Chapter 12: Public Speaking – Human Communication: An Open Text (2023)

Table of Contents
Public speaking This Chapter is broken down into Five Parts PART ONE 12.1 introduction to public speaking Part One – Audience Analysis 12.2 speaking to an audience with clarity Adjust the Complexity to the Audience Avoid Unnecessary Jargon Create Concrete Images Keep Information Limited Link Current Knowledge to New Knowledge Make it Memorable Make it Relevant and Useful Develop your Topic for the Audience Difficult Concepts or Language Difficult-to-Envision Process or Structures Difficult to Understand because it’s Hard to Believe Part Two- Topic Selection, Purpose, & Thesis 12.3 topic selection: finding your purpose Selecting a Topic Common Constraints of Public Speaking Purpose Audience Context Time Frame Selecting a Broad Subject Area Narrowing your Topic Part Three – Research 12.4 conducting research Information Literacy Model Personal and Professional Experience 12.3 Interviews Skills Study Internet Research Library Research 12.4 How to integrate and present research PRESENTING STATISTICS 12.5 evaluating research Who What When Where Why 10.6 REFERENCING CITATIONS Ethics and Plagiarism Part four – Speech organization 12.7 organizing your speech Determining Main Ideas What is your Specific Purpose Example One Example Two Example Three FROM SPECIFIC PURPOSE TO MAIN POINTS How Many Main Points Do I Need? Narrowing Down Main Points HELPFUL HINTS FOR PREPARING MAIN POINTS Uniting Main Points Keeping Main Points Separate Balancing Main Points Creating Parallel Structure for Main Points Maintaining Logical Flow of Main Points ORGANIZATIONAL PATTERNS 12.8 OUTLINING YOUR SPEECH Why Outline Tests Scope of Content Tests the Balance and Proportion of the Speech Serves as Notes during the Speech 10.8 TYPES OF OUTLINES Working Outline Full-Sentence Outline (or Preparation Script Outline) Speaking Outline Part five – presenting 12.9: Delivery WHAT IS GOOD DELIVERY? Volume Rate Pitch Pauses Vocal Variety Pronunciation Posture Body Movement Facial Expression Dress Self-Presentation Practice Effectively Seek Input from Others Use audio and/or video to record yourself FUNCTIONS OF PRESENTATION (VISUAL) AIDS Improve Audience Understanding Clarify Emphasize Enhance Retention and Recall Add Variety and Interest Enhance a Speaker’s Credibility Basic Design principles for presentation technology Images Color Text Consistency 12.10 summary, discussion, references SUMMARY DISCUSSION QUESTIONS KEY TERMS REFERENCES FAQs Videos

Public speaking

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the importance of accuracy, clarity, and listener interest in public speaking.
  • Define four delivery styles.
  • Discuss why public speaking is important.
  • Identify strategies for audience analysis.
  • Identify types of research and evidence
  • Apply ethical use of information
  • Identify a variety of speech patterns to organizing a speech.
  • Understand how to include presentational aids in your speech.
  • Identify strategies for delivery.
  • Understand how to outline a speech.

This Chapter is broken down into Five Parts


12.1 introduction to public speaking

In this chapter, we wish to address the finer points of effective public speaking so that you can be more successful in future presentations and later in your professional career.

Being honest about your personal agenda in choosing a topic is important. It is not always easy to discern a clear line between informative and persuasive speech. Good information has a strong tendency to be persuasive, and persuasion relies on good information. On a basic level, all communication is persuasive because at the very least when you communicate you are trying to persuade someone to listen to you and to believe you. Thus, informative and persuasive speaking do overlap. It remains up to you to examine your real motives in choosing your topic. Ethical speaking means respecting the intelligence of your audience. If you try to circumvent the purpose of the informative speech in order to plant a persuasive seed, your listeners will notice. Such strategies often come across as dishonest.

A good speech conveys accurate information to the audience clearly and keeps the listener interested in the topic. Achieving all three of these goals—accuracy, clarity, and interest—is the key to your effectiveness as a speaker. If the information is inaccurate, incomplete, or unclear, it will be of limited usefulness to the audience. There is no topic about which you can give complete information, and therefore, we strongly recommend careful narrowing. With a carefully narrowed topic and purpose, it is possible to give an accurate picture that isn’t misleading.

Part of being accurate is making sure that your information is current. Even if you know a great deal about your topic or writing a good paper on the topic in a high school course, you need to verify the accuracy and completeness of what you know. Most people understand that technology changes rapidly, so you need to update your information almost constantly, but the same is true for topics that, on the surface, may seem to require less updating. For example, the American Civil War occurred 150 years ago, but contemporary research still offers new and emerging theories about the causes of the war and its long-term effects. So even with a topic that seems to be unchanging, you need to carefully check your information to be sure it’s accurate and up to date.

For your listeners to benefit from your speech, you must convey your ideas in a fashion that your audience can understand.The clarity of your speech relies on logical organization and understandable word choices. You should not assume that something that’s obvious to you will also be obvious to the members of your audience. Formulate your work with the objective of being understood in all details, and rehearse your speech in front of peers who will tell you whether the information in your speech makes sense.

In addition to being clear,your speech should be interesting. Your listeners will benefit the most if they can give sustained attention to the speech, and this is unlikely to happen if they are bored. This often means you will decide against using some of the topics you know a great deal about. Suppose, for example, that you had a summer job as a veterinary assistant and learned a great deal about canine parasites. This topic might be very interesting to you, but how interesting will it be to others in your class? In order to make it interesting, you will need to find a way to connect it with their interests and curiosities. Perhaps there are certain canine parasites that also pose risks to humans—this might be a connection that would increase audience interest in your topic.

Part One – Audience Analysis

12.2 speaking to an audience with clarity

The first key to preparing a speech for an audience is analyzing them.Audience analysis involvesidentifying the audience and adapting a speech to their interests, level of understanding, attitudes, andbeliefs.A clear and interesting speech can make use of description, causal analysis, or categories. With description, you use words to create a picture in the minds of your audience. You can describe physical realities, social realities, emotional experiences, sequences, consequences, or contexts. For instance, you can describe the mindset of the Massachusetts town of Salem during the witch trials. You can also use causal analysis, which focuses on the connections between causes and consequences. For example, in speaking about health care costs, you could explain how a serious illness can put even a well-insured family into bankruptcy. You can also use categories to group things together. For instance, you could say that there are three categories of investment for the future: liquid savings, avoiding debt, and acquiring properties that will increase in value.

There are a number of principles to keep in mind as a speaker to make the information you present clear and interesting for your audience. Let’s examine several of them.

Adjust the Complexity to the Audience

If your speech is too complex or too simplistic, it will not hold the interest of your listeners. How can you determine the right level of complexity? Your audience analysis is one important way to do this. Will your listeners belong to a given age group, or are they more diverse? Did they all go to public schools in the United States, or are some of your listener’s international students? The answers to these and other audience analysis questions will help you to gauge what they know and what they are curious about.

Similarly, be very careful about assuming there is anything that “everybody knows.” Suppose you’ve decided to present an informative speech on the survival of the early colonists of New England. You may have learned in elementary school that their survival was attributable, in part, to the assistance of Squanto. Many of your listeners will know which states are in New England, but if there are international students in the audience, they might never have heard of New England. You should clarify the term either by pointing out the region on a map or by stating that it’s the six states in the American northeast. Other knowledge gaps can still confound the effectiveness of the speech. For instance, who or what was Squanto? What kind of assistance did the settlers get? Only a few listeners are likely to know that Squanto spoke English and that fact had greatly surprised the settlers when they landed. It was through his knowledge of English that Squanto was able to advise these settlers in survival strategies during that first harsh winter. If you neglect to provide that information, your speech will not be as informative as it could be.

Avoid Unnecessary Jargon

If you decide to give a speech on a highly specialized topic, limit how much technical language or jargon you use. Loading a speech with specialized language has the potential to be taxing on the listeners. It can become too difficult to “translate” your meanings, and if that happens, you will not effectively deliver information. Even if you define many technical terms, the audience may feel as if they are being bombarded with a set of definitions instead of useful information. Don’t treat your speech as a crash course in an entire topic. If you must, introduce one specialized term and carefully define and explain it to the audience. Define it in words, and then use a concrete and relevant example to clarify the meaning.

Create Concrete Images

As a college student, you have had a significant amount of exposure to abstract terms. You have become comfortable using and hearing a variety of abstract ideas. However, abstract terms lend themselves to many interpretations. For instance, the abstract term “responsibility” can mean many things. Among other meanings, it can mean duty, task, authority, or blame. Because of the potential for misunderstanding, it is better to use a concrete word. For example, instead of saying, “Helen Worth was responsible for the project,” you will convey clearer meaning when you say, “Helen Worth was in charge of the project”, “Helen Kimes made the project a success”, or “Helen Worth was to blame for the failure of the project”.

To illustrate the differences between abstract and concrete language, let’s look at a few pairs of terms:

Transportationair travel
Successcompletion of project
Discriminationexclusion of women
Athleticphysically fit

By using an abstraction in a sentence and then comparing the concrete term in the sentence, you will notice the more precise meanings of the concrete terms. Those precise terms are less likely to be misunderstood. In the last pair of terms, “knowledgeable” is listed as a concrete term, but it can also be considered an abstract term. Still, it’s likely to be much clearer and more precise than “profound.”

Keep Information Limited

When you developed your speech, you carefully narrowed your topic in order to keep information limited yet complete and coherent. If you carefully adhere to your own narrowing, you can keep from going off on tangents or confusing your audience. If you overload your audience with information, they will be unable to follow your narrative. Use the definitions, descriptions, explanations, and examples you need in order to make your meanings clear, but resist the temptation to add tangential information merely because you find it interesting.

Link Current Knowledge to New Knowledge

Certain sets of knowledge are common to many people in your classroom audience. For instance, most of them know what Wikipedia is. Many have found it a useful and convenient source of information about topics related to their coursework. Because many Wikipedia entries are lengthy, greatly annotated, and followed by substantial lists of authoritative sources, many students have relied on information acquired from Wikipedia in writing papers to fulfill course requirements. All this is information that virtually every classroom listener is likely to know.

One way to make the message acceptable to your listeners is to show what Wikipedia does well. For example, some Wikipedia entries contain many good references at the end. Most of those references are likely to be authoritative, having been written by scholars. In searching for information on a topic, a student can look up one or more of those references in full-text databases or in the library. In this way, Wikipedia can be helpful in steering a student toward the authoritative information they need. Explaining this to your audience will help them accept, rather than reject, the bad news about Wikipedia.

Make it Memorable

If you’ve already done the preliminary work in choosing a topic, finding an interesting narrowing of that topic, developing and using presentation aids, and working to maintain audience contact, your delivery is likely to be memorable. Now you can turn to your content and find opportunities to make it appropriately vivid. You can do this by using explanations, comparisons, examples, or language.

This strategy rests on the ability of the audience to visualize the two contrasting situations. You have alluded to two sets of images that are familiar to most college students, images that they can easily visualize. Once the audience imagination is engaged in visualization, they are likely to remember the speech.

Your task of providing memorable imagery does not stop after the introduction. While maintaining an evenhanded approach that does not seek to persuade, you must provide the audience with information about the circumstances that triggered the policy of internment, perhaps by describing the advice that was given to President Roosevelt by his top advisers. You might depict the conditions faced by Japanese Americans during their internment by describing a typical day one of the camps. To conclude your speech on a memorable note, you might name a notable individual—an actor, writer, or politician—who is a survivor of the internment.

Such a strategy might feel unnatural to you. After all, this is not how you talk to your friends or participate in a classroom discussion. Remember, though, that public speaking is not the same as talking. It’s prepared and formal. It demands more of you. In a conversation, it might not be important to be memorable; your goal might merely be to maintain the friendship. But in a speech, when you expect the audience to pay attention, you must make the speech memorable.

Make it Relevant and Useful

When thinking about your topic, it is always very important to keep your audience members center stage in your mind. For instance, if your speech is about air pollution, ask your audience to imagine feeling the burning of eyes and lungs caused by smog. This is a strategy for making the topic more real to them, since it may have happened to them on a number of occasions; and even if it hasn’t, it easily could. If your speech is about Mark Twain, instead of simply saying that he was very famous during his lifetime, remind your audience that he was so prominent that their own great-grandparents likely knew of his work and had strong opinions about it. In so doing, you’ve connected your topic to their own forebears.


For a full list of the Sustainability Goals you can go to the following website

Develop your Topic for the Audience

One issue to consider when preparing a speech is how best to present the information to enhance audience learning. Katherine Rowan (2003) suggests focusing on areas where your audience may experience confusion and using the likely sources of confusion as a guide for developing the content of your speech. Rowan identifies three sources of audience confusion: difficult concepts or language, difficult-to-envision structures or processes, and ideas that are difficult to understand because they are hard to believe.

Difficult Concepts or Language

Sometimes audiences may have difficulty understanding information because of the concepts or language used. For example, they may not understand what the term “organic food” means or how it differs from “all-natural” foods. If an audience is likely to experience confusion over a basic concept or term, clarify the meaning by giving an example and defining the term. Similarly, when using an acronym it is important to explain what it means and perhaps put up the full name on a visual aid. You may know that NCA refers to the National Communication Association but your audience may not

Difficult-to-Envision Process or Structures

The second source of audience difficulty in understanding, according to Rowan, is a process or structure. Presentation aids or analogies might be helpful in giving an overview of the process. For the circulatory system, you could show a video or diagram of the entire system or make an analogy to a pump. Then you can move to explaining relationships among the components of the process. Be sure when you explain relationships among components that you include transition and linking words like “leads to” and “because” so that your audience understands relationships between concepts. You may remember the childhood song describing the bones in the body with lines such as, “the hip bone’s connected to the thigh bone; the thigh bone’s connected to the knee bone.” Making the connections between components helps the audience remember and understand the process.

Difficult to Understand because it’s Hard to Believe

A third source of audience confusion, and perhaps the most difficult to address as a speaker, is an idea that’s difficult to understand because it’s hard to believe. This often happens when people have implicit but erroneous theories about how the world works. For example, the idea that science tries to disprove theories is difficult for some people to understand; after all, shouldn’t the purpose of science be to prove things? In such a case, Rowan suggests using a transformative explanation. A transformative explanation begins by discussing the audience’s implicit theory and showing why it is plausible. Then you move to showing how the implicit theory is limited and conclude by presenting the accepted explanation and why that explanation is better. In the case of scientists disproving theories, you might start by talking about what science has proven (e.g., the causes of malaria, the usefulness of penicillin in treating infection) and why focusing on science as proof is a plausible way of thinking. Then you might show how the science as proof theory is limited by providing examples of ideas that were accepted as “proven” but were later found to be false, such as the belief that diseases are caused by miasma, or “bad air”; or that bloodletting cures diseases by purging the body of “bad humor.” You can then conclude by showing how science is an enterprise designed to disprove theories and that all theories are accepted as tentative in light of existing knowledge.


Rowan’s framework is helpful because it keeps our focus on the most significant element of this speech: increasing audience understanding about a topic.

Part Two- Topic Selection, Purpose, & Thesis

12.3 topic selection: finding your purpose

Finding a speech’s purpose and a topic isn’t as complex or difficult as you might believe. This may be hard to accept right now but trust us. After you read this chapter, you’ll understand how to go about finding interesting topics for a variety of different types of speeches. In this chapter, we are going to explain how to identify the general purpose of a speech. We will also discuss how to select a topic, what to do if you’re just drawing a blank and four basic questions you should ask yourself about the speech topic you ultimately select. Finally, we will explain how to use your general purpose and your chosen topic to develop the specific purpose of your speech.

Selecting a Topic

One of the most common stumbling blocks for novice public speakers is selecting their first speech topic. Generally, your public speaking instructor will provide you with some fairly specific parameters to make this a little easier. You may be assigned to tell about an event that has shaped your life or to demonstrate how to do something. Whatever your basic parameters, at some point you as the speaker will need to settle on a specific topic. In this section, we’re going to look at some common constraints of public speaking, picking a broad topic area, and narrowing your topic.

Common Constraints of Public Speaking

When we use the word “constraint” with regard to public speaking, we are referring to any limitation or restriction you may have as a speaker. Whether in a classroom situation or in the boardroom, speakers are typically given specific instructions that they must follow. These instructions constrain the speaker and limit what the speaker can say. For example, in the professional world of public speaking, speakers are often hired to speak about a specific topic (e.g., time management, customer satisfaction, entrepreneurship). In the workplace, a supervisor may assign a subordinate to present certain information in a meeting. In these kinds of situations, when a speaker is hired or assigned to talk about a specific topic, he or she cannot decide to talk about something else.


