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How to Write a Great Speech

TED Talks, here we come.

You can't avoid it. Someday, somewhere, you will have to be the best man or maid of honor at a dear friend's wedding. And when that time comes, you will have to stand up and give a speech. This course is your ticket to making sure that your speech has the bride or groom laughing and crying tears of joy rather than avoiding your gaze as they shift uncomfortably in their seat. Here, you'll learn

  • how to hook your audience. No sharp pointy objects required; instead you'll use the Greek techniques of pathos, ethos, and logos.
  • what not to do with your hands and feet. 
  • the best way to vary up your sentences and avoid putting people to sleep. Would you believe it involves grammar? Grammar: life of the party since the Stone Age.
  • how to use personal anecdotes to make your audience feel like you're BFFs—and listen to what you have to say.
  • the difference one voice can make, and how to use yours to enhance your message.

You'll learn all these techniques from the best, most impassioned speech givers of today and yesterday, all the while writing and delivering speeches about what you're passionate about, whether it's healthier snacks in your school vending machines, harsher punishments for parole violators, or world peace.

Twenty years from now when you're giving that speech at your dear friend's wedding, you'll think to yourself, "I'm so happy I took that speech class with Shmoop." And also, "When do we get to eat the cake?"

Course Breakdown

*Purchasing by unit includes course material only.

Unit 1. How To Write a Great Speech

This 12 lesson nano course is designed to teach students about rhetoric, introduce them to some great speakers, and teach them how to write and give a speech, all while hitting the Common Core 9-10 ELA standards.


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  • Course Length: 3 weeks
  • Grade Levels: 9, 10
  • Course Type: Short Course
  • Category:
    • English
    • Life Skills

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