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What is oratory and why most of the greatest speeches ever are oratorical in nature.

Oratory can be summarized as the art of informing and persuading people through the use of public speaking skills. It generally means speaking in front of an audience and using high level language skills to inform, educate and persuade the audience.

Martin Luther King Jr ‘s “I have a dream” speech is a perfect example. That speech marked a historical turning point for blacks in America and around the globe. You will agree with me that although his speech, his words, were powerful, it was his charisma and passion that elevated the speech to what it became. 

In this article, I will be doing my best to show you how to give an oratorical speech  that resonates with your audience and lives long into the future.


An oratorical speech is one that aims to inform or persuade an audience, in support of a particular viewpoint. The topic of an oratorical speech can be anything, so long as you are passionate about it. The art of oratory has been around for a long time and has its roots in ancient Greece. 

This is one of our posts on the types of speech series, should you be interested in learning about other types of speeches, please click on of the links below when you are done reading this article.

Types of Speech Series

Part I. 8 Persuasive Speech Techniques & Topics

Part II . 9 Tips for Writing and Amazing Informative Speech and 120+ Topic Ideas

Part III. 5 Quick Tips on how to Give an Effective Motivational Speech

Part IV. 15 Demonstration Speech Ideas and Techniques

Part V. How to Give an Effective Special Occasion Speech?

Part VI. 6 Key Tips for a Memorable Entertaining Speech + Topics and Ideas

Part VII. Explanatory Speech: 7 Key Tips to Help You Deliver an Effective Speech

Part VIII. 5-Step Strategy for an Effective Debate and Speech Delivery

Part IX. 7 Oratory Secrets: How to Deliver Effective Oratorical Speeches

Part X. Public Speaking Contests: 7 Ways to Nail at Forensic Speech Competitions

Part XI. 80+ Impromptu Speech Topics & 7 Ways to Nail One

Part XII. 13 Ways to Effectively Deliver Pitching Presentations

Part XIII. Farewell Speech – An 8-step guide to help you deliver a Memorable one

Part XIV. Eulogy Guide: How to Give a Heartfelt Funeral Speech (with 4 Eulogy examples)

oratorical speech


Oratory tip 1: pick the right topic.

This in no small way determines whether your speech will be a success or not. The topic you choose must be something you are passionate about and has had an impact on your personal life. Picking a topic to which you have no personal connection won’t achieve the desired results. Although you will be able to research on any topic and come up with a good speech, a personal connection is the secret spice that will make all the difference. 

In choosing a topic, something that appeals to a broad audience and is relevant in a cultural sense is the way to go. Avoid clichés or topics that have been over flogged. You will also have to decide whether to take an informative or persuasive approach. 


Irrespective of how well you know your topic, you will still need to do a lot of research in order to dig up facts and figures that support your argument. Most importantly, your sources must be reputable and of high quality. Don’t use only one source, the more the better. This will make your claims appear more grounded to your audience. Give your audience a mix of numbers and stories, numbers to appeal to their sense of logic and stories to appeal to their emotions.

Also, research on the opposing arguments, so you are better prepared to counter any opposing arguments should they arise.


Your introduction needs to speak volumes. A word, phrase or story that embodies your message and will grab the attention of your audience, is your best bet. Tell your audience why your topic is important and what you hope to achieve with your speech, to inform or persuade. Give the audience an overview of your speech and what they stand to gain by listening to you. A real-life case study will be great, it will help your audience see the forces at play and also help them understand your perspective.

During the preparation phase, tackling the introduction after writing the body of your speech is advised. After writing the body of your speech, you will be better prepared to make an introduction that sets the right tone. 


This is where your research will come in handy. Numbers and facts give your audience something tangible to hold on to. Stating facts and figures that support your argument will indeed give you the credibility you need. 

Having a core message is good, but backing up your core message with supporting arguments is much better.  In delivering your oratorical speech, you should be armed with at least 3 supporting arguments that inject more credibility into your core message. Use examples and real-life scenarios to buttress your point. If you can relate your message to the immediate environment (location) and situation of your audience, Bravo! 


If your topic focuses on a popular subject, chances are that there are going to be individuals who see things very differently from the way you see them. As the speaker, you should be fully aware of opposing arguments to your claims. You should, in fact, bring them up during your speech and then proceed to give sound counter-arguments to refute the claims of the opposing arguments. Your counter-arguments should rely on facts and irrefutable evidence. This way, your audience has no choice but to agree with you. The ability to present both sides of the argument will work in your favour. Your audience will indeed know that you have indeed done your homework.


The world’s greatest orators have a few things in common, some of which are confidence and charisma. From Abraham Lincoln down to the ancient Greek scholars, they all exuded confidence. However, the good news is that everyone can learn the skills required to become a great orator. You just have to practice and over time, you will become better. How an oratorical speech is delivered in no small way contributes to how well it is received by the audience. Confidence is everything. Here are some tips to help you deliver a speech you will be proud of.

