How To Organise Your Speech

Tell them what you’re going to tell them.
Then tell them.
Then tell them what you’ve told them.*

Thesis statement / Main Topic / Introduction
Reasoning / Body

This is the recipe for keeping your audience on track. Rambling may be an interesting architecture style, but when you give a speech, stay on target.

Tell them what you’re going to tell them

Telling your audience what you are going to tell them is the integral part of introduction. Start preparing you presentation from the conclusion and then let other points lead smoothly to it. It is recommended in most cases that the introduction includes at least the hint of the conclusion you’re aiming at.

My point is … / The purpose of my speech is … / I want to show … / You will see …
I’m going to tell you about: 1, 2, 3, …
First thing I’m going to tell you about is …, then …, and finally …

Then, in the process of presentation you regain people’s attention or bring them back on the right track:

And now the second thing, …

Reminding about the order is one way of keeping people involved.

Then tell them
The Body

Might be constructed in a number of ways but always in a logical order.

1. Argument / Point 1 leads to argument 2, which leads to argument 3.

1 > 2 > 3

2. Support material, e.g. examples for arguments – separate points.

Ex 1 – Arg 1
Ex 2 – Arg 2
Ex 3 – Arg 3

3. For & Against


Arg 1
Arg 2


Arg 3
Arg 4

4. Just tell them a story …

From the beginning … to the end.

Then tell them what you’ve told them
The Conclusion

Usually, a conclusion should be just the rephrased introduction, if possible with some strong point or quotation to emphasize our message to leave the audience intrigued or moved.
Avoid rambling ‘baroque’ endings. There should be a single, clear conclusion resulting from the reasoning and anticipated in the introduction.

*This popular quote has been traced back by Quote Investigator to 1908.
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Monika Wasilewska-Serwiak
Toastmasters Szczecin
Passionate Speakers

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