Chapter 1: Mastering the ABCs of Public Speaking

A Detailed Outline of Your Speech

Now that you're familiar with the parts of speech, including the process for developing an outline for the main body of your talk, let's look at how you would form your entire speech outline. Though your outline will vary depending on the type of speech you're delivering and the speech pattern you select, the information detailed here provides a comprehensive guideline for developing a successful speech.

As discussed above, the three main part of a speech are the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. But even though you've familiarized yourself with these main segments, you're still not ready to start writing your speech until you complete your outline because each of these parts can be further broken down as illustrated below. Be prepared to leave some areas of the outline blank until you read more information in this guide. You can use this outline as an aid when writing your full speech or as a speaking script when you're delivering your talk.

This outline has four components: the header, the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. Before you complete your speech, fill in the areas listed here to increase your chances for success.

1. Header Title of Speech

Topic: What is your topic? Determine what the audience will be expecting you to discuss and why you feel you're the right fit for this speech.

Audience: Analyze your listeners. Determine how much knowledge they have about your subject matter and how receptive they're going to be. See Chapter 3 for details.

Reformulate your topic: Based on your assessment of the audience, determine if you need to alter the topic to match their interest and needs. You can change the focus or scale of the topic.

Purpose Statement: Clarify the specific purpose of the speech.

Organizational Method or Pattern: You select your pattern based on the information you gather and the specific purpose you want to achieve. Generally, there are six organizational methods:
  • Topical
  • Chronological
  • Spatial
  • Causal
  • Problem-Solution
  • Motivated Sequence Order

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