Why You Need A Clear Speech Purpose When Writing A Speech


What Is A Clear Speech Purpose?

I have listened to many speeches in my lifetime and nothing annoys me more than wasting time listening to a pointless speech. A speech that has no clear purpose leaves me scratching my head wondering what the speaker trying to tell me. Why did they bother to write the speech, learn it and then deliver it?

What the speaker lacks is a clear idea of why they are delivering the speech. Does the speaker know what they trying to say to their audience? What do they want their audience to think and do after hearing their speech?

Toastmasters has thought me that to deliver a speech with purpose you need to define that purpose and build your speech around that purpose. Everything you say and do when delivering your speech needs to reinforce your speeches purpose.


What Is The Purpose Of Your Speech?


“To forget one’s purpose is the commonest form of stupidity.”

Friedrich Nietzsche


Before you write a speech you need to be clear why you are giving the speech. If you are not able to define the reason you are giving your speech you need to rethink your speech strategy. The purpose of a speech can be classified into three distinct types of speech purpose.



We are all familiar with educational type speeches, which endeavor to educate us about the world around us. They can be as simple as a speech which teaches us how to protect our privacy online or as complicated as explaining quantum computing. What they have in common if done right,is that we will have learned something new about the world around us.




An entertaining speech is simply a speech that aims to entertain its audience. It may educate and energize its audience but this is not its primary purpose. The primary speech purpose of an entertaining speech is to entertain its audience. It can be comical or theatrical or both, however when crafting the speech the speaker needs to remember if it does not entertain the audience they will have failed in their objective.



These kinds of speeches inspire your audience with the story you tell them. They may be speeches that detail a heroic journey where the protagonist overcomes dramatic obstacles or barriers in life to achieve an amazing outcome. They often show an “ordinary person” achieving an incredible result despite personal obstacles, which would defeat most people. What they have in common is a message that shows the audience anything is possible and inspires them to achieve more than they thought possible.

Another type of speech that may energize its audience is the speech that tries to get its audience to view the world differently. An example of this kind of speech would be a speech that challenges us to see the world differently. We are all victims of our own cultural and life experiences bias. Sometimes a speech can persuade us that maybe we should look at the world differently.


The Next Step


“The secret of success is constancy to purpose.”

Benjamin Disraeli


When crafting a speech you need to have a clear speech purpose and you need to remember it at all times. You need to refine your speech purpose into a manageable specific purpose. A simple example of this is that I am going to educate my audience about Facebook privacy settings. This means I will give a speech with a clear specific purpose.

When planning a speech think about your purpose and its impact. What do you want your audience to do and think after hearing your speech. Always ask yourself have I given my audience enough content to allow them to accept the message I am trying to deliver.