  • Rehearse your speech out loud, first in public and later in front of a test audience.
  • Make eye contact with members of the audience.
  • Memorize your key points.
  • Use your voice to great effect. Don’t use a monotonous voice throughout. 
  • Connect with your audience, by way of personal stories and body language.


End with a banger, so as to leave a lasting impression on your audience. Remind them of what your speech was all about, your key points and tell them what they should take away. Give them an action to follow through on. This way, your oratorical speech will leave a lasting impact on your audience. 

For example, if your speech is on racial discrimination, at the end of your speech, urge your audience to be better, to do better, warn them of the consequences of a lackadaisical attitude towards racial matters. Encourage them to be a part of the solution and not just passive observers. 

Here are some topic ideas for when you are called upon to give an oratorical speech.

  • Global warming is not a theory, it is real.
  • Everyone should be invited.
  • It’s about time men and women are compensated equally.
  • The dangers of artificial intelligence.
  • Social media is only a tool, not a problem.
  • There is no democracy without voter participation. 
  • Accountability is everything.
  • What type of what are we going to leave for future generations? 
  • Academics aren’t everything, but education is.
  • Never look away, Act!


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How to Write an Original Oratory

Last Updated: June 3, 2023

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. This article has been viewed 119,522 times.

An original oratory is an informative or persuasive speech that can deal with almost any topic you choose. This flexibility can seem overwhelming at first, but try to see an oratory as the opportunity to dig deep into a topic that means a lot to you. With the guidelines in mind (e.g., scope, length, etc.), choose a topic that you're passionate about, research it, and find authoritative sources to support your claims. Organize your speech into an introduction, body, and conclusion. Write your speech, revise it, and have others give you feedback. Memorize your oratory and rehearse your timing before making your speech. When you deliver your speech, use eye contact, natural facial expressions, and gestures to engage your audience.

Choosing and Researching Your Topic

Step 1 Familiarize yourself with your guidelines.

  • Keep the parameters and guidelines in mind while choosing a topic, outlining, and writing the oratory.
  • If you have any questions, ask your teacher or debate coach for clarity.

Step 2 Choose a topic...

  • Your topic should be culturally relevant and appeal to broad audiences, but shouldn't be cliche or overdone.
  • If you're passionate about do it yourself (DIY) knowledge, for example, you could write an oratory about the value of widely available DIY education.

Step 3 Decide whether your speech will be informative or persuasive.

  • For instance, you might decide that you want to persuade your audience that DIY education has personal, societal, and economical benefits.
  • Or, perhaps you want to inform your audience about the destruction of the wetlands and extinction of plant and animal species in wetlands across the globe.

Step 4 Research your topic.

  • You can begin with broad search terms (like “destruction of wetlands”) and narrow them down (such as “beaver population declined from 1980-2018”) as you hone your focus.
  • Choose sources such as reputable periodicals, encyclopedias, authoritative books, and scientific journals. [4] X Research source

Composing Your Original Oratory

Step 1 Develop a thesis.

  • Your thesis should convey to your audience the speech's purpose and stance. Be clear and direct instead of including words like "This speech is about" before your thesis.
  • If your topic is DIY education, your thesis could be, “Making do it yourself knowledge widely available is essential to contemporary society.”

Step 2 Support your thesis with at least 3 main points.

  • For your speech about DIY education, your main points could deal with the personal, practical, and economic benefits of DIY education. You'd use one section in your body to expand on each benefit.

Step 3 Write the body of your speech.

  • When you organize the body of your speech, don't spend too much or too little time on 1 or 2 points. Try to balance your time equally between your points, and make sure you're familiar with your time limit or permitted word count.
  • For example, you could spend 1-2 paragraphs discussing the personal pride that comes with completing a DIY project on your own. You could then spend a couple of paragraphs discussing practical benefits, like being able to handle a medical emergency. Finally, you can talk about the money and resources one saves by completing a DIY project on their own.

Step 4 Choose your citations wisely.

  • When you choose your citations, don't twist or misrepresent a source to fit your agenda. [8] X Research source

Step 5 Cite your sources in your speech.

  • For example, cite a source by saying, "According to a 2012 study by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, community education outside of the classroom provides medical students with more robust knowledge and better patient interaction skills." This quote does not contain unnecessary details that would disrupt the flow of the speech, but it does clearly display the source.

Step 6 Consider including a rebuttal to an opposing point of view.

  • You could include, for instance, a source that calls DIY a form of dilettantism or dabbling. Then you could refute this argument as dismissive and short-sighted by citing examples of individuals who have cultivated in-depth DIY knowledge on a variety of subjects.

Step 7 Write your introduction and conclusion.