The first major constraint someone can have involves the general purpose of the speech. As mentioned earlier, there are three general purposes: to inform, to persuade, and to entertain. If you’ve been told that you will be delivering an informative speech, you are automatically constrained from delivering a speech with the purpose of persuading or entertaining. In most public speaking classes, this is the first constraint students will come in contact with because generally, teachers will tell you the exact purpose for each speech in the class.


The second major constraint that you need to consider as a speaker is the type of audience you will have. As discussed in the chapter on audience analysis, different audiences have different political, religious, and ideological leanings. As such, choosing a speech topic for an audience that has a specific mindset can be very tricky. Unfortunately, choosing what topics may or may not be appropriate for a given audience is based on generalizations about specific audiences. For example, maybe you’re going to give a speech at a local meeting of Democratic leaders. You may think that all Democrats are liberal or progressive, but there are many conservative Democrats as well. If you assume that all Democrats are liberal or progressive, you may end up offending your audience by making such a generalization without knowing better. Obviously, the best way to prevent yourself from picking a topic that is inappropriate for a specific audience is to really know your audience, which is why we recommend conducting an audience analysis.


The third major constraint relates to the context. For speaking purposes, the context of a speech is the set of circumstances surrounding a particular speech. There are countless different contexts in which we can find ourselves speaking: a classroom in college, a religious congregation, a corporate boardroom, a retirement village, or a political convention. In each of these different contexts, the expectations for a speaker are going to be unique and different. The topics that may be appropriate in front of a religious group may not be appropriate in the corporate boardroom. Topics appropriate for the corporate boardroom may not be appropriate at a political convention.

Time Frame

The last—but by no means least important—major constraint that you will face is the time frame of your speech. In speeches that are under ten minutes in length, you must narrowly focus a topic to one major idea. For example, in a ten-minute speech, you could not realistically hope to discuss the entire topic of the US Social Security program. There are countless books, research articles, websites, and other forms of media on the topic of Social Security, so trying to crystallize all that information into ten minutes is just not realistic.

Instead, narrow your topic to something that is more realistically manageable within your allotted time. You might choose to inform your audience about Social Security disability benefits, using one individual disabled person as an example. Or perhaps you could speak about the career of Robert J. Myers, one of the original architects of Social Security. By focusing on information that can be covered within your time frame, you are more likely to accomplish your goal at the end of the speech.

Selecting a Broad Subject Area

Once you know what the basic constraints are for your speech, you can then start thinking about picking a topic. The first aspect to consider is what subject area you are interested in examining. Asubject areais a broad area of knowledge. Art, business, history, physical sciences, social sciences, humanities, and education are all examples of subject areas. When selecting a topic, start by casting a broad net because it will help you limit and weed out topics quickly.

Furthermore, each of these broad subject areas has a range of subject areas beneath it. For example, if we take the subject area “art,” we can break it down further into broad categories like art history, art galleries, and how to create art. We can further break down these broad areas into even narrower subject areas (e.g., art history includes prehistoric art, Egyptian art, Grecian art, Roman art, Middle Eastern art, medieval art, Asian art, Renaissance art, modern art). As you can see, topic selection is a narrowing process.

Narrowing your Topic

Narrowing your topic to something manageable for the constraints of your speech is something that takes time, patience, and experience. One of the biggest mistakes that new public speakers make is not narrowing their topics sufficiently given the constraints. In the previous section, we started demonstrating how the narrowing process works, but even in those examples, we narrowed subject areas down to fairly broad areas of knowledge.

You may think that your topic is sufficiently narrow, but even within the topic of Anatolian art, there are smaller categories: pre-Hittite, Hittite, Uratu, and Phrygian periods of art. So, let’s narrow our topic again to the Phrygian period of art (1200–700 BCE). Although we have now selected a specific period of art history in Anatolia, we are still looking at a five-hundred-year period in which a great deal of art was created. One famous Phrygian king was King Midas, who according to myth was given the ears of a donkey and the power of a golden touch by the Greek gods. As such, there is an interesting array of art from the period of Midas and its Greek counterparts representing Midas. At this point, we could create a topic about how Phrygian and Grecian art differed in their portrayals of King Midas. We now have a topic that is unique, interesting, and definitely manageable in five to seven minutes. You may be wondering how we narrowed the topic down; we just started doing a little research using the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website.


Overall, when narrowing your topic, you should start by asking yourself four basic questions based on the constraints discussed earlier in this section:

  1. Does the topic match my intended general purpose?
  2. Is the topic appropriate for my audience?
  3. Is the topic appropriate for the given speaking context?
  4. Can I reasonably hope to inform or persuade my audience in the time frame I have for the speech?

Part Three – Research

12.4 conducting research

The first mention of research can send students running for the exits or on a hike to the nearestWikipediapage, but this need not be the case. If I asked how familiar you were with finding information, conducting research, or evaluating sources, you would probably say, “Not very.” Although you may not think you engage in research regularly, in fact, you conduct research every day in many ways. Our goal is to boost both your confidence and skills for conducting research so that you know what you need and where to find it for any project you are working on.

Informed Learning or Informational Literacy are terms that explain pedagogy (the teaching process) that focuses on how combining subject content through academic practice can result in academic and professional application. Research is applicable to all areas of study and it is an important connection to educational, personal, and professional learning. These connections boost confidence so that students perform a higher level of comprehension and delivery of content. College students recognize that being informed means selecting content for review, building connections, practicing, and implementing higher standards to reading, reviewing research, and demonstration of work.

The goal from a student perspective is that informed learning locates resources and evaluates those resources based on conceptual realities mirrored in real life, whether it be family decisions about finance or workplace etiquette. Revising the way you approach learning and including an informed perspective is advantageous for numerous reasons.Informed learning skills allow students to save time, simplify or clarify reading and assignments, promote connections between ideas and perspectives, encourage participation in the learning process, and facilitate skill development.

Information Literacy Model

There are various information literacy models. OneInformation Literacy Modelconsists of four components that aid in comprehension of information in various forms. The four components include library skills, media skills, critical literacy, and information ethics.

  • Library Skills: Library skills develop literacy by increasing understanding of disciplines of study.Being able to search within different branches of learning allows you to begin to build a foundation of knowledge to understand areas within your educational pursuits and designated career. Building connections between disciplines create bridges that support a more holistic approach to learning, utilizing search options, keyword and subject search, catalog and database access.
  • Media Skills: Media skills develop the ability to utilize resources that combine text, graphics, and other combinations of media. Visual media has always had a strong presence with varied websites offering videos of tutorials and news. Computer generated media are widely becoming a new way to create information. Lastly, social media allows sharing of information more easily than before in the Digital Age.
  • Critical Literacy: Critical Literacy activates long term memory, including critical reading, critical thinking, and synthesis. Critical reading is reached when main ideas are determined, interpreted, and evaluated. Critical thinking is reached when analysis, critique, and response motivate observation, experience, and deep learning. Synthesizing is reached when ideas are summarized and a furthered approach to learning is met by combining ideas.
  • Information Ethics:Information Ethics teaches you to consider ethical and moral obligations in research, including copyright, security, and privacy. Research conducted and presented in any format requires an understanding of how to properly evaluate, cite, and attribute sources.

Chapter 12: Public Speaking – Human Communication: An Open Text (1)

Researchis a word that definesthe process of inquiry, location, selection, evaluation, and application of sources. There are many types of research. A discussion of information includes the different ways that you can conduct research. Informed learning requires that you be able to identify these research types and choose accordingly which one might be useful in what context or scenario. You also want to think about how one type of research might be better implemented for the desired purpose or effect of the audience. The types of research this chapter introduces include Personal and Professional Experience, Internet Research, Library Research, and Interviewing.

Personal and Professional Experience

You will most likely want to research ideas you find interesting and can see connections to meaningful and effective ways to learn and use the information. Personal and Professional experience are great ways to begin to think about topics or areas that you can write or speak about due to your own knowledge and expertise. Using Personal and Professional experience can help lessen anxiety by allowing you to speak about subjects you are already familiar with or share meaningful stories. Additionally, when speaking from experience you are more excited about your topic, and this improves eye contact because you rely less upon your speaking notes. You connect on a personal level with the audience and build connections through something you are passionate about. Students may not always respond to a topic, but they will respond to a person.

Personal experiencerelies onthe unique frames of reference and worldviews based on the experiences that have shaped your sense of self or identity. Personal experiences can be based on age, race, or economic status. These personal experiences can also be influenced by the way you were raised, educated, or formed connections to media, society, or culture.

Personal experience is a great way to incorporate a sense of reality and sincerity into your message. You can choose common or shared experiences with your audience to better meet and anticipate audience understanding. If you share your experience, those in the audience will begin to think about their own experiences, identifying and critiquing your experience against their own. It is a great way to encourage interest and engagement. Many times we choose topics that have affected us personally. Sharing these experiences remind others how certain topics affect them at their age, in their neighborhoods, or among their friends because they are being provided a real life experience from their peer.

Professional experiencerelies oninformation gained in a professional capacity. If you have gained specific knowledge or experience from education, training, or practice in relationship to your career, the information you have attained counts as professional experience. The phrase “Professional Experience” stands out as an area you would include on your resume and is precisely what you would consider.

Professional experience can add credibility to a presentation by allowing others to see that you have more legitimate knowledge than others. For example, if you have interned, served in the military, or have a professional image as a college student, this lets you share your experiences in a real way and connect to an audience that shares your demographic characteristics. This encourages your audience to make its own connections to your topic.

Case Study

The Prom

Prom is a shared experience for most teenagers and young adults. It reflects a very important ritual with common themes that are echoed in television and film from movies such asPretty in Pink,Carrie, andMean Girls. These are identifiable characteristics that create this sense of the experience and how it should be shared– including bullying, the dress, alcohol, sex, and dancing. This experience is one that has been chronicled for years as a right of passage and often planned with the same sentiment as a wedding. When you share your experience with peers, there is a level of comparison based on expectations and one’s own relationship to their experience or lack thereof. More recently, we are seeing a resurgence of this experience in the media based on new interpretations of prom in response to gender.


This blog post from the ACLU summarizes some of these new interpretations.

12.3 Interviews

Aninterviewisa conversation in which someone is questioned about their background, lifestyle or experience and answers are given.Interviews are a great way to rely on others for personal and professional experience. Interviews can be structured (formal), semi- structured (blended), or unstructured (informal). The traditional interview experience is between two people in a face-to-face setting. Increasingly, interviews are conducted in groups, by a panel, or virtually with the use of technology. No matter the format, interviews following a similar pattern.

Interviewing often follows a simple structure and there are some key ideas that can make your interview more successful. Always remember that you need to do research and prepare before the interview. What can you learn about the person or the person’s connection to your topic? What resources can you utilize to gain this knowledge? Based on your research, develop questions or talking points to encourage sharing. Be respectful of others’ time and be clear about expectations for the interview (where will you meet, if the interview is recorded, how much time you need, the purpose of the interview, etc.).

Find the information you need and think through how you want to design questions for the interview. Use prepared questions. Primary questionsidentify key ideas and direct the interview content. Secondary questionsredirect and clarify or build on primary questions. For an informational interview, you may ask moreopen questionsthatdo not require a specific answer and allow the interviewee to direct and manage more of the conversation. Open questions will help you acquire more perspectives and variety in responses. Identify whether questions may be biased questions or neutral questions. Neutral questionsarewithout opinion; whereas,biased questionspresent an opinion or agenda in the response. For a survey or data analysis, you may ask moreclosed questionsto generateshort one word answers or numerical responses.


Skills Study

Want to get some ideas on how to conduct an Informational (Research) Interview? Lily Zhang, a Career Development Specialist at MIT,wrote a blog post detailing how to construct an informational interview for someone who works in a career you are interested in pursuing.

In thinking about interviewing from a research perspective, the interview offers a new and varied perspective. This builds credibility because it shows diversity in opinion and approach to the subject, which presents more trust when more sources are used. It can be difficult to know exactly what information to include, what information is needed, or how to organize the information. A point person or expert can be a great resource. In many instances, this person has experience researching the topic and provide important advice for what should be considered the most important, relevant or timely points, and how to best communicate a message. Lastly, there are numerous factors that divide us as an audience or create a differing worldview from those around us. We may not identify with the author because we feel they do not represent us, our ideals, or our experiences. An expert can bridge those gaps and allow you to choose someone that your audience can connect to, trust, or admire.

Internet Research

You may be wondering, “What constitutes Internet research?” Examples of internet research can benon-print resources, orformatswith special characters whose information content can only be access through the use of machines / digitalequipmentsuch as e-book, e-journals, e- images, etc. Internet resources can also include email, blogs, and list-serves can be used to collect interview statements and provide experience. Media sources such as radio, TV, film, audio and video recordings add visual content and increase audience engagement with a topic. Websites, virtual libraries, educational indexes and search engines can be used to locate content and knowledge.

Knowing how to utilize a search engine can be extremely helpful in applying informed learning to an online environment. There are shortcuts, operators, features, punctuation, and symbol searches. Also,a site’s address(i.e.,Uniform Resource Locator, or URL) contains information that can provide the purpose in selecting a source. You probably recognize .com or .org as two types of URL and there may be others that you recognize but are unsure what would be scholarly or appropriate. American universities, colleges, and secondary schools often use .edu. Not-for-profit or non-profit organizations often use the .org suffix. Businesses, news, and database websites use .com/ .net. Personal sites are individual sites that are not representative of a larger body, but a personal or local business, news, or information website and use .site.

Library Research

Library research includes all of the resources found in the library or through its website. There are three main areas of library research: Classification and Catalog, Reference Works, and Print Resources. Classification and cataloguse a variety ofcategorization to help patrons locate materials in the library. The catalog organizes resources by author, title, Library of Congress Subject Heading, and call number. Periodicalsareworks publishedatregular intervals such as daily, weekly, monthly, or even annually. These include general interest magazines and professional and academic journals. Periodicals are generally peer reviewed or edited and provide a variety of perspectives. They can provide in-depth information, research, and data statistics and studies. They can contain more up-to-date information than books or e-books. Newspaper Indexes provide a searchable database of news articles, including more current information. Reference worksarebooks and other works that contain useful facts and information, such as Encyclopedia’s, Dictionaries, Directories, Atlases, Almanacs, Books of Quotations, and Biographies. Print resourcesareprinted text and images or paper publications that are in the form of physical editions of books, journals, magazines, newspapers,etc. Books in print can provide more in-depth, credible, and historical research. Newspapers in print can provide more local information by providing access to smaller, community papers.

12.4 How to integrate and present research

Research is integrated and presented in a text as evidence. The text can be an essay or speech outline that you have written. Written text can also include a computer generated presentation like a slide show. The text can also be verbal and include a speech or presentation. It doesn’t matter what text you comprise, you need to incorporate your research. The varied ways that you incorporate your research can help you plan, organize, and deliver your evidence more effectively. Choices you make for integrating and presenting your information depend upon the message you want to convey. There are 4 ways that you can integrate evidence: definitions, examples, facts and statistics, and testimony.

Adefinitionisa formal statement of the meaning or significance of a word, phrase, idiom, etc.. There are different types of definitions and ways to think about defining a term. Thinking about how the word is used in our language can determine if we want a common meaning or want to use a word more strategically based on how people think about the use of the word. We know there is the denotative or dictionary definition — the literal meaning of the word. There is the connotative definition — the associated meaning of the word based on our world view and experiences. There are more formal ideas about how to define terms such as theetymological definition, orhow the word is defined by the word’s origin or history. Definitions provide clarity to complex ideas, jargon, or slang.

Anexampleisa characteristic of its kind or illustrates a general rule. They can be brief, extended, or hypothetical. Abrief exampleis short and generally adds clarity by providing a detail or characteristic of a piece of information. Examples add relevance by discussing what is current or familiar to the audience as a way to connect information. For example, using a genre of music as an example of what music you listen to in your free time allows the audience to determine similarities, differences, or lack of exposure and experience. Anextended example, or narrative, provides an anecdote or story that relays a more vivid and textured example of a situation, experience, or context surrounding your topic. An extended example often serves as an illustration of an idea. If you are presenting a persuasive speech on local services, you can use an article from a local paper to help the audience visualize how the problem impacts their lives.Hypothetical examplesconvey ideas that are common, known, or sensitive in nature that is imagined to depict realistic scenarios. Since a hypothetical example does not have to be connected to a specific person, time, or place, hypothetical examples allow an audience to think introspectively about how they would react or respond in the situation.

