Junior and Intermediate students at Allan A. Greenleaf have a great opportunity to gain experience writing speeches and speaking in front of an audience. Students can participate in an oral communication festival at the end of February (the specific date will be shared soon). Students will need to work on their speech writing at home. We will have students deliver their speeches within our class for evaluation before the whole school competition. Students can practice in from of classmates and the teacher will their are drafting their speech.
The first place winner for each division will move on to compete at their Family of Schools’ Competition.
The contents should be informative and must be the work of the contestant. There can be some element of research; e.g., 10% must be reflected in the prepared speech; however, it must not be a verbatim copy of some other work. Information sources might be the Internet, books, media or people. Each speech needs to be submitted in a word document. Hand written speeches will not be accepted. The file name for each school needs to include the student’s name, the title of the speech and the name of the school. Junior level speeches should be between 2 and 4 minutes long.
Questioners will ask three questions of the participants. The questions will be written by a committee and read by a questioner.
Audio and visual Aids
● Microphones and lecterns may be used. Visual aids of any kind are not permitted.
Are you ready to make a speech?
How to pick a topic
It is important that you keep the following points in mind:
● Who is your audience?
● What could be appealing to the audience?
● How much do they know about your subject?
Consider any of the following ideas:
● Use your own personal experience to tell about something
● Choose a topic you find interesting and are wondering about
● Interview a person who is of interest to you.
● Relate a current or historic issue in which you have an interest, using a variety of
● Share a topic you feel passionate, excited and/or concerned about.
● Discuss a topic of social importance to you, your community or the larger global
Gather lots of information. Use resources such as library books, reference books, newspapers, the internet, museum, people and other media. Then choose special ideas that your audience would like to hear about. Remember, your speech should be informative original and show some evidence of research
● Break your speech into three parts: an introduction, the body of the speech and the closing.
● Be aware of your audience. Acknowledge them in your introduction. An audience makes up its mind very quickly. Once the mood is set, it is difficult to change it, which is why introductions are important. Within the first few sentences of your speech, it should be very clear to the audience what the focus/topic is. It is not advisable to say, “Today, I am going to talk to you about…” or “My speech is about…” Try to be creative! Capture your audience’s attention.
Main Body of the Speech
● Decide what you are trying to do; tell a story, convince people that you have a great idea, inspire people with tales of courage or loyalty, give special instructions or share information of interest to people.
● Select your information critically and creatively to best support your topic.
● Organize the contents in a logical, sequential, and meaningful order. Use your own
● Try to engage your audience.
● The ending does not present any new information; however, it should reflect the
overall key ideas of your speech and be memorable.
Set the main points down on small index cards, but remember, an audience loses touch with the speaker when he/she is constantly checking his/her notes. It is helpful to memorize the beginning and ending. Know your topic well and just talk to the audience. An audience won’t know about your spelling, but they will know if you mispronounce words or use them incorrectly.
Look at your audience. Remember to smile at your audience (unless your speech is very serious). A little humour can add to the effectiveness of delivery, but it is a speech, not an act
Most speakers have stage fright. There is no cure for this. In fact, it usually helps the speaker.
At the conclusion, smile at the audience, stand back, and wait for the applause and the questions.
Below is a link to previous communications festival speeches. It is great idea to watch these students from our board and pick up successful strategies from them.