When we hear a speech, we typically form an opinion about it based on how it makes us feel or whether we agree with the speaker’s arguments. However, if we want to evaluate a speech more objectively, there are a number of factors we should consider. In this guide, we’ll cover the four key areas you should examine when evaluating a speech: structure, delivery, content, and effectiveness.
A well-structured speech is easy to follow and keeps the audience engaged. When evaluating the structure of a speech, consider the following:
- Did the speaker grab your attention at the beginning of the speech?
- Was the topic of the speech clearly stated?
- Was the speech broken down into clear main points?
- Were the main points supported by evidence or examples?
- Did the speech end with a strong conclusion or call to action?
- Did the conclusion tie back to the introduction of the speech?
The delivery of a speech can greatly affect the audience’s engagement and understanding. When evaluating the delivery of a speech, consider the following:
- Was the speaker’s tone appropriate for the topic and audience?
- Did the speaker use appropriate pauses and inflection?
- Did the speaker take the time to clearly articulate their words?
- Was the pace of the speech appropriate for the audience?
- Did the speaker use appropriate gestures and expressions?
- Did the speaker maintain good eye contact with the audience?
The content of a speech is what the speaker says and how they support their arguments. When evaluating the content of a speech, consider the following:
- Was the argument clear and well-supported?
- Were any important points missing or overlooked?
- Was the evidence presented relevant and convincing?
- Was the evidence clearly explained?
- Did the speaker use language that was appropriate for the audience?
- Did the speaker use any rhetorical devices, such as metaphors or analogies?
The effectiveness of a speech is measured by how well it achieves the speaker’s goals. When evaluating the effectiveness of a speech, consider the following:
- What were the speaker’s goals for the speech?
- Did the speech effectively achieve those goals?
- Did the speech leave a lasting impression on the audience?
- Did the audience take away any important points from the speech?
- A well-structured speech should have a clear introduction, body, and conclusion that ties everything together.
- The delivery of a speech should be appropriate for the topic and audience, with a pace and tone that keeps the audience engaged.
- The content of a speech should include a clear argument that is well-supported by evidence and presented in a style appropriate for the audience.
- The effectiveness of a speech should be measured by how well it achieves the speaker’s intended goals and leaves a lasting impact on the audience.
What is the best way to evaluate a speech?
To evaluate a speech, you should consider the structure, delivery, content, and effectiveness of the speaker’s message. Pay close attention to how the speaker presents their argument, supports their claims, and engages the audience.
Can a good speaker still give a bad speech?
Yes, a good speaker can still give a bad speech if they don’t structure their message effectively, fail to engage the audience, or don’t provide compelling evidence to support their argument. Even the most skilled orator can have an off day.