Afactisa piece of information used as evidence known or proved to be true. Astatisticisa piece of data from a study of a large quantity of numerical data. Facts and statistics can be used to present new ideas or reinforce current ideas or to confirm or disprove information. Data and statistics help audiences consider a topic from a more informed standpoint and help further reasoning. There are, however, some constraints to using statistics efficiently. When used accurately, facts and statistics can present a clear and purposeful message that creates a sense of immediacy in relationship to a topic. When used poorly, facts and statistics can result in information overload or confusion.

When evaluating facts and statistics, it is important to ask the following questions to allow for better understanding.

          1. Is the Source Reliable?
          2. Is there Manipulation or Distortion?
          3. Is the statistic Representative (Sample Size)?
          4. Is the Math Correct (Mean/ average, Median/ middle, or Mode/ frequency)?


It is equally important to present statistics, numerical data, accurately. Introducing statistics as a quantity or rounding the numbers will aid the cognitive process when trying to convey the impact of large numbers. While a large blanket number may be hard to understand, the use of values like “one in three” or an illustration like “five football stadiums long” can present a more simplified, recognizable figure. Combining figures can show seriousness or magnitude of a problem or issue. While you do want to think about your main ideas to be illustrated, statistics should be used sparingly. The audience cannot remember all the information provided and will need to select information based on its goals and needs. Identify the source, cite the author, present a clear idea of where the information comes from, and ensure the audience of the source’s reliability. Explain and clarify the research by providing an interpretation of how the statistic is being applied and how it helps our understanding of the larger topic. Use visuals to help simplify the information and to bolster your audience’s interest.

Testimonyisa formal written or spoken statement. It can be expert or peer-based. The type of testimony you provide has much to do with your topic or the desired audience outcome.Expertsarepeople who are acknowledged authorities in their fields. Peersarepeople like ourselves; not prominent figures, but ordinary citizens who have thefirst-handexperience on a topic. It is important that when you present testimony, you consider the authority of the source. Celebrity or athletic endorsements may not be as trusted or credible as professional endorsements. Always credit the author and include their credentials or qualifications to build that credibility and strengthen the source. You can think back to the introduction on personal and professional experience to understand these two types of testimony better.

We integrate testimony as support by either quoting or paraphrasing our original source.Quotingispresenting a message word-for-word, exactly as it was written or stated. Quoting works best when the quote is short and not drawn out, or when the meaning is better conveyed through language or literary technique. When quoting a source, be sure that you are delivering the quote with the correct meaning or intent and presenting the context in which the quote was used.Paraphrasingisrestating or summarizing in one’s own words what another person had said. Paraphrase when the quote is long, difficult to understand, or jargon-heavy. There are a few tips to paraphrase accurately (but remember, you must still cite the original source when paraphrasing):

(Video) Chapter 12 Managerial Communication

      1. Change the words. Identify the key words that are not your own vocabulary or stand out and change them to reflect your own personality and voice.
      2. Edit the quote. Identify areas that you can leave out or add-to in order to make the information helpful to your audience.
      3. Re-structure the quote. Can you move the beginning to the middle or to the end? Is the paraphrased information better if you start with the last sentence’s idea and work backward to the introduction? Could the body of the quote serve as steps or claims that you can present in order?
      4. For a guide on how to paraphrase,check out this site

12.5 evaluating research

There are five fundamental questions that can help you identify the best measure of credibility and reliability of a source. These steps are easy to remember because they follow the five standard questions you have been learning to ask throughout your life. The five questions of who, what, when, where, and why create the5W’s of Web Site Evaluation.


Most credible articles include an author of the text. However, if there is not an author noted in a byline, the author may be a sponsoring organization, company, or entity. The best way to locate the author if no byline is present is to scroll to the bottom of the web page. At the bottom of the page, you will usually find the author (entity) and a copyright date. This serves as a published or last updated (revised) date for the source. How do you identify an author when using a Youtube video, or a blog post? The author is not the site, but the name of the responsible party that posted the content. It may seem strange, but you will use the username if a formal name is not provided. Once you have identified the author, you want to evaluate how credible or reliable they are as a source. If there is no information on the web page, you can conduct an Internet search of the author or entity. You can also look for reviews or conduct an article search to see consumer opinions or news related to the author or entity.


What determines the purpose, point-of-view, or type of site you may be used for research. The purpose may be to inform or sell to consumers. It may be a biased news organization or a stay-at-home dad’s blog about raising a daughter. It may be an educational site created by an institution of learning or an entertainment site with funny videos that encourages subscribing. Determine how the information may contribute to your research as well as what ideas may be presented and shared. It is important to consider what information you will use based on your own purpose and point-of-view, as well as audience interest. Identify bias, fact or opinion, and evaluate the sources you use. The web site should include formal citations or references for material that is not written by the author. You also should be able to navigate the site without problem or error. Privacy and safety should be a concern when navigating an un-trusted site.


When provides the copyright or publish date of a source. It is imperative that you can discern when a site was written or put online. Without this information, you may not have relevant or current information, and that can be misleading. It can also be an indication that the site is not maintained or updated. If a date is not provided, the credibility of the site and the information on the site is questionable.


Where may seem like it is asking the same question as Who or What, but it is asking specific questions that examine responsibility and transparency in research. Many web sites will borrow, restate, or write their own information. It is important to identify the primary source (created) along with the secondary source (altered or forwarded) information. In evaluating the way the information is presented on the site, it is important to consider the creator of the content. If you are reviewing a study or survey, you want to consider who was conducting the study, for what purpose, using what resources, when, and to what end. If you know that a company conducted a study of their product and only used those that are on their email list, you can see how this information would be inconsistent and not representative of the larger population. Many companies are subsidiaries of larger companies, so you may not realize that in buying organic (thought of as local or homegrown), you are buying from a large food processing company.


The last question to ask is why should I use the source? The answer is really a combination of all of the other questions. If you have been able to successfully answer all of the 5 W’s and you do not have any doubts about the credibility or reliability of a site, you can explain why a source is useful. When conducting research, variety is also important. Make sure that you are not using sources that are too similar or that present the same information. If you have a source that allows you to answer a research question, prove a point, or provide interest, you need to ask: “Why do I need this source?” The source should offer a segment of the research or purpose in your message that is not replicated somewhere else.

Being able to identify the 5 W’s and how to apply each one when selecting and locating evidence is another contribution to Informed Learning. Applying this level of evaluation and critique is preparing you to succeed academically and professionally by critically thinking about choosing and integrating your research for the desired outcome.

Now that you have an understanding of Web Site Evaluation, it is time to review citing your research so that you maintain academic honesty and avoid plagiarism.


Aciteorcitationisproviding areferenceor attributing the source of evidence used for justification of an argument or statement, especially in a scholarly work. When citing sources, it is important that you provide internal (in-text) citations in the text of your paper or speech outline, as well as oral citations when making a presentation. These citations help the reader/audience evaluate the credibility of the information. The internal citations should correlate to a full citation included in the bibliography. Internal citations are often referred to as parenthetical citations in a paper. Depending on the style guide that you are using, the required information may change. Please refer to your course’s recommended citation guide for assistance.

Ethics and Plagiarism

The topic of ethics and plagiarism is common to every academic discipline and professional career path.Ethicsis defined asthemoral principles that govern a person’s behavior or the conducting of an activity. We make ethical decisions in the workplace every day, including language that either supports or undermines inclusion and civility. Additionally, company resources and policies determine the culture and climate of an organization. In a professional setting, plagiarism refers to idea development. Whether you are presenting at a conference, conducting a research study, creating a menu for your new restaurant, or designing a website for freelancing, it is necessary to accurately cite original authorship. Plagiarismis defined asthe practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own.It is important that you avoid plagiarism and understand the consequences for trying to pass off someone else’s work or ideas as your own.

Part four – Speech organization

12.7 organizing your speech

Once you have selected your topic and conducted research, it is time to organize your ideas.

In a series of important and groundbreaking studies conducted during the 1950’s and 1960’s, researchers started investigating how a speech’s organization was related to audience perceptions of those speeches. The first study, conducted by Raymond Smith in 1951, randomly organized the parts of a speech to see how audiences would react. Not surprisingly, when speeches were randomly organized, the audience perceived the speech more negatively than when audiences were presented with a speech with clear, intentional organization. Smith also found that audiences who listened to unorganized speeches were less interested in those speeches than audiences who listened to organized speeches. Thompson furthered this investigation and found that unorganized speeches were also harder for audiences to recall after the speech. Basically, people remember information from speeches that are clearly organized—and forget information from speeches that are poorly organized. A third study by Baker found that when audiences were presented with a disorganized speaker, they were less likely to be persuaded, and saw the disorganized speaker as lacking credibility.

These three very important studies make the importance of organization very clear. When speakers are not organized they are not perceived as credible and their audiences view the speeches negatively, are less likely to be persuaded, and don’t remember specific information from the speeches after the fact.

Determining Main Ideas

Chapter 12: Public Speaking – Human Communication: An Open Text (2)

“A team brainstorming session with ideas stemming off the main idea”byOne Click Group UKis licensed underCC BY 2.0

When creating a speech, it’s important to remember that speeches have three clear parts: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. The introduction establishes the topic and orients your audience, and the conclusion wraps everything up at the end of your speech. An introduction has four main functions–gain the attention of the audience, establish credibility, reveal topic and relevance, and overview the main points. For more information on attention getters click the following link The conclusion has two main functions–summarize your main points and achieve closure. The key to a good conclusion is to keep it short, not add extra information, and achieve a sense of finality. If you are delivering a persuasive speech, include a call to action. The real “meat” of your speech happens in the body. In this section, we’re going to discuss how to think strategically about the body of your speech.

What is your Specific Purpose

Recall that a speech can have one of three general purposes: to inform, to persuade, or to entertain.

Thegeneral purposerefers tothe broad goal of creating and delivering the speech.

Aspecific purposeisa statement that starts with one of the three general purposes and then specifies the actual topic you have chosen and the basic objective you hope to accomplish with your speech. Basically, the specific purpose answers the who, what, when, where, and why questionsaboutyour speech. Suppose you are going to give a speech about using open-source software. Here are three examples (each with a different general purpose and a different audience):

Example One

General Purpose:To inform

Specific Purpose:To inform a group of school administrators about the various open-source software packages that could be utilized in their school districts

Example Two

General Purpose:To persuade

Specific Purpose:To persuade a group of college students to make the switch from Microsoft Office to the open-source office suite OpenOffice

Example Three

General Purpose:To entertain

Specific Purpose:To entertain members of a business organization with a mock eulogy of for-pay software giants as a result of the proliferation of open-source alternatives

In each of these three examples, you’ll notice that the general topic is the same (open-source software) but the specific purpose is different because the speech has a different general purpose and a different audience. Before you can think strategically about organizing the body of your speech, you need to know what your specific purpose is. If you have not yet written a specific purpose for your current speech, please go ahead and write one now.


Once you have written down your specific purpose, you can now start thinking about the best way to turn that specific purpose into a series of main points. Main points are the key ideas you present to enable your speech to accomplish its specific purpose. In this section, we’re going to discuss how to determine your main points and how to organize those main points into a coherent, strategic speech.

How Many Main Points Do I Need?

While there is no magic number for how many main points a speech should have, speech experts generally agree that the fewer the number of main points the better. First and foremost, experts on the subject of memory have consistently shown that people don’t tend to remember very much after they listen to a message or leave a conversation. While many different factors can affect a listener’s ability to retain information after a speech, how the speech is organized is an important part of that process.For the speeches you will be delivering in a typical public speaking class, you will usually have just two or three main points. If your speech should be less than three minutes long, then two main points will probably work best. If your speech is between three and ten minutes in length, then it makes more sense to use three main points.

According to LeFrancois (1999), people are more likely to remember information that is meaningful, useful, and of interest to them; different or unique; organized; visual; and simple. Two or three main points are much easier for listeners to remember than ten or even five. In addition, if you have two or three main points, you’ll be able to develop each one with examples, statistics, or other forms of support. This breakdown of support is calledsubordination,the act of placing in a lower rank or position.Using supporting or subordinate pointshelp you to better understand how ideas are connected and how ideas or points are providing more information as you explain or provide more detail.Including support for each point will make your speech more interesting and more memorable for your audience.

Narrowing Down Main Points

When you write your specific purpose and review the research you have done on your topic, you will probably find yourself thinking of quite a few points that you’d like to make in your speech. Whether that’s the case or not, we recommend taking a few minutes to brainstorm and develop a list of points. In brainstorming, your goal is simply to think of as many different points as you can, not to judge how valuable or important they are. What information does your audience need to know to understand your topic? What information does your speech need to convey to accomplish its specific purpose? Consider the following example:

Specific Purpose

Brainstorming List of Points

                • Define open-source software.
                • Define educational software.
                • List and describe the software commonly used by school districts.
                • Explain the advantages of using open-source software.
                • Explain the disadvantages of using open-source software.
                • Review the history of open-source software.
                • Describe the value of open-source software.
                • Describe some educational open-source software packages.
                • Review the software needs of my specific audience.
                • Describe some problems that have occurred with open-source software.

Now that you have brainstormed and developed a list of possible points, how do you go about narrowing them down to just two or three main ones? When you look over the preceding list, you can then start to see that many of the points are related to one another. Your goal in narrowing down your main points is to identify which individual, potentially minor points can be combined to make main points.

Specific Purpose

Main Point 1:School districts use software in their operations.

  1. Define educational software.
  2. List and describe the software commonly used by school districts.

Main Point 2:What is open-source software?

  1. Define open-source software.
  2. Review the history of open-source software.
  3. Explain the advantages of using open-source software.
  4. Describe the value of open-source software.
  5. Explain the disadvantages of using open-source software.
  6. Describe some problems that have occurred with open-source software.

Main Point 3:Name some specific open-source software packages that may be appropriate for these school administrators to consider.

  1. Review the software needs of my specific audience.
  2. Describe some educational open-source software packages.

You may notice that in the preceding list, the number of subpoints under each of the three main points is a little disjointed or the topics don’t go together clearly. That’s all right. Remember that these are just general ideas at this point. It’s also important to remember that there is often more than one way to organize a speech. Some of these points could be left out and others developed more fully, depending on the purpose and audience. We’ll develop the preceding main points more fully in a moment.


Now that we’ve discussed how to take a specific purpose and turn it into a series of main points, here are some helpful hints for creating your main points.

Uniting Main Points

Once you’ve generated a possible list of main points, you want to ask yourself this question: “When you look at your main points, do they fit together?” For example, if you look at the three preceding main points (school districts use software in their operations; what is open-source software; name some specific open-source software packages that may be appropriate for these school administrators to consider), ask yourself, “Do these main points help my audience understand my specific purpose?”Suppose you added a fourth main point about open-source software for musicians—would this fourth main point go with the other three? Probably not. While you may have a strong passion for open-source music software, that main point is extraneous information for the speech you are giving. It does not help accomplish your specific purpose, so you’d need to toss it out.

Keeping Main Points Separate

The next question to ask yourself about your main points is whether they overlap too much. While some overlap may happen naturally because of the singular nature of a specific topic, the information covered within each main point should be clearly distinct from the other main points. Imagine you’re giving a speech with the specific purpose “to inform my audience about the health reasons for eating apples and oranges.” You could then have three main points: that eating fruits is healthy, that eating apples is healthy, and that eating oranges is healthy. While the two points related to apples and oranges are clearly distinct, both of those main points would probably overlap too much with the first point “that eating fruits is healthy,” so you would probably decide to eliminate the first point and focus on the second and third. On the other hand, you could keep the first point and then develop two new points giving additional support to why people should eat fruit.

Balancing Main Points

One of the biggest mistakes some speakers make is to spend most of their time talking about one of their main points, completely neglecting their other main points. To avoid this mistake, organize your speech so as to spend roughly the same amount of time on each main point. If you find that one of your main points is simply too large, you may need to divide that main point into two main points and consolidate your other main points into a single main point.

If you have an hour to talk, then you may find that these three main points are balanced. However, you may also find them wildly unbalanced if you only have five minutes to speak because five minutes is not enough time to even explain what open-source software is. If that’s the case, then you probably need to rethink your specific purpose of ensuring that you can cover the material in the allotted time.

Creating Parallel Structure for Main Points

Another major question to ask yourself about your main points is whether or not they have a parallel structure. By parallel structure, we mean that you should structure your main points so that they all sound similar. When all your main points sound similar, it’s simply easier for your audiences to remember your main points and retain them for later. Let’s look at our sample (school districts use software in their operations; what is open-source software; name some specific open-source software packages that may be appropriate for these school administrators to consider). Notice that the first and third main points are statements, but the second one is a question. Basically, we have an example here of main points that are not parallel in structure. You could fix this in one of two ways. You could make them all questions: what are some common school district software programs; what is open-source software; and what are some specific open-source software packages that may be appropriate for these school administrators to consider. Or you could turn them all into statements: school districts use software in their operations; define and describe open-source software; name some specific open-source software packages that may be appropriate for these school administrators to consider. Either of these changes will make the grammatical structure of the main points parallel.

