Speak like a pro: The 8 types of speech you need to master in life

8 types of speech
Knowing the 8 types of speech will help you communicate clearly. Source: AFP

Imagine finding yourself in a situation where your shyness takes over, your throat closes up and you seem to have forgotten how to speak.

The words that usually flow effortlessly seem to have disappeared, leaving you in an awkward, painful silence. All the audience can see is how nervous and sweaty you are. It’s as if your heart is beating out of your chest too.

This is a situation we all hope to never be in. Yet, far too many of us have been there and will likely be there again — unless we master the eight key types of speech.

Why it’s important to master the 8 types of speech

In life and at work, there will be times when we’ll be called to give speeches.

Whether it’s for a big or small event, planned or impromptu, knowing the eight types of speeches can prepare you for these moments.

How persuasive should you be? Should you provide information or do you have to do more? What do you say when your mind just goes blank?

At this point, you’re probably scratching your head over how to answer these questions.

And that’s because you’re unaware of the finer details of the eight types of speech. Once you know them, things will become much clearer to you.

Then, you can truly make the most of these eight types of speech. Life is short, and it’s not every day that a loved one gets married or graduates.

And it’s not always that a friend or family member is down and distraught, in desperate need of a pep talk.

These are the big moments that we’re called upon to step up and speak up.

No matter how bad a communicator we are, we have a duty to master the eight types of speech so that when the time comes, we’re ready to do right by our friends, family and colleagues.

8 types of speech

While anyone can give a speech, having the right intention and a general understanding of the environment and your audience can help ensure its effectiveness. Source: AFP

We benefit loads too. Knowing how to convey our ideas persuasively, share valuable information clearly, or even navigate impromptu situations with ease can take us far — especially in our careers.

In a survey of more than 1,000 corporate recruiters and staffing firms around the world, 59% say communication is the most in-demand skill they need — with 69% saying presentation is gaining the most future importance.

Another survey conducted by Hirect India found that as many as 57% of job positions in 2022 require strong communication and the ability to sell.

Being able to give speeches is just as important if you’re a leader.

One out of four employees (26%) strongly agree that their manager’s feedback helps them do better work and four out of five start looking for a new job when they get negative feedback from a manager.

Anyone can read off a paper, but you won’t be doing your life and your career any justice by settling for just this.

The good news is with the right knowledge and preparation, however, you can give the eight types of speech without a paper.

8 types of speech you should master as a student

8 types of speech

An acceptance speech often follows an award speech and is given by the winner of the award. Source: AFP

1. Speeches of acceptance

Mastering the art of delivering an acceptance speech is an essential skill for everyone. Imagine this: you’ve just received an award or an honour, and all eyes are on you.

What do you say? How do you express your gratitude without stumbling over your words? The acceptance speech is your moment to shine. It’s your chance to acknowledge the recognition you’ve earned and thank those who played a role in your success.

A well-crafted acceptance speech typically has three key elements:

  • Gratitude to the award or honorees
  • Recognition and thanks those who supported and contributed to your journey towards achieving this milestone
  • Explanation on why this recognition is meaningful to you

Whether it represents years of relentless effort, unwavering dedication, or triumph over challenges, your acceptance speech is the perfect platform to convey your gratitude.

Here are examples of short phrases and words you can use:

Expressing gratitude to award or honorees:

  • “I am truly honoured and grateful for this recognition.”
  • “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this incredible award.”

Acknowledging the support you received:

  • “This achievement is not mine alone; it belongs to the amazing team that supported me.”
  • “I couldn’t have done it without the unwavering support of my family and friends.”

Recognising the hard work put in: 

  • “This award represents years of hard work, dedication, and countless moments of perseverance.”
  • “This recognition is a reminder of the challenges we overcame and the growth that resulted.”

2. Informative speech

Informative speech is next on the list of eight types of speech you should know. 

This is a presentation that focuses on educating and enlightening the audience about a specific topic. The goal is to simplify complex concepts, ensuring the audience understands what you are talking about.

Unlike speeches driven by emotions, informative speeches rely on facts and statistics to convey information accurately. This makes them useful, especially when sharing knowledge and fostering a deeper understanding of subjects.

In these scenarios, using straightforward language backed by relevant facts and data is key to conveying information and engaging your audience. 

 Here are examples of words and phrases you can use in an informative speech:

  • “I’d like to share some valuable insights about…”
  • “To begin with, let’s break down the basics of…”
  • “Did you know that…”
  • “By the end of this presentation, you’ll have a better grasp of…”
  • “According to recent studies…”
  • “Building on that idea, let’s consider…”
  • “To sum up, this presentation aimed to…”

3. Persuasive speech

The art of persuasion is the ability to present your viewpoint convincingly and sway others to agree with your perspective. 

Think of it as your opportunity to be a TEDx speaker, sharing your ideas and trying to convince people to align with your thoughts. 

Crafting a persuasive speech starts with clearly stating your viewpoint, supporting your arguments with strong evidence, addressing counterarguments with a well-thought-out rebuttal, and using persuasive language and techniques to sway your audience. 

