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A 9-Step Practical Guide On How To Analyze A Speech – Speech Analysis of I have A Dream Speech as an Example

A speech, as we all know, is a vocal opinion of a speaker’s stand. Speeches are usually used as an effective tool for rallying support, conveying opinion, as well as influencing the thoughts of others (usually the audience) to accept or agree with the thoughts of the Speaker.

For a speech to achieve its goal, the words used in a speech are usually chosen carefully. This is so because, through a speech, the audience can perceive the interest or personal motives of the Speaker.

However, in most cases, there is usually a need to consider what was not said in a speech, or what the motive of the Speaker was. For this reason, speech analysis comes in handy in order to have a full understanding of a speech.

What is Speech Analysis?

What is Speech Analysis?

In its simplest form, speech analysis or speech interpretation can be said to be the process of extracting important pieces of information that are contained in a speech. When carrying out speech analysis, there is usually a need to take note of some essential and necessary components of the Speech . These include;

1. Analyzing the purpose or intent of the Speech

For instance, a speech may be written to entertain the audience with some humorous lines, persuade the audience into thinking or agreeing with the opinion of the Speaker, or to inform the audience about something which the Speaker is skilled in.

2. The target audience and how the Speech relates to them

Also of paramount importance during speech analysis is  taking note of who the target audience is, and how the Speech relates to the audience .

For instance, when analyzing a speech that was delivered to support the need for a pay rise in an organization, in that case, it will be expected that the audience listening to such a speech will be members of staff of the organization who are clamoring for a rise in their pay.

3. The effective and validity of the Speech 

Finally, when carrying out speech analysis, another core aspect to consider is the effectiveness and  validity of the Speech to see whether or not it contains relevant and important proofs  such as examples, statistics, facts, and dates to back the claims contained the Speech.

Still using the same above example about a speech about a pay rise in an organization, the Speaker may have to include facts such as the agreed terms for a pay rise in the organization. 

With that, such a speech would be said to have concrete facts and evidence to support its claims and the need for it.

Highly Recommended Next Articles

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The I Have A Dream Speech by Martin Luther King Jr (with Video+Audio+Full Transcript and Historical Context)

What is the First Step in Rhetoric Analysis?

The Structure of a Speech

Speech analysis and structure of a speech

Although a speech can be written and presented in more ways than one, every Speech usually shares three basic elements in common. These elements include;

  • The Introduction of a Speech

The introduction of a speech is one of the most important elements of a speech since it is usually designed to grab the attention of the audience, either with a hook, a preview of what the Speech is all about, a joke, a controversial statement, a startling statistics, why the Speech is important, or a powerful visual.

Introducing a speech with such powerful elements is an excellent way to give the audience reasons why they should listen to the Speaker, instead of starting with a dry  “hello everyone, it’s a great privilege to talk to you today.”

Due to the ultimate role which the introduction of a speech plays, making the right choice of other key elements such as body language, words, and other visuals to usher in a speech are all very important to make the introduction of a speech achieve its goal.

  • The Body of a Speech

After the introduction comes the body of a speech, which is the part that contains the Speaker’s main points. These points are usually expected to be supported with relevant examples, details, statistics, and facts, which are explained in simply and concisely.

In the body of a speech, the Speaker should make necessary effort to ensure that all the facts and pieces of evidence presented in the Speech aligns with the primary objective of the Speech. As mentioned earlier, these facts and proofs should all be presented in a simple and clear language for the understanding of the audience.

  • The Conclusion of a Speech

The concluding part of a speech also packs as much power as the other two parts mentioned earlier. 

In the conclusion section, the Speaker makes a substantial effort to remind the audience of the major points made in the Speech and then ends the Speech with thought-provoking words that will motivate the audience to respond to the final call to action in the Speech.

Also, in the conclusion of a speech, the Speaker should be concise about what he expects from the audience, whether it is for a petition to be signed, requesting their support, for a product to be bought, or for some other specific actions from the audience as contained in the Speech. 

How to Analyze and Interpret a Speech? 9 Key Questions to effective speech Analysis.

When analyzing a speech, there are usually some things, precisely nine questions that you must consider for effective speech analysis.

However, when analyzing a speech, don’t feel satisfied by merely outline these nine important questions in the Speech and answering them. Instead, there should be a complementary explanation or example of how these nine key questions work using a speech as an example. So, in analyzing a speech, here are the 9 key questions you must give appropriate answers to for effective speech analysis .

1. Who is the Speaker?

In analyzing a speech, you have to consider who is the Speaker, and how does the Speaker’s rank, position, personal views, motives, or experience affect the Speech.

2. Who is/are the Audience?

In this case, you have to consider who are the members of the audience. By so doing, you will have to look closely to know whether or not the audience are the people who are directly affected or needs the message conveyed by the content of the Speech.

3. What is the Type of Speech?

By considering the type of Speech under analysis, you try to dig deeper to know the motive or intent of the Speaker for the Speech. 

In this regard, the Speech delivered might be one that is intended to inform or educate the audience, entertain, or even persuade the audience to take certain steps of action.

4. What is the Structure of the Speech?

speech analysis

By analyzing the structure of the Speech, you are to consider how the Speech is being structured by the Speaker. In this case, you are required to analyze whether or not the Speech was well-structured into an introduction, a body and a conclusion.

Also worthy of note about the structure of a speech during analysis is checking to see whether or not there is a governing or central idea that is being captured in every bit of the Speech.

5. What is the Purpose of the Speech?

Like I mentioned earlier, every Speech is usually aimed at achieving a purpose. For some, the purpose might be to persuade the audience, entertain, or even to open the eyes of the audience about a piece of information they are yet to know.

With this, it is therefore very important to consider the purpose of a speech to know the mission of the Speaker when carrying out speech analysis.

6. What is the Content/Circumstances of the Speech

In evaluating the content and circumstances of a speech, you consider the events that have created the need for the Speech. In doing this, you may have to pay closer attention to specific elements such as;  

  • Where the Speech is taking place , and how the choice of the geographical location of the Speech affects the acceptance of the Speech by the audience
  • When the Speech is being delivered . This is very important because there might a special time or event that is currently going on, which may serve as the best time to deliver such a speech.
  • Why is the Speech being delivered? In this case, you look at the reason why the Speaker is giving a speech, and by so doing, you also consider the expectation of the Speaker from the Speech.

7. What are the Techniques used by the Speaker?

speech analysis

Techniques employed by the Speaker are usually the various modes of persuasion, in which the Speaker adopts. These techniques are also known as rhetorical appeals , and they are ways of persuading the audience to believe the Speaker’s point of view.

As a way of swaying the audience to buy the Speaker’s point of view, a speaker may adopt Aristotle’s mode of persuasion known by the names;

  • Ethos  – persuading the audience through the credibility, authority, experience, and personality of the Speaker   
  • Pathos  – persuading the audience by creating an emotional response, which may either fear, happiness, or sadness through a convincing story or an impassionate plea.
  • L ogos  –  persuading the audience through the use of logic, figures, facts, and data in a speech.

Also very important when analyzing a speech is looking out for the use of stylistic devices such as the use of contrast in a statement, repetition (the rule of three using triads), irony, or even imagery by the Speaker.

8. Is the Intention of the Speech Achieved?

By analyzing a speech to see whether or not it has achieved its purpose, you may have to carry out some evaluations to ascertain if the Speech was successful.

  •  Affected/impacted the target audience
  • Fit into the occasion which it was delivered
  • Is convincing
  • Use of ethos, pathos, and logs was balanced
  • The argument is valid or solid.

9. What is the overall result of the analysis of the Speech?

After a thorough evaluation of a speech, you should be able to come up with a complete summary of the speech analysis outcome. Obviously, this will come as a result of the analysis of the various parts and components of the Speech as mentioned by the various questions above.


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The next point of discussion is a practical example of how to make a speech analysis by using the nine-step approach shared. Before digging into that, let me add below some of the top related and interesting articles that can add to what you’re learning from this one. If any of the titles picks your interest, please click and open in a new tab, so you can check them out later. Enjoy!

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Analyzing the I Have A Dream Speech by Martin Luther King Jr

I Have A Dream Speech Analysis

In a bid to have a full understanding of how the various questions that should be considered when carrying out speech analysis work, we shall be considering the heroic Speech delivered by a civil rights leader – Martin Luther King Jr, on August 28, 1963, in front of the Lincoln Memorial Mall. 

Before we go straight into the analysis of the “ I Have A Dream ” Speech, let’s take a quick look at the context of the Speech. 

Exactly 100 years ago, the US President, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation of negro slaves in the US, and in 1963 in which the emancipation proclamation was due, it was time for negro slaves to gain absolute freedom and civil rights in the US. 

It was in response to this long-awaited dream come true that Martin Luther King Jr and other civil rights activists made the March on Washington in a peaceful protest to have the present parliament in 1963 to enact the emancipation proclamation and put an end to their years of captivity.

Related Article: The I Have A Dream Speech by Martin Luther King Jr (with Video+Audio+Full Transcript and Historical Context)

Alternatively, you can just watch the 17 minutes full Speech through the link below;

Below are some excerpts of the “I Have A Dream” speech by Martin Luther King Jr at the Lincoln National Mall, interspersed with my analytical thoughts in a bid to answer the 9 key questions you must ask when analyzing a speech.

The Speaker, in this case, is Martin Luther King Jr, who is a prominent negro civil rights activist fighting to secure freedom and emancipation for his fellow negroes.

The audience who are physically present and listening to Martin Luther’s “I Have A Dream” speech is majorly the African Americans who are also joining their voices in the fight for their emancipation. 

Also, present during the Speech are other “white” skin American citizens who are probably in support of the emancipation protest by the negroes.

However, it is evident that members of media were present to cover the event, and so it is obvious that the Speech was open to everyone who could have access to a live stream of the Speech

“And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.”

From the excerpt above, it is obvious that Martin Luther’s Speech was a call demanding for the freedom and the enactment of the civil rights decree in favor of the negroes.

Although Dr. King’s Speech wasn’t divided into distinct parts with an introduction, body, and conclusion, the Speech is, however, seen to be coherent with a smooth flow of information. 

He started by reminding his fellow negroes about the history of the emancipation proclamation by Abraham Lincoln.

“Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.”

From there, the Speaker, Martin Luther, went further to remind his audience of the undue injustice and oppression the negroes were going through in various parts of America despite the vast national resources available for all to benefit from.

“But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.”

Finally, as Martin Luther’s conclusion, there was a call to action for the emancipation and freedom of the negroes in every part of America by the then government.

“And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. But not only that: Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.”

From the content of Dr. King’s Speech, it is very obvious that the purpose of the Speech was to persuade the American government in 1963 to sign and enact the civil rights law that will bring absolute freedom and emancipation to the African American amongst them.

“We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquillizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.”

Firstly, the circumstances that necessitated Martin Luther’s Speech was the undue segregation mated out to the negroes in America.

“There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote, and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Also worthy of note and analysis is the geographical location where the Speech was delivered and the choice of such location. 

In this case, Martin Luther’s Speech was delivered at the Lincoln National Mall, just in front of the statue of Abraham Lincoln. And the choice of this place was to bring to mind the fact that about 100 years ago, Abraham Lincoln, whose statue is right behind the Speaker, signed the Emancipation Proclamation of the negroes in America.

The choice of the time at which the Speech was delivered was the perfect timing since it was precisely 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation was made by Abraham Lincoln.

In an attempt to persuade and convince the audience of the need for the negro’s freedom and emancipation, Martin Luther employed pathos to stir up an emotional response of sadness about the undue injustice the negroes were going through;

“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”
“I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest — quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering.”

Dr. King also employed logos to give data and figures that will support his call for the emancipation of the African Americans.

“Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation.”

He also invoked a sentiment of nostalgia and the figure of the President Abraham Lincoln, who he clearly calls a “Great American”, the man who signed and declared the emancipation of negroes, but also was hailed as a hero by both white and negroes.

I also noted the use of irony to express the supposed reasons why the negroes are undergoing injustice and segregation in America.

“But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.”

Although the Speech wasn’t intended to convince or persuade the audience to accept or agree to the need for the emancipation of the negro, since the majority of the audience who present during the Speech were all civil rights activists protesting for the passage of the civil rights law.

However, the “I Have A Dream” speech by Martin Luther King can be said to have achieved its intentions, especially as it helped the African American to secure the passage of the civil rights law into effect later in 1964.

Analyzing I Have A Dream Speech

In summary, I think that the “I Have A Dream” speech by Martin Luther King Jr was a timely call for the freedom of the negroes in America after the successful completion of 100 years after the emancipation proclamation by Abraham Lincoln.

The choice of the geographical location for the Speech was apt, and it was the perfect place to call to mind the emancipation proclamation for the negroes.

The use of various speech techniques such as the use of pathos and logos by Martin Luther was a good way to connect with the audience and make them see the urgent need for why African Americans needed to secure civil rights in America. Finally, concluding his speech with a call for freedom to reign in every part of America, where the negroes were undergoing injustice, was a very good way in which Martin Luther King Jr used in ending his Speech.

  • https://study.com/academy/lesson/practice-analyzing-and-interpreting-a-speech.html   
  • http://sixminutes.dlugan.com/speech-evaluation-1-how-to-study-critique-speech/  
  • http://jorgenboge.wikidot.com/how-to-analyze-a-speech
  • http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/lesson_images/lesson885/speech-analysis.pdf  
  • https://mannerofspeaking.org/speech-analyses/
  • https://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-ethos-logos-and-pathos.html
  • https://www.theclassroom.com/write-irony-literary-essay-14211.html

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Speech Analysis #1: How to Study and Critique a Speech

The Speech Analysis Series is a series of articles examining different aspects of presentation analysis. You will learn how to study a speech and how to deliver an effective speech evaluation. Later articles will examine Toastmasters evaluation contests and speech evaluation forms and resources.

  • How to Study and Critique a Speech
  • The Art of Delivering Evaluations
  • Modified Sandwich Technique for Evaluations
  • Evaluation Forms, Tools, and Resources
  • Toastmasters Evaluation Contests

The first in the series, this article outlines questions to ask yourself when assessing a presentation . Ask these questions whether you attend the presentation, or whether you view a video or read the speech text. These questions also apply when you conduct a self evaluation of your own speeches .

The Most Important Thing to Analyze: The Speech Objectives

Knowing the speaker’s objective is critical to analyzing the speech, and should certainly influence how you study it.

  • What is the speaker’s goal? Is it to educate , to motivate , to persuade , or to entertain ?
  • What is the primary message being delivered?
  • Why is this person delivering this speech ? Are they the right person?
  • Was the objective achieved ?

The Audience and Context for the Speech

A speaker will need to use different techniques to connect with an audience of 1500 than they would with an audience of 15. Similarly, different techniques will be applied when communicating with teenagers as opposed to communicating with corporate leaders.

  • Where and when is the speech being delivered?
  • What are the key demographic features of the audience ? Technical? Students? Elderly? Athletes? Business leaders?
  • How large is the audience?
  • In addition to the live audience, is there an external target audience ? (e.g. on the Internet or mass media)

Speech Content and Structure

The content of the speech should be selected and organized to achieve the primary speech objective. Focus is important — extraneous information can weaken an otherwise effective argument.

Before the Speech

  • Were there other speakers before this one ? Were their messages similar, opposed, or unrelated?
  • How was the speaker introduced ? Was it appropriate?
  • Did the introduction establish why the audience should listen to this speaker with this topic at this time ?
  • What body language was demonstrated by the speaker as they approached the speaking area? Body language at this moment will often indicate their level of confidence .

The Speech Opening

Due to the primacy effect , words, body language, and visuals in the speech opening are all critical to speaking success.

  • Was a hook used effectively to draw the audience into the speech? Or did the speaker open with a dry “ It’s great to be here today. “
  • Did the speech open with a story ? A joke ? A startling statistic ? A controversial statement ? A powerful visual ?
  • Did the speech opening clearly establish the intent of the presentation?
  • Was the opening memorable ?

The Speech Body

  • Was the presentation focused ? i.e. Did all arguments, stories, anecdotes relate back to the primary objective?
  • Were examples or statistics provided to support the arguments ?
  • Were metaphors and symbolism use to improve understanding?
  • Was the speech organized logically ? Was it easy to follow?
  • Did the speaker transition smoothly from one part of the presentation to the next?

The Speech Conclusion

Like the opening, the words, body language, and visuals in the speech conclusion are all critical to speaking success. This is due to the recency effect .

  • Was the conclusion concise ?
  • Was the conclusion memorable ?
  • If appropriate, was there a call-to-action ?

Delivery Skills and Techniques

Delivery skills are like a gigantic toolbox — the best speakers know precisely when to use every tool and for what purpose.

Enthusiasm and Connection to the Audience

  • Was the speaker enthusiastic ? How can you tell?
  • Was there audience interaction ? Was it effective?
  • Was the message you – and we-focused , or was it I- and me-focused ?
  • Was humor used?
  • Was it safe and appropriate given the audience?
  • Were appropriate pauses used before and after the punch lines, phrases, or words?
  • Was it relevant to the speech ?

Visual Aids

  • Were they designed effectively?
  • Did they complement speech arguments ?
  • Was the use of visual aids timed well with the speaker’s words?
  • Did they add energy to the presentation or remove it?
  • Were they simple and easy to understand ?
  • Were they easy to see ? e.g. large enough
  • Would an additional visual aid help to convey the message?

Use of Stage Area

  • Did the speaker make appropriate use of the speaking area?

Physical – Gestures and Eye Contact

  • Did the speaker’s posture display confidence and poise?
  • Were gestures natural, timely, and complementary ?
  • Were gestures   easy to see ?
  • Does the speaker have any distracting mannerisms ?
  • Was eye contact effective in connecting the speaker to the whole audience?

Vocal Variety

  • Was the speaker easy to hear ?
  • Were loud and soft variations used appropriately?
  • Was the speaking pace  varied? Was it slow enough overall to be understandable?
  • Were pauses used to aid understanding, heighten excitement, or provide drama?
  • Was the language appropriate for the audience?
  • Did the speaker articulate clearly?
  • Were sentences short and easy to understand?
  • Was technical jargon or unnecessarily complex language used?
  • What rhetorical devices were used? e.g. repetition, alliteration, the rule of three , etc.


Sometimes, a technically sound speech can still miss the mark. Likewise, technical deficiencies can sometimes be overcome to produce a must-see presentation. The intangibles are impossible to list, but here are a few questions to consider:

  • How did the speech make you feel ?
  • Were you convinced ?
  • Would you want to listen to this speaker again?
  • Were there any original ideas or techniques?

Next in the Speech Analysis Series

The next article in this series – The Art of Delivering Evaluations – examines how best to utilize speech evaluation skills as a teaching tool.

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I absolutely loved this article. It gave me a major idea of what to write on my speech critique. Great information, organized, and detailed!

Great post. I have to say, it was when I started to do exactly what you say that my skills took off.

If anyone wants to go farther, just teach a class on public speaking. You do not need a degree to teach continuing ed. It will help you, as some of my students who went on to teach to improve even more. This is because not only are you observing your students for these points. You are actually teaching them how to attain some of these skills.

oh my god….thank you!! i had no idea where to even start my speech analysis!

Excellent article. Will refer members of my club to it.

Dear Eugenia You refer to “members of your club” and I wanted to know an online public speaking club. Does this exist. Regards Berty

Your article is very informative. Hope you post more tips on writing a speech and how to analyse it!! 😎

Thanks for providing this information. I am writing an essay critiquing my own speech in third person. A tough task, but these pointers made it easier. Thank you.

i loved this information very much.now i am preparing for my examination and i think this article will help me to get good mark. thanks

Great summary/overview on basic things to evaluate while listening to a speech. Will be very much helpful when i have to do evaluations for speech class!

Thank you sooooo much for this article!! This is helping me soooo much for my speech analysis!

Thank you so so much! You are awesome and very helpful plus amazing too!

Great job once again! I liked the clarity with which these concepts were explained. Self explanatory and useful for both novice and advanced speakers. Keep it up!

Such a great article, thank you! It truly helped

I have to look at this for a class project and really learned some new tips from this.