Maintaining Logical Flow of Main Points

The last question you want to ask yourself about your main points is whether the main points make sense in the order you’ve placed them. The next section goes into more detail of common organizational patterns for speeches, but for now, we want you to just think logically about the flow of your main points. When you look at your main points, can you see them as progressive, or does it make sense to talk about one first, another one second, and the final one last? If you look at your order, and it doesn’t make sense to you, you probably need to think about the flow of your main points. Often, this process is an art and not a science. But let’s look at a couple of examples.

School Dress Codes Example

Main Point OneHistory of school dress codes
Main Point TwoProblems with school dress codes
Main Point ThreeEliminating school dress codes

Rider Law Legislation Example

Main Point OneWhy should states have rider laws?
Main Point TwoWhat are the effects of a lack of rider laws?
Main Point ThreeWhat is rider law legislation?

When you look at these two examples, what are your immediate impressions of the two examples? In the first example, does it make sense to talk about history, and then the problems, and finally how to eliminate school dress codes? Would it make sense to put history as your last main point? Probably not. In this case, the main points are in a logical sequential order. What about the second example? Does it make sense to talk about your solution, then your problem, and then define the solution? Not really! What order do you think these main points should be placed in for a logical flow? Maybe you should explain the problem (lack of rider laws), then define your solution (what is rider law legislation), and then argue for your solution (why states should have rider laws). Notice that in this example you don’t even need to know what “rider laws” are to see that the flow didn’t make sense.

All speeches start with a general purpose and then move to a specific purpose that gives the who, what, where, and how for the speech. Transitioning from the specific purpose to possible main points means developing a list of potential main points you could discuss. Then you can narrow your focus by looking for similarities among your potential main points and combining ones that are similar. Shorter speeches will have two main points while longer speeches will generally have three or more main points. When creating your main points, make sure that they are united, separate, balanced, parallel, and logical.


Previously in this chapter, we discussed how to make your main points flow logically. This section is going to provide you with a number of organizational patterns to help you create a logically organized speech.


By far the most common pattern for organizing a speech is atopical organizational pattern, organizingby categories or dividing the topic into subtopics. The categories function as a way to help the speaker organize the message in a consistent fashion. The goal of a topical speech pattern is to create categories (or chunks) of information that go together to help support your original specific purpose. Let’s look at an example.

Specific Purpose:To inform a group of high school juniors about Generic University

Main Points

  1. Life in the dorms
  2. Life in the classroom
  3. Life on campus

In this case, we have a speaker trying to inform a group of high school juniors about Generic University. The speaker has divided the information into three basic categories: what it’s like to live in the dorms, what classes are like, and what life is like on campus. Almost anyone could take this basic speech and specifically tailor the speech to fit her or his own university or college. The main points in this example could be rearranged and the organizational pattern would still be effective because there is no inherent logic to the sequence of points. Let’s look at a second example.

Specific Purpose:To inform a group of college students about the uses and misuses of Internet dating

Main Points

  1. Define and describe Internet dating.
  2. Explain some strategies to enhance your Internet dating experience.
  3. List some warning signs to look for in potential online dates.

In this speech, the speaker is talking about how to find others online and date them. Specifically, the speaker starts by explaining what Internet dating is; then the speaker talks about how to make Internet dating better for her or his audience members; and finally, the speaker ends by discussing some negative aspects of Internet dating. Again, notice that the information is chunked into three categories or topics and that the second and third could be reversed and still provide a logical structure for your speech.


Another method for organizing main points is thecomparison/contrast organizationalpattern,measuring similarities and differences between two or more subjects.While this pattern clearly lends itself easily to two main points, you can also create a third point by giving basic information about what is being compared and what is being contrasted. Let’s look at two examples; the first one will be a two-point example and the second a three-point example.

Specific Purpose:To inform a group of physicians about Drug X, a newer drug with similar applications to Drug Y

Main Points

  1. Show how Drug X and Drug Y are similar.
  2. Show how Drug X and Drug Y differ.

Specific Purpose:To inform a group of physicians about Drug X, a newer drug with similar applications to Drug Y

Main Points

  1. Explain the basic purpose and use of both Drug X and Drug Y.
  2. Show how Drug X and Drug Y are similar.
  3. Show how Drug X and Drug Y differ.

If you were using the comparison/contrast pattern for persuasive purposes, in the preceding examples, you’d want to make sure that when you show how Drug X and Drug Y differ, you clearly state why Drug X is clearly the better choice for physicians to adopt. In essence, you’d want to make sure that when you compare the two drugs, you show that Drug X has all the benefits of Drug Y, but when you contrast the two drugs, you show how Drug X is superior to Drug Y in some way.


Thespatial organizationalpatternorganizes information according to how things fit together in physical space, either geographically or directionally. This pattern is best used when your main points are oriented to different locations that can exist independently. The basic reason to choose this format is to show that the main points have clear locations. We’ll look at two examples here, one involving physical geography and one involving a different spatial order.

Specific Purpose:To inform a group of history students about the states that seceded from the United States during the Civil War

Main Points

  1. Locate and describe the Confederate states just below the Mason-Dixon Line (Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee).
  2. Locate and describe the Confederate states in the Deep South (South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida).
  3. Locate and describe the western Confederate states (Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas).

If you look at a basic map of the United States, you’ll notice that these groupings of states were created because of their geographic location to one another. In essence, the states create three spatial territories to explain.

Now let’s look at a spatial speech unrelated to geography.

Specific Purpose:To explain to a group of college biology students how the urinary system works

Main Points

  1. Locate and describe the kidneys and ureters.
  2. Locate and describe the bladder.
  3. Locate and describe the sphincter and urethra.

In this example, we still have three basic spatial areas. If you look at a model of the urinary system, the first step is the kidney, which then takes waste through the ureters to the bladder, which then relies on the sphincter muscle to excrete waste through the urethra. All we’ve done in this example is create a spatial speech order for discussing how waste is removed from the human body through the urinary system. It is spatial because the organization pattern is determined by the physical location of each body part in relation to the others discussed.


Thechronological organizationalpattern organizes the main idea in time order or in a sequential pattern—whether backward or forward. Here’s a simple example.

Specific Purpose:To inform my audience about the books written by Winston Churchill

Main Points

  1. Examine the style and content of Winston Churchill’s writings prior to World War II.
  2. Examine the style and content of Winston Churchill’s writings during World War II.
  3. Examine the style and content of Winston Churchill’s writings after World War II.

In this example, we’re looking at the writings of Winston Churchill in relation to World War II (before, during, and after). By placing his writings into these three categories, we develop a system for understanding this material based on Churchill’s own life. Note that you could also use reverse chronological order and start with Churchill’s writings after World War II, progressing backward to his earliest writings.

Specific Purpose:To inform my audience about the early life of Marilyn Manson

Main Points

  1. Describe Brian Hugh Warner’s early life and the beginning of his feud with Christianity.
  2. Describe Warner’s stint as a music journalist in Florida.
  3. Describe Warner’s decision to create Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids.

In this example, we see how Brian Warner, through three major periods of his life, ultimately became the musician known as Marilyn Manson.


Thecausal organizationalpattern organizes andexplainscause-and-effect relationships. When you use a causal speech pattern, your speech will have two basic main points: cause and effect. In the first main point, typically you will talk about the causes of a phenomenon, and in the second main point, you will then show how the causes lead to either a specific effect or a small set of effects. Let’s look at an example.

Specific Purpose:To inform my audience about the problems associated with drinking among members of Native American tribal groups

Main Points

  1. Explain the history and prevalence of drinking alcohol among Native Americans.
  2. Explain the effects that abuse of alcohol has on Native Americans and how this differs from the experience of other populations.

In this case, the first main point is about the history and prevalence of drinking alcohol among Native Americans (the cause). The second point then examines the effects of Native American alcohol consumption and how it differs from other population groups.

However, a causal organizational pattern can also begin with an effect and then explore one or more causes. In the following example, the effect is the number of arrests for domestic violence.

Specific Purpose:To inform local voters about the problem of domestic violence in our city

Main Points

  1. Explain that there are significantly more arrests for domestic violence in our city than in cities of comparable size in our state.
  2. List possible causes for the difference, which may be unrelated to the actual amount of domestic violence.

In this example, the possible causes for the difference might include stricter law enforcement, greater likelihood of neighbors reporting an incident, and police training that emphasizes arrests as opposed to other outcomes. Examining these possible causes may suggest that despite the arresting statistic, the actual number of domestic violence incidents in your city may not be greater than in other cities of similar size.


Each of the preceding organizational patterns is potentially useful for organizing the main points of your speech. However, not all organizational patterns work for all speeches. Your challenge is to choose the best pattern for the particular speech you are giving. When considering which organizational pattern to use, you need to keep in mind your specific purpose as well as your audience and the actual speech material itself to decide which pattern you think will work best. Ultimately, speakers must really think about which organizational pattern best suits a specific speech topic.

(Video) Verbal Vs Non-verbal Communication: Difference between them with examples & comparison chart


Chapter 12: Public Speaking – Human Communication: An Open Text (3)

“Upper skeleton from Andrew Bell’s Anatomia Britannica (1770s-1780s)”byliverpoolhlsis licensed underCC BY-SA 2.0

Think of an outline as a skeleton you must assemble bone by bone, gradually making it take form into a coherent whole. Or think of it as a puzzle in which you must put all the pieces in their correct places in order to see the full picture. Or think of it as a game of solitaire in which the right cards must follow a legitimate sequence in order for you to win. The more fully you can come to understand the outline as both rule-bound and creative, the more fully you will experience its usefulness and its power to deliver your message in a unified, coherent way.

This means, of course, that there are no shortcuts, but there are helpful strategies. If you leave a bone out of a skeleton, something will fall apart. By the same token, if you omit a step in reasoning, your speech will be vulnerable to lapses in logic, lapses in the evidence you need to make your case, and the risk of becoming a disjointed, disorienting message. When you are talking informally with friends, your conversation might follow a haphazard course, but a public speech must not do so. Even in conversations with your friends, you might believe they understand what you mean, but they might not. In a prepared speech, you must be attentive to reasoning in logical steps so that your audience understands the meaning you intend to convey. This is where your outline can help you.

Why Outline

In order for your speech to be as effective as possible, it needs to be organized into logical patterns. Information will need to be presented in a way your audience can understand. This is especially true if you already know a great deal about your topic. You will need to take careful steps to include pertinent information your audience might not know and to explain relationships that might not be evident to them. Using a standard outline format, you can make decisions about your main points, the specific information you will use to support those points, and the language you will use. Without an outline, your message is liable to loselogical integrity. It might even deteriorate into a list of bullet points with no apparent connection to each other except the topic, leaving your audience relieved when your speech is finally over.

A full-sentence outline lays a strong foundation for your message. It will call on you to have one clear andspecific purposefor your message. As we have seen in other chapters of this book, writing your specific purpose in clear language serves you well. It helps you frame a clear, concrete thesis statement. It helps you exclude irrelevant information. It helps you focus only on information that directly bears on your thesis. It reduces the amount of research you must do. It suggests what kind of supporting evidence is needed, so less effort is expended in trying to figure out what to do next. It helps both you and your audience remember the central message of your speech.

Finally, a solid full-sentence outline helps your audience understand your message because they will be able to follow your reasoning. Remember that live audiences for oral communications lack the ability to “rewind” your message to figure out what you said, so it is critically important to help the audience follow your reasoning as it reaches their ears.

Tests Scope of Content

When you begin with a clear, concrete thesis statement, it acts as kind of a compass for your outline. The test of the scope will be a comparison of each main point to the thesis statement. If you find a poor match, you will know you’ve wandered outside the scope of the thesis.

Let’s say the general purpose of your speech is to inform, and your broad topic area is wind-generated energy. Now you must narrow this to a specific purpose. You have many choices, but let’s say your specific purpose is to inform a group of property owners about the economics of wind farms where electrical energy is generated.

Your first main point could be that modern windmills require a very small land base, making the cost of real estate low. This is directly related to economics. All you need is information to support yourclaimthat only a small land base is needed.

In your second main point, you might be tempted to claim that windmills don’t pollute in the ways other sources do. However, you will quickly note that this claim is unrelated to the thesis. You must resist the temptation to add it. Perhaps in another speech, your thesis will address environmental impact, but in this speech, you must stay within the economic scope. Perhaps you will say that once windmills are in place, they require virtually no maintenance. This claim is related to the thesis. Now all you need is supporting information to support this second claim.

Your third point, the point some audience members will want to hear, is the cost of generating electrical energy with windmills compared with other sources. This is clearly within the scope of energy economics. You should have no difficulty findingauthoritative sourcesof information to support that claim.

When you write in outline form, it is much easier to test the scope of your content because you can visually locate specific information very easily and then check it against your thesis statement.

Tests the Balance and Proportion of the Speech

Part of the value of writing a full-sentence outline is the visual space you use for each of your main points. Is each main point of approximately the same importance? Does each main point have the same number of supporting points? If you find that one of your main points has eight supporting points while the others only have three each, you have two choices: either choose the best three from the eight supporting points or strengthen the authoritative support for your other two main points.

Remember that you should use the best supporting evidence you can find even if it means investing more time in your search for knowledge.

Serves as Notes during the Speech

Although we recommend writing a full-sentence outline during the speech preparation phase, you should also create a shortened outline that you can use as notes allowing for a strong delivery. If you were to use the full-sentence outline when delivering your speech, you would do a great deal of reading, which would limit your ability to give eye contact and use gestures, hurting your connection with your audience. For this reason, we recommend writing a short-phrase outline on 4 × 6 note cards to use when you deliver your speech. The good news is that your three main points suggest how you should prepare your note cards.

Your first 4 × 6 note card can contain your thesis statement and other key words and phrases that will help you present your introduction. Your second card can contain your first main point, together with key words and phrases to act as a map to follow as you present. If your first main point has an exact quotation you plan to present, you can include that on your card. Your third note card should be related to your second main point, your fourth card should be about your third main point, and your fifth card should be related to your conclusion. In this way, your five note cards follow the very same organizational pattern as your full outline.

When we discuss outlining, we are actually focusing on a series of outlines instead of a single one. Outlines are designed to evolve throughout your speech preparation process, so this section will discuss how you progress from a working outline to a full-sentence outline and, finally, a speaking outline. We will also discuss how using note cards for your speaking outline can be helpful to you as a speaker.


Working Outline

A working outline is an outline you use for developing your speech. It undergoes many changes on its way to completion. This is the outline where you lay out the basic structure of your speech. You must have a general and specific purpose; an introduction, including a grabber; and a concrete, specific thesis statement and preview. You also need three main points, a conclusion, and a list of references.

One strategy for beginning your working outline is to begin by typing in your labels for each of the elements. Later you can fill in the content.

When you look ahead to the full-sentence outline, you will notice that each of the three main points moves from the general to the particular. Specifically, each main point is a claim, followed by particular information that supports that claim so that the audience will perceive its validity. For example, for a speech about coal mining safety, your first main point might focus on the idea that coal mining is a hazardous occupation. You might begin by making a very general claim, such as “Coal mining is one of the most hazardous occupations in the United States,” and then become more specific by providing statistics, authoritative quotations, or examples to support your primary claim.

A working outline allows you to work out the kinks in your message. For instance, let’s say you’ve made the claim that coal mining is a hazardous occupation but you cannot find authoritative evidence as support. Now you must re-examine that main point to assess its validity. You might have to change that main point in order to be able to support it. If you do so, however, you must make sure the new main point is a logical part of the thesis statement–three main points–conclusion sequence.

The working outline shouldn’t be thought of a “rough copy,” but as a careful step in the development of your message. It will take time to develop. Here is an example of a working outline:

Name: Anomaly May McGillicuddy

Topic: Smart dust

General Purpose: To inform

Specific Purpose: To inform a group of science students about the potential of smart dust

Main Ideas:

  1. Smart dust is an assembly of microcomputers.
  2. Smart dust can be used by the military—no, no—smart dust could be an enormous asset in covert military operations. (That’s better because it is more clear and precise.)
  3. Smart dust could also have applications to daily life.

Introduction:(Grabber)(fill in later)

(Thesis Statement)Thus far, researchers hypothesize that smart dust could be used for everything from tracking patients in hospitals to early warnings of natural disasters and defending against bioterrorism.

(Preview)Today, I’m going to explain what smart dust is and the various applications smart dust has in the near future. To help us understand the small of it all, we will first examine what smart dust is and how it works. We will then examine some military applications of smart dust. And we will end by discussing some nonmilitary applications of smart dust.

