Part 11: How to Write Speeches and Presentations in Year 10 | Multimodal Presentations

Do you know the difference between a presentation and a speech? Do you get nervous about public speaking? Don't fear! This article will explain it all.

As soon as you mention public speaking, you can already hear the chorus of groaning students. Students hate learning how to write speeches and presentations in Year 10 because they’re afraid of presenting and making a fool out of themselves.

But they shouldn’t be. You need to realise that public speaking is just like any other skill!

With more practice, you will become more confident and get better at it!

The secret to acing your speeches and presentations in Year 10 is proper preparation and practice. So, let’s see what that involves.


What are we going to discuss?


What’s a multimodal presentation?

Okay, so what’s the difference between a presentation and a speech?

Well, a presentation is basically a speech with VISUAL AIDS. You may find that you need to draw, create a powerpoint, or make a poster.

So, when you are asked to do a presentation, you are being assessed on these 3 things:

  • Content of your speech
  • Relevance/strength of visual representation
  • Speaking skills.

This might seem a little daunting, but don’t fear! We broke down the process into manageable steps that will help you learn how to write speeches and presentations in Year 10 and ace your presentations!




The ultimate step-by-step process to preparing a speech or multimodal presentation is:

  1. Plan your speech
  2. Plan your visual representation
  3. Create your visual representation
  4. Draft your speech
  5. Make links between your speech and visual representation
  6. Incorporate techniques and devices
  7. Get feedback
  8. Rehearse
  9. Perform!

However, before we start going through these steps in detail, let’s see what visual aids are.


Visual aids in presentations

Too often, students use visual representations are too literal…

For example, using a screenshot of the Harry Potter movie in your PowerPoint when you are analysing Harry Potter in your speech!

This is NOT a good visual representation


So, what makes a GREAT visual representation?

A visual representation is anything visual that represents IDEAS and THEMES.

They enhance the content of your speeches in a METAPHORICAL or FIGURATIVE way.

Essentially, visual representations use symbols, or metaphorical images to convey the ideas that you explore in your speeches.

A visual representation is supposed to make your audience think more deeply about the content of your speech.

For example, if your speech explores human’s innate selfishness… you can draw a half-human face and half-monster face.

Remember, they do NOT need to be artworks!

You are not being assessed on how pretty or technical your visual representations are. You are being assessed on how well it conveys the ideas and meanings in your speech.





What tools can you use to make a visual representation?

There are various types of visual representations that you can make. So, obviously, there are many different tools you can use.

Some software programs you can use are:


Here are some free tools you can find on the internet:

  • Canva – Posters, collages and infographics
  • Lucidchart – Charts and flowcharts
  • Prezi – Dynamic visual slides
  • Wordcloud – Word cloud visualisations
  • Creatoon – Basic cut out animation tool
  • Blender – Versatile 3D software


OR, you can go traditional and do a hand-drawn visual representation. Get out your colour pencils, textas and highlighters!

Remember, you are being assessed on the conceptual ideas not whether you are the next Khalo or Manet.


Different types of visual representations

Now, that you know about the different tools you can use to make your visual representation, let’s see what types of visual aid you might want to (or need to) create.

Remember, when you learn how to write speeches and presentations in Year 10, you can be asked to produce a variety of visual representations.

It is important that you know what they are and how to use each of them effectively.


Slides, PowerPoints and Prezis

These are one of the most common visual representations. These are slides made up of images and some text!

Your presentation slides should slowly progress through your central idea.

It is always a good idea to use strong and evocative images, rather than using only text.

You don’t want your audience to stop listening to your speech and start reading the words on your slide.

Your slides are supposed to be secondary to your speech!


Here are some tips to create great slides, PowerPoints and Prezis! 

  • Keep images to a minimum
  • Use clear and not overly complex images
  • Don’t write too much! Only use keywords or none at all!
  • Select images that are metaphorical or symbolic
  • Make sure your images relate to what you are saying
  • Aim to change the slide every 30-60 seconds
  • Don’t use too many transitions and animations.






A poster is a page that conveys an idea. Posters usually include visual images and some text. However, they can also be completely visual.

Remember, the people sitting at the back of your class need to be able to see your poster!

