How to Write a Speech Outline

Outlining will organize your writing into a logical, thoughtful, easy to follow speech.

speech-outline.png 1.37 MB

The following outline will get you through writing almost any speech:

1. Attention Grabbing Opener
2. Relevance
3. Thesis Statement

1. Overview of content
2. Define key terms

1. First Main Point
     a. supporting evidence
     b. explanation and analysis

2. Second Main Point 
     a. supporting evidence
     b. explanation and analysis

3. Third Main Point 
     a. support evidence
     b. explanation and analysis

Counterarguments (Optional)
1. Acknowledge opposing viewpoints
2. Rebuttal or Response

1. Summary of main points
2. Restate your thesis
3. Memorable closing statement

Let’s break it down a little so you have a better idea of what each of these points means.

Writing an introduction:

Attention-grabbing opening

Oh, great, another SEO article written by AI for bots from Google to read… wait…
For real though, you have about 5 seconds to catch someones attention before they bounce, either by clicking out of your video, or if you’re their boss giving a speech, into the safe place in their mind.


Why should they care about the boring thing you’re going to talk about? For example, you should care about writing an outline, because otherwise everyone will make fun of you after your terrible speech.

Thesis statement

Okay, now that we know why it’s important. What is it you want to tell us? What’s the overall goal of your speech? Everything else is going to support this statement so keep it short, simple, and to the point.

Give some context:

Lay down the groundwork

Nobody knows what they’re in for yet, you could be giving a 5 hour dissertation. Give them spoilers, a little roadmap of your speech so they know when they’ll be able to go to the bathroom. Give us the tl;dr (too long, didn’t read).

Define key terms

We all know how important you are already, you don’t need the jargon. Define any words your grandma would squint at.

Writing your main points:

State the first main point

Get ready to dazzle them with the sheer excitement of the first point. They might even remember this one. Remember to support your thesis statement.

Supporting evidence

Prepare an onslaught of thrilling examples and mind-blowing statistics that will make everyone’s eyes shoot wide open. If your speech had a movie trailer this is the part they would take scenes from.

Explanation and analysis:

This is a mini summary of the stuff you literally just talked about… sorry, I wasn’t paying attention, neither was anyone else. The more you repeat stuff, the more likely it permeates the plaque built up in our brains from too much Tik Tok.
Then… rinse a repeat for your other main points. Usually 3 main points is all we can take.

Acknowledge counterarguments (Optional):

Acknowledge opposing viewpoints:

So that they know that you know what they know. Inevitably someone is going to think, “hmm, they said this, but actually…” and imagine how satisfying it’d be to psychically slap that thought right out of their heads.

Rebuttal or response:

Let them know what’s up. They’re the dummies and you did the research… right? Seriously though, preparation can make you look like a genius even though we both know you’re not.

How to write a conclusion:

Summary of main points

Time to rehash everything you’ve said, because most of us were on our phones.

Reinforce the thesis

Let's remember why we subjected ourselves to this thrilling experience in the first place. What was the point? That’s what your audience is going to be wondering if you skip this step.

Memorable closing

End with a bang. The last thing you say might be another one of the few things that people will remember. This is the extended VFX money shot that gets held a little too long, make it count!

Use Speakflow.

Listen, you’ve gotten this far, so it’s possible you might actually write that speech. If you’re writing for a video presentation, there’s really no need to memorize the whole thing. Just copy/paste it into Speakflow. That way, you can read it confidently, as if you’ve practiced for hours. It’s okay, we won’t tell.

Create a Speakflow account
A step-by-step guide for using Speakflow in a live presentation setting.
Improve your setup by controlling your tablet teleprompter with your phone.
A good script hooks in a viewer, keeps them invested throughout the...