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Speech Writing

Speech Examples

Barbara P

20+ Outstanding Speech Examples for Your Help

speech examples

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Public speaking can be daunting for students. They often struggle to start, engage the audience, and be memorable. 

It's a fear of forgetting words or losing the audience's interest. This leads to anxiety and self-doubt. 

You may wonder, "Am I boring them? Will they remember what I say? How can I make my speech better?"

The solution lies in speech examples. In this guide, we'll explore these examples to help students create captivating and memorable speeches with confidence. So, keep reading to find helpful examples!

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  • 1. Speech Examples 
  • 2. Tips to Write a Good Speech

Speech Examples 

Talking in front of a bunch of audiences is not as easy as it seems. But, if you have some good content to deliver or share with the audience, the confidence comes naturally.

Before you start writing your speech, it is a good idea that you go through some good speech samples. The samples will help to learn how to start the speech and put information into a proper structure. 

Speech Examples for Students 

Speech writing is a huge part of academic life. These types of writing help enhance the creative writing skills of students.

Here is an amazing farewell speech sample for students to get you inspired.

Below, you will find other downloadable PDF samples.

Speech Examples for School 

Every school and college has a student council. And every year, students elect themselves to be a part of the student council. It is mandatory to impress the student audience to get their votes. And for that, the candidate has to give an impressive speech. 

Here are some short speech examples for students.

Speech Examples For Public Speaking

Speech Examples About Yourself

Speech Examples Short

Speech Examples For College Students

Speech For Student Council

Speech Examples Introduction

Speech Example For School

2 Minute Speech Examples

Persuasive Speech Examples

The main purpose of a speech is to persuade the audience or convince them of what you say. And when it comes to persuasive speech , the sole purpose of speech becomes more specific.

Persuasive Speech Example

Informative Speech Examples

Informative speeches are intended to inform the audience. These types of speeches are designed to provide a detailed description of the chosen topic. 

Below we have provided samples of informative speech for you.

Informative Speech Example

Informative Speech Sample

Entertainment Speech Examples

Entertainment speeches are meant to entertain the audience. These types of speeches are funny, as well as interesting. The given speech samples will help you in writing an entertaining speech.

Entertainment Speech Example

Entertainment Speech Sample

Argumentative Speech Examples

Making a strong argument that is capable of convincing others is always difficult. And, when it comes to making a claim in an argumentative speech, it becomes more difficult. 

Check out the argumentative speech sample that demonstrates explicitly how an argumentative speech needs to be written.

Argumentative Speech Example

Demonstration Speech Examples

The demonstrative speeches are intended to demonstrate or describe the speech topic in depth. Get inspired by the demonstrative speech sample given below and write a captivating demonstrative speech.

Demonstration Speech Example

Demonstration Speech Sample

Motivational Speech Examples

Motivational speeches are designed to motivate the audience to do something. Read out the sample motivational speech given below and learn the art of motivational speech writing.

Speech Examples About Life

Impromptu Speech Examples

Impromptu speech writing makes you nervous as you are not good at planning and organization.

Check out the sample impromptu speech and learn to make bullet points of your thoughts and plan your speech properly.

Graduation Speech Examples

Are you graduating soon and need to write a graduation farewell speech?

Below is a sample graduation speech for your help. 

Wedding Speech Examples

“My best friend’s wedding is next week, and I’m the maid of honor. She asked me to give the maid of honor speech, but I’m not good at expressing emotions. I’m really stressed. I don’t know what to do.”

If you are one of these kinds of people who feel the same way, this sample is for you. Read the example given below and take help from it to write a special maid of honor speech.

Best Man Speech Examples

Father of The Bride Speech Example

Speech Essay Example

A speech essay is a type of essay that you write before writing a proper speech. It helps in organizing thoughts and information. 

Here is a sample of speech essays for you to understand the difference between speech format and speech essay format.

Tips to Write a Good Speech

Reading some famous and incredible sample speeches before writing your own speech is really a good idea. The other way to write an impressive speech is to follow the basic tips given by professional writers. 

  • Audience Analysis: Understand your audience's interests, knowledge, and expectations. Tailor your speech to resonate with them.
  • Clear Purpose: Define a clear and concise purpose for your speech. Ensure your audience knows what to expect right from the beginning.
  • Engaging Opening: Start with a captivating hook – a story, question, quote, or surprising fact to grab your audience's attention.
  • Main Message: Identify and convey your main message or thesis throughout your speech.
  • Logical Structure: Organize your speech with a clear structure, including an introduction, body, and conclusion.
  • Transitions: Use smooth transitions to guide your audience through different parts of your speech.
  • Conversational Tone: Use simple, conversational language to make your speech accessible to everyone.
  • Timing: Respect the allocated time and write the speech accordingly. An overly long or short speech can diminish the audience's engagement.
  • Emotional Connection: Use storytelling and relatable examples to evoke emotions and connect with your audience.
  • Call to Action (if appropriate): Encourage your audience to take action, change their thinking, or ponder new ideas.
  • Practice Natural Pace: Speak at a natural pace, avoiding rushing or speaking too slowly.

So, now you know that effective communication is a powerful tool that allows you to inform, persuade, and inspire your audience. Throughout this blog, we've provided you with numerous examples and invaluable tips to help you craft a compelling speech. 

And for those moments when you require a professionally written speech that truly stands out, remember that our team is here to help. We can rescue you from writer's block and deliver an outstanding speech whenever you need it.

With our professional essay writing service , you can be confident in your ability to communicate your message effectively and leave a lasting impact. 

So, don't hesitate – place an order n ow and buy speech that will truly captivate your audience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some examples of good speeches.

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Good speeches often leave a lasting impact due to their content, delivery, and emotional resonance. Examples include:

  • Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream"
  • Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement Address
  • Winston Churchill's "We Shall Fight on the Beaches"

What is a 5 minute speech?

A 5-minute speech is a brief address of about 600-800 words, designed to cover key points comprehensively while maintaining audience attention. This format is ideal for classroom presentations, briefings, or public events with limited time.

What is an example of a speech of introduction?

A speech of introduction is designed to welcome and introduce a speaker to an audience, providing relevant background and context. Here’s an example:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure to introduce our esteemed guest speaker, Dr. Jane Smith. A renowned environmental scientist with over 20 years of experience in climate change research, Dr. Smith has published groundbreaking studies on sustainable energy solutions and has been a pivotal voice in international climate policy. Today, she will share her insights on the latest developments in renewable energy and how we can all contribute to a more sustainable future. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Jane Smith.

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Barbara P

Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.

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Words for Speaking: 30 Speech Verbs in English (With Audio)

Words for Speaking: 30 Speech Verbs in English (With Audio)

Speaking is amazing, don’t you think?

Words and phrases come out of our mouths — they communicate meaning, and we humans understand each other (well, sometimes)!

But there are countless different ways of speaking.

Sometimes, we express ourselves by speaking quietly, loudly, angrily, unclearly or enthusiastically.

And sometimes, we can express ourselves really well without using any words at all — just sounds.

When we describe what someone said, of course we can say, “He said …” or “She said …”

But there are so many alternatives to “say” that describe the many different WAYS of speaking.

Here are some of the most common ones.

Words for talking loudly in English

Shout / yell / scream.

Sometimes you just need to say something LOUDLY!

Maybe you’re shouting at your kids to get off the climbing frame and come inside before the storm starts.

Or perhaps you’re just one of those people who just shout a lot of the time when you speak. And that’s fine. I’ve got a friend like that. He says it’s because he’s the youngest kid in a family full of brothers and sisters — he had to shout to make sure people heard him. And he still shouts.

Yelling is a bit different. When you yell, you’re probably angry or surprised or even in pain. Yelling is a bit shorter and more “in-the-moment.”

Screaming is similar but usually higher in pitch and full of fear or pain or total fury, like when you’ve just seen a ghost or when you’ve dropped a box of bricks on your foot.

Comic-style drawing of a man who has just dropped a brick on his foot. He's screaming and "Argh!" is written in large black letters.

“Stop yelling at me! I’m sorry! I made a mistake, but there’s no need to shout!”

Bark / Bellow / Roar

When I hear these words, I always imagine something like this:

Text: Bark, bellow, roar / Image: Aggressive man shouting at two boys on a football field

These verbs all feel rather masculine, and you imagine them in a deep voice.

I always think of an army general walking around the room telling people what to do.

That’s probably why we have the phrase “to bark orders at someone,” which means to tell people what to do in an authoritative, loud and aggressive way.

“I can’t stand that William guy. He’s always barking orders at everyone!”

Shriek / Squeal / Screech

Ooooohhh …. These do not sound nice.

These are the sounds of a car stopping suddenly.

Or the sound a cat makes when you tread on her tail.

Or very overexcited kids at a birthday party after eating too much sugar.

These verbs are high pitched and sometimes painful to hear.

“When I heard her shriek , I ran to the kitchen to see what it was. Turned out it was just a mouse.”

“As soon as she opened the box and saw the present, she let out a squeal of delight!”

Wailing is also high pitched, but not so full of energy.

It’s usually full of sadness or even anger.

When I think of someone wailing, I imagine someone completely devastated — very sad — after losing someone they love.

You get a lot of wailing at funerals.

“It’s such a mess!” she wailed desperately. “It’ll take ages to clear up!”

Words for speaking quietly in English

When we talk about people speaking in quiet ways, for some reason, we often use words that we also use for animals.

In a way, this is useful, because we can immediately get a feel for the sound of the word.

This is the sound that snakes make.

Sometimes you want to be both quiet AND angry.

Maybe someone in the theatre is talking and you can’t hear what Hamlet’s saying, so you hiss at them to shut up.

Or maybe you’re hanging out with Barry and Naomi when Barry starts talking about Naomi’s husband, who she split up with last week.

Then you might want to hiss this information to Barry so that Naomi doesn’t hear.

But Naomi wasn’t listening anyway — she was miles away staring into the distance.

“You’ll regret this!” he hissed , pointing his finger in my face.

To be fair, this one’s a little complicated.

Whimpering is a kind of traumatised, uncomfortable sound.

If you think of a frightened animal, you might hear it make some kind of quiet, weak sound that shows it’s in pain or unhappy.

Or if you think of a kid who’s just been told she can’t have an ice cream.

Those sounds might be whimpers.

“Please! Don’t shoot me!” he whimpered , shielding his head with his arms.

Two school students in a classroom whispering to each other with the text "gossip" repeated in a vertical column

Whispering is when you speak, but you bypass your vocal cords so that your words sound like wind.

In a way, it’s like you’re speaking air.

Which is a pretty cool way to look at it.

This is a really useful way of speaking if you’re into gossiping.

“Hey! What are you whispering about? Come on! Tell us! We’ll have no secrets here!”

Words for speaking negatively in English

Ranting means to speak at length about a particular topic.

However, there’s a bit more to it than that.

Ranting is lively, full of passion and usually about something important — at least important to the person speaking.

Sometimes it’s even quite angry.

We probably see rants most commonly on social media — especially by PEOPLE WHO LOVE USING CAPS LOCK AND LOTS OF EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!!!!

Ranting always sounds a little mad, whether you’re ranting about something reasonable, like the fact that there’s too much traffic in the city, or whether you’re ranting about something weird, like why the world is going to hell and it’s all because of people who like owning small, brown dogs.

“I tried to talk to George, but he just started ranting about the tax hike.”

“Did you see Jemima’s most recent Facebook rant ? All about how squirrels are trying to influence the election results with memes about Macaulay Culkin.”

Babble / Blabber / Blather / Drone / Prattle / Ramble

Woman saying, "Blah blah blether drone ramble blah blah." Two other people are standing nearby looking bored.

These words all have very similar meanings.

First of all, when someone babbles (or blabbers or blathers or drones or prattles or rambles), it means they are talking for a long time.

And probably not letting other people speak.

And, importantly, about nothing particularly interesting or important.

You know the type of person, right?

You run into a friend or someone you know.

All you do is ask, “How’s life?” and five minutes later, you’re still listening to them talking about their dog’s toilet problems.

They just ramble on about it for ages.

These verbs are often used with the preposition “on.”

That’s because “on” often means “continuously” in phrasal verbs .

So when someone “drones on,” it means they just talk for ages about nothing in particular.

“You’re meeting Aunt Thelma this evening? Oh, good luck! Have fun listening to her drone on and on about her horses.”

Groan / Grumble / Moan

These words simply mean “complain.”

There are some small differences, though.

When you groan , you probably don’t even say any words. Instead, you just complain with a sound.

When you grumble , you complain in a sort of angry or impatient way. It’s not a good way to get people to like you.

Finally, moaning is complaining, but without much direction.

You know the feeling, right?

Things are unfair, and stuff isn’t working, and it’s all making life more difficult than it should be.

We might not plan to do anything about it, but it definitely does feel good to just … complain about it.

Just to express your frustration about how unfair it all is and how you’ve been victimised and how you should be CEO by now and how you don’t get the respect you deserve and …

Well, you get the idea.

If you’re frustrated with things, maybe you just need to find a sympathetic ear and have a good moan.

“Pietor? He’s nice, but he does tend to grumble about the local kids playing football on the street.”

Words for speaking unclearly in English

Mumble / murmur / mutter.

These verbs are all very similar and describe speaking in a low and unclear way, almost like you’re speaking to yourself.

Have you ever been on the metro or the bus and seen someone in the corner just sitting and talking quietly and a little madly to themselves?

That’s mumbling (or murmuring or muttering).

What’s the difference?

Good question!

The differences are just in what type of quiet and unclear speaking you’re doing.

When someone’s mumbling , it means they’re difficult to understand. You might want to ask them to speak more clearly.

Murmuring is more neutral. It might be someone praying quietly to themselves, or you might even hear the murmur of voices behind a closed door.

Finally, muttering is usually quite passive-aggressive and has a feeling of complaining to it.

“I could hear him muttering under his breath after his mum told him off.”

Drunk-looking man in a pub holding a bottle and speaking nonsense.

How can you tell if someone’s been drinking too much booze (alcohol)?

Well, apart from the fact that they’re in the middle of trying to climb the traffic lights holding a traffic cone and wearing grass on their head, they’re also slurring — their words are all sort of sliding into each other. Like this .

This can also happen if you’re super tired.

“Get some sleep! You’re slurring your words.”

Stammer / Stutter

Th-th-th-this is wh-wh-when you try to g-g-g-get the words ou-ou-out, but it’s dif-dif-dif-difficu-… hard.

For some people, this is a speech disorder, and the person who’s doing it can’t help it.

If you’ve seen the 2010 film The King’s Speech , you’ll know what I’m talking about.

(Also you can let me know, was it good? I didn’t see it.)

This can also happen when you’re frightened or angry or really, really excited — and especially when you’re nervous.

That’s when you stammer your words.

“No … I mean, yeah … I mean no…” Wendy stammered .

Other words for speaking in English

If you drawl (or if you have a drawl), you speak in a slow way, maaakiiing the voowweeel sounds loooongeer thaan noormaal.

Some people think this sounds lazy, but I think it sounds kind of nice and relaxed.

Some regional accents, like Texan and some Australian accents, have a drawl to them.

“He was the first US President who spoke with that Texan drawl .”

“Welcome to cowboy country,” he drawled .

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

That’s my impression of a dog there.

I was growling.

If you ever go cycling around remote Bulgarian villages, then you’re probably quite familiar with this sound.

There are dogs everywhere, and sometimes they just bark.

But sometimes, before barking, they growl — they make that low, threatening, throaty sound.

And it means “stay away.”

But people can growl, too, especially if they want to be threatening.

“‘Stay away from my family!’ he growled .”

Using speaking verbs as nouns

We can use these speaking verbs in the same way we use “say.”

For example, if someone says “Get out!” loudly, we can say:

“‘Get out!’ he shouted .”

However, most of the verbs we looked at today are also used as nouns. (You might have noticed in some of the examples.)

For example, if we want to focus on the fact that he was angry when he shouted, and not the words he used, we can say:

“He gave a shout of anger.”

We can use these nouns with various verbs, usually “ give ” or “ let out .”

“She gave a shout of surprise.”

“He let out a bellow of laughter.”

“I heard a faint murmur through the door.”

There you have it: 30 alternatives to “say.”

So next time you’re describing your favourite TV show or talking about the dramatic argument you saw the other day, you’ll be able to describe it more colourfully and expressively.

Did you like this post? Then be awesome and share by clicking the blue button below.

8 thoughts on “ Words for Speaking: 30 Speech Verbs in English (With Audio) ”

Always enlighten and fun.. thank you

Great job! Thank you so much for sharing with us. My students love your drawing and teaching very much. So do I of course.

Good news: I found more than 30 verbs for “speaking”. Bad news, only four of them were in your list. That is to say “Good news I’m only 50 I still have plenty of time to learn new things, bad news I’m already 50 and still have so much learn. Thanks for your posts, they’re so interesting and useful!

Excellent. Can I print it?

Thanks Iris.

And yes — Feel free to print it! 🙂

Thanks so much! It was very interesting and helpful❤

Great words, shouts and barks, Gabriel. I’m already writing them down, so I can practise with them bit by bit. Thanks for the lesson!

