What's Your Message?

A short speech – create a 3 minute speech that rocks

I’m in the Charles Pearson Theatre at the University of Melbourne, watching 12 short speeches. It’s a 3 minute speech competition called the  3 minute Thesis .

These annual, 3 minute speech competitions challenge Ph.D and Masters students to effectively communicate 3-1/2 years’ of technical research into a short speech. Their task is to convey only the most important ideas and findings to a non-technical audience – and with only a single slide.

how to write a 3 5 minute speech

A short speech is a great test

As you’d imagine, it can be difficult to condense all that research and knowledge into a 3 minute speech, yet still convey all the pertinent information .

But that’s exactly why it’s such a great exercise for all speakers .

That’s because, in order to be effective, your ideas must be able to be communicated in the most brief, simple and clear manner possible. You need them to stick in the listener’s mind.

Not everyone is good at this skill – indeed, few people are. But you need to be if you want other to see the value of your ideas.

By the way, if you think giving a good 3 minute speech is hard, try doing one in just 5 words! That’s what they do at the Webby awards .

What did the winning speakers do right?

Despite giving a short speech on very different topics, there were some common practices I noticed about the winning speakers.

  • They presented an exceptionally clear message .
  • They included a “ top and tail ” element.
  • They made use of metaphor and other verbal illustrations to simplify a complex idea.
  • They spoke like they were having a conversation with their audience – not ‘giving a formal speech’.

The losing speakers, by contrast, were more forced. Some were so unnatural they seemed to be giving a pantomime a speech for an audience of children. The engagement of conversation was missing. We’ve talked before about the importance of an unforced, natural style .

How to create a short speech.

1. use a simple structure..

Start by clearly saying the ‘headline’ and key idea underpinning your speech in simple, everyday language, and follow with a simple structure supporting your main point. Here are some examples:

A: Headline and 3 supporting reasons:

With this approach, follow your “headline” statement with 3 simple supporting reasons. State each reason clearly, and explain how each one helps achieve or support the objective.

“We must change the way we work – for 3 important reasons:

  • Thwack …,
  • Kapow…,
  • Whamm. “

B: Problem – solution:

This is a simple structure of only 2 parts. It’s an easy yet powerful way to capture people’s attention and interest when done well. But you’ll want to avoid the trap of rushing through the problem, and spending too much time on your brilliant solution.

If you really want to hook people, take some time to paint a vivid picture of the problem first. Your audience will then be clambering for a solution with both ears open.

C: Timeline:

In this type of short speech, you might cover:

  • The history of the issue …
  • The current situation …
  • What might happen in the future …
  • And the ramifications of agreeing (or disagreeing) with your main argument.

D: Metaphor/Top & Tail:

To “top and tail” simply means starting with a story/quote that hints at your message. At the end, you recall that story and link it to your message.

This short speech from a 3 minute speech competition makes excellent use of this approach.

Start your speech (“the top”) with a compelling metaphor to make a memorable point, and end the speech (“the tail”) with the same metaphor — but adjusted to show the benefit of adopting your central argument.

2: End with a memorable message:

Just as important as how you begin and structure your speech, is how you end it .

Consider the same techniques at the end of your speech. A metaphor that links back to your original premise, or finishing with a thought-provoking question, are two ways to burnish your speech in your listener’s mind.

These videos of the 1st and 2nd place winners of a 3 minute speech competition show how effective these closing techniques can be: 1st Place: Sara Ciesielski 2nd Place: Samantha Lichter

People worry that time limitations mean they have to ‘dumb down’ their valuable research — this is not the case!

A vivid message and a compelling short speech can become a window to the depth of your research, and give clarity to the value of your ideas.

A 3 minute speech gives you a huge amount of time to do this – if you use the time wisely and structure your speech to maximum effect.

Want to be a great speaker? Get the kindle ebook from amazon.com: What’s Your Message? Public Speaking with Twice the Impact, Using Half the Effort

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How to write a good speech in 7 steps

By:  Susan Dugdale  | Last modified: 09-11-2022

- an easily followed format for writing a great speech

Did you know writing a speech doesn't have be an anxious, nail biting experience?

Unsure? Don't be.

You may have lived with the idea you were never good with words for a long time. Or perhaps giving speeches at school brought you out in cold sweats.

However learning how to write a speech is relatively straight forward when you learn to write out loud.

And that's the journey I am offering to take you on: step by step.

To learn quickly, go slow

Take all the time you need. This speech format has 7 steps, each building on the next.

Walk, rather than run, your way through all of them. Don't be tempted to rush. Familiarize yourself with the ideas. Try them out.

I know there are well-advertised short cuts and promises of 'write a speech in 5 minutes'. However in reality they only truly work for somebody who already has the basic foundations of speech writing in place.

The foundation of good speech writing 

These steps are the backbone of sound speech preparation. Learn and follow them well at the outset and yes, given more experience and practice you could probably flick something together quickly. Like any skill, the more it's used, the easier it gets.

In the meantime...

Step 1: Begin with a speech overview or outline

Are you in a hurry? Without time to read a whole page? Grab ... The Quick How to Write a Speech Checklist And come back to get the details later.

  • WHO you are writing your speech for (your target audience)
  • WHY you are preparing this speech. What's the main purpose of your speech? Is it to inform or tell your audience about something? To teach them a new skill or demonstrate something? To persuade or to entertain? (See 4 types of speeches: informative, demonstrative, persuasive and special occasion or entertaining for more.) What do you want them to think, feel or do as a result of listening the speech?
  • WHAT your speech is going to be about (its topic) - You'll want to have thought through your main points and have ranked them in order of importance. And have sorted the supporting research you need to make those points effectively.
  • HOW much time you have for your speech eg. 3 minutes, 5 minutes... The amount of time you've been allocated dictates how much content you need. If you're unsure check this page: how many words per minute in a speech: a quick reference guide . You'll find estimates of the number of words required for 1 - 10 minute speeches by slow, medium and fast talkers.

Use an outline

The best way to make sure you deliver a perfect speech is to start by carefully completing a speech outline covering the essentials: WHO, WHY, WHAT and HOW.

Beginning to write without thinking your speech through is a bit like heading off on a journey not knowing why you're traveling or where you're going to end up. You can find yourself lost in a deep, dark, murky muddle of ideas very quickly!

Pulling together a speech overview or outline is a much safer option. It's the map you'll follow to get where you want to go.

Get a blank speech outline template to complete

Click the link to find out a whole lot more about preparing a speech outline . ☺ You'll also find a free printable blank speech outline template.  I recommend using it!

Understanding speech construction

Before you begin to write, using your completed outline as a guide, let's briefly look at what you're aiming to prepare.

  • an opening or introduction
  • the body where the bulk of the information is given
  • and an ending (or summary).

Imagine your speech as a sandwich

Image: gourmet sandwich with labels on the top (opening) and bottom (conclusion) slices of bread and filling, (body). Text: Key ingredients for a superb speech sandwich.

If you think of a speech as a sandwich you'll get the idea.

The opening and ending are the slices of bread holding the filling (the major points or the body of your speech) together.

You can build yourself a simple sandwich with one filling (one big idea) or you could go gourmet and add up to three or, even five. The choice is yours.

But whatever you choose to serve, as a good cook, you need to consider who is going to eat it! And that's your audience.

So let's find out who they are before we do anything else. 

Step 2: Know who you are talking to

Understanding your audience.

Did you know a  good speech is never written from the speaker's point of view?  ( If you need to know more about why check out this page on  building rapport .)

Begin with the most important idea/point on your outline.

Consider HOW you can explain (show, tell) that to your audience in the most effective way for them to easily understand it.   

Writing from the audience's point of view

how to write a 3 5 minute speech

To help you write from an audience point of view, it's a good idea to identify either a real person or the type of person who is most likely to be listening to you.

Make sure you select someone who represents the "majority" of the people who will be in your audience. That is they are neither struggling to comprehend you at the bottom of your scale or light-years ahead at the top.

Now imagine they are sitting next to you eagerly waiting to hear what you're going to say. Give them a name, for example, Joe, to help make them real.

Ask yourself

  • How do I need to tailor my information to meet Joe's needs? For example, do you tell personal stories to illustrate your main points? Absolutely! Yes. This is a very powerful technique. (Click storytelling in speeches to find out more.)
  • What type or level of language is right for Joe as well as my topic? For example if I use jargon (activity, industry or profession specific vocabulary) will it be understood?

Step 3: Writing as you speak

Writing oral language.

Write down what you want to say about your first main point as if you were talking directly to Joe.

If it helps, say it all out loud before you write it down and/or record it.

Use the information below as a guide

Infographic: The Characteristics of Spoken Language - 7 points of difference with examples.

(Click to download The Characteristics of Spoken Language  as a pdf.) 

You do not have to write absolutely everything you're going to say down * but you do need to write down, or outline, the sequence of ideas to ensure they are logical and easily followed.

Remember too, to explain or illustrate your point with examples from your research. 

( * Tip: If this is your first speech the safety net of having everything written down could be just what you need. It's easier to recover from a patch of jitters when you have a word by word manuscript than if you have either none, or a bare outline. Your call!)

Step 4: Checking tone and language

The focus of this step is re-working what you've done in Step 2 and 3.

You identified who you were talking to (Step 2) and in Step 3, wrote up your first main point.  Is it right? Have you made yourself clear?  Check it.

Graphic:cartoon drawing of a woman sitting in front of a laptop. Text:How to write a speech: checking tone and language.

How well you complete this step depends on how well you understand the needs of the people who are going to listen to your speech.

Please do not assume because you know what you're talking about the person (Joe) you've chosen to represent your audience will too. Joe is not a mind-reader!

How to check what you've prepared

  • Check the "tone" of your language . Is it right for the occasion, subject matter and your audience?
  • Check the length of your sentences. You need short sentences. If they're too long or complicated you risk losing your listeners.

Check for jargon too. These are industry, activity or group exclusive words.

For instance take the phrase: authentic learning . This comes from teaching and refers to connecting lessons to the daily life of students. Authentic learning is learning that is relevant and meaningful for students. If you're not a teacher you may not understand the phrase.

The use of any vocabulary requiring insider knowledge needs to be thought through from the audience perspective. Jargon can close people out.

  • Read what you've written out loud. If it flows naturally, in a logical manner, continue the process with your next main idea. If it doesn't, rework.

We use whole sentences and part ones, and we mix them up with asides or appeals e.g. "Did you get that? Of course you did. Right...Let's move it along. I was saying ..."

Click for more about the differences between spoken and written language .

And now repeat the process

Repeat this process for the remainder of your main ideas.

Because you've done the first one carefully, the rest should follow fairly easily.

Step 5: Use transitions

Providing links or transitions between main ideas.

Between each of your main ideas you need to provide a bridge or pathway for your audience. The clearer the pathway or bridge, the easier it is for them to make the transition from one idea to the next.

Graphic - girl walking across a bridge. Text - Using transitions to link ideas.

If your speech contains more than three main ideas and each is building on the last, then consider using a "catch-up" or summary as part of your transitions.

Is your speech being evaluated? Find out exactly what aspects you're being assessed on using this standard speech evaluation form

Link/transition examples

A link can be as simple as:

"We've explored one scenario for the ending of Block Buster 111, but let's consider another. This time..."

What follows this transition is the introduction of Main Idea Two.

Here's a summarizing link/transition example:

"We've ended Blockbuster 111 four ways so far. In the first, everybody died. In the second, everybody died BUT their ghosts remained to haunt the area. In the third, one villain died. His partner reformed and after a fight-out with the hero, they both strode off into the sunset, friends forever. In the fourth, the hero dies in a major battle but is reborn sometime in the future.

And now what about one more? What if nobody died? The fifth possibility..."

Go back through your main ideas checking the links. Remember Joe as you go. Try each transition or link out loud and really listen to yourself. Is it obvious? Easily followed?

Keep them if they are clear and concise.

For more about transitions (with examples) see Andrew Dlugan's excellent article, Speech Transitions: Magical words and Phrases .

Step 6: The end of your speech

The ideal ending is highly memorable . You want it to live on in the minds of your listeners long after your speech is finished. Often it combines a call to action with a summary of major points.

Comic Graphic: End with a bang

Example speech endings

Example 1: The desired outcome of a speech persuading people to vote for you in an upcoming election is that they get out there on voting day and do so. You can help that outcome along by calling them to register their support by signing a prepared pledge statement as they leave.

"We're agreed we want change. You can help us give it to you by signing this pledge statement as you leave. Be part of the change you want to see!

Example 2: The desired outcome is increased sales figures. The call to action is made urgent with the introduction of time specific incentives.

"You have three weeks from the time you leave this hall to make that dream family holiday in New Zealand yours. Can you do it? Will you do it? The kids will love it. Your wife will love it. Do it now!"

How to figure out the right call to action

A clue for working out what the most appropriate call to action might be, is to go back to your original purpose for giving the speech.

  • Was it to motivate or inspire?
  • Was it to persuade to a particular point of view?
  • Was it to share specialist information?
  • Was it to celebrate a person, a place, time or event?

Ask yourself what you want people to do as a result of having listened to your speech.

For more about ending speeches

Visit this page for more about how to end a speech effectively . You'll find two additional types of speech endings with examples.

Write and test

Write your ending and test it out loud. Try it out on a friend, or two. Is it good? Does it work?

Step 7: The introduction

Once you've got the filling (main ideas) the linking and the ending in place, it's time to focus on the introduction.

The introduction comes last as it's the most important part of your speech. This is the bit that either has people sitting up alert or slumped and waiting for you to end. It's the tone setter!

What makes a great speech opening?

Ideally you want an opening that makes listening to you the only thing the 'Joes' in the audience want to do.

You want them to forget they're hungry or that their chair is hard or that their bills need paying.

The way to do that is to capture their interest straight away. You do this with a "hook".

Hooks to catch your audience's attention

Hooks come in as many forms as there are speeches and audiences. Your task is work out what specific hook is needed to catch your audience.

Graphic: shoal of fish and two hooked fishing lines. Text: Hooking and holding attention

Go back to the purpose. Why are you giving this speech?

Once you have your answer, consider your call to action. What do you want the audience to do, and, or take away, as a result of listening to you?

Next think about the imaginary or real person you wrote for when you were focusing on your main ideas.

Choosing the best hook

  • Is it humor?
  • Would shock tactics work?
  • Is it a rhetorical question?
  • Is it formality or informality?
  • Is it an outline or overview of what you're going to cover, including the call to action?
  • Or is it a mix of all these elements?

A hook example

Here's an example from a fictional political speech. The speaker is lobbying for votes. His audience are predominately workers whose future's are not secure.

"How's your imagination this morning? Good? (Pause for response from audience) Great, I'm glad. Because we're going to put it to work starting right now.

I want you to see your future. What does it look like? Are you happy? Is everything as you want it to be? No? Let's change that. We could do it. And we could do it today.

At the end of this speech you're going to be given the opportunity to change your world, for a better one ...

No, I'm not a magician. Or a simpleton with big ideas and precious little commonsense. I'm an ordinary man, just like you. And I have a plan to share!"

And then our speaker is off into his main points supported by examples. The end, which he has already foreshadowed in his opening, is the call to vote for him.

Prepare several hooks

Experiment with several openings until you've found the one that serves your audience, your subject matter and your purpose best.

For many more examples of speech openings go to: how to write a speech introduction . You'll find 12 of the very best ways to start a speech.

how to write a 3 5 minute speech

That completes the initial seven steps towards writing your speech. If you've followed them all the way through, congratulations, you now have the text of your speech!

Although you might have the words, you're still a couple of steps away from being ready to deliver them. Both of them are essential if you want the very best outcome possible. They are below. Please take them.

Step 8: Checking content and timing

This step pulls everything together.

Check once, check twice, check three times & then once more!

Go through your speech really carefully.

On the first read through check you've got your main points in their correct order with supporting material, plus an effective introduction and ending.

On the second read through check the linking passages or transitions making sure they are clear and easily followed.

On the third reading check your sentence structure, language use and tone.

Double, triple check the timing

Now go though once more.

This time read it aloud slowly and time yourself.

If it's too long for the time allowance you've been given make the necessary cuts.

Start by looking at your examples rather than the main ideas themselves. If you've used several examples to illustrate one principal idea, cut the least important out.

Also look to see if you've repeated yourself unnecessarily or, gone off track. If it's not relevant, cut it.

Repeat the process, condensing until your speech fits the required length, preferably coming in just under your time limit.

You can also find out how approximately long it will take you to say the words you have by using this very handy words to minutes converter . It's an excellent tool, one I frequently use. While it can't give you a precise time, it does provide a reasonable estimate.

Graphic: Click to read example speeches of all sorts.

Step 9: Rehearsing your speech

And NOW you are finished with writing the speech, and are ready for REHEARSAL .

how to write a 3 5 minute speech

Please don't be tempted to skip this step. It is not an extra thrown in for good measure. It's essential.

The "not-so-secret" secret of successful speeches combines good writing with practice, practice and then, practicing some more.

Go to how to practice public speaking and you'll find rehearsal techniques and suggestions to boost your speech delivery from ordinary to extraordinary.

The Quick How to Write a Speech Checklist

Before you begin writing you need:.

  • Your speech OUTLINE with your main ideas ranked in the order you're going to present them. (If you haven't done one complete this 4 step sample speech outline . It will make the writing process much easier.)
  • You also need to know WHO you're speaking to, the PURPOSE of the speech and HOW long you're speaking for

The basic format

  • the body where you present your main ideas

Split your time allowance so that you spend approximately 70% on the body and 15% each on the introduction and ending.

How to write the speech

  • Write your main ideas out incorporating your examples and research
  • Link them together making sure each flows in a smooth, logical progression
  • Write your ending, summarizing your main ideas briefly and end with a call for action
  • Write your introduction considering the 'hook' you're going to use to get your audience listening
  • An often quoted saying to explain the process is: Tell them what you're going to tell them (Introduction) Tell them (Body of your speech - the main ideas plus examples) Tell them what you told them (The ending)

TEST before presenting. Read aloud several times to check the flow of material, the suitability of language and the timing.

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how to write a 3 5 minute speech

The Classroom | Empowering Students in Their College Journey

How to Write a 3-Minute Speech Fast

How to write a 3-minute speech.

A three-minute speech may sound short, but in reality, many words and thoughts can be expressed in that time frame. Despite the time frame, it is possible to prepare quickly for your three-minute speech if you are familiar with the subject material. The key is to write a solid outline that gives you space to add or omit information depending on how much time you have left. Public speaking can be difficult if you’re not prepared with time-limits, body language, speech rates, PowerPoints, eye contact, communication skills, correct subject manner, personal story touches, key points and things to say to keep the audience’s attention.

Like a 5-minute speech or 10-minute speech, time constraints are present and affect the speaker’s speaking rate, formal speech aspects for real-life performance, word counts, subject matter included, number of words shared, and call to actions through your body of your speech said in the amount of time given. Short speeches call for more attention to detail as well as smaller bullet points of subject matter as well as a more impactful end of your speech.

Write one sentence stating the topic of your speech and what you hope to relay to the audience. Decide whether this speech is persuasive, celebratory, argumentative or any other style so you can know how to proceed. This sentence is not to be read during your speech, but is rather a reference for you as you write your speech to help you stay focused.

Write an opening statement that is sure to grab the attention of your audience. Depending on the topic and the crowd, you may want to consider starting with an amusing anecdote, a startling statistic or an interesting quote from a relevant source.

Write a quick outline of the main points you want to make in your speech. Label these with Roman numerals and, if you are typing, highlight them in bold so you can find your place quickly when delivering your speech. For a three-minute speech, choose no more than five main points.

Write three to five short items that support each of your main points. Number them. Using capital letters may help differentiate them from your main points at a glance.

Write as much of your speech word-for-word as you believe you will need, inserting the sentences within the outline. The less you add, the faster you will write your speech. However, this also means you must be comfortable forming coherent sentences and thoughts in the moment of delivery.

Memorize your speech and practice it in front of anyone willing to listen. Aim to glance down at your written speech only once every ten to twenty seconds.

Do not go on a tangent with any of your points. Not only is there no time for this within a three-minute speech, but this will make the writing process much slower. Stick to only the most relevant points you want to make. Type your speech. Not only will this help you write and structure your speech faster, it is neater and easier to read.

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  • The Mental Game Coach: Top Ten Tips for Writing and Delivering Very Brief Speeches
  • Harvard Business School: Speechwriting Under the Gun
  • Do not go on a tangent with any of your points. Not only is there no time for this within a three-minute speech, but this will make the writing process much slower. Stick to only the most relevant points you want to make.
  • Type your speech. Not only will this help you write and structure your speech faster, it is neater and easier to read.

Kara Page has been a freelance writer and editor since 2007. She maintains several blogs on travel, music, food and more. She is also a contributing writer for Suite101 and has articles published on eHow and Answerbag. Page holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of North Texas.

The 5-Minute Speech and How to Write One

how to write a 3 5 minute speech

Average: 3 ( 1 vote)

5-Minute Speech

Many people feel nervous before giving a speech, and there is added pressure if you have to get your message across in a short space of time. It is a challenge to be sure to include all the various crucial points that make your speech impactful and engaging. 

To overcome this challenge we suggest that you prepare a speech outline that includes all those points that can illustrate your central idea, but which you can cover in the allotted time.

In this article, we will take a quick look at how to write a 5-minute speech having defined all of your core points. Let’s first understand where these types of speeches are required the most. 

When are 5-Minute Speeches Required?

Here are some specific situations where you may be asked to deliver a 5-minute speech. 

Introducing a new employee in the company and letting everyone know about his designation and experience.

Making a special event announcement in the office where you have to describe the importance of that event.

Pitching a service or product to customers with a simple yet effective speech. 

Offering a short speech at the opening of a business such as a real estate company. In this case, you can deliver a strong 5-minute speech along with catchy real estate slogans .

Describing your favorite personality’s contribution to society at a charity event. 

Giving a speech at a wedding or a funeral to describe some special memories.

Besides these situations, there are a number of other situations where you may have to give a quick speech. Therefore, always try to be prepared with simple, sample outlines to deliver speeches that can grab people’s attention . 

How to Write a 5-Minute Speech?

Here are some important points to remember when writing a short speech for any special event.

Consider Your Audience

Before starting to write a speech, you need to first analyze the audience properly. This is necessary because it will help you to prepare a speech that will engage them specifically. It will simplify your selection of words and tone that fit the audience best. 

Create an Outline

Once you understand your audience , shift your focus to the preparation of a strong speech outline. 

You have to keep various factors in mind while creating an overall outline. You need to consider the time limitation, and how to define your thoughts inside the frame. Create an outline that is short, but covers all the points that need to be described to the audience. Do not include what you will say, just stick to the points you need to make for now.

Start with Powerful Words

Now, it is time to start writing your actual speech, opening it with some thought-provoking words. The start of your speech can really make or break your whole presentation. Therefore, try to come up with those words that will grab your audience’s attention. It could be a factual example, an anecdote,  or an inspirational quote. Choose your opening words to influence the audience that you have identified.

Stay Clear with Your Central Message

The central message of your speech should always be loud and clear. Pick words that simplify your message and enhance your audience's understanding, allowing them to remember your speech for a long time.  

Conclude the Speech with Inspirational Words

End your speech with some lines that will invoke positive thoughts among your audience. As a professional speaker , this is your chance to maintain the interest of listeners even after you have concluded your speech. That could be done by making your conclusion powerful and uniquely attractive. It should also include the central message.

Final Words

Public speaking is not easy. It requires you to have complete confidence in your words and body language. It is even more challenging when you have limited time to get your points across and engage your audience. 

Consider the above tips to ensure that your short speeches are powerful and insightful for your audience. These tips will simplify your speech preparation process, allowing you to deliver a great thought-provoking message in 5 minutes or less.

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How to Write a Speech

Last Updated: June 13, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Patrick Muñoz . Patrick is an internationally recognized Voice & Speech Coach, focusing on public speaking, vocal power, accent and dialects, accent reduction, voiceover, acting and speech therapy. He has worked with clients such as Penelope Cruz, Eva Longoria, and Roselyn Sanchez. He was voted LA's Favorite Voice and Dialect Coach by BACKSTAGE, is the voice and speech coach for Disney and Turner Classic Movies, and is a member of Voice and Speech Trainers Association. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 2,959,698 times.

Giving an original speech for a class, event, or work presentation can be nerve-wracking. However, writing an effective speech can help to bolster your confidence. With careful planning and an eye for detail, you can write a speech that will inform, persuade, motivate, or entertain! Give yourself plenty of time to craft your speech and practice it several times for best results.

Sample Speeches

how to write a 3 5 minute speech

Drafting an Effective Speech

Step 1 Research your topic well.