So, it is a good idea to make it big, visible, and use a limited number of words.


Some tips to make effective posters:

  • Make them big! Your posters should be at least A3 in size.
  • Focus on the visuals, not text
  • Don’t draw any small details. Use big images!
  • Use metaphors and symbols in your poster
  • Make good use of the space. Don’t crowd it.
  • Don’t worry if you are bad at art! It is about meaning and representation, not how pretty your poster looks.





Canva Infographic

Infographics are basically a graphic representation of information, knowledge or data. Infographics a series of visual images, charts, diagrams and minimal text.

They are meant to break down complex ideas and subjects and present them in a simple and visually appealing manner.


So, how do you create awesome infographics? 

  • Have 1 coherent message… not 10
  • Focus on the process
  • Make your information flow in a story format
  • Use minimal texts
  • Keep it simple AKA, space things out
  • Don’t use too many colours.


Short film

You make a short film of different scenes and screenshots from films and documentaries!

This is not commonly done. However, it can be an effective way to represent your ideas and themes.


Here is how you can do it: 

  • Cut together scenes/films/documentary that contain similar ideas to each other
  • Use scenes that have layers of meaning
  • Make sure that there is a progression of meaning. The shots don’t need to flow smoothly like a movie, but the ideas do.
  • Don’t use sound, unless it is absolutely necessary for conveying the meaning…. Or keep it on low volume.


Now that you know about different types of visual representations, let’s see how to write speeches and presentations in Year 10.





Planning and writing presentations: Step-by-Step

Remember, speeches are NOT essays.

They are written to be spoken. So, they must be concise, engaging AND, above all, informative.

Let’s see what you need to do.

Slicing a big job down into smaller chunks will make it easier and the end result better.

At Matrix, students are taught the Matrix Method when writing English responses.

Matrix Method For English Overview (2)


When you are learning how to write speeches and presentations in Year 10, you will need to go through these steps too.


Steps 1 – 3 are about building a strong understanding of the text you have to analyse.

  1. Comprehension: Read the text to appreciate it.
  2. Meaning: You’ll be looking for themes, symbols and moments of ambiguity.
  3. Analysis: Note important examples and identify techniques.

After you have done this, it is then time to…


1. Plan your speech

Planning your speech is an integral step to great presentations.

Matrix Method For English STEP 4 (2)


As Benjamin Franklin said,

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”


So, how exactly do we plan speeches and presentations?

Let’s quickly recap this now (you can find a detailed explanation of these steps in this part of our How to Write Speeches and Presentations in Year 9 Article)


1(a) Brainstorm ideas

Get the ball rolling in your mind and start writing down everything you know about your question/topic/subject.

Don’t be picky. Just write!


1(b) Research

Research about the question/topic/subject to get a better general understanding of it.

If you are analysing a text, go over your text again. Identify the main themes and techniques.

Take note of everything!


1(c) Create a thesis

Now that you have a better understanding of the question/topic/subject, you have to create an argument.

Take a stance. State your perspective.

Pick something that interests you, not what you think the teacher wants to hear. This way, you will seem more engaging when you are presenting it.


1(d) Decide your topics and ideas

Once you figure out your thesis, you need to decide upon your ‘arguments’.

Remember, it is not an essay. So, you don’t need to have 3 arguments and write 3 body paragraphs.

You will only have a limited length. A good speech is spoken at 130 words per minute. So a 4-minute speech will be 520 words or less!

This means you need to select ideas that flow from each other and build off one another. This will ensure that your speech progresses in a storytelling manner.





1(e) Plan your structure

Speeches need to be engaging. So, most speeches structure their information in a storytelling format.

Here is a common structure that you can use for your speeches:

  • Exordium: Introduces an issue
  • Body: Fleshes out the issue and brings speech to a climax
  • Peroration: Provides a ‘resolution’, AKA a call to action for the audience


1(f) Select your evidence

Now, you need to select your evidence!

You should already have notes with some evidence or techniques. Refer to these to pick out the strongest and most relevant evidence to support your arguments!

If you don’t have notes, then it is time to look for evidence.

To do this, you need to either do some research and/or look through your text again.