This helped immensely; thank you so much!

thank you, you helped me a lot

Best article I found for speech critique and analysis. Definitely a place to come back for speech resource.

Thank you Andrew, great articles and valuable information. I recently joined a Toastmaster’s group and this will really help. Once I figure out how to “tweet” I will be “tweeting” this site to Kwantlen University Students and Alumni.

I absolutely loved this article it gave me a major idea of what to write on my speech critique great information, organized, and detailed!

Fantastic article. For someone that is new to Taostmasters this gives me at least an idea of how I should approach giving an evaluation…frigthening me more than giving a speech!! Thanks!

hi Andrew, this is a great article for someone who is a beginner to evaluate a speech. thanks a lot. -Venkat

very informative article will certainly help me to develop my speech technique.

Thus really helpful…we always read text resurfacely I gained alot from this article. now I know where to start when I want to present information through speech to the public

thank you this helped me vey much.

thanks a lot this just help me with my paper. you explain it better than my teacher

I am a toastmaster who loves to compete. I believe these articles will help me help other to deliver their speeches and both of us can grow.

Hi Andrew Dlugan, i am really happy to come across your site as new trainee in the public speaking and writing profession. i am programmer but i have passion for writing especially poems.Do you have any advice or resources to help me survive in the world of speaking and writing.

Thank You, Best Regards, Lawal Abdulateef Olawle

I came here looking for a speech review but reading this article helped me a lot in my opening speech. I hope many people who are having trouble in analysing there speech they should really open this website. Thank you

This is a helpful source to me. Thanks a lot

Great article. I am preparing to critique a public speaking competition this weekend and I found this article quite helpful Thanks a lot

Hi Andrew, May I use your article in our club newsletter? It is particularly timely as we approach the contest season in Toastmasters. I will source it to your web site and also include a link under the Articles about speaking of our club website.

John Sleigh Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia

Amazing breakdown of how to not only analysis a speech but to also push yourself that inch further to get more scope for marks. I really recommend this webpage. Thank you

Thank you for this amazing information, your 6 minutes guide is great and I am learning so much with it.

Really GREAT JOB! thanks so much! Best! Rasha

I really love this and would want more of this

This information was very informative and knowledgeable.Thank you.

Your articles are very thorough. I really enjoyed reading the first one.

Can you give me some examples of relevant puns used in speeches?

One more treasure trove on the internet. Thanks for sharing DLugan.

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The 25 Essential Presentation Skills for Public Speaking | David Edgerton Jr — May 6th, 2010

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How to Conduct a Speech Analysis and Present It Like a Pro

speech analysis

Who doesn't dream of delivering the perfect speech? Every person who speaks in front of a crowd wants to leave them moved. However, not everyone can do that.

Even the greatest speakers have worked for years to master the art of public speaking . Although we may not know their secret, we can learn a lot from their work. That's where speech analysis helps. Let's find out what it is and how to benefit from it.

What Is Speech Analysis?

You probably know the standard definition already – it is a process of studying a speech's good, bad, and pain points. However, what does it have to offer to you?

In essence, speech analysis means understanding the useful information in the speech and setting it aside from what isn't handy. For instance, a renowned speaker comes on stage to deliver a speech , and you have to perform a speech analysis – what will you look for?

You will observe the speaker's gestures, body language , confidence, usage of terms, sentence structure, quality of speech, proper delivery of the message, and much more.

This plethora of factors contributes to a single word called speech analysis. Now that you know what it is, let's have a comprehensive look into these factors.

How Does Speech Analysis Work?

For analyzing a speech, the first thing you need is information.

You need to know the perfect way to begin the speech , convey the message and give an immediate call to action.

You also must identify where the speaker is wrong and what was lacking in the speech.

For instance, if the targeted audience is teenagers, you should be able to tell if the humor and jokes used were appropriate. Was the speech engaging or lackluster? Did the audience understand the message?

Let's see what these aspects entail below.

Introduction of the Speech Analysis

First thing's first, add an introduction. It usually begins with a hook, something to entice the reader. Then it mentions the time and place of the speech, followed by an overview of the address.

Next, you need to mention the speaker, the topic, and the key points of the speech.

Body of the Analysis

Once done with the analysis, you need to begin crafting the body. This includes some special and some general details of the content and delivery, and writing them in a critique manner.

Usually, this begins with a certain action of the speaker, like tone, gesture , or emotion.

The description of some of the common factors is given below.

Identify the Objective of Speech

The purpose plays the most important part here as it is the deciding factor of the nature of the speech.

Is it an entertainment speech with a few jokes and funny lines here and there or an educational speech delivering quality information?

Was it a script written to motivate the audience for a bigger cause? Was it delivered in a manner to promote a product among the audience?

character-and-goal Speech Analysis

What is the message being conveyed? If it promotes peace and equality and focuses on making the world a better place, your analysis should consider that.

Similarly, identify if the person delivering the speech is the right person for the job. He must deliver the speech perfectly or at least achieve the purpose set.

Once you get your head around these points, making an analysis becomes easy.

Be Mindful of the Target Audience

A good speaker knows that a speaking style used for 50 cannot be used for 2000 people. Similarly, the tone or technique used with business leaders cannot be used with homemakers.

You need to see how well the topic resonates with the audience and how engaged they are.

Say a spokesperson delivers a speech about leading SEO strategies in 2022. The audience will comprise people familiar with digital marketing or those who want to learn it.

It will include related terms, anecdotes, stories , facts, and stats that will bind the audience to the topic.

For the speech analysis, you must also consider if the speech is being broadcasted to an external audience on streaming platforms.

Bring in the Juicy Part: Content of the Speech

The heading says it all.

We cannot stress enough. The content of the speech is by far the most vital part of the script. It can make or break the overall mood.

The Opening: Pay special attention to the opening of the speech. Usually, a hook, controversial statement, or question is used to garner the audience's attention.

An interactive, intuitive opening is much preferred to a dry opening, saying, "Hello everyone, thank you for having me."

The Main Body: Once you write all this down, move on to the body of the content. You need to deduce if the topic was authoritative. Did it include a particular focus on the subject matter? Did it have stories and facts that connected back to the issue?

How did the speaker transition from point to point ?

Speech analysis also requires you to check if statistics or visuals were used to support the arguments. It is better to use graphics to convey the message better, and you need to study if they did the work. You must analyze how well the speech was constructed and organized efficiently.

The Ending Words: Lastly, determine how valuable, memorable, and well defined the ending of the speech was.

Was it concise? Did the review do justice to the speech? Did it list the good and bad parts of the speech? These points will make up for a strong conclusion influencing the reader's mind that you have a strong hold on the subject here.

speech-conclusion Speech Analysis

These were the main three points of speech content; the opening, body, and conclusion. This is an easy approach to follow and can help you with speech analysis quickly.

Observe Style and Delivery Manner

In scripting and speaking, the delivery style and techniques are the best tools, provided you know when and how to use them.

When analyzing a speech, you must view the speech from a critic's perspective. Observe the mood and vibe of the audience during the speech.

Were people bored or engaged ? Was the session interactive? Did it teach you something you didn't know?

These questions will tell you the experience of the audience. Try putting yourself in the audience's shoes, and you will understand how useful it was for them.


Next, observe the speaker.

Was he nervous ? Did he know what he was saying? Often at such times, the body language communicates the confidence of the speaker .

You may also notice the stage area used by the speaker. Did he pace around the stage or stand in one place? All these factors determine the speaker's delivery style and make a significant portion of the analysis.

Determine Correct Usage of Visuals

Yet another critical factor of speech analysis; determining the proper use of visuals. This adds so much life and energy to the speech. The experience becomes more realistic.

According to research, more than 67% of people feel more inclined and engaged in speeches that include visuals.

This is generally true too. An average person would enjoy a speech with infographics, charts, images, short clips, and figures rather than a dull, verbal presentation.


You need to see if the speaker used sufficient visual aids and whether they were succinct in delivering the message.

Did the visuals complement the speech? Were they fun and easy to understand? Did the audience like and engage with them?

Observing these during the speech will make the analysis quick and condensed.

Consider Language and Choice of Words

Since language and words are the modes of communication for the speaker here, it is essential to know how he uses them.

Say the topic is about the best places to buy Bitcoin. You now need to see if the speaker uses the proper terms to address the topic.

Does he explain the concept of Crypto and how it works? Does he tell how Bitcoin reached fame and all its background?

That makes for the comprehensiveness of the topic.


Next, inspect the use of language. Is it appropriate for the audience? Does it use slang words, or is it too bland? Are the terms difficult to understand?

A fine point to make in your speech analysis would be the flow of the speech. In this, you can mention how fast or slow the speaker was.

His articulation of words , the length of sentences, and their ease of understanding. You can also mention the uniqueness or repetitiveness of words, sentences, ideas, or rhetorical devices in the speech .

The only way you can do justice to a speech analysis is by mentioning every good and bad point of the speaker.

Sound Experience

You might wonder why this is important – truth be told, this is an essential factor in crafting a speech analysis. How you hear something tells your mind how to perceive it.

For example, you purchase an online course.

As soon as you hear the tutor's voice, you feel annoyed and request a refund. Why?

Because the first thing your brain captured was the voice of the video playing in your mind, it might have been too sharp, distorted, or garbled for you to hear.

The same is the case with a speech; what you hear and how you hear influence your willingness to listen to the script .


So, you must include how well the speakers worked in your speech analysis. The pitch of the sound, how easy it was to hear and discern the words of the speaker.

This section in the analysis could also use the speaking pace of the reader. Additionally, talk about how the speaker paused after regular intervals to create suspense, arouse excitement, express grief, make a remark or add value to his words.

You will feel special if someone looks you in the eye while you speak – so does the audience. Being a critic and speech analyst, you must observe how the speaker makes eye contact with the audience.

Does he shy away? Does he smile while making direct contact? Or does he keep looking elsewhere, avoiding the audience?

Adding all these points to your analysis will give it leverage over the others.

Gestures also include the movements and timings of the speaker. Did he use his hand to add energy and influence to his words? Were the gestures natural or forced? Were they distracting?

This part won't take up as much space or information but can help identify the right person.

Conclusion of the Speech Analysis

The conclusion is the final part of the analysis, where you summarize the speech and write an ending note.

