How to do research for a speech

PUBLIC SPEAKING ESSAY

Write a well-developed, unified, and coherent critical essay containingat least two full pages

(not including reference and title page) Give your essay a title as you point out the number (1-5) of the essay you choose to respond to. Keep in mind theacademic conventionsof essay writing: a.introductioncreating a background and context for the subsequent thesis statement[As such, present your thesis statement at the fag end of your introductory paragraph(s).The thesis must address the topic youlater developin your essay], b.body paragraphsdevelopingthe scope of your thesis, and c.conclusionleaving a concluding remark as you sum up the contents of your essay.

Topic Question Essay: How do you definea problem-solving group? What issynergy? Describe such a groups five responsibilities adhering to which the group as a whole can achieve synergy.

MUST INCLUDE TITLE, DONT MAKE BRIEF, INCLUDE OPINIONS AND FACTS.

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How to do research for a speech

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Here is a list of How to Speech Topics. Some of the How to topics may have references or research you can use right on this site. This is a list of how to topics you can give speeches on. Just add the words How to as the beginning of each topic below. Enjoy.

Sports How to Speech Topics

Play Table tennis

Prepare for a Camping Trip

Technology How to Topics

Choose a Laptop

Use a TV Remote Control

Program a TV Remote Control

Determine Your Computer Needs

Choose a Computer to Fit Your Needs

Chose a Cell Phone

Choose a Cell Phone Plan

Choose a Computer Printer

Be Carbon Neutral

Use Wireless Reading Devices

Knowledge How to Topics

Read and Remember

Improve Reading Comprehension

Food and Cooking Topics

Create a Meal Masterpiece

Prepare a Seven Course Meal

Prepare Your Favorite Meal

Open a Bottle of Champagne

Be a Frugal Gourmet

Social How to Topics

Communicate with Your Mate

Communicate with Your Kids

Communicate with Colleagues

Communicate with Business Associates

How to practice Netiquette or Social Network etiquette (thank

John Tesh for this new word)

Choose a Social Media Site

Maintain Personal Safety on the Internet

Start Being Frugal

Hypermile with Your Car

Live With a Neutral Carbon Footprint

School How To Topics

Find a Speech Topic (No Brainer – At Speechmastery.com, click

on Speech Topics

Give a How To Speech

Give a Presentation Speech

Give a Persuasive Speech

Give a Motivational Speech

Give an Informative Speech

Critique a Speech

Use Speaker Skills in Public Speaking

Read and Remember

Improve Reading Comprehension

Get an A in Any Class

Get an A on Any Test

Study to Get an A on a Test

How to Health Topics

Use teeth whitening products

Choose a doctor

Choose a dentist

Maintain Proper Hydration

Maintain a healthy diet

Prepare a First Aid Kit for Home

Prepare a First Aid Kit for Your Car

Prepare a First Aid Kit for Your Job

Live with a Family Member who has Fibromyalgia

Live with a Family Member who has Chronic Fatigue

Live with a Family Member who has Crones

Live with a Family Member who has IBD

Speak Consolingly about Death (do not say God needs another angel, He does not.)

How to Live to be 100 Years Old

How to Business Topics

Identify Counterfeit Money

Identify Counterfeit Checks

Calm an Upset Customer

Write a Business Letter

Write a Sales Letter

Plan a Retirement Party

Improve Your Credit Rating

Barter Trade Products or Services

Attract new Customers

These are all actual web searches for your how to speech topics.

Sell a business

Sell products online

Sell books online

Sell more products

Sell things online

Plan a Vacation

Plan an International Vacation

Research a Topic on the Web

Save Money and Time at Theme Parks

Organize and Plan a Party For Adults

Organize and Plan a Party for Kids

Organize and Plan Parties for Young Adults

Organize and Plan a Family Reunion

Home Front How To

Decorate a Living Room

Decorate a Bedroom

Decorate a Bathroom

Decorate a Living Room

Decorate on a Budget

Pick a Color Scheme

Prepare a Go Bag

Stage a Home for Sale

Sell Your Home in a Down Economy

Market Your Home

For Sale By Owner

Prepare for an Open House

We are always updating our speech topics. If you know of a how to speech topic we should include, please drop us a note and let us know.