Thank you so much for sharing with us. .It is very useful

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  • Games, topic printables & more
  • The 4 main speech types
  • Example speeches
  • Commemorative
  • Declamation
  • Demonstration
  • Informative
  • Introduction
  • Student Council
  • Speech topics
  • Poems to read aloud
  • How to write a speech
  • Using props/visual aids
  • Acute anxiety help
  • Breathing exercises
  • Letting go - free e-course
  • Using self-hypnosis
  • Delivery overview
  • 4 modes of delivery
  • How to make cue cards
  • How to read a speech
  • 9 vocal aspects
  • Vocal variety
  • Diction/articulation
  • Pronunciation
  • Speaking rate
  • How to use pauses
  • Eye contact
  • Body language
  • Voice image
  • Voice health
  • Public speaking activities and games
  • About me/contact

Speech examples

Farewell, welcome, engagement, introduction, persuasive, maid of honor, thank you, icebreaker, and more!

By:  Susan Dugdale  

There are speech examples of many types on my site. If you have a speech to write and don't know where to begin, you're most welcome to use any of them to kick start your own creative process into action.

They're listed in alphabetical order: from birthday speeches through to welcome speeches.

Happy reading, Susan

Click the links to find the speech examples you want to read. 

  • Birthday speeches : 50th, 40th and 18th
  • Christmas speeches : 3 examples for an office party

Demonstration speech sample

  • Engagement party speeches : 5 sample toasts
  • Eulogy samples : 70+ funeral speeches
  • Farewell speeches : from a colleague leaving and to a colleague leaving
  • Golden wedding speech
  • Icebreaker speech for Toastmasters
  • Introduction speeches : for a guest speaker, and for oneself
  • Maid of honor speeches : 3 examples, including one for a sister

One minute speeches

  • Persuasive speech sample
  • Retirement speech sample
  • Student Council : examples of President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer campaign speeches 
  • Thank you : an award acceptance speech example 
  • Tribute : a commemorative speech example
  • Welcome speech examples : to an event, to a church, to a family

Birthday speeches 

There are three birthday speeches for you to read.

50th birthday speech sample

A collage of 3 birthday images celebrating 40th, 50th and 18th birthdays.

The first example is a  50th birthday speech  for a man. It is written as if from a close male friend. You could call it a loving roast!

Here's the opening sentences:

"Good evening all. It's great to have you here. Most of you know my feeling on birthdays. Generally I say, what's the big deal?

By the  time you've had over thirty, there should be a cease and desist order against them.

They're not unusual. Everybody has them and at the same rate as everybody else - one a  year. They happen whether you want them to or not.

Believe me, I know. I've had quite a few  and looking around this room I can see it's the same for others as well.

So why are we here?" 

Read more:  50th birthday speech

40th birthday speech example

The second example is a  40 birthday speech  for a daughter and the speech is written as if it comes from her mother.

These are the opening sentences:

"On behalf of the Martin family and Camille in particular, it is my pleasure to welcome you here tonight to her 40th birthday celebration.

We are delighted to have you with us and especial thanks to those who have traveled from afar.

Before we eat I am going to say a few words about my beautiful daughter. I've promised her two things. I'll keep it short and I won't embarrass her by telling tales she'd rather I forgot."

Read more: 40th birthday speech example

18th birthday speech sample

The third example is an  18th birthday speech of thanks . The speaker is thanking their family and friends for coming along to their 18th birthday celebration. It's a mix of humor and sincerity.

The speech begins like this:

"This is a moment I’ve waited a long time for. 18! I am an adult. Yep, I’ve come of age. Hard to believe, isn’t?

(Dad, you were not supposed to agree so quickly.)

I can now vote, drive a car, marry, buy alcohol, a lottery ticket and tobacco, get a tattoo, or join the military without having to ask permission. Let me see. Which one will I do first?

Perhaps a more honest question is, which of those will I continue to do without fear of getting caught?

And while you think about that, I’d like to say thank you."

Read more: 18th birthday speech

Christmas speech - an office party example

Image: illustration of a man standing in his office. Text: Joe Brown's Christmas speech for the office party.

This example is a mix of notes, which the speaker Joe Brown will expand as he delivers the speech, and full text which he'll say as written. The speech follows the step by step process of an outline.

Here's an extract from the concluding sentences:

"It's been a tough year but I'm proud of what we accomplished together. Some businesses haven't been able to do what we have done.

Thanks to you we'll be going into the new year with strength, to build on our accomplishments and to consolidate our position.

Let's celebrate that. It's a gift to be grateful for."

To read more: Christmas office party speech example

2 short company Christmas party speech samples

Image: Colorful Christmas background with label. Text: 2 company Christmas party speeches

You have the full text of these two short speeches to read. Both come in at between 2-3 minutes when delivered.

Here's an excerpt from one of them:

"OK, let's be honest; who thought we'd be gathered together for a heigh-ho-merry-old-time back in August? Remember? How can we possibly forget?!

  • Martin and Co, one of our more significant customers, downsized their regular order by more than 50% - a move that caught us on the hop and had has us scrambling for a bit.
  • There was a little more of that, when an opportunistic phishing expedition by some very clever clowns threatened to hold us to ransom."

For more please go to: 2 short company Christmas party speech samples .

This demonstration speech covers the process involved in learning to how to leave an effective voice mail message.

Image: wall paper background saying blah, blah, blah. Text: A sample demonstration speech, plus video. How to leave a good voice mail message.

I've entered the text of the whole speech into a step by step outline template so that you can see the structure. Then I made a video (audio + slides) too, so you can hear as well as read it if you want to.

Here's the opening:

"How many important voice mail messages have you bumbled through after the beep? Does recalling them make you feel a little uncomfortable?

Yep, me too. I’ve blundered. Mumbled and muttered. If it were possible, I would have gladly saved the person I was calling the hassle of deleting those messages myself. Before they were heard."

Read more: sample demonstration speech

Engagement party speeches - 5 sample toasts

Images: drawing of two young friends with quirky hats. Text:"Thankfully Bill changed his mind about girls being, as he put it aged 12, really dumb." 5 sample engagement toasts.

Here are five short (and sweet) engagement party speeches. They've been written from the point of view of a mother, a father, a friend, the groom and the bride-to-be.

The extract is the opening from the speech a mother might give:

"Mary welcome to the family!

While we're all delighted that Bill has shown such good sense in choosing you I've got an extra reason to celebrate. Finally I get a daughter! Thankfully Bill changed his mind about girls being, as he put it aged about 12, 'really dumb'."

To see all five speeches: engagement party toasts 

Eulogy samples

Image: a spray of blue/violet forget-me-nots. Text: 70 + eulogy examples

We are extraordinarily blessed to be able offer over 70 eulogies for folk to read.  These have been sent in by people from all over the world who intimately understand the need to see what others have written before beginning the task of writing a eulogy for a loved one of their own.

You'll find funeral speeches for mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, wives, husbands, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, work colleagues...

Visit: eulogy examples

Two farewell speech examples

An example goodbye speech to colleagues .

Image: illustration of a woman waving goodbye to a departing train. Text: Words for when it's time to say goodbye.

This example farewell speech is written from the point of view of a person leaving their workplace: a goodbye speech to colleagues.  It's upbeat and follows the suggested content  guidelines you'll find when you visit the page. (There's a recording of it too.)

Here's part of the opening:

"Do you realize we've been sharing each other's company for 2920 days? 

Eight years of fun times, challenging times and everything in between.

And today I am officially leaving you!"

Go to:  farewell speech example : a goodbye speech to colleagues.

A sample farewell speech for a colleague leaving

Writing a farewell speech for a colleague who is leaving can be challenging. What do you put in? What do you leave out?

My example is the result of following a start to finish 7 step process for a speech to say goodbye to a co-worker.

Here's the introductory sentences:

"Who else has been marking off the days until Sam finally leaves us? It’s sad but from next Monday there’ll be a huge hole in our team. She’ll be basking in the sun on a beach in Bali and we’ll be wondering how we’re going to manage without her..."

To read more of the speech and to find out about the process of writing it click the link: farewell speech to a colleague leaving .

speeches word examples

Golden wedding - 50th anniversary speech

Image: a mass of white field daisies

What do white daisies, finding a stray coin down the back of the sofa, and motorbikes have in common?

Yes, they're all part of a golden wedding speech.

I've written this speech example as if it's being delivered by a man called Mark, to his much-loved wife of 50 years, Sarah.

Here's an excerpt from the beginning:

"After 50 years Sarah knows I am not good at romance or speaking about love. Those kind of words always got tangled on my tongue and caught between my teeth. They never did come out right, not as I intended anyway. Even when I proposed, it came out all wrong."

For more: 50th wedding anniversary speech example

An icebreaker speech for Toastmasters example

Image: paper boat sailing through ice floe Text: Master your Toastmaster Icebreaker speech. 5 ways to choose a topic & prepare your speech.

Ahh, the icebreaker speech! It's much loved by club members worldwide and whichever of the eleven Toastmaster pathways you choose when you join, this is always the first assignment.  

My icebreaker example, 'Stepping up to speak out', was written to illustrate an easily followed, step by step, process for getting from topic choice to speech preparation and delivery.

The beginning of the speech goes like this:

"Would you be surprised to know I nearly didn't make it here tonight?

I wonder how many of you experienced a moment or two of panic before giving your icebreaker speech. Just nod to let me know. { pause - look around }

Thank you, that's very reassuring. You've survived, so probably I shall too.

I am here wobbling rather nervously in front of you for three main reasons which I'll share. 

Here's the first."

For more: Icebreaker speech for Toastmasters

Samples of introduction speeches

Image: line drawing of a woman with a red  "hello my name is ?" sticker.

There two introduction speech examples for you to look at.

One is an example self introduction speech - the kind of brief 1-2 minute speech you are often expected to make to introduce yourself to a group of people you're meeting for the first time at some sort of workshop or similar event.

Here's the opening of that speech:

"Hi everybody!

I'm Masie Smith, Senior Marketing Executive, from Watts and Frederick in Smalltown, Bigstate.

It's great to be finally here. I've been dreaming about the opportunity and possibilities of working collectively and directly with each other for a long time now. Jane and Sam can attest to that. There's been hours put in balancing the schedules to make it happen.

Webinars and email are fine but nothing beats face to face ."

For more: self-introduction speech example

The second is an introduction speech in which you introduce a guest- speaker to an audience. 

Here are the closing sentences. What's preceded them has carefully primed the audience to give the guest a warm welcome, by piling one piece of compelling biographical information on top of another.

"How she got from awkward tongue tied silence to an eloquent front line spokesperson is the story she will share with us tonight.

Ladies, I give you ... Rose Stephenson on speaking to lead."

For more: guest-speaker introduction example

Maid of Honor speech examples 

There are three Maid of Honor (MOH) speeches for you to read: two from the point of view of a best friend, and one from the point of view of a sister.

You'll find step by step guidelines with examples to illustrate each part of the process of preparing a speech for yourself. Follow them carefully and you'll finish with a Maid of Honor speech you'll be proud to deliver.

Two Maid of Honor speech examples

Collage of 5 pictures of women and their best female friends

The first example is heartfelt, a speech written from the point of view of a close childhood friend. She's shared the best and most difficult of times with the bride.

Here are its opening sentences:

"Some one very wise, and obviously someone who knew Sonja and Mark said, “Don't marry a person you can live with. Marry somebody you can't live without."

That's what we're witnessing today – the union of two people who belong together. A perfect match!"

The second example is more light-hearted. It's a combination of sentiment and fun, and is written from the point of view of a trusted and loved friend. 

Here's the beginning:

"Once in a while, in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.

That's what we're celebrating today: a story of true love, a dream come true.

My name is Felicity and it's my privilege to be Sarah’s Maid of Honor.

Sarah is my Best Friend. I know it's a cliché. However clichés become clichés for a very good reason, because they're true. She's my BFF: Best Friend Forever.

For her I would wear the gaudiest, frothiest taffeta maid of honor dress possible and still smile. Fortunately I don't have to."

For more see: Maid of Honor speech examples

A Maid of Honor speech for a sister example

Image: Bridal party. Text: Catch flowers. Eat cake. Hear me give a maid of honor speech for my sister.

The opening segment of the speech is below. It recalls a loved childhood game which unites the past and present while drawing listeners in.   

"What a day, Mary!

Remember when we were kids, how we dressed up in Mom’s old party dresses? Put a white table cloth on our heads and marched around, singing, “Here comes the bride, fair fat and wide.”?

My name is Jennifer, and this beautiful woman, this stunning bride – the antithesis of “fair fat and wide” is my beloved little sister.

We laughed ourselves silly over that game. Now here we are 25 years later.

Not laughing. Mary’s not wearing a table cloth. And this time it’s for real.

I am honored to be asked to speak. Thank you."

For more go to: maid of honor speech for a sister

As part of a page offering 150 one minute speech topics I wrote and then recorded three example speeches to demonstrate what you could do with a one minute speech.

One of those speeches was on the topic: 'What my work clothes say about me'.

Image: man in business dress adjusting tie. Text: What my work clothes say about me. 150 one minute speech topics.

Here is the opening two paragraphs of that speech:

"Clothes make the man.  Yes, we judge each other on what we wear. And have done forever. 

For better, or for worse,  in the western working world, nothing says dependable and professional as eloquently as a  tailored grey business suit, a crisp white shirt and a pair of good shoes."

To read, and hear, all three speeches please visit: one minute speech topics *

* There is also a free downloadable printable one minute speech planner which will help  you consolidate the process of putting a speech together with minimum fuss.

A persuasive speech example

Here's a persuasive speech example using Monroe's Motivated Sequence - a five step structural pattern frequently used by professional persuaders: politicians and marketers. 

The topic is somber: suicide and its impact on those left behind. The purpose of the speech is to persuade listeners to learn more about the special needs of family members, friends and colleagues in the immediate aftermath of a suicide.

speeches word examples

Here are the opening sentences:

"One fine Spring day I biked home from school and found a policemen guarding our backdoor. Through it came sounds I'll never forget; my quiet, well-mannered Mother screaming.  He said, "You can't go in." 

I kicked him in the shins and did.  It was the 15th of September, three days before my thirteenth  birthday and my father was dead.  Killed by his own hand. Suicide."

Read more: persuasive speech example

A sample retirement speech 

Image: back ground - definition of leave on parchment paper with multiple synonyms. Text in foreground: Leave.

This retirement speech is an example of one that could be given by a teacher who's signing off after many years service in the same school.

Here's a taste of it:

"I've been asked what I'm going to do now. I'm going to do a lot of things and very few of them conform to the notion of retirement as a time of waiting for the inevitable end. Helen Hayes, put it this way: 'People who refuse to rest honorably on their laurels when they reach “retirement” age seem very admirable to me."

Read the whole speech: retirement speech sample

Sample student council speeches 

This page has everything you need to help you prepare a winning student council speech: comprehensive guidelines, a template, example speeches and a printable speech planner and outline document.

Image: row of multi-colored hands reaching upwards. Text above hands: YES.

The speaker in my first example is running for president. 

Here's the opening to her speech:

"I’ve got a question for you. I’m not asking you to shout your answer out, or raise your hand. All I’m asking is that you give it room in your mind. Let it sit for a bit, and have a think about it.

My question is – do you believe like I do, that all of us deserve the opportunity to make the best of ourselves? Not second best, 3 rd , or even, highly commended. The BEST."

Get the guidelines, the template, and read the whole speech: sample Student Council speech for President

And now I've added three more sample Student Council speeches:

  • Student Council speech for Vice President
  • Student Council speech for Secretary
  • Student Council speech for Treasurer

Thank you speech sample

Image: Thank you repeated in many different fonts on parchment background scattered with stylized marigolds.

The example thank you speech expresses gratitude for being the recipient of a community service award. 

"Who's considered the incredible power of thank you?  Those two words express gratitude, humility, understanding, as well as acknowledgement.

I am here with you: my family, many of my friends and colleagues, because I need to say all of that, and then some more."

You'll find the full speech, and guidelines covering how to write a speech of thanks here: thank you speech example

An example tribute speech

A tribute speech may also be a commemorative speech. That is a speech celebrating, praising or paying tribute to the memory of: a person, a group, an institution, a thing, an event or even an idea. Or it could be a eulogy or funeral speech; a speech celebrating a person's life.

This example tribute speech was written in memory of my mother, Iris.

Image:old-fashioned purple flag iris blooms. Text: A tribute speech for my mother, Iris.

"My Mother's name marked her out as the goddess of the rainbow, a messenger for the ancient Olympian gods and carrier of faith, hope and wisdom.

She was Iris. And although the meaning of her name is rich in imagery and history that wasn't why her parent's called her that. Instead it was something much closer to home.

After her birth my grandmother saw iris flowering out her bedroom window. She was named for the regal beauty of their dark purple flowers."

Read more: sample tribute speech

Example welcome speeches

There are three welcome speech examples for you to read: welcome to an event, welcome to a church, and welcome to the family. All three come with guidelines to help you prepare a good welcome speech of your own.

speeches word examples

This example  is welcoming listeners to an event.  As part of that, the special guests are mentioned, as is, an outline of what's going to happen.

This is the opening:

"Sue-Ellen Thomas, Jim Smith, Jane Brown and all of our guests, welcome.

My name is April Molloy, and it's my privilege and pleasure on behalf of Parents United to welcome you here today.

We are delighted to have you with us to participate and share in our 5th annual Children's Day. Thank you for coming. That many of you have traveled long distances to be here serves as a reminder to us all just how important our work is."

You can read the rest here:  sample welcome speech .

A church welcome speech example

This sample speech welcomes visitors to the congregation. Along with the speech you'll also find links to additional resources to assist.

Here's the opening passage:

"I want to take a moment to extend a very warm welcome to everyone who's visiting us for the first time this morning. Whether you're just having a look, or are searching out for a place to worship, we're delighted to have you here.

