Crafting Your Introduction
In the public speaking writing process, writing speech introductions
follows the outline creation. For speech writing, the introduction of a
speech is one of the most essential parts. It can make or break the rest
of the speech. This is the attention-grabber where you’ll get all eyes
and of the audience focused on what you are saying.
But wait, how can they focus on your words? Quite simply, your words
have to paint a picture. Your words have to arouse the interest of the
audience. Your words have to make your public speaking become more than
The introduction is the most critical part of the speech. A strong
introduction sets the tone for the rest of the speech. It creates a
favorable first impression with the audience. The audience is there to
hear what you have to say and whether your speech has information that
is important to them. The introduction, then, should do the following.
Gain attention and interest of the audience.Startle the audience with a blunt statement, a quotation or brief story; these should be related to the speech.Relate the topic to the audience up front and you build the connection.State the importance of the topic.Arouse the curiosity of the audience with your first statement.Ask a question.Involve the audience in an exercise.Establish credibility and goodwill.Dress appropriately and appear poised and confident.Speak clearly and immediately establish eye contact.Speak of your qualifications as it relates to the topic; this is
especially important if your audience is not watching and listening to
your speech in real time (as when you are sharing just the audio or
written version of your speech).Preview the speech.Tell the audience what to expect from the rest of the speech.Call attention to important points in the speech.Provide a smooth transition to the rest of the speech.
Things to consider in the Introduction are as follows.
Appropriate to the theme – The introduction also needs to be focused on the theme, central idea or thesis.The Right Length – The proper length is somewhat
subjective. Generally speaking, a four- to six-minute introduction is
appropriate for a 60-minute talk. A 15-minute talk may only have a
two-minute introduction. A five-minute talk may only have a one-minute
introduction. These are not hard and fast rules; dcnsider them suggested guidelines.Introduction to be linked with the Conclusion – To create a coherent speech, the introduction needs to be linked throughout the talk. It also especially needs to be tied into
the conclusion. This will give the entire talk coherence. The
introduction is the means to capture the attention of the audience and
hold it captive until the conclusion of the talk.
TEASE ‘em: 5 Ways to Start Your Speech http://sixminutes.dlugan.com/how-to-start-your-speech/#more-2829
Developing Your Conclusion
Once you complete the body, it is time to create the conclusion of a
speech. This is where you will reinforce what you said in your talk to
get the response you had hoped to gain.
Just as important as the introduction is your conclusion. This part
of the speech is your last chance to make sure your audience understood
the message of your speech. It needs to be strong and conclusive. Your
conclusion should achieve the following.
Summarize your main points – To reinforce your audience’s remembrance and understanding of your central idea. Keep it brief.Signal the end of the speech – Use a statement, story, or quotation
that dramatically or logically brings the speech to a close. You can
also intensify your pitch, tone, and volume, and move or pause to signal
closure.Repetition in the conclusion would seem to help a public speech be more memorable. For a persuasive speech, a call to action is critical. Specifically tell your audience what you want them to DO as a result of your speech.
10 Ways to End Your Speech with a Bang http://sixminutes.dlugan.com/10-ways-to-end-your-speech/#more-2910
Achieving Style through Language
How you say something can be just as important as what you say. This
is called style. But what does it mean to write “with style”? Is style a
quality that writers can add or remove as they please? Is it, perhaps, a
gift that only some writers happen to be blessed with? Can a style ever
be good or bad, correct or incorrect? Or is it more a matter of taste?
Is style a kind of decorative sprinkle that’s added to a piece of writing — or is it instead an essential ingredient of the writing?
Style in speech is not about adding something to the content of the speech to achieve style.
Rather, it is inherent in the speech itself. It is a strategic decision
that is based on accomplishing your purpose as a speaker by taking
advantage of opportunities to promote your purpose, and minimizing constraints in your speech that get in the way of achieving your purpose.
You notice there are certain speakers whose use of language is so
effective that their message is intensified by the words they use to
express their ideas. The use of words is the tool of a speaker’s craft
in achieving style.
Good choice of words gets the job done in a speech. Some adept speakers
are aware of the obvious and subtle meanings of words they use. With
the use of appropriate, vivid, and accurate language, they are able to
transform a dull speech into a memorable one.
It is essential then to be aware that words have different meanings.
Denotative meaning – This is the objective, literal meaning
of the word as the dictionary would define it. For example, the
dictionary might define word “home” as the “physical structure within
which one lives, such as a house or apartment.”Connotative meaning – This is a more subjective meaning of a
word. The meaning gives the words their intensity and emotional power.
Taking the example above, the word “home” connotes a meaning of
something that is “loving, full of memories, warmth, and safety” or it
may be that of “emptiness and pain.”
Requirements of Effective Style
Use Language Accurately – Sometimes people have a tendency
to use words that are almost similar. Take the word “persecution” and
“prosecution.” It may seem easy to confuse these words, but the variance
of meaning is so vast that making this mistake may ruin the content of
your speech. Another way is using a similar sounding word in the wrong
context as in “holding a nation hostile” when the word meant is
“hostage.” The unintentional but possibly meaningful confusion of use of
words is called malapropism. Such confusion can have a devastating
effect on one’s speech.Use Language Appropriately — This means using language
that is appropriate to the audience and situation. For example, if you
are speaking to an audience made up of ordinary people, probably not all
highly educated, avoid using abstract words and technical jargons. Not
only will they not understand, they might resent your arrogance and
perceive these words as insult
to their intelligence. Another situation is the delivering a kind of
doom-and-gloom speech in a wedding. Such occasion calls for celebration,
not doomsday.Using Language Clearly – A speaker’s meaning must be so
clear that there is no room for misunderstanding or miscomprehension.
You can master this by using simple, concrete words versus abstract
words and avoiding too many unnecessary words that will only clutter the
speech.Using Language Vividly – There is a difference between
clarity and vividness in language. Your language may be clear, even
accurate, but may still end up being uninteresting. Vividness is using
language that is full of imagery and color. Vividness enables the
listener to create pictures of what they are hearing in their minds.Using Inclusive Language – It is always important to be
mindful of the diversity in your audience and to use language that does
not discriminate or exclude some people because of their differences.
“He”“Man” when referring to “men and women”Stereotyping jobs and social roles by gender
When in doubt about the use of language that is exclusive, it is better
to research many guides on the Internet regarding this topic.
Other guidelines to keep in mind about style:
To be credible, choose language that commands authority. For
example, instead of saying “I hope you will ….,” say, “I know you will
….”Make the audience a part of your presentation by addressing them in the second person (“you”).Establish a bond by using the jargon of the people you are
addressing, if appropriate. For example, if addressing a group of
computer programmers, use technical language.Keep the audience’s attention by keeping your language
action-oriented. Use words in the active voice. For example, instead of
saying “the poem was written by ….,” say, “Robert Frost wrote the poem
Creating imagery and rhythm in your speech
Analogies, stories, and examples are powerful ways to give punch to
your speech. They can stir the emotions, stimulate thinking, persuade a
change in thought, and motivate to action. Because of the way our minds
work, they are a great tool to enable the audience to remember the
Analogies and stories work best if they have some emotional or
spiritual significance and appeal to the listeners. They go beyond logic
in motivating and persuading.
Stories – A story is familiar
narrative form that is powerful in painting images. It permits
listeners to “see” what is going on. Audiences may identify with the
story and thus generate empathy.
Analogies – An analogy is reasoning or explaining from
parallel cases. Normally an analogy compares substantially different
kinds of things and reports several points of resemblance.
“I am to dancing what Roseanne is to singing and Donald Duck
is to motivational speeches. I am as graceful as a refrigerator falling
down a flight of stairs.”