Say you heard a speech about a woman who lost her husband to the DEA agents. She told with extreme pain and grief how they encountered him and shot him at point blank.

Now here's how you can write its conclusion:

"Samantha's speech engulfed me and the entire audience the moment she began her story. It hooked me, and I could feel her pain moving like waves in the hall and the audience.

However, I believe that the tone and pace should have been slightly lighter for my liking. Otherwise, the unfortunate incident with her husband didn’t allow her to control her emotions."

This will be your judgment and remarks that you acquired throughout the speech analysis. That makes up for a satisfactory conclusion to your speech analysis.

Final Verdict

You might find it challenging to analyze a speech at first, but once you learn the pain points, it's a child's game. Use the above factors to analyze your next speech and get an A+ on that assignment.

A good speech analysis manifests the intent, the audience, the content, the delivery style, visuals, and much more. Now that you know how speech analysis works, you're well versed with all the points.

That brings us to the end of this post. Happy Speaking!

Related: How to Give a Speech Evaluation in Toastmasters


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How to Analyse your Audience for a Speech

March 2, 2021 - Sophie Thompson

This article will teach you how to perform audience analysis for your speech or presentation and the different types of audience you might encounter. The type of audience affects the choice of language, humour, opening sentences, length and many more.

Here is a great overview from the  University of Pittsburgh :

Audience analysis involves identifying the audience and adapting a speech to their interests, level of understanding, attitudes, and beliefs. Taking an audience-cantered approach is important because a speaker’s effectiveness will be improved if the presentation is created and delivered in an appropriate manner. Identifying the audience through extensive research is often difficult, so audience adaptation often relies on the healthy use of imagination.

Four types of audience

This audience does not want to be listening to you. This could be for many reasons, from not liking the organisation you are representing, to wanting to get home and watch their favourite TV show.

They can be openly hostile and disagree with you. If audience analysis shows that you’ll be faced with this audience (e.g. you have the last slot of a busy day of presentation), consider the following:

  • Work hard on  developing trust  and interest
  • Construct your presentation from an area of agreement or point of disagreement
  • Use plenty of references and data to back up your points
  • Challenge them, ask questions during your speech and engage them

Change speech if faced with a hostile audience

Speaking to a hostile audience? Make sure you understand the type of audience you will be up against and build you speech accordingly.

2. Critical

Often at technical conferences, you get critical people who believe they are extremely intelligent and relish the thought of proving part of your presentation incorrect. Use the following techniques:

  • Use lots of evidence with strong references
  • Argue both sides of the case, clearly stating pros and cons of each
  • Try not to exaggerate, keep to the facts

3. Uninformed

This is the most common type of audience you will encounter. They might know a little about your presentation topic but certainly not in great detail.

  • Open up with questions so you can understand the level of knowledge on your topic
  • Spend a few slides going over the basics of your topic
  • Use  simple language  and avoid acronyms
  • Give basic facts and try to relate information to something people understand (e.g. if talking about space and using huge numbers, relate them to things people can comprehend)

4. Sympathetic

This audience is willing to listen and wants to be there. They can be interested in your topic, excited to see you talk (you might be a well-known figure in your speaking field), have an emotional attachment – these people are the easiest to persuade.

  • Use the state of this audience to ask for help / funding etc.
  • Trigger emotions which powerful stories

Understand what time your speech is at and how the audience will be feeling

People checking their watches? Make sure you understand the situation your audience is in. If your presentation is the last of the day, you’ll most likely have a hostile audience. Take this into account and structure your speech accordingly.

Different personalities in a meeting

The following section discusses the four types of  audience personalities  and an audience analysis on them.

  • Scrupulous about preparation before and after meetings
  • Arrives on time, keeps to time and prevents drift
  • Takes very detailed minutes and listens intently
  • Reflects on discussion, makes considered contributions
  • Drives decision making and ensures time is not wasted
  • Cuts across distractions and leads meetings well
  • Manages difficult people assertively
  • Ensures the action plan is implemented
  • Builds rapport easily and connects people together
  • Remembers coffee, cake and connects people together
  • Averts conflict, when it threatens
  • Supports the team and leader fully
  • Entertains, engages when in the limelight
  • Challenges old way of thinking
  • Generates creative ideas and opens new possibilities
  • Tells the truth, brings on debate, breaks through niceties

Features of each personality:

Analytical  – 100% accurate, chronology, don’t rush, focus on facts, internally focussed, distant from others, systematic, critical

Driver  – 100% task, headlines, don’t waste time, focus on action, future focused, leading others, quick to decide, impatient

Amiable  – 100% social, relationships, don’t intimidate, focus on feelings, present focused, asks questions, dislike conflict, support, kind

Expressive  – 100% impulsive, vision & ideas, don’t limit, focus on themes, externally focused, makes statements, competitive & chaotic, unpredictable, energetic

How to gauge the audiences interest

Greet people before your speech.

This is a great way to perform early audience analysis. If possible, stand near the entrance and  greet people  as they come in. Ask them questions to gauge their level of knowledge and expectations. Example questions can be “what industry are working in?” and “how long they have been working at…”

Call and Response Technique

Ask carefully  prepared questions  at the beginning of you speech to understand the mood and experience of the audience. You could ask “Raise your hand if you have used a virtual reality headset before” for example.

Research the Event

Read up about the conference you are attending. Find out what the other presentations are about and how they might relate to your speech to give you a head start on audience analysis. This gives you an idea of how technical and prepared your audience might be.

For additional information on understanding your audience and audience analysis, read:

  • Know your Audience: What it Takes to Persuade, Inspire and Motivate them
  • Public Speaking: Know Your Audience

Key audience analysis factors

Audience expectations.

Different audiences can have completely  different expectations  about the topics and speaker. Ignoring these differences can have a negative effect on your speech. Imagine that you’re asked to speak at the memorial service for a close friend.

The audience will expect your speech to praise the life of the deceased. If you start talking about the flaws of the person, the audience is likely to react badly to it.

Knowledge of topic

You need to find out how much your audience already knows about your topic as an audiences knowledge can vary widely. Two ways to achieve this could be:

  • Research who else is speaking at the event and the topics they are presenting (if it’s been made public)
  • Gauge the type of people who will attend using the event website or social media profiles

Never overestimate the audience’s knowledge of a topic. If you start speaking about complex algorithms for robotics, but the listeners are not familiar with basic genetics, they’ll quickly lose interest and find something to distract themselves with.

On the other hand, drastically underestimating the audience’s knowledge may result in a speech that sounds condescending.

Large conference room

Presentation setting, such as what time you are presenting and style of the conference room, will influence audience’s ability and desire to listen.

Finding out ahead of time the different environment and situational factors. This will give you plenty of time to prepare for an audience of 1000 when you were expecting 50. You want to understand whether there will be a stage, where your slides will be shown, what technology is available to you, who is presenting before you and other factors.

Take into account the way that the setting will affect audience attention and participation. If you’re scheduled to speak at the end of the day, you’ll have to make the speech more entertaining and appear more enthusiasm to keep their attention.

Read more about how to  speak to an unruly crowd  if you’re stuck with an end of day presentation slot.

Audience size

Your speech will change depending on the size of the audience. In general, the larger the audience the more formal the presentation should be. Using everyday language when speaking to a group of 5 people is often appropriate.

However, you’ll need a well throughout structure and  literary techniques  when talking to 500 people. Large audiences often require that you use a microphone and speak from an elevated platform.

Attitude toward topic

Being able to understand the audiences attitudes about a topic will help you connect with them. Imagine you’re trying to convince people at a town hall to build a new college. You’ll be inclined to spend the majority of the speech giving reasons why a college would benefit the town.

If you find that the major worry was how much this would cost students, you can talk more about funding available to the students. The  persuasive power  of the speech is therefore directed at the most important obstacle to the building the college.


The demographic factors of an audience include:

  • Ethnic background
  • Job or Career

These categories often underpin the individuals experiences and beliefs, so you should tailor your speech accordingly. Presenting at a conference in London will be a very different experience to presenting in Shanghai. The structure of your speech and words you use will probably be very different.

Using demographic factors to guide speech-making does not mean changing the goal of the speech for every different audience; rather, consider what pieces of information will be most important for members of different demographic groups.


Audiences are either hostile, critical, uninformed or sympathetic. Knowing the difference will assist in establishing the content of your speech. It’s very hard to generate and maintain interest with a hostile audience. You’ll definitely want to know if you’re up against this so you can plan ahead for it.


Most audience members are interested in things that directly affect them or their company. An effective speaker must be able to show their audience why the topic they are speaking on should be important to them.

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

What this handout is about

This handout will help you create an effective speech by establishing the purpose of your speech and making it easily understandable. It will also help you to analyze your audience and keep the audience interested.

What’s different about a speech?

Writing for public speaking isn’t so different from other types of writing. You want to engage your audience’s attention, convey your ideas in a logical manner and use reliable evidence to support your point. But the conditions for public speaking favor some writing qualities over others. When you write a speech, your audience is made up of listeners. They have only one chance to comprehend the information as you read it, so your speech must be well-organized and easily understood. In addition, the content of the speech and your delivery must fit the audience.

What’s your purpose?

People have gathered to hear you speak on a specific issue, and they expect to get something out of it immediately. And you, the speaker, hope to have an immediate effect on your audience. The purpose of your speech is to get the response you want. Most speeches invite audiences to react in one of three ways: feeling, thinking, or acting. For example, eulogies encourage emotional response from the audience; college lectures stimulate listeners to think about a topic from a different perspective; protest speeches in the Pit recommend actions the audience can take.

As you establish your purpose, ask yourself these questions:

  • What do you want the audience to learn or do?
  • If you are making an argument, why do you want them to agree with you?
  • If they already agree with you, why are you giving the speech?
  • How can your audience benefit from what you have to say?

Audience analysis

If your purpose is to get a certain response from your audience, you must consider who they are (or who you’re pretending they are). If you can identify ways to connect with your listeners, you can make your speech interesting and useful.

As you think of ways to appeal to your audience, ask yourself:

  • What do they have in common? Age? Interests? Ethnicity? Gender?
  • Do they know as much about your topic as you, or will you be introducing them to new ideas?
  • Why are these people listening to you? What are they looking for?
  • What level of detail will be effective for them?
  • What tone will be most effective in conveying your message?
  • What might offend or alienate them?

