Speech Study Guide

• Presenting excessively detailed information • Presenting too many ideas The final step of an introduction is a preview. Previews introduce main ideas and provide a “road map” that will allow listeners to follow a speech more easily. Previewing also signals what a speaker feels is more important in their speech. Introductions serve as great first impressions for an audience and should be crafted with care. The length of an introduction can vary based on the needs of a particular situation. After the body of the speech, as previewed in the introduction, a conclusion is essential. Conclusions serve to summarize main ideas by providing an effective end to a speech. This is a speaker’s final chance to reinforce key points of the speech and ensure that the audience has had ample opportunity to retain those key points. Summarization is often used in conjunction with other concluding devices, such as challenging and/or appealing to the audience, visualizing the future, using quotations, and referencing the introduction. Challenging an audience to act is an influential way to conclude a speech. When a speaker challenges or makes an appeal to an audience, the speaker hopes the audience will respond in a particular way to the information provided. This appeal to an audience is the final attempt of an orator to move an audience to act on the proposition offered by the speaker. At other times a speaker will advocate a change and visualize the results, which can arm an audience with belief in themselves to effect that change. When an audience can visualize the desired results from a proposed change, they are more likely to support the speaker’s proposition. Reference to an introduction can be accomplished in a variety of methods. One method is with the use of quotations, which reinforces the thesis and restates major points of the speech. By restating a thesis or introduction, a speech is reinforced. Many speakers use a variety of these methods to construct a brief and effective conclusion. Transitions are statements that verbally summarize one main point and introduce the next main point. Transitions are essential when writing a clear and well-organized speech. They tend to act as tour guides leading an audience from one point to another. Section transitions are complete sentences that show the relationship between and bridge major parts of the speech. Typically, these transitions summarize what has been said in one point and preview the next, essentially acting as the glue that holds a macrostructure of a speech together. These transitions are important to help an audience follow the organization of ideas in a speech and help the audience remember the information. Signposts are words or phrases that connect pieces of supporting material to the main point or sub points. Signposts can be used to identify key aspects of a speech and show connections between paragraphs. Some examples of major signposts include, “The aim of this speech is to…” or “This discussion raises some interesting questions…”. Showing connections between paragraphs can be as simple as using linking words or phrases like, “As a result…” or “To put it simply…”.


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