The Three Major Parts of a Speech

No speech is complete without an introduction, body and conclusion. If used correctly these three parts of a speech will engage, inform and motivate your audience.

Introduction

The introduction should include a hook to interest the listener. It might be a story, quotation, rhetorical question, hypothetical or direct situation, or a startling fact or statistic. An introduction also establishes relevance and credibility. Tell your audience why the speech matters. If you need to establish your credentials as an authority on the topic, this is the part of a speech to do that. The thesis gives your audience a preview of your main points. For example, you might introduce a speech on driving fast like this: "According to the state Highway Patrol, driving over the speed limit is the cause of over half of all fatal crashes. Many people lose loved ones in car crashes, and I am no different. My sister died last year in a wreck caused by speeding. I will discuss the hazards of speeding and discuss practical ways to slow down."

Body

Next, the body of the speech discusses the details of the speech’s main points. It also includes transitions to help the reader follow you. For example, you might say, “Now that we have discussed the reasons to not drive fast, let’s turn our attention to ways to decrease speed.” The points you make during the body of the speech should be short and concise.

Conclusion

Finally, the conclusion restates your main points and includes the clincher, which encourages the listener to think about the topic more deeply and to take action on it. For instance, “Today we have discussed the hazards of driving too fast and ways to prevent it. Now, please reflect on your own driving habits to see if you can save someone’s life by slowing down.”

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About the Author

Leyla Norman has been a writer since 2008 and is a certified English as a second language teacher. She also has a master's degree in development studies and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology.