If you attended an educational institution, chances are that you are familiar with the word ‘bullying’. Even if you were not the one bullied, maybe you witnessed someone else being bullied. Or maybe you’ve simply heard the term mentioned by your teachers or other people in authority during an anti-bullying campaign or a speech of some sort.
Whatever the context, most people are familiar with the term bullying and what it entails. And yet, statistics are proof that simply possessing the knowledge that bullying is real does not necessarily mean that people will–or are–doing anything about it.
One out of five students has reported being bullied. 70% of school staff have seen bullying. The number of anti-bullying campaigns might be on the rise, yes, but as you can see, the number of students being bullied remains just as abhorrently high.
If you’re going to be delivering a speech against bullying, then it’s important for you to know these statistics. It’s only when you realize this that you will understand that simply giving a speech against bullying is not enough.
Instead, you must strive to deliver your speech in such a manner that it actually impacts other people & results in tangible changes.
Sounds tough, I know. But it’s not as difficult as it sounds.
By keeping in mind a few things like keeping your audience & occasion in mind, incorporating stories & videos, varying your speech pattern, and having a powerful opening as well as closing, you can deliver an impactful speech on bullying.
Tips For Delivering A Speech On Bullying
1. Keep The Occasion & Audience In Mind
What is the occasion? Are you delivering your speech for a school assembly, or is it for a professional campaign? Is your audience going to be comprised of bullies/bullying victims, or are they simply ordinary individuals wanting to know more about bullying?
The answer to these questions is going to alter how you should go about structuring your speech. For example, if you’re delivering your speech to school-going children, then you’re going to have to alter your speech to fit their understanding level.
2. Make It A Perfomance, Not Just A Speech
A speech connotates something that revolves around the words and the act of speaking. However, a performance is so much more than a speech: think of it as speech leveled up by multiple levels.
A performance includes speech, yes, but it also includes other important things like your voice modulation, expressions, gestures, body language, emotions, and storytelling, to name a new. A performance is a wholesome experience.
By providing your audience a wholesome experience instead of simply delivering a speech–something that they’ve probably heard multiple times before–you increase the chances that they will actually take an action to do something about it.
Our article, A Guide To Making Your Speech Interesting, has more tips on how to make your speech intriguing to the audience.
3. Tell Stories
Storytelling is an absolute must for any speech. It becomes even more important to include stories when you’re talking about something as sensitive as bullying. By telling stories, you make your speech–and the experience of bullying–more real to your audience.
You make your audience empathize with you as well as your topic. You make them realize that the victims and survivors of bullying are not some nameless humans that the audience doesn’t care about. You make the bullying survivors–and the bullies themselves–real.
You make them relate an abstract concept to real life, and to see things that are probably happening around them, but they’d never seen before.
4. Use Props
Props are another element that you must definitely incorporate in any speech or presentation. Props, like stories, can make your topic more tangible and easy to understand for the audience. They can also add a touch of uniqueness to your speech, and make it more memorable for the people attending.
However, before choosing your prop, you must ensure that it is relevant to the topic. Don’t just add a prop to your speech for the sake of adding it.
5. Change Your Speech Pattern
It’s not just the content of your speech that matters. The way you deliver your speech plays just as internal of a role in the impact you’ll make on your audience as the actual speech itself. Speech pattern is key to making an emotional impact on your audience’s mind.
You don’t want to sound like a robot while delivering your speech. Instead, mix up your speech pattern. If you’re going to be delivering an impactful quote, pause for a moment. If you’re reaching a serious point in your story, slow down your cadence. Vary your speech pattern.
6. Show Videos
Videos are an excellent way to make a connection with the audience. Videos will allow you to tell your story without resorting to just words. Videos can capture your audience’s attention & enhances your narrative to another level.
You can include short videos that you can easily find online. Alternatively, if you want to take up the creativity another notch, you can customize a video on your own & include it in your speech.
7. Have A Dynamic Opening & End
The way you open your speech–and how you close it–play a key role in determining the kind of impact you will make on your audience’s mind.
If your opening isn’t interesting enough, then you’ll end up losing your audience’s attention even before you have it. Alternatively, if your speech ending isn’t impactful enough, then your audience will probably forget about it the moment they leave–which is definitely something that no speaker wants.
For some inspiration on how to close your speech, check out our article on 10 Of The Best Things To Say In Closing Remarks.
5 Ways To Open Your Speech on Bullying
1. Make Them Imagine
Imagination is one of the strongest tools in your arsenal as a public speaker. By channeling the power of imagination right in the beginning of your speech, you can make your audience form a personal connection with the topic right off the bat.
By making your audience imagine being in a scenario related to bullying, you can make them empathize with your topic better. This is key if you wish for them to take actual steps to stop bullying.
For example: Imagine if we lived in a world that was actually free…
2. Ask Them A Rhethorical Question
Questions are an excellent way to get your audience thinking. Questions can act as a cognitive ‘wake-up’ for your audience & get their thoughts flowing. By asking your audience a question right in the beginning, you prime them for the rest of your speech.
