The different types of speeches

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Growing up behind the Arctic Circle and Teacher with a Passion. I love German and the mountains!

Can you remember the situations when you had to speak in front of several people? In these moments you gave a speech. There are many different Types of speeches. Which speeches are used and when depends on the occasion. In this article you will learn what speeches are, what their characteristics are, how they are structured and how to write a good speech and deliver it successfully.

What is a speech?

A speech is a message or address that is usually given orally. In these, a speaker addresses an audience and generates the attention of the listeners. A speech is usually thought about and written down before the speech is given. But there are also speeches that can arise spontaneously: for example, at a party.


What types of speeches are there?

As already mentioned, it depends on the occasion which speech is given. Here is a list of the most popular types of speeches:

  • Political speech
  • Wedding speech
  • Scientific speech
  • Presenting
  • Acknowledgement
  • Funeral speech
  • Speeches at parties
  • Speech of welcome

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Features of a speech

A speech differs from other speeches in that it is usually written in advance and delivered orally to an audience. In addition, most speeches are delivered in standard language, using various stylistic devices.

In a speech, body language is also often used very actively. Gestures, movements and facial expressions are used to convince the audience of the speech and to arouse their interest. Attention: the use of body language must be in any case, but one should not exaggerate with it. &

Another characteristic of a speech is its monologic form of expression. The reason is that a speech is addressed to listeners or an audience without anyone interrupting the speaker or asking questions. Most often, comments or questions from the audience are asked after the speech is over.

Characteristics of selected types of speeches

Depending on the purpose, speeches can have different characteristics. In the following I summarize some characteristics of the best known speeches.

Political speeches: Often an emotional speech is typical for this purpose. This can convey both positive and negative emotions to the audience and viewers. The most important goal is to persuade the audience. The political speech sometimes contains stylistic devices such as metaphor. The expression of a speaker is very strong in order to influence the listeners. Logical and appropriate arguments are also a feature of these types of speeches.

Thank you speeches or wedding speeches: These types of speeches usually also count as emotional messages. Here, however, other emotions are involved. Compared to political speeches, however, the expression here is rather calmer. The goal in a wedding speech is not to convince others of something as in the political speech, but to create a pleasant, friendly atmosphere and express the warmest wishes. This speech is emotive and may also contain stylistic devices such as metaphor. A thank you speech is about saying thank you to someone. The two speeches are usually made in the standard language, but depending on the region they can also be made in a dialect.

At scientific speech or Presentations you speak in a formal style of speech. Only facts are stated, mostly no stylistic devices are used. The purpose of this speech is to present (scientific) topics, to convince the audience of a topic. While in a political speech you can speak a little faster because of the emotion, in a lecture you should speak slowly and clearly.

Speeches at parties are often more informal. While the speeches described above must be written in advance, party speeches can be spontaneous.

Structure of a speech

When writing speeches, a structure should be observed. This is how the structure of a speech usually looks like:

  1. Introduction: Imagine you want to talk about a specific topic. In the introduction you have to explain this topic briefly and concisely. If necessary 1 , if for example it concerns a presentation, scientific or political speech, here still the topicality and problem of the topic are clarified. You also briefly mention what the speech will be about.
  2. Main body: What you briefly covered in the introduction is now covered in detail in the main section. Depending on the occasion, you can use arguments, quotes relevant to the topic, or stylistic devices, among other things. The most important thing is that the content from the introduction is taken up here and presented in detail.
  3. Conclusion/conclusion: This is where you clarify what you wanted to say with your speech. The most important messages of your speech are clearly communicated here. All types of speeches usually contain these three basic building blocks in their structure.

Writing a speech? Easy!

In order to write an attention-grabbing, interesting speech, you must first of all keep the structure described above. Moreover, these three parts – introduction, main part and conclusion – must be logically connected with each other. There must be a "thread" running through your entire speech, that is, all three parts must necessarily be related to each other. You can’t talk about a completely different topic in the introduction than in the main part and conclusion.

A prepared speech has the advantage that you can take your time when writing it to formulate your thoughts linguistically correctly and to select the content appropriately. So: don’t hurry and take your time for the formulations! If it is about a presentation, scientific or political speeches, you will probably use arguments in your text. To make your speech convincing for the audience, refer to scientific sources and prove your thoughts with the scientific literature or with the statistics. For this, you can do research 2 on the Internet or in libraries. This is a guaranteed way to impress your audience!

If you’re writing a speech and you’re unsure of how a word is pronounced and what it means, better look it up in a dictionary. Otherwise, it can be quite awkward.

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