wikiHow to Write a Demonstrative Speech

Four Parts:Choosing a TopicWriting the SpeechPracticing Giving the SpeechSample Demonstrative Speeches

Demonstrative speeches are intended to teach an audience how to do a specific thing. They can be long and detailed, or short and simple. Even if you’re an expert at your topic, the process of writing your speech can seem difficult. However, once you sit down to write a great speech, you’re likely to get more excited about your topic than ever.

Part 1
Choosing a Topic

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    Pick a specific topic. It’s important to choose a topic that is not too broad or narrow. When choosing a topic, think about how long you will have to present the speech. This should determine how narrow your focus is.[1]
    • For example, to give a speech about how to perform general car maintenance, you might need an hour for your presentation. That’s because it’s a broad topic. If you only have 15 minutes, you should narrow your speech to something like how to change a car’s oil.
    • If you don’t have control over the length of time or the topic, you’ll need to adjust your speech accordingly. If you have too much information for a short amount of time, don’t go into much detail. If you have a long time for a simple topic, you can expand your speech with some history or related facts.
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    Consider who your audience is. When giving a speech, your audience should influence the way you choose your topic. Think about what kinds of things will interest them.[2]
    • For example, if you’re giving a speech to professional bakers, it might not be appropriate to choose the topic, “How to Bake a Cake.” You’d probably want to make your topic more interesting to them with something like, “How to Bake Authentic French Style Pastries.”
    • The age of your audience matters, too. For example, if your audience is young children, you might choose the topic, “How to Take Care of a Plant” instead of, “How to Grow Perennials.”
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    Make sure there’s adequate information available. Do you already know enough to write the speech? If so, that’s great. If not, make sure there is information available to you. If you can’t find reliable sources, you may need to pick another topic.[3]
    • Look up your topic online. Other people may have made instructional videos that you can get tips from.
    • If you know any experts on your topic, ask them for advice.
    • Visit your local library and checkout books on your topic. Books are excellent sources of information, and are considered reliable sources when doing research.
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    Consider if your topic will work for a speech. Not everything makes an ideal topic for a speech. Your topic should be something that you can reasonably explain in the context of a classroom or lecture hall.[4]
    • You should be able to use useful visual aids via a PowerPoint presentation or manageable props and examples. So a topic like, “How to replace your car’s transmission” is probably not a great topic. However, something like, “How to make a spinach salad” would be easy to do.