(Leonard Pitts, “Curse of Rhythm Impairment.” Miami Herald, Sep. 28, 2009)
“This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?” (The Partnership for a Drug-Free America)
Stylistic devices, also called rhetorical devices or figures
of speech, make your speeches more interesting and help to get and keep
your audience’s attention. Some of the more common figures of speech
are as follows.
A simile is a figure of speech in which the subject is compared to another subject. Frequently, it is marked by use of the words “like” or “as.”
“The snow was like a blanket.”
“The deer ran like the wind.”
”The raindrops sounded like popcorn kernels popping.”
“The lullaby was like the hush of the winter.”
A metaphor compares two different things in a figurative sense; an implied comparison between two unlike
things that actually have something important in common. Unlike in a
simile (A is like B), “like” is not used in metaphor (A is B).
Through much of the last century, America’s faith in freedom and democracy was a rock in a raging sea. Now it is a seed upon the wind, taking root in many nations.
A hyperbole is an extravagant statement; the use of exaggerated terms for the purpose of emphasis or heightened effect.
Example: “I am starving!”
Add Impact with Rhetorical Devices http://sixminutes.dlugan.com/speech-preparation-6-rhetorical-devices/#more-223How to Use the Rule of Three http://sixminutes.dlugan.com/rule-of-three-speeches-public-speaking/Writing Your First Draft http://sixminutes.dlugan.com/speech-preparation-4-first-draft-writers-block/ Effective Writing Podcast. (2011). KUWC Library. (Requires Quicktime Player) http://www.screencast.com/users/KUWC/folders/Effective Writing Podcasts %282011%29
Preparing for Your Assignment
Thus far in this course, you have learned many different techniques
and skills to help you develop a quality speech. It’ time to put what
you’ve learned into action. In Lesson 4 we talked about the different
types of speeches. assignment in this lesson involves writing a
persuasive speech, so this is a good time for us to review.
Quite often in the workplace, we’re called upon to convince others to
agree with our points of view. One of the most straightforward
approaches to this type of persuasion is a five-step process called
Monroe’s Motivated Sequence, developed by Purdue University Professor
Alan Monroe in the late 1960s. You’ll notice that it is the sequence of
steps that is still used in many television ads today.
Monroe’s Motivated Sequence has five steps:
1. Attention: Gain the attention of your audience using any of a variety of standard techniques
2. Need: Describe the problem and demonstrate a need for a change3. Satisfaction: Share a practical solution (using facts from your research and citing your sources)4. Visualization: Using descriptive language, help your audience picture how their lives will be when they implement your idea5. Action: Present a call to immediate action from your audience
Recommended Reading and ViewingMonroe’s Motivated Sequence Pattern handouthttp://www.disciplewalk.com/files/Ron_St._John_monroe_sequence_Handout.pdfHow to use Monroe’s Motivated SequenceA sample speech using Monroe’s Motivated Sequence
Click the next arrow to view your Assignment 7 instructions.
FAQ About Assignment 7
Is this an informative or persuasive speech?
Assignment 7 requires you to persuade your audience to agree with your viewpoint, not just provide information on a topic.
What is the purpose of the outline? Can I just turn in the filled-in outline as my completed assignment?
outline will help you organize your material for your speech. It is NOT
a replacement for the actual speech script, however. The script should
be written in paragraph form, with well-developed transitions to lead
the listener/reader through the speech.
Can I pick any topic I want?
Yes, as long as it fits one of the two scenarios in the assignment description.
How should I organize my persuasive speech?
You will use Monroe’s Motivated Sequence to organize this speech.
See Lesson 7, under the topic Preparing for Your Assignment: https://courses.ashworthcollege.edu/d2l/le/content/9884/viewContent/92935/View
What format should I use for my speech script?
standard APA format, including a cover page and a reference page. You
do not need to worry about an abstract for a short speech like this one.
See https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/ for more information on APA format.
I want to do a video or audio recording of my speech. What do I need to turn in? Do I need to turn in a script, too?