Back to Speech Topics Home Wait, before you leave, Please don’t forget to bookmark us if you like what you have found. Thanks.

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Students are often asked to write a speech about other people. You can be assigned to talk about your friend, relative, teacher, or a famous person. To do it well, you should concentrate on what you can tell about this person to others and what you can write about him or her.

It is necessary to understand how to write a speech about someone if you have such a task and should do it quickly, it is not very difficult but requires some research on the subject of your essay and analysis of information.

Be careful with what you write in the paper. If those whom you describe are close to you and you surely met them personally, try not to expose their secrets or any information they don’t want to be shared with others. You should also do in-depth research to create a good study of a famous writer, actress, etc. If you already have specific facts, it doesn’t mean that they are true, that’s why all information should be checked.

Tips On Writing A Persuasive Speech About Famous Person

Here are a few tips for those who are creating such a presentation. These tips could be useful if you have to develop a short or funny speech about someone you don’t know or if you don’t understand how to work with such type of assignment.

  • If you don’t know a person, do some research and find as many facts about him or her as possible. This information will help you study a celebrity better and write a great speech about this person.
  • Even if you are a friend of the person you describe, if he or she inspires you, it would be recommended to do some additional research of his or her biography, find more facts, and use them. Many facts about interviewed famous people are not true, that is why you need to analyze them wisely.
  • Check everything you read, be sure you use only verified information. Get facts from credible media and make references to them in your paper. If it is needed, it is recommended to use many forms of media and you will get information from different sides.
  • Define the goals of your graduation or other speech. You may want just to tell about a person, concentrate on their childhood, highlight their most notable achievements, or show how clever or friendly this person is.
  • Always make a catchy introduction to your speech. Try to grab the attention of your audience in the first seconds.
  • Don’t be prejudiced. If you admire the subject of your paper, want to speak from the heart, you shouldn’t repeat too many good words or invent good facts. If you dislike them, you should explain what are the reasons for disliking the person.

These tips on how to write a persuasive speech will help you in creating your paper. You can find much more interesting information about such essays online and use it to create a really good paper.

Need to write a speech?

Writing about another person can be tricky. Depending on the type of essay you may need to be complementary and use positive language. Speech about other people should be detailed, descriptive and use clear, decisive language.

How to do research for a speech

How To Write A Speech About Someone You Know?

Writing about people you already know is both a simple and difficult task simply because you are familiar with these people and can tell many stories. It is also difficult because you should pick only a few stories that describe them correctly. Here you can find a few tips on writing a speech about someone you admire, about your friends, relatives, classmates, and other people you know and want to tell your readers about them.

  • Concentrate on the objectives of your essay. You can describe people from different sides and you should define any points of view before working on the paper. People can be described as good relatives, kind and reliable friends, or professionals in their jobs.
  • Provide all information that isn’t available to your readers. If you connect with people well, you may not notice that others don’t know your subject as well or even didn’t know about the subject before your speech.
  • Don’t expose any information about the subject of your speech that shouldn’t be shared. In the story of every person, there are many private moments and you should think wisely what moments should be described.

If all these things don’t help, you can buy speeches from a professional writing service. They work well with such tasks and write them fast. Writers of these services are experienced in working on different types of papers.

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What Will Make Your Speech About A Person Excellent?

If you wonder how to write a good speech, you should read it several times before you show it to others. Fix errors and moments that don’t sound well. It will help you create a more readable draft that sounds better to listen to.

If you have to tell your speech to a big audience, you should try it in an empty room or with friends before. You can also use multimedia devices to screen your speech and watch it later and find mistakes.

Notice that there are different methods of writing a speech about famous people. That is why you should check your requirements before starting your writing and define your goals, then you can start creating your draft.

When writing a speech about someone famous, you should also proofread your document. If you need a good presentation, check that there are no errors in the content, it helps you to avoid problems with reading this text on the official presentation. You can even use a speech writing service because it can help you with any type of task and hire the best quick writers experienced in this field.

