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How to Write a Speech GCSE – Score 9 in English GCSE Exam

Tornike Asatiani - Co-founder & COO of Edumentors

Ever pondered ‘How do I start my GCSE English speech?’ or ‘What should I write my GCSE speech on?’ Crafting a compelling speech can be daunting, especially when it’s for your GCSE English exam. This guide will help you navigate the nuances of the GCSE English speaking and listening topic ideas and master the art of speech writing.

What is the GCSE Speech Exam?

The Speech GCSE includes an assessment of students’ spoken language abilities. This assessment is an integral part of the English GCSE exam, where you are required to demonstrate your speaking and listening skills. Most students typically choose from a range of GCSE spoken language topic ideas and present a speech, followed by a discussion with the examiner. This assessment not only evaluates your knowledge of the topic but also the ability to structure your thoughts, use persuasive techniques, and engage the audience.

DALL·E 202Illustration of a microphone stand on a wooden podium with scattered papers containing speech notes, and a backdrop of an audience silhouette. A banne

What’s the Good Starting Point for GCSE Speech?

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to structuring your speech, understanding the basic speech layout can provide a solid starting point. Typically, you’ll want to start with an engaging introduction, followed by 2-3 key points that support your topic, and a compelling conclusion to wrap things up.

Speech Structure - Language Techniques GCSE

How to Choose the Right Topic For GCSE Speech? 

Before you even begin writing a speech, it’s crucial to have a well-defined topic. Your topic sets the tone for your entire speech, so it has to be something you are passionate about and can speak on with authority. Moreover, a well-chosen topic significantly impacts what makes a good speech.

While your GCSE English speaking topic should ideally be interesting to your audience, it should also resonate with your own interests and strengths. This is the time to brainstorm English GCSE speaking ideas. The right topic can not only engage your audience but also allow you to showcase your oratory skills effectively.

Knowing Your Audience

If there’s one factor that can make or break your speech, it’s the audience. Knowing who you’re speaking to allows you to tailor your language, tone, and content to resonate with them effectively. Ask yourself the following questions:

🧐 What does my audience care about?

🧐 What are their expectations?

The better you understand these aspects, the easier it will be to connect and make a meaningful impact, thus further defining what makes a good speech.

Ideas for Speaking and Listening GCSE English

Choosing a topic that resonates with your audience is key. Given the requirements for GCSE speaking exam topics, you may want to consider issues like climate change, social media’s impact on mental health, or the importance of voting. These subjects are not only engaging but also provide ample scope for discussion and argument.

Here are some English Speaking Exam Topic Ideas to Consider:

  1. Climate Change and Its Global Impact
  2. Social Media and Mental Health
  3. The Importance of Voting
  4. Artificial Intelligence and Ethics
  5. The Future of Work in a Post-Pandemic World
  6. The Role of Education in Shaping Character
  7. Sustainable Living and Consumer Choices

To sum up, here are some tips to consider:

Choose a topic that excites you; your enthusiasm will be contagious.

Make sure the topic is relevant to your audience.

Opt for subjects that are neither too broad nor too narrow.

Photo of a study table with books, highlighters, and a laptop open to a page titled 'Language Techniques GCSE'. There's a cup of coffee and some

The Structure of a Good GCSE Speech

A successful speech is more than just a string of words; it’s a well-thought-out sequence designed to captivate your audience. Here, we’ll delve into the speech structure and discuss how to structure a speech for maximum impact. A typical speech will consist of an introduction, body, and conclusion.

Introduction: Capture attention and state your main point.

Body: Build your argument or narrative with supporting evidence.

Conclusion: Summarise the key points and finish with a strong statement or call to action.

How do I start my GCSE English speech?

You have but a few precious moments to seize your audience’s attention. The way you start a speech can dictate whether your audience tunes in or zones out. The opening sets the tone and context for everything that follows, making it an integral part of how to open a speech effectively.

Dos and Don’ts of Starting Your GCSE Speech

✅ Dos

  • Open with a Provocative Question: Pose a question that challenges common beliefs or perceptions. For instance, “What if I told you that everything you knew about climate change was wrong?”
  • Share a Personal Story: Relate an anecdote or personal experience that ties into your main topic. “Three years ago, I stood at the edge of a shrinking glacier, and that moment changed my perspective forever.”
  • Use a Relevant Quote: Start with a powerful quote from a renowned figure that encapsulates the essence of your speech. “As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, ‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.'”
  • Present a Shocking Statistic: Share a surprising fact or figure that grabs attention immediately. “Did you know that every minute, the equivalent of one garbage truck of plastic is dumped into our oceans?”
  • Paint a Vivid Picture: Use descriptive language to create a vivid scene or imagery in the minds of your audience. “Imagine a world where forests no longer exist, where silence replaces the chirping of birds.”

