What is a Speech?
Speech is the delivery of a message to an audience via the spoken word. It is often used to persuade the audience to support an idea, or to explain/describe an interesting topic or event.
This question mostly appears in Paper 1 of your English Language and Literature question paper.
Features of Speech Writing
You will be given a reading booklet insert containing the passage for the speech writing. Read through the passage carefully. The adjacent question will be provided in the question paper booklet.
You would have to choose relevant points from the passage after having a thorough understanding of the question.
Now, convert the passage's selected points into your own words. After that, you can start putting the points together in a cohesive manner in the form of an effective speech.
Let’s take a look at how to convert the selected points from the passage into your own words.
“We could only see barren mountains despite walking for four hours. There were no other travellers on the mountain except a few lonely dwellings.”
"Four hours had passed, and all we could see were barren mountains. The route was devoid of other travellers; the only sign of human habitation was a couple of tiny, isolated dwellings."
Can you see how I modified the sentence structure and words from the highlighted section without altering the paragraph's meaning? This is how it's done; it's not easy at first, but with practise, it will become easier.
- A speech shouldn't be a stream of consciousness, it should rather be well planned out. It should seem effortless and smooth. Make sure that you bring out a strong sense of voice and use words that are simple yet impactful.
Let’s look at an example of an impactful and powerful speech from history and analyse it to understand better.
“we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”
Winston Churchill, 4 June, 1940
This speech was delivered by Winston Churchill in 1940 during adverse situations to inspire people to come together and fight on. If we take a closer look at the highlighted text we see repetitions of phrases and a rhyme scheme cleverly embedded into the speech. This evokes feelings of awe in us. We are automatically drawn to the articulation and our hearts pound in patriotism.
This is precisely the effect a speech should have on people. Your speech need not necessarily evoke awe but it should convey the message in an effective and efficient manner.
Always write your speech in the first person point of view. Since you are the person who is delivering the speech in front of an audience.
You may need to refer to the audience at times during your speech; in those situations, it is better to use the term we. Why, you may wonder, because it evokes a sense of unity rather than division. When giving a speech, this is a vital consideration. As seen in the example above, Churchill uses we repetitively thus inspiring the listeners. It unites the crowd and creates a sense of oneness in them.
Have clear topic sentences with separate ideas for each paragraph. It need not be mentioned but should have an idea what each paragraph should be about. This helps your speech be coherent and not mixed up.
Use informal language to connect with the audience, using high diction will create no effect in the minds of the audience. The message may be unclear, misconstrued or confusing.
Usage of emotive language, rhetorical questions, comparison are advisable. As seen in the example above Churchill has used emotive language via rhythm and repetition.
Keep the sentences short so you don’t deviate from the topic. This makes sure that the listener is following you and you don’t lose track of your sentence. It also ensures your sentence structure is perfect.
Here’s an Example:
Read Passage A in the insert and answer this question
You are the Head Guide, Chris (Peter’s boss). You are responsible for training the safari guides. When a group of new trainee guides arrives at the camp, you give a talk to prepare them for what lies ahead.
Write the words of your talk.
In your talk, you should:
- describe the range of attractions Idube Camp and the area around it have to offer and how these might appeal to guests
- explain what being a trainee guide is like – the kind of activities they will be asked to do and what they should and should not do as trainees
- suggest what makes a good safari guide, the challenges of the job and the personal qualities they will need to develop.
Welcome to Idube Camp! I hope you are excited for the new experience of the camp. There are many exciting things ready for you to explore, one of them is the safari drives where you can see dangerous animals in their habitat and how they interact with each other. Secondly, there will be guided walks where the safari guides will explain the surroundings and tell what you missed during the walk. Lastly, there are dinner nights with delicious food and service with socializing under the starlight. The place is decorated with lanterns.
Being a trainee guide one should remain calm at all times. You should always be the ones to lead the group. Trainees are also required to carry liquid drinks to Bush Camp. My advice to you is to never run whatever you do. Try to never forget this point as it is essential and crucial.
What makes a good safari guide are the little things which are often overlooked. The in-depth knowledge of trees, birds and insects will help you. You should also be aware of taking shortcuts and changing paths when required. There are also some challenges guides should overcome first of all, carrying cans when they happen to let go of the wheelbarrow. It is also important to know the different bird calls to know whether they are alarm calls against predators or you. This will help you in navigation and protection.
So, I hope you are excited to begin this journey with us. We welcome you to Camp Idube with all our hearts! Thank you!
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