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How to Give a Good 8th-Grade Speech

by Dr. Kelly S. Meier

Giving a speech isn’t difficult if you break it down into manageable tasks. Before you begin, be sure to have the specific guidelines for the assignment. Your teacher should provide you with a rubric that provides information about topic selection, time limit and the points that will be awarded for each aspect of your assignment.

Preparation

Selecting a topic that you feel passionate about and will be meaningful for your audience is critical to your success. If you are excited about the subject, writing your speech will be easier. Start by brainstorming the main points that you want to include. Use these points to create an outline. It is important to consider your audience as you are building the foundation for your speech. The combination of your enthusiasm and a topic that is interesting to your audience will make you more confident when delivering the finished product.

Speech Assembly

Your speech should have three parts: an introduction, a middle and a closing section. Begin by presenting the topic of your speech with an interesting opening that will capture the attention of your audience. Use a joke, fact or quote to accomplish this. The middle of your speech should contain critical information and facts that explain your topic. Finally, the ending should reinforce your main points. Make sure you explain your topic in a way that is easy for your audience to understand. You should also use phrases to connect the main points of your speech. For example, "Now that we have learned about how to cook this recipe, let's move on to the best way to present it to your guests." This will help your audience know when you have moved on to a new point.

Speech Delivery

Writing a well-constructed speech is only part of what it takes to be successful. Now you need to work on how you will deliver the information. It is important that you look confident by standing tall and holding your head up high. Avoid reading your speech directly from your notes. If you use note cards, they should only serve as a reminder. Show as much emotion as you can to keep your audience interested. You will also want to speak loudly enough so everyone in the room can hear you. Finally, most people speak faster when they are nervous. Slow your speech down and purposely emphasize key words to help your audience remember key points.

Practice Makes Perfect

Give the speech to yourself so that you can hear what you have written. Consider recording or videoing yourself so that you hear and see what you look like. If you know your material, you will be more comfortable when you are in front of your audience. Once you master your speech, you will be able to focus on projecting your voice, maintaining eye contact with your audience and showing emotion. You can’t practice too much!

About the Author

Dr. Kelly S. Meier is a professor and college administrator for a large public institution in Minnesota. She received her undergraduate degree from Western Illinois University and her master's degree and doctorate from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She has published more than 15 books on education, group development and diversity.

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