CHOOSING TOPICS is usually determined by
* The occasion, the audience, the speaker's qualifications
* Choose a topic you and listeners can find worthwhile, important, and interesting
1--Subjects you already know a lot about
* exploit your own strengths; if you are interested, you'll give interesting speeches; the object speeches showed this
2--Subjects you want to learn more about
* let the speech preparation be a learning experience for you and the audience
* your interests and enthusiasm will be contagious
Method one: list and inventory
* list your experiences, interests, hobbies, beliefs etc.
* list anything and everything that comes to mind
Method two: brainstorming
one idea: nine columns: people, places, events, processes, things
concepts, natural phenomenon, problems, plans and policies
another idea: who, what, where, why, how
* Fill the columns with as much as you can
* Mull over the list; incubate ideas and associations;
What's interesting? What's worthy of more development:
sub plan: choose several and free associate for each
* Make combinations: pairs from lists; make unexpected juxtapositions
* Be flexible; allow yourself to think in different ways
* Take the ordinary into the extraordinary
1--Appropriateness: is it geared to the audience? Appropriate to this class?
2--is it worth listening to as serious, thoughtful examination of ideas?
3--will it be interesting to the audience?
4--does it have widespread human appeal?
5--does it fit audience's needs and curiosities?
We will not be doing any speeches whose general purpose is to entertain, but humor can be used in your informative and persuasive speech.
* humor can ease tensions of audience
* humor can disarm their negativity
1--To inform: conveying information
* Analogous to teaching
* Message must be clear, accurate, interesting
* Change of belief: asking divergent audience to accept your position
* Convincing: making the audience believe as you do
* Persuade them that this is correct
* Stimulating to action: asking audience to do something specific
specific purpose statement should:
1--be phrased as a full infinitive phrase, not fragment
* Macintosh versus IBM
correct: To explain why the macintosh computer is a better choice than an IBM for entry level users.
2--express purpose as statement, not question
* What's wrong with throwing away plastic?
correct: To inform the audience on why plastics in landfills are dangerous
3--avoid figurative language
* clear cutting is a totally bogus thing
correct: To inform the audience of the harmful effects of clear cutting on watersheds.
4--be limited to one distinct idea
* To inform my audience about taxes, social security and health care
correct: To inform my audience on guaranteed health coverage for all Americans.
5--can't be vague or general
* To tell may audience about sports
correct: To inform my audience about training for college football.
Does it meet the assignment?
* Can I do it in the time allotted? (a 5-7 minute speech is about 600-1000 words)
* 5-7 minutes is not enough time to develop complex topic
Is it relevant to my audience?
* must interest audience
* needn't relate directly, there is wide range of interests in this audience
Is the purpose trivial?
* steer clear of the superficial
specific purpose: To inform my audience on how to cook chicken
* is it too technical? An overly technical speech will be hard to attend to.
* Pair up
* Share your two topics from previous activity
* Discuss virtues of the topics and the potential problems
* Discuss audience interest for the topics
* Each person will settle on one topic
Developing specific purpose
* Write specific purpose for your topic
* Share specific purpose with your partner
* Have partner critique your phrasing
what you hope to accomplish
central idea: concise statement of what you expect to say to achieve your specific purpose
it is the thesis statement or major thought
* The residual message: what you want the audience to retain over time
* It is the encapsulation of the main points
GENERAL PURPOSE : To inform
SPECIFIC PURPOSE : To inform why the macintosh computer is a good choice for entry level users.
CENTRAL IDEA : The Macintosh, is designed to make computing easy, productive and fun for people new to computing.