Are you terrified at the thought of writing and delivering a speech in religious studies? Religious studies is an interdisciplinary field that has a goal to understand religion from a perspective that can be shared by all people. The discipline focuses on the study of specific traditions and the nature of religion as a human phenomenon. This thought-provoking subject includes many themes that can provoke engaging discussions so students are often assigned to deliver informative and persuasive speeches on different topics.
You are expected to critically debate over the hot topics concerning belief systems of different religions. And it goes without saying you need to discuss these issues with respect to views of other people. That’s why writing and delivering a powerful speech in religious studies may sound challenging to lots of students. If you face difficulties with writing effective speeches in religious studies, read our guide where we discuss all the essential aspects of the writing process. If you need advice to cope with other types of academic papers, check other articles on our website. The good news is that here you can find full writing guides to all writing assignments out there.
Writing an academic speech in religious studies is in many ways similar to writing other types of academic assignments. Academic speeches are linear and explicit; they have one central point and are presented in a standard language. But academic spoken style is less objective and less complex than written academic language. Wondering what it means?
Unlike other forms of writing, academic speeches in religious studies are meant to be read aloud in front of the audience and motivate and inspire people. Any speech is delivered in a limited timeframe so you need to make sure that it is long enough to convey your message and short enough to keep your audience interested and engaged.
Now that you know the specifics of academic speeches, let’s discuss the essential steps of the writing process.
How to Choose a Topic for a Speech in Religious Studies?
The best approach is to pick a topic that you are passionate about and that is meaningful and important for your audience. When considering a good topic for your speech, you can choose from a variety of subjects. For example, you can speak about the traditions of one of the major world’s religions and their sociological, anthropological, theological, and historical implications. You can speak about impact of religions on people’s lives or devote your speech to analysis of some sacred religious text. The choice of topics is practically endless and here is a short list of engaging topic ideas to help you get started.
When you have chosen a topic for your speech, you need to do a thorough research. Use key words and search for authoritative scholarly sources on your topic. It’s crucial to read a lot of different primary and secondary sources to come up with a working thesis that you will support in your speech. For example, if you want to make a speech about the importance of studying religion, your thesis statement may be like this one:
Studying religion helps students become well-informed people, prepare them for living in a pluralistic society; it helps understand global cultures and enhances studies in a variety of other disciplines.
It’s important to start the research process as early as possible to ensure that you gather enough material and learn everything you can about your topic. Then you should use brainstorming, free writing, and mind mapping techniques to determine interesting ideas and create a speech outline that can save you tons of time and will help you stay focused on the main argument.
When working on an introduction to your speech, you should keep in mind that it ultimately sets the tone for the rest of your speech so it’s very important to make it engaging. Your task is to immediately capture your listeners’ attention and convince them that your speech is really worth listening to. Use a hook to grab your audience’s attention – humor, quotation, anecdote, statistics, a rhetorical question, referencing current or historical events.
The next step is to establish the purpose of making a speech to your listeners so that they know why they should spend their precious time listening to you. Present your specific thesis statement. Then you should outline the key points to help your audience understand what they should expect from you in the main part of your speech. Use the preview of the main points of your speech in religious studies to establish the structure. Your review can be done in a topical or chronological way. Don’t make the introduction too long and provide a transition to the main body.
In this part, you need to present details about the major main points. Don’t try to address more than 3 points to support the purpose of delivering your speech. Remember that your audience won’t read your speech – they will listen to your so it’s important to ensure that they will be able to follow your logic and see the connection between the main points and sub-points. If you try to share a lot of new information, your audience may feel overwhelmed. Organize the presentation of information in every paragraph in the following way.
It’s critical to use a convincing evidence to support your main points. If you are delivering an informative speech in religious studies, you’ll have to include a lot of statistics and other data to illustrate your points. If your speech is persuasive, and your goal is to convince your listeners to accept your point of view, you will use a combination of relevant research data and anecdotes to argue your points. You may also use some visuals to illustrate your points.
Make sure to stick to your outline when arguing your main points and don’t forget to use transitions to connect the main points and help your listeners follow your reasoning. You can use different types of transitions:
If your points use similar concepts or themes, organize the points in way that will allow you to take advantage of the similarities. If your purpose is to present the opposing points, you can use opposition. If you have to use several pieces of supporting evidence, you may need to include transitions between examples to show your audience that you provide an explanation to your point and would like to support your ideas with a set of new data, anecdote or one more example. Except transitions, you may use triggering keywords. To show links between your thoughts, you may use ordinal numerals like ‘first’, ‘second’, and ‘third’.
Often, a conclusion is the only part of a speech that an audience remembers. So, you should do your best to conclude effectively and leave your audience with a lasting impression. The purpose of a speech conclusion is to summarize the main points and make a memorable impression on your audience. But you shouldn’t repeat your key points word for word – instead, you should paraphrase the major arguments and themes. Don’t introduce any new information here to support your argument. If you try to do so, you will only confuse your listeners.
It’s essential to end your speech conclusion on a high note. Wondering how you can do that? You may use an anecdote, a quotation or a strong call to action to leave your audience with a memorable impression.
Don’t try to write the perfect speech at once – it’s impossible. Write your first draft without interruptions and then reread it to evaluate it content and style. Give yourself time and be ready to write as many drafts as needed to ensure you have a refined, clear, and compelling speech.
When you start thinking that your draft is OK, you should find someone to revise it for you and identify key areas for improvement to make your speech the best it can be. You may ask your classmate review your speech and look for flaws in the clarity or organization of your thoughts as well as problems with vocabulary and grammar. Listen to your classmate’s feedback and fix everything. Finally, you should check your speech for minor errors and typos that you may fail to spot earlier.
In today’s world, the understanding of different religions is a necessity that can help you get a better idea of motivations that influence actions of different people. When writing a speech in religious studies, you will learn to think deeply, analyze carefully, and write cogently. If you use our easy step-by-step guide and practice regularly and consistently, you are sure to master your writing skills and be able to create impressive speeches in religious studies that will get you high grades.