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Lecture 2. Selecting a Topic and Purpose Analyzing the Audience. Two broad categories of potential topics for your speeches:. 1) subjects you know a lot about 2) subjects you want to know more about. Subjects you know a lot about:. A. unusual experiences; B. special knowledge

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lecture 2

Lecture 2

Selecting a Topic and Purpose

Analyzing the Audience

two broad categories of potential topics for your speeches
Two broad categories of potential topics for your speeches:
  • 1)subjects you know a lot about
  • 2) subjects you want to know more about
subjects you know a lot about
Subjects you know a lot about:

A. unusual experiences;

  • B. special knowledge

or expertise;

subjects you want to know more about
Subjects you want to know more about:
  • Subjects…
  • a. you already have some knowledge or expertise but need additional research;
  • b.untouched at all but you want to explore;
  • c. about which you hold strong opinions and beliefs;
  • d. you care deeply --- national or international concerns.
brainstorming for topics
Brainstorming for topics:
  • 1)personal inventory;
  • 2)clustering;
  • 3) reference search;
  • 4) internet search;
determining the general purpose
Determining the general purpose:

a.to inform: enhance the knowledge and understanding of your listeners --- to give them information they did not have before; to explain

b. to persuade: change or structure the attitudes or actions of your audience --- to win over your listeners to your point of view: to exhort

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Determining the specific purpose:
  • states what the speaker wants the audience to know as a result of the speech
tips for formulating the specific purpose statement
Tips for formulating the specific Purpose Statement:
  • 1)a full infinitive phrase, not as a fragment;
  • Ineffective: calendars
  • More effective: To inform my audience about the four major kinds of calendars used in the world today.
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2) a statement, not as a question;
  • Ineffective: Is the U.S. space program necessary?
  • More effective: To persuade my audience that the U.S. space program provides many important benefits to people here on earth.
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3) avoid figurative language:
  • Ineffective: To inform my audience that yoga is extremely cool.
  • More effective: To inform my audience how yoga can improve their health.
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4) one distinct idea:
  • Ineffective: To inform my audience about the use of hot-air balloons and to help reduce air pollution;
  • More effective: choose one.
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5) not too vague or general:
  • Ineffective: To persuade my audience that something should be done about medical care.
  • More effective: To persuade my audience that the federal government should adopt a system of national health insurance for all people in the U.S.A.
phrasing the central idea
Phrasing the central idea:
  • The central idea is a concise statement of what you expect to say, also called thesis statement, subject sentence, major thought, usually expressed as a simple, declarative sentence that refines and sharpens the specific purpose statement.
topic american prison system
Topic: American prison system;
  • General purpose: To inform;
  • Specific purpose: To inform my audience of the three major problems facing America’s prison system.
  • Central idea: America’s prison system suffers from three major problems: overcrowding of inmates, lack of effective rehabilitation programs and high expense to taxpayers.
topic alternative fuel vehicles
Topic: Alternative-fuel vehicles;
  • General purpose: To persuade;
  • Specific purpose: To persuade my audience that the federal government should speed up efforts to develop alternative-fuel vehicles.
  • Central idea: Developing alternative-vehicles will help reduce American dependence on foreign oil and will help reduce air pollution.
different purposes for a same topic
Different purposes for a same topic:
  • Topic: School buses:
  • Informative: To inform my audience of the dangerous conditions of many school buses in the U.S.
  • Persuasive: To persuade my audience that the federal government should impose stronger safety standards for school buses in the U.S.
analyzing the audience
Analyzing the Audience
  • Audience-centered (identification ):
  • remain true to yourself and speak ethically while adapting your message to the needs of a particular audience
the psychology of audience
The psychology of audience:
  • Egocentric:
  • people pay closest attention to messages that affect their own values, their own beliefs, their own well-being.
demographic audience analysis
Demographic audience analysis
  • age,
  • gender,
  • sexual orientation,
  • religion,
  • group membership;
  • racial, ethnic or cultural background
other variables to consider
Other variables to consider:
  • occupation,
  • economic position,
  • social standing,
  • education,
  • intelligence,
  • and place of residence
situational audience analysis
Situational Audience analysis
  • Size;
  • Physical setting;
  • Audience’s interest, knowledge & attitude;
  • Perception of the speaker;
  • Disposition toward the occasion.
getting information about the audience
Getting information about the audience
  • observation and conversation
  • Interview;
  • Questionnaire:
  • ---fixed-alternative questions
  • ---scale questions
  • ---open-ended questions
adapting to the audience
Adapting to the audience
  • audience adaptation before the speech:
  • --- assessing
  • --- adjusting
  • audience adaptation during the speech:
  • --- time allotment
  • --- reaction to feedback
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