To give you some idea of what we're all about, I'll quickly sketch some of our foundational beliefs."

Read more: church welcome speech example

Example welcome to the family speech

This is a short, and sweet, speech welcoming a bride or groom-to-be into a family at an event arranged for that purpose. The template it uses is entirely flexible.

Mary  {Replace the name Mary with the name of the person you are welcoming}  - welcome to the family!

Family, tribe, clan, kin, group - call it what you will: it's us - all of us!

We're mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, cousins, 3rd cousins, even 53rd cousins, old and young, generations of us, linked together through shared DNA and history.

Look around. The faces smiling back at you are now your people too."

See more: example welcome to the family speech

speeches word examples

In addition to providing speech examples, I also custom write speeches. 

If you have a speech to give for a special occasion that's coming up you may like to find out more, especially if you find writing stressful. ☺ Go to: speech writer for hire

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Speech transitions: words and phrases to connect your ideas

June 28, 2018 - Gini Beqiri

When delivering presentations it’s important for your words and ideas to flow so your audience can understand how everything links together and why it’s all relevant.

This can be done using speech transitions because these act as signposts to the audience – signalling the relationship between points and ideas. This article explores how to use speech transitions in presentations.

What are speech transitions?

Speech transitions are words and phrases that allow you to smoothly move from one point to another so that your speech flows and your presentation is unified.

This makes it easier for the audience to understand your argument and without transitions the  audience may be confused  as to how one point relates to another and they may think you’re randomly jumping between points.

Types of transitions

Transitions can be one word, a phrase or a full sentence – there are many different types, here are a few:

Introduction

Introduce your topic:

  • We will be looking at/identifying/investigating the effects of…
  • Today I will be discussing…

Presentation outline

Inform the audience of the structure of your presentation:

  • There are three key points I’ll be discussing…
  • I want to begin by…, and then I’ll move on to…
  • We’ll be covering… from two points of view…
  • This presentation is divided into four parts…

Move from the introduction to the first point

Signify to the audience that you will now begin discussing the first main point:

  • Now that you’re aware of the overview, let’s begin with…
  • First, let’s begin with…
  • I will first cover…
  • My first point covers…
  • To get started, let’s look at…

Shift between similar points

Move from one point to a similar one:

  • In the same way…
  • Likewise…
  • Equally…
  • This is similar to…
  • Similarly…

Presentation transitions at a meeting

Shift between disagreeing points

You may have to introduce conflicting ideas – bridging words and phrases are especially good for this:

  • Conversely…
  • Despite this…
  • However…
  • On the contrary…
  • Now let’s consider…
  • Even so…
  • Nonetheless…
  • We can’t ignore…
  • On the other hand…

Transition to a significant issue

  • Fundamentally…
  • A major issue is…
  • The crux of the matter…
  • A significant concern is…

Referring to previous points

You may have to refer to something that you’ve already spoken about because, for example, there may have been a break or a fire alarm etc:

  • Let’s return to…
  • We briefly spoke about X earlier; let’s look at it in more depth now…
  • Let’s revisit…
  • Let’s go back to…
  • Do you recall when I mentioned…

This can be also be useful to introduce a new point because adults learn better when new information builds on previously learned information.

Introducing an aside note

You may want to introduce a digression:

  • I’d just like to mention…
  • That reminds me…
  • Incidentally…

Physical movement

You can  move your body  and your standing location when you transition to another point. The audience find it easier to follow your presentation and movement will increase their interest.

A common technique for incorporating movement into your presentation is to:

  • Start your introduction by standing in the centre of the stage.
  • For your first point you stand on the left side of the stage.
  • You discuss your second point from the centre again.
  • You stand on the right side of the stage for your third point.
  • The conclusion occurs in the centre.

Emphasising importance

You need to ensure that the audience get the message by informing them why something is important:

  • More importantly…
  • This is essential…
  • Primarily…
  • Mainly…

Internal summaries

Internal summarising consists of summarising before moving on to the next point. You must inform the audience:

  • What part of the presentation you covered – “In the first part of this speech we’ve covered…”
  • What the key points were – “Precisely how…”
  • How this links in with the overall presentation – “So that’s the context…”
  • What you’re moving on to – “Now I’d like to move on to the second part of presentation which looks at…”

Speech transitions during a team meeting

Cause and effect

You will have to transition to show relationships between factors:

  • Therefore…
  • Thus…
  • Consequently…
  • As a result…
  • This is significant because…
  • Hence…

Elaboration

  • Also…
  • Besides…
  • What’s more…
  • In addition/additionally…
  • Moreover…
  • Furthermore…

Point-by-point or steps of a process

  • First/firstly/The first one is…
  • Second/Secondly/The second one is…
  • Third/Thirdly/The third one is…
  • Last/Lastly/Finally/The fourth one is…

Introduce an example

  • This is demonstrated by…
  • For instance…
  • Take the case of…
  • For example…
  • You may be asking whether this happens in X? The answer is yes…
  • To show/illustrate/highlight this…
  • Let me illustrate this by…

Transition to a demonstration

  • Now that we’ve covered the theory, let’s practically apply it…
  • I’ll conduct an experiment to show you this in action…
  • Let me demonstrate this…
  • I’ll now show you this…

Introducing a quotation

  • X was a supporter of this thinking because he said…
  • There is a lot of support for this, for example, X said…

Transition to another speaker

In a  group presentation  you must transition to other speakers:

  • Briefly recap on what you covered in your section: “So that was a brief introduction on what health anxiety is and how it can affect somebody”
  • Introduce the next speaker in the team and explain what they will discuss: “Now Gayle will talk about the prevalence of health anxiety.”
  • Then end by looking at the next speaker, gesturing towards them and saying their name: “Gayle”.
  • The next speaker should acknowledge this with a quick: “Thank you Simon.”

From these examples, you can see how the different sections of the presentations link which makes it easier for the audience to follow and remain engaged.

You can  tell personal stories  or share the experiences of others to introduce a point. Anecdotes are especially valuable for your introduction and between different sections of the presentation because they engage the audience. Ensure that you plan the stories thoroughly beforehand and that they are not too long.

Using questions

You can transition through your speech by asking questions and these questions also have the benefit of engaging your audience more. There are three different types of questions:

Direct questions require an answer: “What is the capital of Italy?” These are mentally stimulating for the audience.

Rhetorical questions  do not require answers, they are often used to emphasises an idea or point: “Is the Pope catholic?

Loaded questions contain an unjustified assumption made to prompt the audience into providing a particular answer which you can then correct to support your point: You may ask “Why does your wonderful company have such a low incidence of mental health problems?”.

The audience will generally answer that they’re happy. After receiving the answers you could then say “Actually it’s because people are still unwilling and too embarrassed to seek help for mental health issues at work etc.”

Speech transitions during a conference

Transition to a visual aid

If you are going to introduce a visual aid you must prepare the audience with what they’re going to see, for example, you might be leading into a diagram that supports your statement. Also, before you  show the visual aid , explain why you’re going to show it, for example, “This graph is a significant piece of evidence supporting X”.

When the graphic is on display get the audience to focus on it:

  • The table indicates…
  • As you can see…
  • I’d like to direct your attention to…

Explain what the visual is showing:

  • You can see that there has been a reduction in…
  • The diagram is comparing the…

Using a visual aid to transition

Visual aids can also be used as transitions and they have the benefit of being stimulating and breaking-up vocal transitions.

You might have a slide with just a picture on it to signify to the audience that you’re moving on to a new point – ensure that this image is relevant to the point. Many speakers like to use cartoons for this purpose but ensure its suitable for your audience.

Always summarise your key points first in the conclusion:

  • Let’s recap on what we’ve spoken about today…
  • Let me briefly summarise the main points…

And then conclude:

If you have a shorter speech you may choose to  end your presentation  with one statement:

  • In short…
  • To sum up…
  • In a nutshell…
  • To summarise…
  • In conclusion…

However, using statements such as “To conclude” may cause the audience to stop listening. It’s better to say:

  • I’d like to leave you with this…
  • What you should take away from this is…
  • Finally, I want to say…

Call to action

Requesting the audience to do something at the end of the presentation:

  • You may be thinking how can I help in this matter? Well…
  • My aim is to encourage you to go further and…
  • What I’m requesting of you is…

Common mistakes

When transitions are used poorly you can annoy and confuse the audience. Avoid:

  • Using transitions that are too short – transitions are a key part of ensuring the audience understands your presentation so spend sufficient time linking to your next idea.
  • Too many tangents – any digressions should still be relevant to the topic and help the audience with their understanding, otherwise cut them out.
  • Incompatible transitions – for example, if you’re about to introduce an example that supports your statement you wouldn’t introduce this by saying “but”. Use transitions that signify the relationship between points.
  • Over-using the same transition because this is boring for the audience to hear repeatedly. Ensure that there is variety with your transitions, consider including visual transitions.
  • Miscounting your transitions – for example, don’t say “first point”, “second point”, “next point” – refer to your points consistently.

Speech transitions are useful for unifying and connecting your presentation. The audience are more likely to remain engaged since they’ll be able to follow your points. But remember that it’s important to practice your transitions beforehand and not just the content of your arguments because you risk looking unprofessional and confusing the audience if the presentation does not flow smoothly.

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25 Engaging Narrative Speech Examples for Effective Storytelling

Are you finding it tough to keep your audience hooked on your stories? Trust me, you’re in good company; I’ve wrestled with the same challenge and knew something had to give. After diving deep into research, I stumbled upon 25 captivating narrative speech examples that completely revolutionized my approach to storytelling .

In this article, I’ll share these dynamic techniques and real-life instances that will empower you to enchant any crowd. Brace yourself for a true game-changer !

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Narrative speeches are a powerful way to share stories and ideas. They use personal experiences or creative tales to make messages memorable.
  • Effective narrative speeches require careful planning, from choosing the right topic to organizing thoughts in an engaging way.
  • Using descriptive language, vivid details, and expressive tone can help bring your story to life for listeners.
  • There are many topics you can explore in a narrative speech, including personal challenges, memorable experiences, and lessons learned.
  • Practice and feedback are important steps in improving your storytelling skills for captivating audience attention .

Understanding the Essence of Narrative Speeches

What is a narrative speech and how it differs from anecdotes.

Definition of the word ‘narrative’

A narrative is a story that someone tells or writes . This story can be about real events from the past or made-up adventures . In speeches, narratives help us share personal experiences and entertain our audience.

They bring life to our words by allowing listeners to see through our eyes. Stories in narrative speeches often highlight lessons learned or moments that changed us.

Using effective storytelling techniques , these stories connect with people on a deeper level . Every good speech uses elements of narratives to keep the audience engaged and interested.

We use tales from our own lives or others’ experiences as examples when talking about overcoming fear, learning new skills, or any topic we choose for public speaking .

Difference between anecdotes and stories

Anecdotes are brief personal stories , while stories are more detailed and often fictional or based on real events. Anecdotes aim to illustrate a specific point or experience , whereas stories have a developed plot with characters and settings .

Anecdotes usually focus on one incident, while stories can span a longer period and involve multiple events. Additionally, anecdotes tend to be shorter in length than stories.

The distinction between anecdotes and stories lies in their depth and purpose; anecdotes serve as brief illustrations for specific points or experiences, while stories offer more extensive plots with characters and settings, typically involving multiple events over a longer timespan.

Effective Narrative Speech Topics

Choosing captivating narrative speech topics is crucial for engaging your audience and making an impact. From brainstorming ideas to selecting the right topic, this section will guide you through the process, ensuring your narrative speech resonates with your listeners.

Brainstorming ideas

When brainstorming ideas for narrative speeches, consider real-life experiences and personal anecdotes . Here are some engaging topics to spark your creativity:

  • Reflect on a valuable lesson learned
  • Describe a memorable travel experience
  • Share a moment of overcoming fear or adversity
  • Discuss a significant achievement or milestone
  • Explore a unique hobby or passion
  • Recall a funny or embarrassing moment
  • Delve into a cultural tradition or family heritage
  • Analyze a turning point in your life
  • Examine the impact of a role model or mentor
  • Reflect on a memorable childhood experience

Remember , your own experiences can be the most compelling source of storytelling material!

Choosing the right topic

When choosing a topic, consider real-world experiences and anecdotes . Your story should be engaging and relatable to your audience. Think about personal challenges , unexpected adventures , or lessons learned .

These topics will make your narrative speech more impactful and memorable for your listeners, enhancing the effectiveness of your storytelling skills.

So, here are 40 firsts you can consider for your narrative speech topics :

  • Your first day at school
  • Your first pet
  • Your first time riding a bike
  • The first movie you ever watched at the cinema
  • Your first camping trip
  • The first time you traveled by plane
  • Your first job interview experience
  • Your first public speaking experience in school
  • The first time you cooked a meal by yourself
  • Your first volunteering experience
  • The first time you overcame a fear or phobia
  • The moment of your highest achievement so far
  • The moment of your lowest point in life
  • That one person who has had the most significant impact on your life
  • A great lesson learned from a failure
  • Your biggest adventure yet
  • The funniest mistake you’ve ever made
  • A surprising discovery that changed your perspective on something important
  • A moment when someone’s small act of kindness meant the world to you
  • An unforgettable family tradition or ritual
  • Your most memorable travel experience
  • A mystery or ghost story that still gives you chills
  • Meeting someone famous unexpectedly
  • An embarrassing moment that turned into a valuable life lesson
  • The day that completely changed the course of your life
  • The greatest risk you took and what happened next
  • A challenge that tested your patience and resilience
  • How a seemingly ordinary event led to extraordinary opportunities for growth and success
  • The best surprise party or celebration planned for someone else
  • An unexpected turn of events leading to an unusual friendship
  • Losing something precious and learning to cope with it
  • Experiencing an extreme weather condition like never before
  • Rescuing an animal in need or being rescued by one
  • That one subject in school which impacted your way of thinking
  • Owning up to a mistake and dealing with its consequences
  • A personal project or hobby turning into something much more than anticipated
  • Discovering an old family secret or hidden treasure
  • Attending an event that broadened your cultural horizons dramatically
  • An encounter with nature that left an indelible mark on your soul
  • The day when empathy made all the difference, bringing about positive change.

As we have explored various engaging narrative speech examples, let’s now understand how to write a compelling narrative speech .

40 tell-a-story speech topics

  • Overcoming a fear
  • A memorable family vacation
  • Learning to ride a bike
  • Meeting a childhood hero
  • Getting lost in an unfamiliar place
  • Standing up for what’s right
  • My first job interview
  • Making a big decision
  • The best gift I ever received
  • A challenging sports moment
  • A funny misunderstanding
  • My proudest achievement
  • Dealing with failure and learning from it
  • An unexpected act of kindness
  • The power of teamwork in a tough situation
  • Making a new friend in an unlikely place
  • .The day that changed my life
  • .An unforgettable journey
  • .Coping with a difficult loss
  • .Discovering a passion or hobby
  • .A valuable lesson learned from a mistake
  • .Facing a personal challenge head – on
  • .Exploring a new culture or tradition
  • Experiencing the joy of accomplishment after hard work
  • Exploring the beauty of nature
  • Facing and overcoming adversity
  • Discovering the true meaning of friendship
  • Learning to appreciate the little things in life
  • Navigating through peer pressure successfully
  • Stepping out of my comfort zone for growth
  • Making a tough moral decision
  • Finding inspiration from an unexpected source

35 more narrative or personal story speech topics

Transitioning from brainstorming ideas to choosing the right topic, here are 35 more narrative or personal story speech topics:

  • Overcoming a challenging obstacle
  • A meaningful encounter with a stranger
  • Learning a valuable lesson from a mistake
  • An unforgettable adventure in a new place
  • Navigating through tough decision – making
  • Embracing change and growth
  • Facing and conquering fear
  • Unforgettable moments of friendship
  • Discovering an unexpected passion
  • The impact of a mentor in your life
  • Standing up for what you believe in
  • Finding strength in moments of weakness
  • Adapting to a new culture or environment
  • The joy of pursuing a lifelong dream
  • Humorous mishaps and their life lessons
  • Celebrating cultural traditions and experiences
  • Moments of empowerment and self – discovery
  • Overcoming adversity in the face of criticism
  • Life – changing travels and discoveries
  • The power of resilience and perseverance
  • Living with gratitude despite challenges
  • Drawing inspiration from influential figures
  • Cultivating empathy through personal experiences
  • Heartwarming acts of kindness and compassion
  • Resilience forged through difficult times
  • Unforgettable lessons from unexpected sources
  • Navigating the complexities of family dynamics
  • Triumphs over self – doubt and insecurities
  • Lessons learned from overcoming failure
  • Unforgettable encounters with nature’s beauty
  • Moments that reshaped your perspective on life
  • Honoring the impact of significant relationships
  • Personal milestones that shaped your identity
  • The journey towards self – acceptance and confidence
  • Transformative experiences that changed your outlook

These topics aim to inspire engaging storytelling for effective communication, public speaking, and literary projects.

How to Write a Narrative Speech

Craft your narrative speech around a personal experience or significant event. Create a strong introduction , include vivid details in the body, and conclude with an impactful ending to engage your audience.

Utilize descriptive language and sensory details to make your story come alive for your listeners. This will help them connect with your experiences and emotions on a deeper level.

