I used to be a member of Toastmaster International for some years and have earned several best speaker awards.  Maybe I should re-join the club and link up with my old pals.  Anyway, what prompted me to re-read my old blog post and re-edit it was a speech drafted by a boy.  I thought that maybe you can learn from what I learnt as a member of Toastmaster International         



How to write a powerful speech and presentation?


I would outline the speech in three sections: Introduction/Thesis, Main Body and Conclusion.

Note:  The following examples are provided for illustration purpose. By the way, I am not interested in pointless political debate nor do I have time for that.



  1. Introduction / Thesis (10%):


Spend about thirty seconds of your speech on introduction.  Your purpose is to grab the audience’s attention and their interest to listen to what you have to say.  To increase their interest or grab their attention, you can start with a joke, a question, or an interesting comment. Then ease into the thesis of your speech, the core message that you try to convey, the very message that you want the audience to remember and take home with. 


For example:


Honorable judges and fellow schoolmates.  It is my pleasure to be here with you.  Before I dive into my speech, can anyone of you point out to me where Taiwan is?  Have you been to Taiwan?  Is it part of China?  Is it a democratic country? 


Many of you might have confused Taiwan to be part of China.  What I am going to do today is to uncloud your confusion and at the same time urge you to talk to your congressman to help Taiwan fight against the Chinese Communist’s claim over Taiwan.  Taiwan’s sovereignty rests upon the Taiwanese people, not the Chinese, not the Japanese nor the Americans.  Please join me in saying No to China.   


  1. Main Body (75%)


The main body is the heart of your speech.  Here, you would state reasons and provide examples, details, anecdotes and supporting evidence.  List three to five points.  Remember, to deliver an effective speech, you must know your audience and keep them interested throughout the speech.  


This is the structure of your main body. 

Main idea or topic

         A.   Supporting idea or sub-topic

             1.  Details or examples

             2.  Details or examples

                    a.  More details

                    b.  More details

                         i.   Further explanations

                         ii.  Further explanations

        B.  Supporting idea or sub-topic


For example:


What do we want to say “No” to China? 

  1. No to China’s claim over Taiwan
  2. No to China’s bully and threat to Taiwan



1)       China does not own Taiwan’s sovereignty.  Provide details and supporting evidence

2)     Why should we stop China’s bully and threat to Taiwan? Provide details and supporting evidence. 

3)     What will be the consequence of allowing China’s bully and threat to Taiwan?  Provide details and supporting evidence. 


  1. Conclusion (15%)


Conclusion is an opportunity for you to summarize your main points and to emphasize your points, so your audience will leave memorizing your speech.  The conclusion can be used to give advice, to appeal for help, and to encourage or inspire into action. 


In the end, remember to thank your audience for listening. 



For example:


As I stated earlier, Taiwanese own the sovereignty over Taiwan.  Taiwan is not part of China and has never been ruled under the Chinese Communist.  It exercises democracy vs. communism.  It values humanity vs. terrorism. 


Please talk to your congressman and help Taiwan fight against China to maintain its sovereignty.  We are asking you to stand up for the principles embodied in the Charter of the United Nations that give the Taiwanese people the right of self-determination and the right to determine their own future.  Please respect the right of the Taiwanese people as they choose to live with dignity and humanity in a country, Taiwan, which they call home. 




** Please remember, you will be able to memorize the speech and deliver it more effectively if you write it yourself.


How to deliver a powerful speech and presentation?

1)       Don't make it too hard for yourself to remember.

a)     Know your material. Use humor, personal stories and conversational language – that way you won't easily forget what to say. 

b)    Practice, pause and breathe.

c)     Get rid of elements that will detract your central message.

2)     Start with eye contact.

a)     Try to connect with your audience.  Slowly gaze throughout the room and try to make eye contacts with each one of your audience. 

b)    Smile! Relax! Express emotion with your facial muscles.

3)     Make gestures convincing.

a)     Start hand gestures from the shoulder.  Watch your poses. 

b)    Avoid distracting mannerisms such as fidgeting, lip biting, and hands in the pockets or behind the back.

c)     Avoid excessive gestures.

d)    Highlight the action verbs and look for ways to act out one or more parts. Speaking about fishing.  Swing your arm out to signal the act of fishing.

e)     Vary your speaking position by moving from one spot on the stage to another. For example, walk towards the audience as you pass materials such as photos. 

4)     Telling a story

a)     People like to listen to stories.  To captivate your audience and make your speech more memorable, integrate stories or anecdotes in your speech.  Make sure that the stories and the anecdotes deliver your core message.      

5)     Use visual aids

a)     Use pictures or graphics to illustrate your points. Pictures get their message across instantly and completely.



One last point I want to mention is your passion on the subject, which is the key to writing and delivering powerful speech and presentation. 

 ** 版權所有 - Elisa English


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