ABC’s of Speech Writing


Whether you have one minute or one month to prepare, here is a formula that you can use to prepare and deliver a powerful and effective speech. Your speech starts with A and ends with G:

A – Attention-Grabber

Most speakers begin with thanking the organizers for inviting them. Instead, start immediately with something that will grab your audience’s attention. Examples: Tell a story, share a personal incident, ask a provocative question, do something out of the ordinary, scream, anything that will grab the audience’s attention right from the start.

B – Basic Problem

Your audience is now at full attention. This is the time to clearly state what you will be talking about. Don’t keep them guessing or else they’ll become confused or lose interest. For example, “I’ll share with you the three rules of complaining,” or, “We’ll discuss the Five Rights of Our Parents.”

C – Concerned Listener

Tell the audience why they should care about what you’re talking about in the first place. Imagine them saying: “Fine, you’re talking about backbiting. Why should I care?” So you’ll say, “Those who backbite will have such-and-such punishment in the Hereafter,” or, “You may sometimes backbite someone and not even consider that you’re sinning! For example…”

D – Dramatic Details

Throughout your speech, engross your audience in the dramatic details of what you are describing. paint a picture for them with your words. Instead of saying, “The Sahabah marched to Uhud,” say: “Imagine yourself marching to Uhud with the Sahabah. Your throat is parched as you tread under the burning sun, uncertain if you will live to see tomorrow.” Put some drama into your delivery and use hand gestures and body language to act out what you’re saying.

E – Examples

Give practical, real-life examples of the problem you are discussing. Talk in terms of your audience’s daily life. If you’re talking about anger management you can say, “For example, have you ever been driving down the highway and suddenly someone cuts you off? At that point, it probably became very difficult to keep your temper.”

F – Facts on the Other Side

This is where you respond to the “Yeah, but…” that might be in the mind of your listener. Let’s say you’re talking about backbiting. The audience might be thinking, “Yeah, but… what if what you’re saying behind their back is true!” So in this section you’d say, “Some people might think that as long as it’s true, it’s okay to say it. Actually that’s not allowed because…” Think of a few “Yeah, but…” questions that people may have and discuss them in your talk.

G – Goad to Action

End your talk with one action item that you want the audience to act upon. It should be as practical, simple, and precise as possible. Don’t say, “In conclusion, backbiting is an evil that we need to rid the community of.” That’s too vague. Instead end with an action item, “Next time you hear someone backbiting, immediately tell them, ‘Don’t backbite!'” Ending with an action item helps your audience to actually act upon your speech and change their lives, in sha Allah.

If you apply the ABCDEFG Recipe in your next speech, I’m sure you will achieve outstanding results, in sha Allah. May Allah grant you success in this life and the Hereafter.

  1. Fatima Jafor
    March 10 at 12:41 PM

    Great recipe! Even if I put down every bit of information on the paper about the topic I’m going to give a speech on, I always find it really hard to connect the speech and myself with the audience. But I think this “abcdefg recipe”, if followed as directed, will be able to break that boundary between the speaker and the audiences, in sha Allah.

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