  • Once you've organized the body of your speech, you'll have a better idea of how to structure the introduction and conclusion. In general, follow this structure: tell your audience what you're going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them.
  • Avoid clichés, such as, “According to Webster's dictionary, this is defined as…”

Step 8 Have others read your speech.

  • It's also a good idea to practice giving your speech in front of a small audience so you can get feedback on your delivery.

Delivering Your Speech

Step 1 Memorize your speech.

  • To memorize your speech, break it up into smaller sections. Work on memorizing a few sentences at a time, then a paragraph, then nail an entire section.
  • Try rewriting 2 or 3 sentences and saying them out loud as you write. Writing, speaking, and reading at the same time will help your brain create more connections, helping you memorize your content.

Step 2 Time your delivery.

  • Give yourself plenty of time to deliver your speech clearly so you don't have to speak so quickly that your audience can't understand you.

Step 3 Make eye contact to connect with your audience.

  • If you're nervous about making eye contact, look slightly above your audience to create the illusion that you're maintaining eye contact.

Step 4 Use gestures effectively.

Community Q&A

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  • ↑ http://www.forensicscommunity.com/originaloratory/excelling-original-oratory-advanced-guide
  • ↑ https://www.speechanddebate.org/competition-events/
  • ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/658/01/
  • ↑ chrome-extension://bpmcpldpdmajfigpchkicefoigmkfalc/views/app.html

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My Speech Class

Public Speaking Tips & Speech Topics

10 Oratory Speech Topics + Template

Photo of author

Jim Peterson has over 20 years experience on speech writing. He wrote over 300 free speech topic ideas and how-to guides for any kind of public speaking and speech writing assignments at My Speech Class.

oratory speech topics

I think these ideas are also suitable for the regional and local American National Forensic League (NFL) and National Catholic Forensic League (NCFL) competitions.

What happen to be a good O.O. in the ears, eyes and minds of judges? There are some general guidelines you must follow. Let’s discuss them first, before we move on to the examples of speech topics below:

a. In short, original oratory speech topics are mostly factual, policy based and conviction reinforcing.

b. The public speaker motivates and inspires the audience to take a standВ on current problems in the world .

c. At most competitions original ideas are delivered withoutВ note or index cards, and without using visual aids or whatsoever. So, master the material you are talking about 🙂

d. Often there is a maximum limit of 150 quoted words. Do not forget to mention the source of the quotation properly!

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e. It must be between 7 and 10 minutes in length. That is, in general, the span of the concentration of the listeners.

Remember, every organization has its own rules and requirements. Study them and in doubt, ask the judges or governing body to make a judgement on your format ideas on beforehand.

Here are some interesting persuasive oratory speech topics to consider:

  • A Cellular Phone Causes Highly Electromagnetic Radiation Risks.
  • Violent Video Games Do Promote Violence.
  • Mercy Killing Should Be Made Illegal.
  • There Is No Need For Any Special Children’s Rights.
  • Obesity Is Only Between The Ears.
  • A Multi Party System Will Not Benefit Our Democracy.
  • Jail Drug Impaired Physicians.
  • Dumping Your Granny in a Nursing Home Benefits Her.
  • The Police Is Using Deadly Force More Often.
  • Safety Precautions Must Also Regard Speech Privacy Issues.

No need to say that these thesis claims and statements are absolutely not representing my personal opinions and views in any way. Certainly not number 8 on old grannies… 🙂

Oratory Template

I have developed a simple but effective format template for your convenience to sort out oratory speech topics easily. Try to add at least two factual and powerful supporting points per major point.

It will enhance your credibility, authority and reliance on the subject. Sharing your relevant personal experiences will do too:

Read all instructions and try to find examples of previous winning oratory speech topics that are adjustable too. And my last golden tips for O.O. speakers: always check out the precise requirements of your Toastmaster International public speaking instructor or the organization who hosts the competition or tournament event.

147 Unique Speech Topics [Persuasive, Informative]

212 Speech Topics For College Students [Persuasive, Informative, Impromptu]

2 thoughts on “10 Oratory Speech Topics + Template”

Speech topic: awkward handshakes

I believe that preventing driving under the influence should be in the top ten because in recent years, we have a lot of young people drunk while driving. That can cause major problems, like crashing multiple cars crashing into each other, and eventually jail. My cousin was 23 years old and he was going to a party. When he walked out of our front door, I never saw his face in person again. While he was at this party, he got severely drunk and decided to drive, but other people weren’t drunk and they could’ve stopped him, but they decided not to. If they actually cared for him, he wouldn’t have died 20 minutes later while his car to roll over 8 times causing the roof of the car to be gone and he flew out of the car. My best friend died to fatal injuries. It’s sad to see one of your closest family members pass away on a decision that could have been different. We need to put an end to driving under the influence for once and for all.

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