When you say something out loud, that's speech. When you give a speech, you say a lot of things in front of a group. Maybe you should open with a joke?

The ability to produce and understand speech in complex ways has long been considered part of what separates humans from other animals. "Freedom of speech" is the right to express your thoughts and opinions publicly. Adjectives, nouns and verbs are "parts of speech." By the way: speech is a noun.

Definitions of speech

n (language) communication by word of mouth

“his speech was garbled”
language, oral communication, speech communication, spoken communication, spoken language, voice communication
Strategic Arms Limitation Talks
negotiations between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics opened in 1969 in Helsinki designed to limit both countries' stock of nuclear weapons
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the words that are spoken
orthoepy, pronunciation
the way a word or a language is customarily spoken
the use of speech for informal exchange of views or ideas or information etc.
discussion, give-and-take, word
an exchange of views on some topic
expression, locution, saying
a word or phrase that particular people use in particular situations
non-standard speech
speech that differs from the usual accepted, easily recognizable speech of native adult members of a speech community
the language or speech of one individual at a particular period in life
a long utterance by one person (especially one that prevents others from participating in the conversation)
charm, magic spell, magical spell, spell
a verbal formula believed to have magical force
speech intended for reproduction in writing
monologue, soliloquy
speech you make to yourself
one of the eight sayings of Jesus at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount; in Latin each saying begins with `beatus' (blessed)
a saying of Jesus that is regarded as authentic although it is not recorded in the Gospels
calque, calque formation, loan translation
an expression introduced into one language by translating it from another language
advice and consent
a legal expression in the United States Constitution that allows the Senate to constrain the President's powers of appointment and treaty-making
an expression whose meaning cannot be determined from its context
an inoffensive or indirect expression that is substituted for one that is considered offensive or too harsh
an offensive or disparaging expression that is substituted for an inoffensive one
an expression of disappointment or irritation
Received Pronunciation
the approved pronunciation of British English; originally based on the King's English as spoken at public schools and at Oxford and Cambridge Universities (and widely accepted elsewhere in Britain); until recently it was the pronunciation of English used in British broadcasting
tongue twister
an expression that is difficult to articulate clearly
a lively or heated interchange of ideas and opinions
phatic communication, phatic speech
conversational speech used to communicate sociability more than information
a mutual expression of views (especially an unpleasant one)
chat, confab, confabulation, schmoose, schmooze
an informal conversation
gossiping, gossipmongering
a conversation that spreads personal information about other people
talk, talking
an exchange of ideas via conversation
inconsequential conversation
social exchange, especially of opinions, attitudes, etc.
formal conversation
argument, argumentation, debate
a discussion in which reasons are advanced for and against some proposition or proposal
voluble conversation
rap session
conversation in a situation where feelings can be expressed and criticized or supported
second-hand speech
overheard conversation (especially overheard cellphone conversation)
table talk
conversation during a meal
telephone conversation
a conversation over the telephone
a private conversation between two people
(usually plural) discussion of all sides of a question
conference, group discussion
a discussion among participants who have an agreed (serious) topic
panel discussion
discussion of a subject of public interest by a group of persons forming a panel usually before an audience
post-mortem, postmortem
discussion of an event after it has occurred
public discussion, ventilation
free and open discussion of (or debate on) some question of public interest
dialogue, negotiation, talks
a discussion intended to produce an agreement
anatomical, anatomical reference
an expression that relates to anatomy
a locution or pronunciation peculiar to the southern United States
catchword, motto, shibboleth, slogan
a favorite saying of a sect or political group
axiom, maxim
a saying that is widely accepted on its own merits
epigram, quip
a witty saying
adage, byword, proverb, saw
a condensed but memorable saying embodying some important fact of experience that is taken as true by many people
idiom, idiomatic expression, phrasal idiom, phrase, set phrase
an expression whose meanings cannot be inferred from the meanings of the words that make it up
sayings of Jesus not recorded in the canonical Gospels
a correct expression that takes the place of a popular but incorrect expression
baby talk, babytalk
the developing speech of a young child
baby talk, babytalk, motherese
an adult's imitation of the speech of a young child
accent, dialect, idiom
the usage or vocabulary that is characteristic of a specific group of people
a phrase or pronunciation that is peculiar to a particular locality
a feature (as a pronunciation or expression or custom) that is characteristic of a particular region
language characterized by terseness and ellipsis as in telegrams
the everyday speech of the people (as distinguished from literary language)
argot, cant, jargon, lingo, patois, slang, vernacular
a characteristic language of a particular group (as among thieves)
slang, slang expression, slang term
informal language consisting of words and expressions that are not considered appropriate for formal occasions; often vituperative or vulgar
conjuration, incantation
a ritual recitation of words or sounds believed to have a magical effect
curse, hex, jinx, whammy
an evil spell
Type of:
auditory communication
communication that relies on hearing

