What makes the best public speakers so enigmatic and memorable? How are they able to capture and retain the attention of their audience for so long? Aside from practicing good delivery, their secret is also in the way they write speeches.
We can call a presentation a success if the audience is able to connect and engage with the speaker. To get there, they need to be able to follow the flow and logic of your arguments. While having a PowerPoint deck can certainly help in that front, the way you share information is just as crucial.
According to John Coleman of the Harvard Business Review, too many speakers make the mistake of reciting an essay for their audience. Instead of working on a speech that’s concise and straight to the point, they tend to overwhelm audiences with a laundry list of information. For a successful presentation, don’t forget that a speech and an essay are two different things.
With that in mind, here are three speech writing tips to help you out:
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Keep it short and simple
When writing a speech, be mindful of the difference between our ability to learn information orally and visually. As Coleman puts it,
The average adult reads 300 words per minute, but people can only follow speech closely at around 150-160 words per minute. Similarly, studies have shown auditory memory is typically inferior to visual memory, and while most of us can read for hours, our ability to focus on a speech is more constrained.
It will be easier for your audience to remember what you’re saying if you practice brevity and simplicity. Don’t complicate your speech by going into too many details. Stick to the points that is crucial to what you want people to takeaway. Start by outlining all your ideas and slowly trimming the list down as you begin writing your speech.
Constantly review previous points and use ‘signposts’
Remember when you would have to read an essay for class? If there were things you couldn’t understand, you can simply reread a certain passage as many times as you want. Unfortunately, that won’t be possible for the people listening to you speak. Aside from keeping it brief, your speech also needs a structure that the audience can easily identify and follow. Divide your key points into three main segments and introduce them right away as you begin your speech:
In your introduction, state your thesis and then lay out the structure of your speech ahead of time (e.g., “we’ll see this in three ways: x, y, and z”).
Coleman also suggests using what he calls ‘signposts’. Words like “first of all,” “next” and “finally” signal to the audience that you’re transitioning from one idea to the next.
Focus on telling a story
As we’ve discussed in the past, storytelling should always be an integral part of any presentation. Especially when you have to data to share, Coleman suggests that it’s better to stick with a story. Instead of reciting a list of statistics, it would be better if you zeroed in on the narrative behind the numbers:
Neuroscience has shown that the human brain was wired for narrative…. Lead or end an argument with statistics. But never fall into reciting strings of numbers or citations. Your audience will better follow, remember, and internalize stories.
It will also help if you stick with language that’s highly visual. Make use of metaphors and analogies to perfectly illustrate what your data or statistics mean.
Coleman, John. “A Speech Is Not an Essay.” Harvard Business Review. 2014. Accessed September 12, 2014.
Nelson, Brett. “Do You Read Fast Enough To Be Successful?” Forbes. Accessed September 12, 2014.
Widrich, Leo. “The Science of Storytelling: Why Telling a Story Is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains.” Lifehacker. Accessed December 5, 2014.
Featured Image: Marijn de Vries Hoogerwerff via Flickr
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50 Best Persuasive Speech & Essay Topics: Ideas and Writing Tips
A persuasive essay is aimed at convincing the reader to agree with a chosen idea and to motivate them to adopt your point of view. In fact, working on this assignment, you should prove that one idea is more legitimate than another by using a series of logical arguments.
A persuasive essay seems to have a lot in common with an argumentative essay. But crafting the last one you should create a discussion to showcase that your point of view is valid. At the same time, writing a persuasive essay, you have to present all reasons why your opinion can be considered as the only correct one. No doubt, whether you’re taking a stand against junk food at school or trying to convince a professor to accept your late paper, the ability to create a compelling persuasive essay is necessary to help you get your point across clearly.
Every student knows that in most cases you get a particular topic assigned. But sometimes you can be asked to select one yourself. Freedom of choice is great. On the other hand, it can turn into a daunting task, especially when you’re not sure whether or not your choice is good. To help you with this challenge, we’ve created a list of winning persuasive essay topics.
How to choose a great topic for your persuasive essay
The first thing you have to realize looking for a perfect topic is that your opinion is what matters the most. When it comes to a persuasive essay, don’t try to please your teacher by choosing something that would be interesting just for them. When you’re allowed to write about anything you want, never rely on someone’s thoughts about the topic you like as a pivotal criterion for your decision.
Finding the topic of your interest will help you work harder on your project and show your style in the best way possible. Besides, it’ll give you the added motivation to persuade the reader and choose appropriate evidence, facts, and details to achieve this goal.
Here are some useful tips to help you choose the right topic:
- Begin with a brainstorm. Discuss some topic ideas with your friends or other students. The primary goal of brainstorming is to generate a variety of unique ideas everyone can use. Doing so, you’ll certainly find your perfect essay title easily and faster.
- Write down your thoughts and ideas. Take notes concerning all potential topics you can consider. After that prioritize them and meditate which one is the best for your paper.
- Narrow the chosen topic. A broad subject always seems easier to write about as you can find a lot of materials about it. Still, you should make your topic more specific. Why? The answer is simple: if you want to persuade the reader to adopt your opinion, your essay has to be clear and precise.
- Conduct a research. Your paper should be supported with proven facts and details, as you have to present different reasons why your point of view is correct. Therefore, you have to find enough substantial evidence for the particular topic.
- Follow your passion. Never miss a chance to discuss something you genuinely like or feel passionate about. Learn more about your interests and show your in-depth knowledge of the subject.
Always keep in mind that a perfect persuasive essay should be persuasive. The bottom line is that you’re not going to compose another informative paper. It really has to be persuasive. Take into consideration our suggestions on persuasive essay topics.
Easy persuasive essay topics
- Does social media create isolation?
- Should citizens be allowed to keep exotic pets?
- Does the school day start too early?
- Should soda be sold to children in restaurants?
- Should breastfeeding be allowed in public places?
- Are we too dependent on technology?
- Should parents go to jail if their children do something illegal?
- Is professional football too dangerous for players?
- Are athletes overpaid?
- Should a relaxed dress code be allowed in the workplace?
Controversial essay topics
- Is hunting good if it brings in money for the local businesses?
- Should single parents be allowed to adopt?
- Is climate change is more political than scientific?
- Should euthanasia be allowed?
- Do the ways of solving Israeli-Palestinian conflict exist?
- Is sex orientation determined in childhood?
- Is capital punishment a crime?
- Should both parents be certified in order to have children?
- Does religious freedom exist for most people all over the world?
- Does genetics determine human behavior?
The best essay topics for college
- Is online education just as good as classroom learning?
- Does smartphone use lower levels of concentration and focus?
- Should girls be allowed on the wrestling and football teams?
- Should you marry a person with the same educational level as you?
- Is working while in college something everyone ought to do?
- Should universities require every student to learn a foreign language?
- Are private schools better than public schools?
- Does homeschooling prepare students for college?
- Do grades measure how smart you are?
- Should people read more books?
Master’s degree essay topics
- Are there such things as good and evil?
- Does happiness comes from helping others?
- Should our country have free health care?
- Do magazine advertisements send unhealthy signals to young women?
- Should we pay for Internet access?
- Should smokers pay a healthy tax?
- Should people with terminal illnesses have the right to doctor assisted suicides?
- Should the driving age be raised to twenty-one?
- Do celebrities do good role models for kids?
- How does violence on TV affect people?
Still can’t choose a topic? We can help.
If after reading a list of really great topics, you still can’t choose one to write about, feel free to ask GradeMiners for assistance. Our qualified academic experts will help you find a perfect persuasive essay topic according to all your requirements and write a custom-tailored model answer.
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