Steps and guidelines

When writing a narrative speech, consider the following steps and guidelines:

  • Understand your audience and their interests before deciding on a topic.
  • Brainstorm ideas and select a personal experience or anecdote that resonates with you.
  • Structure your speech with an engaging introduction , body, and conclusion.
  • Use descriptive language to paint a vivid picture for your audience.
  • Include relevant details that add depth and emotion to your story.
  • Practice delivering your speech using varied intonation and gestures for impact.
  • Seek feedback from others to refine your narrative for maximum effectiveness.

These steps will help you craft a compelling narrative speech that captivates your audience and leaves a lasting impression.

Sample student narrative speech outline

When it comes to crafting a compelling narrative speech, having a well-structured outline is crucial. Here’s a meticulously tailored student narrative speech outline to guide you through the process:

  • Introduction
  • Engaging opening : Grab the audience’s attention with a captivating hook or personal anecdote.
  • Establishing the theme : Clearly introduce the topic and its relevance to the audience.
  • Purpose statement : State the main idea or lesson that will be conveyed through the narrative.
  • Setting the Scene
  • Describe the setting : Paint a vivid picture of the time and place where the story takes place.
  • Introduce characters : Briefly introduce key characters and their roles in the narrative.
  • Build tension : Set up any conflicts or challenges that drive the story forward.
  • Conflict and Resolution
  • Unveil the problem : Clearly present the central conflict or obstacle faced by the protagonist.
  • Rising action : Detail how tensions escalate as characters attempt to overcome challenges.
  • Climax and resolution : Describe the pivotal moment when the conflict reaches its peak and explain how it is ultimately resolved.
  • Lesson Learned
  • Reflect on experiences : Share personal insights gained from overcoming obstacles in your story.
  • Relatable message : Tie in universal themes or lessons that resonate with your audience.
  • Call to action (optional) : Encourage listeners to apply newfound wisdom in their own lives.
  • Recap key points : Summarize the main events and takeaways from your narrative journey.
  • Final thought or quote : End with a memorable closing line that leaves a lasting impression on your audience.

By following this structured outline, you can effectively craft a captivating narrative speech that engages your audience and leaves a lasting impact.

Examples of Engaging Narrative Speeches

Explore captivating narrative speech examples such as “A long way,” “A valuable lesson,” “My guided lesson 3,” and “Improving communication.” Discover the power of effective storytelling.

Personal narrative speech: A long way

I remember the time when I started my public speaking journey . It felt like a mountain to climb, but with practice and determination, it became more manageable. Engaging storytelling can transform your fear into confidence .

Real-world experiences make for compelling narratives – they resonate with the audience and bring your speech alive.

Moving forward, let’s learn about “Personal narrative speech: A valuable lesson “.

Personal narrative speech: A valuable lesson

During my college years, I learned a valuable lesson on the power of perseverance . It all started when I faced a tough challenge that seemed impossible to overcome. Despite feeling discouraged, I refused to give up and pushed through the obstacles.

This experience taught me that determination can lead to success , even in the face of adversity. The journey was not easy, but it strengthened my resilience and showed me the importance of never backing down from difficult situations.

My time grappling with this challenge was a turning point in realizing how perseverance can lead us towards unexpected victories. Through this personal narrative speech , you’ll explore how embracing challenges can pave the path for growth and triumph in both personal and professional endeavors.

Personal narrative speech: My guided lesson 3

During my guided lesson 3, I learned how to craft a compelling narrative speech that captivates the audience. Real-world experiences and anecdotes are the backbone of an engaging narrative.

The importance of narrative style in effective storytelling cannot be underestimated, emphasizing the significance of engaging storytelling to bring ideas alive .

– Personal narrative speech: Improving communication

Personal narrative speech: Improving communication

Improving communication is crucial for effective storytelling . It helps in connecting with the audience and conveying the message clearly. To enhance communication skills , practice active listening, maintain eye contact, and use body language effectively.

Engaging the audience is essential by using expressive tone and gestures to keep them interested. Make sure to speak clearly and confidently while avoiding filler words like “um” or “uh”.

These steps will help improve your overall communication skills and make your narrative speech more engaging for your listeners. Now let’s move on to exploring effective narrative speech topics .

Narrative essay on basketball injury

Transitioning from the topic of improving communication, let’s delve into a personal experience that revolves around a narrative essay on basketball injury . I vividly recall the adrenaline rush during a crucial game when, unfortunately, an unexpected twist led to an ankle injury .

The excruciating pain and subsequent recovery became a significant part of my journey and have since shaped my perspective on perseverance and resilience in the face of adversity.

Navigating through the complexities of physical setbacks provided valuable insights into determination and overcoming obstacles. Despite the daunting nature of such experiences, they can serve as powerful narratives that resonate with audiences, illustrating the importance of perseverance and fortitude.

Let’s talk about narrative speeches. They’re a great way to tell stories and keep people interested. I used to struggle with public speaking, but I worked hard and learned a lot. Now, I help others speak confidently.

Narrative speeches use storytelling to share ideas or experiences . There are 25 engaging examples in this topic that show how powerful storytelling can be, no matter what you’re talking about.

Stories make things interesting and help people remember your message. Whether you’re using personal experiences or creative tales, the right story can really make your speech stand out.

Writing a narrative speech takes some planning. You need to pick the right topic and organize your thoughts carefully. But when you get it right, it’s worth it!

There are all sorts of topics you can choose for your speech. From personal stories to lessons learned , there’s always something interesting you can talk about.

Remember that telling a good story is key in narrative speeches. It doesn’t matter what genre or form; if your story is compelling, people will listen.

Adding entertainment into your speech makes it more fun for everyone listening. They’ll enjoy hearing what you have to say and appreciate the effort you put into making it engaging.

Digital storytelling is another cool thing to try! You can mix different media like videos and pictures with your words to bring ideas alive even more vividly than ever before.

Understanding how narratives work helps too – knowing skills like setting up tension and providing resolutions keeps listeners on their toes wanting more!

Always looking at new ways to improve my own speaking has shown me just how much impact a well-told story can have on an audience.

speeches word examples

Ryan Nelson is the founder of Speak2Impress, a platform dedicated to helping individuals master the art of public speaking. Despite having a crippling fear of public speaking for many years, Ryan overcame his anxiety through diligent practice and active participation in Toastmasters. Now residing in New York City, he is passionate about sharing his journey and techniques to empower others to speak with confidence and clarity.

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Interesting Literature

10 of the Most Famous and Inspirational Speeches from History

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

What makes a great and iconic speech? There are numerous examples of brilliant orators and speechmakers throughout history, from classical times to the present day. What the best speeches tend to have in common are more than just a solid intellectual argument: they have emotive power, or, for want of a more scholarly word, ‘heart’. Great speeches rouse us to action, or move us to tears – or both.

But of course, historic speeches are often also associated with landmark, or watershed, moments in a nation’s history: when Churchill delivered his series of wartime speeches to Britain in 1940, it was against the backdrop of a war which was still in its early, uncertain stages. And when Martin Luther King stood in front of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, he was addressing a crowd who, like him, were marching for justice, freedom, and civil rights for African Americans.

Let’s take a closer look at ten of the best and most famous speeches from great moments in history.

Abraham Lincoln, ‘ Gettysburg Address ’ (1863).

The Gettysburg Address is one of the most famous speeches in American history, yet it was extremely short – just 268 words, or less than a page of text – and Abraham Lincoln, who gave the address, wasn’t even the top billing .

The US President Abraham Lincoln gave this short address at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on 19 November 1863. At the time, the American Civil War was still raging, and the Battle of Gettysburg had been the bloodiest battle in the war, with an estimated 23,000 casualties.

Lincoln’s speech has been remembered while Edward Everett’s – the main speech delivered on that day – has long been forgotten because Lincoln eschewed the high-flown allusions and wordy style of most political orators of the nineteenth century. Instead, he addresses his audience in plain, homespun English that is immediately relatable and accessible.

Sojourner Truth, ‘ Ain’t I a Woman? ’ (1851).

Sometimes known as ‘Ar’n’t I a Woman?’, this is a speech which Sojourner Truth, a freed African slave living in the United States, delivered in 1851 at the Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio. The women in attendance were being challenged to call for the right to vote.

In her speech, Sojourner Truth attempts to persuade the audience to give women the vote . As both an ex-slave and a woman, Sojourner Truth knew about the plight of both groups of people in the United States. Her speech shows her audience the times: change is coming, and it is time to give women the rights that should be theirs.

John Ball, ‘ Cast off the Yoke of Bondage ’ (1381).

The summer of 1381 was a time of unrest in England. The so-called ‘Peasants’ Revolt’, led by Wat Tyler (in actual fact, many of the leaders of the revolt were more well-to-do than your average peasant), gathered force until the rebels stormed London, executing a number of high-ranking officials, including the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Chancellor, Simon Sudbury.

Alongside Tyler, the priest John Ball was an important leading figure of the rebellion. His famous couplet, ‘When Adam delved and Eve span, / Who was then the gentleman?’ sums up the ethos of the Peasants’ Revolt: social inequality was unheard of until men created it.

Winston Churchill, ‘ We Shall Fight on the Beaches ’ (1940).

Winston Churchill had only recently assumed the role of UK Prime Minister when he gave the trio of wartime speeches which have gone down in history for their rhetorical skill and emotive power. This, for our money, is the best of the three.

Churchill gave this speech in the House of Commons on 4 June 1940. Having brought his listeners up to speed with what has happened, Churchill comes to the peroration of his speech : by far the most famous part. He reassures them that if nothing is neglected and all arrangements are made, he sees no reason why Britain cannot once more defend itself against invasion: something which, as an island nation, it has always been susceptible to by sea, and now by air.

Even if it takes years, and even if Britain must defend itself alone without any help from its allies, this is what must happen. Capitulation to the Nazis is not an option. The line ‘if necessary for years; if necessary, alone’ is sure to send a shiver down the spine, as is the way Churchill barks ‘we shall never surrender!’ in the post-war recording of the speech he made several years later.

William Faulkner, ‘ The Agony and the Sweat ’ (1950).

This is the title sometimes given to one of the most memorable Nobel Prize acceptance speeches: the American novelist William Faulkner’s acceptance of the Nobel Prize for Literature at Stockholm in 1950.

In his speech, Faulkner makes his famous statement about the ‘duty’ of writers: that they should write about ‘the human heart in conflict with itself’, as well as emotions and themes such as compassion, sacrifice, courage, and hope. He also emphasises that being a writer is hard work, and involves understanding human nature in all its complexity. But good writing should also remind readers what humankind is capable of.

Emmeline Pankhurst, ‘ The Plight of Women ’ (1908).

Pankhurst (1858-1928) was the leader of the British suffragettes, campaigning – and protesting – for votes for women. After she realised that Asquith’s Liberal government were unlikely to grand women the vote, the Women’s Social and Political Union, founded by Pankhurst with her daughter Christabel, turned to more militant tactics to shift public and parliamentary opinion.

Her emphasis in this speech is on the unhappy lot most women could face, in marriage and in motherhood. She also shows how ‘man-made’ the laws of England are, when they are biased in favour of men to the detriment of women’s rights.

This speech was given at the Portman Rooms in London in 1908; ten years later, towards the end of the First World War, women over 30 were finally given the vote. But it would be another ten years, in 1928 – the year of Pankhurst’s death – before the voting age for women was equal to that for men (21 years).

Franklin Roosevelt, ‘ The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself ’ (1933).

This is the title by which Roosevelt’s speech at his inauguration in 1933 has commonly become known, and it has attained the status of a proverb. Roosevelt was elected only a few years after the Wall Street Crash of 1929 which ushered in the Great Depression.

Roosevelt’s famous line in the speech, which offered hope to millions of Americans dealing with unemployment and poverty, was probably inspired by a line from Henry David Thoreau, a copy of whose writings FDR had been gifted shortly before his inauguration. The line about having nothing to fear except fear itself was, in fact, only added into the speech the day before the inauguration took place, but it ensured that the speech went down in history.

Marcus Tullius Cicero, ‘ Among Us You Can Dwell No Longer ’ (63 BC).

Of all of the great classical orators, perhaps the greatest of all was the Roman statesman, philosopher, and speechmaker, Cicero (whose name literally means ‘chickpea’).

This is probably his best-known speech. At the Temple of Jupiter in Rome, Cicero addressed the crowd, but specifically directed his comments towards Lucius Catiline, who was accused of plotting a conspiracy to set fire to the capital and stage and insurrection. The speech was considered such a fine example of Roman rhetoric that it was a favourite in classrooms for centuries after, as Brian MacArthur notes in The Penguin Book of Historic Speeches .

Queen Elizabeth I, ‘ The Heart and Stomach of a King ’ (1588).

Queen Elizabeth I’s speech to the troops at Tilbury is among the most famous and iconic speeches in English history. On 9 August 1588, Elizabeth addressed the land forces which had been mobilised at the port of Tilbury in Essex, in preparation for the expected invasion of England by the Spanish Armada.

When she gave this speech, Elizabeth was in her mid-fifties and her youthful beauty had faded. But she had learned rhetoric as a young princess, and this training served her well when she wrote and delivered this speech (she was also a fairly accomplished poet ).

She famously tells her troops: ‘I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too’. She acknowledged the fact that her body was naturally less masculine and strong than the average man’s, but it is not mere physical strength that will win the day. It is courage that matters.

Martin Luther King, ‘ I Have a Dream ’ (1963).

Let’s conclude this selection of the best inspirational speeches with the best-known of all of Martin Luther King’s speeches. The occasion for this piece of oratorical grandeur was the march on Washington , which saw some 210,000 men, women, and children gather at the Washington Monument in August 1963, before marching to the Lincoln Memorial. King reportedly stayed up until 4am the night before he was due to give the speech, writing it out.

King’s speech imagines a collective vision of a better and more equal America which is not only shared by many Black Americans, but by anyone who identifies with their fight against racial injustice, segregation, and discrimination.

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50 Speech Closing Lines (& How to Create Your Own) | The Ultimate Guide

Hrideep barot.

  • Public Speaking , Speech Writing

speech closing lines

While speech openings are definitely one of the most important components of a speech, something that is equally as important is the way you conclude your speech.

There are few worse ways to end your speech than with a terse ‘thank you’–no elaboration or addition whatsoever.

Speech endings are just as crucial to the success of your speech as speech openings, and you must spend just as much time picking the perfect ending as you do to determine your best possible speech opening.

The words you speak at the beginning and end of your speech are words that your audience will pay the most attention to, and remember longer than any other part of your speech.

Speech endings can put even the most experienced speaker in flux, and increase their anxiousness manifold as they sit there attempting to figure out the perfect way to end your speech.

If you’re someone who’s in flux about your speech ending too, don’t worry. We’ve got some amazing ways to conclude your speech with a bang!

1. Circling Back To The Beginning

The idea behind circling back to the beginning of your speech is to reinforce the idea of your speech being a complete whole. By circling back to the beginning and connecting it to your ending, you let the audience understand that the idea of your speech is complete & standalone.

Circling back to the beginning of your speech also acts as an excellent way of reinforcing the central idea of your speech in the audience’s mind, and makes it more likely that they will remember it after the speech ends.

Need more inspiration for speech opening lines? Check out our article on 15 Powerful Speech Opening Lines & Tips To Create Your Own.

How To Circle Back To The Beginning

The easiest way to do this is to set up your beginning for the conclusion of your speech. That is, if you’re saying something like, say, a story or joke in the beginning, then you can leave your audience in a cliffhanger until the ending arrives.

Another great way to circle back to the beginning is by simply restating something you said at the start. The added knowledge from attending the rest of your speech will help the audience see this piece of information in a new–and better–light.

1. Will Stephen

Ending Line: “I’d like you to think about what you heard in the beginning, and I want you to think about what you hear now. Because it was nothing & it’s still nothing.”

2. Canwen Xu

Speech Ending: My name is Canwen, my favorite color is purple and I play the piano but not so much the violin…

Think of a memorable moment from your life, and chances are you’ll realize that it involved a feeling of happiness–something that we can associate with smiling or laughter. And what better way to generate laughter than by incorporating the age-old strategy of good humor.

The happy and lighthearted feeling you associate with good memories is the kind of emotional reaction you want to create in your audience too. That’s what will make your speech stick in their memory.

Done incorrectly, humor can be a disaster. Done right, however, it can entirely transform a speech.

Humor doesn’t only mean slapstick comedy (although there’s nothing wrong with slapstick, either). Humor can come in many forms, including puns, jokes, a funny story…the list is endless.

How To Incorporate Humor In Your Speech Ending

The simplest way to incorporate humor into your speech ending is by telling a plain old joke–something that’s relevant to your topic, of course.

You can also tell them a short, funny anecdote–may be an unexpected conclusion to a story you set up in the beginning.

Another way would be by employing the power of repetition. You can do this by associating something funny with a word, and then repeating the word throughout your speech. During the end, simply say the word or phrase one last time, and it’s likely you’ll leave off your audience with a good chuckle.

1. Woody Roseland

Ending Line: “Why are balloons so expensive? Inflation.”

2. Andras Arato

Ending Line: “There are three rules to becoming famous. Unfortunately, nobody knows what they are.”

3. Hasan Minhaj

Ending Line: “And you want to know the scariest part? Pretty soon every country on the earth is going to have its own TLC show.”

4. Sophie Scott

Speech Ending: In other words, when it comes to laughter, you and me baby, ain’t nothing but mammals.

5. Tim Urban

Speech Ending: We need to stay away from the Instant Gratification Monkey. That’s a job for all of us. And because there’s not that many boxes on there. It’s a job that should probably start today. Well, maybe not today, but, you know, sometime soon.

