Speech making

Lesson objective

How to prepare a short speech or take part in a debate

Key question

Why are people so nervous about speaking in public?

Success criteria

Explain the role of speech making in communicating ideas

Demonstrate an understanding of the main components of a successful speech

Practise constructing and delivering a short speech

Introduction to the learning

Discuss the impact of effective speech making, taking some examples such as the speech by Martyn Luther King, 'I have a dream etc'.  Or speeches by Winston Churchill during World War II, such as 'I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat..' What did they achieve?

Main body of the lesson

1. On your own (or in pairs when social distancing is no longer required) think up some issue you would like to speak about.

It could be very local to do with the school or where you live.

It could be a national issue such as houses for homeless people, (be sensitive to possible homeless in the class),

It could be an international such as climate change (Extinction Rebellion movement) the mellting Arctic, declining habitats and their impact on certain animal species, the impact of the Coronavirus on how people will live and work in the future.

(2. Join another pair and get them to test these ideas, ask why the choice, what angle you will take.)

3. (Staying in pairs) work on the elements of the speech

  • Introduction with 'hooks' to grab attention, eg shocking fact, a paradox. Eg in the last 10 years (check fact) lions have declined from 200,000 to 20,000.
  • Outline of three main points. One or two sentences each.

Challenge and extension activities

  • Think of counter arguments eg 'It can be argued.... 'Some people say..., and how you would respond
  • Think up some emotions you want to convey and metaphors or similes to convey them.Eg can you imagine what it would be like to have nowhere permanent to stay. It would be like.....How sad would you be at the loss of lions in the world.

Support activities

  • Think of a choice of endings: perhaps a call to action. Eg, set up a UN task force to stop logging in the rainforest etc

(Class activities)

(Cover each of these five elements separately by having one or more of the pairs tell the class what they came up with)

Silent work

(In pairs) prepare and deliver a two minute speech and get the class to comment


Prepare a three to five minute speech and be ready to deliver next lesson (about 500 words)

Feedback and assessment

Teacher comment on oral contributions by individual students (and pairs)


Citizenship Education for KS3. Hodder Education 2014. Journal of the Association for Citizenship Teaching Issue No 48 Autumn 2018 containing a substantial section on oracy.