For more help, see our handout on audience .

Creating an effective introduction

Get their attention, otherwise known as “the hook”.

Think about how you can relate to these listeners and get them to relate to you or your topic. Appealing to your audience on a personal level captures their attention and concern, increasing the chances of a successful speech. Speakers often begin with anecdotes to hook their audience’s attention. Other methods include presenting shocking statistics, asking direct questions of the audience, or enlisting audience participation.

Establish context and/or motive

Explain why your topic is important. Consider your purpose and how you came to speak to this audience. You may also want to connect the material to related or larger issues as well, especially those that may be important to your audience.

Get to the point

Tell your listeners your thesis right away and explain how you will support it. Don’t spend as much time developing your introductory paragraph and leading up to the thesis statement as you would in a research paper for a course. Moving from the intro into the body of the speech quickly will help keep your audience interested. You may be tempted to create suspense by keeping the audience guessing about your thesis until the end, then springing the implications of your discussion on them. But if you do so, they will most likely become bored or confused.

For more help, see our handout on introductions .

Making your speech easy to understand

Repeat crucial points and buzzwords.

Especially in longer speeches, it’s a good idea to keep reminding your audience of the main points you’ve made. For example, you could link an earlier main point or key term as you transition into or wrap up a new point. You could also address the relationship between earlier points and new points through discussion within a body paragraph. Using buzzwords or key terms throughout your paper is also a good idea. If your thesis says you’re going to expose unethical behavior of medical insurance companies, make sure the use of “ethics” recurs instead of switching to “immoral” or simply “wrong.” Repetition of key terms makes it easier for your audience to take in and connect information.

Incorporate previews and summaries into the speech

For example:

“I’m here today to talk to you about three issues that threaten our educational system: First, … Second, … Third,”

“I’ve talked to you today about such and such.”

These kinds of verbal cues permit the people in the audience to put together the pieces of your speech without thinking too hard, so they can spend more time paying attention to its content.

Use especially strong transitions

This will help your listeners see how new information relates to what they’ve heard so far. If you set up a counterargument in one paragraph so you can demolish it in the next, begin the demolition by saying something like,

“But this argument makes no sense when you consider that . . . .”

If you’re providing additional information to support your main point, you could say,

“Another fact that supports my main point is . . . .”

Helping your audience listen

Rely on shorter, simpler sentence structures.

Don’t get too complicated when you’re asking an audience to remember everything you say. Avoid using too many subordinate clauses, and place subjects and verbs close together.

Too complicated:

The product, which was invented in 1908 by Orville Z. McGillicuddy in Des Moines, Iowa, and which was on store shelves approximately one year later, still sells well.

Easier to understand:

Orville Z. McGillicuddy invented the product in 1908 and introduced it into stores shortly afterward. Almost a century later, the product still sells well.

Limit pronoun use

Listeners may have a hard time remembering or figuring out what “it,” “they,” or “this” refers to. Be specific by using a key noun instead of unclear pronouns.

Pronoun problem:

The U.S. government has failed to protect us from the scourge of so-called reality television, which exploits sex, violence, and petty conflict, and calls it human nature. This cannot continue.

Why the last sentence is unclear: “This” what? The government’s failure? Reality TV? Human nature?

More specific:

The U.S. government has failed to protect us from the scourge of so-called reality television, which exploits sex, violence, and petty conflict, and calls it human nature. This failure cannot continue.

Keeping audience interest

Incorporate the rhetorical strategies of ethos, pathos, and logos.

When arguing a point, using ethos, pathos, and logos can help convince your audience to believe you and make your argument stronger. Ethos refers to an appeal to your audience by establishing your authenticity and trustworthiness as a speaker. If you employ pathos, you appeal to your audience’s emotions. Using logos includes the support of hard facts, statistics, and logical argumentation. The most effective speeches usually present a combination these rhetorical strategies.

Use statistics and quotations sparingly

Include only the most striking factual material to support your perspective, things that would likely stick in the listeners’ minds long after you’ve finished speaking. Otherwise, you run the risk of overwhelming your listeners with too much information.

Watch your tone

Be careful not to talk over the heads of your audience. On the other hand, don’t be condescending either. And as for grabbing their attention, yelling, cursing, using inappropriate humor, or brandishing a potentially offensive prop (say, autopsy photos) will only make the audience tune you out.

Creating an effective conclusion

Restate your main points, but don’t repeat them.

“I asked earlier why we should care about the rain forest. Now I hope it’s clear that . . .” “Remember how Mrs. Smith couldn’t afford her prescriptions? Under our plan, . . .”

Call to action

Speeches often close with an appeal to the audience to take action based on their new knowledge or understanding. If you do this, be sure the action you recommend is specific and realistic. For example, although your audience may not be able to affect foreign policy directly, they can vote or work for candidates whose foreign policy views they support. Relating the purpose of your speech to their lives not only creates a connection with your audience, but also reiterates the importance of your topic to them in particular or “the bigger picture.”

Practicing for effective presentation

Once you’ve completed a draft, read your speech to a friend or in front of a mirror. When you’ve finished reading, ask the following questions:

  • Which pieces of information are clearest?
  • Where did I connect with the audience?
  • Where might listeners lose the thread of my argument or description?
  • Where might listeners become bored?
  • Where did I have trouble speaking clearly and/or emphatically?
  • Did I stay within my time limit?

Other resources

  • Toastmasters International is a nonprofit group that provides communication and leadership training.
  • Allyn & Bacon Publishing’s Essence of Public Speaking Series is an extensive treatment of speech writing and delivery, including books on using humor, motivating your audience, word choice and presentation.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Boone, Louis E., David L. Kurtz, and Judy R. Block. 1997. Contemporary Business Communication . Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Ehrlich, Henry. 1994. Writing Effective Speeches . New York: Marlowe.

Lamb, Sandra E. 1998. How to Write It: A Complete Guide to Everything You’ll Ever Write . Berkeley: Ten Speed Press.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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4 Audience Analysis

Understanding Your Audience

In this chapter . . .

In this chapter, we will consider the role of the audience in determining the full speaking occasion. What factors about your audience will be the most important in maximizing the effectiveness of your communication? What ethical considerations must be considered? How does your identity intersect with the audience?

Who is your audience? For a speech to be public, it requires an audience, even if that audience is virtual or imagined. When you give a speech, the audience isn’t merely a passive witness, but instead is actively creating a relationship with you. Communication is a two-way street. Therefore, it’s important to consider the needs of the audience in both the construction and delivery of your speech.

How large will the audience be? Do you personally know the members of the audience? Is it your classmates, colleagues, friends and family, or the general public? Are they all members of a particular organization? Are you a part of the same group as your audience or are you an outsider? What is their age range and other demographic factors? Did they choose to hear you speak or was it a requirement? What is their experience and interest level in your topic?

The audience is gathered because of a common interest, commitment, or responsibility. What is it? Everything you do in the speech should be relevant to that reason for their being there. What does the audience expect as to type of speech, length, kinds of sources used, and presentation aids or lack of them?

In this chapter, we’ll take a closer look at how a public speaker can understand their anticipated audience.

Ethical Audience Analysis

Every ten years, the United States conducts a nationwide survey of the population of our country. With each census, the questionnaire is revised. For example, on the 1920 census is a question about “color or race” has no enumerators for Hispanic origin. In 2020, our most recent census, the questionnaire included a range of enumerators including Latino, Mexican, Chicano, and Cuban. In 1920, the census simply inquired “Sex” in question number nine, whereas the 2020 census specified “Male” and “Female.” It instructed respondents to “Mark ONE box.” Will that change in the next census, in 2030?

The U.S. Census  is an extraordinary but imperfect way of gathering information about the population of the United States. It also demonstrates that what we know about any group of people is a product of what we are capable of asking.

As a public speaker, what are you capable of asking? For some speech occasions, you might be able to conduct an audience survey. For most speech occasions, the person who is organizing the event should be able to tell you something about who will be in the audience. From this information you may be able to make reasonable assumptions about your audience. For example, if you have been asked to speak at a university student governance meeting, you can assume that everyone in the room shares at least an education level (H.S. diploma) and a group affiliation (students). You can safely assume that most will be between the ages of 18 and 22, but you can’t assume the audience is comprised of a single religion, race, or ethnicity.

While audience analysis is useful, it also has its limitations. Demographic and psychographic factors discussed in this chapter can help you understand something about who your audience might be, what they might know, and what they might care about. But if you don’t use the information wisely or if you’re not careful about your assumptions, you’ll find yourself  stereotyping or totalizing.  

Stereotyping is generalizing about a group of people and assuming that because a few people in that group have a characteristic, all of them do.

Totalizing is taking one characteristic of a group or person and making that the “totality” or sum total of what that person or group is. If a speaker before a group of professional women totalizes and concludes that some perception of “women’s issues” are all they care about, the speaker will be less effective and possibly unethical.

Being ethical about audience analysis means avoiding unlikely assumptions, stereotyping, and totalizing. Below are more detailed descriptions of demographic and psychographic factors in audience analysis.

Demographic Factors

Demographic factors are aspects of an individual’s identity that determine their place in society and membership in particular subcultures. They can be measured socially. One way to think of demographics is the “facts” of an individual. This consists of the type of questions you find on medical or government forms.

Common Demographic Categories

We traditionally ascribe certain roles, behaviors, motivations, interests, and concerns to people of certain ages. Young people are concerned about career choices; people over 60 are concerned about retirement. People go to college from the age of 18 to about 22. People 50 years old have raised their children and are “empty nesters. These neat categories still exist for many, but in some respects, they are outdated.

The second demographic characteristic commonly listed is gender. This area is open to misunderstanding as much as any other. Today, more people openly identify as a gender other than traditionally male or female. Even those of us who identify as male or female don’t fully follow traditional gender roles. This is an area for growing sensitivity. At the same time, the purpose, subject, and context of the speech will probably define how and whether you address the demographic characteristic of gender.

