IELTS Cue Card Sample 22 - A speech that somebody delivered and you heard

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.

A speech that somebody delivered and you heard.

You should say:

  • Who gave the speech
  • What the topic of the speech was
  • Whether it impressed you or not

and explain why did you like / dislike the speech.

Follow-up Questions:

  • What are the differences between a political speech and a speech given by a non-political person?
  • What are the important aspects of a good speech?
  • What makes a person a good speech giver?

Possible Answer 1:
I have heard numerous speeches, lectures, commentaries on various topics and issues throughout different stages of my life and among them the speech that was given by our primary school teacher on our farewell day is the most influential one and I still vividly recall it. The teacher who gave the speech was Mr. Mark Augustine and he was in his late forties at that time. As fifth-grade school going kids, we did not comprehend quite clearly what was the school farewell all about. We knew that this is going to be our last day at our primary school and we would start our new school soon. Mr. Mark was already a revered teacher for his teaching style, good manner, humour and honesty. Rumour had that, he was much more qualified to be a college professor rather than being a primary school teacher.

On the day, we had our parents present in school and we had been enjoying everything. As part of the farewell speech, Mr. Mark approached to the stage and started mentioning what funny things we had done in the last 5 years. We as well as our parents started laughing on the things he mentioned. He mentioned how a kid started screaming at the sight of a cockroach, how a kid of class two expressed his friendship to a girl, how we tried to play amid of the class and many more interesting and funny events.

He then moved on topics that I still hear in my mind. He told how studying is our primary responsibility, how we should listen to our parents, how have we achieved our liberation as a nation, how to respect the Mother Nature and all the honesty and bravery we should possess in our heart. The topics and his way of presenting them vibrated us heavily. I can still remember how the advice came back to my life time to time. As a kid, those advice and moralities were probably way to heavy to grasp but I still believe that the speech had a great impact in my life as well as the lives of the other kids who were present there.  

Sample Answer 2:
Speeches are funny things!  Some people are really good at public speaking, and others just aren’t.  I think it is very difficult to talk in front of other people in an engaging way but when people do this really well, then you remember the occasion and how you felt at the time too.  Obviously, really bad speeches can be memorable too, but I’m not going to talk about any of those today.

I want to tell you about a short speech I heard in a work context, I’ll tell you who gave the speech, what it was about and why I think it was so good.

The speech was given by a manager in a place I was working.  He was giving a speech to say goodbye to one of our colleagues who was leaving to set up as an independent consultant, but who had worked at the organisation a very long time, perhaps forty years.  Everyone was sad to see this person go, as they were very popular, but we all wished them well and understood why they felt they needed to move on.  It was a reasonably big workforce, so about sixty of us had gathered in the open-plan office to say goodbye and present a gift to our departing friend and co-worker.

I think sometimes ‘leaving-do’s’ can be really awkward and embarrassing  Everyone stands around self-consciously and there is an excruciating and brief ‘goodbye and thank you’ from the boss, and then everyone stares at the poor person who is leaving whilst they rip open and read a rapidly bought card and mumble their  thanks for a rather anonymous gift. This, however, was different.  Our manager had made a real effort to prepare a good speech that was funny, well-researched, engaging and genuinely affectionate.  For example, one of the things he did, was going back to our colleagues original application form and he put together a quiz for all of us to do, in which we had to guess what hobbies and qualifications they had declared all that time ago.  It was a great way to ‘break the ice’ and involve everyone, and the results were hilarious.  Even the colleague who was leaving was amazed at the contents of his original form.  He also thanked the colleague for some very specific work that he had done, and read out comments from others that he had been collecting over the last couple of weeks which were mini testimonials and statements of appreciation from other colleagues.

I think the speech was good because it involved everyone, shared funny (but not too private) stories that were relevant to the leaver, and the effort our boss had put into preparing it showed his respect and admiration for the colleague who was departing.  The quiz also gave everyone something to talk about, so people could chat and mingle a bit after the presentation. It was also not too long!  It held interest, and was appropriate for the context.

For me, the speech was a really good example of how to communicate effectively on such an occasion.  It was perfectly judged and helped bring the team together even though someone was leaving, and made me – and others too – feel happy and lucky that we worked in such a caring team.

[ Written by - Lucy Marris | Careers Adviser (UK), TEFL teacher (Vietnam) ]

Tips for answering this cue card topic:

Think about a speech that you heard and liked/ disliked. Usually, people remember speeches which are interesting, which were delivered with great eloquence and have lasting impressions. Such speech can be something you heard in person or watched on TV or heard on radio. Sometimes the speeches given by a famous person remain alive in generations and you can also mention one such speech that affected the whole nation. If you want to talk about a speech you heard on radio and TV, mention a famous speech by a leader of your country. If you want to talk about a speech that you heard, look for the following options that may match the speech you are thinking about:

  • A speech that was given by your school teacher.
  • A speech that was given by your debate team leader/ class captain/ sports team leader/ football, cricket, rugby coach etc.
  • A speech delivered by a local politician that addresses a public issue.
  • A speech that was given by a social worker that touched you.
  • A speech delivered by the presenter of a social program.

You should avoid personal speeches like a piece of advice from your parents, grandparents, teachers that were aimed to advise you. Those are usually considered to be personal advice, not as speeches in a broader sense.

Follow the below structure chronologically to effectively answer this question:

1. Name of the person who gave the speech and his/her identity.
2. The occasion and reason the person gave the speech and how old you were then.
3. What was the topic of the speech and who were the audiences of the speech?
4. What was the topic(s) of the speech and how good the person was delivering the message?
5. how the speech was accepted and praised.
6. How people commented on the speech and how they reacted after they heard the speech.
7. How you accepted the speech and what are your personal opinion on the issues addressed by the speech giver.
8. How you felt and what was your reaction.
9. How the speech touched you and what valuable things you learned from that.
10.How the speech affected you in your later course of action in life.

If you mention that you disliked the speech you can mention following points:

1. The speech giver took a long time and repeated the same topics over and over again.
2. The topic was not interesting at all and you did not believe everything he/ she said.
3. That was a politically biassed speech that concealed some truth.
4. The speech was manipulated to give misleading information to the audiences.
5. People were horrified with the lies delivered in the speech.
6. The person who gave the speech was not an exemplary and honest person.

If you can answer this cue card you should be able to answer the following cue card topics as well:

1. Talk about a speech delivered by a famous person.
2. Describe an event when you were greatly touched.
3. Describe a speech that has a great influence in your life.
4. Talk about a speech you watched on TV or heard on radio.
5. A famous speech you heard and still remember. 
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