No. You will just need to turn in a list of your references (in APA format) along with your recording.
How many sources do I need for this speech?
Two to four sources are enough. You can use one source for more than one of your supporting points.
How long does my speech need to be?
It should be about five minutes long, or 700-1000 words.
Should I write this like a term paper?
This is the script for a speech. It should be written in a way that can
be easily read aloud. You’ll use more conversational language in a
speech than in a term paper. This means that it’s acceptable—even
encouraged—for you to use the words “you” and “I,” unlike in a term
For my introduction, do I just announce my topic?
See the beginning part of Lesson 7’s Lecture Notes to get a better
understanding of what goes into a well-crafted introduction. https://courses.ashworthcollege.edu/d2l/le/content/9884/viewContent/92935/View
What goes into the conclusion of my speech?
Summarize your main points and end with a call to action.
What’s a call to action?
do you want your audience to DO as a result of your speech? Once you
determine that, you can create your call to action where you tell them
specifically what you want them to do.
See http://sixminutes.dlugan.com/speech-call-to-action/ for additional tips.
When I read my speech aloud, my friend told me it sounds choppy. What can I do to make it flow more smoothly?
on developing transitions to smoothly lead the listener from one point
to the next. The best transitions review the point you just covered,
then preview your next point.
A good source for information on transitions is http://sixminutes.dlugan.com/speech-transitions/
I don’t get it. How do I cite sources in a script? It would be weird to read the citations aloud.
When you’re writing a speech, you still need to let your listeners know where you got your information from.
See the “Citing Orally” section of http://www.bucks.edu/academics/department/lang-lit… for suggestions.
It’s been forever since I had to write a paper. How can I make sure I don’t plagiarize?
In brief, tell me where you got your information from, both in the body of your speech and on your Works Cited page.
Use quotation marks if you choose to use the exact words of a source rather than putting the information into your own words.
sure that every source mentioned in your speech appears in the
Reference page, and that every source in your list of references appears
in your speech.
For more tips on how to avoid plagiarizing, visit the Ashworth College Learning Resource Center at https://lrc.ashworthcollege.edu/plagiarism-resources/
Do I just put a list of the URLs that I used at the end of my script to show what sources I used?
You will need to briefly cite your sources in your speech script, and
also provide a list of the sources you used at the end on a References page.
For a reminder on how to cite sources, see https://lrc.ashworthcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Plagiarism-Quick-Guide.pdf
How will this assignment be graded?
See the rubric with grading criteria on the last page of the assignment directions.
Before you submit your assignment, be sure to evaluate it against the grading criteria so you know you’re on track.
If I have any questions as I am trying to develop my outline, can Prof. Nixon help me?
YES! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions.
Think You Are Ready to Submit Your Speech? Use This Checklist First
Think You Are Ready to Submit Your Speech? Use This Checklist First
Posted Jun 11, 2018 4:59 PM
Here’s a simple self-assessment to help you determine if you are
ready to turn in your speech. It is not mandatory, but it will
definitely help you, so I encourage you to take a few moments to use
this assessment before submitting your assignment.
Start Speech Script Self-Assessment
NOTE: You can complete the self-assessment as many times as you desire.
(Image Credit: https://951thebull.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2015/03/bigstock-Starting-Line-4211499.jpg/)
Cite Your Sources
Cite Your Sources
Posted Dec 19, 2018 9:02 AM
Why is it important to tell your listeners where your information comes from? There are numerous reasons.
It makes you sound trustworthy and credible to your listeners.It provides credit to the authors of the information you are sharing.It helps your listeners to do their own further research on your topic.If
you don’t cite your sources, it’s plagiarism. And plagiarism can lead
to failing an assignment, failing a course, or even being expelled from a
college. (See page 57 in your 2018 Ashworth College Catalog for details.)