How to do research for a speech

Writing a speech isn’t all that different than writing for other mediums. You need to know your audience, the required length, and the purpose or topic. This is true whether your speech is for a business conference, a wedding, a school project, or any other scenario.

But there’s something about speech writing that’s especially nerve-wracking.

If you write and deliver a speech that doesn’t go over well, you’ll get feedback in real time. The people sitting in front of you could lose interest, start talking, doze off, or even wander out of the room. (Don’t worry, only audiences in movies throw tomatoes).

Of course, a poor speech is not the end of the world. You can give plenty of crummy speeches and live to tell the tale.

But we also know that a great speech is capable of changing the world. Or at least sparking an audience’s imagination, catapulting your business into success, earning an A+ on your assignment, or ensuring that the bride and groom are still friends with you after the wedding.

So if you’re feeling stressed over your impending speech writing duties, fret no more! Today we’re breaking down for you the step-by-step process of exactly how to write a great speech.

1 Tips to Write (and Live) By

Let’s start with the 30,000 foot, big-picture view. These are the tenants that will guide you in your speech writing process (and pretty much anything else you want to write).

  • Know The Purpose: What are you trying to accomplish with your speech? Educate, inspire, entertain, argue a point? Your goals will dictate the tone and structure, and result in dramatically different speeches.
  • Know Your Audience: Your speech should be tailored for your audience, both in terms of ideas and language. If you’re speaking at a sound healer convention, you won’t need to explain the concept of energetic blocks. And if you’re speaking to an octogenarians-only quilting circle, you probably shouldn’t drop as many F-bombs as you would with your local biker gang.
  • Know The Length: You don’t want to underwhelm or overwhelm your audience.Ten minutes may be too short for your keynote address, but it’s probably too long for your best man speech. Don’t leave things up to chance. Your writing process will be much easier if you keep your eye on your target length.
  • Write, Revise, Practice, Revise, Practice…: MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech wasn’t written in a day. Give yourself the time you need to practice your material and work through multiple drafts. Don’t expect to nail everything on the first try.

2 The Step-by-Step Process

Still feeling stressed over how to get started? Here’s how to write your speech from concept to completion.

Step 1: Outline your speech’s structure. What are the main ideas for each section?

Step 2: Flesh out the main ideas in your outline. Don’t worry about finding the perfect words. Just let your creativity flow and get it all out!

Step 3: Edit and polish what you’ve written until you have a cohesive first draft of your speech

Step 4: Practice, practice, practice. The more you practice your speech the more you’ll discover which sections need reworked, which transitions should be improved, and which sentences are hard to say. You’ll also find out how you’re doing on length.

Step 5: Update, practice, and revise your speech until it has a great flow and you feel it’s ready to accomplish its purpose.

3 The Universal Structure

Getting hung up on Step 1? Here’s a structure you can follow for any type of speech.

Introduction

Who are you, why are are you giving this speech, what is your main thesis?

The “who” and “why” can be longer or shorter depending on the context. For example, if you’re speaking at a wedding, you’ll want to explain your relationship to the bride and groom and why they mean so much to you. But if you’re presenting to your class at school, you may be able to head straight into your thesis.

If you’re presenting in a business or motivational setting, this is a crucial time to hook your audience’s attention and pique their curiosity. Typically someone else will have already introduced you and your accolades, so use this to your advantage and dive straight in.

“Hi everyone, it’s great to be here! As Kevin just said, I’ve been an urban beet farmer for 30 years, and a couple years back I got this absolutely crazy idea. What if…”

Main Message

Idea 1, Idea 2, Idea 3…

The majority of your speech should be spent presenting your thesis and supporting material in a simple, organized way.

Whether you’re giving an inspirational talk or a business presentation, rambling is a sure-fire way to lose your audience’s attention. Don’t try to share absolutely everything you know on your topic, instead pick a few (two to five) key points to present to your audience.

Stick to one point at a time and finish the thought before you move on to the next. Build in clear, logical transitions from idea to idea.

Want to make your speech memorable? Studies have shown our brains are great at remember stories! As much as is appropriate, make your speech personal and include your own anecdotes and thoughts.

We’re also better at remembering big ideas if they’re condensed into a few memorable words, so do your best to sum up your thesis.