Part 2
Writing the Speech

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    Create an outline for your speech. An outline is a way to organize the information that you want to convey. The outline should mirror the order of steps that you will use in your speech.[5]
    • The outline should contain three sections: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.
    • The body should be broken up into the various steps of the process.
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    Craft the body of the speech. The body of the speech contains the actual steps of the process. Break the process down into manageable steps that can be explained one at a time. Try to put yourself in the audience’s shoes to imagine what information they might need.[6]
    • When writing a speech, you want to simply write notes. You don’t need to write out the speech word for word. Write enough to make you comfortable with the material, but not so much that you’ll be reading off of your paper.[7]
    • Try to remember what it was like when you learned how to do this thing. What steps required more explanation than others?
    • Consider which steps need to be broken down into smaller steps. For example, it might not be enough to say, “Remove the saw blade.” You might need to break that step up, so that you have smaller steps such as:
      • Unplug the saw.
      • Locate the screw under the blade.
      • Turn the screw enough to loosen the blade.
      • Remove the blade.
    • To keep the audience engaged, think of how you can involve them. Will you include audience participation? Will the demonstration be hands-on? Will you tell jokes or ask the audience questions? These can all be great strategies for keeping people engaged.
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    Write a conclusion. Your conclusion sums up the process and why it’s valuable. It’s also good to include a “call to action” in your conclusion. This means something that inspires the audience to go home and try this themselves.[8]
    • Your call to action could be something like, “By learning to change your own motor oil, you’ll be able to save money and feel the empowerment of taking care of your own car!” or, “French style pastries are a welcome addition to any gathering, as you’ll see when you bring them to your next party.”
    • Avoid introducing new information in the conclusion. That will leave the audience confused and with unanswered questions.
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    Write an introduction. Now that you’ve written most of your speech, you can go back and write the introduction. The introduction should get people excited about your topic and tell them what they can expect to learn.[9]
    • Writing the introduction last is a good idea, because then you’ll have already thought hard about your speech. By now, you know everything you want to say about the speech, so you can determine what is most essential to get people excited about it.
    • To get people excited, use inspiring language such as, “You may have never thought you’d be able to change a flat tire yourself, but actually, it’s remarkably simple!” or, “French pastries are one of the treasures of European cuisine.”
    • Engaging introductions might include a joke, a funny story from your life, or an amazing fact. For example, you might say something like, "How many people in this room does it take to change a lightbulb? I don't know, but I do know that after this speech, it'll only take one to change a tire," or, "My grandmother actually won my grandfather's heart by baking him croissants that were tastier than his own French mother's!"
    • Even though you write the introduction last, it is always the beginning of the speech.
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    Decide what kinds of visual aids are important. Look back over your speech. What kinds of visual aids will you need? Will you need props? Do you plan to simply use a PowerPoint presentation? Add this information to your outline, so that you know when each visual aid will be used during the speech.[10]
    • Take note of anything you’ll want to add to the speech to explain the visual aids. For example, do you want to say something like, “I’m using unbleached white flour, but you can also used bleached flour if you prefer.”

Part 3
Practicing Giving the Speech

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    Practice performing the speech alone. You might think that the process of writing the speech is over once it’s written. However, until you’ve practiced saying the speech out loud, you can’t be sure if it will work.[11]
    • Review your notes as you would before giving the speech in front of people.
    • Try performing the speech in front of a mirror. You should be able to look yourself in the eye much of the time, instead of always having to look at your notes.
    • Go through the complete demonstration, along with your visual aids. If you don’t, you might not realize that parts of the demonstration don’t work as you’ve written them.
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    Make any adjustments that the speech needs. When giving the speech to yourself, did you realize you forgot a step? Did the entire thing roll of your tongue smoothly? If there were problems you noticed, make the changes in your writing.[12]
    • Once you’ve made the changes, practice and try performing the speech for yourself again.
    • Always use the visual aids, even if you’ve already used them once.
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    Give the speech to a few friends. Now that you’ve done the speech for yourself, invite a small group of friends to be your test audience. This is a good way to see if there’s anything you may have missed when you were practicing.[13]
    • You may want to invite some friends who know nothing about the topic and some who are experts in the topic. That way, you can get different perspectives on how useful your speech was.
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    Ask for feedback. It may be scary to ask for feedback, but it’s the only way you’ll be able to make your speech better. Ask questions about the visual aids, as well. Make sure that they worked with your speech in a productive way.[14]
    • Ask specific questions of your test audience. You can ask them if they understood the different steps, or if there was anything they felt you missed.
    • You may want to write down the feedback you get, or ask your friends to write it down so you can look at it later.
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    Adjust your speech based on the feedback. On your own, spend some time making the necessary adjustments to your written speech. Practice these changes in front of a mirror, or in front of a small test audience if you need to.[15]
    • You don’t always need to incorporate others’ feedback. Sometimes it won’t be useful or accurate. However, if you got the same feedback from more than one person, chances are that it would be worthwhile to consider.

Sample Demonstrative Speeches

Sample Demonstrative Speech About Cooking

Sample Demonstrative Speech About Interviewing

Sample Demonstrative Speech About Gardening


  • Writing a speech and giving a speech are related, but are different skills. When it’s time to deliver your speech, practice good public speaking. Be warm, upbeat, and clear.
  • Watch videos of other people giving demonstrative speeches. Notice what you appreciate about the good ones, and what doesn’t work for you.

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Categories: Speechwriting