(Transition)(fill in later)

Main Point I: Dr. Kris Pister, a professor in the robotics lab at the University of California at Berkeley, originally conceived the idea of smart dust in 1998 as part of a project funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

  1. (supporting point)
  2. (supporting point)

(Transition)(fill in later)

Main Point II: Because smart dust was originally conceptualized under a grant from DARPA, military uses of smart dust have been widely theorized and examined.

  1. (supporting point)
  2. (supporting point)

(Transition)(fill in later)

Main Point III: According to the smart dust project website, smart dust could quickly become a common part of our daily lives.

  1. (supporting point)
  2. (supporting point)

(Transition)(fill in later)

Conclusion: (Bring your message “full circle” and create a psychologically satisfying closure.)

This stage of preparation turns out to be a good place to go back and examine whether all the main points are directly related to the thesis statement and to each other. If so, your message has a strong potential for unity of focus. But if the relationship of one of the main points is weak, this is the time to strengthen it. It will be more difficult later for two reasons: first, the sheer amount of text on your pages will make the visual task more difficult, and second, it becomes increasingly difficult to change things in which you have a large investment in time and thought.

You can see that this working outline can lay a strong foundation for the rest of your message. Its organization is visually apparent. Once you are confident in the internal unity of your basic message, you can begin filling in the supporting points in descending detail—that is, from the general (main points) to the particular (supporting points) and then to greater detail. The outline makes it visually apparent where information fits. You only need to assess your supporting points to be sure they’re authoritative and directly relevant to the main points they should support.

Sometimes transitions seem troublesome, and that’s not surprising. We often omit them when we have informal conversations. Our conversation partners understand what we mean because of our gestures and vocal strategies. However, others might not understand what we mean but think they do, and so we might never know whether they understood us. Even when we include transitions, we don’t generally identify them as transitions. In a speech, however, we need to use effectivetransitions,phrases or words used to connect one idea to the next. The listener needs to know when a speaker is moving from one main point to the next.

In the next type of outline, the full-sentence outline, take a look at the transitions and see how they make the listener aware of the shifting focus to the next main point.

Full-Sentence Outline (or Preparation Script Outline)

Your full-sentence outline is a preparation script for the delivery of your speech. It should contain full sentences only. There are several reasons why this kind of outline is important. First, you have a full plan of everything you intend to say to your audience so that you will not have to struggle with wordings or examples. Second, you have a clear idea of how much time it will take to present your speech. Third, it contributes a fundamental ingredient of good preparation, part of your ethical responsibility to your audience. This is how a full-sentence outline looks:

Name:Anomaly May McGillicuddy

Topic: Smart dust

General Purpose: To inform

Specific Purpose: To inform a group of science students about the potential of smart dust.

Main Ideas:

  1. Smart dust is an assembly of microcomputers.
  2. Smart dust could be an enormous asset in covert military operations.
  3. Smart dust could also have applications to daily life.


(Attention Getter) In 2002, famed science fiction writer, Michael Crichton, released his bookPreyabout a swarm of nanomachines that were feeding off living tissue. The nanomachines were solar powered, self-sufficient, and intelligent. Most disturbingly, the nanomachines could work together as a swarm as it took over and killed its prey in its need for new resources. The technology for this level of sophistication in nanotechnology is surprisingly more science fact than science fiction. In 2000, three professors of electrical engineering and computer Science at the University of California at Berkeley, Kahn, Katz, and Pister, hypothesized in theJournal of Communications and Networksthat wireless networks of tiny microelectromechanical sensors, or MEMS; robots; or devices could detect phenomena including light, temperature, or vibration. By 2004,Fortune Magazinelisted “smart dust” as the first in their “Top 10 Tech Trends to Bet On.”

(Thesis Statement)Thus far researchers hypothesized that smart dust could be used for everything from tracking patients in hospitals to early warnings of natural disasters and as a defense against bioterrorism.

(Preview)Today, I’m going to explain what smart dust is and the various applications smart dust has in the near future. To help us understand the small of it all, we will first examine what smart dust is and how it works. We will then examine some military applications of smart dust. And we will end by discussing some nonmilitary applications of smart dust.

(Transition)To help us understand smart dust, we will begin by first examining what smart dust is.


Main Point I: Dr. Kris Pister, a professor in the robotics lab at the University of California at Berkeley, originally conceived the idea of smart dust in 1998 as part of a project funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

  1. According to a 2001 article written by Bret Warneke, Matt Last, Brian Liebowitz, and Kris Pister titled “Smart Dust: Communicating with a Cubic-Millimeter Computer” published inComputer, Pister’s goal was to build a device that contained a built-in sensor, communication device, and a small computer that could be integrated into a cubic millimeter package.
  2. For comparison purposes, Doug Steel, in a 2005 white paper titled “Smart Dust” written for C. T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston, noted that a single grain of rice has a volume of five cubic millimeters.

    1. Each individual piece of dust, called a mote, would then have the ability to interact with other motes and supercomputers.
    2. As Steve Lohr wrote in the January 30, 2010, edition of theNew York Timesin an article titled “Smart Dust? Not Quite, But We’re Getting There,” smart dust could eventually consist of “Tiny digital sensors, strewn around the globe, gathering all sorts of information and communicating with powerful computer networks to monitor, measure, and understand the physical world in new ways.”

(Transition)Now that we’ve examined what smart dust is, let’s switch gears and talk about some of the military applications for smart dust.

Main Point II: Because smart dust was originally conceptualized under a grant from DARPA, military uses of smart dust have been widely theorized and examined.

  1. According to the smart dust web site, smart dust could eventually be used for “battlefield surveillance, treaty monitoring, transportation monitoring, scud hunting” and other clear military applications.
    1. Probably the number one benefit of smart dust in the military environment is its surveillance abilities.
      1. Major Scott Dickson, in a Blue Horizons paper written for the US Air Force Center for Strategy and Technology’s Air War College, sees smart dust as helping the military in battlespace awareness, homeland security, and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) identification.
      2. Furthermore, Major Dickson also believes it may be possible to create smart dust that has the ability to defeat communications jamming equipment created by foreign governments, which could help the US military not only communicate among itself but could also increase communications with civilians in military combat zones.
  2. According to a 2010 article written by Jessica Griggs in newScientist, one of the first benefits of smart dust could be an early defense warning for space storms and other debris that could be catastrophic.

(Transition)Now that we’ve explored some of the military benefits of smart dust, let’s switch gears and see how smart dust may be able to have an impact on our daily lives.

Main Point III: According to the smart dust project website, smart dust could quickly become a common part of our daily lives.

  1. Everything from pasting smart dust particles to our finger tips to create a virtual computer keyboard to inventory control to product quality control has been discussed as possible applications for smart dust.
    1. Steve Lohr, in his 2010New York Timesarticle, wrote, “The applications for sensor-based computing, experts say, include buildings that manage their own energy use, bridges that sense motion and metal fatigue to tell engineers they need repairs, cars that track traffic patterns and report potholes, and fruit and vegetable shipments that tell grocers when they ripen and begin to spoil.”
  2. Medically, according to the smart dust web site, smart dust could help disabled individuals interface with computers.
    1. Theoretically, we could all be injected with smart dust, which relays information to our physicians and detects adverse changes to our body instantly.
    2. Smart dust could detect the microscopic formations of center cells or alert us when we’ve been infected by a bacterium or virus, which could speed up treatment and prolong all of our lives.

(Transition)Today, we’ve explored what smart dust is, how smart dust could be utilized by the US military, and how smart dust could impact all of our lives in the near future.


(Summary) While smart dust is quickly transferring from science fiction to science fact, experts agree that the full potential of smart dust will probably not occur until 2025. Smart dust is definitely in our near future, but swarms of smart dust eating people as was depicted in Michael Crichton’s 2002 novel, Prey, isn’t reality. However, as with any technological advance, there are definite ethical considerations and worries related to smart dust. Even Dr. Kris Pister’s smart dust project website admits that as smart dust becomes more readily available, one of the trade-offs will be privacy. Pister responds to these critiques by saying, “As an engineer, or a scientist, or a hair stylist, everyone needs to evaluate what they do in terms of its positive and negative effect. If I thought that the negatives of working on this project were greater than or even comparable to the positives, I wouldn’t be working on it. As it turns out, I think that the potential benefits of this technology far outweigh the risks to personal privacy.”


Crichton, M. (2002).Prey. New York, NY: Harper Collins.

Dickson, S. (2007, April).Enabling battlespace persistent surveillance: the firm, function, and future of smart dust(Blue Horizons Paper, Center for

Strategy and Technology, USAF Air War College). Retrieved from USAF Air War College website:

Griggs, J. (2010, February 6). Smart dust to provide solar early warning defense.New Scientist, 205(2746), 22.

Kahn, J. M., Katz, R. H., & Pister, K. S. J. (2000). Emerging challenges: Mobile networking for “smart dust.”Journal of Communications and Networks,

2, 188–196.

Lohr, S. (2010, January 30). Smart dust? Not quite, but we’re getting there.New York Times. Retrieved from

Pister, K., Kahn, J., & Boser, B. (n.d.). Smart dust: Autonomous sensing and communication at the cubic millimeter. Retrieved


Steel, D. (2005, March). Smart dust: UH ISRC technology briefing. Retrieved from

Vogelstein, F., Boyle, M., Lewis, P., Kirkpatrick, D., Lashinsky, A.,…Chen, C. (2004, February 23). 10 tech trends to bet on.Fortune, 149(4), 74–88.

Warneke, B., Last, M., Liebowitz, B., & Pister, K. S. J. (2001). Smart dust: Communicating with a cubic millimeter computer.Computer, 31, 44–51.

When you prepare your full-sentence outline carefully, it may take as much as 1 ½ hours to complete the first part of the outline from your name at the top through the introduction. When you’ve completed that part, take a break and do something else. When you return to the outline, you should be able to complete your draft in another 1 ½ hours. After that, you only need to do a detailed check for completeness, accuracy, relevance, balance, omitted words, and consistency. If you find errors, instead of being frustrated, be glad you can catch these errorsbeforeyou’re standing up in front of your audience.

You will notice that the various parts of your speech, for instance, the transition and main points, are labeled. There are compelling reasons for these labels. First, as you develop your message, you will sometimes find it necessary to go back and look at your wording in another part of the outline. Your labels help you find particular passages easily. Second, the labels work as a checklist so that you can make sure you’ve included everything you intended to. Third, it helps you prepare your speaking outline.

You’ll also notice the full references at the end of the outline. They match the citations within the outline. Sometimes while preparing a speech, a speaker finds it important to go back to an original source to be sure the message will be accurate. If you type in your references as you develop your speech rather than afterward, they will be a convenience to you if they are complete and accurate.

Don’t think of the references as busy work or drudgery. Although they’re more time consuming than text, they are good practice for the more advanced academic work you will do in the immediate future.

Speaking Outline

Your preparation script/full-sentence outline helps you prepare for the delivery of your speech with a clear and well-organized message, but your speaking outline will include far less detail. Whenever possible, you will use key words and phrases, but in some instances, an extended quotation will need to be fully written on your speaking outline.

Resist the temptation to use your full-sentence outline as your speaking outline. The temptation is real for at least two reasons. First, once you feel that you’ve carefully crafted every sequence of words in your speech, you might not want to sacrifice quality when you shift to vocal presentation. Second, if you feel anxiety about how well you will do in front of an audience, you may want to use your full-sentence outline as a “safety net.” In our experience, however, if you have your full-sentence outline with you, you will end up reading, rather than speaking, to your audience. For now, it is enough to know you shouldn’t read, but instead, use carefully prepared note cards.

Your speech has five main components: introduction, main point one, main point two, main point three, and the conclusion. Therefore we strongly recommend the use of five note cards: one for each of those five components. There are extenuating circumstances that might call for additional cards, but begin with five cards only.

How will five note cards suffice in helping you produce a complete, rich delivery? Why can’t you use the full-sentence outline you labored so hard to write? First, the presence of your full-sentence outline will make it appear that you don’t know the content of your speech. Second, the temptation to read the speech directly from the full-sentence outline is nearly overwhelming; even if you resist this temptation, you will find yourself struggling to remember the words on the page rather than speaking extemporaneously. Third, sheets of paper are noisier and more awkward than cards. Fourth, it’s easier to lose your place using the full outline. Finally, cards just look better. Carefully prepared cards, together with practice, will help you more than you might think.

(Video) Virtual Q4 PMI Calumet Chapter 12/16/20. Clifford Clarke "Effective Communication for the PM."

Plan to use five cards. Use 4 × 6 cards. The smaller 3 × 5 cards are too small to provide space for a visually organized set of notes. With five cards, you will have one card for the introduction, one card for each of the three main points, and one card for the conclusion. You should number your cards and write on one side only. Numbering is helpful if you happen to drop your cards, and writing on only one side means that the audience is not distracted by your handwritten notes and reminders to yourself while you are speaking. Each card should contain key words and key phrases but not full sentences.

Some speeches will include direct or extended quotations from expert sources. Some of these quotations might be highly technical or difficult to memorize for other reasons, but they must be presented correctly. This is a circumstance in which you could include an extra card in the sequence of note cards. This is the one time you may read fully from a card. If your quotation is important and the exact wording is crucial, your audience will understand that.

How will note cards be sufficient? When they are carefully written, your practice will reveal that they will work. If during practice, you find that one of your cards doesn’t work well enough, you can rewrite that card.

Using a set of carefully prepared, sparingly worded cards will help you resist the temptation to rely on overhead transparencies or PowerPoint slides to get you through the presentation. Although they will never provide the exact word sequence of your full-sentence outline, they should keep you organized during the speech.

The “trick” to selecting the phrases and quotations for your cards is to identify the labels that will trigger a recall sequence. For instance, if the phrase “more science fact” brings to mind the connection to science fiction and the differences between the real developments and the fictive events of Crichton’s novelPrey, that phrase on your card will support you through a fairly extended part of your introduction.

You must discover what works for you and then select those words that tend to jog your recall. Having identified what works, make a preliminary set of no more than five cards written on one side only, and practice with them. Revise and refine them as you would an outline. It is helpful to write delivery tips in a different color (i.e. change slide, plant feet, etc.)

The following is a hypothetical set of cards for the smart dust speech:

Card 1.

Introduction: 2002,Prey, swarm nanomachines feed on living tissue.

Kahn, Katz, and Pister, U C Berkeley engineering and computer sci. profs. hyp.

Microelectromechanical (MEMS) devices could detect light, temp, or vib.

Thesis Statement: Researchers hyp that s.d. could track patients, warn of natural disaster, act as defense against bioterrorism.

Prev.: What smart dust is and how it works, military aps, nonmilitary aps.

Transition: To help understand, first, what smart dust is.

Card 2.

I. Dr. Kris Pister, prof robotics lab UC Berkeley conceived the idea in 1998 in a proj. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

  1. 2001 article by Bret Warneke et al titled “Smart Dust: Communicating with a Cubic-Millimeter Computer” publ. inComputer, Pister wanted sensors, comm. devices, and computer in a cubic millimeter package.
  2. Doug Steel of CT Bauer College of Bus at Houston noted grain of rice = 5 cm.

    1. Each mote could interact w/ others.
    2. (see extended quotation, next card) *show slide 2

Card 3.

Quotation: Steve Lohr, NYT Jan 30 2005, “Smart Dust? Not Quite, but We’re Getting There.” Smart dust could eventually consist of “Tiny digital sensors, strewn around the globe, gathering all sorts of information and communicating with powerful computer networks to monitor, measure, and understand the physical world in new ways.”

Card 4.

II. Orig conceptualized under DARPA, military uses theor. and examined.

  1. Smart Dust website, battlefield surveill., treaty monitor., transp. monitor., + scud hunting.

    1. benefit, surveill.

      1. Maj. Scott Dickson, Blue Horizons Paper for Ctr for Strat and Tech for USAF air war college, sees s.d. as help for battlespace awareness, homeland security, and WMD ID.
      2. could also defeat comm. jamming equipt by communicating among itself and w/ civilians in combat zones.
  2. 2010 article Jessica GriggsNew Scientist, early defense, storms and debris.

Transition: Switch gears to daily lives.

Card 5.

III. s.d. project website: s.d. could become common in daily life.

  1. Pasting particles for virtual computer keyboard to inventory control poss.

    1. Steve Lohr, 2010, NYT, “The applications for sensor-based computing, experts say, include buildings that manage their own energy use, bridges that sense motion and metal fatigue to tell engineers they need repairs, cars that track traffic patterns and report potholes, and fruit and vegetable shipments that tell grocers when they ripen and begin to spoil.”
  2. Medically, accdng to SD project website, help disabled.