“I have a dream.” “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” “Make good art.”

Takeaway

What do you want your audience to walk out of the room remembering?

Wrap everything up and drive home your main idea, whether that’s through providing a few (one to three) key takeaways, or telling one last story that perfectly illustrates your point.

Here are some examples of how your outline might look

As a researcher presenting your findings…

Introduction: Explain the key problem or question of your research.

Main Message: Describe the research process, then describe your three key findings.

Takeaway: Present your conclusions and their implications, then your next steps for moving forward.

As the maid of honor giving a speech at your best friend’s wedding…

Introduction: Explain who you are and how you met the bride.

Main Message: Recount three funny and heartwarming stories about your decades-long friendship with her, plus your first impressions of the groom.

Takeaway: Wrap things up by expounding on how amazing the bride and groom’s love for each other is, how they’re meant to be together, and how you know their love will last a lifetime. …L’chaim!

Researching Your Topic:You will needminimum oftwoverifiable and academically acceptable sourcesfor this speech.You will cite these sources during your speech (oral citation), show these in your complete sentence outline (internal reference), and submit them as your Works Cited (bibliography) using MLA or APA citation format at the end of your outline. Your sources need to be verifiable and publish college-level information.Onlinesources are acceptable as long as they areverifiable and publish college-level information.You will be able to find many sources that you can cite in your speech;two are required, but you are welcome to have more.Failure to sufficiently cite your sources both orally and as internal references in your outline will result in point reduction. If you do not cite any sources, you will have an automatic 50 point reduction for plagiarism.

Here are some reliable and credibleonlineresources that you may use: (Please let me know if you find any broken links. If you don’t see your topic in one of these, then try another. Not all topics are in each resource. Keep looking!)

  • Encyclopedia Britannica: (This is the ONLY encyclopedia accepted as a credible source for this course.)
  • ProQuestSIRS Issues Researcher:
  • GALE Opposing Viewpoints:
  • New York Times:
  • Public Agenda:
  • US EnvironmentalProtection Agency:
  • St. Ambrose University Library Hot Topics:
  • Research Gate:
  • iSeek:
  • US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health:
  • Lexis Web:
  • Ifyou need to search outside of thelibguidesources, useto help you determine if your source is credible.

Your Works Cited Page:You may useandto help create your citations. Be sure you selectMLA/ APA/ Chicago when you generate your citation. Here’s a short video created by our librarians on using.

Your Organization:Your speech should have an introduction, be ordered logically and include transitions between main points,have two oral citations, a conclusion, a formal outline withtwo internal referencesand MLA/ APA/ Chicago formatted Works Cited entries.All documents, other thanPowerPointpresentations, must be submitted as a Word doc. or Worddocx.If I cannot open your document, I cannotgrade it or provide you any points for your work.

In your speech, you will cover these areas for the three main points of your speech:

  • Main Point #1: Concept Definition
  • Main Point #2: Concept History or Applications
  • Main Point #3: Concept Impacton Society

Thesis and Preview Statements:
Develop a thesis statement that reflects what you are planning to say about your abstract conept.

Research:
Your speech musthave two written references in MLA/ APA/ Chicago format listed under Works Cited at the end of our outline, AND twooral citationsof these SPOKEN within your speech. In other words, your outline should show the source of your information AND you must STATE the source of your information orally as you present your speech.

Visual Aid:
For this speech,you must use 5 computer generated slides as your visual aid.See my example in eCampus. This means that you need to create somePowerPointslides that support your speech, AND you must show these slides during your speech. If you are recording your speech, you must display the computer screen so your audience can see it, AND you must send me copies of your slides with your outline. This will allow me to see the slides while I listen to your recorded presentation.REQUIRED. Create professional, attractive computer-generated slides.If you have a laptop, please place the laptop screen in a position so that your audience can see your slides.Slides for this presentation usually contain the following:

  • Definition (how an authority defines the concept)
  • Visual images (photographs of landscapes, cities, people that represent this concept)
  • Charts with pertinent information (statistics and numerical data about this concept)
  • Bullet points of key points (points listed important facts you want the audience to remember)

See Chapters 19-21 (pages 144-156) in our text for additional guidelines on presentation aids.

