My personal Experience
Personal Experience Speech
3 to 5 minutes in length
The Personal Experience Speech is typically classified as a “speech to entertain” although some topics may be quite serious or
even sad. The topic of a personal experience speech should be based on an experience that has happened to you sometime
during your lifetime. Of course other persons may be mentioned in the speech, but you (the speaker) must be the primary focus of
General topics might be something frightening, embarrassing, funny, strange, weird, bizarre, joyful, sad, tragic enlightening, or
interesting that has happened to you. You may choose a topic about any experience which has impacted you in some definitive
way. This does not necessarily mean that the experience must be dramatic. It could be very light and entertaining.
The structure of the personal experience speech should be as follows:
getter (no questions please), Motivate audience to listen, Credentials (why can you give this speech?),
Thesis (a one sentence statement telling what your speech is about). A preview is optional and should be the last part of the
introduction (a statement previewing what is to come in the body of the speech).
Experience – put your story here. Don’t forget to practice for time. Make sure it is organized and logical.
the end and then Wrap up the speech
Along with the structure, your DELIVERY skills will also be assessed (see chapter 11) on this speech. I will focus on your delivery
since this is a topic that should be easy to speak about. I will also be strict on time limits. No less than 3 minutes and no more than
5. Every 15 seconds you are over or under will cost you a point.
Below are 2 examples of an introduction for this speech.
Attention Getter: Close your eyes and imagine the next few things I am about to say. Are you ready? O.k. Imagine a broken toe… a
husband who has obviously lost his mind… a police chase… and a young woman in excruciating pain being held against her will
in the wrong hospital. Now, mix them all together. Do you have a mental picture? Open your eyes. Do any of you have an idea
about what’s going on or are you still not sure? Let me help you out a little bit.
Motivate Audience to Listen: Throughout the semester, I noticed that many of you are parents, which means that either you have
been in labor or you know someone who has. Well, for me, all of the things I asked you to imagine earlier are things I think of
when I remember the first time I went into labor.
Credentials: I have been in labor twice in my life. The second time was more excruciating than the first, although not nearly as
Thesis: Today, I am going to share with you my first experience with going into labor in the hopes that you will learn to expect the
Attention Getter: National Lampoon’s Vacation with Chevy Chase as he and the Griswold family go on crazy adventures while on
Motivate Audience to Listen: How many of you have seen that movie? There is a whole series of these disastrous movie
adventures. They all start with the same story line. A picture perfect family going out of town to a national park or some other must
see location. On every voyage this accident prone family ends up having an unbelievable series of mishaps before making it
Credentials: I happen to have had my own lampoons vacation last summer and
Thesis: today, I will be sharing my story with you
My personal Experience
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