How to write a speech in 3 parts opening, body & conclusion

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How to write a speech in 3 parts opening, body & conclusion

DANNY DE HEK Entrepreneur Decision Maker Connector Podcaster Educator

Do you have a fear of public speaking? If so, you are not alone, in fact the National Institute of Mental Health reports 73% of the population share the same fear. Public speaking is the most common phobia ahead of death, spiders, or heights. There is even have a fancy name for it “Glossophobia”.

“Glossophobia is a very common phobia characterised by a strong fear of public speaking. Individuals with glossophobia may avoid speaking in public, as they typically experience fear and anxiety when speaking in front of a group of people.”

On the first Tuesday of each month, I attend a speaking group call Christchurch Speakers. At our last meeting we did a workshop that was facilitated by the founder Mark Baker. We were broken into three groups and each group was set a task to write what should be included in the opening, body and conclusion of a speech. As the fundamentals of any good speech should be structured this way.

Mark emailed me the compilation of everyone’s ideas. I thought it would be beneficial to post them online for others who have a fear of public speaking and maybe don’t know where to begin, when putting together a speech.


Ideally, a speech is structured in three parts; opening, body and conclusion.


  1. Easier for the audience to understand; no confusion
  2. Easier for the speaker to memorise

Opening – grab the audience’s attention

  • A rhetorical question
  • A teaser to create interest
  • Acknowledge the interests of the audience
  • A quote
  • A topical subject – current information
  • An appeal to credibility
  • A hook – reveal what we will learn, experience and know by the speech’s end
  • AIDA – attention, interest, desire, action

Body – outline the argument/point, opinion/view. This is the filling of the speech sandwich.

  • Information/facts/data
  • Examples/points – lead with the strongest first
  • Links between the points
  • Personal stories – takes a speech to a higher level
  • Kipling’s Six Honest Serving Men – What, Why, When, How, Where and Who
  • Structure chronologically
  • The Power of Three – three points/examples, etc. Use odd numbers – 3, 5, 7 points/examples
  • Tell a story
  • Make the audience think
  • Relate to and follow on from the opening

Conclusion – leave the audience with something to remember

  • Summarise the speech
  • A practical actionable point to take away – call to action/behavioral change/recommendation
  • An Anchor – a repeated memorable phrase or word
  • A life lesson – what we can learn from the speech
  • A meaningful message – a statement /quote
  • A link to the opening – a single word can provide an emotional pull

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