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How to do research for a speech

Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?

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  • Adherence to paper instructions
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What questions should you ask a host or meeting planner when you’re preparing a speech? Good research means a good understanding of the audience – and that means that you can connect with that audience. A good connection is the basis of a great speech. So what do you need to ask your host?

Basically, you need to know about 3 things besides your area of expertise: the venue, the audience, and the speech itself – how it needs to be tailored. Here’s a list of questions I’ve developed over a few years that you can use as a checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything important. And please weigh in – what have I left out? What do you always ask your contacts?

A. The Venue

When is the speech taking place?

How many people are in the audience?

What time of day will the speech be given?

How long should the speech be?

Will the audience be eating or have eaten?

What is the hall like?

Is there lighting?

What is the sound like?

Are there backdrops, sets, stages, props, podia?

Are there barriers between speaker and audience?

How long is the audience’s day?

How many other speakers?

What is the nature and content of those speeches?

What kind of chair is the audience sitting in?

How long have they sat?

What is the event theme?

What is the arrangement for slides and other visuals?

How quiet is the hall? Is there background noise?

When can we get in the hall for rehearsal?

B. The Audience

Describe the audience

What is the age range?

Do they know each other?

Do they work for the same or difference orgs?

Describe the org?

What should my talk be about?

What is the point of the event for the audience?

How is the audience feeling?

What is the business climate?

What does the audience fear most?

What are their hopes and dreams?

What makes them laugh or cry?

What makes them worry?

What do they need to succeed?

What are their cultural references?

What is the worst speaker they’ve ever seen?

What would you like them to do differently as a result of the talk?

Who are their heroes and villains?

What are their recent successes and failures?

Why are they there?

Have you made any arrangements to get feedback? A DVD?

C. The Speech

Why did you pick me?

Who and what determine the success or failure of this event?

How will that be measured?

How does the idea of my speech work for your event?

Give me some audience members that are great (or bad) examples of the points of my speech?

Can I interview them?

What is the problem the audience has for which my expertise is the solution?

Is the audience expecting interactivity?

Is the audience used to Power Point?

Can I ask for volunteers?

How many of them will have read my book?

Can we arrange for a signing/sales event?

What journey do you want the audience to go on?

Why should the audience pay attention to my speech?

How will you know if they have taken something important away from the speech?

I am a communication theorist and coach and a speaker on storytelling, body language, persuasion and influence. A passionate teacher, I am committed to helping people…

I am a communication theorist and coach and a speaker on storytelling, body language, persuasion and influence. A passionate teacher, I am committed to helping people find clarity in their thinking and ideas – and then delivering them with panache. I have been commissioned by Fortune 50 companies to write for many CEOs and presidents. I have coached people to give Congressional testimony, to prepare TED talks, and to take on the investment community. I have worked widely with political and educational leaders. And I have spoken, led conferences and moderated panels at venues around the world. I am the author of several books including Power Cues.

February 4, 2020

If you’re pursuing a degree in public relations, learning the art of writing and delivering a great speech is important. A good speech isn’t just about great rhetoric. You need the right timing, a good message, structure and other essential components. Master your public speaking skills with these seven keys to a good speech.

How to do research for a speech

Key #1 – Ensure Your Speech Has a Point

Your audience is giving you their time, so make sure you’re not wasting it with a speech that has no point. Nearly everyone has heard a speech and walked away wondering what it was really about. Don’t make this mistake. Make sure you have a point, but avoid having too many points, since too many messages can be problematic as well.

Key #2 – Connect with Your Audience

Although you’re the one giving the speech, you have to think of your speech as a conversation. You must connect with your audience. This can be done through eye contact, but use language your audience feels comfortable with, and avoid talking down to your audience.

Key #3 – Have the Right Tone for Your Message

Having the right tone for your message is so important when you’re delivering a speech. Think about who your audience is and why they’re listening to you. What does your audience want? According to Forbes, whether your goal is to challenge, entertain, motivate, or inform, you must have the right tone.

