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14 Useful tips to Structure a Speech like a Pro.

One of the biggest initial obstacles when speaking in public is the enormous task of putting everything you want to say in an order that not only explains exactly what you want to say but that makes it accessible to the Audience. Learning how to organise your thoughts and constructing your Speech is a skill that is vital to learn. Here are some useful pieces of advice to guide you!


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Get the principal points right.

Structure is the absolute basic requirement of any speech. You must have a clear, logical structure that your audience can follow easily without getting lost, confused or distracted by flaws in the order of your principal points.

Identify your Core Message

Pretend that your speech in its entirety had to be summed up in one sentence. That sentence is the core message of your speech and it is the central issue that affects all the structural elements you’ll need; opening, closing, 3 to 5 main points and their sub divisions.

Make it easy to Follow

Easy to follow does not mean that your content has to be dumbed down, childish or simplified. You can present extremely complicated themes and concepts but how you connect them to create a speech that flows, entertains, challenges and informs has to be easy to follow.

Don’t lose your audience

Expect resistance from the audience if you haven’t put in the work of making your speech clear and logical. No audience wants to be made feel lost, confused or stupid and it the quickest way for you as a speaker to lose their attention.

Count out the main points you want to cover in your speech.

3 to 5 is a good guide not 47! These can then be subdivided (always into clear, interconnecting, logical blocks please!) to build up a speech where the audience, and their attention, is with you the entire time.

Say it Right

How you say it is one of the three pieces of advice Cicero gave about public speaking. Know who you are talking to, what you want to say and how you want to say it. Adapt your content, using the circular structure we explain at Speechstorming, for the audience you’re speaking to on any given day.

Interconnect Ideas

Speechstorming workshops always include in-depth work on the circular structure of a speech and how radiating outwards from your core message you create a circle of interconnecting idea. Check out our videos for more information!

Invest some Time and Energy

Time and energy invested in the structure of your speech will pay enormous dividends. An audience that is following your beautifully laid out, engaging speech, full of wonderful content us an audience that is listening to your ideas. See Nancy Duarte’s TED video on speech structure as soon as you can!

Organising your thoughts

A cluttered speech full of too many thoughts, ideas, facts, statistics, notions, concepts, themes and conclusions is guaranteed to leave the audience shell shocked and turned off!


Restraint, restraint, restraint

Restraint when it comes to power point! It is an effective tool, and wonderfully supportive friend and ally, when used correctly to guide people along your speech. It will turn on you and become your greatest enemy if it is so full of information that the audience has to read it and not listen to you.

Move away from the screen when you use power point.

Don’t look at your slides fanatically and don’t allow them to absorb you into the screen like the little girl in Poltergeist! Your audience is in front of you not on the screen behind you!

Use your Brains

Ingenuity is a fundamental part of being human. If you don’t like the speech structures that people offer to you then invent your own, just be sure to remember that clarity and logic should always be the cornerstone of your speech structure!

Manage your audience’s Attention

Notice if your audience appears confused and react to that. Don’t ignore it and continue on regardless thereby confusing them even more. If you see they are not following you then do something about it as quickly as you can.

Get some Feedback

Get feedback on your speech structure before you speak. Show it to a friend, a colleague, an acquaintance or a complete stranger if necessary! Ask them if what you have laid out makes sense to them, insist they explain in detail if they were confused and by what. The speech is yours but it is for the audience.

Structure is the DNA of your speech and learning to use it effectively will allow you to construct speeches that will showcase you at your best. For more information on speech structure and the wonderful world of public speaking check out our course on public speaking

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14 Useful tips to Structure a Speech like a Pro.


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