6. Hasan Minhaj

Speech Ending: Showing my legs on TV is probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done. And keep in mind last week I went after the Prince of Saudi Arabia.

3. Question

The idea behind posing a question at the end of your speech is to get the wheels in your audience’s minds turning and to get them thinking of your speech long after it has ended. A question, if posed correctly, will make your audience re-think about crucial aspects of your speech, and is a great way to prompt discussion after your speech has ended.

How To Add Questions To Your Speech Ending

The best type of questions to add to your speech ending is rhetorical questions. That’s because, unlike a literal question, a rhetorical question will get the audience thinking and make them delve deeper into the topic at hand.

Make sure your question is central to the idea of your speech, and not something frivolous or extra. After all, the point of a question is to reinforce the central idea of your topic.

1. Lexie Alford

Speech Ending: Ask yourself: How uncomfortable are you willing to become in order to reach your fullest potential?

2. Apollo Robbins

Speech Ending: If you could control somebody’s attention, what would you do with it?

Quotes are concise, catchy phrases or sentences that are generally easy to remember and repeat.

Quotes are an age-old way to start–and conclude–a speech. And for good reason.

Quotes can reinforce your own ideas by providing a second voice to back them up. They can also provoke an audience’s mind & get them thinking. So, if you add your quote to the end of your speech, the audience will most likely be thinking about it for long after you have finished speaking.

How To Use Quotes In Your Speech Ending

While adding quotes to your speech ending, make sure that it’s relevant to your topic. Preferably, you want to pick a quote that summarizes your entire idea in a concise & memorable manner.

Make sure that your quote isn’t too long or complicated. Your audience should be able to repeat it as well as feel its impact themselves. They shouldn’t be puzzling over the semantics of your quote, but its intended meaning.

1. Edouard Jacqmin

Speech Ending: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”

2. Chris Crowe

Speech Ending: “It’s more certain than death and taxes.”

3. Olivia Remes

Speech Ending: I’d like to leave you with a quote by Martin Luther King: “You don’ have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.”

4. Tomislav Perko

Speech Ending: Like that famous quote says, “In twenty years from now on, you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did do.

5. Diana Nyad

Speech Ending: To paraphrase the poet, Mary Oliver, she says, “So, what is it? What is it you’re doing with this one wild and precious life of yours?”

5. Piece Of Advice

The point of giving a piece of advice at the end of your speech is not to pull your audience down or to make them feel bad/inferior about themselves. Rather, the advice is added to motivate your audience to take steps to do something–something related to the topic at hand.

The key point to remember is that your advice is included to help your audience, not to discourage them.

How To Add Piece Of Advice To Your Speech Ending

To truly make your audience follow the advice you’re sharing, you must make sure it resonates with them. To do so, you need to inject emotions into your advice, and to present it in such a manner that your audience’s emotions are aroused when they hear it.

Your advice shouldn’t be something extra-complicated or seemingly impossible to achieve. This will act as a counter-agent. Remember that you want your audience to follow your advice, not to chuck it away as something impossible.

Our article, 15 Powerful Speech Ending Lines And Tips To Create Your Own , is another great repository for some inspiration.

1. Ricardo Lieuw On

Speech Ending: “Learn something new, or a new way of approaching something old because there are a few skills are valuable as the art of learning.”

2. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

Speech Ending: “If we want to improve the competence level of our leaders, then we should first improve our own competence for judging and selecting leaders.”

3. Sharique Samsudheen

Speech Ending: “Some people love money, some people hate money, some people crave money, some people even kill for money. But what they miss is they just need to learn how to manage money well, and that will give them financial freedom.”

4. Kate Simonds

Speech Ending: Teens, you need to believe in your voices and adults, you need to listen.

5. Melissa Butler

Speech Ending: When you go home today, see yourself in the mirror, see all of you, look at all your greatness that you embody, accept it, love it and finally, when you leave the house tomorrow, try to extend that same love and acceptance to someone who doesn’t look like you.

6. Iskra Lawrence

Speech Ending: Speak to your body in a loving way. It’s the only one you got, it’s your home, and it deserves your respect. If you see anyone tearing themselves down, build them back up And watch your life positively grow when you give up the pursuit of perfection.

6. Contemplative Remark

As the name itself suggests, contemplative remarks are intended to make your audience contemplate or mull over something. The ‘something’ in question should be the idea central to your speech, or a key takeaway that you want them to return home with.

The idea is to get your audience thinking and to keep them thinking for a long, long time.

How To Add A Contemplative Remark To Your Speech Ending

To add a contemplative remark to your speech ending, you first need to figure out your key takeaway or main theme. Then, you want to arrange that as a question, and propose it to your audience at the end of your speech.

Remember that your question shouldn’t be something too wordy or complicated to understand. As with the quotes, you don’t want your audience stuck on the semantics. Rather, you want them to focus on the matter at hand.

1. Lisa Penney

Speech Ending: “So I invite you to pay more attention to your thoughts & consider the legacy you leave behind.”

2. Grant Sanderson

Speech Ending: “Some of the most useful math that you can find or teach has its origin in someone who was just looking for a good story.”

3. Greta Thunberg

Speech Ending: “We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up & change is coming whether you like it or not.”

4. Bill Eckstrom

Speech Ending: Now, think about this: it’s not the complexity-triggering individuals or events you should fear the most, but it’s your own willingness to accept or seek discomfort that will dictate the growth of not just you, but our entire world.

5. Robert Hoge

Speech Ending: Choose to accept your face, choose to appreciate your face, don’t look away from the mirror so quickly; understand all the love, and the life, and the pain that is the part of your face, that is the art of your face. Tomorrow when you wake up, what will your choice be?

7. Personal Anecdote

Personal anecdotes, as the name suggests, are anecdotes that are personal to the speaker or instances from their life. Personal anecdotes are a great way to incorporate the magical powers of storytelling in your speech, as well as to make a personal connection with the audience. Using personal anecdotes, you can hit two birds with one stone!

How To Add Personal Anecdotes To Your Speech Ending

To add personal anecdotes to your speech ending, you need to filter through your life experiences to find out ones that directly relate to your topic at hand. You don’t want to include an anecdote, no matter how compelling it is, if it doesn’t relate to your topic.

Remember to not keep your anecdote too long. Your audience will most likely lose their attention if you do so.

1. Sheila Humphries

Speech Ending: “Why do you go work for these people?” My answer to them was, “If I could help one child make it in this world, it’ll be worth it all.”

8. Call To Action

A call-to-action is one of the absolute best ways to conclude a speech with a bang. A well-written speech should aim to alter the audience’s mind or belief system in some way and to make them take an action in that direction. One crucial way to assure your audience does this is by using a call to action.

How To Add A Call To Action To Your Speech Ending

A call to action comes right before the ending of your speech to provide your audience with a clear idea or set of instructions about what they’re supposed to do after your talk ends.

A call to action should provide a roadmap to the audience for their future steps, and to outline clearly what those future steps are going to be.

1. Armin Hamrah

Speech Ending: “So tonight, after you finish your Math homework & before you lay your head down on that fluffy pillow, bring a piece of paper and pen by your bedside…”

2. Graham Shaw

Speech Ending: “So I invite you to get your drawings out there & spread the word that when we draw, we remember more!”

3. Andy Puddicombe

Speech Ending: You don’t have to burn any incense, and you definitely don’t have to sit on the floor. All you need to do is to take out 10 minutes out a day to step back, familiarize yourself with the present moment so that you get to experience a greater sense of focus, calm, and clarity in your life.

4. Amy Cuddy

Speech Ending: Before you go into the next stressful evaluative situation, for two minutes, try doing this in the elevator…

5. Jia Jiang

Speech Ending: When you are facing the next obstacle or the next failure, consider the possibilities. Don’t run! If you just embrace them, they might become your gifts as well.

9. Motivational Remark

As the name clearly explains, a motivational remark motivates your audience to carry out a plan of action. It ruffles the audience’s mind and emotions and has a powerful impact on the steps that your audience will take after you’ve finished speaking.

How To Add A Motivational Remark To Your Speech Ending

The key to a good motivational remark is to inspire your audience. Your motivational remark should act as a ray of hope to your audience and positively inspire them to take a desired course of action.

Your motivational remark should not be negative in any way. You don’t want to guilt or coerce your audience into doing something or feeling a certain way. You want to leave them on a positive note to move forward with their life.

1. Khanh Vy Tran

Speech Ending: “No matter what you’re going through right now & no matter what the future holds for you, please don’t change yourself. Love yourself, accept yourself & then transform yourself.”

2. Mithila Palkar

Speech Ending: “Get a job, leave a job, dance, sing, fall in love. Carve your own niche. But most importantly: learn to love your own randomness.”

3. Andrew Tarvin

Speech Ending: “Anyone can learn to be funnier. And it all starts with a choice. A choice to try to find ways to use humor. A choice to be like my grandmother, to look at the world around you and say WTF–wow, that’s fun.”

4. Laura Vanderkam

Speech Ending: There is time. Even if we are busy, we have time for what matters. And when we focus on what matters, we can build the lives we want in the time we’ve got.

5. Julian Treasure

Speech Ending: Let’s get listening taught in schools, and transform the world in one generation into a conscious listening world, a world of connection, a world of understanding, and a world of peace.

6. Mariana Atencio

Speech Ending: Let’s celebrate those imperfections that make us special. I hope that it teaches you that nobody has a claim on the word ‘normal’. We are all different. We are all quirky and unique and that is what makes us wonderfully human.

10. Challenge

Much like a call to action, the aim of proposing a challenge at the end of your speech is to instigate your audience to take some desired course of action. A challenge should make an appeal to your audience’s emotion, and motivate them to meet it.

How To Add A Challenge To Your Speech Ending

To apply a challenge effectively to your speech ending, you need to make sure that it’s something relevant to your topic. Your challenge should drive the central topic of your speech forward, and make your audience engage in real-life steps to apply your idea in the real world.

While its always a good idea to set a high bar for your challenge, make sure its an achievable one too.

1. Jamak Golshani

Speech Ending: “I challenge you to open your heart to new possibilities, choose a career path that excites you & one that’s aligned to who you truly are.”

2. Ashley Clift-Jennings

Speech Ending: So, my challenge to you today is, “Do you know, would you even know how to recognize your soulmate?” If you are going out in the world right now, would you know what you are looking for?

11. Metaphor

Metaphors are commonly used as a short phrase that draws a comparison between two ideas in a non-literal sense. People use metaphors quite commonly in daily life to explain ideas that might be too difficult or confusing to understand otherwise. Metaphors are also great tools to be used in speech, as they can present your main idea in a simple and memorable way.

How To Add Metaphors To Your Speech Ending

To add a metaphor to your speech ending, you need to first decide on the main idea or takeaway of your speech. Your metaphor should then be organized in such a way that it simplifies your main idea and makes it easier for your audience to understand & remember it.

The key is to not make your metaphor overly complicated or difficult to retain and share. Remember that you’re trying to simplify your idea for the audience–not make them even more confused.

1. Ramona J. Smith

Speech Ending: “Stay in that ring. And even after you take a few hits, use what you learned from those previous fights, and at the end of the round, you’ll still remain standing.”

2. Shi Heng YI

Speech Ending: “If any of you chooses to climb that path to clarity, I will be very happy to meet you at the peak.”

3. Zifang “Sherrie” Su

Speech Ending: “Are you turning your back on your fear? Our life is like this stage, but what scares are now may bring you the most beautiful thing. Give it a chance.”

12. Storytelling

The idea behind using stories to end your speech is to leave your audience with a good memory to take away with them.

Stories are catchy, resonating & memorable ways to end any speech.

Human beings can easily relate to stories. This is because most people have grown up listening to stories of some kind or another, and thus a good story tends to evoke fond feelings in us.

How To Incorporate Stories In Your Speech Ending

A great way to incorporate stories in your speech ending is by setting up a story in the beginning and then concluding it during the end of your speech.

Another great way would be to tell a short & funny anecdote related to a personal experience or simply something related to the topic at hand.

However, remember that it’s the ending of your speech. Your audience is most likely at the end of their attention span. So, keep your story short & sweet.

1. Sameer Al Jaberi

Speech Ending: “I can still see that day when I came back from my honeymoon…”

2. Josephine Lee

Speech Ending: “At the end of dinner, Jenna turned to me and said…”

Facts are another excellent speech ending, and they are used quite often as openings as well. The point of adding a fact as your speech ending is to add shock value to your speech, and to get your audience thinking & discussing the fact even after your speech has ended.

How To Add Facts To Your Speech Ending

The key to adding facts to your speech ending is to pick a fact that thrusts forward your main idea in the most concise form possible. Your fact should also be something that adds shock value to the speech, and it should ideally be something that the audience hasn’t heard before.

Make sure that your fact is relevant to the topic at hand. No matter how interesting, a fact that doesn’t relate to your topic is going to be redundant.

1. David JP Phillips

Speech Ending: 3500 years ago, we started transfering knowledge from generation to generation through text. 28 years ago, PowerPoint was born. Which one do you think our brain is mostly adapted to?

14. Rhethoric Remark

Rhetoric remarks are another excellent way to get the wheels of your audience’s minds turning. Rhetoric remarks make your audience think of an imagined scenario, and to delve deeper into your topic. Rhetoric remarks or questioned don’t necessarily need to have a ‘right’ or one-shot answer, which means you can be as creative with them as possible!

How To Add Rhethoric Remarks To Your Speech Ending

Since rhetorical questions don’t need to have a definite answer, you have much freedom in determining the type of question or statement you wish to make. However, as with all other speech endings, a rhetorical question shouldn’t be asked just for the sake of it.

A rhetorical question should make your audience think about your topic in a new or more creative manner. It should get them thinking about the topic and maybe see it from an angle that they hadn’t before.

Rhetorical questions shouldn’t be too confusing. Use simple language & make sure it’s something that the audience can easily comprehend.

1. Mona Patel

Speech Ending: Pick your problem, ask “What if?” Come up with ideas. Bring them down. Then execute on them. Maybe you’re thinking, “What if we can’t?” I say to you, “What if we don’t?”

2. Lizzie Velasquez

Speech Ending: I want you to leave here and ask yourself what defines you. But remember: Brave starts here.

Another great way to end your speech with a literal bang is by using music! After all, if there’s something that can impact the human mind with just as much force as a few well-placed words, it’s the correct music.

How To Add Music To Your Speech Ending

To add music to your speech ending, you must make sure that the music has something to do with your speech theme. Remember that you’re not playing music in your concert. The piece of music that you choose must be relevant to your topic & work to have a contribution in your overall speech.

1. Tom Thum

Speech Ending: *ends the TED Talk with beat boxing*

16. Reitirate The Title

The title of your speech is its most important component. That’s why you need to pay careful attention to how you pick it, as it is something that your viewers will most likely remember the longest about your speech.

Your title will also act as a guiding hand towards how your audience forms an initial idea about your speech and is what they will associate your entire speech with.

By repeating your title at the end of your speech, you increase the chances that your audience will remember it–and your speech–for a long time.

How To Retierate The Title In Your Speech Ending

Your title is something that your audience associates your entire speech with. However, you don’t want to simply add the title in your speech end for the sake of adding it. Instead, make it flow naturally into your speech ending. This will make it seem less forced, and will also increase the chances of your audience remembering your entire speech ending and not just the title of your speech.

1. Ruairi Robertson

Speech Ending: I feel we can all contribute to this fight worth fighting for our own health, but more importantly, our future generations’ health by restoring the relationship between microbe and man. There is SOME FOOD FOR THOUGHT!

Need more inspiration for speech closing lines? Check out our article on 10 Of The Best Things To Say In Closing Remarks.

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To sum up, speech endings are just as imperative to the success of your speech as speech openings, and you must spend just as much time picking the perfect ending as you do to determine your best possible speech opening. The words you speak at the beginning and end of your speech are words that your audience will pay the most attention to, and remember longer than any other part of your speech.

Still looking for inspiration? Check out this video we made on closing remarks:

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10 famous speeches in English and what you can learn from them

Speech is an essential element of language, one that we all employ in our daily lives. What about a speech ?

A speech is a formal address, delivered to an audience, that seeks to convince, persuade, inspire or inform. From historic moments to the present day, the English language has given us some extraordinary examples of the spoken word. A powerful tool in the right – or wrong – hands, spoken English can, and has, changed the world.

We’ve chosen ten of the most famous speeches in English. They range from celebrated, world-changing pieces of rhetoric to our personal favourites, but most importantly they still rouse our emotions when we hear them today. We’ve examined each for the tricks of the oratory trade. After each speech you’ll find some bullet points outlining its most distinctive rhetorical features, and why a speech writer would include them.

Remember these celebrated rhetoricians the next time you have to give a speech in public – be this at a wedding, award ceremony or business conference.

Scroll down to the end of this post for our essential tips on crafting speeches.

1. Martin Luther King I Have a Dream 1963

We couldn’t have an article about speeches without mentioning this one. Incredibly famous and iconic, Martin Luther King changed the character of speech making.

I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification – one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.

What makes this a great speech?

– Abstract nouns like “ dream ” are incredibly emotional. Our dreams are an intimate part of our subconscious and express our strongest desires. Dreams belong to the realm of fantasy; of unworldly, soaring experiences. King’s repetition of the simple sentence “I have a dream” evokes a picture in our minds of a world where complete equality and freedom exist.

– It fuses simplicity of language with sincerity : something that all persuasive speeches seek to do!