    1. interface w/ computers
    2. injected, cd. relay info to docs and detect body changes instantly

      1. cancer cells, bacteria or virus, speed up treatment, and so on.

Transition: We expl. What SD is, how SD cd be used military, and how SD cd impact our lives.

Card 6.

Conclusion: Transf fiction to fact, experts agree potential 2025. Michael Crichton’s Prey isn’t reality, but in developing SD as fact, there are ethical considerations. Pister: privacy.

Dr. Kris Pister: “As an engineer, or a scientist, or a hair stylist, everyone needs to evaluate what they do in terms of its positive and negative effect. If I thought that the negatives of working on this project were larger or even comparable to the positives, I wouldn’t be working on it. As it turns out, I think that the potential benefits of this technology far far outweigh the risks to personal privacy.”

Using a set of cards similar to this could help you get through an impressive set of specialized information. But what if you lose your place during a speech? With a set of cards, it will take less time to refind it than with a full-sentence outline. You will not be rustling sheets of paper, and because your cards are written on one side only, you can keep them in order without flipping them back and forth to check both sides.

What if you go blank? Take a few seconds to recall what you’ve said and how it leads to your next points. There may be several seconds of silence in the middle of your speech, and it may seem like minutes to you, but you can regain your footing most easily with a small set of well-prepared cards.

Under no circumstances should you ever attempt to put your entire speech on cards in little tiny writing. You will end up reading a sequence of words to your audience instead of telling them your message.

Part five – presenting

12.9: Delivery

The four most common delivery styles for public speaking include speaking from memory, speaking impromptu, speaking from a manuscript, and extemporaneous speaking. Before writing became a common practice, orators would memorize their speeches, sometimes for months, before presenting to an audience.Memorizedspeaking requiresdelivery from memorystill has its place in contemporary society, but the occasions for this type of speaking is usually reserved for introducing important persons, special events such as weddings and funerals, or other ceremonial events. As a student, you may have already experienced impromptu speaking. Impromptu speakingrequiresthe speaker deliverswithout little to no preparation.You may also find yourself in this situation during your professional career. If so, there is a short script (or variation of a script) that you can follow: (1) Express thankfulness for the opportunity to speak, (2) Rephrase the question in your own words, (3) Answer the question to the best of your availability, and (4) Briefly explain how your answer speaks to the question. If you cannot answer the question in step three, then be honest, say that you do not have an adequate answer now but that you will follow-up with an answer later.

Manuscript speakingrequiresthe speaker reads every word from a pre-written speech.This delivery styleis appropriate when the speaking occasion demands accuracy of information and/or eloquence. News anchors speak from manuscript to deliver the evening news (the manuscript scrolls on a screen beneath the television camera) and politicians often do as well. When speaking from manuscript it is important to follow a few guidelines: (1) Type your manuscript in all-caps, (2) Double-space between paragraphs, (3) Use italics and bold to emphasize words and phrases, and above all else (4) Rehearse speaking from the manuscript several times so that you can maintain good eye-contact with the audience when you speak.

Extemporaneous speaking is considered the most effective speaking style.When delivering in anextemporaneous speakingstylethe speaker prepares well (with an outline) and practice in advance, giving full attention to all the facets of the speech—content, arrangement, and delivery. In this speaking style, you research your topic thoroughly, construct an outline that forces you to think through your main points and sub points as complete thoughts, and then deconstruct this sentence outline so that it serves as your key-word, key-phrase speaking notes. You thereby internalize your speech without quite memorizing it, and your notes are sparse so that you are not tempted to merely read the speech to your audience. The result is a delivery that harnesses the energy of spontaneity, dynamism, has a sense of immediacy, and is thus a more engaging experience for your audience.

There is no foolproof recipe for good delivery. Each of us is unique, and we each embody different experiences and interests. This means each person has an approach, or a style, that is effective for her or him. This further means that anxiety can accompany even the most carefully researched and interesting message. Even when we know our messages are strong and well-articulated on paper, it is difficult to know for sure that our presentation will also be good.

We are still obligated to do our best out of respect for the audience and their needs. Fortunately, there are some tools that can be helpful to you even the very first time you present a speech. You will continue developing your skills each time you put them to use and can experiment to find out which combination of delivery elements is most effective for you.


The more you care about your topic, the greater your motivation to present it well. Good delivery is a process of presenting a clear, coherent message in an interesting way. Communication scholar Stephen E. Lucas tells us:

Good delivery…conveys the speaker’s ideas clearly, interestingly, and without distracting the audience. Most audiences prefer delivery that combines a certain degree of formality with the best attributes of good conversation—directness, spontaneity, animation, vocal and facial expressiveness, and a lively sense of communication (Lucas, 2009).

Many writers on the nonverbal aspects of delivery have cited the findings of psychologist Albert Mehrabian, asserting that the bulk of an audience’s understanding of your message is based on nonverbal communication. Specifically, Mehrabian is often credited with finding that when audiences decoded a speaker’s meaning, the speaker’s face conveyed 55 percent of the information, the vocalics conveyed 38 percent, and the words conveyed just 7 percent (Mehrabian, 1972). Although numerous scholars, including Mehrabian himself, have stated that his findings are often misinterpreted (Mitchell), scholars and speech instructors do agree that nonverbal communication and speech delivery are extremely important to effective public speaking.

In this section of the chapter, we will explain six elements of good delivery: conversational style, conversational quality, eye contact, vocalics, physical manipulation, and variety. And since delivery is only as good as the practice that goes into it, we conclude with some tips for effective use of your practice time.


Conversational styleisa speaker’s ability to sound expressive and to be perceived by the audience as natural. It’s a style that approaches the way you normally express yourself in a much smaller group than your classroom audience. This means that you want to avoid having your presentation come across as didactic or overly exaggerated. You might not feel natural while you’re using a conversational style, but for the sake of audience preference and receptiveness, you should do your best to appear natural. It might be helpful to remember that the two most important elements of the speech are the message and the audience. You are the conduit with the important role of putting the two together in an effective way. Your audience should be thinking about the message, not the delivery.

Stephen E. Lucas definesconversational qualityas the idea that “no matter how many times a speech has been rehearsed, it stillsoundsspontaneous” [emphasis in original] (Lucas, 2009). No one wants to hear a speech that is so well rehearsed that it sounds fake or robotic. One of the hardest parts of public speaking is rehearsing to the point where it can appear to your audience that the thoughts are magically coming to you while you’re speaking, but in reality you’ve spent a great deal of time thinking through each idea. When you can sound conversational, people pay attention.


Eye contactisa speaker’s ability to have visual contact with everyone in the audience. Your audience should feel that you’re speaking to them, not simply uttering main and supporting points. If you are new to public speaking, you may find it intimidating to look audience members in the eye, but if you think about speakers you have seen who did not maintain eye contact, you’ll realize why this aspect of speech delivery is important. Without eye contact, the audience begins to feel invisible and unimportant, as if the speaker is just speaking to hear her or his own voice. Eye contact lets your audience feel that your attention is on them, not solely on the cards in front of you.

Sustained eye contact with your audience is one of the most important tools toward effective delivery. O’Hair, Stewart, and Rubenstein note that eye contact is mandatory for speakers to establish a good relationship with an audience (O’Hair, Stewart, & Rubenstein, 2001). Whether a speaker is speaking before a group of five or five hundred, the appearance of eye contact is an important way to bring an audience into your speech.

Eye contact can be a powerful tool. It is not simply a sign of sincerity, a sign of being well prepared and knowledgeable, or a sign of confidence; it also has the power to convey meanings. Arthur Koch tells us that all facial expressions “can communicate a wide range of emotions, including sadness, compassion, concern, anger, annoyance, fear, joy, and happiness” (Koch, 2010).

If you find the gaze of your audience too intimidating, you might feel tempted to resort to “faking” eye contact with them by looking at the wall just above their heads or by sweeping your gaze around the room instead of making actual eye contact with individuals in your audience until it becomes easier to provide real contact. The problem with fake eye contact is that it tends to look mechanical. Another problem with fake attention is that you lose the opportunity to assess the audience’s understanding of your message. Still, fake eye contact is somewhat better than gripping your cards and staring at them and only occasionally glancing quickly and shallowly at the audience.

This is not to say that you may never look at your note cards. On the contrary, one of the skills in extemporaneous speaking is the ability to alternate one’s gaze between the audience and one’s notes. Rehearsing your presentation in front of a few friends should help you develop the ability to maintain eye contact with your audience while referring to your notes. When you are giving a speech that is well prepared and well rehearsed, you will only need to look at your notes occasionally. This is an ability that will develop even further with practice. Your public speaking course is your best chance to get that practice.


Vocalics, also known asparalanguage, is the sub-field of nonverbal communication thatexamines how we use our voices to communicate orally. This means that you speak loudly enough for all audience members (even those in the back of the room) to hear you clearly, and that you enunciate clearly enough to be understood by all audience members (even those who may have a hearing impairment or who may be English-language learners). If you tend to be soft-spoken, you will need to practice using a louder volume level that may feel unnatural to you at first. For all speakers, good vocalic technique is best achieved by facing the audience with your chin up and your eyes away from your notecards and by setting your voice at a moderate speed. Effective use of vocalics also means that you make use of appropriate pitch, pauses, vocal variety, and correct pronunciation.

If you are an English-language learner and feel apprehensive about giving a speech in English, there are two things to remember: first, you can meet with a reference librarian to learn the correct pronunciations of any English words you are unsure of; and second, the fact that you have an accent means you speak more languages than most Americans, which is an accomplishment to be proud of.

If you are one of the many people with a stutter or other speech challenge, you undoubtedly already know that there are numerous techniques for reducing stuttering and improving speech fluency and that there is no one agreed-upon “cure.” The Academy Award–winning movieThe King’s Speechdid much to increase public awareness of what a person with a stutter goes through when it comes to public speaking. It also prompted some well-known individuals who stutter, such as television news reporter John Stossel, to go public about their stuttering (Stossel, 2011). If you have decided to study public speaking in spite of a speech challenge, we commend you for your efforts and encourage you to work with your speech instructor to make whatever adaptations work best for you.


Volumerefers tothe loudness or softness of a speaker’s voice. As mentioned, public speakers need to speak loudly enough to be heard by everyone in the audience. In addition, volume is often needed to overcome ambient noise, such as the hum of an air conditioner or the dull roar of traffic passing by. In addition, you can use volume strategically to emphasize the most important points in your speech. Select these points carefully; if you emphasize everything, nothing will seem important. You also want to be sure to adjust your volume to the physical setting of the presentation. If you are in a large auditorium and your audience is several yards away, you will need to speak louder. If you are in a smaller space, with the audience a few feet away, you want to avoid overwhelming your audience with shouting or speaking too loudly.


Rateisthe speed at which a person speaks. To keep your speech delivery interesting, your rate should vary. If you are speaking extemporaneously, your rate will naturally fluctuate. If you’re reading, your delivery is less likely to vary. Because rate is an important tool in enhancing the meanings in your speech, you do not want to give a monotone drone or a rapid “machine-gun” style delivery. Your rate should be appropriate for your topic and your points. A rapid, lively rate can communicate such meanings as enthusiasm, urgency, or humor. A slower, moderated rate can convey respect, seriousness, or careful reasoning. By varying rapid and slower rates within a single speech, you can emphasize your main points and keep your audience interested.


Pitchrefers tothe highness or lowness of a speaker’s voice. Some speakers have deep voices and others have high voices. As with one’s singing voice range, the pitch of one’s speaking voice is determined to a large extent by physiology (specifically, the length of one’s vocal folds, or cords, and the size of one’s vocal tract). We all have a normal speaking pitch where our voice is naturally settled, the pitch where we are most comfortable speaking, and most teachers advise speaking at the pitch that feels natural to you.

While our voices may be generally comfortable at a specific pitch level, we all have the ability to modulate, or move, our pitch up or down. In fact, we do this all the time. When we change the pitch of our voices, we are usinginflections. Just as you can use volume strategically, you can also use pitch inflections to make your delivery more interesting and emphatic. If you ordinarily speak with a soprano voice, you may want to drop your voice to a slightly lower range to call attention to a particular point. How we use inflections can even change the entire meaning of what we are saying. For example, try saying the sentence “I love public speaking” with a higher pitch on one of the words—first raise the pitch on “I,” then say it again with the pitch raised on “love,” and so on. “Ilove public speaking” conveys a different meaning from “I lovepublicspeaking,” doesn’t it?

There are some speakers who don’t change their pitch at all while speaking, which is calledmonotone. While very few people are completely monotone, some speakers slip into monotone patterns because of nerves. One way to ascertain whether you sound monotone is to record your voice and see how you sound. If you notice that your voice doesn’t fluctuate very much, you will need to be intentional in altering your pitch to ensure that the emphasis of your speech isn’t completely lost on your audience.

Finally, resist the habit of pitching your voice “up” at the ends of sentences. It makes them sound like questions instead of statements. This habit can be disorienting and distracting, interfering with the audience’s ability to focus entirely on the message. The speaker sounds uncertain or sounds as though he or she is seeking the understanding or approval of the listener. It hurts the speaker’s credibility and it needs to be avoided.

The effective use of pitch is one of the keys to an interesting delivery that will hold your audience’s attention.


Pausesarebrief breaks in a speaker’s delivery that can emphasize and enhance the clarity of a message. In terms of timing, the effective use of pauses is one of the most important skills to develop. Some speakers become uncomfortable very quickly with the “dead air” that the pause causes. And if the speaker is uncomfortable, the discomfort can transmit itself to the audience. That doesn’t mean you should avoid using pauses; your ability to use them confidently will increase with practice. Some of the best comedians use the well-timed pause to powerful and hilarious effect. Although your speech will not be a comedy routine, pauses are still useful for emphasis, especially when combined with a lowered pitch and rate to emphasize the important point you do not want your audience to miss.

Vocal Variety

Vocal varietyhas to do withchanges in the vocalics we have just discussed: volume, pitch, rate, and pauses. No one wants to hear the same volume, pitch, rate, or use of pauses over and over again in a speech. Your audience should never be able to detect that you’re about to slow down or your voice is going to get deeper because you’re making an important point. When you think about how you sound in a normal conversation, your use of volume, pitch, rate, and pauses are all done spontaneously. If you try to over-rehearse your vocalics, your speech will end up sounding artificial. Vocal variety should flow naturally from your wish to speak with expression. In that way, it will animate your speech and invite your listeners to understand your topic the way you do.


The last major category related to vocalics ispronunciation, orthe conventional patterns of speech used to form a word. Word pronunciation is important for two reasons: first, mispronouncing a word your audience is familiar with will harm your credibility as a speaker; and second, mispronouncing a word they are unfamiliar with can confuse and even misinform them. If there is any possibility at all that you don’t know the correct pronunciation of a word, find out. Many online dictionaries, such as theWiktionary, provide free sound files illustrating the pronunciation of words.

Many have commented on the mispronunciation of words such as “nuclear” and “cavalry” by highly educated public speakers, including US presidents. There have been classroom examples as well. For instance, a student giving a speech on the Greek philosopher Socrates mispronounced his name at least eight times during her speech. This mispronunciation created a situation of great awkwardness and anxiety for the audience. Everyone felt embarrassed and the teacher, opting not to humiliate the student in front of the class, could not say anything out loud, instead providing a private written comment at the end of class.

One important aspect of pronunciation isarticulation, orthe ability to clearly pronounce each of a succession of syllables used to make up a word. Some people have difficulty articulating because of physiological problems that can be treated by trained speech therapists, but other people have articulation problems because they come from a cultural milieu where a dialect other than standard American English is the norm. Speech therapists, who generally guide their clients toward standard American English, use the acronym SODA when helping people learn how to more effectively articulate:substitutions,omissions,distortions, andadditions.

  • Substitutionsoccur when a speaker replaces one consonant or vowel with another consonant (waterbecomeswudda;askbecomesax;mouthbecomesmouf).
  • Omissionsoccur when a speaker drops a consonant or vowel within a word (InternetbecomesInnet;mesmerizedbecomesmemerized;probablybecomesprolly).
  • Distortionsoccur when a speaker articulates a word with nasal or slurring sounds (pencilsounds likemencil;precipitationsounds likepersination;secondsounds likeslecond).
  • Additionsoccur when a speaker adds consonants or vowels to words that are not there (anywaybecomesanyways;athleticbecomesathaletic;blackbecomesbuhlack;interpretbecomesinterpretate).

