How to Write an Interpretive Speech

There are many different types of speeches and various ways to write them. An interpretive speech is one that examines a piece of literature and allows the speaker the opportunity to offer his or perspective regarding the original written work. There can be an element of persuasiveness to the interpretive speech. However, it should not express too much bias either for or against the subject, the author or even the method the author used when writing the original work.

How to Write an Interpretive Speech

Step 1

Browse the Internet, your book collection or your local library to find a piece of poetry or prose you wish to interpret.

Step 2

Read your selection thoroughly and several times to help you understand the style, language and meaning. Reading the selection a few times also will help you discover any hidden nuances or metaphors the writing might include.

Step 3

Write down any questions that the selection brings to mind for you, either from the writing or about it. This will help you to choose a question that will be the basis of your interpretive speech.

Step 4

Create an outline that includes these elements -- a question from your own analysis of the original writing, an answer to that question and several reasons to support your answer. It is beneficial to include one opposing point that will help you reaffirm your thesis. (Your thesis is the answer to your question.)

Step 5

Write the first draft of your interpretive speech using your outline as a guide. You may think of other point to include or discover points you want to remove. The first draft is your opportunity to find out what you want to say and how you want to say it.

Step 6

Proofread, edit and revise your first draft into the final draft of your speech. Be sure to check for spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes. These types of errors could affect your presentation of the speech.

Step 7

Ask a friend or family member to read the written draft. This helps to catch any errors or issues you might have missed, overlooked or simply did not consider.

Step 8

Read the speech aloud to yourself and for an audience. This will help you to memorize the speech and to perfect your presentation for your real performance.

Things You'll Need

  • A selection from a piece of literature, such as a poem.
  • Writing materials -- pen and paper
  • Or, computer, printer and word processing program
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