– Use of tenses: King uses the future tense (“will be able”, “shall be”, “will be made””), which gives his a dream certainty and makes it seem immediate and real.

– Thanks to its highly biblical rhetoric , King’s speech reads like a sermon. The last paragraph we’ve quoted here is packed with biblical language and imagery .

2. King George VI Radio Address 1939

This speech was brought back to life recently thanks to the film, The King’s Speech (2010). While George VI will never go down in history as one of the world’s gifted orators, his speech will certainly be remembered.

In this grave hour, perhaps the most fateful in history, I send to every household of my peoples, both at home and overseas, this message, spoken with the same depth of feeling for each one of you as if I were able to cross your threshold and speak to you myself. For the second time in the lives of most of us, we are at war. Over and over again, we have tried to find a peaceful way out of the differences between ourselves and those who are now our enemies, but it has been in vain.  

– At only 404 words long, the speech is impressively economical with language. Its short length means that every word is significant, and commands its audiences’ attention.

– This is a great example of how speechwriters use superlatives . George VI says that this moment is “the most fateful in history”. Nothing gets peoples’ attention like saying this is the “most important” or “best”.

– “ We ”, “ us ” and “ I ”: This is an extremely personal speech. George VI is using the first person, “I”, to reach out to each person listening to the speech. He also talks in the third person: “we are at war”, to unite British people against the common enemy: “them”, or Germany.

3. Winston Churchill We shall fight on the beaches 1940

Churchill is an icon of great speech making. All his life Churchill struggled with a stutter that caused him difficulty pronouncing the letter “s”. Nevertheless, with pronunciation and rehearsal he became one of the most famous orators in history.

…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, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.

What makes it a powerful speech?

– Structural repetition of the simple phrase “we shall…”

– Active verbs like “defend” and “fight” are extremely motivational, rousing Churchill’s audience’s spirits.

– Very long sentences build the tension of the speech up to its climax “the rescue and the liberation of the old”, sweeping listeners along. A similar thing happens in musical pieces: the composition weaves a crescendo, which often induces emotion in its audience.

4. Elizabeth I Speech to the Troops 1588

The “Virgin Queen”, Elizabeth I, made this speech at a pivotal moment in English history. It is a remarkable speech in extraordinary circumstances: made by a woman, it deals with issues of gender, sovereignty and nationality.

I am come amongst you, as you see, at this time, not for my recreation and disport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live and die amongst you all; to lay down for my God, and for my kingdom, and my people, my honour and my blood, even in the dust. I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm; to which rather than any dishonour shall grow by me, I myself will take up arms, I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field.

– Elizabeth puts aside differences in social status and says she will “live and die amongst (her troops)”. This gives her speech a very inclusive message .

– She uses antithesis , or contrasting ideas. To offset the problem of her femininity – of being a “weak and feeble woman” – she swiftly emphasises her masculine qualities: that she has the “heart and stomach of a king”.

– Elizabeth takes on the role of a protector : there is much repetition of the pronoun “I”, and “I myself” to show how active she will be during the battle.

5. Chief Joseph Surrender Speech 1877

We’ve included this speech because there is something extremely raw and humbling about Chief Joseph’s surrender. Combining vulnerability with pride, this is an unusual speech and deserves attention.

Tell General Howard I know his heart. What he told me before, I have it in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our Chiefs are killed; Looking Glass is dead, Ta Hool Hool Shute is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led on the young men is dead. It is cold, and we have no blankets; the little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are – perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my Chiefs! I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever.

What makes this a good speech?

– This speech is a perfect example of a how a non-native speaker can make the English language their own. Chief Joesph’s rhetoric retains the feels and culture of a Native American Indian speaker, and is all the more moving for this.

– Simple, short sentences.

– Declarative sentences such as “I know his heart” and “It is cold” present a listener with hard facts that are difficult to argue against.

6.  Emmeline Pankhurst Freedom or Death 1913

Traditionally silent, women tend to have been left out of rhetoric. All that changed, however, with the advent of feminism. In her struggle for the vote, Pankhurst and her fellow protesters were compelled to find a voice.

You have left it to women in your land, the men of all civilised countries have left it to women, to work out their own salvation. That is the way in which we women of England are doing. Human life for us is sacred, but we say if any life is to be sacrificed it shall be ours; we won’t do it ourselves, but we will put the enemy in the position where they will have to choose between giving us freedom or giving us death.

– Direct acknowledgement of her audience through use of the pronoun you .

– Pankhurst uses stark, irreconcilable contrasts to emphasise the suffragettes’ seriousness. Binary concepts like men/women, salvation/damnation, freedom/imprisonment and life/death play an important role in her speech.

7. John F. Kennedy The Decision to go the Moon 19 61

Great moments require great speeches. The simplicity of Kennedy’s rhetoric preserves a sense of wonder at going beyond human capabilities, at this great event for science and technology.

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

– Simple sentence structures: “We choose to go to the moon” = Subject + Verb + Complement. The grammatical simplicity of the sentence allows an audience to reflect on important concepts, i.e. choice. Repetition emphasises this.

– Kennedy uses demonstrative (or pointing) pronouns e.g. “ this decade”, “ that goal” to create a sense of urgency; to convey how close to success the US is.

8. Shakespeare The Tempest  Act 3 Scene 2 c.1610

Of course, any list of great speeches would be incomplete without a mention of the master of rhetoric, the Bard himself.  If you caught the London Olympic Opening Ceremony you would have noticed that Kenneth Branagh delivered Caliban’s speech, from The Tempest .

Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises, Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not. Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices That, if I then had waked after long sleep, Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming, The clouds methought would open and show riches Ready to drop upon me that, when I waked, I cried to dream again.

– It expresses a wonder and uncertainty of the world, and an inability to comprehend its mystery.

– It is highly alliterative , a rhetorical trick that makes speech memorable and powerful.

– Shakespeare uses onomatopoeia (e.g. “twangling”, “hum”: words whose sound is like they are describing) to make Caliban’s speech evocative.

9.  Shakespeare  Henry V  Act 3 Scene 1, 1598

One of rhetoric’s most primal functions is to transform terrified men into bloodthirsty soldiers. “Once more unto the breach” is a speech that does just that. It is a perfect example of how poetry is an inextricable element of rhetoric.

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; Or close the wall up with our English dead. In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man As modest stillness and humility: But when the blast of war blows in our ears, Then imitate the action of the tiger; Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, Disguise fair nature with hard-favour’d rage

What makes this such a great rousing battle speech?

-Shakespeare uses some fantastic imagery in King Henry’s speech. His “dear friends”, or soldiers, are tigers, commanded to block their enemies’ way with their dead comrades. This appeals to ideals of masculinity that men should be fierce and strong.

– Orders and imperative verbs give the speaker authority.

– Repetition of key phrases and units of sound: the vowel sounds in the repeated phrase “once more” are echoed by the words “or” and “our”. This makes it an extraordinarily powerful piece of rhetoric to hear spoken.

10. William Lyon Phelps The Pleasure of Books 1933

This speech was read a year before Nazis began their systematic destruction of books that didn’t match Nazi ideals. As major advocates of books at English Trackers, we’re naturally inclined to love speeches about their importance.

A borrowed book is like a guest in the house; it must be treated with punctiliousness, with a certain considerate formality. You must see that it sustains no damage; it must not suffer while under your roof. You cannot leave it carelessly, you cannot mark it, you cannot turn down the pages, you cannot use it familiarly. And then, some day, although this is seldom done, you really ought to return it.

– Phelps personifies books in this speech; that is, he gives books human characteristics – like the capacity to “suffer”. Comparing a book to a guest creates novelty , which engages and holds the interest of a listener.

– This speech uses both modal verbs (“must”, “ought”) and prohibitions (“you cannot”) to demonstrate both proper and improper behaviour.

Some tips to bear in mind when writing a speech

– KISS : the golden rule of Keep It Short and Simple really does apply. Keep your sentences short, your grammar simple. Not only is this more powerful than long rambling prose, but you’re more likely hold your audience’s attention – and be able to actually remember what you’re trying to say!

– Rule of 3 : another golden rule. The human brain responds magically to things that come in threes. Whether it’s a list of adjectives, a joke, or your main points, it’s most effective if you keep it to this structure.

– Imagery : Metaphors, similes and description will help an audience to understand you, and keep them entertained.

– Pronouns : Use “we” to create a sense of unity, “them” for a common enemy, “you” if you’re reaching out to your audience, and “I” / “me” if you want to take control.

– Poetry : Repetition, rhyme and alliteration are sound effects, used by poets and orators alike. They make a speech much more memorable. Remember to also structure pauses and parentheses into a speech. This will vary the flow of sound, helping you to hold your audience’s attention.

– Jokes : Humour is powerful. Use it to perk up a sleepy audience, as well as a rhetorical tool. Laughter is based on people having common, shared assumptions – and can therefore be used to persuade.

– Key words : “Every”, “improved”, “natural”, “pure”, “tested’ and “recommended” will, according to some surveys, press the right buttons and get a positive response from your listeners.

About the Author: This post comes to you from guest blogger, Natalie. Currently blogging, editing and based in London, Natalie previously worked with the English Trackers team.

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40 Strong Persuasive Writing Examples (Essays, Speeches, Ads, and More)

Learn from the experts.

The American Crisis historical article, as an instance of persuasive essay examples

The more we read, the better writers we become. Teaching students to write strong persuasive essays should always start with reading some top-notch models. This round-up of persuasive writing examples includes famous speeches, influential ad campaigns, contemporary reviews of famous books, and more. Use them to inspire your students to write their own essays. (Need persuasive essay topics? Check out our list of interesting persuasive essay ideas here! )

  • Persuasive Essays
  • Persuasive Speeches
  • Advertising Campaigns

Persuasive Essay Writing Examples

First paragraph of Thomas Paine's The American Crisis

From the earliest days of print, authors have used persuasive essays to try to sway others to their own point of view. Check out these top persuasive essay writing examples.

Professions for Women by Virginia Woolf

Sample lines: “Outwardly, what is simpler than to write books? Outwardly, what obstacles are there for a woman rather than for a man? Inwardly, I think, the case is very different; she has still many ghosts to fight, many prejudices to overcome. Indeed it will be a long time still, I think, before a woman can sit down to write a book without finding a phantom to be slain, a rock to be dashed against. And if this is so in literature, the freest of all professions for women, how is it in the new professions which you are now for the first time entering?”

The Crisis by Thomas Paine

Sample lines: “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.”

Politics and the English Language by George Orwell

Sample lines: “As I have tried to show, modern writing at its worst does not consist in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer. It consists in gumming together long strips of words which have already been set in order by someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug.”

Letter From a Birmingham Jail by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sample lines: “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was ‘well timed’ in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word ‘Wait!’ It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This ‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.’ We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that ‘justice too long delayed is justice denied.'”

Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

Sample lines: “Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men.”

Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Roger Ebert

Sample lines: “‘Kindness’ covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime.”

The Way to Wealth by Benjamin Franklin

Sample lines: “Methinks I hear some of you say, must a man afford himself no leisure? I will tell thee, my friend, what Poor Richard says, employ thy time well if thou meanest to gain leisure; and, since thou art not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour. Leisure is time for doing something useful; this leisure the diligent man will obtain, but the lazy man never; so that, as Poor Richard says, a life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things.”

The Crack-Up by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Sample lines: “Of course all life is a process of breaking down, but the blows that do the dramatic side of the work—the big sudden blows that come, or seem to come, from outside—the ones you remember and blame things on and, in moments of weakness, tell your friends about, don’t show their effect all at once.”

Open Letter to the Kansas School Board by Bobby Henderson

Sample lines: “I am writing you with much concern after having read of your hearing to decide whether the alternative theory of Intelligent Design should be taught along with the theory of Evolution. … Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. … We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him. It is for this reason that I’m writing you today, to formally request that this alternative theory be taught in your schools, along with the other two theories.”

Open Letter to the United Nations by Niels Bohr

Sample lines: “Humanity will, therefore, be confronted with dangers of unprecedented character unless, in due time, measures can be taken to forestall a disastrous competition in such formidable armaments and to establish an international control of the manufacture and use of the powerful materials.”

Persuasive Speech Writing Examples

Many persuasive speeches are political in nature, often addressing subjects like human rights. Here are some of history’s most well-known persuasive writing examples in the form of speeches.

I Have a Dream by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sample lines: “And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

Woodrow Wilson’s War Message to Congress, 1917

Sample lines: “There are, it may be, many months of fiery trial and sacrifice ahead of us. It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war, into the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself seeming to be in the balance. But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts—for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own governments, for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free.”

Chief Seattle’s 1854 Oration

Sample lines: “I here and now make this condition that we will not be denied the privilege without molestation of visiting at any time the tombs of our ancestors, friends, and children. Every part of this soil is sacred in the estimation of my people. Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove, has been hallowed by some sad or happy event in days long vanished. Even the rocks, which seem to be dumb and dead as they swelter in the sun along the silent shore, thrill with memories of stirring events connected with the lives of my people, and the very dust upon which you now stand responds more lovingly to their footsteps than yours, because it is rich with the blood of our ancestors, and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch.”

Women’s Rights Are Human Rights, Hillary Rodham Clinton

Sample lines: “What we are learning around the world is that if women are healthy and educated, their families will flourish. If women are free from violence, their families will flourish. If women have a chance to work and earn as full and equal partners in society, their families will flourish. And when families flourish, communities and nations do as well. … If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights once and for all.”

I Am Prepared to Die, Nelson Mandela

Sample lines: “Above all, My Lord, we want equal political rights, because without them our disabilities will be permanent. I know this sounds revolutionary to the whites in this country, because the majority of voters will be Africans. This makes the white man fear democracy. But this fear cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the only solution which will guarantee racial harmony and freedom for all. It is not true that the enfranchisement of all will result in racial domination. Political division, based on color, is entirely artificial and, when it disappears, so will the domination of one color group by another. … This then is what the ANC is fighting. Our struggle is a truly national one. It is a struggle of the African people, inspired by our own suffering and our own experience. It is a struggle for the right to live.”

The Struggle for Human Rights by Eleanor Roosevelt

Sample lines: “It is my belief, and I am sure it is also yours, that the struggle for democracy and freedom is a critical struggle, for their preservation is essential to the great objective of the United Nations to maintain international peace and security. Among free men the end cannot justify the means. We know the patterns of totalitarianism—the single political party, the control of schools, press, radio, the arts, the sciences, and the church to support autocratic authority; these are the age-old patterns against which men have struggled for 3,000 years. These are the signs of reaction, retreat, and retrogression. The United Nations must hold fast to the heritage of freedom won by the struggle of its people; it must help us to pass it on to generations to come.”

Freedom From Fear by Aung San Suu Kyi

Sample lines: “Saints, it has been said, are the sinners who go on trying. So free men are the oppressed who go on trying and who in the process make themselves fit to bear the responsibilities and to uphold the disciplines which will maintain a free society. Among the basic freedoms to which men aspire that their lives might be full and uncramped, freedom from fear stands out as both a means and an end. A people who would build a nation in which strong, democratic institutions are firmly established as a guarantee against state-induced power must first learn to liberate their own minds from apathy and fear.”

Harvey Milk’s “The Hope” Speech

Sample lines: “Some people are satisfied. And some people are not. You see there is a major difference—and it remains a vital difference—between a friend and a gay person, a friend in office and a gay person in office. Gay people have been slandered nationwide. We’ve been tarred and we’ve been brushed with the picture of pornography. In Dade County, we were accused of child molestation. It is not enough anymore just to have friends represent us, no matter how good that friend may be.”

The Union and the Strike, Cesar Chavez

Sample lines: “We are showing our unity in our strike. Our strike is stopping the work in the fields; our strike is stopping ships that would carry grapes; our strike is stopping the trucks that would carry the grapes. Our strike will stop every way the grower makes money until we have a union contract that guarantees us a fair share of the money he makes from our work! We are a union and we are strong and we are striking to force the growers to respect our strength!”

Nobel Lecture by Malala Yousafzai

Sample lines: “The world can no longer accept that basic education is enough. Why do leaders accept that for children in developing countries, only basic literacy is sufficient, when their own children do homework in algebra, mathematics, science, and physics? Leaders must seize this opportunity to guarantee a free, quality, primary and secondary education for every child. Some will say this is impractical, or too expensive, or too hard. Or maybe even impossible. But it is time the world thinks bigger.”   

Persuasive Writing Examples in Advertising Campaigns

Ads are prime persuasive writing examples. You can flip open any magazine or watch TV for an hour or two to see sample after sample of persuasive language. Here are some of the most popular ad campaigns of all time, with links to articles explaining why they were so successful.

Nike: Just Do It

Nike

The iconic swoosh with the simple tagline has persuaded millions to buy their kicks from Nike and Nike alone. Teamed with pro sports-star endorsements, this campaign is one for the ages. Blinkist offers an opinion on what made it work.

Dove: Real Beauty

Beauty brand Dove changed the game by choosing “real” women to tell their stories instead of models. They used relatable images and language to make connections, and inspired other brands to try the same concept. Learn why Global Brands considers this one a true success story.

Wendy’s: Where’s the Beef?

Today’s kids are too young to remember the cranky old woman demanding to know where the beef was on her fast-food hamburger. But in the 1980s, it was a catchphrase that sold millions of Wendy’s burgers. Learn from Better Marketing how this ad campaign even found its way into the 1984 presidential debate.

De Beers: A Diamond Is Forever

Diamond engagement ring on black velvet. Text reads "How do you make two months' salary last forever? The Diamond Engagement Ring."

