How to organize your speech? Speech structure: Opening, body, conclusion

Speech structure
Do You Trust More Your Ears Or Your Eyes?

How to structure your presentation


How to organize your speech? In this article you find the simplest possible structure, taught at school level. It’s still taught because it still works.

The worst speech you’ll ever give, will be far better than the one you never give.

Opening, body, conclusion


This is the simplest possible structure, taught at school level. It’s still taught because it still works. Like any good story, your speech needs a clear beginning and ending.

By providing your speech with a beginning, a middle, and an end, you will lay the foundations for a successful speech that fulfills all of your aspirations.




1. Opening


Focus the attention of your audience by creating an interesting opening sentence that captures the audience’s attention. The first minute of your speech is probably the most important. This can be achieved in several ways. You could raise a thought-provoking question. Or make an interesting or controversial statement. Or recite a relevant quotation.

Give your audience a sense of why the subject matter of your speech is relevant or important for them, set the stage and prepare them for the main ideas of the speech to come.

State a single, clear, identifiable thesis in a way that is as concrete, specific, and precise as possible. Give your audience a preview of the ideas to come. When necessary, tell them how you organize the speech. This makes it easier for your audience to follow.

Once you have won the attention of the audience and prepared it, your speech can move seamlessly to the body of your speech.




2. Body


Communicate a few important points. Organize the point so that related points follow one another so that each point builds upon the previous one. This will give your speech a more logical progression, and make easier for the audience to listen.

Don’t overwhelm your audience with too many details. It is better to focus on a few points well than to have too many points, none of which are made satisfactorily.




3. Conclusion


Then devise a good conclusion. The closing of your speech must contain some of your strongest material. Speeches should end with a bang.


  • Summarize the key messages of your speech.
  • Provide some further input your audience will think about.
  • End with a final insight.
  • Be emotional.
  • Leave your audience with positive memories of your speech.
  • Repeat your core message.





More advanced speech structures?


There are much more effective structures for your next speech presentation. Advanced speech structures will help you make a mighty impression on your audience.


Just ask me personally

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Do you use a structure for your speeches and presentations?


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

First published: March 8, 2002
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: April 24, 2019
Translation: April 4, 2009
German version: