Top 34 Slang For Speeches – Meaning & Usage

Public speaking can be daunting, but with the right slang for speeches, you can elevate your communication game and connect with your audience on a whole new level. Whether you’re a seasoned orator or just dipping your toes into the world of speechmaking, our team has curated a list of the trendiest and most impactful slang terminologies to help you craft speeches that resonate and leave a lasting impression. Get ready to infuse your talks with a touch of modern flair and captivate your listeners from the get-go!

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1. Talk

To “talk” in the context of speeches refers to delivering a speech or presentation to an audience. It can be used as a verb to describe the act of speaking in front of others.

  • For example, “I will talk about the importance of education in my speech.”
  • A speaker might say, “I’m nervous to talk in front of such a large crowd.”
  • In a discussion about public speaking, someone might ask, “What tips do you have for talking confidently on stage?”

2. Address

To “address” in the context of speeches means to speak formally to an audience. It often implies a more structured and prepared speech.

  • For instance, “The president will address the nation tonight.”
  • A speaker might say, “I am honored to address this esteemed audience.”
  • In a conversation about public speaking, someone might ask, “How do you engage the audience when addressing a large crowd?”

3. Oratory

Oratory refers to the skill and practice of public speaking. It encompasses the techniques, style, and delivery of a speech.

  • For example, “He is known for his powerful oratory skills.”
  • A speaker might say, “I have been studying oratory for years to improve my public speaking.”
  • In a discussion about effective communication, someone might ask, “What are the key elements of great oratory?”

4. Monologue

A monologue is a long speech delivered by one person, often in a theatrical setting. Unlike a dialogue, a monologue involves only one speaker.

  • For instance, “The actor delivered a powerful monologue in the play.”
  • A speaker might say, “I will perform a monologue from Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’.”
  • In a conversation about acting, someone might ask, “What are some tips for memorizing a monologue?”

5. Presentation

A presentation is a formal talk or speech that is accompanied by visual aids such as slides or charts. It is often used in professional or educational settings to convey information or persuade an audience.

  • For example, “She gave an impressive presentation on climate change.”
  • A speaker might say, “I will use a PowerPoint presentation to support my speech.”
  • In a discussion about effective communication, someone might ask, “What are some tips for creating engaging presentations?”

6. Sermon

A sermon is a speech or talk given by a religious leader, such as a priest, pastor, or preacher. It is typically delivered during a religious service and is intended to provide moral or spiritual guidance to the congregation.

  • For example, “The priest delivered a powerful sermon about forgiveness.”
  • During a church service, a pastor might say, “I will now deliver my sermon on the importance of faith.”
  • A member of the congregation might comment, “The sermon really resonated with me and gave me a lot to think about.”

7. Lecture

A lecture is a formal speech or presentation given by an expert or knowledgeable individual on a specific topic. It is often delivered in an academic setting, such as a classroom or conference, and is intended to educate or inform the audience.

  • For instance, “The professor gave a fascinating lecture on quantum physics.”
  • A student might say, “I have a lecture on history tomorrow morning.”
  • During a conference, a speaker might announce, “I will now begin my lecture on the future of technology.”

8. Discourse

Discourse refers to a formal discussion or conversation on a particular topic. It typically involves the exchange of ideas, opinions, and arguments among a group of individuals.

  • For example, “The panelists engaged in a lively discourse on climate change.”
  • During a political debate, a candidate might say, “Let’s have a civil discourse on the issues at hand.”
  • A participant in a discussion might add, “I appreciate the respectful discourse we’ve had so far.”

9. Oration

An oration is a formal and eloquent speech delivered on a special or important occasion. It is often given by a prominent figure, such as a politician or public speaker, and is intended to inspire, persuade, or commemorate.

  • For instance, “The president delivered a powerful oration on the anniversary of the nation’s independence.”
  • During a graduation ceremony, a valedictorian might say, “I am honored to deliver this oration to my fellow graduates.”
  • A spectator might comment, “The oration was moving and left a lasting impression.”

10. Keynote

A keynote is the main or opening speech at a conference, event, or meeting. It sets the tone for the event and often highlights the main themes or topics that will be discussed.

  • For example, “The CEO delivered a riveting keynote address at the company’s annual conference.”
  • During a technology summit, a keynote speaker might announce, “I will now present the keynote on the future of artificial intelligence.”
  • An attendee might say, “The keynote was informative and got me excited for the rest of the conference.”

11. Rant

A rant is a passionate or angry speech that expresses strong emotions or opinions. It is often characterized by a lack of structure or organization, and can sometimes be seen as a form of venting or complaining.

  • For example, someone might go on a rant about their frustrating experience with customer service.
  • During a political debate, a candidate might go on a rant about their opponent’s policies.
  • In a heated argument, someone might say, “I can’t believe you’re still ranting about this!”

12. Harangue

A harangue is a forceful or aggressive speech that is intended to persuade or criticize. It is often characterized by a strong and assertive tone, and can sometimes be seen as confrontational or overbearing.

  • For instance, a coach might deliver a harangue to motivate their team before a game.
  • During a protest, a speaker might deliver a harangue to rally the crowd and express their demands.
  • In a heated argument, someone might accuse the other person of haranguing them.
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13. Diatribe

A diatribe is a bitter or abusive speech that is intended to criticize or attack someone or something. It is often characterized by a harsh and aggressive tone, and can sometimes be seen as a form of venting or ranting.

  • For example, a critic might write a diatribe against a popular film, expressing their disdain for its quality.
  • During a political debate, a candidate might deliver a diatribe against their opponent’s policies.
  • In a heated argument, someone might accuse the other person of launching into a diatribe.

14. Soliloquy

A soliloquy is a monologue in which a character speaks their thoughts aloud, often expressing their innermost feelings or contemplating a decision. It is often used in literature or theater to provide insight into a character’s motivations or emotions.

  • For instance, in Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet,” the character Hamlet delivers a famous soliloquy that begins with the words “To be or not to be.”
  • In a film or TV show, a character might deliver a soliloquy while looking directly into the camera, sharing their inner thoughts with the audience.
  • In a personal essay or memoir, an author might include a soliloquy to reflect on a significant event or experience.

15. Homily

A homily is a sermon or moralizing speech that is often delivered by a religious figure or authority. It is intended to provide guidance, instruction, or moral lessons to the audience.

  • For example, during a church service, a priest might deliver a homily that relates biblical teachings to everyday life.
  • In a motivational speech, a speaker might incorporate elements of a homily to inspire the audience and encourage positive values.
  • In a graduation ceremony, a guest speaker might deliver a homily that reflects on the importance of education and personal growth.

16. Peroration

Peroration refers to the concluding part of a speech or discourse, where the speaker delivers a powerful and persuasive summary of their main points. It is often used to leave a lasting impression on the audience.

  • For example, a politician might end their speech with a peroration, saying, “Let us come together and build a brighter future for our nation.”
  • In a persuasive speech, the speaker might use peroration to inspire action, saying, “Now is the time for change. Together, we can make a difference.”
  • A motivational speaker might conclude their talk with a peroration, saying, “Remember, success is not final, failure is not fatal. It’s the courage to continue that counts.”

17. Exhortation

Exhortation refers to the act of urging or encouraging someone to take a specific action or adopt a particular belief or attitude. It is often used in speeches to motivate and inspire the audience.

  • For instance, a coach might deliver an exhortation to their team before a game, saying, “Give it your all and leave everything on the field.”
  • In a graduation speech, the speaker might exhort the graduates to chase their dreams and never give up, saying, “You have the power to shape your own future. Go out there and make it happen.”
  • A religious leader might deliver an exhortation to their congregation, urging them to live a virtuous life and help those in need.

18. Declamation

Declamation refers to the act of delivering a speech or oration with great skill and dramatic flair. It is often used to describe a powerful and passionate performance that captivates the audience.

  • For example, a student might participate in a declamation contest, delivering a famous speech from history with emotion and conviction.
  • In a political rally, a speaker might deliver a declamation that energizes the crowd and rallies support for their cause.
  • A renowned public speaker might be known for their declamation skills, captivating audiences with their powerful delivery and commanding presence.
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19. Eulogy

A eulogy is a speech or written tribute that honors and celebrates the life of a person who has passed away. It is often delivered at a funeral or memorial service to remember and pay respects to the deceased.

  • For instance, a close friend might deliver a eulogy for their best friend, sharing cherished memories and highlighting their positive qualities.
  • In a eulogy for a parent, a child might express gratitude for their love and guidance, saying, “My mother was not only my parent but also my best friend.”
  • A eulogy for a public figure might focus on their contributions to society and the impact they had on the lives of others.

20. Panegyric

A panegyric is a speech or piece of writing that praises and extols the virtues of a person, group, or thing. It is often used to express admiration, honor, or celebrate achievements.

  • For example, a panegyric might be delivered in honor of a renowned leader, highlighting their leadership skills and positive impact on society.
  • In a graduation ceremony, a panegyric might be given to recognize the accomplishments of the graduating class and inspire them to continue their journey of success.
  • A panegyric might be written to praise a work of art, literature, or music, expressing the author’s deep appreciation and admiration.

21. Preaching to the choir

This phrase refers to the act of trying to persuade or convince a group of people who already share the same beliefs or opinions as you. It implies that the speaker is not reaching a new audience, but rather reaffirming the beliefs of those who already agree.

  • For example, a politician might say, “I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but we need to keep fighting for our rights.”
  • In a business meeting, someone might comment, “We don’t need to convince each other, we’re all preaching to the choir.”
  • A speaker at a conference might acknowledge, “I understand that I’m preaching to the choir, but it’s important to reiterate our shared goals.”

22. Holding court

This phrase refers to the act of taking control of a conversation or discussion, often in a charismatic or authoritative manner. It implies that the speaker is the center of attention and holds the power to direct the conversation.

  • For instance, a professor might say, “In my classroom, I am the one holding court.”
  • In a group setting, someone might comment, “She always holds court at social gatherings, everyone wants to hear what she has to say.”
  • A leader in a meeting might assert, “I’ll be holding court during this discussion, so please direct your questions to me.”

23. Moving the needle

This phrase refers to the act of making progress or causing a significant change in a particular situation. It implies that the speaker is taking action that will have a measurable impact.

  • For example, a CEO might say, “Our new marketing strategy is really moving the needle for our sales.”
  • In a political campaign, a candidate might claim, “We need a leader who can move the needle on important issues.”
  • A motivational speaker might inspire the audience by saying, “Don’t be afraid to take risks and move the needle in your own life.”

24. Going off script

This phrase refers to the act of deviating from a planned or prepared speech. It implies that the speaker is speaking spontaneously or improvising, rather than following a predetermined script.

  • For instance, an actor in a play might say, “I forgot my lines and had to go off script.”
  • In a political debate, a candidate might accuse their opponent of going off script and not sticking to the agreed-upon topics.
  • A presenter at a conference might confess, “I’m feeling inspired, so I might go off script a bit during my talk.”

25. Paint a picture

This phrase refers to the act of using descriptive and vivid language to create a clear mental image in the minds of the audience. It implies that the speaker is using words to bring a concept or idea to life.

  • For example, a storyteller might say, “Let me paint a picture for you: it was a beautiful summer day, with the sun shining and a gentle breeze in the air.”
  • In a sales presentation, a presenter might use this phrase to engage the audience by saying, “I want to paint a picture of how our product can transform your life.”
  • A poet might use this phrase to introduce their work, saying, “Through my poetry, I aim to paint a picture of the human experience.”

26. Breaking it down

This phrase is often used when someone is simplifying complex information or breaking it into smaller parts to make it easier to understand.

  • For example, a teacher might say, “Let me break down this math problem for you step by step.”
  • In a business presentation, a speaker might say, “Now, let’s break down the sales numbers for each quarter.”
  • A coach might instruct their team, “We need to break down the game plan into individual strategies for each opponent.”

27. Nailing it

When someone is said to be “nailing it,” it means they are doing something perfectly or exceeding expectations.

  • For instance, a musician might say, “I was nervous about the solo, but I think I really nailed it.”
  • In a job interview, a candidate might say, “I prepared extensively and felt like I really nailed the interview.”
  • A chef might exclaim, “The flavors in this dish are spot on! I’m nailing it tonight.”

28. Speaking from the heart

This phrase describes when someone is speaking sincerely and honestly, often sharing personal experiences or beliefs.

  • For example, a speaker might begin their speech by saying, “I want to speak from the heart and share my own journey with you.”
  • In a wedding toast, the best man might say, “I’ve known the groom since we were kids, and I can truly speak from the heart when I say he’s found his perfect match.”
  • A motivational speaker might say, “I’m not here to give you a rehearsed speech. I want to speak from the heart and inspire you with my own story.”

29. Dropping gems

When someone is “dropping gems,” it means they are sharing knowledge or wisdom that is highly valuable or enlightening.

  • For instance, a professor might say, “Throughout the semester, I’ll be dropping gems of wisdom to help you succeed.”
  • In a podcast, the host might introduce a guest as, “Get ready for some serious knowledge bombs. Our guest today is known for dropping gems.”
  • A mentor might advise their mentee, “Remember, as you gain experience, always be willing to drop gems and share your knowledge with others.”

30. Spinning a yarn

This phrase is often used to describe someone who is telling a story, especially one that is exaggerated or fanciful.

  • For example, a grandparent might say, “Sit down, kids, and I’ll spin you a yarn about the time I caught the biggest fish you’ve ever seen.”
  • In a comedy routine, a comedian might say, “Let me spin you a yarn about my disastrous attempt at cooking dinner.”
  • A writer might describe their novel as, “A thrilling adventure that spins a yarn of mystery and intrigue.”

31. Symposium

A formal meeting or conference where experts or professionals gather to discuss and exchange ideas on a particular topic. A symposium is often characterized by multiple presentations, panel discussions, and audience participation.

  • For example, “The symposium on climate change brought together scientists, policymakers, and activists from around the world.”
  • A student might say, “I attended a symposium on entrepreneurship and learned a lot from the successful business owners who spoke.”
  • A professor might announce, “We’re hosting a symposium on the future of artificial intelligence next week. Don’t miss it!”

32. Tirade

A long, angry, or impassioned speech or outburst expressing strong emotions, often involving criticism or condemnation. A tirade is typically characterized by its length, intensity, and lack of restraint.

  • For instance, “The politician went on a tirade against his opponents, accusing them of corruption and dishonesty.”
  • A frustrated customer might say, “I had to endure a tirade from the manager when I complained about the poor service.”
  • A journalist might write, “The coach’s post-game tirade was filled with expletives and pointed criticisms of his players.”

33. Salutatory

A speech given at the beginning of an event or ceremony, usually by a student representative, to welcome the audience and set the tone for the occasion. A salutatory speech often expresses gratitude and good wishes.

  • For example, “The valedictorian delivered a heartfelt salutatory speech, expressing gratitude to teachers, parents, and classmates.”
  • A student might say, “I was honored to give the salutatory address at my high school graduation.”
  • A principal might announce, “The salutatory speech will be given by our student body president, who has shown exceptional leadership throughout the year.”

34. Toast

A short speech or gesture made to honor or celebrate someone or something, typically accompanied by raising a glass and drinking. A toast is often given at special occasions such as weddings, birthdays, or farewell parties.

  • For instance, “The best man gave a heartfelt toast to the newlyweds, wishing them a lifetime of happiness.”
  • A friend might say, “Let’s raise our glasses and give a toast to our friend who just got a promotion.”
  • A host might propose, “Before we start the meal, I’d like to propose a toast to our guest of honor for achieving such a significant milestone.”