BlogEnglishHow to Write a Persuasive Spoken Response for QCAA English IA2

How to Write a Persuasive Spoken Response for QCAA English IA2

Student Giving a Speech (Persuasive Spoken Response)

Just been assigned to complete your Persuasive Spoken Response task for QCAA English IA2, but aren’t sure how to approach it? Not a fan of public speaking?

We’ve got some really helpful tips for you to get you feeling prepared and confident.

Ready? Let’s get started!

What is the Persuasive Spoken Response?
How to Start Working on the QCAA English IA2
Writing the Speech
Presenting Your QCAA English IA2 Speech

What is the Persuasive Spoken Response?

The focus of the persuasive spoken response is the use of informed arguments to create a perspective that persuades your audience to take a particular stance. Unlike other assessment pieces in QCAA General English, this does not have a prescribed text list.

Instead, your “prescribed text list” is the wide variety of contemporary social issues that have had media focus in the past year. While you should undertake research to complete this task, your research skills are not the focus for the task.

This task for QCAA English IA2 is simply interested in your ability to examine the representations of issues in media, as well as your ability to implement persuasive strategies. 

What are you required to do?

You will have 5-8 minutes to convince the audience of your stance, and to do so you should add to the public dialogue about the issue — referring to the perspectives of others as well.

To complete your QCAA English IA2, you may wish to incorporate multimodal elements that are appropriate to the context and audience. 

You will be assessed on your ability to:

  • Discerningly create perspectives and representations of concepts, identities, times and places.
  • Discerningly implements the ways with which cultural assumptions, attitudes, values and beliefs underpin texts and invite audiences to take positions.
  • Discerningly use aesthetic features, stylistic devices, as well as the patterns and conventions of a persuasive text — in order to achieve a particular purpose.
  • Discerningly select, synthesise, organise and sequence subject matter to support your perspective.
  • Discerningly use cohesive devices, and language choices to emphasise ideas and connect parts of the text.
  • Discerningly use a range of grammatically accurate/appropriate language structures.
  • Discerningly use spoken/signed and nonverbal features to achieve a particular purpose.
  • Ensure correct:
    • Pronunciation
    • Phrasing and pausing
    • Audibility and clarity
    • Volume and silence
    • Pace
    • Facial expressions and gestures
    • Proximity
    • Stance and movement
  • If appropriate, discerningly use:
    • Graphics — still and moving images
    • Design elements
    • Music and sound effects

How to Start the QCAA English IA2

When it comes to completing this task, the most crucial part is choosing the right issue. It’s important that this issue is contentious and has appeared in the media within the past year.

You may wish to draw inspiration from broader topics about gender, power, race, religion, age, class and sustainability. It is important that your own perspective on the issue shines through in your speech, and that you’re not simply repeating what has already been said. 

You want to invite your audience to take up their own position — you want to make them feel included in the “conversation”. To complete this task, you will need to:

Approaching the Task qcaa English IA2

In developing your argument, you will need to make use of how cultural assumptions, attitudes, values and beliefs underpin the perspectives and representations of the issue.

Writing the Speech 

Steps for Writing the Speech - ia2 English Persuasive Spoken Response

Choosing Your Issue

As the task states, your issue for your persuasive spoken response needs to be one that is contemporary and contentious (meaning to have more than one side to the argument). It helps to choose a topic that you are incredibly passionate about, that way you will already have your own perspectives to share and positions to persuade the audience to take up.

Some topics that are popular amongst students include gun laws, climate change and mandatory vaccinations — these are all contentious issues that are regularly in the media. When choosing your issue, however, it is important to consider if your issue will be easy to research and whether you will be able to find a variety of perspectives to inform your response — if not, you may find this task a challenge. 

If you are stuck trying to figure out what issue to choose, then probably the easiest way to go about this task is to see what has been trending recently on news sites. 

Doing Research

While the focus of this task isn’t your ability to conduct research, having good foundations for your script is important!

You must present an informed stance and your argument must share or highlight different perspectives and how they have been informed by cultural assumptions, attitudes, values, or beliefs. Without doing research, you will not be able to successfully tick these boxes. 

When conducting research, ensure that you use primary resources — that way, you know the information is reliable. 

Structuring Your Speech for QCAA English IA2

Your speech should begin with a hook — something that demands the audience’s attention. Your hook doesn’t need to be too long, a couple sentences is sufficient. While it is a small component of the speech, it is an incredibly important aspect that allows you to show off your ability to employ stylistic devices and persuasive techniques

At some point in your introduction, you should also include your thesis. This will indicate to the audience what your perspective on the issue is, and the position you are hoping they will take up by the end!

After your introduction, you will need to write the body of your speech. This is where you will make all of your arguments. Ensure each individual argument has its own section dedicated to it, but also make sure to be cohesive with how you transition between different ideas.

