In a series of important and also groundbreaking studies conducted during the 1950’s and 1960’s, researchers started investigating just how a speech’s company was pertained to audience perceptions of those speeches. The an initial study, performed by Raymond blacksmith in 1951, randomly arranged the components of a decided to see just how audiences would react. Not surprisingly, once speeches were randomly organized, the audience regarded the speech an ext negatively than once audiences to be presented v a speech v clear, intentional organization. Smith also found that audiences that listened come unorganized speeches were much less interested in those speeches 보다 audiences that listened to arranged speeches. Thompson advanced this investigation and also found the unorganized speeches were likewise harder because that audiences to recall ~ the speech. Basically, world remember details from speeches that are clearly organized—and forget information from speeches that are poorly organized. A third study by Baker uncovered that once audiences to be presented through a disorganized speaker, castle were less likely to be persuaded, and also saw the disorganized speak as lacking credibility.

You are watching: Organizing ideas for presentation in a speech is an important aspect of critical thinking.

These three an extremely important researches make the prominence of organization an extremely clear. As soon as speakers are not arranged they space not regarded as credible and also their audiences watch the speeches negatively, are much less likely to it is in persuaded, and also don’t remember specific information indigenous the speeches after the fact.

Determining Your key Ideas


When developing a speech, it’s vital to remember that speeches have three clear parts: an introduction, a body, and also a conclusion. The development establishes the topic and orients your audience, and the conclusion wraps every little thing up at the end of her speech. The real “meat” of her speech happens in the body. In this section, we’re walk to talk about how come think strategically around the human body of your speech.

We favor the native strategic due to the fact that it describes determining what is crucial or essential to the overall arrangement or function of your speech. As well often, brand-new speakers simply throw details together and stand up and start speaking. Once that happens, audience members space left confused and also the factor for the decided may gain lost. To stop being seen as disorganized, we desire you to begin thinking critically about the company of her speech. In this section, us will talk about how come take your speech from a particular purpose to developing the main points of her speech.

What Is Your certain Purpose?

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

The general purpose refers to the large goal that creating and delivering the speech.

A specific purpose is a statement the starts with among the three general purposes and also then states the actual object you have chosen and also the straightforward objective you expect to accomplish with her speech. Basically, the certain purpose answers the who, what, when, where, and also why inquiries about her speech. Expect you are going to offer a speech around using open-source software. Here are three examples (each through a various general purpose and also a different audience):

Example One

General Purpose: To inform

Specific Purpose: To educate a team of institution administrators around the various open-source software application packages that could be made use of in their college districts

Example Two

General Purpose: To persuade

Specific Purpose: To guide a group of college students to do the move from Microsoft Office come the open-source office suite OpenOffice

Example Three

General Purpose: To entertain

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

In every of these 3 examples, you’ll an alert that the basic topic is the same (open-source software) however the certain purpose is different due to the fact that the speech has a various general purpose and also a various audience. Before you have the right to think strategically about organizing the human body of your speech, you require to understand what your details purpose is. If you have not yet written a certain purpose because that your existing speech, you re welcome go ahead and also write one now.

From certain Purpose to key Points

Once you have written down your particular purpose, you have the right to now begin thinking around the best method to revolve that details purpose right into a series of main points. Main points are the crucial ideas you present to permit your speech to accomplish its particular purpose. In this section, we’re walking to comment on how to identify your key points and also how to organize those key points into a coherent, strategy speech.

How many Main Points execute I Need?

While over there is no magic number for how numerous main point out a speech have to have, speech specialists generally agree that the fewer the variety of main points the better. First and foremost, specialists on the subject of memory have consistently displayed that people don’t often tend to remember very much after they hear to a blog post or leave a conversation. While many different determinants can impact a listener’s ability to retain details after a speech, exactly how the speech is arranged is critical part of that process.For the speeches you will be moving in a typical public speaking class, you will usually have actually just two or three key points. If your speech is less than 3 minutes long, climate two key points will probably work best. If your speech is in between three and ten minute in length, climate it makes an ext sense to use three main points.

