Speech Fundamentals - Matt's Media Research


Speech Fundamentals

Chapter 2: The Audience-

Centered Speechmaking Process

Consider Your Audience

• Audience-centered speechmaking begins with knowing your audience. Some important things to know are:

– Age

– Gender

– Economic Class

– Ethnicity

– Values

– Goals

Selecting a Topic

• Speech Topic: The key focus of the content of a speech.

• To help find a topic, one may ask several questions:

– Who is my audience?

– What are my areas of knowledge or skill?

– What is the occasion?

Finding Your Purposes

• General Purpose: There are three broad purposes that categorize nearly every speech

– Informative

– Persuasive

– Entertaining

Finding Your Purposes

• Specific Purpose: Examples of a specific purpose may include (1) the desired learning outcome of an informative speech, (2) the desired change in belief/behavior of a persuasive speech, or

(3) the desired reactions (e.g. laughter) of an entertaining speech.

Finding Your Purposes

• General Purpose: The overarching goal of a speech

– to inform, persuade, or entertain.

• Specific Purpose: A concise statement of the desired audience response, indicating what you want your listeners to remember, feel, or do when you finish speaking.

Central Idea?

• Central Idea: A one-sentence summary of the speech content.

• If your purposes are what you


to accomplish with your speech, the central idea is the speech itself

– a summary of the manifest content.

Main Ideas

• The key points to a speech.

• Main ideas serve the central idea. You develop

main ideas

by conidering your

central idea


Main Ideas

• There are three specific ways to develop

main ideas

through looking at your

central idea


Logical divisions

in the central idea.


the central idea is true.

– Can you demonstrate the central idea through a

series of steps


Main Ideas

• Certain speech purposes lend themselves well to specific strategies for developing main ideas.

– Informative speeches often have

logical divisions

(e.g. central idea = “The water cycle operates in four stages.” The four stages represent each of the main ideas.)

Main Ideas

• A “reasons” approach is often used in persuasive speeches (e.g. “There are three main reasons why we must increase the minimum wage.”)

• A “series of steps” approach is often used in informative or narrative speeches (e.g.

“These are the steps that have lead to global warming.”)

Supporting Material

• Supporting material includes evidence that has been obtained through research.

Good researchers use general search engines (e.g. Yahoo!, Google, Ask) only to gain initial information about a topic. This should be followed up by more formal research using library databases such as

Lexis Nexis


Supporting Material

• When using supporting material, raw data in the form of statistics must be made relevant to the lives and experiences of listeners. A good speaker is an expert who knows how to tell a good story.

Visual Aids

• Effective speeches often make use of visual aids, including:

– Objects

– Posters

– PowerPoint Slides


• All effective speeches use an outline!

• Outlines should be divided into an

Introduction, Body, and Conclusion.

• The body of the speech should be outlined before the introduction and conclusion.

• The body of the speech can be organized in a number of ways.


• Organizing the body of the speech

– Chronological

– Topical

– Cause/Effect

– Problem/Solution

• Go to pages 34-35 of the textbook and look at the sample outline.


• All good speeches require rehearsal.

There is a definite correlation between the effectiveness of a speech and the amount of time spent practicing.