Chapter 1: Mastering the ABCs of Public Speaking
Patterns of Speech Organization
- Topical Order: With this organizational pattern, you categorize your information by certain specific topics in your speech.
Then you either arrange those topics in the order of most importance to least importance or by least importance to most importance.
Once this is decided, the main points need to be supported more fully with subpoints and full detail.
The notable thing about the topical pattern approach is that the speech can be organized independently and be interconnected,
though many speakers say they use this approach as a last resort when none of the other patterns work.
- Chronological Order looks at ideas over time. With this approach, the speaker typically discusses events or conditions that occurred furthest away and works his way up to the present occurrences.
On an occasion, he'll start with more recent happenings and then refer to things that happened earlier. This approach is used when the speech focuses on historical events or people.
Speeches that focus on processes or demonstrations use a chronological speech pattern as well.
- Spatial Order arranges ideas according to location or geography. Spatial order provides a way to examine structures, such as buildings and objects.
Spatial order provides a way to analyze conditions in relevant locales. Spatial order may be combined with chronological order to explain geographical development or migration over time.
- Causal Order looks at the causes and effects of a problem or phenomenon. The approach discusses or examines the effects first and then presents the probable causes.
This approach is useful in accounting for historical events and understanding problems. You can refer to probable effects when you want to make predictions about the future.
- Problem-Solution Arrangement discusses the nature of a problem and the solution. The speaker uses the causal pattern to present the problem.
Then he points out the problem's harmful effects and the probable causes. Next, the speaker offers a solution that will either control or eliminate the effects.
In this structure, several solutions may be presented along with their advantages. Researchers say it's best to clarify the problem or need before showing your preferred solution.
For the best response, begin with the problem, then offer the solution.
- Motivated Sequence Order is a technique used to organize the entire speech.
This largely differs from the first five approaches which are used to arrange the main points or the subpoints under a main point.
The Motivated Sequence Order is really effective when you're trying to persuade people to your point of view. It can also be used for informative presentations. It uses five steps:
- Attention – Like the Introduction part of the speech, this step is designed to snag the audience's attention by using a means that relates positively to the rest of the speech.
- Need – This step relates the problem to the audience. This step can be supported with statistics, quotations, or other facts.
- Satisfaction – In the satisfaction phase, you present the specific, detailed plan that addresses the need as you anticipate and respond to any questions the audience has about the solution.
- Visualization – Here you help the audience see themselves in the future. With positive visualization, the speaker describes the advantages of adopting the plan that was presented.
- Action – This final step is designed to move the audience to do something—apply the information, vote for a particular candidate, sign-up for a program, buy a book, or take some other action.
The motivated sequence pattern is more complex than the others listed here. However, it's highly effective when used for persuasive speeches.
The above organization patterns will help you systematically arrange the body of your talk.
By selecting the right pattern, you're taking one more step to ensure your speech connects with your audience and delivers what they expect.