On Your Reference Page
So how do you cite your sources on a reference page? At this college,
we use the American Psychological Association format, otherwise known
as APA style. APA has some extremely specific guidelines that we must
follow. Luckily, there are some places you can go for help with APA
My favorite place for learning how to use APA format is Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab. If you learn better by watching a video, the lab offers one on YouTube.
The part of APA to be most concerned about for this course is making a
list of your references, as much of APA style has to do with writing
longer papers, and not really for writing outlines and speeches.
If you’re still struggling with formatting your references in APA style, visit Citation Machine.
This website, which has both free and paid offers, lets you enter a URL
for a source, and then it pulls in the information it needs to cite the
In Your Speech Script
Now that you have the basics of citing your sources on your reference
page, it’s important to know how to cite your sources in your speech.
You won’t put the author’s name and the page number in parentheses, as
you would in a paper, because that would be awkward to say aloud.
The best advice I’ve seen on how to seamlessly weave your source
citations into your script comes from Bucks University. Take a few
moments to read the article Citing Sources in an Oral Presentation.
most common mistake I see in submissions here at Ashworth College is
forgetting to put quotation marks around direct quotations. Even if you
cite the source afterward, if you fail to include the quotation marks to
show that the words are not your own, it’s a form of plagiarism.
Where To Go For Help
If you need assistance with APA style, please visit the Ashworth College Writing Lab. If you need additional assistance, you may contact Academic Service Advisors for tutor help at 1-800-224-7234.
Assignment 7: Delivering a Persuasive SpeechChoose one of the following scenarios as the basis for your speech.Scenario 1:
Imagine that you have been invited to an upper-level management meeting
at the company that you work for (currently or one you hope to work
for). You are going to deliver a persuasive speech to persuade the
management team to either change a policy or add a specific resource to
their company budget. orScenario 2:
Imagine that you have been invited to deliver a speech at a town hall
meeting. You are going to deliver a persuasive speech to
persuade citizens in your community to vote yes toward the allocation of
city funds towards a project or cause that you believe will benefit all
members of your community. Tips to Successfully Complete this Assignment: Carefully review Monroe’s Motivated Sequence in your lesson notes (about 3/4 of the way down the page) to help you create a well developed persuasive speech.Be sure to view the grading rubric before beginning. This is an important key to your success. Finally, fill out the provided
outline to help you successfully complete your speech. Be sure that you
do some research and use facts and statistics as supporting material for
your key points!Note: You can view the grading rubric and download the provided outline, and submit your assignment by clicking on the arrow to the next page titled “Assignment:7.” Instructions: You have THREE format options for submitting your speech: written, video, or audio. To submit a written speech:Be sure to follow the “Tips for Success” aboveSubmit your speech with an APA style title page.Limit your speech to five minutes, or 700-1000 words.Use Monroe’s Motivated Sequence in the provided outline to help you develop your speech so that you have an introduction, three key points, and a conclusion.Write your speech using tips, techniques, and guidelines studied in the lesson.Create an APA style reference list that includes any and all sources you use to locate information. Save your assignment as a Word (.doc or .docx) document, and upload it to the Assignment Folder on the page titled Assignment:7.Let your instructor know the target audience for your speech in the Comments area when you submit your file.To submit an audio or video speech:Be sure to follow the “Tips for Success” above.If choosing one of these options you must speak clearly.You must include all parts of your speech (introduction, body, and conclusion). Do NOT verbally say the words
“introduction,” “body,” or “conclusion.” Instead, you will use the
outline provided to write and deliver your speech so that the listener
can clearly identify the parts of your speech as they listen for them,
and they hear your transitions. If you would like to submit your
outline, you may, but you do not have to. Also, if choosing one of these options, sources must be cited orally. For example, you
would say, “According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics….” or “In
the February 2016 issue of Forbes Magazine, Bill Gates said, ‘….’.” In addition, submit a list of your references in APA style.Save your audio or video recording on
your computer then upload it AND your list of references to the
Assignment Folder on the page titled Assignment:7.Let your instructor know the target audience for your speech in the Comments area when you submit your files.
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