Key #4 – Focus on Good Structure

A great speech needs a good structure, which means your speech should have a beginning, a middle, and an ending. Audiences often react best when you tell them in the beginning what you plan to share, and then you can offer mileposts throughout the speech. Don’t just dive into the topic. Start by giving your main points and letting the audience know how you’ll arrange your speech.

Key #5 – Capture People with a Story

People react to stories. Stories grab attention. Use stories within your speeches to capture your audience. Stories not only offer a great way to start a speech, but they can be woven into your speech to illustrate points and appeal to the emotions of your audience.

Key #6 – Practice and Revise

Spend plenty of time practicing your speech and revising as necessary. Practicing gives you the chance to find areas of your speech that need work so you can revise them to make a better connection.

Key #7 – Leave Your Audience Wanting More

Too many speakers talk for too long. You want to leave your audience wanting more, so keep your speech a bit on the shorter side.

Learn more about delivering great speeches and other key public relations skills by pursuing your online public relations degree. The George Washington University’s online Master’s in Strategic Public Relations program offers the education you need to be well equipped for a great career in public relations.

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Whether you work locally, nationally or internationally, GSPM’s online graduate programs can prepare you to succeed at the highest level.

About Us

The George Washington University (GW) is a private, coeducational, non-sectarian university located in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1821 as The Columbian College on land provided by former President George Washington, the University has since developed into a leading educational and research institution. The 43-acre campus, located in the city’s historic Foggy Bottom neighborhood, is situated a few blocks from the White House and the National Mall.In addition to 4,500 staff members, The George Washington University enrolls an even balance of undergraduate and graduate students; approximately 11,000 of the former and 12,500 of the latter.

The George Washington University, which celebrated its 185th anniversary in 2006, grew out of the desire of our Nation’s first President to establish a national institution of higher learning. When GW opened its doors in 1821 as The Columbian College in the District of Columbia, it boasted three faculty members, one tutor, and 30 students.

In 1904, the name of the institution was changed to The George Washington University. Today, the University’s enrollment totals more than 19,000 undergraduate and graduate students in nine schools. With its location in the Nation’s Capital, the University has played host to numerous national and international dignitaries. In recent years, former Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev, former Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban, and both former President Clinton and former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton have lectured or spoken at GW.

The debt of the University to George Washington is intangible, but clear. Both as president and private citizen, Washington believed the fledgling country urgently needed a national university where “youth from all parts of the United States” might go to be educated in the arts and sciences, and to study “the principles of politics and good government.” Washington believed the capital city, which at the time was centrally located, was the logical site for such an institution. To help cover its cost, Washington left a bequest of 50 shares of stock in the Potomac Company, a canal building enterprise. Unfortunately, the Potomac Company passed out of existence before the bequest could be realized. The effort was carried forward, however, by the Reverend Luther Rice and three friends. A tireless individual, Rice traveled from Tennessee to New England soliciting support for his idea. President James Monroe himself contributed to the cause, along with 32 members of Congress.

On February 9, 1821, President Monroe signed the Act of Congress creating Columbian College, a non-sectarian institution. In 1904, the institution was given its current name, and in 1912, it began the move to its present location in Foggy Bottom, the area George Washington had envisioned for his national university.

Accreditation

The George Washington University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), which is recognized by the United States Secretary of Education as one of the six regional accrediting bodies for private schools, colleges, and universities. The MSCHE conducts accreditation and pre-accreditation activities for institutions of higher education in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, including distance education and correspondence education programs offered at those institutions.

The Commission has been a unit of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA) since its origin in 1919. In March of 2013, the Commission formally incorporated within the state of Pennsylvania as the Mid-Atlantic Region Commission on Higher Education and maintains an ongoing relationship with the MSA.

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How do speech and language develop?

The first 3 years of life, when the brain is developing and maturing, is the most intensive period for acquiring speech and language skills. These skills develop best in a world that is rich with sounds, sights, and consistent exposure to the speech and language of others.

There appear to be critical periods for speech and language development in infants and young children when the brain is best able to absorb language. If these critical periods are allowed to pass without exposure to language, it will be more difficult to learn.

What are the milestones for speech and language development?

