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The key attention-grabbing portion of your speech, your keynote.

***NO-NO: "My speech is on....." "My topic is......" "I'm going to talk to you about....."



    Painting a word-picture which places the audience verbally in a situation similar to your speech focus. (EX: "Picture yourself in the middle of an interstate highway and, suddenly, an 18-wheeler is coming down the road....the WRONG WAY ....and right toward you."


    If the topic is appropriate, a good introduction injects humor (often from personal experience) to get attention


    Asking about a hypothetical, or reality, situation.

    (EX: "Have you ever bought something at a department store and wanted to strangle the clerk when he seemed unconcerned about your product which didn't work?")


    An informal poll, involvement inquiry which demands a response from your audience.

    (EX: "How many of you have ever been in an auto accident? If you were holding up your hand, you know it can be the most helpless feeling in the world, because you often have no time or chance to escape.")


    Use of prop, emotion, demonstration, or shock value to gain the audience's attention.

    (EX: To illustrate the proper way to complain in a store, you may want to use another class member as a clerk and "enter" the store by going into a "tirade" against the "clerk" as an example of how NOT to effectively complain.)


    If a dramatic, serious or humorous quotation can be found which is appropriate to your theme....lead with it, then say who said it and why it is important to illustrate your central focus.



    Focusing on three or four key eras of development of your topic and following them in a time order

    ***Historical Background

    Focusing on three or four key events (not necessarily in chronological order) which are appropriate to your central focus

    ***Defining Terms

    Focusing on specific areas of research, technology, or development essential to your central focus. (EX: If doing a speech on heart disease, you may want to look at three or four key areas of heart treatment).

    NO-NO: Never use a scientific or technical term without defining it in layman's terms.


    Focusing on key people who are significant in the development, improvement, or creation of your central topic.

    ***Personal History

    Focusing on events and occurrences in your life which back up your specific purpose/central topic. These can be effective in your personal experience speeches.


    Focusing on components of your central idea. (EX: If discussing how to change an automobile filter, you will want to center on 3 or 4 key steps in the process.)

    ***Compare and Contrast

    Focusing on similarities and differences between two or more comparable items

    ***Problem-Solution Method

    More applicable in persuasive speeches, this identifies a problem and suggests 3 or 4 key possible ways to solve it.

    ***Case Method

    Focusing on 3 or 4 specific cases or case studies found in research which are relevant to your topic. Often used in speeches on crime or medical illnesses.


    Summary, motivation, prescribed action, or cementing of central ideas.

    (NO-NO: "That's the end of my speech....any questions." "That's it.")


      RESTATEMENT----Reinforcement of the central theme and/or previous key points in summary. Restatement replants key points in the listeners' minds.

      CLINCHER----Suggestion for action, personal references, quotations, answering of initial rhetorical question, which "ties together" your overall purpose.

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