n the exchange of spoken words

“they were perfectly comfortable together without speech
Type of:
speaking, speech production
the utterance of intelligible speech

n a lengthy rebuke

lecture, talking to
preaching, sermon
a moralistic rebuke
curtain lecture
a private lecture to a husband by his wife
Type of:
rebuke, reprehension, reprimand, reproof, reproval
an act or expression of criticism and censure

n something spoken

“he could hear them uttering merry speeches
Type of:
utterance, vocalization
the use of uttered sounds for auditory communication

n the act of delivering a formal spoken communication to an audience

Gettysburg Address
a three-minute address by Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War at the dedication of a national cemetery on the site of the Battle of Gettysburg (November 19, 1863)
Sermon on the Mount
the first major discourse delivered by Jesus (Matthew 5-7 and Luke 6:20-49)
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(rhetoric) a formal or authoritative address that advises or exhorts
an address to an academic meeting or seminar
a wildly enthusiastic speech or piece of writing
an extemporaneous speech or remark
inaugural, inaugural address
an address delivered at an inaugural ceremony (especially by a United States president)
lecture, public lecture, talk
a speech that is open to the public
any long and tedious address or recital
addressing an audience formally (usually a long and rhetorical address and often pompous)
oral presentation, public speaking, speaking, speechmaking
delivering an address to a public audience
discourse, preaching, sermon
an address of a religious nature (usually delivered during a church service)
reading, recital, recitation
a public instance of reciting or repeating (from memory) something prepared in advance
keynote address, keynote speech
a speech setting forth the keynote
nominating address, nominating speech, nomination
an address (usually at a political convention) proposing the name of a candidate to run for election
an instance of oratory
debate, disputation, public debate
the formal presentation of a stated proposition and the opposition to it (usually followed by a vote)
vehement oratory
epideictic oratory
a type of oratory used to eulogize or condemn a person or group of people
stump speech
political oratory
salutatory, salutatory address, salutatory oration
an opening or welcoming statement (especially one delivered at graduation exercises)
valediction, valedictory, valedictory address, valedictory oration
a farewell oration (especially one delivered during graduation exercises by an outstanding member of a graduating class)
a farewell sermon to a graduating class at their commencement ceremonies
kerugma, kerygma
preaching the gospel of Christ in the manner of the early church
zealous preaching and advocacy of the gospel
homily, preachment
a sermon on a moral or religious topic
Type of:
speech act
the use of language to perform some act

n words making up the dialogue of a play

“the actor forgot his speech
actor's line, words
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a line spoken by an actor to the audience but not intended for others on the stage
an actor's line that immediately precedes and serves as a reminder for some action or speech
a (usually long) dramatic speech by a single actor
a (usually long) dramatic speech intended to give the illusion of unspoken reflections
words spoken in a casual way with conscious under-emphasis
prompt, prompting
a cue given to a performer (usually the beginning of the next line to be spoken)
Type of:
text consisting of a row of words written across a page or computer screen

n your characteristic style or manner of expressing yourself orally

“her speech was barren of southernisms”
“I detected a slight accent in his speech
delivery, manner of speaking
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the manner of speaking to another individual
a break or check in the voice (usually a sign of strong emotion)
a manner of speaking
a manner of speaking that is distinctive of a particular group of people
tone, tone of voice
the quality of a person's voice
an expert manner of speaking involving control of voice and gesture
inflection, prosody
the patterns of stress and intonation in a language
inflection, modulation
a manner of speaking in which the loudness or pitch or tone of the voice is modified
sharp tongue
a bitter or critical manner of speaking
a tone of voice that shows what the speaker is feeling
rotundity, roundness
the fullness of a tone of voice
a quiet or hushed tone of voice
intonation, modulation, pitch contour
rise and fall of the voice pitch
a break or pause (usually for sense) in the middle of a verse line
enjambement, enjambment
the continuation of a syntactic unit from one line of verse into the next line without a pause
accent, emphasis, stress
the relative prominence of a syllable or musical note (especially with regard to stress or pitch)
rhythm, speech rhythm
the arrangement of spoken words alternating stressed and unstressed elements
Type of:
expressive style, style
a way of expressing something (in language or art or music etc.) that is characteristic of a particular person or group of people or period

n the mental faculty or power of vocal communication

Type of:
faculty, mental faculty, module
one of the inherent cognitive or perceptual powers of the mind

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