ENG3U Speech Assignment:

This I Believe


How do you live your life? Day by day, what ideas motivate you, guide you, inspire you? What do you believe in? For your first English assignment of the year, you will write and present your own statement of personal belief.  


Please see ThisIBelieve.org for some shining examples. It helps if your belief is specific, honest and real. Consider times in your life that hinged on a certain dramatic moment – when your beliefs were tested or challenged. As the organization “This I Believe” suggests, focus on naming one core belief. Be positive and personal. Avoid preaching, statements of religious dogma or editorializing.


Over the next few classes, you will write a speech that’s 300 words, or roughly a one-minute speech, and present it to the class. Because we’ve been studying the art of rhetoric and speech-writing, now’s your chance to apply the knowledge you’ve learned to craft an effective speech. Here are a few things to keep in mind:


·         Like any strong rhetorical text, your speech should contain appeals to pathos (emotion), ethos (credibility), and logos (reason).

·         Your speech should contain a number of rhetorical devices.

·         You will workshop your speech with your peers after you complete your first draft.

·         You will have a few classes to rehearse your speech and practice effective oral communication skills: eye contact, expression, enunciation, timely pauses.

·         We recommend you memorize your speech. You can present with notes but you will lose marks if you read the entire speech without looking up.

·         You will receive two marks, one for your speech’s written content, and one for your presentation. On the day presentations begin, you will submit your speech, in MLA Format, to TurnItIn.com.    


INTRODUCTION (Beginning): needs to grab audience’s interest by…

Ø  posing a question that the speaker does not wish the audience to answer back

Ø  stating an unknown but interesting fact

Ø  making a controversial statement to get audience thinking

Ø  stating an appropriately topic related joke

Ø  sharing a relevant personal anecdote

Ø  posing a famous quote to grab audience attention

Ø  welcoming the audience

*avoid being predictably boring here!


BODY (Middle): main section where…

Ø  identify the main point

Ø  personal anecdotes stated to support the point



Ø  restate the point in a concise and fresh manner

Ø  wrap up the speech neatly, leaving the audience thinking but feeling the topic is complete

Ø  “and the moral of the story is…” works if appropriate to speech story

* avoid predictable and unimaginative endings, such as:

Ø  “that’s all…”

Ø  “I’m finished…”

Ø  “The end…”

Ø  “Thank you for listening to my speech today…”