  • If you are writing a speech for a class, make sure to check with your teacher to get details about the number and acceptable types of sources.

Step 2 Make an outline...

  • If you are writing an informative or persuasive speech, then plan to arrange your speech with a problem and solution structure. Start the speech by talking about what is wrong, then explain how to fix the problem in the second half of your speech. [4] X Research source

Tip : Keep in mind that you can always refine your outline later or as you draft your speech. Include all of the information that seems relevant now with the expectation that you will likely need to pare it down later.

Step 3 Choose a hook to grab the audience’s attention right away.

  • For example, if you are writing a motivational speech about weight loss, then you might say something like, “Five years ago, I could not walk up a flight of stairs without needing to take a break halfway up.”
  • If you hope to persuade audience members to reduce their use of fossil fuels, then you might start off by saying, “Gas-powered vehicles are the reason why global warming is threatening to destroy our planet.”

Step 4 Connect your topic to a larger issue to give background information.

  • For example, if you are giving a speech on increasing funding for Alzheimer’s research, it would be helpful to provide information on how common Alzheimer’s disease is and how it affects families. You could accomplish this with a combination of a statistic and an anecdote.

Tip: Keep your introduction less than 1 paragraph or 1 double-spaced page long. This will help to ensure that you do not spend too much time on the context and background before getting to the meat of your topic. [7] X Research source

Step 5 Address each of your main points in a logical order.

  • For example, in a speech about ending animal testing for cosmetics, you might start with a point about how animal testing is cruel, then explain that it is unnecessary, and then talk about the alternatives to animal testing that make it obsolete.

Step 6 Introduce new topics and summarize material you have already covered.

  • For example, if you are about to cover the concept of delayed onset muscle soreness (also known as DOMS), then explain what it is in a nutshell first, then go into more detail about it and how it relates to your point, then end that section of your speech with a brief summary of the main point you are trying to make.

Step 7 Include transitions to guide your audience through your speech.

  • In that moment
  • The following week

Step 8 Conclude your speech with a call-to-action.

  • For example, if you have just described the effects of global warming on the polar bear population, conclude your speech by telling your audience about non-profit organizations that are working to protect the environment and the polar bear population.
  • If you have just shared your weight loss story to motivate your audience, tell them what they can do to start their own weight loss journey and share resources that you found helpful.

Making Your Speech More Engaging

Step 1 Keep your words and sentences short and simple.

  • For example, instead of saying, “Achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight is the pinnacle of human existence because it enables you to accomplish physical feats that boost your confidence and give you a sense of accomplishment,” say, “A healthy body weight allows you to do more physically, and this may make you happier overall.”
  • Keep in mind that it is also important to vary your sentence structure. You can include a longer sentence once or twice per page to add variety to your speech. Just avoid using lots of long sentences in your speech. [15] X Research source

Step 2 Favor nouns over pronouns for clarity.

  • For example, if you are giving a speech for a group of sales associates who are trying to increase sales of a new product called “Synergy,” then you might repeat a simple phrase to that effect, such as “Tell your customers about Synergy,” or you could simply say, “Synergy” a few times during your speech to remind your audience of this product.
  • If you are writing a motivational speech about how running can help people to overcome emotional hurdles, then you might repeat a phrase in your speech to emphasize this idea, such as, “Run through the pain.”

Step 4 Limit statistics and quotes to avoid overwhelming your audience.

  • For example, if you are giving a speech about moose mating patterns, 2 numbers that show the decline in the moose population over a 50 year period may be a striking addition to your speech. However, sharing a complex set of moose population statistics would be less compelling and possibly even confusing to your audience.
  • Choose quotes that are easy to follow and make sure that you explain how each quote you use supports to your argument. Try to stick with quotes that use simple language and take up no more than 2 lines on your page.

Step 5 Maintain an appropriate tone throughout your speech.

  • For example, when describing your love of food in a motivational speech about becoming a chef, you might decide to include a joke and say something like, “I always wanted to become a chef, ever since I was a little kid and I discovered that people actually make donuts and they don’t just randomly fall from the sky.”

Step 6 Provide visual aids if you are allowed.

  • Avoid relying on the slides to make the speech for you. You will still need to deliver your speech in an engaging manner. Only use the slides as a complement to your words.

Step 7 Practice and check for weak spots that you can improve.

  • Make sure to read your speech out loud when you review it! This will help you to determine if it sounds natural and if there are any awkward sections that you can cut, smooth out, or explain more clearly. [22] X Research source

Expert Q&A

Patrick Muñoz

You Might Also Like

Write a Welcome Speech

  • ↑ http://teacher.scholastic.com/writewit/speech/tips.htm
  • ↑ Patrick Muñoz. Voice & Speech Coach. Expert Interview. 12 November 2019.
  • ↑ https://www.write-out-loud.com/howtowritespeech.html
  • ↑ https://www.academicwritingsuccess.com/7-sensational-essay-hooks/
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/speeches/
  • ↑ https://www.unr.edu/writing-speaking-center/student-resources/writing-speaking-resources/speech-introductions
  • ↑ https://pac.org/content/speechwriting-101-writing-effective-speech

About This Article

Patrick Muñoz

To write a speech, start off with an attention-grabbing statement, like "Before I begin my speech, I have something important to say." Once you've gotten everyone's attention, move on to your strongest argument or point first since that's what audiences will remember the most. Use transitions throughout your speech, like "This brings us back to the bigger picture," so the audience doesn't get lost. To conclude your speech, restate the key points and leave your audience with a question or something to think about. To learn how to edit your first draft, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Inspirational Guide to Writing a 5-Minute Speech

Table of Contents

How to write a five minute speech  is a task that involves precise delivery, detailed planning, and intelligent drafting.

Preparing to deliver a powerful speech in only a few minutes might seem impossible, but it is possible. Writing a compelling and memorable five-minute speech is easy if you understand what makes one work.

Here, we discuss tips and tricks professionals use to write an effective and engaging five-minute speech. With these simple steps and guidelines, you can craft a captivating speech quickly and easily.

Why You Might Need to Give a Five-Minute Speech

A five-minute speech might be necessary for specific situations. Where you’re limited by time, you’ll still need to effectively communicate your points and accomplish your objectives within your allotted time.

Here are some reasons why you might need to give a five-minute speech.

Time Constraints

Giving a five-minute speech allows you to convey your message within the allotted time frame effectively . One reason to give a five-minute speech is that you may be required to do so due to time constraints. You may be given a specific time slot if you are asked to speak at a conference or event where multiple speakers are scheduled. 

Limited Attention Span

Another reason to give a five-minute speech is that it allows you to capture and maintain your audience’s attention . Studies have shown that the average attention span of an adult is around eight seconds. This means making your message clear and concise to keep your audience engaged is important. A five-minute speech lets you do just that by presenting your ideas concisely and straightforwardly. 

Practice and Improvement

Giving a five-minute speech can help you improve your communication skills. It is also an excellent opportunity to practice and improve your public speaking skills. Focus on delivering a clear and compelling message within a shorter period, so you can build confidence and improve your speech. 

Impact and Persuasion

Finally, giving a five-minute speech can be an effective way to make an impact and persuade your audience. By presenting your ideas clearly and concisely, you can more easily convey your message and persuade your audience to take action. It’s possible to win your colleagues’ hearts and minds by giving a short speech.

How to Write a Five Minute Speech

man speaking in front of crowd

Writing an effective five-minute speech can be a daunting task. After all, you want your audience to stay engaged and not become bored or disengaged. It’s crucial to organize your speech as well as possible to make sure that your message gets across to your audience.

The following tips will help you create a five-minute speech that will leave your audience wanting more!

Choose an Interesting Topic

The first step in writing a successful five-minute speech is choosing an interesting and relevant topic. Try to think of something timely or engaging that your audience would find helpful or entertaining. You could also research popular topics from other speakers or news outlets to get ideas. Once you have chosen a subject for your speech, make sure to narrow its scope to fit within the time limit. 

Research Your Topic

Become knowledgeable about the subject by reading related articles, watching videos, and listening to podcasts. Once you’ve identified your topic, start researching it in depth. This research process should help inform your opinion and give you new perspectives on the issue. Additionally, try to pick out key points that may bolster or strengthen your argument. 

Gather Supporting Evidence

When crafting a persuasive five-minute speech, having compelling evidence is essential. Just make sure that any evidence you use is reliable and accurate.

Include examples and facts to back up your statements whenever possible. This will make your arguments more convincing and give your audience a stronger impression. 

Outline Your Speech

Before starting to write, take some time to plan out what you are going to say. Writing an outline helps break down the information into smaller chunks, making it easier to organize when composing the actual speech.

The outline should include the main ideas you plan to discuss as well as any other supporting points during your presentation. Plus, creating an outline beforehand will also save you time in the long run. 

Craft Your Introduction

Your speech’s start should draw the audience in and establish the general tone for the remainder of it. Keep it short, sweet, and memorable. What you say in the introduction will resonate with your audience. Your introduction serves as a good bargaining chip for great content.

Write the Rest of the Speech

Since you have already conceptualized your structure and created a rough outline, it’s time to start filling in the blanks with real content. Make sure the introduction flows seamlessly from your introduction to your conclusions. 

Five-Minutes Speech Example

Good morning, everyone! Today I’m here to talk about the importance of cultivating a collaborative work environment in our office. As we all know, teamwork is integral to any successful business venture. We must foster cooperation and mutual respect to reaching our desired objectives.

I have plenty of professional experience working collaboratively. From facilitating negotiations between stakeholders to encouraging colleagues to unite under common goals, I understand how important it is to nurture cooperation within teams. Furthermore, while working in high-pressure situations, I’ve seen firsthand how camaraderie can help alleviate stress and bring out the best in people.

So let’s start by discussing ways we can increase collaboration amongst ourselves:

First, we must actively listen to each other instead of rushing to judgment or being overly critical. This will ensure that everyone feels comfortable speaking up and sharing their ideas without fear of judgment.

Second, we must always strive to be open-minded and welcoming towards new perspectives as they often present solutions that would otherwise not be considered.

And finally, we should practice respecting one another’s time and workloads. This way, we can ensure that everyone gets their tasks done on schedule without impeding others.

These simple actions can create a workplace culture characterized by harmony and synergy rather than competition and antagonism. So let’s commit to making this happen together – thank you very much for your time!

Learn how to write a five minute speech that captivates your audience. Careful preparation and practice are essential.

Choose a relevant and exciting topic, organize your thoughts, use supporting materials, and rehearse your delivery. Improving your public speaking skills and making an impact are great reasons to give a five-minute speech. 

With the proper preparation, you can deliver a powerful message that achieves your goals. The key is writing with emotion, ensuring each sentence contains at least one uncommon word. This will add interest and uniqueness to your presentation.

Inspirational Guide to Writing a 5-Minute Speech

Abir Ghenaiet

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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How Long is a 3 Minute Speech? Tips for Writing a Short Speech


What could be more nerve-wracking than standing in front of a room full of people and giving a speech in three minutes? It is no surprise that this can be a stressful task for many people. The good news is that most audiences are ready to listen and understand, if you know how to make your points in a clear, concise, and impactful manner.

But that’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? How do you effectively deliver a 3-minute presentation and make sure your message gets across? Well, fear not, in this post, I will be breaking down how you can create an effective 3-minute presentation and tips that you can use to maximize the impact of your speech. So put away the fear and let’s get started!

Quick Answer

How many words can I write in a 3 minute speech? Answer: The number of words for a 3 minute speech will vary depending on the speaking speed, but generally you should aim to have between 300 and 480 words in your speech.

