Site MapHelpFeedbackOrganizing and Outlining the Speech
Organizing and Outlining the Speech

The principles of organization include selecting information that relates to the specific purpose and central idea; distinguishing among the introduction, body, and conclusion of the speech; distinguishing between main and minor points; and phrasing all points in full sentences with parallel structure.

Six patterns of organization work well for organizing speeches: time order, using a chronological sequence; spatial order, moving from left to right, top to bottom, or in any direction that will make the subject clear; cause-and-effect order, showing why something is happening and what impact it is having; problem-solution order, explaining a problem and giving a solution; motivated sequence, following the steps of attention, need, satisfaction, visualization, and action; and topical order, arranging the speech into subtopics.

The purpose of the introduction is to set the tone for the speech, introduce the topic, and get the audience's attention. Some attention-getting devices are using humor, giving personal examples, referring to the occasion, showing the importance of the subject, telling startling information, asking questions, and using quotations.

The speech conclusion should signal the audience that the speech is over and should tie all the ideas together. In their conclusions, speakers often summarize main ideas, use quotations, and inspire the audience to take further action.

Speech transitions help an audience follow where a speaker is going. They introduce main heads and may be written into the speech outline.

An outline is a way of organizing material to highlight all the parts and how they relate to the whole. In most cases, the body of the speech is what is outlined--the introduction and conclusion are handled separately.

The outline shows the organization as main and minor points through the use of standards symbols and indentation. Many speakers like to construct two outlines: a full-sentence outline for organizing the speech and a key-word outline to summarize the main ideas and to function as notes during delivery of the speech.

Your outline should be followed by a bibliography, a list of all the material from other sources that you have used in your speech. All the items should be presented in a standard bibliographical form.

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