According to LeFrancois (1999), world are more likely to remember info that is meaningful, useful, and also of interest to them; different or unique; organized; visual; and simple. Two or three key points space much less complicated for listeners to remember than ten or also five. In addition, if you have two or three main points, you’ll have the ability to develop every one with examples, statistics, or other develops of support. This malfunction of support is called subordination, the act of place in a reduced rank or position. Using sustaining or low grade points help friend to much better understand how ideas are connected and how ideas or points space providing more information together you explain or provide more detail. including support for each allude will make your speech much more interesting and much more memorable for your audience.

Narrowing down Your key Points

When you write your details purpose and also review the research you have done on her topic, you will probably discover yourself thinking of quite a couple of points that you’d favor to do in your speech. Whether it is the situation or not, us recommend acquisition a couple of minutes to brainstorm and also develop a perform of points. In brainstorming, your goal is merely to think of as many different points as you can, no to referee how valuable or important they are. What details does her audience need to understand to recognize your topic? What info does her speech must convey to accomplish its certain purpose? take into consideration the adhering to example:

Specific Purpose

To notify a team of school administrators about the assorted open-source software packages that might be used in their institution districts

Brainstorming list of Points

Define open-source software.Define education software.List and also describe the software commonly used by college districts.Explain the benefits of making use of open-source software.Explain the flaw of making use of open-source software.Review the background of open-source software.Describe the value of open-source software.Describe some educational open-source software application packages.Review the software needs of my details audience.Describe some troubles that have developed with open-source software.

Now the you have brainstormed and also developed a perform of possible points, just how do girlfriend go around narrowing them down to just two or three main ones? once you look over the coming before list, you have the right to then start to view that numerous of the clues are related to one another. Your goal in narrowing down your main points is to determine which individual, perhaps minor points can be linked to make key points.

Specific Purpose

To inform a team of institution administrators around the assorted open-source software packages that could be utilized in their school districts

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

Define education software.List and describe the software commonly used by college districts.

Main suggest 2: What is open-source software?

Define open-source software.Review the history of open-source software.Explain the benefits of making use of open-source software.Describe the value of open-source software.Explain the defect of using open-source software.Describe some difficulties that have arisen with open-source software.

Main point 3: Name some certain open-source software program packages that may be suitable for these school administrators come consider.

Review the software requirements of my details audience.Describe some educational open-source software application packages.

You may notice that in the coming before list, the variety of subpoints under each of the three main points is a small disjointed or the topics don’t go together clearly. That’s all right. Remember that these are simply general principles at this point. It’s also important come remember that there is often an ext than one way to to organize a speech. Some of these points can be left out and also others developed much more fully, depending on the purpose and audience. We’ll construct the preceding main points more totally in a moment.

Helpful ideas for prepare Your key Points

Now that we’ve discussed how to take a specific purpose and turn it right into a collection of main points, right here are some useful hints for developing your main points.

Uniting Your main Points

Once you’ve generated a possible list of main points, you desire to ask you yourself this question: “When girlfriend look in ~ your main points, carry out they to the right together?” for example, if you look at the 3 preceding main points (school districts use software program in their operations; what is open-source software; surname some particular open-source software packages that may be ideal for these college administrators to consider), questioning yourself, “Do these key points assist my audience recognize my specific purpose?” Suppose you included a 4th main point about open-source software for musicians—would this fourth main suggest go through the other three? more than likely not. While girlfriend may have a strong passion for open-source music software, that main allude is extraneous info for the decided you are giving. That does not help accomplish your details purpose, for this reason you’d need to toss it out.