Calculating Speech Length in Minutes

The precise answer to how long a 3 minute speech is can vary depending on the speaker, their speaking rate, and length of words used. It’s important to consider these factors when preparing an effective presentation . While the conventional wisdom might be to assign a fixed word count per minute, the reality is that it takes more than this to calculate an exact speech length . Subject matter is one factor to take into account when calculating speech length. Complex topics require more words and use of larger vocabulary which will naturally increase the length of time the speaker needs to explain the material. Additionally, if there is content specified by a speaker for a 3-minute presentation, that can also affect the actual length of the speech. On average, one sentence will take about three seconds to deliver, so every extra sentence or phrase will add approximately six seconds to your presentation time. To ensure that your 3-minute speech includes all information needed without taking too much time from other presenters speaking after you, practice delivering your speech out loud and adjust as needed. The pros of using a fixed word count per minute approach are numerous. This method allows for easier calculation of speech timing and for comparison against other speakers in terms of number of words spoken. A disadvantage would be that if a presenter uses larger words or has generally slower delivery with longer pauses between sentences or sections, then the estimated “3 minutes” could be inaccurate; meaning less time available for other speakers or related activities. By considering subject matter, language choice and level of detail, presenters should have a better understanding on how to effectively gauge their intended speech length beforehand. This leads into an important measure of success in any given presentation – that being words per minute estimations which we’ll cover in the following section…

Words Per Minute Estimations

Words per minute estimations are key when it comes to preparing a 3-minute speech. Speaking faster than your natural delivery can hinder the effectiveness of a presentation. However, understanding the industry standard of words per minute can help speakers find the right tempo for their presentations. According to some sources , the average person speaks approximately 125 words per minute, making a 3-minute presentation around 375 words. Plans and speeches should be rehearsed in advance to ensure that they fit and exceed the word requirement. While you should practice going over the time limit, keep in mind that it is best practice to finish presentations at or before the allotted time. On the other hand, there is debate around whether simply filling up a speech with words that do not serve any purpose creates a more improved speech. Speakers must remember that quality matters over quantity when it comes to giving a presentation. While it is important to be aware of how many words are being spoken per minute, fillers such as “um” and “like” decrease performance quality and effectiveness of a presentation. It is essential to factor in tempo along with content breathlessness when delivering a powerful presentation. Therefore, it is important for speakers to practice their speech while focusing on both its content and delivery rate so as to achieve maximum impact. Preparing an effective 3-minute speech requires a combination of quality material and proper timing. The next section will cover tips on how one can prepare an effective 3-minute speech.

Preparing a 3-Minute Speech

As with most speeches, those that are three minutes in length must be planned ahead and prepared carefully. The goal of this section is to provide tips and advice that will help the speaker craft an effective 3-minute speech. First and foremost, speakers must decide on their topic . A specific focus should be chosen, as topics that are too broad will be difficult to cover in such a short time frame. Using any research materials needed, the speaker can begin gathering key points and facts about their chosen topic to include in the speech. Speakers may also have to consider time management when constructing their 3-minute speech. It’s important to use the allotted time for the best outcome, which may involve condensing sentences or eliminating examples that don’t fit into the final draft . If necessary, speakers can even work with rhythm and dramatic pauses to create more impactful and memorable moments within their 3-minute window. Finally, the speaker should practice delivering their 3-minute speech. It’s important to know what points they plan on emphasizing, when they will pause, how they will move while they are speaking, and how to vary their pitch and vocal delivery to capture audience attention—but all within the three minutes of allotted time. The more practice given to 3-minute speech preparation, the better chance of successfully delivering an effective presentation on one’s chosen topic. Armed with these preparation tips for crafting a 3-minute speech, speakers can proceed towards structuring their speech accordingly in order to maximize its creative potential and reach its intended purpose. The following section will address structuring the speech itself so that it packs a punch within a short window of time.

Structuring the Speech

A well-structured speech is a key part of delivering an effective presentation. When planning a 3 minute speech, selecting a structure to guide the flow of information can be essential in ensuring an effective outcome. The first factor in structuring a 3 minute speech is deciding whether to present in a chronological order, or alternatively divide into thematic elements. If a chronological approach is chosen, this allows the audience to gain insight on how ideas have developed over time and provides continuity between points. Conversely, when choosing to split the speech according to theme this allows for greater focus on specific topics and highlights any similarities or differences between them. Closely linked to the type of structure chosen, it can be beneficial to consider utilising subheadings, especially if the speech has been divided into thematic elements. Subheadings are also helpful for maintaining focus on the main point and ensure each idea is adequately covered within your time limit. However, too many subheadings may result in an overly structured presentation which could be distracting for the audience. Alternatively, little or no subheadings may mean that the content feels disjointed and difficult to follow. As such, finding the right balance is essential for ensuring successful communication. Finally, whilst considering how long each element should be within your speech, setting yourself a word target can also help achieve this balance. After deciding how long each major element will take up there are often nuances within these sections that would benefit from some additional elaboration. By setting yourself a total number of words you will become more aware of how much detail there needs to be within those subsections and ultimately produce a better outcome overall. Having established the structure of your 3 minute presentation it is now important to consider what content should fill it. Moving forward we will discuss how to choose an appropriate topic that suits both you and your audience…

Choosing a Topic

Choosing a topic for a 3 minute speech can be daunting. It’s important to consider the audience, purpose, and context of the speech when selecting your topic . Your aim should be to select a topic that will interest and engage the audience. Try to pick something that you are passionate about and ensure it is appropriate for the occasion. When debating topics, think carefully about both sides of the argument so your presentation can be balanced and comprehensive. Drawing on both sides of an argument demonstrates good critical thinking and builds respect from your audience. Also you may have to overcome initial opposition or skepticism from members of your audience. This technique encourages full discussion and understanding of a topic, allowing the audience to process both perspectives before coming to their own conclusions and making decisions. Finally, if you decide to debate a topic, consider ending your presentation with a call to action for your audience — this could be encouraging them to take action on what they have learned in your speech or engaging in further research, amongst others. Now that you have chosen a topic for your 3 minute speech, it’s time to move onto finding supporting ideas which will bring depth and clarity to your presentation.

Finding Supporting Ideas

Brainstorming and research are vital components for gathering the information needed to support a 3 minute speech. Asking questions can help identify topics and ideas to provide a focus for the presentation. Think about what the audience needs to hear and then decide which idea will be used as the center of discussion. Gather facts, figures, statistics, quotes, stories and anecdotes to substantiate the central idea. Additionally, consider points of view on both sides of the debate when appropriate. This will help strengthen the basis of evidence to better illustrate a point or opinion throughout the presentation. Use materials that are relevant, concise but still informative. It is important to have a good balance between material that’s interesting and familiar. As well as material that provides an argumentative edge so the audience has something new to think about after the presentation is finished. Thus it’s important to spend time evaluating all of the materials available that may be suitable in order to determine which pieces will provide maximum impact. Having strong supporting ideas can help make a 3 minute speech persuasive and effective. Here’s a few tips for finding great supporting ideas: 1) Research thoroughly – To ensure accurate information that gives authenticity to arguments 2) Brainstorm – Think critically surrounding common topics relating back to your main point 3) Debate both sides – Consider points of view on both sides of the debate when appropriate 4) Select materials with intention – Choose relevant, concise materials that provide maximum impact 5) Utilize multimedia – Media presentations such as videos, slideshows and graphics can bring extra interest and dimension With some brainstorming and careful selection of materials through a combination of research and thoughtful evaluation, finding effective supporting ideas for a 3 minute speech can be attainable! Now that we have discussed Finding Supporting Ideas for our speech, let’s move on to discuss Opening & Closing the Speech in our next section.

Essential Information

When preparing for a 3 minute speech, it is important to brainstorm for topics and ask questions related to the presentation. Furthermore, research facts, figures, statistics, quotes, stories and anecdotes to strengthen the basis of evidence and arguments. When selecting materials to support the speech, be sure it is relevant, concise but still informative in order to provide maximum impact. To ensure maximum effectiveness of the presentation, consider points of view on both sides of the debate, use multimedia such as videos and graphics. With careful research and evaluation when selecting materials one can be prepared to deliver a strong 3 minute speech.

Opening & Closing the Speech

When delivering a 3 minute presentation, opening and closing the speech effectively is critical to ensure the speech is impactful and memorable. An effective introduction grabs the audience’s attention and creates context, while a powerful conclusion provides a sense of completion and allows the presenter to leave a lasting impression. The introduction should be short, clear and interesting so that it immediately grabs the audience’s interest and sets the tone for the rest of the presentation. Presenters should consider using an anecdote or joke to draw people in, and be sure to include a succinct overview of what points will be discussed during the rest of the presentation. It is important to stay within time limits while still ensuring that the main idea is expressed in an appealing manner. In contrast, some argue that with only three minutes allotted, it is better to save time by omitting an introduction all together. This approach can be beneficial in certain circumstances as it allows more time for covering relevant material. Additionally, experienced speakers may have no trouble grabbing the audience’s attention without needing any kind of introduction. The conclusion should summarize key points touched on throughout the presentation while reinforcing the main idea of the speech and leaving listeners with something to ponder. Presenters might close with their opinion on the topic at hand or use ending remarks such as “thank you for your attention” or “questions?” An effective closure will provide a clear picture of why this topic is important or relevant and might use props, visuals or sound clips to deliver a final statement about being heard. Similar to an introduction, some might argue that a conclusion is not necessary given that speaker has only three minutes overall. However, like an introduction, skipping out on a proper closure could be detrimental if not done well as it has potential to leave the audience feeling unfulfilled or confused about what was actually presented. In conclusion, it is important to abide by time constraints while also giving an effective open and close when preparing a 3 minute speech – whether this requires including both parts or depending on individual circumstance. Now that we have covered opening and closing techniques, our next section will focus on how to practice delivering this speech efficiently ahead of time.

Practicing the Speech

Speaking confidently and effectively in public can be intimidating for even the most experienced speaker. Before delivering a speech , it is important to practice numerous times to make sure that it is well rehearsed. This allows the speaker to become familiar with their material and identify potential areas of concern so that they can be addressed before delivering the speech. In addition to practicing aloud, writing out the entire speech is also recommended, as it gives the speaker a better sense of organization and flow. However, memorizing every line may not be necessary if the speaker has walked through their material multiple times with both written words and rehearsed aloud. The advantage of memorizing a speech word-for-word is that it allows the speaker to focus on their delivery and make sure they are speaking at an appropriate pace. This can be especially helpful when timing is an issue or when the allotted amount of time to speak is limited. On the other hand, having a memorized presentation can be dangerous as speakers may get lost in thought if they forget where they are or forget a word. Regardless of whether or not a speech is memorized in its entirety, all speeches should still be practiced several times in order for them to flow naturally and coherently. Doing so will minimize any potential errors or pauses during delivery and offer more confidence to the speaker. To further ensure an effective public presentation, all speakers should practice in front of an audience who can give constructive feedback on both content and delivery. Practicing this way helps speakers become more aware of parts of their speeches that need improvement so that these issues can be addressed before delivering the actual speech. By taking the time to properly practice one’s 3 minute speech, any presenter can deliver their material without feeling nervous or unprepared, making for a successful dialogue. With these pros and cons considered, now comes time to prepare for actually delivering the speech .

Delivering the Speech

Once you have written the speech and chosen your message, the next step is to decide how you are going to present the speech. Even a 3-minute speech can be intimidating, making it essential for presenters to practice their presentation in advance. Ready your voice and familiarize yourself with presentations mistakes so that you can avoid these pitfalls during your actual delivery. When delivering a 3-minute speech, focus on maintaining eye contact with your audience, using strong gestures to emphasize points, and speaking slowly but steadily in order to keep within the time limit. It is also important to know when to pause , as this can help draw attention to key points and help optimize communication of the content. In addition to how you deliver the speech, another area is focusing on what words to omit or add if something is taking too long or too short. Depending on the context of the presentation, there are several approaches presenters can take here – some opt for minimizing or reducing descriptions while others choose to replace or substitute certain words or phrases with newer styles of language. Ultimately, it is up to the presenter’s judgement on what changes should be made in order to ensure an effective and informative presentation within three minutes. Certain topics may require speakers to further analyze their material in order to determine what information should be included or left out within three minutes. Here, it is particularly useful for presenters to determine which aspects of their synopsis holds primary importance by jotting down points that could be used as main points or context highlights. In summary, delivering a 3-minute speech successfully requires expertise in budgeting one’s time while still managing to pass along all necessary information needed by both themselves and the audience. Effective delivery will also enhance engagement with your listeners while strengthening your own self confidence as a speaker. Moving forward, let’s discuss some additional tips for speeches of any length.