Another aspect of pronunciation in public speaking is avoiding the use ofverbal surrogatesor “filler” words used as placeholders for actual words (likeer,um,uh, etc.). You might be able to get away with saying “um” as many as two or three times in your speech before it becomes distracting, but the same cannot be said of “like.” We know of a student who trained herself to avoid saying “like.” As soon as the first speech was assigned, she began wearing a rubber band on her left wrist. Each time she caught herself saying “like,” she snapped herself with the rubber band. It hurt. Very quickly, she found that she could stop inflicting the snap on herself, and she had successfully confronted an unprofessional verbal habit.


In addition to using our voices effectively, a key to effective public speaking isphysical manipulation, or the use of the body to emphasize meanings or convey meanings during a speech. While we will not attempt to give an entire discourse on nonverbal communication, we will discuss a few basic aspects of physical manipulation: posture, body movement, facial expressions, and dress. These aspects add up to the overall physical dimension of your speech, which we call self-presentation.


“Stand up tall!” I’m sure we’ve all heard this statement from a parent or a teacher at some point in our lives. The fact is, posture is actually quite important. When you stand up straight, you communicate to your audience, without saying a word, that you hold a position of power and take your position seriously. If however, you are slouching, hunched over, or leaning on something, you could be perceived as ill prepared, anxious, lacking in credibility, or not serious about your responsibilities as a speaker. While speakers often assume more casual posture as a presentation continues (especially if it is a long one, such as a ninety-minute class lecture), it is always wise to start by standing up straight and putting your best foot forward. Remember, you only get one shot at making a first impression, and your body’s orientation is one of the first pieces of information audiences use to make that impression.

Body Movement

Unless you are stuck behind a podium because of the need to use a non-movable microphone, you should never stand in one place during a speech. However, movement during a speech should also not resemble pacing. One of our authors once saw a speaker who would walk around a small table where her speaking notes were located. She would walk around the table once, toss her chalk twice, and then repeat the process. Instead of listening to what the speaker was saying, everyone became transfixed by her walk-and-chalk-toss pattern. As speakers, we must be mindful of how we go about moving while speaking. One common method for easily integrating some movement into your speech is to take a few steps any time you transition from one idea to the next. By only moving at transition points, not only do you help focus your audience’s attention on the transition from one idea to the next, but you also are able to increase your nonverbal immediacy by getting closer to different segments of your audience.

Body movement also includesgestures,a movement of the hands, arms, or head, etc. to express an idea or feeling. These should be neither over dramatic nor subdued. At one extreme, arm-waving and fist-pounding will distract from your message and reduce your credibility. At the other extreme, refraining from the use of gestures is the waste of an opportunity to suggest emphasis, enthusiasm, or other personal connection with your topic.

There are many ways to use gestures. The most obvious are hand gestures, which should be used in moderation at carefully selected times in the speech. If you overuse gestures, they lose meaning. Many late-night comedy parodies of political leaders include patterned, overused gestures or other delivery habits associated with a particular speaker. However, the well-placed use of simple, natural gestures to indicate emphasis, direction, size is usually effective. Normally, a gesture with one hand is enough. Rather than trying to have a gesture for every sentence, use just a few well-planned gestures. It is often more effective to make a gesture and hold it for a few moments than to begin waving your hands and arms around in a series of gestures.

Finally, just as you should avoid pacing, you will also want to avoid other distracting movements when you are speaking. Many speakers have unconscious mannerisms such as twirling their hair, putting their hands in and out of their pockets, jingling their keys, licking their lips, or clicking a pen while speaking. As with other aspects of speech delivery, practicing in front of others will help you become conscious of such distractions and plan ways to avoid doing them.

(Video) What Is Business Communication?Introduction, Meaning And Definition Of Business Communication

Facial Expression

Faces are amazing and convey so much information. As speakers, we must be acutely aware of what our face looks like while speaking. While many of us do not look forward to seeing ourselves on videotape, often the only way you can critically evaluate what your face is doing while you are speaking is to watch a recording of your speech. If video is not available, you can practice speaking in front of a mirror.

There are two extremes you want to avoid: no facial expression and over-animated facial expressions. First, you do not want to have a completely blank face while speaking. Some people just do not show much emotion with their faces naturally, but this blankness is often increased when the speaker is nervous. Audiences will react negatively to the message of such a speaker because they will sense that something is amiss. If a speaker is talking about the joys of Disney World and his face doesn’t show any excitement, the audience is going to be turned off to the speaker and his message. On the other extreme end is the speaker whose face looks like that of an exaggerated cartoon character. Instead, your goal is to show a variety of appropriate facial expressions while speaking.

Like vocalics and gestures, facial expression can be used strategically to enhance meaning. A smile or pleasant facial expression is generally appropriate at the beginning of a speech to indicate your wish for a good transaction with your audience. However, you should not smile throughout a speech on drug addiction, poverty, or the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. An inappropriate smile creates confusion about your meaning and may make your audience feel uncomfortable. On the other hand, a serious scowl might look hostile or threatening to audience members and become a distraction from the message. If you keep the meaning of your speech foremost in your mind, you will more readily find the balance in facial expression.

Another common problem some new speakers have is showing only one expression. One of our coauthors competed in speech in college. After one of his speeches (about how people die on amusement park rides), one of his judges pulled him aside and informed him that his speech was “creepy.” Apparently, while speaking about death, our coauthor smiled the entire time. The incongruity between the speech on death and dying and the coauthor’s smile just left the judge a little creeped out. If you are excited in a part of your speech, you should show excitement on your face. On the other hand, if you are at a serious part of your speech, your facial expressions should be serious.


While there are no clear-cut guidelines for how you should dress for every speech you’ll give, dress is still a very important part of how others will perceive you (again, it’s all about the first impression). If you want to be taken seriously, you must present yourself seriously. While we do not advocate dressing up in a suit every time you give a speech, there are definitely times when wearing a suit is appropriate.

One general rule you can use for determining dress is the “step-above rule,” which states that you should dress one step above your audience. If your audience is going to be dressed casually in shorts and jeans, then wear nice casual clothing such as a pair of neatly pressed slacks and a collared shirt or blouse. If, however, your audience is going to be wearing “business casual” attire, then you should probably wear a sport coat, a dress, or a suit. The goal of the step-above rule is to establish yourself as someone to be taken seriously. On the other hand, if you dress two steps above your audience, you may put too much distance between yourself and your audience, coming across as overly formal or even arrogant.

Another general rule for dressing is to avoid distractions in your appearance. Overly tight or revealing garments, over-the-top hairstyles or makeup, jangling jewelry, or a display of tattoos and piercings can serve to draw your audience’s attention away from your speech. Remembering that your message is the most important aspect of your speech, keep that message in mind when you choose your clothing and accessories.


When you present your speech, you are also presenting yourself. Self-presentation, sometimes also referred to as poise or stage presence, is determined by how you look, how you stand, how you walk to the lectern, and how you use your voice and gestures. Your self-presentation can either enhance your message or detract from it. Worse, a poor self-presentation can turn a good, well-prepared speech into a forgettable waste of time. You want your self-presentation to support your credibility and improve the likelihood that the audience will listen with interest.

Your personal appearance should reflect the careful preparation of your speech. Your personal appearance is the first thing your audience will see, and from it, they will make inferences about the speech you’re about to present.


One of the biggest mistakes novice public speakers make is to use the same gesture over and over again during a speech. While you don’t want your gestures to look fake, you should be careful to include a variety of different nonverbal components while speaking. You should make sure that your face, body, and words are all working in conjunction with each other to support your message.

Practice Effectively

You might get away with presenting a hastily practiced speech, but the speech will not be as good as it could be. In order to develop your best speech delivery, you need to practice—and use your practice time effectively. Practicing does not mean reading over your notes, mentally running through your speech, or even speaking your speech aloud over and over. Instead, you need to practice with the goal of identifying the weaknesses in your delivery, improving upon them, and building good speech delivery habits.

When you practice your speech, place both your feet in full, firm contact with the floor to keep your body from swaying side to side. Some new public speakers find that they don’t know what to do with their hands during the speech. Your practice sessions should help you get comfortable. When you’re not gesturing, you can rest your free hand lightly on a lectern or simply allow it to hang at your side. Since this is not a familiar posture for most people, it might feel awkward, but in your practice sessions, you can begin getting used to it. Luckily, public speaking is an activity that, when done conscientiously, strengthens with practice. As you become aware of the areas where your delivery has room for improvement, you will begin developing a keen sense of what “works” and what audiences respond to.

Seek Input from Others

Because we can’t see ourselves as others see us, one of the best ways to improve your delivery is to seek constructive criticism from others. This, of course, is an aspect of your public speaking course, as you will receive evaluations from your instructor and possibly from your fellow students. However, by practicing in front of others before it is time to present your speech, you can anticipate and correct problems so that you can receive a better evaluation when you give the speech “for real.”

Ask your practice observers to be honest about the aspects of your delivery that could be better. Sometimes students create study groups just for this purpose. When you create a study group of classroom peers, everyone has an understanding of the entire creative process, and their feedback will thus be more useful to you than the feedback you might get from someone who has never taken the course or given a speech.

If your practice observers seem reluctant to offer useful criticisms, ask questions. How was your eye contact? Could they hear you? Was your voice well modulated? Did you mispronounce any words? How was your posture? Were your gestures effective? Did you have any mannerisms that you should learn to avoid? Because peers are sometimes reluctant to say things that could sound critical, direct questions are often a useful way to help them speak up.

If you learn from these practice sessions that your voice tends to drop at the ends of sentences, make a conscious effort to support your voice as you conclude each main point. If you learn that you have a habit of clicking a pen, make sure you don’t have a pen with you when you speak or that you keep it in your pocket. If your practice observers mention that you tend to hide your hands in the sleeves of your shirt or jacket, next time wear short sleeves or roll your sleeves up before beginning your speech. If you learn through practice that you tend to sway or rock while you speak, you can consciously practice and build the habit ofnotswaying.

When it is your turn to give feedback to others in your group, assume that they are as interested in doing well as you are. Give feedback in the spirit of helping their speeches be as good as possible.

Use audio and/or video to record yourself

Technology has made it easier than ever to record yourself and others using the proliferation of electronic devices people are likely to own. Video, of course, allows you the advantage of being able to see yourself as others see you, while audio allows you to concentrate on the audible aspects of your delivery. As we mentioned earlier in the chapter, if neither video nor audio is available, you can always observe yourself by practicing your delivery in front of a mirror.

After you have recorded yourself, it may seem obvious that you should watch and listen to the recording. This can be intimidating, as you may fear that your performance anxiety will be so obvious that everyone will notice it in the recording. But students are often pleasantly surprised when they watch and listen to their recordings, as even students with very high anxiety may find out that they “come across” in a speech much better than they expected.

A recording can also be a very effective diagnostic device. Sometimes students believe they are making strong contact with their audiences, but their cards contain so many notes that they succumb to the temptation of reading. By finding out from the video that you misjudged your eye contact, you can be motivated to rewrite your notecards in a way that doesn’t provide the opportunity to do so much reading.

It is most likely that in viewing your recording, you will benefit from discovering your strengths and finding weak areas you can strengthen.

Your public speaking course is one of the best opportunities you will have to manage your performance anxiety, build your confidence in speaking extemporaneously, develop your vocal skills, and become adept at self-presentation. The habits you can develop through targeted practice are to build continuously on your strengths and to challenge yourself to find new areas for improving your delivery. By taking advantage of these opportunities, you will gain the ability to present a speech effectively whenever you may be called upon to speak publicly.


Why should you use presentation aids? If you have prepared and rehearsed your speech adequately, shouldn’t a good speech with a good delivery be enough to stand on its own? While it is true that impressive presentation aids will not rescue a poor speech, it is also important to recognize that a good speech can often be made even better by the strategic use of presentation aids.Presentational aidsareitems other than the words of a speech that are used to support the intent of the speaker. In particular, they can be visual aids, audio aids or other supporting technology.Presentational aids can fulfill several functions: they can serve to improve your audience’s understanding of the information you are conveying, clarify the message, emphasize points, enhance retention and recall of the message, add variety and interest to your speech, and enhance your credibility as a speaker. Let’s examine each of these functions.

Improve Audience Understanding

Human communication is a complex process that often leads to misunderstandings. If you are like most people, you can easily remember incidents when you misunderstood a message or when someone else misunderstood what you said to them. Misunderstandings happen in public speaking just as they do in everyday conversations.

One reason for misunderstandings is the fact that perception and interpretation are highly complex individual processes. Most of us have seen the image in which, depending on your perception, you see either the outline of a vase or the facial profiles of two people facing each other. This shows how interpretations can differ, and it means that your presentations must be based on careful thought and preparation to maximize the likelihood that your listeners will understand your presentations as you intend them to.

As a speaker, one of your basic goals is to help your audience understand your message. To reduce misunderstanding, presentation aids can be used to clarify or to emphasize.


Clarification is important in a speech because if some of the information you convey is unclear, your listeners will come away puzzled or possibly even misled. Presentation aids can help clarify a message if the information is complex or if the point being made is a visual one. Diagrams, graphs, and models are especially helpful in clarifying complex ideas for your audience.

Chapter 12: Public Speaking – Human Communication: An Open Text (4)

Figure 12.1 Coriolis Effect

If your speech is about the impact of the Coriolis effect on tropical storms, for instance, you will have great difficulty clarifying it without a diagram because the process is a complex one. The diagram in Figure 10.1 “Coriolis Effect” would be effective because it shows the audience the interaction between equatorial wind patterns and wind patterns moving in other directions. The diagram allows the audience to process the information in two ways: through your verbal explanation and through the visual elements of the diagram.


When you use a presentation aid for emphasis, you impress your listeners with the importance of an idea. In a speech on water conservation, you might try to show the environmental proportions of the resource. When you use a conceptual drawing you show that if the world water supply were equal to ten gallons, only ten drops would be available and potable for human or household consumption. This drawing is effective because it emphasizes the scarcity of useful water and thus draws attention to this important information in your speech.

Chapter 12: Public Speaking – Human Communication: An Open Text (5)

Figure 12.2 Water Supply

Enhance Retention and Recall

The second function that presentation aids can serve is to increase the audience’s chances of remembering your speech. A 1996 article by the US Department of Labor summarized research on how people learn and remember. The authors found that “83% of human learning occurs visually, and the remaining 17% through the other senses—11% through hearing, 3.5% through smell, 1% through taste, and 1.5% through touch.”

When your graphic images deliver information effectively and when your listeners understand them clearly, audience members are likely to remember your message long after your speech is over.

Moreover, people often are able to remember information that is presented in sequential steps more easily than if that information is presented in an unorganized pattern. When you use a presentation aid to display the organization of your speech, you will help your listeners to observe, follow, and remember the sequence of information you conveyed to them. This is why some instructors display a lecture outline for their students to follow during class.

An added plus of using presentation aids is that they can boost your memory while you are speaking. Using your presentation aids while you rehearse your speech will familiarize you with the association between a given place in your speech and the presentation aid that accompanies that material. For example, if you are giving an informative speech about diamonds, you might plan to display a sequence of slides illustrating the most popular diamond shapes: brilliant, marquise, emerald, and so on. As you finish describing one shape and advance to the next slide, seeing the next diamond shape will help you remember the information about it that you are going to deliver.

Add Variety and Interest

The third function of presentation aids is simply to make your speech more interesting. While it is true that a good speech and a well-rehearsed delivery will already include variety in several aspects of the presentation, in many cases, a speech can be made even more interesting by the use of well-chosen presentation aids.

For example, you may have prepared a very good speech to inform a group of gardeners about several new varieties of roses suitable for growing in your local area. Although your listeners will undoubtedly understand and remember your message very well without any presentation aids, wouldn’t your speech have greater impact if you accompanied your remarks with a picture of each rose? You can imagine that your audience would be even more enthralled if you had the ability to display an actual flower of each variety in a bud vase.

Similarly, if you were speaking to a group of gourmet cooks about Indian spices, you might want to provide tiny samples of spices that they could smell and taste during your speech.

Enhance a Speaker’s Credibility

Presentation aids alone will not be enough to create a professional image. As we mentioned earlier, impressive presentation aids will not rescue a poor speech. However, even if you give a good speech, you run the risk of appearing unprofessional if your presentation aids are poorly executed. This means that in addition to containing important information, your presentation aids must be clear, clean, uncluttered, organized, and large enough for the audience to see and interpret correctly. Misspellings and poorly designed presentation aids can damage your credibility as a speaker. Conversely, a high-quality presentation will contribute to your professional image. In addition, make sure that you give proper credit to the source of any presentation aids that you take from other sources.

