How to Write a Speech Summary

Updated on October 15, 2016

If your teacher or instructor asks you to write a summary for your speech, you must take several steps in preparing your speech before you actually write the speech summary. First, you select your topic and write the speech outline. Next, you write your speech, following the guidelines in your speech textbook or teacher's directions. You will probably be giving your speech from notes on an index card, so you should also write your outline for your speech, according to your teacher's directions.

The final step in this process is to write the summary. For this step, you need to know the main points of your speech. A summary includes only the main ideas and major points. The following speech summary is one that I wrote for a definition speech, which is a type of informative speech. The purpose of this particular speech is to define the term self-publication. Since the entire speech can be only four minutes, this speech has an introduction, two major points or main ideas in the body, and a conclusion. The summary of the introduction includes an attention-getter, a couple of sentences that link the attention-getter to the needs of the audience, and the central point, or thesis statement, of the speech. The body contains a summary of the two main points of the speech. The conclusion refers to the attention-getter, briefly summarizes the main points, and provides a closing statement that gives the speech a sense of closure. Of course, the actual speech contains more details---minor details, especially in the body of the speech that enhance and explain the main points.

Summary for Definition Speech


I. Introduction

Salman Rushdie, an Emory University Professor honored as one of Great Britain’s foremost writers since 1945, said, “Those who do not have power over the story that dominates their lives, the power to retell it, rethink it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change, truly are powerless, because they cannot think new thoughts.” Whether we realize it or not, we all have stories to tell, and the telling and retelling of these stories enhances our lives and the lives of others. However, few of us think about publishing our stories, partly because of the difficulty of using a publishing company. Today, however, self-publication, the process of publishing a book, article, or story without using a publishing company is a real possibility and rather inexpensive.

II. Body

One can self-publish through a couple of avenues. First, the author can go through the steps to publication by learning the steps and completing each step without outside help. This method is the least expensive and requires considerable reading of information to follow the steps provided. The Internet has numerous websites that provide excellent information for following these steps.

The second method for self-publishing is to pay a company to perform these services for the author. Most of these companies charge one-time fees, but you should make sure of this fact before entering a contract. Some of the required steps include preparation of the book for publication, whether as an e-book or print copy, design of book cover, acquiring an ISBN number for the book, and distribution of the book. Some of the companies that perform these services include Book Baby, Create Space, and Indie Publishing. Costs range from about $200-$300 per book to approximately $400 or more, depending on the package or services the author wants the company to provide. The advantage offered by most of these companies is that most of these fees are one-time fees with the author retaining the proceeds from the book sales, rather than the publisher.

III. Conclusion

So the next time you think about the stories in your life or those of your family, give some thought to publishing them. You’ll want to consider the options I’ve mentioned, which are to take your story or book through the publishing process step-by-step or to hire a company to do some of the steps for you. Do remember what National Public Radio commentator Lynn Neary recently said about self-publishing. She said, “They used to call it ‘vanity press.’ Self published writers were considered not good enough to get a real publishing contract….self publishing has exploded, and a handful of writers have had huge best sellers.” It’s quite possible that one of you in this room may be the next best-selling author with your story on the New York Times best selling list.


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    • simondixie profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy McLendon Scott 

      3 years ago from Georgia

      The suggestions I offer in this hub have come from my experiences as a classroom communications teacher in community colleges. While the textbook offers suggestions, most students benefit from explicit instruction---step by step guidelines.


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