Choosing A Topic • The first step in speechmaking. • Pick a topic that: • You know a lot about. • You want to know more about. • Your audience can relate to or enjoy.
What if I can’t think of anything? • Brainstorm • List hobbies, interests, attitudes, experiences • Google interesting topics to find a starting point for your speech
The Specific Purpose • A single infinitive sentence that states precisely what a speaker hopes to accomplish in his/her speech. • Example: To inform my audience about the causes of global warming. • Example: To demonstrate to my audience how to change a flat tire. • Example: To persuade my audience to participate in the campus blood drive.
Tips for Writing the Specific Purpose • Write a full infinitive sentence. • Incorrect: Down’s Syndrome. • Correct: To inform my audience about the symptoms of down’s syndrome. • Write a statement, not a question. • Incorrect: What are panda bears? • Correct: To inform my audience about the history of the panda bear. • Avoid figurative language. • Incorrect: To inform my audience that sky diving is awesome. • Correct: To inform my audience about the process of sky diving. • Limit the specific purpose to one idea. • Incorrect: To inform my audience about NASA and the space shuttle Discovery. • Correct: To inform my audience about the space shuttle Discovery.
The Central Idea • Also called a thesis statement. • A one-sentence statement that sums up the major ideas of a speech. • A concise statement of what you expect to say in you speech. • It’s what you want your audience to remember after they have forgotten everything else in your speech.
Guidelines for the Central Idea • A complete sentence. • Incorrect: Problems with fad diets. • Correct: Fad diets can cause health problems and weight gain. • Should not be in the form of a question. • Incorrect: How do you know if you have good car insurance? • Correct: Good car insurance requires three basic coverages. • Should avoid figurative language. • Incorrect: Politicians are nothing but skum. • Correct: Term limits should be set for all politicians. • Should not be too vague or general. • Incorrect: Donating blood is good. • Correct: Becoming a blood donor can save the lives of four people each time you donate.
Specific Purposes • To inform about genetic mapping and prescription drug research. • To inform my audience about genetic mapping. • To persuade my wonderful audience. • To persuade my audience to ban stem cell research. • To tell my audience about the reason for the Brady Bill on handguns in the United States for people who want to purchase guns. • To persuade my audience to support the Brady Bill. • To demonstrate to my audience the correct way to install a fire alarm. • Correct • Persuade them to purchase my product. • To persuade my audience to purchase my hand cleaner.
Central Idea Statements • Genetic mapping in the United States. • Although still in its infancy, genetic mapping is making great strides to cure many life-threatening diseases. • The United States Congress should ban stem cell research. • Correct • The awesome Brady Bill is a superior form of legislation. • The Brady Bill saves lives through background checks and waiting periods when purchasing guns.
Central Idea Statements • Fire alarms save lives. • To install a fire alarm, you need to choose the correct alarm, install the alarm in the correct area of the house, and regularly check to battery. • Why should you buy my hand cleaner? • Grease-Be-Gone can get your hands clean while also adding moisture to your dry, rough skin.