A Good Speech

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In General

  1. Content is tailored to and appropriate for this specific audience
  2. Has a clear thesis (a provable assertion)
  3. Includes three (or four) key points that support/prove the thesis
  4. Key points are derived from credible, reputable sources
  5. Uses an effective organizational pattern (logical, easy to follow)
  6. Employs language appropriately & with precision (good grammar, avoids slang, jargon, trite phrases)
  7. Incorporates effective stylistic devices and/or language that creates strong visual images


  1. Sparks and maintains audience attention
  2. Establishes topical significance for this audience
  3. Establishes speaker credibility
  4. Clearly states a thesis
  5. Provides summary forecast/preview of the detail ahead


  1. Demonstrates knowledge of the topic
  2. Main points (3 or 4) clearly support the thesis
  3. Follows a logical, easy to understand sequence
  4. Appropriately uses transitions to unify points


  1. Ties the conclusion to the thesis statement
  2. Reviews main points of the speech
  3. Ends with an interesting or memorable takeaway (last thought)

Visual Aids

  1. Content supports the thesis and enhances audience understanding
  2. Font is clear, easy to read
  3. Adheres to principles of good graphic design


  1. Speaker shows enthusiasm and/or interest in the subject
  2. Speaks clearly (pronunciation correct, enunciates clearly, does not slur words)
  3. Speaks at an easy-to-follow pace (slow conversation)
  4. Avoids verbal fillers (uhm, er, so, ah, well, etc)
  5. Voice is easily heard, without monotone
  6. Maintains eye contact with audience
  7. Quiet body language (no dancing hands, wandering feet, funny faces, body sway, hair flips, etc)
  8. Appears relaxed and at ease

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