A Captivating Speech EssaySunday, April 4th, 2010
Speech essays should always consider the audience
Writing an essay is an activity that involves a lot of techniques used for getting the reader’s full attention, from the essay’s title to the very last word. This is especially true when you are working on a speech essay, which you will later read in front of an audience. In such case, the essay will be full of marks used to gain the audience’s attention and to stimulate the full comprehension of the ideas expressed in the speech.
If it is the first time you are preparing this sort of essay, you should keep in mind these tips.
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Register and communication
What does register exactly mean? We mean by this term a form of a language used for a particular purpose or social setting. In speech essays, the register is typically a little less formal than in other writing assignments. That is because, after all, you will be speaking to people, and you can replace many missing parts of information with your tone and your body language. Linguistics agree on the fact that only 10 percent of human communication is verbal. The rest is up to gestures and tone of voice. Make use of that 90 percent given that you have the chance to do so.
Look at your audience
Of course, no one expects you to learn your full speech essay by heart. But you should be familiarized enough with its words for you not to read the whole thing. Try to look at your audience in their eyes every now and then. That makes your speech more fluent and clear for all of them. A good idea could be to take with you a printed version of the essay with keywords and expressions underlined, so you don’t get lost if you take your eyes out of the paper for a moment.
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Quoting in a speech essay
We always tell you to mention the author, the book and the publisher every time you quote (otherwise, you could be accused of plagiarism). But speech essays are a special case. You can’t just say out loud “as Crane, Stephen, wrote in his book The red badge of courage, published by Longman in 1980, page 23…”. It sound really boring if you read it out loud, doesn’t it? You should replace by saying “In The red badge of courage –I quote- …”. Of course you will still add the reference in the printed version of the essay, and anyone can look it up later if they need so.
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Don’t get nervous
We know it is not easy reading a speech without getting a little anxious. The best thing you can do is practice the reading at home, in front of your parents and friends. That way, when the moment comes to read it in front of your audience, you won’t get tangled up in long sentences and difficult words. Try to feel sure that you did a great work and you will transmit your confidence to the audience. And get ready to success!