Additional Tips for Speeches of Any Length

1) Make It Interactive: Engage your audience in the speech by inviting them to act out certain ideas or roles, giving them handouts that contain specific instructions, or even allowing them to ask questions or participate in discussions. Studies have shown that people are more engaged when they are actively involved in a presentation, so give people something to do! Checkpoints in your presentation can be great opportunities for feedback from your audience that you can use to tailor your content and keep their attention. 2) Vary Your Delivery: Use different techniques to keep your audience’s interest. Consider changing the tone of your voice and/or changing your body language throughout the speech. Doing so will help make the talk more interesting and engaging for everyone. Additionally, varying the pace of the presentation can help you drive home key points and keep listeners on their toes. 3) Focus on Clarity: Communicate with clarity and ensure that each point is clear and concise. This is especially important with longer presentations as listeners may become lost along the way if the central messages aren’t made obvious. Research has found that people are more likely to remember stories than facts , so consider incorporating anecdotes into your talk for greater impact. 4) Use Visuals Wisely: Visual aids such as charts or slides can be a great addition to long presentations, helping you explain complex topics quickly and easily, but it’s important not to overdo it. Too many visuals can take away from what you’re saying and make it difficult for listeners to stay focused. Only use visuals when necessary – if there’s a lot of data involved, consider summarizing some of it instead of going into too much detail. 5) Stick to the Point: You may feel incredibly passionate about a particular topic and want to talk extensively about it – but try not to go off-topic since this could confuse or bore your audience . Keeping an outline nearby should help you stay focused, plus cutting out excess details will leave you free to elaborate on thoughts more connected to the main purpose of your speech.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

What types of topics are best suited to a 3 minute speech.

A 3-minute speech is best suited for topics which are brief and can be discussed in a short amount of time. It’s important to identify the key points that need to be covered within the allotted time frame. Consider keeping the topic as specific as possible – this helps to make sure all the key points are concisely discussed in the limited amount of time. Some examples of topics suitable for 3-minute speeches include: •Explaining a new product or service •Summarizing a research paper •Discussing the benefits of a particular solution •Outlining a well-known process •Highlighting recent advancements in technology •Providing a brief overview of an issue or current event •Giving an introduction to an unfamiliar concept. Ultimately, any topic that can be accurately presented and discussed in three minutes or less is appropriate for a 3-minute speech.

How much content can I fit into a 3 minute speech?

In a 3-minute speech, you can fit in quite a lot of content but only if it’s concise and well-constructed. To make the most of your time, decide on the main point you want to make, then use supporting evidence to back this up. You may also want to include some relevant anecdotes or stories to further illustrate your key points. When delivering the speech, practice pacing yourself and speaking clearly and confidently – this will make all the difference with how much content you’re able to get across. Ultimately, it comes down to how well you craft your message in such a short time frame; however, with careful preparation, you should be able to fit in a good amount of information that engages the audience.

How can I ensure my 3 minute speech is engaging?

When delivering a 3 minute speech, it is important to make sure your audience is engaged and attentive. To help ensure that your speech is engaging and effective, be sure to: 1. Focus on presenting your main points clearly and concisely. Make sure to choose words that are easily understood, and don’t be afraid to repeat yourself if needed. Keep your language simple , and avoid using abstract concepts. 2. Use stories, analogies or examples when introducing new topics or providing context for what you are talking about. This will allow the audience to better understand the content of your speech, while also making it more interesting and engaging. 3. Maintain good eye contact with your audience when speaking and use gestures when appropriate. This will show that you are confident and engaged in what you are saying. It will also help keep their attention on you rather than other distractions in the room. 4. Make sure to practice your speech beforehand so you can deliver it accurately, at a comfortable pace, and without running over time. Being able to gauge the allotted time of the speech and keep it within bounds will show the audience that you have prepared properly for the occasion. By following these tips, you can ensure that your 3 minute speech is both engaging and effective in communicating your key points to your audience.

How long is a 1 minute speech?

The number of words for a 1 minute speech will vary depending on the speaking speed, but generally you should aim to have between 100 and 160 words in your speech.

How long is a 2 minute speech?

The number of words for a 2 minute speech will vary depending on the speaking speed, but generally you should aim to have between 200 and 320 words in your speech.

How long is a 3 minute speech?

The number of words for a 3 minute speech will vary depending on the speaking speed, but generally you should aim to have between 300 and 480 words in your speech.

How long is a 4 minute speech?

The number of words for a 4 minute speech will vary depending on the speaking speed, but generally you should aim to have between 400 and 640 words in your speech.

How long is a 5 minute speech?

The number of words for a 5 minute speech will vary depending on the speaking speed, but generally you should aim to have between 500 and 800 words in your speech.

How long is a 6 minute speech?

The number of words for a 6 minute speech will vary depending on the speaking speed, but generally you should aim to have between 600 and 960 words in your speech.

How long is a 7 minute speech?

The number of words for a 7 minute speech will vary depending on the speaking speed, but generally you should aim to have between 700 and 1120 words in your speech.

How long is a 8 minute speech?

The number of words for a 8 minute speech will vary depending on the speaking speed, but generally you should aim to have between 800 and 1280 words in your speech.

How long is a 9 minute speech?

The number of words for a 9 minute speech will vary depending on the speaking speed, but generally you should aim to have between 900 and 1440 words in your speech.

How long is a 10 minute speech?

The number of words for a 10 minute speech will vary depending on the speaking speed, but generally you should aim to have between 1000 and 1600 words in your speech.

3 Speeches to Inspire Your Own Public Speaking

Watch these three highly effective public speakers to learn valuable tips for delivering your own dynamic address.

Harvard Professional Development

Delivering a speech can cause even the most confident among us to break a sweat. But there are many strategies you can use to deliver a speech with poise, confidence, and conviction.

In this blog, we share three of the most effective ways to strengthen your public speaking skills. Watch these inspiring videos to see how each of these techniques is applied so you can practice them yourself.

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1. Pay Attention to Your Delivery

Watch how powerfully Donovan Livingston’s enthusiasm, energy, and purpose affects this Harvard Graduate School of Education student speech.

When preparing and delivering a speech, it’s easy to focus on your words.

Yet how you deliver those words is equally important.

Nonverbal skills such as eye contact, facial expressions, body posture, and hand gestures can enhance your speech, or undermine it.

For instance, Livingston’s nonverbal communications during this speech clearly demonstrate his comfort on the stage, his knowledge of his subject, and most importantly, his passion.

He smiles and makes eye contact with his audience. His facial expressions, especially at key moments, reflect the intensity of his words. His body is relaxed and his hand gestures subtly keep the audience focused.

How can you make sure that your nonverbal communication skills are on point? The answer is practice, practice, and then more practice.

Practice your speech until you can deliver it without reading it.

Practice using different techniques that allow you to observe and solidify the nonverbal elements of the speech. Watch yourself in the mirror. Film yourself and then study the film. Practice in front of family, friends, or trusted colleagues.

And be sure to ask for constructive feedback on how your nonverbal communication made them feel about your subject.

2. Structure Your Message

Listen to how an admiral takes the task of making your bed from a mundane chore to something you’ll feel empowered to do through a pristinely structured message.

This admiral’s inspiring speech will convince you to make your bed every morning, via Business Insider

A well structured speech will help keep your audience engaged and interested.

When planning the structure of your speech, think logically about what you want your audience to take away from your speech. What do you want them to remember?

Be sure those critical take-aways are stated clearly and repeated often. All other details and information throughout the speech should relate back to your main point.

Most speeches have three main parts: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.

The introduction is where you connect with your audience and outline your topic.

Tell your audience what you are going to talk about and why it matters. Your opener should be powerful, catchy, or funny—but also brief.

The body is where you include all your supporting evidence and build intensity.

In the body, you can structure your supporting details topically, chronologically, spatially, by cause-and-effect, or point-counterpoint. Yet however you choose to organize them, make sure they are relevant, limited in number, and easy to understand. Use transition words and phrases to let your audience know that you are moving from point to point.

The conclusion is where you remind your audience about the big picture: Why your subject is important. Don’t be afraid to repeat exactly what you want them to remember. And then leave them with a powerful metaphor or a quote, or challenge them to think about what your subject means for them.

3. Connect with Your Audience

Observe how JK Rowling cleverly connects to her audience in the opening of her 2008 Harvard Commencement speech. She reveals her fear about delivering the speech, then manages to turn the situation into a moment of connection as she and her audience laugh together.

A good public speaker—like JK Rowling—will start by establishing a positive rapport between herself and her audience.

After all, the more your audience likes you, the more they will tune in to what you have to say. And the more your audience understands why your topic is important—to you and to them—the more attentive they will be.

How can you create a connection with your audience? Here are just a few tips:

  • Smile and make eye contact with your audience. Remember your nonverbal communication skills!
  • Tell jokes and be funny, if you can. But be careful: Humor can easily turn offensive or fall flat if you don’t know your audience.
  • Be self deprecating. You are the best source of humor, as JK Rowling shows. By making fun of yourself, you let the audience see that you don’t take yourself too seriously.
  • Keep the tone conversational. If possible, try to make your audience feel as if you were speaking to them one on one.
  • Share personal experiences and use storytelling to illustrate your main points. Again, however, always make sure your story is relevant and don’t be afraid to cut out extraneous detail to keep your story on point.

And above all, be authentic! Letting the audience get to know the real you will make your story, and your message, even more meaningful and memorable.

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Frantically Speaking

5-minute speech topics: Everything You Need to Know (With Examples)

Hrideep barot.

  • Presentation , Public Speaking , Speech Topics

5-minute speech topics

Coming up with 5-minute speech topics is a more tedious task than researching, framing, and delivering your speech altogether.

It is a general rule that having a fantastically written and presented speech adds less value when the speech topic isn’t interesting and effective enough.

In 5-minute speeches, your topic becomes more crucial as the length of your speech increases compared to any 1–2-minute speeches which are very brief.

How long are 5-minute speeches?

When we talk about how long 5 minutes speeches should be, we are essentially answering the question,

How many words are there in a 5-minute speech?

With an average individual speaking about 130-150 words per minute, 5-minute speeches are usually 650-750 words long .

But to gauge the exact number of words you should speak for your 5-minute speeches, try to understand your pace of speaking. Your pace of speaking is the number of words you can talk in a minute. And then frame the speech accordingly.

How many slides are there in a 5-minute speech?

As a general rule, adding 5-6 slides for your 5-minute presentations is ideal . However, there are compulsions which means you can add as many slides as you wish as long as you are able to present your topic effectively.

What do 5-minute speech topics look like?

Before coming up with a 5-minute speech topic for your speech, you must understand what the topic should look like so as to grab everyone’s attention and instill enough curiosity in them.

Keep your title short. Very lengthy titles are challenging to recall and can be very boring for the audience members. Keeping the title of your article within the limit of 50 characters is usually a good idea.

2. Informative

After reading the above point, you might be tempted to cut down words and that is okay but try to make sure that it doesn’t steal the very essence of the speech. The title should give a brief idea to your audience so that they know what they can expect to gain from your speech.

3. Relevant

Make sure that your topic is relevant to the occasion and preferences of your audience.

How to go about selecting a 5-minute speech topic?

There are 2 ways to find a topic for your 5-minute speech:

  • Research and elimination : When you try to come up with a topic yourself by conducting research about your audience, your own interests, and knowledge areas and then narrow it down to a specific topic, it is the process of research and elimination.
  • Picking a topic from the internet : A very convenient way to choose 5-minute speech topics is to find one on the internet!

Research and Elimination

To find a perfect 5-minute speech topic for yourself, you will have to take into consideration a couple of things while researching. Here is a list of things to consider before selecting a 5-minute speech:

1. Audience

Before selecting a topic for your 5-minute speech, ask yourself “who is my audience?”

The idea is to understand what the majority of your audience would comprise. Are you giving a speech to college students? Or working professionals? Which gender makes the majority of your audience? What ethnicity do they come from?

Answering all these questions will give you an idea of what your audience would likely prefer to hear.

For example, if you have to give a speech on future financial planning, you can focus on retirement planning in case your audience is made up of mid to senior-level working professionals. Or you can focus on the trending investment options like cryptocurrencies and small cases if your audience comprises a young crowd.

2. Occasion

Understand the occasion for which you will be giving the speech. Is it a wedding toast or for a product launch? In both cases, your language, humor, and the same content of your speech would be very different.

A speech for a wedding toast for example would sound more like,

“To all those who know Nisha, I am her best friend. We have been friends since the 2nd grade and have been inseparable since. On this wonderful day, if I am happy to see her as a beautiful bride, I am equally saddened to see her leave all of us behind. But as she always says, She will just be a call away”

On the other hand, a speech for a product launch would look like this,

“Hello and good evening, everybody. We are excited and elated to have you here with us today to experience the magnificence of a new powerful gadget that would be the future of hair drying: Stylion ”

3. Interests

No matter how good a speaker may be, if he or she isn’t passionate about a topic, it will be visible to their audience. This is where the interests of the speaker come into the picture.