Imagine having this skill when you are trying to convince your lecturer to grant you an extension on an assignment or reconsider your marks.

Much like a lawyer persuading a jury, you can present concrete evidence to support your case, making your stance more believable and potentially influencing the decision in your favour.

Emotions can also play a role, as appealing to your audience’s feelings can help them better understand your opinions and motivations.

Here are examples of words and phrases you can use in a persuasive speech:

Phrases to start with:

  • “Imagine a world where…”
  • “Picture this scenario:…”

State your point of view:

  • “I strongly believe that…”
  • “In my opinion…”

Provide evidence:

  • “Research consistently shows that…”
  • “Statistics reveal that…”

Addressing counterarguments:

  • “While some may argue that…, it’s crucial to note that…”
  • “A common misconception is that…, but a closer look reveals…”
8 types of speech

Debate speech is one of the 8 types of speech that can be useful in your professional and personal life. Source: AFP

4. Debate speech 

Unlike persuasive speeches that aim to convince someone to join a particular side, debate speeches focus on justifying a stance on a specific matter.

Since you can’t anticipate every argument by other debaters, practising debate speeches trains your mind to respond rapidly and effectively.

This skill set is advantageous academically and in personal and professional situations where the ability to think on your feet and communicate persuasively is crucial. 

Here are examples of words and phrases you can use in a debate speech:

State your stand:

  • “I firmly assert that…”
  • “It is our conviction that…”

Presenting your argument:

  • “To support our claim, consider the following key points…”
  • “First and foremost, it’s essential to recognise that…”

Refuting counterarguments:

  • “While it may be argued that…, it is crucial to note that…”
  • “An opposing viewpoint suggests…, yet a closer examination reveals…”

Use persuasive language:

  • “Join us in championing…”
  • “Together, we can enact positive change by…”

Emphasising impact:

  • “The consequences of neglecting this issue are significant, including…”
8 types of speech

Special occasion speech is one of the 8 types of speech and includes speeches at weddings, graduation and brithday parties. Source: AFP

5. Special occasion speech

Unlike speeches that follow a set format, special occasion speeches are unique and adapt to the specific context of the event, aiming to communicate a message and capture the audience’s attention. 

Even though they are often short and upbeat, they remain interesting and direct, creating a memorable atmosphere. 

Knowing how to deliver this type of speech is useful for students in a number of situations.

For example, you may be called upon to give a speech to share your experiences and emotions with your graduating class during graduation.

Birthdays are another opportunity for a special occasion speech to express appreciation for the person celebrating and highlight special memories.

Whether introducing a speaker, accepting an award, or contributing to a joyous celebration, mastering the art of special occasion speeches allows you to communicate effectively in many social settings.

8 types of speech

An entertaining speech is a speech designed to captivate an audience’s attention and amuse them while delivering a message. Source: AFP

6. Entertaining speech 

Want to bring some laughter and joy into your public speaking? Adding humour and entertainment is the way to go.

It’s all about making your audience laugh and have a good time while still delivering a message.

Often less formal, these are perfect for events like weddings, awards ceremonies, or even school competitions.

Whether you’re at a friend’s birthday party or a school talent show, entertaining speeches allow you to communicate emotions and bring joy through funny stories or amusing anecdotes. 

Examples of entertaining speeches can be found in various settings, from a best man’s speech at a wedding to acceptance speeches at prestigious award ceremonies like the Oscars. 

7. Impromptu speech

Having this skill means you will be able to speak confidently on the spot without prior planning. Imagine situations where you might need to step up unexpectedly, such as when your classmate suddenly falls sick and you have to take over the presenting.

The usefulness of impromptu speeches extends beyond the academic setting. They are applicable in your career as well.

For example, your boss might ask you to share a brief update or opinion on a project during a team meeting.

During a dinner party, you may also be asked to give an impromptu toast. A good one can leave a positive and lasting impression on those around you.

8 types of speech

Knowing the right speech to handle a breakup can save you from awkward situations. Source: ETX

8. Breakup speech

While not an essential skill to have, knowing how to ace a breakup speech can save you from an awkward situation and provide you with closure.

It involves communicating the end of a romantic relationship with sensitivity and clarity. 

Breakup speeches are never easy, but knowing how to express your thoughts respectfully can help both parties navigate the situation more smoothly. 

Whether you’re ending a relationship or helping a friend through it, the ability to communicate emotions and reasons effectively is essential.

For example, if you need to end a relationship due to personal growth or changing priorities, articulating these reasons in a breakup speech can help you and your partner move forward.

Similarly, if you’re supporting a friend through a breakup, offering guidance on expressing their feelings respectfully can make the process less painful for everyone involved. 

Here are examples of words and phrases you can use in a breakup speech:

  • “I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on our relationship, and it’s important for me to share my feelings.”
  • “I want you to know that this decision is not easy for me, and I’ve thought about it deeply.”
  • “I’ve now realised that we have different priorities and goals.”
  • “It’s essential to me that we part ways amicably and with respect for each other’s feelings.”
  • “I appreciate the time we’ve spent together and the memories we’ve created.”
  • “I wish you all the best in your future endeavours and hope you find the happiness you deserve.”