A diamond engagement ring has become a standard these days, but the tradition isn’t as old as you might think. In fact, it was De Beers jewelry company’s 1948 campaign that created the modern engagement ring trend. The Drum has the whole story of this sparkling campaign.

Volkswagen: Think Small

Americans have always loved big cars. So in the 1960s, when Volkswagen wanted to introduce their small cars to a bigger market, they had a problem. The clever “Think Small” campaign gave buyers clever reasons to consider these models, like “If you run out of gas, it’s easy to push.” Learn how advertisers interested American buyers in little cars at Visual Rhetoric.

American Express: Don’t Leave Home Without It

AmEx was once better known for traveler’s checks than credit cards, and the original slogan was “Don’t leave home without them.” A simple word change convinced travelers that American Express was the credit card they needed when they headed out on adventures. Discover more about this persuasive campaign from Medium.

Skittles: Taste the Rainbow

Bag of Skittles candy against a blue background. Text reads

These candy ads are weird and intriguing and probably not for everyone. But they definitely get you thinking, and that often leads to buying. Learn more about why these wacky ads are successful from The Drum.

Maybelline: Maybe She’s Born With It

Smart wordplay made this ad campaign slogan an instant hit. The ads teased, “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.” (So many literary devices all in one phrase!) Fashionista has more on this beauty campaign.

Coca-Cola: Share a Coke

Seeing their own name on a bottle made teens more likely to want to buy a Coke. What can that teach us about persuasive writing in general? It’s an interesting question to consider. Learn more about the “Share a Coke” campaign from Digital Vidya.

Always: #LikeaGirl

Always ad showing a young girl holding a softball. Text reads

Talk about the power of words! This Always campaign turned the derogatory phrase “like a girl” on its head, and the world embraced it. Storytelling is an important part of persuasive writing, and these ads really do it well. Medium has more on this stereotype-bashing campaign.   

Editorial Persuasive Writing Examples

Original newspaper editorial

Newspaper editors or publishers use editorials to share their personal opinions. Noted politicians, experts, or pundits may also offer their opinions on behalf of the editors or publishers. Here are a couple of older well-known editorials, along with a selection from current newspapers.

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus (1897)

Sample lines: “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias.”

What’s the Matter With Kansas? (1896)

Sample lines: “Oh, this IS a state to be proud of! We are a people who can hold up our heads! What we need is not more money, but less capital, fewer white shirts and brains, fewer men with business judgment, and more of those fellows who boast that they are ‘just ordinary clodhoppers, but they know more in a minute about finance than John Sherman,’ we need more men … who hate prosperity, and who think, because a man believes in national honor, he is a tool of Wall Street.”

America Can Have Democracy or Political Violence. Not Both. (The New York Times)

Sample lines: “The nation is not powerless to stop a slide toward deadly chaos. If institutions and individuals do more to make it unacceptable in American public life, organized violence in the service of political objectives can still be pushed to the fringes. When a faction of one of the country’s two main political parties embraces extremism, that makes thwarting it both more difficult and more necessary. A well-functioning democracy demands it.”

The Booster Isn’t Perfect, But Still Can Help Against COVID (The Washington Post)

Sample lines: “The booster shots are still free, readily available and work better than the previous boosters even as the virus evolves. Much still needs to be done to build better vaccines that protect longer and against more variants, including those that might emerge in the future. But it is worth grabbing the booster that exists today, the jab being a small price for any measure that can help keep COVID at bay.”

If We Want Wildlife To Thrive in L.A., We Have To Share Our Neighborhoods With Them (Los Angeles Times)

Sample lines: “If there are no corridors for wildlife movement and if excessive excavation of dirt to build bigger, taller houses erodes the slope of a hillside, then we are slowly destroying wildlife habitat. For those people fretting about what this will do to their property values—isn’t open space, trees, and wildlife an amenity in these communities?”   

Persuasive Review Writing Examples

Image of first published New York Times Book Review

Book or movie reviews are more great persuasive writing examples. Look for those written by professionals for the strongest arguments and writing styles. Here are reviews of some popular books and movies by well-known critics to use as samples.

The Great Gatsby (The Chicago Tribune, 1925)

Sample lines: “What ails it, fundamentally, is the plain fact that it is simply a story—that Fitzgerald seems to be far more interested in maintaining its suspense than in getting under the skins of its people. It is not that they are false: It is that they are taken too much for granted. Only Gatsby himself genuinely lives and breathes. The rest are mere marionettes—often astonishingly lifelike, but nevertheless not quite alive.”

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (The Washington Post, 1999)

Sample lines: “Obviously, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone should make any modern 11-year-old a very happy reader. The novel moves quickly, packs in everything from a boa constrictor that winks to a melancholy Zen-spouting centaur to an owl postal system, and ends with a scary surprise. Yet it is, essentially, a light-hearted thriller, interrupted by occasional seriousness (the implications of Harry’s miserable childhood, a moral about the power of love).”

Twilight (The Telegraph, 2009)

Sample lines: “No secret, of course, at whom this book is aimed, and no doubt, either, that it has hit its mark. The four Twilight novels are not so much enjoyed, as devoured, by legions of young female fans worldwide. That’s not to say boys can’t enjoy these books; it’s just that the pages of heart-searching dialogue between Edward and Bella may prove too long on chat and too short on action for the average male reader.”

To Kill a Mockingbird (Time, 1960)

Sample lines: “Author Lee, 34, an Alabaman, has written her first novel with all of the tactile brilliance and none of the preciosity generally supposed to be standard swamp-warfare issue for Southern writers. The novel is an account of an awakening to good and evil, and a faint catechistic flavor may have been inevitable. But it is faint indeed; novelist Lee’s prose has an edge that cuts through cant, and she teaches the reader an astonishing number of useful truths about little girls and about Southern life.”

The Diary of Anne Frank (The New York Times, 1952)

Sample lines: “And this quality brings it home to any family in the world today. Just as the Franks lived in momentary fear of the Gestapo’s knock on their hidden door, so every family today lives in fear of the knock of war. Anne’s diary is a great affirmative answer to the life-question of today, for she shows how ordinary people, within this ordeal, consistently hold to the greater human values.”   

What are your favorite persuasive writing examples to use with students? Come share your ideas in the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook .

Plus, the big list of essay topics for high school (120+ ideas) ..

Find strong persuasive writing examples to use for inspiration, including essays, speeches, advertisements, reviews, and more.

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Mind gaps: why do we blank on words?

Everyone experiences moments when a familiar word suddenly escapes their mind, leaving them momentarily speechless or scrambling for an alternative; a speech therapist sheds light on these frustrating lapses, offering insight into one of life's most irritating phenomena.

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Retrieval difficulties in older age

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Actions that may help cope with minor retrieval difficulties:

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How to Give a Toast: A Guide for Memorable Speeches

  • The Speaker Lab
  • January 12, 2024

Table of Contents

Ever been at a party or event, glass in hand, when suddenly you’re asked to say a few words? The room goes silent. All eyes are on you. It’s your moment and…panic sets in. How exactly are you supposed to give a toast?

Fear not! Giving a memorable toast is an art that can be mastered by anyone. Think of it as sharing a piece of wisdom wrapped up with a little wit and warmth. To master this art, we’ve got the scoop for you—whether it’s understanding the essence of a good toast, learning common etiquette rules, or avoiding classic mistakes, we’ve got it all. And don’t worry—we’ll throw in some sparkling examples to inspire your own memorable moments.

Ready? Let’s delve into this guide and make sure next time those spotlight moments aren’t panic-stricken but applause-driven!

The Purpose of Toasts

Before actually delving into how to give a toast, it’s important to understand why you’re giving a toast in the first place.

Toasts can be used in multiple settings. They celebrate special occasions like weddings or anniversaries, they honor individuals on their birthdays or retirement parties, and they provide a platform to express gratitude during holiday gatherings.

In its simplest form, a toast can be seen as an act of storytelling with three main parts: introduction (setting up the context), body (the story itself), and conclusion (where we lift our glasses).

The story told through a toast should create emotional resonance while also sharing insights into the person or event being toasted. Essentially, the aim of a toast is to unite everyone present in celebrating shared values or accomplishments.

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Essential Elements of a Good Toast

To give a toast that leaves an impression, you need to master certain key elements. These include sincerity, brevity, humor, and timing.

A good toast comes from the heart. It’s not about using big words or complex sentences but conveying genuine emotions and sentiments. If you can share personal anecdotes or experiences related to the occasion or person being toasted, you’ll make your words that much more meaningful.

A memorable toast is concise. Aim for two minutes max—this isn’t your chance to tell every story about your friendship with the bride since kindergarten. When giving a toast, stay succinct for the most impact.

Injecting some well-placed humor into your speech can lighten up any occasion—but remember to keep it tasteful.

Pick the right moment for your tribute—it shouldn’t interrupt dinner or come too late in the evening when guests might be ready to leave.

Crafting Your Memorable Toast

Brainstorming is the first step in crafting your toast. To start, simply let your ideas flow without worrying about structure or editing. Don’t worry about editing or structure yet, just get all your ideas down on paper. If you need inspiration, consider personal stories, quotes you love, or keynotes speeches.

Once you have all your ideas down, it’s time to start sculpting them into a well-rounded toast. Start by picking out the most powerful points from your brainstorm session. Then create an outline with these points as your guideposts.

Next, rehearse. Rehearse your lines until they feel natural—this will help you give your toast confidently without stumbling over words. Don’t overdo it, though, that way you keep some spontaneity in your toast.

As you write your toast, make sure you adapt it both to the audience and the occasion. Wedding toasts, for example, should be written with the wedding party and other guests in mind. What kind of jokes or humor will they appreciate? Are you best friends with the bride and groom or more of a casual acquaintance? Make sure you think through these things as you craft your toast.

Delivering Your Toast

Your body speaks volumes even before you start your toast. Stand tall, shoulders back, and make sure to keep eye contact with the audience. This not only conveys confidence but also helps engage listeners.

Controlling Voice Modulation

Varying pitch and volume can bring life to your speech. But don’t overdo it. Use these tools wisely to emphasize key points or evoke emotion without becoming theatrical.

Harvard Business Review offers some great tips on voice control for speakers.

Maintaining Audience Engagement

Remember, delivering a toast is an interactive experience. You’re not just talking at people but connecting with them emotionally. To maintain an emotional connection, take pauses for dramatic effect or laughs. After all, pauses are part of the rhythm of public speaking.

If space allows, feel free to roam around since movement can add dynamism to your toast.

Lastly, enjoy yourself. A happy speaker often leads to a captivated audience.

Common Toasting Etiquette

Toasts can make or break a celebration. Knowing the etiquette rules will help you give an unforgettable toast.

First, remember to keep it brief. A long-winded speech might lose your audience’s interest.

Second, avoid embarrassing stories or inside jokes that not everyone gets. While they may seem hilarious to you, you’ll lose your audience if only half of the room understands (or appreciates) your references. Instead, aim for universal themes like love or friendship—something that will resonate with all attendees.

Third, keep things positive. After all, a toast is about honoring someone, so stick to compliments and kind words.

Last, be mindful of timing. Don’t start your toast too early or late in the event—and don’t forget to end by inviting others to raise their glasses and join in on your sentiment.

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An Example of a Successful Toast

Before actually delivering your toast, it may help to consider an example. Let’s check out one memorable toast that has resonated with crowds in the past.

This example is from an Oscar acceptance speech by Matthew McConaughey . At the beginning of his speech, McConaughey stayed positive, recognizing the talent of the other nominees for best actor and expressing gratitude for those who helped him along his journey. He wasn’t even afraid to use a little humor to get his audience laughing.

Then, he settled into the meat of his toast by talking about how he considered his future self to be his hero, the person he wanted to be. In this way, McConaughey connected with his audience over the universal theme of always striving to be better.

Remember: you don’t need fame or high stakes situations to give an impactful toast. What matters is authenticity and connection with your listeners.

Mistakes to Avoid When Giving a Toast

People presenting a toast should be aware of who they are addressing; failing to do so is one of the most common errors. It’s essential to tailor your words and tone for the crowd you’re speaking to.

In addition, avoid rambling on without structure or point. Keep it concise, focused, and relevant. Crafting a speech with purpose can help in this regard.

Another common mistake is forgetting about timing. Good speakers know that timing isn’t just about how long they speak but also when they pause for effect or humor.

Lack of Preparation

Neglecting preparation is another pitfall some fall into. Make sure you rehearse enough times so that nerves don’t get the better of you during your moment under the spotlight. Toastmasters offers great tips for dealing with stage fright.

Inappropriate Content

Last but not least, inappropriate content has no place in any toast. Jokes at someone else’s expense might get laughs from some, but they will more likely leave others feeling uncomfortable—let’s keep things classy.

How to Give a Toast FAQs

What do you say when you give a toast.

When giving a toast, share an uplifting message or story about the person or event being celebrated. Keep it heartfelt and brief.

How do you give someone a toast?

To deliver a toast, stand up, raise your glass, capture attention with engaging words, then finish by leading everyone in raising their glasses too.

What is the proper way to toast?

The right way to make a toast involves speaking clearly and sincerely. Always respect your audience’s time by keeping it short and sweet.

How do you start a toast speech example?

One simple way to start a toast: “Dear friends and family of [Name], let’s raise our glasses in tribute to this extraordinary moment…”

Mastering how to give a toast isn’t as hard as it seems, right? Not only have you learned the purpose of giving a toast, you’ve grasped essential elements like brainstorming and rehearsing. Of course, delivery matters too. The way you use body language and voice modulation can make or break your moment in the spotlight.

To ensure smooth sailing during your toast, we walked through common etiquette rules and even gave you a successful example to consider—plus a few mistakes you’ll want to avoid.

Last but not least, breathe easy—you have everything you need to give that perfect toast!

  • Last Updated: February 29, 2024

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The Landmark Impact of Tinker V. Des Moines School District

This essay about the Supreme Court case Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District examines its significance in establishing student free speech rights. The case arose from a protest by students wearing black armbands to school to oppose the Vietnam War, which led to their suspension. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the students, affirming that students do not shed their First Amendment rights at the school gate unless their actions cause substantial disruption. The essay discusses the impact of the Tinker decision on subsequent legal cases, educational policies, and student activism, highlighting its enduring importance in protecting student expression in educational settings.

How it works

The legal saga of Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, adjudicated in 1969, emerges as a pivotal juncture in the realm of student liberty of speech. Originating from a tranquil protest orchestrated by scholars in Des Moines, Iowa, during the zenith of the Vietnam War, this case embodies a watershed moment in the annals of constitutional jurisprudence. Mary Beth Tinker, accompanied by her sibling John Tinker and comrade Christopher Eckhardt, opted to don somber armbands to signify mourning for the casualties of the war and advocate for a proposed truce.

However, this symbolic act of dissent swiftly escalated into a clash with school authorities, precipitating a momentous legal showdown.

Upon learning of the planned demonstration, Des Moines school administrators pre-emptively instituted a decree proscribing the donning of armbands. Those who chose to don them were enjoined to desist, and those who persisted faced suspension until compliance. The Tinker siblings and Eckhardt found themselves suspended for their defiance, prompting their guardians to litigate against the school district, alleging infringement of the scholars’ First Amendment rights.

The case ascended to the hallowed chambers of the United States Supreme Court, tasked with adjudicating whether the actions of the school district transgressed the students’ constitutional entitlement to free speech. In a momentous verdict by a margin of 7-2, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Tinkers and Eckhardt. Justice Abe Fortas, articulating the majority opinion, famously averred, “It can scarcely be contended that either scholars or instructors divest themselves of their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the educational precinct.” This seminal pronouncement underscored the principle that scholars do not forfeit their First Amendment rights upon traversing the threshold of the educational institution.

The crux of the Court’s decision pivoted on the question of whether the scholars’ actions engendered a “material and substantial disruption” to the educational milieu. The majority opined that donning armbands constituted a form of symbolic expression that did not impinge upon school discipline or the rights of their peers. The ruling established a salient precedent: student articulation is shielded under the aegis of the First Amendment unless it precipitates a significant upheaval in the educational apparatus or encroaches upon the rights of fellow scholars.

The legacy of the Tinker verdict reverberates throughout the legal echelons concerning student expression. It erected a formidable barrier for educational authorities seeking to vindicate the curtailment of student speech. In subsequent years, judicial tribunals have frequently invoked Tinker in litigations pertaining to student expression, oftentimes leveraging it as a litmus test to gauge the purview of school jurisdiction over student articulation. The ruling has proven instrumental in safeguarding an array of student expressions, ranging from political activism to the espousal of personal convictions.

Nevertheless, the purview of Tinker has not been immune to scrutiny. In subsequent litigations such as Bethel School District v. Fraser (1986) and Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier (1988), the Supreme Court accorded greater latitude to schools in regulating certain manifestations of student speech. In Fraser, the Court validated the suspension of a scholar for delivering an obscene oration at a school assembly, underscoring the school’s mandate in inculcating socially acceptable comportment. In Hazelwood, the Court sanctioned the authority of schools to redact student periodicals if the content ran counter to the educational ethos. These adjudications, while not annulling Tinker, introduced subtleties to its application, signifying that the context and tenor of the speech can modulate the extent of First Amendment safeguards within the precincts of schools.

