A Discourse Analysis of Speech Structure from TED Talks Corpus


  • Jittima Kraisriwattana Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Khon Kaen University
  • Kornwipa Poonpon Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Khon Kaen University


public speaking, TED Talks, discourse analysis


With an intention to reveal how successful public speakers construct their speeches, this study aimed to investigate structure of speeches delivered in TED Talks, one of the influential public speaking platforms these days. The study compiled a corpus of twenty-five most viewed TED speeches in 2019, and all of them were transcribed. Biber et al.’s discourse analytical approach (2007) was adopted for analytical procedures, and Chang and Huang’s conceptual framework (2015) was adapted for rhetorical moves and steps analysis. The study found nine rhetorical moves with the respective steps constructing the TED speeches. Further analysis into different sections of the speeches revealed that the dominants moves were Topic Introduction moves for the introduction section, Topic Development moves for the body section, and Acknowledgement moves for the conclusion section. Focusing on the body section, this study found three possible Topic Development move types, namely Topic Development in Topical Order, Topic Development in Narrative Order and Topic Development in Problem-Solution Order respectively. The knowledge on structure of TED speeches is contributing to public speaking spheres and provides both research and pedagogical implications.


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How to Cite

Kraisriwattana, J., & Poonpon, K. (2021). A Discourse Analysis of Speech Structure from TED Talks Corpus . KKU Research Journal (Graduate Studies) Humanities and Social Sciences, 9(2), 59–72. Retrieved from https://so04.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/gskkuhs/article/view/241408



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