Speech Study Guide

likely to listen and respond well. When a speaker considers their own goals, not just their career goals, when formulating a speech, they may be better able to generate a topic. Finally, speakers may consider their leisure activities and interests. When speakers think about these sort of activities, they are likely to be more relaxed and ideas for topics will generate easier. By conducting a self-inventory of intellectual and educational interests, goals, personal and social concerns, and activities and interests, a speaker has a great starting point for selecting a topic. These broad generalizations then require a topic to be narrowed. 3.4 Narrowing a Topic After generating broad topics, a speaker must narrow the topic down. To narrow down a topic a speaker should consider a few key things: • Consider the situation: o Does the topic relate to recent events that may be of concern to the audience? o Is the speaker able to convince listeners to care about their topic as much as the speaker cares? o Does the speaker have sufficient time to cover the topic? • Consider the audience: o What does the audience already know? o What are the common experiences of the audience? o What do the audience and speaker have in common? o How diverse is the audience? These questions are involved in audience analysis and they can also help to narrow down a topic. In addition to asking these questions, after doing a self-inventory a speaker could and should use ethical obligations to aid in narrowing a topic. Ethics are described as a set of behavioral standards. While subjective, it is generally agreed that ethical standards are universal and unchanging. Everyone draws their own conclusions about what is ethical and what is not based on their own culture and experiences. Although it is not always agreeable as to what is ethical, it is widely accepted that ethical considerations should be taken into account when choosing a topic. The common ethical considerations to take into account are: accuracy, fair-mindedness, good taste, and sound judgment. Research is necessary when using accuracy to narrow a topic. If a topic does not have ample information to support the claims made, it cannot be proven as accurate. If a speech contains ill- founded or untrue information, the speech is considered unethical. In addition, encouraging audience members to do something that will have negative consequences is unethical. To be accurate, facts need to be well documented and researched. Opinions must be founded in fact and audience members should not be encouraged to do anything negative. Humans are influenced by passions, experiences, feelings, biases, and their pasts. Speakers and audiences are both subjected to pasts, experiences, and everything that happens in life. Even though


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