Course:       English, Grade 8

Teacher:      Mr. De Simone


Topic Selection Due Date:         Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Initial Rough Draft Due Date:    Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Final Copy Due Date:                 Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Class Speeches Begin:              Thursday, January 25, 2018


Assignment:  Speech Contest

1.  Students must write and present a speech on any topic (personal choice). See the above due date for selecting your speech topic.
2.  Although many topics are available, certain topics cannot be selected; thus, the speech topic must be pre-approved by your teacher. Please get approval of your speech topic before you begin to put in time and effort researching and writing your speech.
3.  The speech must be between 3 and 5 minutes in length (no less, no more).
4.  Review the Speech Contest Rubric below as a checklist to help guide you when writing and practicing your speech.

NOTE:  If you scroll down below this rubric, there are additional speech writing and presentation tips.


Name: _________________________




Very Good



CONTENT                   40%






Speech Development

(Structure, organization Introduction, body, conclusion, support material)







(Interest, reception, achievement of purposes)






Speech Value

(Ideas, logic, originality)












DELIVERY                  40%






Volume, Projection, Clarity







(Flexibility change in pitch, pace, volume, clarity, annunciation)







(Enthusiasm, confidence, poise)







(Appearance, posture, facial expression, eye contact, body language)












LANGUAGE               20%







(Choice of words, related to topic and audience)












TOTAL                                                                 /100


The following website can help you begin with your speech writing -->

Your free guide to speech writing and public speaking for eulogies, graduations, best man, father of the bride and any other public speaking engagement.


Step 1: Planning & Preparing Your Speech

Our guide will make public speaking a whole lot easier for you. Build solid foundations for a successful speech by using your knowledge of the occasion, the audience, and their expectations.

1.1 Public Speaking For Everyone

Preparing and delivering your first public speech can be a daunting affair. You may find it difficult deciding what you want to say, how to say it, or perhaps the thought of speaking before an audience scares you. It's true that some people are naturally talented at public speaking, but the good news is that with some helpful guidance, anyone can write and deliver a successful speech that will be remembered for all the right reasons.

1.2 Solid Foundations

Your first instinct may be to sit down with a pen and paper and charge full steam ahead into the first line of your speech. Don't. You will save yourself a lot of time and effort, not to mention much frustrating re-writing, if you begin instead by devoting some time to careful planning of your speech. Through effective preparation, you will answer all the questions and doubts about your speech before they arise. The contents of your speech, and how you deliver it, are based on three important factors:

1.2.1 The Occasion

The nature of the occasion will obviously have a great bearing on your speech. The occasion will dictate not only the content of your speech, but also the duration, the tone, and the expectations of your audience. For example, humour may be inappropriate during a business presentation or a eulogy, while it may be welcome during a wedding speech, or a sports event. You should also be aware of your role and any observances that you should make during your speech (For example, a Best Man ought to close his speech with a toast to the Bride and Groom).

Be mindful of the occasion and your role in it.

1.2.2 The Audience

Whatever the occasion, your speech must always be targeted at your audience.

If you are familiar with your audience, for example if the occasion is a large family gathering, then your speech should acknowledge and build upon your existing intimacy with your audience. The use of names and personal details of members of your audience can help to engage your listeners.

If the speech is to an unfamiliar audience then an early goal of your speech must be to build a degree of trust with the listeners.

You must know who your audience are in order to best decide how to affect your message upon them.

1.2.3 The Purpose of Your Speech

By setting out a few clear goals before you start writing your speech, you will be better equipped to judge its progress and success of your speech prior to its public airing. A hilarious Best Man speech may have your audience rolling in the aisles, but if you fail to give tribute to the Bride and Groom you will have failed in your role.

By setting clear goals, you will be better positioned to judge the likely success of your speech.

Step 2: Writing Your Speech

Learn the fundamentals of successful speechwriting. Discover how to correctly structure your speech with a strong opening, a purposeful body, and a memorable conclusion.

2.1 Structure

Most good writing, we are told over and over again, must have structure. A good speech is no exception. By providing your speech with a beginning, middle, and an end, you will have laid the foundations for a successful speech that fulfils all of your aspirations.

We will now cover each of these areas:

2.2 The Opening

The first thirty seconds of your speech are probably the most important. In that period of time you must grab the attention of the audience, and engage their interest in what you have to say in your speech.

This can be achieved in several ways. For example you could raise a thought-provoking question, make an interesting or controversial statement, recite a relevant quotation or even recount a joke.

Once you have won the attention of the audience, your speech should move seamlessly to the middle of your speech.

2.3 The Body

The body of your speech will always be the largest part of your speech. At this point your audience will have been introduced to you and the subject of your speech (as set out in your opening) and will hopefully be ready to hear your arguments, your musings or on the subject of your speech.

The best way to set out the body of your speech is by formulating a series of points that you would like to raise. In the context of your speech, a "point" could be a statement about a product, a joke about the bridegroom or a fond memory of the subject of a eulogy.

The points should be organised so that related points follow one another so that each point builds upon the previous one. This will also give your speech a more logical progression, and make the job of the listener a far easier one.

Don't try to overwhelm your audience with countless points. It is better to have fewer points that you make well than to have too many points, none of which are made satisfactorily.

2.4 The Closing

Like you Opening, the Closing of your speech must contain some of your strongest material.

You should view the closing of your speech as an opportunity. It is an opportunity to:

Step 3: Delivering Your Speech

Should you use a script, use notes or rely on your memory during the delivery of your speech? Finally, read our Delivery Tips for some ideas of what you should and should not do during a public speaking engagement.

3.1 Scripts, Notes or Memory?

It's now time to prepare to deliver your speech. If you are nervous or inexperienced, you will probably want to choose to read your speech from a script or from notes.

3.1.1 Reading From a Script

Reading your entire speech from a script may give you confidence and ensure that nothing is forgotten or omitted, however it is the least desirable option for delivering your speech. You will find it more difficult to see your audience, and make it harder for them to get involved to you. When reading from a script it is extremely difficult to deliver your speech to your audience, rather than just read it aloud.

3.1.2 Using Notes

If you are not confident enough to recited your speech from memory, then the use of notes is a much more desirable option than using a complete script. Your notes should consist of the keywords or points of your speech - a skeleton of thoughts or words around which you can build your speech. You may refer to your notes occasionally to maintain the thread of your speech, while for the most part of you will be able to speak directly to the audience.

3.1.3 Reciting From Memory

You may prefer to recite from memory. However you should only do this if you are comfortable speaking publicly, and not prone to loss of concentration (or memory!). As with reading from a script, you should be careful not to lapse into a monotonous recitation of your speech.

3.2 Speech Delivery Tips

      Make sure that your appearance is well presented

      Speak clearly, and adjust your voice so that everyone can hear you. Don't shout for the sake of being loud

      It is common to speak rapidly when nervous, try to take your time speaking

      Effectively used, a pause in your speech can be used to emphasise a point, or to allow the audience to react to a fact, anecdote or joke

      Make eye contact with your audience. This helps to build trust and a relationship between the speaker and the listeners

      Do not fidget or make other nervous gestures with your hands. - Do not keep your hands in your pockets. Do use hand gestures effectively

      Be yourself, allow your own personality to come across in your speech