Organizing Your Speech
Creating Speech Body
Start with specific purpose and central idea
Your speech should have three levels.
- Central Idea
- Main Points
(Two or Three Points)
- Support Material
(Examples, Statistics, Narrative, Testimony, etc.)
Cluster your Notes (See Bubble Method) around central idea.
Create Main Points.
- Limit number to two or three for short speech, not more than
five for long speech.
See my article on Television & Public Speaking
- Each main point should be an assertion, not a topic heading.
Poor: Grim reality
Better: The grim reality is that at least five of the nineteen
countries, including Iraq, guilty of developing biological weapons
have histories of militant behavior.
Support Main Points.
See article on support.
Discard Irrelevant Material.
Customize points for audience.
Use parallel language when possible.
Methods of Organization
Chronological arrangement follows a time pattern.
- Jazz began in the red light district of New Orleans around
- Jazz moved to Chicago and Kansas City during Prohibition.
- Bebop developed on 52nd Street in New York during the 40's
- Nowadays jazz is a part of the curriculum of many major
Spatially organized speeches follow a directional pattern.
Oregon is a land of contrasts.
- The rugged coast is a mountainous rain forest that
provides high quality fir and cedar.
- The Willamette Valley lying between the Coast Range and the Cascades
is a fertile plain noted for its vinyards and vegetable crops.
- The high Cascades separate Western from Eastern Oregon.
- The high plain east of the Cascades is a semi-arid desert noted
for wheat and rattle snakes.
Causally organized speeches show cause-effect relationship.
Problem-Solution speeches are divided into two main parts:
- First, describe the problem and its seriousness.
- Second, provide the solution to the problem.
Topical speeches divide the main topic into subtopics.
Jazz is not a monolithic musical genre.
- New Orleans
Transitions are bridges. They are words , phrases, or sentences
that logically move us from one idea to another.
Please answer and hand in typewritten answers to the following:
- How many main points should you have in a speech?
- What pattern of organization would be best for a speech about the major organs of the human body? Why?
- What pattern of organization would be best for a speech about nitrogen contamination of U.S. soil and what we can do about it?
- What are some tips for preparing your main points?
- Create the body of an informative speech using the methods you have learned from reading the chapter on how to find and organize a topic and the current chapter. Make certain that you follow all of the steps. T
urn in a sentence outline of the speech. Identify the general purpose, the specific purpose, the central idea, the support you will use, the types of support, etc.
- Create the beginning and ending for the above speech. See How to Begin and End a Speech
- Give the speech when assigned to do so.
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Copyright 1999 Robert Gwynne