Keeping Your main Points Separate

The following question to ask yourself around your key points is whether they overlap also much. While some overlap may happen naturally because of the singular nature that a certain topic, the info covered within every main allude should be clearly distinct from the other main points. Imagine you’re providing a speech v the certain purpose “to educate my audience around the health reasons because that eating apples and also oranges.” You could then have actually three main points: that eating fruit is healthy, that eating apples is healthy, and also that eating oranges is healthy. If the two points regarded apples and also oranges are plainly distinct, both of those key points would more than likely overlap too lot with the an initial point “that eating fruit is healthy,” so girlfriend would more than likely decide to get rid of the very first point and focus top top the 2nd and third. ~ above the other hand, you might keep the first point and then develop two brand-new points giving added support come why people should eat fruit.

Balancing main Points

One the the greatest mistakes part speakers make is come spend most of your time talking about one of their key points, fully neglecting your other main points. To prevent this mistake, organize her speech so as to spend approximately the exact same amount the time ~ above each key point. If you find that among your main points is merely too large, you might need to division that main suggest into two key points and also consolidate her other key points right into a solitary main point.

Let’s check out if ours preceding instance is balanced (school districts use software application in your operations; what is open-source software; surname some particular open-source software packages that may be appropriate for these institution administrators come consider). What perform you think? Obviously, the answer depends on how much time a speak will have to talk about each of these key points. If you have actually an hour to talk, then you may find that this three key points room balanced. However, friend may also find castle wildly unbalanced if you just have five minutes to speak because five minute is not sufficient time to even explain what open-source software program is. If that’s the case, climate you more than likely need come rethink your particular purpose of ensuring that you deserve to cover the material in the allotted time.

Creating Parallel framework for key Points

Another major question to ask yourself about your main points is whether or no they have a parallel structure. By parallel structure, we median that you need to structure your key points so the they every sound similar. As soon as all your main points sound similar, it’s simply easier for her audiences come remember your key points and also retain them because that later. Stop look at our sample (school districts use software application in their operations; what is open-source software; name some specific open-source software program packages that might be suitable for these institution administrators to consider). Notification that the first and 3rd main points are statements, however the second one is a question. Basically, we have an instance here of key points that are not parallel in structure. You might fix this in one of two ways. You could make them all questions: what are some common school district software program programs; what is open-source software; and what room some details open-source software application packages that might be appropriate for these college administrators come consider. Or you might turn castle all into statements: college districts use software application in your operations; define and also describe open-source software; name some specific open-source software program packages that may be suitable for these college administrators come consider. One of two people of these changes will do the grammatical structure of the main points parallel.

Maintaining Logical circulation of key Points

The last concern you desire to asking yourself about your main points is even if it is the main points make feeling in the stimulate you’ve placed them. The following section walk into more detail of usual organizational patterns for speeches, yet for now, we want you to simply think logically around the circulation of your key points. As soon as you look in ~ your main points, have the right to you see them together progressive, or does it make feeling to talk around one first, one more one second, and also the last one last? If friend look at your order, and it no make feeling to you, you probably need to think about the circulation of your main points. Often, this procedure is an art and also not a science. But let’s look in ~ a pair of examples.

School dress Codes Example

Main allude OneHistory of school dress codes
Main suggest TwoProblems with school dress codes
Main suggest ThreeEliminating institution dress codes

Rider legislation Legislation Example

Main suggest OneWhy should states have actually rider laws?
Main point TwoWhat space the impacts of a lack of driver laws?
Main allude ThreeWhat is rider legislation legislation?

When girlfriend look at these two examples, what room your immediate impressions of the 2 examples? In the first example, does that make feeling to talk about history, and also then the problems, and also finally exactly how to get rid of school dress codes? would certainly it make feeling to put history as your last main point? most likely not. In this case, the key points room in a logical sequential order. What about the 2nd example? Does the make feeling to talk about your solution, then your problem, and then specify the solution? not really! What order do you think these main points should be inserted in for a reasonable flow? perhaps you should explain the problem (lack of rider laws), then specify your systems (what is rider law legislation), and then argue for your systems (why claims should have actually rider laws). Notice that in this example you don’t even need to recognize what “rider laws” space to watch that the flow didn’t do sense.