2. Plan your visual representation

Before you start drawing or producing your slides, you need to plan it out first!

Planning will help you create stronger visual representations because you already thought about how it can enhance the content of your speech.

Here is how you can do this:

  1. What is your speech about? Think about some strong symbols, images and colours that represents this idea.
  2. Decide which form you want to use. We already went through different types of visual representations and tools you can use to create your visual representation. Remember, select a form that will help get your message across better.
  3. Research some reference photos. Look at a variety of images to get your imagination working. You can use them as inspiration, or references.
  4. Create a mood board. Use your reference photos to capture the tone of your visual representation. When you look at your mood board, you should be able to feel and know what the content will be.
  5. Draw a rough draft. Basically, visualise your visual representation onto paper! If you are making slides or a short film, then you should roughly know which images or clips you want to use.





3. Create your visual representation

Now, that you have a rough plan of your visual representation, it is time to create it!

We already considered some tools that you can use to make visual representations above and how to create different forms of creative visual representations above.

So, here are some general tips to help you create your visual representations:

  • Refer to your mood board and plan to get started!
  • It is okay if you decide to stray from your plan. Just make sure that your visual representation enhances the content of your speech.
  • Use lots of imagery, metaphorical images, carefully selected colours etc! Your visual representation is a metaphorical extension of your speech.
  • You can always draft, redraft and edit! If you don’t like your visual representation, then re-draft and edit it! Just don’t spend too long doing this. You still have to write a speech.
  • After you finish your speech, you should always go back to your visual representation. Make sure that the speech links with your visual representation. Make some more edits.

There are many different ways to create a visual representation! You are only limited by your imagination and technology.


4. Draft your speech

Once you have finished putting together your visual representation, you are now ready to write your speech!

Matrix Method For English STEP 5 (2)


Speeches are NOT essays!  So, you shouldn’t write them like essays.

We explored How to Write Speeches and Presentations in detail in our Year 9 Article.

But, let’s quickly summarise some of the main points to refresh your memory:

  • Introductions should be engaging! Start off with a rhetorical question, anecdote, “imagine situation” or something along those lines.
  • Use persuasive and rhetorical language like humour, high modality words, logos, anecdotes and sarcasm.
  • Write short and simple sentences. Don’t use long and complex sentences, like essays.
  • End your speech with a bang! No one wants to hear a “Thank you for listening to my speech”. Instead, end your speech with something strong and memorable.


5. Make links between your visual representation and speech

Too often, students forget to make links between their visual representation and speeches. This will make their speech and visual representation seem like two separate assessment tasks.

But they’re not!

Your visual representation is meant to enhance the content of your speech.

It is supposed to give more information to the audience – in a metaphorical way – to help engage them, and challenge them to think deeply about the content of your speech.





So, when you are writing your speech, you have to consciously refer to your visual representations.

For example, let’s say that you made a poster about a boy painting the globe to represent how an individual has the ability to view things in a new perspective and change their life.

You can make implicit references to your visual representation by saying things like “You have the chance to repaint your own world and make a change.”


You can be more explicit, and say “As you can see here (point to your poster), change is all about perspective. The boy painting over the globe represents how his perspective of his world has changed…”

As you can see, there are many different ways to make references to your visual representations. You can do it implicitly or explicitly. Just remember to do it!



6. Incorporate devices and techniques

Speeches are not engaging if you don’t use persuasive devices and rhetorical techniques!

This is what makes speeches different from essays!


Here are some common rhetorical devices and techniques that you can use:

AlliterationRepetition of the first letter/sound of a wordAnnie ate an apple
AnaphoraRepetition of a word/phrase at the beginning of a sentenceWe need to do open our eyes. We need to take action.
AnecdoteShort recount/storyLast Christmas, at my family reunion…
Emotive languageSelectively chosen words that evoke an emotional responseThe desert was deadly hot.
EthosShowing authority and credibility for arguments raisedI worked at Google for 3 years…
High modality wordsWords indicating high certaintyMust, have, certainly, need…
Humour Something funnyThey asked me to give them a break. I gave them a KitKat.
LogosUsing logic to support arguments eg. facts and statisticsAccording to the Australian Bureau of Statistics…
MetaphorComparing two subjects by saying on IS the otherThe dog’s teeth were knife sharp.
PronounsWords that replace nounsWe, I, us, them…
PunsPlay on words; words with similar sounds but have different meaningsYou cooked some EGGscellent eggs.
RepetitionRepeating words or phrasesGo. Go. Go!
SarcasmSaying one thing but meaning the oppositeCan you walk any slower?


