Introduction | Message | Audience | Structure | Physical Aspects | Psychological Aspects

Writing a Speech Outline

Introduction | The approach | Writing a Speech Outline | Conclusion

*Writing a speech outline *
An outline is a blueprint for your presentation.

  • It highlights the logical key elements, i.e. what points are being made to logically support the key message.
  • It highlights the structural key elements, e.g. introduction, body, conclusion, stories, high-level concepts.
  • It links these elements together in a sequence perhaps including a very rough timetable.
  • It can also map out the transitions between elements, although this may be deferred to a later stage of preparation.

The basic speech outline template for structural elements is:

  • Introduction / Tell them what you are going to say
  • Body / Tell them
  • Conclusion / Tell them what you have said


Establish topic and key message; list supporting points


  • Supporting Point One
  • Supporting Point Two
  • Supporting Point Three

Recap main points; summarize key message; call-to-action

A few other things to consider:

  • The density of your outline should be roughly one outline point per minute of speaking time, perhaps less for lengthy presentations.
  • Your presentation is much more than your set of slides. Your outline should reflect your speech elements which the slides complement.
  • When sequencing your outline points, try to avoid a random order. Seek and extract the meaningful relationship.
    1. Chronological – e.g. a biographical speech
    2. Spatial – e.g. an entertaining travel speech
    3. Cause-effect – e.g. speech relating crime rate to drug use
    4. Low to high importance – e.g. reasons to exercise

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