All speeches begin with a general purpose and then relocate to a specific purpose that gives the who, what, where, and also how for the speech. Transitioning indigenous the details purpose to possible main points method developing a perform of potential main points you might discuss. Climate you can narrow your focus by in search of similarities among your potential key points and combining people that are similar. Much shorter speeches will have two main points while much longer speeches will generally have three or more main points. When producing your main points, make certain that they space united, separate, balanced, parallel, and also logical.r carry out to fix your key points?

Organizational Patterns

Previously in this chapter, we questioned how to do your key points circulation logically. This ar is walking to administer you v a variety of organizational fads to assist you create a logically organized speech.


By far the most typical pattern for arranging a decided is a topical business pattern, organizing by category or separating the topic into subtopics. The categories function as a method to assist the speak organize the article in a regular fashion. The score of a topical speech pattern is to create categories (or chunks) of information that go together to help support her original particular purpose. Stop look at an example.

Specific Purpose: To educate a group of high institution juniors about Generic University

Main Points

Life in the dormsLife in the classroomLife top top campus

In this case, we have actually a speaker trying to educate a group of high institution juniors around Generic University. The speaker has split the info into three basic categories: what it’s favor to live in the dorms, what classes are like, and what life is prefer on campus. Nearly anyone could take this basic speech and specifically continue the decided to fit her or his own university or college. The main points in this example could be rearranged and the business pattern would certainly still be effective since there is no innate logic to the sequence of points. Let’s look in ~ a second example.

Specific Purpose: To educate a group of university students about the uses and misuses of internet dating

Main Points

Define and also describe web dating.Explain some strategies to boost your internet dating experience.List part warning indications to look for in potential digital dates.

In this speech, the speak is talking about how to find others online and also date them. Specifics the speaker starts through explaining what web dating is; then the speaker talks about how come make net dating better for she or his audience members; and also finally, the speaker end by stating some an adverse aspects of web dating. Again, notice that the information is chunked right into three categories or topics and that the 2nd and third could be reversed and also still carry out a logical framework for her speech.


Another method for organizing main points is the comparison/contrast organizational pattern, measuring similarities and also differences in between two or much more subjects. While this pattern plainly lends itself conveniently to two main points, you can additionally create a 3rd point by giving straightforward information around what is being compared and also what is gift contrasted. Stop look at 2 examples; the very first one will certainly be a two-point example and the 2nd a three-point example.

Specific Purpose: To educate a team of physicians around Drug X, a newer drug with comparable applications to drug Y

Main Points

Show how Drug X and also Drug Y room similar.Show just how Drug X and Drug Y differ.

Specific Purpose: To notify a team of physicians about Drug X, a more recent drug with similar applications to medicine Y

Main Points

Explain the simple purpose and also use that both drug X and also Drug Y.Show exactly how Drug X and Drug Y are similar.Show how Drug X and also Drug Y differ.

If girlfriend were using the comparison/contrast pattern for persuasive purposes, in the preceding examples, you’d desire to make certain that as soon as you show how drug X and also Drug Y differ, you plainly state why drug X is clearly the far better choice for physicians to adopt. In essence, you’d want to make certain that when you to compare the two drugs, you present that medicine X has actually all the services of drug Y, but when you comparison the 2 drugs, you display how drug X is premium to drug Y in part way.


The spatial organizational pattern organizes information according to exactly how things fit together in physical space, either geographically or directionally. This sample is ideal used when your key points room oriented to various locations that have the right to exist independently. The simple reason to select this format is to display that the key points have clear locations. We’ll look in ~ two examples here, one entailing physical geography and one including a different spatial order.

