Speech and Writing: Differences and Similarities

Similarities and Differences Between Speech and Writing

Several relationships between speech and writing have been explored over the years. But do you know the similarities or differences? Read on to find out.


Both speech and writing encourage an individual to speak their mind or communicate a specific thing. It also allows the listener, writer, or audience to gain more information about a particular subject or topic.

This is because prior to composing a speech or writing an essay, book, or article, you have to carry out in-depth research on the topic and present new information that will impress the person reading the content. In both speech and writing, excellent grammar is highly encouraged, including the use of short sentences to make the information presented easier to understand and recall.

A solid structure is also used in both cases to organize the material and ensure there is logic flow. Personal opinions or unsubstantiated claims are often shunned. Instead, facts, examples, and scholarly sources work to give credibility to what you are saying or writing.

In both speech and writing, the language that communicates the message clearly is preferred. It makes it easier to understand the main concepts presented, even if it’s a technical subject. In both cases, the target audience is put in mind when crafting the content, and specific guidelines are adhered to. For instance, sticking to a deadline or a particular format.


In writing, the reader must have a desire to know more about the subject for them to pick a book or any other text material. However, in a speech, you need to connect with the audience, earn their trust, and capture their attention. Thus it can be a bit difficult to make a speech creative compared to writing an essay or any other text.

It is easier to use a single hook in writing to motivate the reader to read past the introduction. When presenting a speech, you will encounter various people in an audience. Some may prefer humor. In other cases, you might connect better by using an anecdote. Hence it cannot rely on a specific hook to work across all audiences. In a speech, it is also more effective to use gestures, facial expressions, and voice intonations than in writing.

It is impossible to get an instant response in writing in case there are sections where the audience failed to understand or wants more information.

On the other hand, in a speech, the speaker can give a live response and answer any questions that lead to better engagement. It can also result in insecurity if you are not a subject expert, and the listeners are relentless in their quizzes.

During a speech, it is hard for a listener to skip past the pointless details. Instead, you have to wait until the speaker is through with that topic or moves on to something much more enjoyable. In writing, you can simply skip the pages or content you do not want to read and focus only on what interests you.

Another significant difference between speech and writing is that writing has unique rules that must be adhered to, but a speech has a relaxed vibe.

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