How to Introduce a Classmate in Speech Class

Speech students may be required to introduce a classmate during the first few weeks of school.

Speech teachers often have students introduce a classmate to the rest of the class as a first assignment. The purpose of this activity is to both help the class learn a little about each of their classmates as well as help the students grow more comfortable speaking in front of each other before delving into more complex speech topics. Asking good questions will make this introduction assignment a fun way to break the ice.

Interview your partner. Ask questions that you think will result in interesting answers that you can use in your speech to captivate to your audience. Take notes throughout the interview to refer back to later. Cover the basics such as your partner's name, where he is from and what he wants to do upon completion of his education. Dig deeper by asking about hobbies or about what he values in life. You can also ask if he has a favorite quote or motto that he lives by, which can serve as a great introduction or ending to your speech.

Review your notes after the interview and choose which information to use in your speech. Pinpoint an overall purpose for your speech such as "Today I am going to tell you a little about why Kevin is a great person to have as a friend," or "Today, I would like to introduce you to Kevin, one of the most interesting individuals I have ever met," and then choose information from your notes that supports that overall purpose.

Prepare your speech. Some students prefer to write the speech out word-for-word, while others prefer to prepare an outline or note cards to take with them when they give their speeches. Choose whichever speech-preparation method you think will suit you best.

Write the speech introduction in which you tell the class your partner's name, capture the class' attention with a quote or intriguing fact about your partner, and state your speech's overall purpose.

Write the body of the speech in which you will provide facts and/or anecdotes that support the overall claim that you made in your introduction. For example, you may tell the class about your partner's unique life goals and unusual hobby if your claim was "Kevin is one of the most interesting individuals I have ever met."

Write a speech conclusion summarizing the overall points you made during your speech. State the overall message that you would like the class to take away from the speech such as "Overall, Kevin is a wonderful person to get to know. We are all lucky to have him in class with us this year." You may also use a relevant quotation to close your speech, but it is generally not a good idea to do so if you have began the speech with a quote.

Practice delivering the speech a few times if your teacher allows you time to do so. Ask your friends or family members to listen to you give the speech and to provide you with feedback about what you did well and what they think you should change.

Deliver your speech to the class. Bring your notes with you to help you stay on track and to make sure that you cover all of your main points, but do not read off of the page the entire time. Make frequent eye contact with your audience, and try to relax and have fun introducing your new friend and classmate.

  • If your teacher passes out a sheet with assignment guidelines, make sure to read over them thoroughly. Teachers sometimes have specific details about your partner that they want you to include in your speech. Also, check to see if there is any time requirement that you must adhere to.

Dawn Westin is an experienced professional writer who has contributed articles to publications including "South Magazine" and "The Inkwell." She holds a BA in English and professional communications from Armstrong Atlantic State University and currently takes courses at Georgia Southern University in hopes of soon enrolling in medical school.