Determining the specific purpose
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Determining the Specific Purpose. Informative Speeches Barry 2010. Determining the Specific Purpose. Needs to be sufficiently narrow to cover in the time allotted Your speech will be four to eight minutes long! States your precise goal for the speech State in a single infinitive phrase:

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Determining the Specific Purpose

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Determining the specific purpose

Determining the Specific Purpose

Informative Speeches

Barry 2010


Determining the specific purpose1

Determining the Specific Purpose

  • Needs to be sufficiently narrow to cover in the time allotted

    • Your speech will be four to eight minutes long!

  • States your precise goal for the speech

  • State in a single infinitive phrase:

    • To inform my audience about . . .

From The Art of Public Speaking by Stephen E. Lucas


Example specific purposes

Example Specific Purposes

  • To inform my audience about the benefits of music therapy for people with psychological or cognitive disabilities.

  • Notice that the phrase includes “my audience.”

  • Keep your audience in mind!

From The Art of Public Speaking by Stephen E. Lucas


Example specific purposes1

Example Specific Purposes

  • Ineffective:

    • Calendars

  • Effective:

    • To inform my audience about the four major kinds of calendars used in the world today

From The Art of Public Speaking by Stephen E. Lucas


Example specific purposes2

Example Specific Purposes

  • Ineffective:

    • What is Día de los Muertos?

  • Effective:

    • To inform my audience about the history of Mexico’s Día de los Muertos celebration

From The Art of Public Speaking by Stephen E. Lucas


Example specific purposes3

Example Specific Purposes

  • Ineffective:

    • To inform my audience about the benefits of volunteering in the Special Olympics and the history of the Special Olympics

  • Effective:

    • To inform my audience about the history of the Special Olympics

From The Art of Public Speaking by Stephen E. Lucas


Example specific purposes4

Example Specific Purposes

  • Ineffective:

    • To inform my audience about hot-air balloons

  • Effective:

    • To inform my audience about the scientific uses of hot-air balloons

From The Art of Public Speaking by Stephen E. Lucas


Example specific purposes5

Example Specific Purposes

  • Ineffective: (Too broad to cover in the time allotted)

    • To inform my audience about the rise and fall of ancient Rome

    • To inform my audience about the role of technology in human history

From The Art of Public Speaking by Stephen E. Lucas


Specific purpose checklist on handout

Specific Purpose Checklist (on handout)

  • Full infinitive phrase

  • Refers to audience/is suitable to audience

  • Statement, not question

  • Limited to one distinct subject

  • Indicates precise goal

  • Can be accomplished in the time allotted (4 to 8 minutes)

From The Art of Public Speaking by Stephen E. Lucas


Cautions for informative speeches

Cautions for Informative Speeches

  • Don’t choose a trivial speech topic; choose something that has some depth to it.

  • Also, try to choose something that most audience members will learn from

    • Examples of trivial purpose statements:

      • To inform my audience how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich

      • To inform my audience how to tie a bow tie

From The Art of Public Speaking by Stephen E. Lucas


Cautions for informative speeches1

Cautions for Informative Speeches

  • Don’t choose an overly technical speech topic

  • Make sure you can make your topic understandable, and avoid jargon

    • Example of an overly technical purpose statements:

      • To inform my audience about the methods of encryption technology

From The Art of Public Speaking by Stephen E. Lucas


Cautions for informative speeches2

Cautions for Informative Speeches

  • Don’t overestimate what the audience knows.

  • Give sufficient background in your speech

  • For example, if you give a speech on Roth IRAs, define them first

From The Art of Public Speaking by Stephen E. Lucas


Cautions for informative speeches3

Cautions for Informative Speeches

  • Relate the subject directly to the audience.

  • Find ways to talk about your topic in terms of your listeners.

  • Use the pronoun “you.”

  • It is your job to keep your audience interested!

From The Art of Public Speaking by Stephen E. Lucas


Cautions for informative speeches4

Cautions for Informative Speeches

  • Relate the subject directly to the audience.

  • Compare these examples:

    • I want to talk to you about chili peppers.

    • Imagine your mouth is burning like wildfire, your eyes squirting out uncontrollable tears, and your face red and sweating profusely. Are you sick? No. You just took a bite out of a screaming hot chili pepper.

From The Art of Public Speaking by Stephen E. Lucas


Cautions for informative speeches5

Cautions for Informative Speeches

  • Avoid abstractions.

  • Use description: statements that depict a person, event, or idea with clarity and vividness

  • Use comparisons: statements of the similarities among two or more people, events, ideas, etc.

  • Use contrasts: statements of the differences among two or more people, events, ideas, etc.

From The Art of Public Speaking by Stephen E. Lucas


Cautions for informative speeches6

Cautions for Informative Speeches

  • Personalize your ideas.

  • personalize: to present one’s ideas in human terms that relate in some fashion to the experience of the audience.

  • Entertain your audience as you enlighten them.

From The Art of Public Speaking by Stephen E. Lucas


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