Structure For Speeches And Presentations: Take Your Audience From Hell to Heaven.

Speech structure Hell-Heaven-Way: How to structure your speech to make a mighty impression
Ancient structuring formula for speeches and presentation

Structure of speech: From hell to heaven


Promote a desirable change? Better products and processes, a public challenge, etc. This speech structure makes it easier to convince more effectively. Use the tips for your speeches and presentations. 

Take your audience with you: From hell to heaven


Do you offer a way to better conditions? It’s about promoting change? Whether products, processes, etc. Do you want to hold a public office?

I call this easy to use and very effective speech structure the “Hell Heaven Way”. If the conditions are untenable and there are solutions available, you can also use it outside the church to convince your audience.




Sections of that speech structure


The structure of Hell-Heaven-Way is easy to learn:

  • Hell
    In this case, this is the unpleasant actual condition
  • Heaven
    This is the idyllic target state.
  • Way
    Your solution and the way to get there.




Step by step instructions


Step 1: Hell


Describe the untenable current situation. Clarify the disadvantages, increase the level of concern. Address all senses. Underline how chaotic, faulty and unsafe the condition is. Draw a gloomy picture. It’s about the contrast: If there were no hell, who would dream of coming to paradise?




Step 2: Heaven


This is the target state with the comparatively beautiful conditions. In beautiful colors, you describe the paradisaical situations. What a contrast!




Step 3: Way


To hell with hell! You present your solution and the way there. A Spanish proverb says: “You don’t ascend to heaven on a ladder but through good works”. Describe how you will guide your target group into the promised land. As with Adam, Eve and the apple, so to speak, only the other way round. Who can resist the temptation? Hallelujah!




Advantages of this speech structure


Hell-Heaven-Way is a very catchy speech structure that the audience can easily follow. This enhances credibility. The biggest advantage of this simple speech format lies in creating the maximum contrast between the target and the actual state: before hell – after heaven. The target state must be very desirable! Comparing before and after from hell to heaven is an increase of the antithesis. Here all senses can easily be addressed and the effect intensified.



Is that enough theory? You can find out more about the practical use of ancient rhetoric in Presentations Skills Training III, without the need for ancient Greek or Latin.

Preparation of important speeches and presentations


Those who do not speak are not heard and even those who speak up are not always successful. There are a few more steps that need to be mastered.

Do you want to convince with your message and also as a personality? Then I will help you to prepare your speeches and presentations. You determine the scope. At least I recommend a test run with professional feedback for you and your message. Then you will know how you and your content are perceived, what you should do and what you should leave out, where there is potential. Why do you want to get such helpful feedback so late after your real performance? Then it is too late for adjustments. Benefit from the advantage. My definition of luck: Preparation meets opportunity.

You can best estimate for yourself where the effort is worthwhile concerning the expected benefit. Here you will find the fees for my support (communication, psychology, language, structure, voice, body language, storytelling, rhetorical means, media such as PowerPoint and Co., etc.)

You are not in Berlin right now? Then choose meetings with me via telephone or video support. Whereby there are quite good reasons for a trip to Berlin.

By the way, many people suffer from such intense stage fright in front of an audience and therefore their performance lags behind their possibilities. Too bad, because with my help performance in a good condition is possible. Just in case...

A good start: Professional feedback with recommendations for improvements


How convincing are you and your messages in speeches and presentations? How good are you in the 111+ most important presentation skills? I have been analyzing speeches since 1998. After evaluating 14,375 speeches and presentations, I can tell you very precisely what has which effect on which audience. Let me give you the feedback that will help you get ahead. You will receive essential feedback and recommendations, as well as the impulses you need to convince your audience in concrete situations.

Are you interested? Then you will find here the information on feedback with recommendations for improvements of speeches and presentations.

Just ask me personally


Please post any questions that may interest other readers in the comments. Are you looking for professional support?

If you are interested in coaching, training, or consulting, for organizational questions and to make an appointment, you can reach me best by e-mail ( You can reach me by telephone at +49(0)30 864 213 68 and mobile phone at +49(0)1577 704 53 56 from Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 18:00. Most of the time I am in sessions, so please leave a message with your phone number in Germany, then. Please remember to be very specific about the reason for your call. I will call you back as soon as possible. The privacy policy can be found here.

Transparency is important. Therefore you will find answers to frequently asked questions already here, for example about me (profile), the services, the fees, and getting to know me. If this suits you, I look forward to working with you.



Do you have any experience with this speech structure?


  1. Is that a good way to write a motivational speech?

    • Hello Inga,

      here is the way I create inspiring and memorable motivational speeches:

      1. Have a point.
      2. Think about structure.
      3. Connect, connect, connect.
      4. Write poetry, not prose.
      5. Tell a story.
      6. Rewrite and practice.
      7. Leave them wanting more.

      Cu, Tom


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True, Heaven prohibits certain pleasures; but one can generally negotiate a compromise. Moliere

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: March 6, 2015
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: January 1, 2021
Translation: ./.
German version:

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