But truly, you will save time through doing one and avoid any anxiety caused by inadequate preparation.
It might look daunting and horrifically time consuming but do it all the same.
What you'll learn about structure, matching content to your speech purpose and your audience's needs will pay you back over and over again. I promise you, completing an outline will make your speech giving easier!
Read the page through to familiarize yourself with the terms and the process. When you're done, download and print off the blank sample speech outline for your own use.
The process of outlining a speech is broken down into 4 essential steps.
(Click a heading to find out more about each one)
Remember this old saying?
First: tell them what you're going to tell them.
Second: tell them.
Third: tell them what you told them.
A simple sample speech outline uses all three.
Topic - decide what you are going to talk about
For example: residential real estate
Audience - consider who will be listening to you and what aspects of your topic are best suited to meet their needs
The scope of the topic 'residential real estate' is huge. A speech could cover financial advice for first home buyers, how to check a house before purchase, the rise of mortgagee default sales, the collapse of property development schemes ...
Before you settle on the exact content of your speech analyze your audience. Why should they listen to you? What's in your speech for them?
Refine or Limit Topic - re-frame in view of your audience - decide on the angle you will take and whether or not you need to limit the scope
Your audience analysis should tell you what will be of interest. For example housing affordability with a step by step plan toward buying a first home will likely interest an audience of youngish, (late 20's-30's), people with steady professional incomes. But for another audience, (e.g. older, less financially secure, younger and not yet ready to consider settling ...), it could be completely inappropriate.
Define Purpose - Why are you giving this speech? Is it to persuade, inform, demonstrate, entertain, or welcome? Or is it a combination of these?
What do you want it to achieve? What action do you want people to take as a result of listening to you? Your answers to all of these questions will dictate what organizational pattern you'll use for your speech, its content and tone.
There are 6 basic organizational patterns or methods of arranging the body of your material. Choose the one most appropriate for your need.
Note: If you're unsure about the exact nature of links or transitions and how they work or what they are, you'll find more about them, with examples, on my page how to write a speech
This is a simple 2 page PDF of all 4 steps and their sub- headings with spaces for you to write your notes. Right click to download and print your sample speech outline now.
Please note you will need Adobe Reader (the latest version is recommended) installed on your computer in order to open and read this PDF. If you haven't got it you can get it here (a new window will open so you can download it without leaving this page).
If you want to open the file in your browser window, just click on the link. However, if you want to download the file to view later, then right-click on the link and choose "Save Target As" or "Save File As." Then select where you want to save the file on your hard drive.
Once you have saved the file, locate where you saved it, and double click to open.
In order to print the blank sample speech outline, open the downloaded file, and select the "Print" option from the menu.
Once you're done with planning, completing your sample speech outline and writing do find out about how to rehearse. A speech is a live performance. Rehearsal helps you expose and iron out glitches before you find them out the hard way - in front of your audience.
And if your speech is being assessed check out this standard speech evaluation form to see what aspects are likely to be judged and how a rating scale works.
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