Speaking is a matter of joy. So keep aside your fears. Seek God’s help, read much on your topic, get guidance from parents and teachers, and you are ready to go.
First of all think about a good beginning. It should get the attention of the audience. It can be a quote, a very short story or even an experience from your life said quickly.
“When I was a child, my father used to take us to the children’s library in my hometown. Soon, primarily through the world of comics I entered into the world of fairy tales, fables, heroes, heroines, villains, and imaginative stories. Little did I know that I was going to fall in love with reading. But one thing I know, it has added depth to my understanding of the meaning of life, people, cultures, and the world at large.”
Now you can tell them the topic of the day. If you can use some creative ways to phrase your topic, it will be great. For example, “Is the Habit of Reading a Lost Art? Even plainly stating the topic, “The Importance of Reading,” is fine.
Follow it up with a quick statement of what all things your audience can expect from your speech. For example if you are speaking on The Importance of Reading, you can say something like, “Today I will be helping you to understand how reading informs, entertains, and inspires you.”
Now the audience knows that your speech will cover three main points. The expectation is clearly established. And they know what they will get to carry home with them from your speech.
Next try to find logical ideas and examples to support each main point you are dealing with.
For example, you can say that the reading of a book on Questions and Answers had given you basic knowledge about the human body, deep sea fishes, artificial intelligence, inventions and discoveries, computers etc; the reading of C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia had entertained you, and the reading of Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam‘s autobiography The Wings of Fire had inspired you.
Now you can tell your audience about how to make reading a habit. If you have a habit of reading the Bible the first thing in the morning, you can tell them it is a good way to begin the day by seeking God and his wisdom.*
You can then tell them how to bring variety in your reading by mixing story books, travelogues, science fiction, comics, poetry, drama, novels and so on.
Perhaps, you can also tell them how to write notes about what they read so that they will be able to recall and put to good use what they have read.
Now it is time to conclude. Before you do so you can try to cement the importance of reading by using a well known quote from Bacon, “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested,” or from Milton, “A good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.”
After saying that, you can tell them what you told them till then. Something like “the headlines once again” as you hear in the reading of the NEWS on television. “Today, I have tried to show you how reading informs, entertains, and inspires you.”
Now you can try a flow chart to touch down.
If you want to remind them of the importance of reading say something like, “I hope that the habit of reading will grow along with you like an ever-widening and deepening stream.”
Or if you want to persuade them to take action, end by asking, “The libraries of the world have many books. You can’t read all of them . But still there are some you cannot afford to miss. So start reading today.”
Yet again you want an inspirational ending, go for this: “If my short speech has ignited your imagination and inspired you to open the windows of your mind a little wider through reading, I am sure you will build a life on solid rock, chiselled by discipline, and trusted for its character.
Well, there is bound to be a good round of applause however you end–be it informing, persuading or inspiring. Smile at the audience as you did at the beginning of the speech and make a gracious exit. You have won the hearts of teachers and the respect of friends!