Organize Your Speech

Speech Project 2 from the Competent Communication Manual


You have delivered your first prepared speech and participated in Table Topics and other meeting roles.  Now you’re ready to concentrate on structuring an effective speech.

Executive Summary:

Good speech organization is essential if your audience is to follow and understand your presentation.  You must take the time to put your ideas together in an orderly manner.  You can organize your speech in several different ways; choose the outline that best suits your topic.  The opening should catch the audience’s attention, the body must support the idea you want to convey, and the conclusion should reinforce your ideas and be memorable.  Transitions between thoughts should be smooth.


  • Select an appropriate outline which allows listeners to easily follow and understand your speech.
  • Make your message clear, with supporting material directly contributing to that message.
  • Use appropriate transitions when moving from one idea to another.
  • Create a strong opening and conclusion.

Time: Five to seven minutes

For more details on this speech project, see the Competent Communication Manual from Toastmasters International.

The Competent Communication Manual

You may be more comfortable communicating by electronic mail or telephone than in person.  Speaking to large or small groups, or even one-to-one, may intimidate or frighten you.  Yet good communication skills are vital if you want to be successful.  Corporate leaders say that the ability to communicate well orally is one of the most important skills their recruiters look for in job candidates.  Businesses want people who express themselves clearly and confidently, and are persuasive and comfortable communicating with a wide range of people, from top executives to assembly-line workers.