❌ Don’ts

  • With an Apology: Avoid starting with phrases like “Sorry for…” or “I’m not an expert, but…”. It undermines your credibility from the get-go.
  • Using Clichés: Starting with overused phrases like “Webster’s dictionary defines…” can come off as uninspired.
  • Being Too Broad or Vague: Avoid generic openings like “Today, I want to talk about life.” It doesn’t give the audience a clear sense of direction.
  • Overloading with Information: Avoid bombarding your audience with too many stats or facts right at the start. It can be overwhelming.
  • Being Negative or Confrontational: Starting with a confrontational tone, such as “Most of you probably won’t agree with me…” can put the audience on the defensive.
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Types of Speech Starters

So, what makes an opening memorable? There are numerous speech starters that can serve as a strong foundation for your talk. Here are a few tried and true methods:

Start with a provocative question to engage your audience’s curiosity.

Use a relevant quote that encapsulates your message.

Kick off with a shocking fact or statistic that supports your argument.

for instance

  • Start with a Provocative Question: Engage your audience’s curiosity right from the outset. For instance, “What if I told you that by 2050, there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish?”
  • Use a Relevant Quote: Begin with a powerful quotation that encapsulates the essence of your message. Consider using, “Nelson Mandela once said, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.'”
  • Kick off with a Shocking Fact or Statistic: Share a surprising piece of information that supports your argument and grabs immediate attention. For example, “Recent studies reveal that an alarming 70% of young adults experience social media-induced anxiety.
 Speech in Front of the Class - language techniques gcse

Tailoring the Opening to GCSE Criteria

For students particularly interested in GCSE speaking exam topics, it’s crucial to note that examiners look for a range of specific elements in your opening. These can include clarity of expression, engagement with the audience, and a clear outline of what the speech will cover.

How to Structure My GCSE Speech?

A well-structured speech isn’t just a nicety—it’s a necessity. Especially when it comes to GCSE English, having a well-organised flow of ideas is pivotal to engaging your audience and making your points hit home. The way you structure your speech impacts not just its effectiveness but also how smoothly you can deliver it. When we talk about structure in the English language, we’re referring to the arrangement of your introduction, body, and conclusion, as well as the logical progression of your arguments.

Common Structural Techniques in GCSE English

There are several structural techniques in GCSE English that can amplify your speech’s effectiveness. For example:

  • Repetition:Reinforcing key points by repeating them helps to keep your audience engaged.
  • Tripling: Enumerating three related points or arguments can make your speech more memorable.
  • Rhetorical questions: These engage the audience and provoke thought, without requiring an answer.
  • These are some of the tried-and-true structural techniques GCSE students can employ to enhance their presentations.

How Structure and Language Interact?

The marriage between language and structure is a match made in rhetorical heaven. Your language choices should serve your structural design and vice versa. For example, if you’re using tripling, you’ll need to select words or phrases that have a similar tone or rhythm to create a sense of unity. By having your English language structure techniques complement your chosen words, you’re setting the stage for a cohesive and engaging presentation.

Implementing Structural Techniques for GCSE Criteria

How do these techniques match up with GCSE criteria? To excel in GCSE English, you’ll need to demonstrate an adept use of a range of structural devices. Whether it’s crafting a compelling introduction or providing a powerful conclusion, these structural elements are integral in showcasing your understanding of the English language structure techniques required for this level of examination.

Why Language Matters in GCSE English?

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it.” Well, when it comes to your GCSE English speech, both matter immensely. Your choice of words and how you string them together can captivate your audience and leave a lasting impression. Employing the right GCSE English language techniques is paramount in this regard.

The Essentials of Rhetorical Devices

Rhetorical devices are the tools of the trade when it comes to effective speech writing. These include metaphors, similes, and alliteration, among others. Familiarising yourself with these techniques in the English language will enable you to elevate the quality of your speech. By doing so, you’re more likely to meet and perhaps even exceed GCSE language techniques expectations.

Crafting Sentences for Maximum Impact

The structure of your sentences can significantly influence the power of your speech. Consider varying sentence length to maintain interest, employing short, impactful sentences for key points and longer, more complex ones for detailed explanations. These are among the essential English language techniques for GCSE that you’ll want to master.

Practical Examples of Effective Structure

To solidify your understanding, consider these real-world examples:

Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech is an excellent study in effective repetition and emotive language.

Winston Churchill’s ‘We Shall Fight on the Beaches’ uses tripling to emphasise Britain’s determination during WWII.

Both examples can be adapted to meet GCSE standards, offering invaluable lessons in how to effectively employ structural techniques.

Photo of an auditorium filled with students - language techniques gcse

How to End My GCSE Speech?

Every great GCSE speech deserves a powerful finish. Your conclusion is the final impression you’ll leave on your audience and the examiner, so it’s vital to get it right. Whether you’re discussing GCSE spoken language topic ideas or any other English GCSE speaking exam topics, your conclusion should encapsulate your main points and leave a lasting impression. Here’s how:

Reiterate Key Points

Quickly recap the main arguments or insights from your speech’s body. This helps solidify your message and reminds the audience of your core GCSE English speaking and listening topic ideas.

