The Personal Narrative Essay and/or Speech The Personal Narrative Speech and Essay are all about you

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The Personal Narrative Essay and/or Speech

The Personal Narrative Speech and Essay are all about you! The main point is that you are talking about yourself, your thoughts, your feelings, your ideas, your views, your opinions, and your events. All of these ideas are the main components of this special essay/speech writing process. To create a personal narrative, explore each of these personal ideas, and then choose one to narrow down so you can build a speech. The goal of the personal narrative is also to make a point about a personal past or present experience, event, knowledge, or moral lesson.

elow is a list of narrative speech topic ideas:


  • An accident or positive event that changed my life.

  • The birth of my brother, sister or other relative.

  • My first day at High School or College.

  • The decision I regret most.

  • My Day of Graduation.

  • My first serious date.

  • A significant family event.

  • A memorable vacation.

  • A historical event that impressed me.

  • The day I moved.

  • A milestone that seemed bad but turned out to be good.

  • My heroic sports moment.


  • The influence of a special person on my behavior.

  • How I have dealt with a difficult situation.
  • What lessons I have learned through studying the genealogy of my family.

  • A prejudice that involved me.

  • A Eureka moment: I suddenly understood how something works in life that I had been struggling with.

  • How I helped someone else and what I learned from her or him, and from the situation.


  • My most frustrating moment.

  • How I handled an emergency situation.

  • How I broke up with my love.

  • A narrow escape.

  • A moment when I did something that took a lot of courage.

  • A time when I chose to go my own way and did not follow the crowd.

  • How I stood up for my beliefs.

  • The day I rebelled with a decision concerning me.

  • How I have coped with my nerves recently.

  • What happened when I had a disagreement with my parent/teacher/employer


  • How I usually prepare for a test.

  • My ritual before a sports game.

  • My ritual before going out with friends.

  • The routines I always follow under certain circumstances.


  • My act of heroism.

  • How curiosity brings me where I am now.

  • I daydream of ... (keep it clean )

  • A place that stands for my romantic moments.

  • My pet resembles my personal habits.

  • A vivid childhood memory in which I can see how I would develop myself.

Once you have chosen an idea, you will need to narrow the essay/speech topic appropriately. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Pick out one significant story about yourself. Don’t try to tell your life story—narrow your topic down.

  2. Then, think about the point you want to make and the response you want to get from your audience. What do you want them to remember? What is the purpose, point, goal, lesson, or plot of your story? Why might your audience think your presentation is valuable or important?

  3. Think about your narrative just like a short story and include all of the story elements: the main event, the characters, the relevant details, the steps and/or dialogue.

  4. Organize the text of the speech in a time ordered format. The chronological order also helps you to remember your key ideas better.

  5. Avoid starting your speech with an explanation of what you learned from this event; use the chronological order strategy to build up to the resolution where you can explain the life lesson this experience taught you.

  6. Add transitions words like: then, after that, next, at this moment.

  7. Rehearse!!! Rehearse your narrative in front of a friend and ask opinions. Then practice again!!!

  8. Avoid memorizing or reading your speech. Your audience will enjoy your narrative so much better if you sound like you are just talking to them.

  9. Be sure to try and make eye contact with your listeners.

Structuring the Narrative Essay/Speech:
To develop a thesis, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What is the main point I want to make to my audience?

  2. Do I want them to identify me as a caring individual?
  3. Do I want them to think I’m smart so I’ll tell them about the honors I won last year?

  4. How can I present my topic so that it accomplishes my purpose?  How would I go about doing that?

Use the elements of a short story to construct the Personal Narrative Essay/Speech:

  • Catchy introduction

    • Establish the exposition

      • Characters and relationships

      • Setting

      • Time period

  • Develop the Rising Action

    • Introduce a conflict(s)

  • Build to a climactic moment

  • Develop the Falling Action

    • The events in the story that lead to the ending of the story

  • Create the denouement, or the resolution/conclusion

    • Review what has happened in the story

    • Show the resolution—what happens as a result of your story.

    • Emphasize the lesson learned

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