The first signs of communication occur when an infant learns that a cry will bring food, comfort, and companionship. Newborns also begin to recognize important sounds in their environment, such as the voice of their mother or primary caretaker. As they grow, babies begin to sort out the speech sounds that compose the words of their language. By 6 months of age, most babies recognize the basic sounds of their native language.

Children vary in their development of speech and language skills. However, they follow a natural progression or timetable for mastering the skills of language. A checklist of milestones for the normal development of speech and language skills in children from birth to 5 years of age is included below. These milestones help doctors and other health professionals determine if a child is on track or if he or she may need extra help. Sometimes a delay may be caused by hearing loss, while other times it may be due to a speech or language disorder.

What is the difference between a speech disorder and a language disorder?

Children who have trouble understanding what others say (receptive language) or difficulty sharing their thoughts (expressive language) may have a language disorder. Specific language impairment (SLI) is a language disorder that delays the mastery of language skills. Some children with SLI may not begin to talk until their third or fourth year.

Children who have trouble producing speech sounds correctly or who hesitate or stutter when talking may have a speech disorder. Apraxia of speech is a speech disorder that makes it difficult to put sounds and syllables together in the correct order to form words.

What should I do if my child’s speech or language appears to be delayed?

Talk to your child’s doctor if you have any concerns. Your doctor may refer you to a speech-language pathologist, who is a health professional trained to evaluate and treat people with speech or language disorders. The speech-language pathologist will talk to you about your child’s communication and general development. He or she will also use special spoken tests to evaluate your child. A hearing test is often included in the evaluation because a hearing problem can affect speech and language development. Depending on the result of the evaluation, the speech-language pathologist may suggest activities you can do at home to stimulate your child’s development. They might also recommend group or individual therapy or suggest further evaluation by an audiologist (a health care professional trained to identify and measure hearing loss), or a developmental psychologist (a health care professional with special expertise in the psychological development of infants and children).

What research is being conducted on developmental speech and language problems?

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) sponsors a broad range of research to better understand the development of speech and language disorders, improve diagnostic capabilities, and fine-tune more effective treatments. An ongoing area of study is the search for better ways to diagnose and differentiate among the various types of speech delay. A large study following approximately 4,000 children is gathering data as the children grow to establish reliable signs and symptoms for specific speech disorders, which can then be used to develop accurate diagnostic tests. Additional genetic studies are looking for matches between different genetic variations and specific speech deficits.

Researchers sponsored by the NIDCD have discovered one genetic variant, in particular, that is linked to specific language impairment (SLI), a disorder that delays children’s use of words and slows their mastery of language skills throughout their school years. The finding is the first to tie the presence of a distinct genetic mutation to any kind of inherited language impairment. Further research is exploring the role this genetic variant may also play in dyslexia, autism, and speech-sound disorders.

A long-term study looking at how deafness impacts the brain is exploring how the brain “rewires” itself to accommodate deafness. So far, the research has shown that adults who are deaf react faster and more accurately than hearing adults when they observe objects in motion. This ongoing research continues to explore the concept of “brain plasticity”—the ways in which the brain is influenced by health conditions or life experiences—and how it can be used to develop learning strategies that encourage healthy language and speech development in early childhood.

A recent workshop convened by the NIDCD drew together a group of experts to explore issues related to a subgroup of children with autism spectrum disorders who do not have functional verbal language by the age of 5. Because these children are so different from one another, with no set of defining characteristics or patterns of cognitive strengths or weaknesses, development of standard assessment tests or effective treatments has been difficult. The workshop featured a series of presentations to familiarize participants with the challenges facing these children and helped them to identify a number of research gaps and opportunities that could be addressed in future research studies.

What are voice, speech, and language?

Voice, speech, and language are the tools we use to communicate with each other.

Voice is the sound we make as air from our lungs is pushed between vocal folds in our larynx, causing them to vibrate.

Speech is talking, which is one way to express language. It involves the precisely coordinated muscle actions of the tongue, lips, jaw, and vocal tract to produce the recognizable sounds that make up language.

Language is a set of shared rules that allow people to express their ideas in a meaningful way. Language may be expressed verbally or by writing, signing, or making other gestures, such as eye blinking or mouth movements.