Unless the audience is brought together because of common faith concerns or the group shares the same affiliation or commitment, religious faith may not be relevant to your topic and not a crucial factor in the audience analysis. As with other categories, be careful not to assume or stereotype about religious groups. You should be conscious of the diversity of your audience. Not everyone worships in a church, and not everyone attends a house of worship on Sunday. Be attentive to inclusive language.

Group Affiliation

One source of identity for some is group affiliation. To what groups do members of the audience predominantly belong? Sometimes it will be useful to know if the group is mostly Republican, Democrat, members of a union, members of a professional organization, and so on. Be mindful of what the group values and what binds the audience together.

Region relates to where the audience members live. We can think of this in two ways. We live in regions of the country: Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Rocky Mountain region, Northwest, and West Coast. These regions can be broken down even more, such as coastal Southeastern states. The second way to think about region is as “residence” or whether the audience lives in an urban area, the suburbs, or a rural area.

Occupation may be a demographic characteristic that is central to your presentation. For the most part in the U.S., we choose our occupations because they reflect our values, interests, and abilities, and as we associate with colleagues in that occupation, those values, interests, and abilities are strengthened.

The next demographic characteristic is education, which is closely tied to occupation and is often, though not always, a matter of choice. In the United States, education usually reflects what kind of information and training a person has been exposed to, but it does not reflect intelligence. We are also generally proud of our educational achievements, so they should not be disregarded.

Socio-economic Level

Socio-economic level is also tied to occupation and education in many cases. Often, you can’t know the socio-economic level of your audience members, you should be careful about references that would portray your own level as superior.

Family Status

Family status, such as whether the audience members are married, single, divorced, or have children or grandchildren may be particularly important to the concerns and values of your audience and even the reason the audience is brought together. For example, young parents could gather to listen to a speaker because they are concerned about the health and safety of children in the community.

Race and Ethnicity

In some areas, it’s necessary to gather demographic information about race and ethnicity. For example, a university wants to measure the diversity of their student body. But for the purposes of audience analysis, the most ethical way to think about the category of race and ethnicity is to minimize your assumptions about homogeneity and maximize understanding of diversity. Many people identify as multiracial and rare is the person who can identify with only one ethnicity. Race and ethnicity can’t be judged only by appearance. As a casual public speaker and not a demographer, you’re not equipped with the information to know about your audience’s racial and ethnic identity if that information isn’t specifically communicated to you. Rather than make erroneous assumptions, embrace as a probability that your audience is comprised of a diversity of races and ethnicities.

Psychographic Factors

Psychographic factors are psychological characteristics that determine how a person thinks. While these factors are most important during a persuasive speech, they may be applicable to any type of speech.

Common Psychographic Factors

Beliefs are statements we hold to be true. Notice this definition does not say the beliefs are true, only that we hold them to be true and as such they determine how we respond to the world around us. Beliefs touch all aspects of our experience. Beliefs come from our experience and from sources we trust. Therefore, beliefs are hard to change—not impossible, just difficult.

Attitude is defined as a stable positive or negative response to a person, idea, object, or policy. How do you respond when you hear the name of a certain singer, movie star, political leader, sports team, or law in your state? Your response will be either positive or negative, or maybe neutral if you’re not familiar with the object of the attitude. Where did that attitude come from? Attitude comes from experiences, peer groups, beliefs, rewards, and punishments.

Values are goals we strive for and what we consider important and desirable. We can engage in the same behavior but for different values; one person may participate in a river cleanup because they value the future of the planet; another may value the appearance of the community in which they live; another just because friends are involved, and they value relationships.

Needs are important deficiencies that we are motivated to fulfill. Your audience members are experiencing both “felt” and “real” needs. A “felt” need is a strong “want” that the person believes will fulfill or satisfy them even if the item isn’t necessary for survival. As great as WIFI and coffee are, they are not crucial to human survival, but we do want them so strongly that they operate as needs.

Who Are You to Your Audience?

While preparing for a speech, take a moment to reflect on who you are as a person, and who you are as a public speaker. Are you outgoing and confident, or are you more reserved? Do you naturally talk with your hands? Are you comfortable expressing emotions and vulnerability? Do you like incorporating humor? What are your strengths as a public speaker? What skills are you working to develop that require more conscious effort? You may want to play to your strengths, or you may intentionally wish to challenge yourself.

If you’re giving a speech on a particular topic, the assumption is that you have some level of familiarity with the topic of the speech. Are you particularly knowledgeable about the subject or do you have personal experience? Part of building a rapport with the audience is to establish your credibility. Why should they trust you or care what you have to say? Even if you’re not an expert in the subject matter it’s helpful to express your genuine interest in a topic and to position your level of knowledge. Additionally, it’s important to ground facts and arguments in relation to outside sources.

You’re not using the speech to dump a large amount of content on the audience; you’re making that content important, meaningful, and applicable to them. What are their needs and expectations? Additionally, the way the audience perceives you and your connection to them—such as whether there is mutual trust and respect—will determine your success with the audience. The speaker must respect the audience and the audience should trust the speaker.

Applying Audience Analysis

Now that you know the categories that comprise demographic and psychographic factors, and you see that it’s important to take stock of yourself in the speaking circumstances, you can use all these elements systematically to improve your speech. In the beginning of this chapter, we discussed Ethical Audience Analysis. With information gathered directly or from the organizer of the event, you can strive to make reasonable assumptions about your audience while avoiding unlikely assumptions, stereotyping, and totalizing.

Homogenous or Heterogeneous Audiences

Among the most important distinctions you can make in audience analysis is recognizing if an audience shares many key demographic and psychographic features, or if an audience contains a mixture of people with few demographic and psychographic features in common. We call this homogeneous versus heterogeneous audiences. The speech occasion usually dictates the makeup of the audience and whether they are heterogeneous or homogeneous. Due to our diverse society, many public speeches will have a heterogeneous audience. However, if you’re asked to speak to a particular group or at a specialized event, the audience may be more homogeneous.

Imagine speaking before a boy’s youth group at a Christian church event. This is a homogeneous group because of many shared demographic (age, gender, religion, group affiliation) and shared psychographic (beliefs, attitudes) factors. You could lean into this shared sense of identity to connect with audience members through examples and references that are tailored to their demographic. However, a group of first year college students at an orientation event is heterogeneous because of diversity in key demographics (gender, race, ethnicity, religion) and psychographics (beliefs, attitudes, needs). Even though first-year college students may share a similar age and identity at a particular university, those shared factors may be less salient than their diversity. Particularly with a heterogeneous group, you want to use inclusive language and not alienate audience members who have divergent backgrounds. Think about how your speech can engage people on multiple levels so that regardless of their background they are able to relate to your message.

Using Your Analysis

The conclusions you draw about the composition of your audience are only useful if you let these conclusions shape the way you write and deliver your speech. Here are some questions to guide you:

  • Knowing my audience, is my topic interesting and relevant? If the topic is chosen for me, how should I approach the assignment to make the topic interesting and relevant to this particular audience?
  • What level of vocabulary is appropriate for this audience? Should my speech be more accessible? More formal?
  • What is the right demeanor for presenting to this audience?
  • Given who I am as a speaker, how can I build rapport with this specific audience?
  • Are there terms or ideas that I need to carefully explain? Or will these be familiar to my audience?
  • How will I motivate this specific audience to listen to my speech?
  • Does my speech topic, content, or vocabulary make assumptions about homogeneity that are not true for my audience?

Identifying and analyzing the who, what, where, when, and why of given circumstances will help you to determine the how of preparing for the speaking occasion. Additionally, ethical audience analysis can be useful in determining particular themes, language, and research sources to either employ or avoid to best connect with the audience. Furthermore, you’ll be able to decide how you’ll deliver the speech (options for delivery will be covered in the next chapter). Below is a worksheet to aid in the process.

Something to Think About

Imagine you’re asked to give a five-minute informative speech that explains the idea of the “three branches” (executive, judiciary, and legislative) of governance that forms our American democracy. You couldn’t possibly know how to write this informative speech unless you knew who your audience was going to be. Consider how different your speech would be in these three imagined circumstances:

  • You’re on a study abroad program in a foreign country, and students are giving class presentations about the government of their home country. Your audience is: non-American college students.
  • You’re visiting a second-grade class for a job interview as a teacher, and they have asked you to explain this important idea to the students. Your audience is: second graders.
  • You’re a student in law school, and in a moot court exercise, you must explain the three branches of government to the jury. Your audience is: adult American citizens.

Common sense would tell you that these different audiences require a different approach to the speech: different in the way you write it; and different in the way you deliver it. In everyday conversation and informal speaking, you instinctually adjust what you say and how you say it according to your audience. A public speaker needs to be more conscious and deliberate about these adjustments.

For instance, an audience that is mostly young kids or older adults will require you to intentionally speak slower and extra clearly. Unless speaking to a group with particular knowledge about a subject, avoid jargon and be mindful to define any unfamiliar terms or concepts. If you’re addressing an unfamiliar audience lean towards a more formal tone.

Public Speaking as Performance Copyright © 2023 by Mechele Leon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

Analyzing Famous Speeches as Arguments

Analyzing Famous Speeches as Arguments

  • Resources & Preparation
  • Instructional Plan
  • Related Resources

Traditionally, teachers have encouraged students to engage with and interpret literature—novels, poems, short stories, and plays. Too often, however, the spoken word is left unanalyzed, even though the spoken word has the potential to alter our space just as much than the written. After gaining skill through analyzing a historic and contemporary speech as a class, students will select a famous speech from a list compiled from several resources and write an essay that identifies and explains the rhetorical strategies that the author deliberately chose while crafting the text to make an effective argument. Their analysis will consider questions such as What makes the speech an argument?, How did the author's rhetoric evoke a response from the audience?, and Why are the words still venerated today?

Featured Resources

From theory to practice.

Nearly everything we read and hear is an argument. Speeches are special kinds of arguments and should be analyzed as such. Listeners should keep in mind the context of the situation involving the delivery and the audience-but a keen observer should also pay close attention to the elements of argument within the text. This assignment requires students to look for those elements.

"Since rhetoric is the art of effective communication, its principles can be applied to many facets of everyday life" (Lamb 109). It's through this lesson that students are allowed to see how politicians and leaders manipulate and influence their audiences using specific rhetorical devices in a manner that's so effective that the speeches are revered even today. It's important that we keep showing our students how powerful language can be when it's carefully crafted and arranged.

Further Reading

Common Core Standards

This resource has been aligned to the Common Core State Standards for states in which they have been adopted. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, CCSS alignments are forthcoming.

State Standards

This lesson has been aligned to standards in the following states. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, standard alignments are not currently available for that state.

NCTE/IRA National Standards for the English Language Arts

  • 3. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).
  • 4. Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
  • 5. Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.
  • 7. Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and nonprint texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.

Materials and Technology

  • ReadWriteThink Notetaker
  • Teacher Background and Information Sheet
  • Student Assignment Sheet
  • List of Speeches for Students
  • Queen Elizabeth I’s Speech with Related Questions
  • Historical Speech Research Questions
  • Peer Response Handout
  • Essay Rubric

This website contains audio of the Top 100 speeches of all time.

Included on this site is audio of famous speeches of the 20th century, as well as information about the speeches and background information on the writers.

The "Great Speeches Collection" from The History Place are available here in print and in audio.

This website includes information on finding and documenting sources in the MLA format.


  • Review the background and information sheet for teachers to familiarize yourself with the assignment and expectations.  Consider your students' background with necessary rhetorical terms such as claims, warrants, the appeals (logos, pathos, ethos), and fallacies; and rhetorical devices such as tone, diction, figurative language, repetition, hyperbole, and understatement. The lesson provides some guidance for direct instruction on these terms, but there are multiple opportunities for building or activating student knowledge through modeling on the two speeches done as a class.
  • Check the links to the online resources (in Websites section) make sure that they are still working prior to giving out this assignment.
  • Decide whether you want to allow more than one student to analyze and write about the same speech in each class.
  • Look over the  List of Speeches for Students to decide if there are any that you would like to add.
  • Look over the suggested Essay Rubric and determine the weights you would like to assign to each category.  For example, you might tell students that Support and Research may be worth three times the value of Style. Customize the Essay Rubric to meet the learning goals for your students.
  • Reserve the library for Session Three so the students can do research on their speeches.
  • President Obama’s Inauguration Speech.
  • Former President Bush’s Defends War in Iraq Speech.
  • Former President Bush’s 9/11 Speech.
  • Former President Clinton’s “I Have Sinned” Speech.

Student Objectives

Students will

  • analyze a speech for rhetorical devices and their purpose.
  • identify an author’s purposeful manipulation of language.
  • identify elements of argument within a speech.
  • write an analysis of a speech with in-text documentation.

Session One

  • Begin the lesson by asking students what needs to be present in order for a speech to occur. Though the question may seem puzzling—too hard, or too simple—at first, students will eventually identify, as Aristotle did, the need for a speaker, a message, and an audience.
  • The class should discuss audience and the importance of identifying the audience for speeches, since they occur in particular moments in time and are delivered to specific audiences. This is a good time to discuss the Rhetorical Triangle (Aristotelian Triad) or discuss a chapter on audience from an argumentative textbook. You may wish to share information from the ReadWriteThink.org lesson Persuasive Techniques in Advertising and  The Rhetorical Triangle from The University of Oklahoma.
  • Next distribute Queen Elizabeth’s speech to the troops at Tilbury and use the speech and its historical context as a model for the processes students will use on the speech they select. Provide a bit of background information on the moment in history.
  • Then, as a class, go over  Queen Elizabeth’s speech and discuss the rhetorical devices in the speech and the purpose for each one. Adjust the level of guidance you provide, depending on your students' experiences with this type of analysis. The questions provide a place to start, but there are many other stylistic devices to discuss in this selection.

Discuss the audience and the author’s manipulation of the audience. Consider posing questions such as

  • This is a successful speech.  Why?
  • Elizabeth uses all of the appeals – logos, pathos, and ethos – to convince all of her listeners to fight for her from the loyal follower to the greedy mercenary.  How?
  • The tone shifts throughout the selection.  Where?  But more importantly, why?
Martin Luther King, Jr. uses an appeal to pathos in his “I Have a Dream” speech through his historical allusion to Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation: “Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.” This is particularly effective for his audience of people sympathetic to the cause of African American men and women who would have been especially moved by this particular reference since it had such a significant impact on the lives of African Americans.

Session Two

  • Continue the work from the previous session by distributing the  Analyzing Famous Speeches as Arguments handout and discussing the assignment and what it requires. See the  background and information sheet for teachers for more details.
  • Tell students they will be getting additional practice with analyzing a speech as an argument by showing a short  10-minute clip of a presidential speech . Ask students to think about how the particular moment in history and the national audience contribute to the rhetorical choices made by the speaker.
  • Lead a discussion of the speech as an argument with regard to purpose and intent. Work with students to identify warrants, claims, and appeals.
  • Ask students to consider how the author manipulates the audience using tone, diction, and stylistic devices. What rhetorical devices aided the author’s manipulation of his audience? Discuss a particular rhetorical device that the President used and the purpose it served.
  • Share the Essay Rubric and explain to students the expectations for success on this assignment.
  • Allow students to select a speech from the List of Speeches for Students . If they wish to preview any of the speeches, they can type the speaker's name and the title of the speech into a search engine and should have little difficulty finding it.

Session Three

  • Take the students to the library and allow them to research their speeches. They should locate their speech and print a copy for them to begin annotating for argumentative structure and rhetorical devices.
  • What was the speaker up against?  What is the occasion for the speech?
  • What did the author have to keep in mind when composing the text?  
  • What were his or her goals?  
  • What was his or her ultimate purpose?  
  • What was his or her intent?
  • Remind students that the writer of the speech is sometimes not the person who delivered the speech, for example, and this will surprise some students. Many people assume that the speaker (president, senator, etc.) is always the writer, and that’s not always the case, so ask your students to check to see who wrote the speech. (They might be surprised at the answer. There’s always a story behind the composition of the speech.)
  • Help students find the author of the speech because this will challenge some students. Oftentimes, students assume the speaker is the author, and that’s sometimes not the case. Once the speechwriter is identified, it is easier to find information on the speech. Help students find the history behind the speech without getting too bogged down in the details. They need to understand the climate, but they do not need to be complete experts on the historical details in order to understand the elements of the speech.
  • If they wish, students can use the ReadThinkWrite Interactive Notetaker to help them track their notes for their essays. Remind them that their work cannot be saved on this tool and should be printed by the end of the session so they can use it in future work.
  • For Session Four, students must bring a thesis, an outline, and all of their research materials to class for a workday. Remind them to refer to the Analyzing Famous Speeches as Arguments , the Essay Rubric , and any notes they may have taken during the first two sessions as they begin their work.
  • The thesis statement should answer the following question: What makes this speech an effective argument and worthy of making this list?

Session Four

  • Set up students in heterogeneous groups of four. Ask students to share their outlines and thesis statements.
  • Go around to check and to monitor as students share their ideas and progress. The students will discuss their speeches and their research thus far.
  • Have students discuss the elements of an argument that they plan on addressing.
  • Finally, have students work on writing their papers by writing their introductions with an enticing “grab” or “hook.” If time permits, have students share their work. 
  • For Session Five, students should bring in their papers. This session would happen in about a week.

Session Five

  • In this session, students will respond each other's drafts using the Peer Response Handout .
  • Determine and discuss the final due date with your students. Direct students to Diana Hacker’s MLA site for assistance with their citations if necessary. 
  • Remind students that their work will be evaluate using the essay rubric .  They should use the criteria along with the comments from their peer to revise and polish their work.
  • During the process of analyzing  Queen Elizabeth I’s Speech , consider showing the related scene from the film Elizabeth: The Golden Age . Though the text of the speech is drastically cut and altered, seeing one filmmaker's vision for the scene may help reinforce the notion of historical context and the importance of audience.
  • Allow students to read and/or perform parts of the speeches out loud. Then, they can share some of their thinking about the argumentative structure and rhetorical devices used to make the speech effective. This activity could happen as part of the prewriting process or after essays have been completed.
  • Require students to write a graduation speech or a speech on another topic. They can peruse print or online news sources to select a current event that interests them.  Have them choose an audience to whom they would deliver an argumentative speech.

Student Assessment / Reflections

  • After peer response has taken place, use the essay rubric to provide feedback on student work. You may change the values of the different categories/requirements to better suit the learning goals for your classroom.
  • Calendar Activities
  • Lesson Plans
  • Student Interactives
  • Strategy Guides

Students explore the ways that powerful and passionate words communicate the concepts of freedom, justice, discrimination, and the American Dream in Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.

While drafting a literary analysis essay (or another type of argument) of their own, students work in pairs to investigate advice for writing conclusions and to analyze conclusions of sample essays. They then draft two conclusions for their essay, select one, and reflect on what they have learned through the process.

Useful for a wide variety of reading and writing activities, this outlining tool allows students to organize up to five levels of information.

This strategy guide clarifies the difference between persuasion and argumentation, stressing the connection between close reading of text to gather evidence and formation of a strong argumentative claim about text.

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  • Kindergarten K

Speech analysis

Eine speech analysis ist eine Redeanalyse in Englisch. Hier findest du hilfreiche Tipps zum Aufbau und zum Inhalt deiner speech analysis .

Du willst dir schnell einen Überblick über das Thema verschaffen? Dann schau dir gleich unser Video an!

Was ist eine speech analysis?

How to analyse a speech, tipps und tricks , linking words.

Eine  speech analysis  ist eine besondere Form der Analyse in Englisch , bei der du verschiedene Aspekte einer Rede untersuchst. Meist handelt es sich dabei um eine politische Rede . Eine sogenannte  political speech  wird zu verschiedenen Anlässen (occasions) gehalten. Dazu gehören zum Beispiel:

  • Wahlkämpfe (election campaigns)
  • Ansprachen in Krisenzeiten (addresses in times of crisis)
  • Gedenkfeiern (commemorations)
  • Gipfeltreffen (summit meetings)
  • Amtseintritte (inaugural addresses)

Unabhängig vom Anlass ist das Ziel  einer political speech in der Regel gleich: Der Redner will das Publikum darin von seiner Einstellung überzeugen und zu einem bestimmten Handeln auffordern.