Specific Purpose: To notify a team of background students about the says that seceded from the united States during the polite War

Main Points

Locate and also describe the Confederate says just listed below the Mason-Dixon line (Virginia, north Carolina, and Tennessee).Locate and describe the Confederate says in the Deep southern (South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and also Florida).Locate and describe the western Confederate states (Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas).

If girlfriend look in ~ a basic map that the united States, you’ll notification that this groupings of claims were created because of their geographical location to one another. In essence, the states create three spatial territories to explain.

Now let’s look at a spatial decided unrelated come geography.

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

Main Points

Locate and describe the kidneys and ureters.Locate and describe the bladder.Locate and describe the sphincter and also urethra.

In this example, us still have three basic spatial areas. If girlfriend look at a version of the urinary system, the very first step is the kidney, which then takes waste with the ureters come the bladder, which then counts on the sphincter muscle to excrete waste through the urethra. Every we’ve done in this instance is create a spatial decided order because that discussing just how waste is eliminated from the human body v the urinary system. That is spatial due to the fact that the company pattern is established by the physical location of each body part in relation to the rather discussed.


The chronological organizational pattern organizes the key idea gradually order or in a sequential pattern—whether backward or forward. Here’s a basic example.

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

Main Points

Examine the style and content the Winston Churchill’s works prior to human being War II.Examine the style and also content that Winston Churchill’s writings during world War II.Examine the style and content that Winston Churchill’s writings after human being War II.

In this example, we’re looking at the writings of Winston Churchill in relationship to world War II (before, during, and also after). By placing his writings right into these 3 categories, we construct a device for knowledge this material based on Churchill’s very own life. Note that girlfriend could likewise use reverse chronological order and start through Churchill’s writings after world War II, progressing backward come his faster writings.

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

Main Points

Describe Brian Hugh Warner’s early on life and also the beginning of his feud through Christianity.Describe Warner’s stint together a music reporter in Florida.Describe Warner’s decision to produce Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids.

In this example, us see just how Brian Warner, through three significant periods the his life, ultimately ended up being the musician recognized as Marilyn Manson.


The causal organizational pattern organizes and also explains cause-and-effect relationships. Once you usage a causal speech pattern, your speech will have actually two straightforward main points: cause and also effect. In the first main point, generally you will talk around the causes of a phenomenon, and in the 2nd main point, you will then show how the reasons lead to one of two people a certain effect or a small set of effects. Let’s look at an example.

Specific Purpose: To educate my audience about the problems connected with drinking amongst members of native American tribal groups

Main Points

Explain the history and ubiquity of drinking alcohol among Native Americans.Explain the effects that abuse of alcohol has actually on native Americans and how this different from the experience of other populations.

In this case, the an initial main allude is around the background and prevalence of drinking alcohol among Native american (the cause). The second point then examines the results of native American alcohol consumption and also how it different from other population groups.

However, a causal organizational pattern can also begin v an effect and also then explore one or much more causes. In the adhering to example, the result is the variety of arrests for domestic violence.

Specific Purpose: To educate local voters around the problem of domestic violence in our city

Main Points

Explain that there space significantly more arrests for residential violence in our city than in urban of similar size in ours state.List feasible causes because that the difference, which might be unrelated to the actual quantity of domestic violence.

In this example, the possible causes because that the difference might include stricter legislation enforcement, better likelihood of neighbors reporting one incident, and also police training that emphasizes arrests together opposed to various other outcomes. Analyzing these possible causes may imply that regardless of the arresting statistic, the actual variety of domestic violence incidents in her city might not be higher than in other cities of similar size.

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Selecting an business Pattern

Each of the preceding business patterns is potentially beneficial for organizing the key points of your speech. However, no all business patterns work-related for every speeches. Your an obstacle is to select the ideal pattern because that the particular speech you room giving. As soon as considering which business pattern to use, you need to keep in psychic your specific purpose and your audience and also the actual speech product itself to decide which sample you think will job-related best. Ultimately, speakers need to really think about which business pattern best suits a certain speech topic.