End with a Bang

A thought-provoking statement, a call-to-action, or a powerful quote can provide that final punch. Wondering how to end a speech in a way that lingers? Think of a statement that encapsulates your entire speech’s essence.

Here are examples:

  • Thought-Provoking Statement: “In a world driven by screens, it’s our humanity that keeps us connected.”
  • Call-to-Action: “Let’s pledge to unplug for an hour each day and reconnect with the world around us.”
  • Powerful Quote: “As Albert Einstein once said, ‘I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”

Relate to the Bigger Picture

Connect your GCSE speech ideas to broader themes or global issues. If you discussed technology’s impact on mental health, perhaps conclude with its overarching role in modern society.

Engage and Involve

Pose a final question or challenge to your audience. It could be related to English spoken language topics or any other theme you’ve explored. By involving your audience, you ensure they remain engaged even after you’ve finished speaking.

Use Language Techniques

Integrate GCSE language techniques and English language techniques GCSE standards advocate for. A sprinkle of speech techniques, perhaps a rhetorical question or a vivid imagery, can elevate your conclusion.

Understanding language techniques is more than memorising definitions, it’s about seeing the powerful role they play in shaping narratives and evoking responses. From the dramatic irony of Shakespeare to the poignant metaphors in modern poetry, these tools are the backbone of effective communication in literature.

Explore Our Comprehensive Guide

In this introductory overview, we cover a range of language techniques that every student should be familiar with:

  • Metaphor – Dive deeper into the art of implicit comparison and discover how language techniques colour narratives.
  • Alliteration and Assonance – Feel the rhythm and flow these sound devices inject into poetry and prose, showcasing effective language techniques.
  • Personification – Bring inanimate objects to life with our insights into personification, a classic example of engaging language techniques.

For those interested in a detailed breakdown of each technique, including examples from classical and contemporary works, check out our full guide on gcse language techniques. Here, you’ll find expert analysis, detailed examples, and thoughtful commentary that will prepare you for your exams and beyond.


Whether it’s a plea for change, a challenge, or a simple request for reflection, ending with a clear call-to-action gives your audience a direction post your speech.

Tip: Remember, while it’s essential to know how to write a good speech, it’s equally crucial to know how to wrap it up effectively. Your conclusion should resonate with the speech structure and content, ensuring a cohesive and memorable presentation.

In essence, your conclusion is not just a summary; it’s your final chance to make an impact, to inspire, and to be remembered. Craft it with care, and your GCSE English speech will undoubtedly stand out.

GCSE English Past Papers

Navigating the road to GCSE English excellence requires not just hard work but also smart strategies. One of the most effective methods for ensuring you’re well-prepared for exam day is the use of past papers. This blog post delves into why past papers are an indispensable resource for both students and teachers.

Past papers offer a wealth of benefits, from familiarizing you with the exam format and question styles to improving your time management skills during the test. Gain insight into the types of questions that frequently appear, understand the marking scheme better..

Whether tackling AQA, Edexcel, OCR, or Eduqas exam boards, we’ve compiled every available past paper to give you a comprehensive practice tool. Practising with these papers not only boosts confidence but also sharpens English language skills, setting on a path to achieving top marks.

Ready to Ace Your GCSE Speech?

The GCSE is a pivotal milestone in one’s academic journey. Excelling in your GCSE English speech can significantly boost your overall grade, making it essential to get it right. While this guide provides a comprehensive overview, personal guidance can make all the difference.

Preparing for your GCSE revision can be daunting, but you don’t have to face it alone. At Edumentors, the expert tutors have not only aced their GCSEs but also possess the insights to guide you towards success. Once anxious about her speech, she achieved top marks and is now furthering her studies at University of St. Andrews. Why not explore her journey? Schedule a complimentary introductory session with her today and discover the perfect mentorship match for your GCSE journey.

The standout feature of Edumentors? Their tutors hail from the UK’s top universities, bringing a wealth of knowledge, experience, and best practices to the table. They understand the nuances of the GCSE, the expectations of examiners, and the techniques that can set your speech apart.

So, why navigate this journey alone when you can have an expert by your side? Whether it’s mastering the art of speech writing or preparing for other aspects of the GCSE exams, Edumentors is your gateway to excellence.

Take the leap. Reach out to Edumentors and ensure your GCSE speech isn’t just good, but exceptional.

Make a GCSE Speech Finally, the moment has come for making a speech. This is where all your hard work pays off. Keep in mind all the elements we’ve discussed—from structure to language techniques. Try to maintain eye contact with your audience, employ strategic pauses for effect, and remember to breathe. A well-prepared speech, delivered with confidence, can make all the difference in your grades and in how you are perceived.


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