Basic Design principles for presentation technology

Although there are many types of visual aides, using presentation technology like PowerPoint or Prezi helps to ensure that your audience is able to view the visual aid. In addition, it helps to minimize distractions such as passing a photo or brochure throughout the audience or having a model or object displayed that is difficult to see. There are several things to consider when designing PowerPoint or Prezi slides. We will discuss mages, text, color, and consistency.


Use images more than words. Choose high-resolution images and make sure the images are large enough to be seen clearly. If you use a video clip, edit and embed the video clip–integrate it seamlessly into your speech.


Be mindful of the value of contrast. If you choose a dark colored background, your text should be lightly colored. Conversely, if you choose a light colored background, use dark text. Stay with the same color scheme throughout your entire presentation.


Limit the amount of text on a slide–avoid using full sentences. You should also keep in mind a basic principle of readability– choose fonts that are easy to read (minimize decorative fonts), avoid using all caps, and keep to maximum of two different styles of fonts on a slide. Your titles should be in at least 36-point type and other text should not be smaller than 24-point font.


Remember your slide presentation should be viewed as a whole. The colors, sizes, and types of font should be unified (i.e. if you choose to use 36-point Ariel for your title on one slide, continue to use the same size and font for the title on every slide).

If you decide to use visual aids, remember to keep your audience and purpose for your speech at the forefront of your mind. The visual aid should not be the focus.

12.10 summary, discussion, references


In this chapter, we have discussed best practices for effective speaking. The chapter presented a variety of types of research and evidence and discussed how to locate, evaluate, use, and present research to meet your goals. We also examined how the decisions we make in preparing and delivering a speech are impacted by our audience, the speaking occasion, as well as our specific purpose or goal. Because informative speaking plays a key role in a variety of professional, personal, and civic contexts it is important that we continually build upon our speaking experience and skill sets. Indeed, we are always refining our ability to speak well. Listening to others’ presentations and taking note of their strengths in using presentation aids, delivery style, and clear organization can help us build upon our own best practices.Finally, we reviewed ethical decision making and the benefits to informed learning as an undergraduate student.


  1. What qualities exemplify a good speech?
  2. What do you consider to be your best strengths when speaking in public? In what areas do you feel you need the most improvement?
  3. How can understanding your audience make for a more effective informative speech?


  • articulation
  • audience analysis
  • biased questions
  • causal organizational pattern
  • chronological organizational pattern
  • cite/ citation
  • classification/ catalog
  • comparison/contrast organizational pattern
  • conversational style
  • definition/etymological definition
  • ethics
  • examples (brief, extended, hypothetical)
  • experts
  • extemporaneous speaking
  • general purpose
  • gestures
  • impromptu speaking
  • Information Literacy Model
  • informed learning
  • manuscript speaking
  • memorized speaking
  • neutral questions
  • non-print resources
  • open questions
  • paraphrasing
  • peers
  • periodicals
  • personal experience
  • plagiarism
  • presentational aids
  • primary questions
  • print resources
  • professional experience
  • quoting
  • reference works
  • references page
  • research
  • secondary questions
  • spatial organizational pattern
  • specific purpose
  • statistic
  • subordination
  • testimony
  • topical organizational pattern
  • transitions
  • Uniform Resource Locator (URL)
  • vocalics/ paralanguage


ACLU. (2016). McMillen v. Itawamba County School District. Retrieved from

Ahmad, I. (2014, July 2). How to become a Google search Jedi master- #infographic [Infographic]. Retrieved from

Booth, J. (2014, December 8). 15Infographicswith tips on how to give presentation. Retrieved from

Baker, E. E. (1965). The immediate effects of perceived speaker disorganization on speaker credibility and audience attitude change in persuasive speaking.Western Speech,29: 148-161.

Dlugan, A. (2012, December 11). How the Grinch stolePowerPoint. Retrieved from

eLearningIndustry. (2015, September 15). Types of visual content to improve learnerengagementInfographic.Retrieved from

Hack College. (2011, November 23). Infographic: Get more out of Google[Infographic]. Retrieved from

Koch, A. (2010).Speaking with a purpose(8th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

LeFrancois, G. R. (1999). Psychology for teaching, 10th Ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Lucas, S. (2011). The art of public speaking, 11th Ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Madan, C.R., & Teitge, B.D. (2013, May 1). The benefits of undergraduate research: The student’s perspective.The Mentor. Retrieved from

Maybee, C., Bruce, C.S.,Lupton, M., &Rebmann, K. (2013, June). Learning to use information: Informed learning in the undergraduate classroom. Library & Information Science Research,35(3) 200–206.

McCroskey, J. C., Wrench, J. S., & Richmond, V. P., (2003).Principles of public speaking. Indianapolis, IN: The College Network.

Mehrabian, A. (1972).Nonverbal communication. Chicago, IL: Aldine-Atherton.

Mitchell, O. (n.d.). Mehrabian and nonverbal communication [Web log post]. Retrieved from

O’Hair, D., Stewart, R., & Rubenstein, H. (2001).A speaker’s guidebook: Text and reference.Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Paraphrase. (n.d.). 3 ways to paraphrase quoted material. In wikiHow. Retrieved May 22, 2016, from

Rowan, K. E. (2003). Informing and explaining skills: Theory and research on informative communication.Handbook of Communication and Social Interaction Skills.Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Eribaum Associates Publishers.

Schrock, K. (n.d.). The 5 W’s of websiteevalution[Digital Image]. Retrieved from

Smith, R. G. (1951). An experimental study of the effects of speech organization upon attitudes of college students.Speech Monographs,18:292-301.

Stossel, J. (2011, March 2). An Academy Award–winning movie, stuttering and me [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Thompson, E. C. (1960). An experimental investigation of the relative effectiveness of organizational structure in oral communication.Southern Speech Journal,26:59-69.

Zhang, L. (2016). 3 steps to a perfect informational interview. Retrieved from



The following images were available under theCC-BY-NC-SA 3.0 Licensevia an archived copy of the open textbook, Public Speaking: Practice and Ethics

  • Coriolis Effect Diagram
  • Model of Communication Diagram
  • Petroglyph Diagram
  • Water Supply visualization

Some images were retrieved fromPixabayavailable under aCC0license.


What guidelines did you find most useful in the section about what to wear for your speech? ›

What to Wear for a Presentation: 10 Tips
  • Dress to Feel Good. First and foremost, wear something that makes you feel great. ...
  • Dress to Look Good. ...
  • Dress for the Audience/Venue. ...
  • Dress for Your Brand (Who You Are) ...
  • Avoid Brand New Clothes. ...
  • Don't Try to Be Hip if You're Not. ...
  • Keep it Simple. ...
  • Wear Something that Holds a Lavalier.
17 May 2018

What three general guidelines does the text suggest when giving ceremonial speeches? ›

Before we get into specific examples of ceremonial speeches, we'll discuss three general guidelines for ceremonial speeches: be prepared, be brief, and be occasion focused.

What is civic context? ›

Civic Contexts/Structures

Demonstrates ability and commitment to. collaboratively work across and within community. contexts and structures to achieve a civic aim. Demonstrates ability and commitment to work actively within community contexts and structures to achieve a civic aim.

Why do you think it is important to learn the various types of speech context? ›

Context is critical, because it tells you, the receiver, what importance to place on something, what assumptions to draw (or not) about what is being communicated, and most importantly, it puts meaning into the message.

Why a speaker should be appropriately dressed during presentation? ›

Dressing correctly helps you create the first impression among your audience. As they say “First impression is the last impression” and it definitely matters a lot. Tom had excellent public speaking skills. He somehow became over confident and once went shabbily dressed to address his team members.

What are the 3 main points of a speech? ›

Speeches are organized into three main parts: introduction, body, and conclusion.

What are the 3 messages in a speech? ›

There are three types of messages: Nominal, Expressive and Predicative.

What are the 4 requirements for a speech introduction? ›

A good introduction needs to get the audience's attention, state the topic, make the topic relatable, establish credibility, and preview the main points. Introductions should be the last part of the speech written, as they set expectations and need to match the content.

What are the 4 categories of civic engagement? ›

Civic engagement includes both paid and unpaid forms of political activism, environmentalism, and community and national service. Volunteering, national service, and service-learning are all forms of civic engagement.”

What are the 4 types of civic education? ›

In order to answer these questions, a new typology of the term civic education shall be presented, encompassing four main aspects: Political Knowledge, Normative Values, Individualistic Civic Behavior and Communal Civic Behavior.

Why is civic important? ›

Civic education empowers us to be well-informed, active citizens and gives us the opportunity to change the world around us. It is a vital part of any democracy, and equips ordinary people with knowledge about our democracy and our Constitution.

Why is it important to understand the whole context of a text? ›

Context provides meaning and clarity to the intended message. Context clues in a literary work create a relationship between the writer and reader, giving a deeper understanding of the intent and direction of the writing.

What is the relationship between speech and context? ›

The context dictates and affects the way people communicate, which result in various speech style.

Can I wear black for presentation? ›

“We have colors in our eyes, hair, and skin. If we highlight them and if we think of them as a background, then clothes, accessories, and makeup will only be there to illuminate them “.
Meaning and Signifiers Commonly Linked to Colors.
BlackBlack is a symbol of seriousness and power.
7 more rows
11 Jul 2021

What is the most important thing when presenting? ›

But time and again, the great presenters say that the most important thing is to connect with your audience, and the best way to do that is to let your passion for the subject shine through. Be honest with the audience about what is important to you and why it matters.

What is the rule of speech? ›

Changes as per Tense
Direct SpeechIndirect Speech
Past simple (Subject+V2+Object)Past perfect (Subject+had+V3+Object)
Past Continuous (Subject +was/were+V1 +ing+ Object)Past perfect continuous (Subject +had been+V1 +ing+ Object)
Future simple (Subject+ will/shall+V1+object)Present Conditional (Subject+ would+V1+object)
4 more rows
11 Jul 2019

What is types of speech? ›

There are eight parts of speech in the English language: noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection.

What is the main body of a speech? ›

The body of a speech is the center part of the speech that discusses the main ideas and key concepts of the speech. The body is everything but the introduction and the conclusion. The body of a speech is made up of main points.

What are the 5 forms of message? ›

A message can be divided into a five-part structure composed of an attention statement, introduction, body, conclusion, and residual message.

What are 5 attention getters? ›

Attention-getters can include references to the audience, quotations, references to current events, historical references, anecdotes, startling statements, questions, humor, personal references, and references to the occasion.

What are 3 ways to start a speech? ›

3 Best Ways To Start Your Speech
  • Opening #1: The Personal Story.
  • Opening #2: The Powerful Question.
  • Opening #3: The Shocking Statement.
  • Try It Out!
22 Oct 2012

What are the 5 steps in preparing a speech? ›

Follow these five steps to make sure you give an informative and effective speech every time.
  1. Step 1: Research and Preparation. ...
  2. Step 2: Writing Your Speech. ...
  3. Step 3: Practicing. ...
  4. Step 4: Putting Together Visual Aids. ...
  5. Step 5: Handling the Q&A.

What are the 8 types of community engagement? ›

Types of Community Engagement
  • Community Building. Projects that intentionally bring people together to simply get to know one another. ...
  • Community Education. ...
  • Community Organizing. ...
  • Deliberative Dialogue. ...
  • Direct Service. ...
  • Economic Development. ...
  • Engaged Research. ...
  • Institutional Engagement.

What are the 3 types of civic engagement? ›

Volunteering, national service, and service-learning are all forms of civic engagement.

What are the types of engagement? ›

The three types of engagement are Personal Engagement, Organizational Engagement, and Situational Engagement.

What are the 3 types of citizen? ›

They are: citizenship by birth; citizenship by registration; and. citizenship by naturalisation.

What are the 2 types of citizens? ›

There are two main systems used to determine citizenship as of the time of birth: jus soli, whereby citizenship is acquired by birth within the territory of the state, regardless of parental citizenship; and jus sanguinis, whereby a person, wherever born, is a citizen of the state if, at the time of his or her birth, ...

What is the 5 importance of civic education? ›

Civic education is the pivot to the future development of our nation, if and only if we open our minds and hearts to its rich knowledge. We can achieve a national transformation, peace, equality, effective citizenship, sustainable development, international recognition and the democracy of our dreams.

What makes a good citizen? ›

Conduct a classroom discussion on aspects of good citizenship, such as: obeying rules and laws, helping others, voting in elections, telling an adult if someone is a danger to themselves or others, and being responsible for your own actions and how they affect others.

What are civic skills? ›

Specifically these authors define civic skills to include competency in English, vocabulary, writing letters, going to meetings, taking part in decision making, planning or chairing a meeting, and giving a presentation or speech.

What are 5 civic responsibilities? ›

U.S. citizens are encouraged to exercise certain responsibilities and privileges, including:
  • Voting. While voting is a right and privilege of citizenship, it is also a duty or responsibility. ...
  • Staying informed. ...
  • Community involvement. ...
  • Practicing tolerance. ...
  • Passing it on.

What are the guidelines in wearing the business attire? ›

Men should wear business suits if possible; however, blazers can be worn with dress slacks or nice khaki pants. Wearing a tie is a requirement for men in a business professional dress code. Sweaters worn with a shirt and tie are an option as well. Women should wear business suits or skirt-and-blouse combinations.

Why is it important to follow the guidelines in choosing your clothes? ›

Clothing likes and dislikes are determined by your values, beliefs about what's important, desirable, or worthwhile. By examining your values, you can discover your overall attitude toward clothing. This is your clothing philosophy, and it affects what you decide to wear.

What do you wear for a speech? ›

Avoid clothing items that require constant adjusting, and go with something simple like a collared blouse: It's the right level of formality for most events without seeming overdressed.

How do you begin a speech? ›

Here are seven effective methods to open a speech or presentation:
  1. Quote. Opening with a relevant quote can help set the tone for the rest of your speech. ...
  2. “What If” Scenario. Immediately drawing your audience into your speech works wonders. ...
  3. “Imagine” Scenario. ...
  4. Question. ...
  5. Silence. ...
  6. Statistic. ...
  7. Powerful Statement/Phrase.
7 Apr 2015

What should you not do before giving a speech? ›

Here are five things to avoid when making a speech.
  1. Closed body language. We all know that not everything we say is done via our voices. ...
  2. Retreating. Retreating might be a sound military tactic when faced with impossible odds, but it really shouldn't be deployed on stage. ...
  3. Locked hand gestures. ...
  4. Fast pacing. ...
  5. Don't fear pausing.

How do I prepare my throat for a speech? ›

Preparing Your Voice For a Speech
  1. Breathe With Me. ...
  2. Keep Yourself Hydrated. ...
  3. Try To Relax. ...
  4. Speak Slowly & Pause When You Need To. ...
  5. Try Not To Cough Too Much. ...
  6. Pause During Background Noise. ...
  7. Think About When You Eat. ...
  8. Avoid Alcohol & Smoking.
5 Oct 2017

Can you wear a midi dress to a formal wedding? ›

It's a balance between elegant and comfortable and typically more formal than a day wedding but more casual than a night celebration. Instead of a floor-length dress, women should opt for a tea-length, knee-length, or midi dress.

How should you dress for a job interview? ›

Generally, a job interview calls for you to wear professional, or business, attire. For men, this might mean a suit jacket and slacks with a shirt and tie or a sweater and button-down. For women, a blouse and dress pants or a statement dress is appropriate.

What is smart casual in Australia? ›

Australian workplace dress codes

Smart casual (e.g. sports jacket with chinos or nice jeans for men; nice slacks, skirt or dark jeans with a collared or dressy top for women) Business casual (e.g. pressed khakis or chinos with a polo or collared shirt for men; dress pants with a fashionable top for women)

What is the importance of dressing up properly in different occasions? ›

Dressing well allows one to gain self-confidence and that's an important aspect of communication. Good communication skills can be obtained easily if one decides to choose what to wear wisely.

Why is it important to dress professionally in the workplace? ›

While being sloppily dressed or less presentable could lead others to perceive you as lazy, unreliable or unprofessional, dressing like a professional can help you make major strides toward landing partnerships that matter, getting new jobs or unlocking new opportunities.

What are the factors to be considered in wardrobe planning? ›

6 steps to fabulous wardrobe planning
  • Step 1: Map your Lifestyle. ...
  • Step 2: Create your own Dress Code. ...
  • Step 3: Wardrobe Proportions. ...
  • Step 4: Key looks. ...
  • Step 5: Capsule. ...
  • Step 6: Budget.

What color makes the best first impression? ›

Conservative colors, such as black, blue, gray, and brown, seem to be the the safest bet when meeting someone for the first time in a professional setting, whereas colors that signal more creativity, like orange, may be too loud for an interview.

How do you look good in a presentation? ›

3 Tips to Look Good in a Presentation - YouTube


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