How Do You Write a Speech Outline?

To write a speech outline, brainstorm and group your ideas to generate a claim and call to action, then use the formal outline structure to draft your introduction, body and conclusion. Writing a speech outline should take no more than a couple of hours.

  1. Decide on a topic

    Brainstorm ideas for a speech topic. Consider why you want to speak on the topic, and determine your audience.

  2. Organize your ideas

    Organize related ideas about your topic. Look for themes in the ideas.

  3. Develop a thesis statement

    Observe the common themes from your brainstorming. Develop a single sentence that states your claim. If your speech is meant to be persuasive, develop a call to action for your audience.

  4. Draft the introduction

    Draft the introduction using the classic outline structure involving numbered and lettered lines. Roman numeral one (I) calls out your introduction. The letter A calls out your attention grabber, a question or quote that gains the attention of your audience. The remaining parts of your introduction should include an explanation of why you are a credible speaker for your topic, your thesis statement and a brief preview of your speech.

  5. Draft the body

    For Roman numeral two (II), write your first point. Use the successive letters and numbers for evidence and rhetoric that support your point. Continue this pattern for all your remaining points.

  6. Outline the conclusion

    Write your conclusion under the last Roman numeral. For the first point under this heading, summarize your main points. Under the second, write your call to action. Under the last point, include your final thoughts.