Chapter 7: Supporting Your Ideas



What is the advantages of using supporting evidence in a speech?

* audiences are suspicious of unsupported claims
* use supporting material to prove or disprove claims
* students not perceived as experts; good support helps build credibility

When good support crucial?

* when your topic is challenging
* when your audience has opposing opinions and viewpoints

What are the three basic kinds?

* examples, statistics, testimony

What are examples?

What are two different kinds?

* brief or extended

What are brief examples?

Specific instances
* referred to in passing to illustrate a point
* cumulative series of specific examples can make a strong impression

What are extended examples?

illustrations, narratives, anecdotes
* they are longer and more detailed, more vivid
* the drama of an extended example pulls the audience in

What are hypothetical examples?

imaginary situations
* "why Johnny can't read"
* brief story that relates to a general principal
* since it is made up, be sure to follow up with statistics or testimony

What should you use examples for?

* clarify unfamiliar or complex ideas
* to reinforce your ideas
* to personalize ideas and add human interest that is vivid and textured
      --make sure they are representative; not atypical

Why should you practice the delivery of extended examples?

* extended example should have the cohesion of a short story
* extended example should exploit elements of drama

What are statistics?

Numbers to back up claims

What are two kinds of statistics usage?

* specific or cumulative

What can statistics do for you?

* statistics can make claims credible and specific
* statistics can enhance credibility
* series of statistics can create an impact
* can help document/enliven defined problem

what should you keep in mind when using statistics?

* make sure they are representative
* make sure they come from a wide, representative sampling

* check on the reliability of source

* with polarized issues, don't use "stacked" statistics
* seek statistics that are objective and non-partisan

* use statistics to quantify your ideas and concepts

What is the difference of mean, median, mode

* mean:average; high and low ends can distort
median: is the middle group
mode: most frequently occurring number

Why should you use stats sparingly?

* too many will have negative, numbing effect

What should you do when incorporating statistics in your speech?

* identify sources
* explain your statistics : interpret and use comparison
* help with visualization; be creative
* round off complicated statistics
* use visual aids to augment and clarify statistics

Where can you find statistics?

* world almanacs
* statistic abstract of the US
* statistical yearbook
* World Wide Web
* reputable sources and studies

What is testimony?

the words of someone we can believe in

What are two kinds of testimony?

       expert and peer


What is expert testimony?

quotes from people with high initial credibility

What can expert testimony do for you?

* enhances your credibility

What is peer testimony?

quotes from folks that are not prominent figures

What can peer testimony do for you?

* it can add strong emotional appeal and impact

What is the difference between quotations and paraphrasing?

direct quotes are:

* brief
* convey meaning precisely
* eloquent, witty, compelling


* is used when a quote too long or has awkward phrasing


* Accuracy is paramount! (even with paraphrasing)
* get testimony from qualified, unbiased sources
* give credit where credit is due
* there are important ethical implications with examples, statistics, testimony
* evidence is more likely to be persuasive if it is new
* go beyond what the audience already knows


* don't discount what you know
* don't depersonalize it, but support it with researched supporting material
* life stories always interesting