Having an immense interest in the topic you would like to speak on is important because it helps you reach the audience and makes the entire process of researching, formatting, and delivering the speech very enjoyable for you!

4. Knowledge

You could be very interested in astrology but if you have no idea how these planetary movements affect individuals’ lives, then giving an effective speech could be challenging.

Besides interest, you also need to have enough knowledge about the topic that you’ll be speaking on so that you have some credible content to deliver passionately to your audience.

The last and the most important factor to take into consideration is the purpose for which you are giving the speech.

Are you trying to educate your audience or sell a product or give them a different perspective on a topic?

Whatever your purpose is, it needs to be taken into consideration so that you can narrow down your topics and select one that perfectly fits your requirements.

Some purposes of 5-minute speeches could be:

Informative speeches are where the speaker tries to inform his audience about the topic. It doesn’t focus on tweaking the audience’s perception in any way. Rather the idea is to share with the audience some facts and statistical figures or events in history with as detailed speech as possible.

An example of an informative speech would be a speech on the Indian freedom struggle.

To Persuade

Persuasion is an act of asking others to behave a certain way or do a certain thing. Oftentimes, politicians and salespersons are famous for using persuasion techniques like rhetoric and metaphors to persuade the crowd to do something.

To celebrate

Wedding toasts are the best example of celebratory speeches. The purpose of these speeches is to s hare an emotional or fun memory or tell stories to the audience in an attempt to enjoy and celebrate the event.

how to write a 3 5 minute speech

How can I talk for 5 minutes straight?

5 minutes is actually a very convenient time to give an effective speech. However, it can seem very daunting to talk for 5 minutes straight if you are trying to memorize your speech by heart.

So the first thing to effectively talk for 5 minutes straight is to avoid memorizing it by heart. You can use various interactive methods like storytelling , using props, or dividing your speech into points to make it easier for you to give your speech for such an extended time.

Create a well-defined outline for your speech and practice it a couple of times in order to make the task of giving 5-minute speeches a little easier for yourself!

All this discussion would suggest that 5-minute speeches are tricky but is that really the case?

Is a 5-minute speech hard?

While from the audience’s perspective, 5-minute speeches are nothing but a blessing; for you as a speaker, 5-minute speeches could actually be a little too less or too much. Thus making it a tad bit difficult to give effective and engaging 5-minute speeches.

If for instance, you are to present your research proposal, then 5 minutes would not do justice to years of your dedicated efforts. While on the other hand, if you are giving a speech on some generic topic like climate change then even 2 minutes would be sufficient to get your point across.

So whether 5-minute speeches are hard or not would depend completely on how you perceive them.

If you do feel that they are difficult then remember the old saying “Practice makes the man perfect!”

5-minute speech outline

Once you come up with a topic for your speech, the next step is to look at its outline. The outline of any speech refers to the way in which you plan on structuring it.

Usually, 5-minute speeches are structured in the format given below:

1. Opening the speech

For a 5-minute speech, you can spend about a minute introducing yourself and the topic you will be speaking about.

Make sure to give the audience a glimpse of what you’ll be talking about so that they get a clear idea of what to expect from your speech.

It is also recommended to start with a very effective and attractive opening line so as to grab the audience’s attention quickly.

A few ways you can open your speech are:

  • Proactive Statements : Provocative statements are the ones where you try to break the audience’s long-held views and later provide an alternative through your speech.

An example of this is

I want to discuss with you this afternoon why you are going to fail to have a good career Larry Smith
  • Imagination : Imagination is a great tool to give your audience a chance to relate to you.

You can begin your speech with the word “imagine” and then proceed to narrate an incident that is relevant to your speech. An example of this is given below.

Imagine a big explosion as you climb through 3000 feet. Imagine a plane full of smoke. Imagine an engine going clack, clack, clack. Rick Elias

Check out the video below to get a more detailed idea about the opening lines.

2. Main body

The main body of any speech is where the main essence of your speech lies. You can structure this segment in 2 ways:

a. Pointer format

In the pointer format, the idea is to divide the main content into smaller parts or points. This helps in allocating specific time to each topic. It also helps in easy recall for the audience members.

b. Flow format

A flow format is one wherein two ideas are not separated by points. Rather there is a flow maintained throughout the speech.

3. Conclusion

It is necessary to summarise your speech in the last one minute. This is also the time wherein you will have to restate your takeaway.

Ending any speech on a high note is always recommended. You can do that by quoting a famous personality or calling for action from the audience members.

Check out the short video below to understand more about closing lines in a speech.

Examples of 5-minute speeches

1. the danger of silence.

Clint Smith has done a great job with his 5-minute TED speech wherein he begins by quoting Martin Luther King Jr . He further establishes credibility when he states that he is a teacher and how the quote inspires him to challenge his students to embrace silence in their life.

He speaks as if it were spoken word poetry , emphasizing events that happened in his life and how they changed him to perceive silence in a different light.

2. 3 Things I learned while My Plane Crashed

Ric Elias has used the most effective technique to get the audience to relate to you, the technique of imagination . He begins his speech by asking the audience members to imagine being a part of a plane crash and to feel all the things that he felt when he experienced a similar incident.

There is the use of good humor as well in his speech, taking a dig at how he didn’t have to ask the flight attendant for anything as they clearly knew they were all about to die. He further jokes about his daughter when he says,

About a month later, I was at a performance by my daughter. First grader, not much of an artistic talent…Yet!

Lastly, He very effectively divides the main content of the speech into 3 points or things that he learned from his experience.

3. Being an Introvert is a Good Thing

Crystal Robello has given this amazing 5-minute speech on How being an Introvert is a good thing.

The speech is worth taking a look into as her speech provides a great argument in favor of introverts and tries to break the long-held view against them by society. She shares her own story adding a personal touch to her speech.

Further, she makes use of rhetorical questions which are questions that do not necessarily require an answer from the audience. Check out the rhetorical questions she uses below:

  • ..and I have opinions. I just didn’t want to share them, but is there anything wrong with that?
  • (mentions famous introverts) Do you think being an introvert has stopped them from achieving their goals or being happy?

Lastly, she ends her speech on a very powerful note by quoting a line from the book Quite and saying,

So the next time you see that quiet kid in the back of the class who doesn’t participate very much, I want you to think “I wonder what wonderful things they are going to come up with next?”

5-minute speech topics

In case you don’t have enough time to go through the entire topic selection process, the second-best option is to select a topic that is available on the internet.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to do another google search.

We have curated a list of 5-minute speech topics so that you can take a look at it and select a topic that suits you!

General 5-minute speech topics

  • Climate Change
  • Domestic Violence
  • Environment
  • Importance of Cleanliness
  • Women’s Day Speech
  • Teachers’ Day Speech

5-minute speech topics depending on the type of the speech

The purpose of your speech defines the type of your speech. A few broad speech types are

  • Informative speech
  • Demonstrative Speech
  • Persuasive speech

Informative Speech Topics

Informative speeches focus on educating or introducing the audience to new concepts or ideas. thus, it provides information about a topic to the audience and doesn’t try to make them believe in a particular viewpoint or opinion., 5-minute informative speech topics:.

  • The reality of adoption in India
  • Technological developments in organ transplantation
  • The freedom struggle of any country
  • History of body art
  • Women warriors who made a difference
  • The Indian freedom struggles
  • Story of the greens
  • Side effects of Anti-depressants
  • The rise of Adderall uses among college students
  • Impact of diet on Mental health
  • Impact of sleep deprivation on productivity
  • The great resignation
  • The reality of beauty pageants
  • All about sustainable traveling
  • The efficiency of ayurvedic medicine
  • Western influence on traditional yoga
  • Impact of music on mood
  • Why does playing musical instruments keep you healthy?
  • Evolution of the electric guitar
  • COVID restrictions around the world

Demonstrative Speech Topics

The only difference between an informative speech and a demonstrative speech is the use of visuals.

In a demonstrative speech, the speaker tries you help you understand a new topic or information by demonstrating a few fundamentals of the topic to you.

For example, a salesperson trying to pitch his product through his speech would make use of the product to show his audience how that product can make their lives easy.

A few verbs or phrases that you can use in your demonstrative 5-minute speech topics are:

  • N ways to..
  • Structure..

Examples of Demonstrative 5-minute speech topics

  • How to ace a test in 5 days
  • How to make mac n cheese
  • How to Organize a party
  • How to prevent a financial loss
  • How to stop procrastinating
  • How to learn a new language in 30 days
  • How to start a successful business from home
  • How to use chopsticks
  • How to wear a scarf in 5 ways
  • 10 steps to writing a blog
  • 20 ways to add protein to your diet
  • 4 ways to motivate yourself every morning
  • 5 ways to calm your anxiety
  • Top 3 ways to deal with stress
  • 5 ways colors can elevate your mood
  • 3 tips for studying abroad
  • 5 ways to know if someone is lying to you
  • Top 3 tips to take care of your white shoes
  • 10 reasons why people prefer online shopping
  • How to revive a dead plant?

Persuasive Speech Topics

Persuasive speeches are the ones wherein the speaker aims to persuade the audience to do something or act in a certain way. as discussed, it is a very common speech type used by salespeople and politicians., examples of 5 -minute persuasive speech topics.

  • How advertisements trick you
  • Why money can’t buy happiness
  • 21: the only legal age to get married
  • Being vegan and sustainable
  • Why wearing sustainable clothes should be a norm
  • Fast fashion: A compromise on the quality of clothes
  • Why reality TV shows need to stop
  • Impact of online classes on poor grades
  • Why investing early is necessary
  • Dogs over cats
  • Private colleges are not fair
  • Why do schools need to start late
  • Cults need to be banned
  • Global warming is not real
  • We can save our planet
  • Endangered species need to be saved
  • Rainwater harvesting should be mandatory in all houses
  • Why xenotransplantation is unethical
  • Depression is overrated
  • Legalizing prostitution

5-minute speech topics for college students

  • Implications of online dating
  • Are movie reviews an accurate indicator of the movie?
  • Teen depression and suicides
  • Should uniforms be compulsory?
  • Academic stress
  • Moving abroad for education
  • Dangers of substance abuse
  • 5 tips for finding the perfect major
  • Can poverty be eradicated?
  • How can world hunger be curbed?
  • Are electronic vehicles a solution to the pollution problem?
  • Legalizing same-sex marriages
  • Brain drain
  • Impact of meat production on the environment
  • Importance of communication
  • Offers and Benefits of being a college student
  • Cashless economy
  • Need for gun control
  • Is school really a safe place?
  • The dangers of Artificial Intelligence

Motivational 5-minute speech ideas

  • Not giving up: A guide for anyone with depression
  • How I overcame my anxiety
  • You are more than your thoughts
  • 3 Reasons why you need to stop comparing yourself to others
  • 4 techniques to beat procrastination
  • Being a great leader is more than the position
  • Importance of positive thinking
  • Breaking societal stereotypes
  • More than my skin color
  • Embracing everybody
  • Failure: A way to learn and grow
  • Time management and self-growth
  • Self-development: a key to self-growth
  • Consistency over motivation
  • The joy of being in nature

General 5-minute presentation ideas

  • The future of communication
  • Population problem
  • Climate Crisis
  • The melting glaciers
  • Pollution and its solution
  • Changes required in the education system
  • Discrimination and hate crimes
  • The rise in migration and poor housing facilities in urban areas
  • Advantages of Artificial intelligence
  • Everything you need to know about the metaverse

5-minute presentation topics for a job interview

how to write a 3 5 minute speech

  • The future is cashless
  • Data is the new oil
  • Dangers of data privacy
  • women empowerment
  • Gender equality
  • Importance of communication skills
  • The education system in India
  • My biggest accomplishment
  • My role model

5-minute funny presentation ideas

  • How to memorize notes for exams without studying
  • How to pretend to be interested in the conversation?
  • If your boss was honest with you
  • Tips to handle a bridezilla
  • How to prepare a presentation you forgot about?
  • Way to steal your boyfriend’s sweatshirts
  • 4 tips to be the center of attention
  • How to Get a Toddler to stop talking in 383 Easy Steps?
  • How to Live in Your Mom’s Basement?
  • Ways to ruin a date
  • The perfect way to lie
  • When is it okay to give up?
  • 5 things That Are Better Than Doing the Dishes
  • Where to find your missing sock?
  • How do you win in life?
  • Why being a millionaire is overrated?
  • How to bathe a dog?
  • How to order at the subway?
  • How to ask for directions?
  • Top pick-up lines ever used in history

Level up your public speaking in 15 minutes!