Notwithstanding these subsequent adjudications, Tinker endures as a keystone of student free speech rights. It validates the prerogative of scholars to air their opinions, even on contentious issues, provided their conduct does not disrupt the educational process egregiously. The case also underscores the exigency of striking a balance between the imperative of school discipline and the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution. It serves as a clarion call for schools, as bastions of erudition, to accord due deference to the constitutional entitlements of scholars while fostering an ambience conducive to scholarship.

The legacy of Tinker v. Des Moines transcends the precincts of jurisprudence to permeate the societal fabric. It has galvanized successive cohorts of scholars to assert their rights and engage in nonviolent dissent as a conduit for effecting change. The valor exhibited by Mary Beth and John Tinker, alongside Christopher Eckhardt, underscores the potency of youthful activism and the enduring significance of free speech in a democratic polity.

In contemplating the broader ramifications of Tinker, it behooves us to acknowledge its transformative influence on our conception of student rights and the role of educational institutions. Prior to this watershed case, the notion that scholars enjoyed substantial rights within the school milieu was not universally embraced. Schools were envisaged as citadels wherein order and discipline reigned supreme, and dissent in any form was construed as a menace to that order. Tinker subverted this paradigm by affirming the individuality of scholars and the imperative of safeguarding and upholding their rights.

This decision precipitated a ripple effect on educational policies and practices nationwide. Schools were compelled to reassess their regulations to ensure they did not transgress the rights of scholars. This engendered more inclusive environments wherein scholars could express their views with greater latitude and engage in dialogues about societal and political issues. The Tinker verdict impelled educators to strike a delicate equilibrium between upholding discipline and fostering free expression, thereby engendering more vibrant and immersive educational experiences.

One of the most salient aspects of the Tinker decision is its utility as a lodestar for challenging other forms of censorship and suppression within schools. For instance, in the 2007 case Morse v. Frederick, colloquially known as the “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” case, the Supreme Court grappled with the contours of student speech. While affirming the authority of schools to proscribe messages advocating illegal drug use, the verdict reaffirmed the principle enunciated in Tinker that scholars do not relinquish their constitutional rights at the threshold of the school gate.

Furthermore, the influence of Tinker extends into the digital milieu, where the frontiers of free speech are constantly being tested in novel and intricate ways. With the proliferation of social media and digital communication, scholars are expressing themselves in manners hitherto unimaginable. Courts continue to grapple with the application of Tinker’s principles to online speech, cyberbullying, and other digital modalities of expression. This perennial conundrum underscores the enduring pertinence of the Tinker verdict and its guiding precepts.

In contemporary educational milieus, the ethos of Tinker frequently permeates discussions concerning student activism and civic engagement. Schools endeavor to embolden scholars to partake in activities such as organizing walkouts, orchestrating petitions, and vociferating on issues ranging from environmental conservation to gun control. These endeavors not only epitomize free speech but also constitute indispensable constituents of a robust democratic order. By nurturing an ambience wherein scholars feel empowered to articulate their convictions and advocate for their beliefs, schools are nurturing the nascent cadre of engaged and enlightened citizens.

The Tinker case serves as a poignant reminder of the imperativeness of standing up for one’s beliefs, even in the face of adversity. The resolve evinced by the Tinkers and Eckhardt, young scholars who ardently championed their cause notwithstanding suspension and legal skirmishes, epitomizes the influence that resolute individuals can wield over society and the legal apparatus. Their legacy serves as a testament to the notion that even those ostensibly marginalized or underestimated—such as young scholars—can exert a seminal impact on the trajectory of history.

In summation, Tinker v. Des Moines School District constitutes a seminal judicial pronouncement that indelibly shaped the contours of student free speech rights. The verdict reaffirmed the precept that scholars do not forfeit their First Amendment rights at the school gates and established a precedent for shielding student expression, provided it does not precipitate significant disruptions. The ruling continues to inform the delicate equilibrium between school prerogative and student entitlements, underscoring the enduring relevance of constitutional protections within educational precincts. Appreciating and comprehending the import of Tinker v. Des Moines enables us to apprehend the pivotal role that free speech occupies in our society and the necessity of safeguarding this fundamental right for posterity.

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speeches word examples

Biden Used N-Word During 1985 Senate Confirmation Hearings?

The claim resurfaced amid allegations that former u.s. president donald trump said the n-word while filming "the apprentice.", izz scott lamagdeleine, published may 30, 2024.

On May 30, 2024, a former producer for "The Apprentice," the reality TV series former U.S. President Donald Trump co-produced and starred in for 15 years prior to running for office, wrote in a Slate article that Trump had been recorded using the N-word during the show's filming.

As the news began to spread across social media platforms, a similar claim about President Joe Biden using the N-word during his tenure as a U.S. senator began to spread across X :

The videos shared on X, which included a recording of Biden's alleged comments, claimed he said:

"In a confidential portions of your staff memo, they brought to your attention the allegation that important legislators, in defeating the Nunez plan in the basement said, quote, 'we already have a n----- mayor, we don't need any more n----- big shots.'"

We previously fact-checked this claim in 2020, at which time we confirmed that Biden did say those words. As we also noted, however, nearly all of the clips that spread across X omitted crucial context, namely that he was reading a portion of a staff memo out loud.

On June 5, 1985, Biden — who was then  a U.S. senator representing Delaware and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee — was questioning William Bradford Reynolds during a series of confirmation hearings to consider whether he should be promoted to associate attorney general from being the head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.

The Nunez plan that Biden referenced in the viral quote was a Louisiana redistricting plan that white state officials created that ruled out a majority-Black congressional district in New Orleans, as The Washington Post reported  at the time of the hearing.

Biden mentioned  the Nunez plan to focus the hearings on voting rights as well as question Reynolds' credibility for the job, as the predecessor in his role at the Justice Department had called the plan a "a blatant racial gerrymander." Biden's efforts in opposing Reynolds were successful, as the Senate Judiciary Committee ultimately rejected  his nomination for promotion. 

For further reading about the allegations of Trump using the N-word on "The Apprentice," we published an explainer breaking down what we know so far. We've also fact-checked other claims about whether Biden has used the N-word in political office, like the false claim  he used the N-word in a 2021 recorded speech.

"Joe Biden Was Quoting Racist Comments When He Used the N-Word in 1985." AP News, 24 July 2020, https://apnews.com/article/archive-fact-checking-9146840045.

Lee, Jessica. "Did Joe Biden Use the N-Word in a Recorded Speech?" Snopes, 25 Feb. 2021, https://www.snopes.com//fact-check/joe-biden-n-word-recorded-speech/.

Pruitt, Bill. "The Donald Trump I Saw on The Apprentice." Slate, 30 May 2024. slate.com, https://slate.com/culture/2024/05/donald-trump-news-2024-trial-verdict-apprentice.html.

"Reynolds' Foes Claim Moral High Ground." Washington Post, 28 Dec. 2023. www.washingtonpost.com, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1985/06/24/reynolds-foes-claim-moral-high-ground/2eedf0ef-fa4e-4f35-9a61-ef8662dcd974/.

By Izz Scott LaMagdeleine

Izz Scott LaMagdeleine is a fact-checker for Snopes.

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Examples

Closing Remarks Speech for Graduation

Ai generator.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Distinguished guests, faculty, parents, and, most importantly, the graduates,

Thank you all for being here today to celebrate this significant milestone. Today marks the end of one chapter and the exciting beginning of another in the lives of our graduates.

To the graduates : You have worked hard, shown resilience, and achieved a remarkable accomplishment. You have faced challenges, learned lessons, and grown in countless ways. As you step into the next phase of your life, remember to carry with you the values and knowledge you have gained here. Embrace new opportunities, continue to learn, and strive to make a positive impact in whatever you do.

To the faculty and staff : Your dedication and support have been instrumental in guiding these students to this moment. Thank you for your unwavering commitment to their education and personal growth.

To the parents, families, and friends : Your support and encouragement have been the backbone of these graduates’ journeys. Thank you for believing in them and standing by them every step of the way.

As we conclude this ceremony, let us reflect on the journey that brought us here and look forward to the future with optimism and hope. Graduates, take pride in your achievements, stay curious, and never stop striving for excellence. The world is waiting for your contributions, and I have no doubt that you will make it a better place.

Congratulations to the Class of [Year]! May your future be bright, your dreams be big, and your successes be numerous.

Thank you, and have a wonderful day!

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Katy Perry Shares "Fixed" Version of Harrison Butker's Controversial Commencement Speech

Katy perry posted a heavily edited version of kansas city chiefs kicker harrison butker's commencement speech to kick off pride month, weeks after his original comments sparked controversy..

Katy Perry  roared back at a guy and she liked it.

To kick off LGBTQ+ Pride Month , the singer shared a heavily edited version of Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker 's controversial commencement speech .

"Fixed this for my girls, my graduates, and my gays — you can do anything," Perry, 39, wrote on Instagram June 1. "Congratulations and happy pride."

Speaking on camera at Kansas' Benedictine College May 11, Butker said most female graduates would be "most excited" about marriage and motherhood and also spoke out against topics such as abortion and IVF.  The edited speech posted by the singer, who rose to fame after the release of her 2008 debut single "I Kissed a Girl," splices some of the athlete's words together to make it sound as though he praises the women over their future careers, promotes "diversity, equity and inclusion" and wishes people a happy Pride Month.

E! News has reached out to Butker's rep for comment on Perry's post and has not head back.

The NFL player had stirred mixed reactions with his speech . On May 24, he broke his silence about the controversy while defending his Catholic faith.

"Over the past few days, my beliefs or what people think I believe have been the focus of countless discussions around the globe," Butker said in a speech at the Courage Under Fire Gala in Nashville, presented by the Regina Caeli Academy, a homeschool hybrid academy for Catholic families. "At the outset, many people expressed a shocking level of hate. But as the days went on, even those who disagreed with my viewpoints shared their support for my freedom of religion."

The 28-year-old continued, "In my seven years in the NFL, I've become familiar with the positive and negative comments, but the majority of them revolve around my performance on the field. But as to be expected, the more I've talked about what I value most, which is my Catholic faith, the more polarizing I have become. It's a decision I've consciously made and one I do not regret at all."

Find out what stars have said about Butker's speech...

The singer shared a heavily edited version of Butker's controversial commencement speech that splices several of his words together to make it appear as though he praises the female graduates over their future careers, promotes "diversity, equity and inclusion" and wishes people a happy Pride Month.

Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager

"Well, I’m where I am today because I have a husband who leans into his vocation, which is being an equal partner," Jenna —who shares daughters Mila , 11, and Poppy , 8, and son Hal , 4, with husband Henry Hager —said on  TODAY . " And I tell him that all the time."

Added co-anchor Hoda , who's mom to daughters Haley , 7, and Hope , 5: "Don’t speak for us. Stop speaking for women out there."

Travis Kelce

"I cherish him as a teammate," the Kansas City Chiefs tight end said on the May 24 episode of the New Heights podcast. "He's treated family and family that I've introduced to him with nothing but respect and kindness. And that's how he treats everyone."

"When it comes down to his views and what he said at Saint Benedict's commencement speech, those are his," he continued. "I can't say I agree with the majority of it or just about any of it outside of just him loving his family and his kids. And I don't think that I should judge him by his views, especially his religious views, of how to go about life, that's just not who I am."

Eddie Vedder

The Pearl Jam frontman had some choice words, calling Butker at "f---kin' p---y" during a May 18 concert in Las Vegas.

"That’s some good men, good women, making up a great band," he said, gesturing to his fellow musicians onstage. "The singer, Jessica [ Dobson ], and the keyboard player, Patti [ King ], they must not have believed that [ deepening his voice ] 'diabolical lie' that women should take pride in taking a back seat to their man."

Vedder—dad to daughters Olivia and Harper with wife Jill McCormick —waited for the applause to trail off, then added that homemaking "is maybe one of the hardest jobs" and one to "definitely take pride in."

But he didn't "understand the logic" of advising anyone, men or women, that they'll benefit from giving up their dreams.

And, Vedder added, "There’s nothing more masculine than a strong man supporting a strong woman and people of quality do not fear equality."

Maren Morris

The "Bones" singer reacted to Harrison's speech with a reference to a social media trend in which women say whether they'd rather encounter a bear or a man while alone in the woods. 

Under a video of the NFL player's speech, Maren wrote on her Instagram Story , "I choose the bear." 

Jason Kelce

“There’s always going to be opinions that everybody shares that you’re going to disagree with,” the former Philadelphia Eagles center said on the May 24 episode of the New Heights podcast. “And make no mistake about it, a lot of the things he said in his commencement speech are not things that I align myself with. But, he’s giving a commencement speech at a Catholic university, and, shocker, it ended up being a very religious and Catholic speech."

“To me," he continued, "I can listen to somebody talk and take great value in it, like when he’s talking about the importance of family and the importance that a great mother can make, while also acknowledge that not everybody has to be a homemaker if that’s not what they want to do in life.”

Maria Shriver

"What point was Harrison Butker really trying to make to women in his graduation speech about their present day life choices?" Maria wrote on X , formerly Twitter, May 16. "Did he really want them, aka us, to believe that our lives truly only begin when we lean into the vocation of wife and mother?"

"Look, everyone has the right to free speech in our country," she continued. "That's the benefit of living in a democracy. But those of us who are women and who have a voice have the right to disagree with Butker."

Kelly Stafford

"Building men up and not tearing them down is important. Building women and not tearing them down is important,"  wrote the podcast host  and mother of four daughters with her husband, L.A. Rams  quarterback  Matt Stafford , in a May 16  Instagram post .

"Everyone has a choice of what they want his/her life to look like...it's not up to anyone else or society. The more society tells women where they belong, the more imposter syndrome starts to creep in, that they don't belong because that's what society is telling them."

She continued, "I'm happy and I thrive at home with being the homemaker, but that's not every woman's story nor should it have to be. Some women choose not to stay home and some women don't have the luxury to choose. We all might not agree on everything, but I think we all want the same end goal, a better world for our kids.

"I think supporting and encouraging women and men in whatever roles they choose is a great first step towards that goal."

Patricia Heaton

"I don't understand why everybody's knickers in a twist," the Everybody Loves Raymond actor shared in a video. "He gave a commencement speech. The audience applauded twice during the speech and gave him a standing ovation at the end. So clearly they enjoyed what he was saying. The guy is espousing his own opinions and Catholic doctrine."

"So what? It's his opnion, he can have one," she continued. "He's not a monster for stating what he believes."

Whoopi Goldberg

"I like when people say what they need to say—he's at a Catholic College, he's a staunch Catholic," she said during the May 16 episode of  The View . "These are his beliefs and he's welcome to him. I don't have to believe them, right? I don't have to accept them. The ladies that were sitting in that audience do not have to accept them."

"I'm okay with him saying whatever he says and the women who are sitting there if they take his advice, good for them, they'll be happy," she added. "If they don't go for them, they will be happy a different way. That's my attitude." 

Patrick Mahomes

"There's certain things that he said that I don't necessarily agree with," the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback explained during a May 22 press conference, "but I understand the person that he is and he is trying to do whatever he can to lead people in the right direction."

"And that might not be the same values as I have, but at the same time, I'm going to judge him by the character that he shows every single day," he said. "That's a great person and we'll continue to move along and try to help build each other up to make ourselves better every single day."

"Everybody's got their own opinion," the Kansas City Chiefs coach said during a May 22 press conference. "And that's what's so great about this country, you could share those things, and you work through it."

"I didn't talk to him about this, didn’t think we’d need to," he continued. "We’re a microcosm of life here, everybody’s from different areas, different religions, different races. And so we all get along, we all respect each other's opinions, and not necessarily do we go by those, but we respect everybody to have a voice. It's a great thing about America. And we're just like I said a microcosm of that and my wish that everybody could kind of follow that."

“I don’t think he was speaking ill of women," he added. "He has his opinions, and we all respect that."

While emphasizing "how much this guy is not like me,” the TV host did say OF Harrison's speech during Real Time , "I don’t see what the big crime is, I really don’t.”

He continued, "Like he’s saying some of you may go on to successful careers, but a lot of you are excited about this other way that people, everybody used to be and now can. Can’t that just be a choice too?"

Tavia and Gracie Hunt

The wife and daughter of the Kansas City Chiefs CEO, Clark Hunt , spoke out following the team kicker's controversial statements. 

"I've always encouraged my daughters to be highly educated and chase their dreams," Tavia, who also shares daughter Ava Hunt , 18, and son Knobel Hunt , 20, with Clark, wrote on Instagram, alongside throwback pics of herself with her kids. "I want them to know that they can do whatever they want (that honors God). But I also want them to know that I believe finding a spouse who loves and honors you as or before himself and raising a family together is one of the greatest blessings this world has to offer." 

Gracie, 25, then told Fox News' Fox & Friends , "I've had the most incredible mom who had the ability to stay home and be with us as kids growing up. And I understand that there are many women out there who can't make that decision. But for me and my life, I know it was really formative and in shaping me and my siblings into who we are."

Roger Goodell

"Listen, we have over 3,000 players. We have executives around the league. They have a diversity of opinions and thoughts just like America does," the NFL commissioner said. "I think that's something that we treasure and that's part of, I think, ultimately what makes us as a society better."

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  25. The Landmark Impact of Tinker V. Des Moines School District

    Essay Example: The legal saga of Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, adjudicated in 1969, emerges as a pivotal juncture in the realm of student liberty of speech.

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  29. Katy Perry Shares "Fixed" Version of Harrison Butker's Speech

    Katy Perry posted a heavily edited version of Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker's commencement speech to kick off Pride Month, weeks after his original comments sparked controversy.

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