English is taught all over the world either as a foreign or second language. It is taught as a foreign language in the Iranian educational system as well. However, it has always been the issue that EFL programs have been developed without conducting a systematic needs analysis from the learners’ perspective. The present study examined the effect of employing critical needs analysis on the learners' speaking skills improvement. To this end, 128 Iranian intermediate learners from three language institutes were selected and assigned to two experimental and control groups. The learners' Necessities, Wants and Lacks through a questionnaire and semi-structured interview were investigated. The experimental group received treatment based on the results of the interview and questionnaire. The results of the inferential statistics showed that the students' highest mean score was in the Necessities sub-dimension, followed by the Lacks, and Wants sub-dimensions which revealed that the students' needs were mostly the items which were necessary for the learners' use of language. In contrast, the control group received treatment based on the pre-determined syllabus of the course. The results of an independent sample t-test indicated that in the post-test, the speaking scores of the participants in the experimental group were significantly higher than the scores in the control group.