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Finding the right 5-minute speech topic can be a task, but ensuring the audience’s preferences, your own interests, and knowledge areas can help in narrowing down the range of topics to a large extent.

If you do not have enough time to research and narrow down on one topic, you can pick out one topic from a plethora of topics available online.

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How to Write a Great Five Minute Speech

by Anam Ahmed

Published on 8 May 2019

Writing a short speech is often much harder than writing a long one. Because you only have a small amount of time, it can feel like a lot of pressure to deliver important information. Writing a five-minute speech doesn’t need to be a complex task. Even if you are asked to speak at the last minute, you can outline the speech quickly in your head by relying on a few important speech writing techniques.

5-Minute Speech Topics

In business, there are many situations where you may be asked to give a five-minute speech. Some situations where you may need to give a short speech include:

  • Introducing a new employee to the staff
  • Speaking to staff about key company updates
  • Motivating employees before an important event
  • Providing investors with key business updates
  • Pitching services to customers and prospects

Regardless of what your five-minute speech is on, it’s important to take the time to carefully craft what you’re going to say. You don’t want to go off-topic and risk wasting your allotted time talking about something that isn’t relevant to your audience.

Create an Outline

A simple outline can make a 5-minute speech on anything more effective. Start your outline by creating minute-long sections of your speech. The middle three minutes are reserved for the key points you want to make in your speech. For example, if you’re speaking to employees about company updates, you can use those three minutes to talk about your sales numbers, organizational updates and new offerings.

The last minute of your speech is to sum up the main point of your message. If there is only one thing your audience takes away from your speech, what should it be? That is what you want to focus on in your last minute. For example, you can close by talking about how proud you are of your employees and recognize the hard work they have put in.

The first minute of your speech is reserved for the introduction. It’s often easier to write this section last after you’ve written the rest of your speech because you have a good idea of the themes you’re going to be touching on. Many strong orators start their speeches with a question or a personal story because it helps to make everyone feel at ease. For example, ask the staff whether they have a favorite moment from the last quarter, and share your favorite moment.

Stay Focused on the Topic at Hand

The key to writing a great five-minute speech is to cut out any unnecessary information . Use the time you have wisely by only focusing on the topic at hand. Resist the urge to go on tangents that don’t directly relate to your topic.

For example, when updating employees about the progress of the company, don’t start talking about the exciting marketing plans you have for the next quarter. Reserve that information for a different speaking opportunity as you won’t be able to cover everything in those five minutes.

Rehearse Your Five-Minute Speech Out Loud

Once you have written down your five-minute speech, practice saying it out loud. Time yourself to see how long it is. If you’re going over time, it means you need to cut out some details. If you’re way under five minutes, you have the opportunity to add in more information. If you’re coming in right at five minutes, you’ll still want to cut out some information. It’s always best to have about a 30-second buffer in case you spend more time on a section than you planned for.

Once you’ve got just the right amount of content for your speech, highlight the salient points of each sentence with a highlighter pen to give you visual cues about the speech. This way, you won’t need to read your speech word for word. You can just focus on the highlighted sections to jog your memory about that section and then you can extrapolate the rest. This appears much more natural than reading the entire speech.

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Public Speaking Tips & Speech Topics

169 Five-Minute Topics for a Killer Speech or Presentation

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Jim Peterson has over 20 years experience on speech writing. He wrote over 300 free speech topic ideas and how-to guides for any kind of public speaking and speech writing assignments at My Speech Class.

There are pros and cons to giving a 5-minute presentation. One good thing is the length. Long presentations can easily become boring, and you have a much better chance of keeping your audience engaged from beginning to end than with a 5-minute speech.

In this article:

Food & Drink

Relationships, social media, supernatural, list of topics for a 5-minute speech or presentation.

5 minute speech topics

Choosing a topic is extremely important. To help you getting started, here is a list of some killer topics for 5-minute speech or presentation.

  • Why it’s better to adopt a pet from a shelter
  • Choosing the perfect leash for your dog
  • What is the best food for your pet?
  • How much exercise does your pet need?
  • The horror of puppy mills
  • Bringing back endangered species
  • How long are giraffes in labor
  • Domestication of horses
  • Picking the right vet
  • Sleeping with your dog
  • Why should you get goats in pairs
  • Ethics of zoos
  • The domestication of dogs
  • How to keep a goldfish alive for a long time
  • How to choose the right pet
  • Why cats are so independent
  • When to get a dog
  • What kind of dog is best for a household with children
  • Why therapy animals work
  • How to find the money to go to college
  • How much control should the federal government have over curriculum design?
  • How to choose a college
  • Ideas for narrowing down a career choice
  • When to declare a major
  • Benefits of charter schools
  • Why charter schools are bad
  • Negative effects of school vouchers
  • Attracting the right people to the teaching profession
  • Discipline in the classroom
  • Memory tricks that work
  • Why homework is bad
  • Should students still have to use the books in the library?
  • Why cursive should still be taught in schools
  • Textbooks vs. tablets
  • Benefits of going to a trade school
  • Are there positives to taking a gap year?
  • The problem with low teacher pay
  • Social media in the classroom
  • Benefits of integrating apps into the classroom
  • The importance of attachment
  • How to compromise on names for your kids
  • What is the ideal age to start a family
  • How important are grandparents
  • Traveling with children
  • Strategies for potty training
  • How to help a child with nightmares
  • Middle child syndrome
  • How many kids should you have?
  • How to recognize a gifted child
  • When your child doesn’t like to eat
  • How to encourage good eating habits
  • When to intervene with a bully
  • Being active in your child’s school
  • The benefits of aunts and uncles
  • When family falls apart
  • The first days with a new baby
  • When to call the doctor
  • Caring for an ailing parent
  • Balancing home and career
  • When to start saving for retirement
  • IRA vs. Roth IRA
  • When should you start saving for your children’s college education?
  • Crowdfunded loans vs. the bank
  • How Kickstarter changed everything
  • Using your HSA
  • How to apply for a mortgage
  • Improving your credit score
  • How to negotiate a raise
  • Renting vs. buying
  • How does compound interest work?
  • How to ask for a promotion
  • When is it time to get a new job?
  • What to do when you find out a coworker makes more than you
  • How much of a down payment on a house do you really need?
  • Living on minimum wage
  • Is it better to lease or buy a new car?
  • How to budget for a new car
  • What to do when you lose your job
  • Using credit cards responsibly
  • Is rare meat safe?
  • Vegan vs. vegetarian
  • Microbrews vs. standard brewing
  • How to make your own wine
  • What are hops?
  • Best plants for a backyard garden
  • When to transplant sprouts
  • Bananas and plantains
  • How to make a brine for pickling
  • Where did brunch begin?
  • Why pineapple belongs on a pizza
  • When to order in
  • Planning a menu
  • Meal planning and grocery lists
  • Is free range really better?
  • The perfect macaroni and cheese
  • Growing your own herbs
  • How to make your own pasta
  • How to make cookies that are softer
  • Benefits of drinking black coffee
  • Benefits of a gluten-free diet
  • Is the paleo diet accurate?
  • Effects of not getting enough sleep
  • Are meal subscription services worth it?
  • Downsides to Crossfit
  • Benefits of yoga
  • How to meditate
  • Can therapy change the way your mind works?
  • Are GMOs really dangerous?
  • The truth about diet soda
  • Importance of hydration
  • Why cleanses don’t work
  • Best juice diet
  • Most effective exercise for burning calories
  • Do essential oils really work?
  • The history of television
  • When the railway was king
  • Thwarted assassination attempts
  • The first Olympics
  • Media during World War II
  • Military advancements between World War I and World War II
  • War photographers
  • Things you didn’t learn in history class
  • Historical lies
  • The early Internet
  • Why podcasts are great
  • Most unbiased news channel
  • When do people tune into the news most
  • How relevant are women’s magazines?
  • Cable vs. Netflix
  • How worried should you be about your browsing history?
  • How to limit screen time
  • Why it’s bad to use your smartphone right before bed
  • Apple vs. Android
  • The best age to get married
  • How to get an amicable divorce
  • Finding a roommate
  • Splitting financial responsibilities evenly among the household
  • How to have a happy marriage
  • Choosing your family
  • How to fight effectively
  • Signs of an abusive relationship
  • What to look for in a spouse
  • When to let it go
  • How to overcome self-doubt
  • Faking confidence
  • Becoming comfortable with yourself
  • How to say no
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Controlling anxiety
  • Qualities of a leader
  • The importance of self-care
  • Identifying triggers
  • How to eliminate negativity
  • Making new habits
  • Ethics of posting pictures of your children on social media
  • How Internet ads are tailored to you
  • How to advertise your business on Facebook
  • Privacy and social media
  • How to protect your personal information
  • When to allow your kids to get their own social media accounts
  • Why you shouldn’t post your location on social media
  • How to use a hashtag
  • Uncovering Twitter Bots
  • Snapchat etiquette
  • Proof that aliens exist
  • Debunking crop circles
  • Is Bigfoot real?
  • Proof that ghosts exist

Good 2-Minute Speech Topics for Students

13 All-Time Best TED Talks

23 thoughts on “169 Five-Minute Topics for a Killer Speech or Presentation”

Ideal Teacher

is life really a blessing?

This has helped me so much for my English class thank you!

Why personal (private) rules are helpful

I got an A!!!!!

Risks of abortion Wage gap How social media impacts education/mental health Why it’s important to have a good stable mental health Do teenagers really spend all their time on their phones Gsce requirements unfair or reasonable

Here is a kind of a dense topic, domestic abuse. Why does it happen? What are some ways to identify a abusive relationship? How does it affect families? Why is the abuser abusive?

We have presentation next week. I can’t think about the topic. Please help me!

i want a topic that involves supernatural: HELP

Is water wet?

death, what if the earth loses air entirely for five minutes, what is the most common death.

I have presentation next two day concerning with my classroom. I must choose five topics but i can’t think how to choose these topics. Please! help me

Tanks for giving me an A in drama

so helpful thank you

thanks this helped with my speach at school

i need a best topic to present on that is educational to consumer science and food nutrition students. can i please be assisted

what if the earth stopped spinning pros and cons of being an artist how Gen Z affected slang why people are afraid of the dark why knowing how to play an instrument is beneficial/not needed

Here’s a controversial one: are trans, intersex and non-binary people getting the same right as every else?

I have a presentation this week I don’t understand how to find a good title please help me I’m a diploma student the speech must have more than 10 minutes

How do create presentation for famous place in Sri Lanka

i need something for my oral communication class. it must be attention grabbing and not an argument. please help

I need ideas on a slide show presentation, a kid appropiate topic.

Pls I need more ideas on self help

hi lol i like these topics but i need a trendy one like something new or like a natural phenomene or someth like that… 🙂

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My Self Introduction

3 Minute Self Introduction Speech Examples (5+ Examples)

Usman Ali

Whether you’re giving your first speech in front of your class or vying for that promotion, impressing your audience with your self introduction speech can make all the difference in the world. Whether you are writing out your speech ahead of time or winging it on the spot, these three-minute self-introduction speech examples will give you great ideas to stand out from the crowd and leave a lasting impression.

How to write 3 Minute Self Introduction Speech Examples?

This is how to craft a 3 Minute Self Introduction Speech that shows why you are qualified for the job or position you seek while engaging your audience simultaneously.

1. Write the script with a handful of ideas to introduce yourself.

Remember that you’re not writing a speech. You’re writing an introduction. And the goal is to get the person on your side, not make them feel like they’ve been hit with a brick.

To write a speech and make it sound natural, you must consider how people introduce themselves in real life. They don’t sit down and think, “I’m going to give this speech,” they start talking, and then they keep talking until they run out of things to say.

And even if you find yourself with a lot of things to say, there’s no reason you can’t put them into three minutes or less. As long as it’s something that makes sense, it doesn’t matter if it’s long or short.

2. Start with a greeting and your name.

Start with a greeting and your name. This is important because it helps you get your audience’s attention and allows them to be more interested in what you have to say.

Then, use the most important words from your speech outline to introduce yourself and talk about what you’re passionate about. Remember to keep it short and sweet!

3. Add your educational background.

If you’re like me, you may have started your career in education.

Add your educational background. If you graduated from a university or college, mention it in the introduction. You can also use your educational background to help explain how you became interested in becoming a speechwriter.

For example, if you were a student at a school like Johns Hopkins University, which is known for its strong writing program and has been ranked as one of the top 5 colleges for writers by The Princeton Review, mention that fact in your introduction.