Remember, you can always go back and insert more techniques when you are editing your speeches.


7. Get feedback

Remember, getting feedback is an integral step to writing speeches and presentations.

Matrix Method For English STEP 6 (2)


When you ask for feedback you are able to:

  • Identify your common mistakes
  • See confusing areas that need to be cleared up
  • Know what people think about your speech. If it’s good, then keep it up! If they don’t like it, then you need to fix it.


So, how do we seek feedback?

  • Ask people who can give you constructive feedback! These are your teachers, Matrix tutors, friends and parents. Do not ask your 5-year-old sibling. They cannot give you constructive feedback.
  • Be polite. 
  • Ask a variety of people. Different people have different opinions. When you ask many people, you can see common trends.
  • Edit your work!

Remember, it is ultimately your choice to decide whether or not you want to take on the feedback. Sometimes, it doesn’t align with your goals, so it is okay to not take it aboard.


8. Rehearse

Remember, your speaking and presentation skills are also being assessed!

It is important that you practice and rehearse because it will help you:

  • Identify difficult pronunciations.
  • Fit the time limit
  • and most importantly, GET COMFORTABLE.

So, here are some tips that will help you rehearse and practice!

  • Read your speech out loud. When you read it out loud, you can identify difficult pronunciations and see if it fits the time limit. Remember, when you read in your head, it is always faster than actually speaking it.
  • Read your speech to other people. You can ask for feedback about your performance,
  • Keep practising!





9. Perform!

After you’ve memorised and rehearsed your presentation, it is time to perform!

However, you might find that you still have some nerves and anxiety before your performance,

Don’t fear. Read the next section to see how you can manage your nerves and anxieties before your presentation.



I hate public speaking, what do I do?

There aren’t any magic pills to make you completely fearless when it comes to public speaking. Everyone – even Barack Obama – gets nervous before they speak in front of an audience.

But that’s the secret. Public speaking is about turning your nerves into energy!

So, how do we become more confident?


1. Visualise your own success

Before you speak, picture yourself presenting confidently in front of the crowd. Now, embody it.


2. Practice breathing techniques

Do you still have some nerves you need to calm down before your presentation?

Don’t worry! Take a few deep breaths before you begin.

Remember, breathe in through your nose and let the air fill your stomach. Then slowly let it out through your mouth. And repeat!


3. Pretend that you’re confident

No one knows about your beating heart and sweaty palms. So, fake it ’till you make it!

Clear and strong voice. Good posture. Hand gestures!


4. Smile!

Did you know smiling makes you feel more relaxed? It will also make you seem more confident.





5. Own your mistakes

No-one in the audience knows your speech word-for-word.

So, if you make a mistake, take a deep breath and continue like nothing happened!


6. Focus on people who seem engaged in your speech

Pay attention to people who are nodding and/or smiling when you present.

They will make you feel more confident about your presentation.


7. Keep practising!

Remember, practice makes perfect! Over time, you will become a better public speaker and be more confident.


We considered some of these steps in detail in our How to Write Speeches and Presentations in Year 9.



The importance of becoming a better public speaker

You might hate speeches, but knowing how to write speeches and presentations in Year 10 and building your confidence is very important.

What are the benefits of public speaking?


1. Presenting improves your overall confidence

As you gain confidence with your public speaking, you begin to transfer this confidence into everyday life.


2. Writing and presenting helps improve your communication skills

When you write speeches, you need to convey your message in the most effective way through words. When you present, you need to do this with your voice.

These skills will help you speak and communicate your ideas effectively in everyday life situations!


3. Helps you figure out methods to approach stressful situations

You figure out ways to calm your nerves… like deep breaths, positive self-talk or a jittery dance.

These are methods that you can apply to stressful situations in everyday life.

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