So, pose a question to your audience at the beginning of your speech. Rhetorical questions are great speech openers. Because, unlike a regular question that most likely has a straightforward answer, rhetorical questions make your audience think more deeply.
For example: If you met someone who’d bullied you 15 years ago in high-school, what would you do?
3. Tell A Personal Story
Another great way to begin your speech is by telling them a personal story. Stories–especially if they’re personal–can make the audience form an instant connection with the speaker and the topic.
Have you been bullied in the past? Or did you witness someone get bullied–or stand up for themself in the most awesome way imaginable?
Now would be the time to include them.
For example: I was bullied for over three years during my…
4. Make A Bold Statement
Surprising your audience is a great way to begin your speech. By making a bold statement, you not only achieve this, but you also make your audience see you as a more confident & respectable figure. This increases the chances that they will perceive your speech in a positive light.
So, start off your speech with a bold statement.
For example: I wish bullies were treated the same as murderers.
5. Use Facts & Statistics
Statistics and facts are an age-old way to have a foolproof beginning. Statistics and facts can add shock value to your speech opening, and awaken your audience. They might also cause the audience to see your speech in a different light.
However, one thing to keep in mind while incorporating facts or statistics is to ensure that they’re not too complicated or include a lot of numbers. You want to keep your facts simple, and relevant to the topic at hand.
For example: 1 in 5 children reports being bullied during their high school…
For more ideas on how to open your speech, check out our article on 10 Of The Best Things To Say In Opening Remarks.
Sample Speech On Bullying
Bullying: It’s More Than Getting Punched
“Why don’t you just kill yourself?”
This is the gift that arrived in my inbox on the morning of my fourteenth birthday.
A fourteen year old girl–statements like these were a common part of my daily life. I’d listened to them every single day since I entered high-school. In fact, they were precisely the reason why I begged my parents to home school me in the first place.
When I began my home-schooling journey, I did so with a lot of hope. Hope that I would finally be able to get away from the words that had been hurled at me every single day for the last two years.
And yet, here we were.
Not even a week had passed since I left the concrete halls of my high-school for the comfort and safety of my home, and yet as it turned out, home wasn’t safe either.
Not in this new, techonology-driven world where people don’t need to be standing in front of you to communicate with you–or bully you. Or threaten your life.
A few quick thrusts on the keypad, a couple of clicks, and it’s done.
When people think of bullying, they often picture giant, violent figures towering over tiny, sobbing ones. Or hordes of people screaming insults at cowering figures in the hallway. Or pushing them against walls and banging their heads against toilet seats.
While the incidents I’ve described still happen–and too often–bullying is so much more than that. Bullying, in the modern world, is like a hydra monster from the Greek Myths: it doesn’t have one face but ten, and every time you shack off one head, another one pops up in its place.
We all know what to do if we’re bullied–or see someone else get bullied. We’ve heard it before, or maybe seen in the pamphlets on bulletin boards or in videos shown in classrooms. But before we take steps to stop bullying, we need to first learn how to identify it.
Because unless and until we can recognize bullying when it happens to us–or to someone else–how will it matter whether we know the ways to stop it or not?
Bullying can come in many forms.
Bullying can be whispered insults when you think no one else is listening. Bullying can be deliberately pulling someone down on their happiest day. Bullying can be starting rumors about someone.
Bullying can be tiny actions with no consequences–not for you, at least. It can be little jokes made by your ‘friends’–or little ‘bits of advice to lose weight or gain weight.’
Bullying can happen on the internet, through a string of messages that you hurl behind the mask of anonimity. Bullying can happen in the workplace, or in your college.
Bullying can take the shape of prejudice, in the form of stealing opportunties from someone. Bullying can even happen in your own houseold, in your own relationship–and not just romantic ones.
Bullying is not just physical. It has more than one dimension. Bullying can be emotional, social, spiritual…and many more things.
And yet it is only one aspect of bullying that we tackle, the only one that gets talked about.
It is a common misconception. If you hold it, I don’t blame you. After all, even I–a victim myself–held for a long, long time. In fact, in the beginning I didn’t even realize that I was getting bullied at all.
After all, nobody ever physically punched me. I was never shoved against the lockers or punched in the face. By conventional definitions of bullying, I was never bullied. And I’m not the only one–a study showed that 64 % of bullying victoms never speak up about their bullying.
It was only the day that the message arrived in my inbox that I realized that bullying can come in more than one shape or form. And most of them are forms that we’re not familiar with–at least, not yet.
But we need to be. We need to recognize bullying–and we need to get better at doing it.
Look at the people around you. You might not know it–they might not know it yet–but they may be getting bullied. And if you want to stop it, you must learn to see it first.
They asked me why couldn’t I kill myself.
I ask you: do you have the ability to recognize who they are?
To sum up, writing a speech on bullying is simple, and no different than any other speech. Keep in mind a few things like keeping your audience & occasion in mind, incorporating stories & videos, varying your speech pattern, and having a powerful opening as well as closing, and you can deliver an impactful speech on bullying.