If you attended an Ivy League institution, use it as part of your introduction. This will make people think you are intelligent but not necessarily impressive (since most Ivy League graduates have impressive resumes).

You can also use your degree to show that you have experience with specific topics: if you majored in English and minored in creative writing, mention this fact in the introduction so that people know that this interests you.

4. Your current position should be next in the introduction speech outline.

Your current position should be next in the introduction speech outline. This is where you will explain why you have chosen this particular job. You can also talk about how it fits into your career goals, what skills and experiences are needed for the job, and any other relevant information that might help a hiring manager understand your qualifications.

If you are not currently employed, then use this opportunity to create a list of all your skills and interests and any accomplishments or projects you’ve undertaken in the past. This will help show how you can fit in with other employees at your new company.

This is where you will explain why you have chosen this particular job. You can also talk about how it fits into your career goals, what skills and experiences are needed for the job, and any other relevant information that might help a hiring manager understand your qualifications.

5. Include brief information about your family.

Your family is probably the essential thing in your life. Include brief information about your family in your self introduction speech. If you are a parent, tell them how proud you are of their achievements and how much you love them. If you are not a parent, tell the audience about your siblings or cousins and how they mean the world to you.

6. Mention anything about your hobbies or interest that make you unique.

Mention anything about your hobbies or interest that make you unique. This can be anything from a particular sport you play to your favorite TV series. It’s important to mention something that makes you stand out from the crowd, but it’s also important not to go too far off-topic. Suppose you don’t have any hobbies or interests. In that case, it’s best to focus on what makes you unique as a person instead of listing everything about yourself.

Make sure you correct all of your facts in the introduction speech. Make sure everything is accurate, including your years of experience, where you live, and who your parents are. Do not leave anything out!

7. Wrap it up by telling something about your plans and aspirations.

Wrap it up by telling something about your plans and aspirations. You may want to mention that you are looking for a job in the same field or industry as the company, or you may plan to move on to a different one.

Finally, you can take a final moment of reflection and thank the audience for listening.

Takeaway:  It takes practice to write a healthy polished introduction speech, but it will be well worth the effort when you are finished!

  • How To Introduce Yourself In Zoom Interview? (With 3 Examples)
  • 5+ Examples of Self Introduction For Blog

You can check the video to learn more about it.

3 Minute Self Introduction Speech Examples

Example 1: 

Hi, I’m [name], and I’m going to talk about what I do for a living.

I’m a [type of business/job]. Many people have told me they love doing what I do. It makes them feel better when they’re sad or stressed out and gives them hope when things are tough.

I work with [people]. They come from all different backgrounds, but they all have one thing in common: they want to be successful. And by being successful, I mean successful! They want to make a lot of money and live in a big house with their family somewhere beautiful.

They are amazed when I tell my clients that this is what I do (and how much money we can make together). They always say something like, “That’s not possible!” But then, when we start working together, they see how much money they can make and get excited about the possibilities. Do you see? That’s why people hire me—because there’s no limit!

Example 2: 

Hey, I’m [name], and I’m here to help you build your brand.

My name is [name], and I’m going to be talking to you today about how you can use the power of social media to build your business.

Social media can feel like a minefield, but don’t worry! I’ve got some great tips for using it effectively and getting the most out of it.

I’ll also share with you some tools that make it easy for businesses to create content without worrying about writing or editing—it’s as simple as drag-and-drop!

If you’re ready, let’s get started!

  • How To Introduce Yourself In College Class?( With 5+ Examples)
  • 5+ Examples of Self Introduction For Work

Example 3: 

Hi, I’m [name], and I’m an [job] at [company].

I started in the field as a [category 1] and then transitioned to [category 2] while still working in that role. Now, I’m working as a [category 3] at [company], where I’m doing what I love most: learning new things every day.

I enjoy working with people, which is why I love my job. I also love coming to work daily—you never know what you’ll get!

Example 4: 

Hi! I’m [name]. I’m so excited to be here today, and I hope you are too.

I’ve been a freelance writer for over five years, but this is my first time speaking at an event like this. It’s so exciting to me!

I write about many different things, including fitness and nutrition—and even though it sounds boring, I think it’s pretty cool that we can learn things from each other.

A few years ago, I was working on a project about teens’ healthy eating habits, and one of my friends recommended that I try writing for [company name]. I just loved creating content that helps people make better choices, especially ones that aren’t flashy or expensive (like gym memberships). And once I started working with them, they helped me grow as a writer by giving me opportunities to write about topics like how to eat healthy while traveling abroad or what’s good for your skin when you live in a city with air pollution is high.

It’s been a fantastic journey so far! If you have any questions about our services or would like to schedule an interview with one of our writers, please feel free.

Example 5: 

Hi, my name is [name] and I am a [job title] at [company].

I’m a [age] year old, single mom of two amazing kids who are now getting ready to go to college.

I have been working at this company for three years now and love every minute of it.

My job is fascinating because it involves helping others succeed in their careers, whether they are looking for a new job or just starting on their own.

I love to travel, especially visiting other countries like England!

The Verdict: 3 Minute Self Introduction Speech Examples

We hope you found the speech examples in this article helpful. They’re certainly intended for your entertainment. Hopefully, they’ve helped you see how simple it is to develop a self-introduction of your own. But whether or not you want to put on a slide show as Mike did, you can still achieve that same personal touch with the self-introductions you give next week.

Just ask yourself how you want to influence those around you and what kind of image you want to project. And above all else: have fun!

how to write a 3 5 minute speech

Hi, I a Usmaan Ali, a content writer. I’ve always been passionate about writing and blogging. I hope you enjoy my blog posts as much as I enjoy writing it!

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Do you wonder how long it takes to deliver your speech?

This website helps you convert the number of words into the time it takes to deliver your speech, online and for free. This tool is useful when preparing a speech or a presentation. The number of minutes you will take is dependent on the number of words and your speed of speech, or reading speed.

Note: This calculator provides an indication only.

Enter details below

The overview below provides an indication of the minutes for a speech (based on an average reading speed of 130 words per minute):

  • Words in a 1 minute speech 130 words
  • Words in a 2 minute speech 260 words
  • Words in a 3 minute speech 390 words
  • Words in a 4 minute speech 520 words
  • Words in a 5 minute speech 650 words
  • Words in a 10 minute speech 1300 words
  • Words in a 15 minute speech 1950 words
  • Words in a 20 minute speech 2600 words
  • How long does a 500 word speech take? 3.8 minutes
  • How long does a 1000 word speech take? 7.7 minutes
  • How long does a 1250 word speech take? 9.6 minutes
  • How long does a 1500 word speech take? 11.5 minutes
  • How long does a 1750 word speech take? 13.5 minutes
  • How long does a 2000 word speech take? 15.4 minutes
  • How long does a 2500 word speech take? 19.2 minutes
  • How long does a 5000 word speech take? 38.5 minutes


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    By the way, if you think giving a good 3 minute speech is hard, try doing one in just 5 words! That's what they do at the Webby awards. What did the winning speakers do right? Despite giving a short speech on very different topics, there were some common practices I noticed about the winning speakers. They presented an exceptionally clear message.

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    1 Make an outline of your speech. Start by making a skeletal draft of your main points. Strip the speech down to its bare bones to determine what is most important to say, and in what order you should deliver those facts. This is the basic structure which you will build your speech around. [2]

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    Step 1: Begin with a speech overview or outline Are you in a hurry? Without time to read a whole page? Grab ... The Quick How to Write a Speech Checklist And come back to get the details later. Before you start writing you need to know: WHO you are writing your speech for (your target audience) WHY you are preparing this speech.

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    Your writing, at its best Grammarly helps you communicate confidently Write with Grammarly 1 Tips to write (and live) by Let's start with the 30,000 foot, big-picture view. These are the tenets that will guide you in your speech writing process (and pretty much anything else you want to write).

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    For a three-minute speech, choose no more than five main points. Write three to five short items that support each of your main points. Number them. Using capital letters may help differentiate them from your main points at a glance. Write as much of your speech word-for-word as you believe you will need, inserting the sentences within the outline.

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    Create an Outline Once you understand your audience, shift your focus to the preparation of a strong speech outline. You have to keep various factors in mind while creating an overall outline. You need to consider the time limitation, and how to define your thoughts inside the frame.

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    1 Research your topic well. If you are writing an informative or persuasive speech, then it should be very well researched! This will help to give you credibility and make your points far more convincing.

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    What to say in a 3-minute speech? Although a three-minute speech may seem brief, a lot of words and ideas may be said in that time. Despite the time constraint, if you are conversant with the subject matter, you may prepare for your three-minute speech swiftly.

  12. Inspirational Guide to Writing a 5-Minute Speech

    Craft Your Introduction Write the Rest of the Speech Five-Minutes Speech Example Conclusion How to write a five minute speech is a task that involves precise delivery, detailed planning, and intelligent drafting. Preparing to deliver a powerful speech in only a few minutes might seem impossible, but it is possible.

  13. How Long is a 3 Minute Speech? Tips for Writing a Short Speech

    Quick Answer How many words can I write in a 3 minute speech? Answer: The number of words for a 3 minute speech will vary depending on the speaking speed, but generally you should aim to have between 300 and 480 words in your speech. Calculating Speech Length in Minutes

  14. 3 Speeches to Inspire Your Own Public Speaking

    Most speeches have three main parts: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. The introduction is where you connect with your audience and outline your topic. Tell your audience what you are going to talk about and why it matters. Your opener should be powerful, catchy, or funny—but also brief.

  15. 5-minute speech topics: Everything You Need to Know (With Examples)

    1. Short Keep your title short. Very lengthy titles are challenging to recall and can be very boring for the audience members. Keeping the title of your article within the limit of 50 characters is usually a good idea. 2. Informative

  16. How to Write a Great Five Minute Speech

    The key to writing a great five-minute speech is to cut out any unnecessary information. Use the time you have wisely by only focusing on the topic at hand. Resist the urge to go on tangents that don't directly relate to your topic. For example, when updating employees about the progress of the company, don't start talking about the ...

  17. 3 Minute Speech: How to Craft a Memorable Short Speech?

    Learn how you can craft a 3 min speech anytime, anywhere with an impactful message!In this video we have discussed in depth the outline of any speech and als...

  18. 169 Five-Minute Topics for a Killer Speech or Presentation

    In this article: List of Topics for a 5-Minute Speech or Presentation Animals Education Family Financial Food & Drink Health History Media Relationships Self-Help Social Media Supernatural List of Topics for a 5-Minute Speech or Presentation Choosing a topic is extremely important.

  19. 3 Minute Self Introduction Speech Examples (5+ Examples)

    5+ Examples of Self Introduction For Work. Example 3: Hi, I'm [name], and I'm an [job] at [company]. I started in the field as a [category 1] and then transitioned to [category 2] while still working in that role. Now, I'm working as a [category 3] at [company], where I'm doing what I love most: learning new things every day.

  20. How To Memorize a Speech Quickly in 5 Steps (Plus Tips)

    If you're preparing to deliver a speech, here are some steps to foster effective memorization: 1. Write an outline and a script. Before writing a speech, create an outline of the key information you want your audience to understand. This can help you identify the speech's primary goal and determine its optimal structure.

  21. How to give a 5-minute speech in English

    JOIN THE ACADEMYhttps://speakenglishwithtiffaniacademy.comIn this lesson I will show you the 4 steps to giving a 5-minute speech in English. I hope this less...

  22. How to Write an Amazing 5-Minute Speech Quickly

    I said, "Good, write that down. 'Welcome to our brand new company.'. Now, whose idea was it to be a company?". As we informally talked through his speech, people came around saying, "It's been 5 1/2 hours, and Bernard's still with Patricia.". That was because he had started to realize the impact he could have.

  23. Convert Words to Minutes

    Words in a 2 minute speech 260 words. Words in a 3 minute speech 390 words. Words in a 4 minute speech 520 words. Words in a 5 minute speech 650 words. Words in a 10 minute speech 1300 words. Words in a 15 minute speech 1950 words. Words in a 20 minute speech 2600 words. How long does a 500 word speech take? 3.8 minutes.

  24. How to Start a Speech: Tips and Tricks

    People are drawn to stories. Weave a narrative into your speech to capture attention and make your points more memorable. Use vivid language, descriptive details, and emotional appeals to engage your listeners. Structure your speech logically. A well-structured speech guides the audience through your ideas in a clear and organized manner.