Um die gewünschte Wirkung zu erzielen, halten sich politische Reden an einen klaren Aufbau aus Einleitung , Hauptteil und Schluss .

In deiner speech analysis arbeitest du heraus, wie der Redner in diesen drei Teilen an sein Publikum appelliert . Das heißt, du untersuchst, mit welchen sprachlichen Mitteln er seine Zuhörer anspricht und überzeugen möchte. 

Speech analysis – Vorbereitung

Um eine Rede in Englisch richtig zu analysieren, solltest du dich zuerst mit den wichtigen Informationen zur Rede beschäftigen. Dafür liest du dir die Rede aufmerksam durch. Dadurch kannst du Fragen zu der Rede, also der Redesituation (context)  beantworten. Dazu gehören: 

  • speaker – Wer ist der Redner ?
  • occasion – Was ist der Anlass ?
  • time and place – Wie ist der Kontext ?
  • (target) audience – Wer ist das (Ziel-) Publikum ?

Häufig geben dir diese Informationen bereits einen ersten Eindruck vom Thema und vom Ziel der Rede.

Speech analysis – Einleitung

In der Einleitung (introduction) deiner speech analysis benennst du die Redesituation und das Thema der Rede. Dafür erklärst du, mit welchem Problem oder mit welcher Frage sich die Rede hauptsächlich beschäftigt. Einen Hinweis darauf liefert dir in der Regel der Titel . Aber auch Schlüsselwörter und Wiederholungen geben darüber Aufschluss. 

Wenn du dir über das Thema im Klaren bist, schreibst du deinen Einleitungssatz. Der könnte zum Beispiel so aussehen: 

Speech analysis  – Beispiel: In his “ Victory Speech , “ given  on election night on 6 November 2012 in Washington, D.C. , Barack Obama addresses  the American people with one important message : They need to move forward!

Die englische Übersetzung von „eine Rede halten“ lautet to give a speech und nicht to hold a speech !

Speech analysis – Hauptteil

Der Hauptteil einer Rede in Englisch wird als argumentation bezeichnet. Darin beschäftigt sich der Redner (speaker)  ausführlich mit dem Thema seiner Rede.

Im Hauptteil (body) deiner speech analysis untersuchst du, wie der Redner dabei vorgeht. Dafür fasst du zunächst den Inhalt der Rede in einer kurzen Summary  zusammen. Danach untersuchst du die  Argumentationsstruktur und die  Sprache  der Rede. Außerdem machst du deutlich, wie der Redner  Kontakt zu seinem Publikum herstellt. 


Indem du die Argumentationsstruktur der Rede analysierst, kannst du die Intention, also die Absicht des Redners, herausarbeiten. Dabei untersuchst du, wie er seine Argumente präsentiert. An seiner These (thesis) und seinen Argumenten (arguments) kannst du zum Beispiel ablesen, ob

  • der Redner seine Beliebtheit steigern möchte,
  • er über etwas aufklären möchte, 
  • er seriös – also mit von Fakten und Expertenmeinungen – argumentiert 
  • oder ob er unseriös – also mit Gefühlen und Vorurteilen – argumentiert. 

Sprachliche Analyse 

Noch wichtiger als die Argumentationsstruktur ist die Sprache , die ein Redner in seiner speech verwendet. Die sprachliche Gestaltung in einer politischen Rede ist häufig sehr subjektiv und anschaulich. Das erreicht ein Redner durch rhetorische Mittel  wie Metaphern (metaphors) , Vergleiche (comparisons) oder Wiederholungen (repetitions) . 

Speech analysis – Beispiel:   Using the climax “ to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting, “  Obama emphasises the American Dream.

Es spielt auch eine Rolle, ob der Redner formelle   Sprache   (formal language) oder eher Umgangssprache   (colloquial language) verwendet. Dadurch kann er sich seinem Publikum gezielt anpassen.  

Wenn du die Möglichkeit hast, solltest du dir zusätzlich eine Videoübertragung der Rede ansehen. Dadurch kannst du auch den Tonfall (intonation) und die Betonung (stress) des Redners in deine speech analysis miteinbeziehen. Dasselbe gilt für seine Gestik (gestures) und Mimik (facial expression) .

Kontakt zum Publikum

In einer politischen Rede versucht der Redner meist, das Publikum direkt anzusprechen. Dafür benutzt er Personalpronomen   wie we und us (inclusive pronouns). So stellt er einen engen Kontakt zum Publikum her und gewinnt Einfluss auf seine Zuhörer. 

Speech analysis – Beispiel:   In his speech, Obama uses a lot of inclusive pronouns. For example, when he says: “ … we  know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best is yet to come. “

Speech analysis – Schluss 

Im Schluss fasst du die wichtigsten Ergebnisse deiner speech analysis knapp zusammen. In einem Fazit hebst du anschließend die Intention des Redners hervor. Du hältst also fest, was die Absicht des Redners ist und ob seine Rede die gewünschte Wirkung erzielt.

Speech analysis – Beispiel:   By describing a hopeful future for the United States, Obama creates confidence in the minds of the American people and encourages them to work hard to achieve their dreams. 

Um deine Redeanalyse in Englisch noch besser zu machen, kannst du die vorliegende Rede auch auf bestimmte Methoden  der Beeinflussung untersuchen. Diese verwenden Redner gezielt, um auf ihr Publikum einzuwirken.

  • Um seine eigene Position aufzuwerten , stellt der Redner seine Meinung als den Standpunkt einer ganzen Gesellschaft dar. Dadurch erzeugt er ein Wir-Gefühl unter seinen Zuhörern. 
  • Ein Redner kann seine eigene Position auch aufwerten, indem er einen gegnerischen Standpunkt abwertet . Dabei weist er auf Fehler oder Unstimmigkeiten in der Argumentation eines Gegners hin. 
  • Indem der Redner einen Aspekt dramatisiert , beeinflusst er die Gefühle seines Publikums. So kann er Ängste schüren und dadurch seine Zuhörer zum Handeln aufrufen.
  • Umgekehrt kann der Redner sein Publikum aber auch beschwichtigen . Dafür fokussiert er Erfolge und schwächt Misserfolge ab.

Um deine Analyseteile sinnvoll miteinander zu verbinden, verwendest du am besten linking words . Schau dir gleich unser Video dazu an!

Zum Video: Linking Words

Beliebte Inhalte aus dem Bereich Textarten Englisch

  • Englisch Brief schreiben Dauer: 04:08
  • Letter to the editor Dauer: 03:53
  • Letter of application Dauer: 04:41

Weitere Inhalte: Textarten Englisch

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Audience Analysis Overview

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In order to compose persuasive, user-centered communication, you should gather as much information as possible about the people reading your document. Your audience may consist of people who may have differing needs and expectations. In other words, you may have a complex audience in all the stages of your document's lifecycle—the development stage, the reading stage, and the action stage.

Development stage

  • Primary author (you)
  • Secondary author (a technical expert within your organization)
  • Secondary author (a budget expert within your organization)
  • Gatekeeper (your supervisor)

Reading stage

  • Primary audience (decision maker, primary point of contact, project lead, etc.)
  • Secondary audience (technical expert within audience's organization)
  • Shadow audience (others who may read your communication)

Action stage

  • Stakeholders (people who may read your communication, but more importantly, those who will be affected by the decisions based on the information you provide)

Keep in mind that documents may not go through a clear, three-step process. Instead, the lifecycle of your communication may consist of overlapping stages of evolution. User-centered writing calls for close cooperation between those who are composing the documents, those who will read and act upon the documents, and those who will be affected by the actions.

how to write an speech analysis

Harrison Butker Said His Benedictine College Commencement Speech Taken 'Out of Context'?

According to online posts, butker supposedly clarified in a statement, "all i said is that we should go back to a better time, like the 50s and 60s.", jordan liles, published may 16, 2024.

Originated as Satire

About this rating

On May 16, 2024, numerous users on Facebook , TikTok and X reposted a quote meme featuring a purported statement from Kansas City Chiefs kicker and 3-time Super Bowl champion Harrison Butker. The statement supposedly constituted Butker's response to some backlash following his May 11 commencement speech at Kansas' Benedictine College, a private Catholic liberal arts school.

In one post  on X displayed to over 1 million users, the viral quote meme showing a photo of Butker read, "Everyone is taking what I said out of context. All I said is that we should go back to a better time, like the 50s and 60s. When men were men, and women had more babies than thoughts. When the only 'Me too' movement was one woman saying she was ready for her 4th child, and another woman agreeing." The end of the meme added Butker's name with the words "on setting the record straight."

A fake quote meme claimed Harrison Butker said the words everyone is taking what I said out of context and added all I said is that we should go back to a better time like the 50s and 60s.

A TikTok video promoting the quote meme as genuine also received more than 800,000 views within five hours of being uploaded, making it another one of the more prominent reposts.

However, Butker did not release a statement with these words, nor did he appear to publicly release any statements following his speech. A closer look at the quote meme reveals a watermark for "@TheSportsMemery" — a reference to the Facebook page named The Sports Memery. The Facebook page's description describes its output as containing satire and parody.

The Associated Press reported Butker's speech featured some remarks on the subjects of women and motherhood, Pride month, in vitro fertilization (IVF) and President Joe Biden's policies regarding abortion and the COVID-19 pandemic, among others.

Readers looking to watch Butker's address in its original form can find the full, unedited speech in a  video  posted on the Benedictine College YouTube channel. The video ends with many of the people in attendance giving Butker a standing ovation.

The National Catholic Register also published a complete transcript of the address.

"Chiefs Kicker Butker Congratulates Women Graduates and Says Most Are More Excited about Motherhood." The Associated Press , 16 May 2024, https://apnews.com/article/kansas-city-chiefs-harrison-butker-e00f6ee45955c99ef1e809ec447239e0.

"Full Text: Harrison Butker of Kansas City Chiefs Graduation Speech." NCR , 16 May 2024, https://www.ncregister.com/news/harrison-butker-speech-at-benedictine.

"Harrison Butker | Commencement Address 2024 | Benedictine College." YouTube , Benedictine College, 11 May 2024, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JS7RIKSaCc.

May 17, 2024: This report was updated to add the five words appearing under Butker's name in the quote meme.

By Jordan Liles

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.

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