At the end, you will need to write a conclusion. This will sum up everything you have stated and introduces no new information. The key part of the conclusion is the call to action — this is what encourages your audience to do something or take up a position. 

Depending on what your prompt is (maybe you’re a news reporter for Channel 7, or maybe you’re doing a segment on The Project), the way with which you structure your speech will be different. This is another reason why doing research is important.

If you know that your task is to produce a segment for 60 Minutes, watch a segment or two to get a feel for how you should structure your speech and whether you should include any multimodal components in your presentation. Your prompt will also indicate to you the language you will need to use and whether you can incorporate humour and other stylistic devices into your script. 

Revising Your Speech

Oftentimes, we will leave practising our speech for the days leading up to our presentation. This may not be the best approach.

What I would recommend is practising each paragraph of your speech after writing it. This way you can find any phrases that sound a bit clunky and work on your pronunciation of any tricky words you may have included. This means that you can edit as you are writing — saving you lots of time.

Once you have completed every section, it is time to do a full read through to make sure your speech flows well and that all of your ideas are connected. Make sure to time yourself so you can see if your speech is too long or too short — there is a strict time limit.

After doing these run throughs, you may find that you need to cut out some sections, or bulk up other sections. Once you have fixed up any weak areas that you have identified, then you can begin to work on your presentation. 

Didn’t know? Term 2 is the most important term for you to apply yourself in for the QCE!

Presenting Your QCAA English IA2 Speech 


Persuasive Spoken Response Delivery

You will be assessed on how you deliver your speech. This is why it is important to practice, practice, practice.

You should practice the tone you use, your pronunciation, your phrasing, your pacing, and more. It is important that you speak with clarity and that you are able to audibly emphasise your most important points and maintain the attention of your audience.

Along with these audible aspects, the visual aspects of your presentation are also important. You may wish to walk around as you are presenting, or make hand/facial gestures. By doing so, you will demand the attention of your audience and keep them engaged. 

Memorising Your Speech

Memorising Speech

To memorise your speech, all you can really do is practise. Read over your script a million times — both out loud and in your head. Then, practise presenting it while you have it in front of you.

If possible, practise presenting in front of another person, so you get used to the feeling of presenting to an audience (this will also help take some nerves off when it comes to the real-deal).

After a few run throughs, hand your script to a friend or family member and try to present it to them without reading it. They can then follow along and let you know if you have made any mistakes. Ideally, you should start practising a week before your presentation. 

Multimodal Components

qcaa English ia2 - Multimodal Components

Depending on your prompt, you may wish to include a PowerPoint or some other multimodal component to your presentation. These can be incredibly effective aids for maintaining the attention of your audience and can help you support your arguments.

Feel free to also refer to your visual or audible aids whilst presenting, to further draw your audience’s attention to them or highlight the emphasis they place on your argument or perspective. Keep in mind, however, that if you use videos in your presentation they must be short and cannot take a significant portion of time away from your presentation. 

Just note that, depending on your prompt (e.g. your task may be to present a 60 Minutes segment), you may not need include any multimodal components.

Whether or not you need to depends on how appropriate it is for the task — and this is what you will be marked on. If you include graphics and videos for a task where it wouldn’t be appropriate, then you will likely be marked down. 

Looking for help in IA1 instead? Read about how to write a Feature Article for top results!

Final Tips for the QCAA English IA2!

This assessment piece is one that many people dread doing. It can be scary presenting in front of an audience, but you can make the experience much more tolerable (and maybe even fun) if you are more confident with what you have written! 

That is why it is so important to practise your speech as many times as possible — force your friends and family to listen to you present so that you can get feedback on your delivery. Try to have some fun with it. If you present it in a very tame and reserved manner, then you may not engage the audience and you might not have as much fun yourself. 

Another way to make your speech more engaging is through the use of language conventions and literary devices. You will be marked on your ability to implement these devices in order to communicate your arguments. 

Keep in mind that, while there is a strict time limit, try not to rush through any sections of your speech. You want to be able to communicate clearly. This is another reason why practising beforehand is so important (it allows you to figure out pacing). 

Now go and write up a fantastic speech — you’ve got this!

When you’ve gotten your marks back from this IA, you should try our QCE Cohort Comparison Tool to see how your marks compare with your cohort’s!

On the hunt for other QCAA English resources?

Check out our guides to completing QCAA English assessments below:

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Katelyn Smith was a pioneer in the Queensland ATAR system. After graduating in 2020 with an ATAR of 98.40, she now studies a Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours) at The University of Queensland — majoring in Physics. Through her studies, she hopes to develop a greater appreciation for how the wonders of the universe work. When she isn’t slaving away behind her unnecessarily large textbooks, she enjoys catching up with friends, scrolling mindlessly through TikTok, and sleeping.

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