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Chapter 9

Organizing Your
Organizing Your Speech:
A disorganized speech will confuse your
Clear organization:
Imposes order on your presentation by
showing the relationship between ideas
Shows that you have taken the time to
prepare your talk
Enhances your credibility
Selecting Your Main Points

Main points are the few

ideas that are most
important for your
listeners to remember.
Structure the body of
your speech around your
main points.
Use supporting points
to substantiate your main
Selecting Your Main Points (cont.)
Consider your purpose.
Every main point must relate to the specific
purpose of your speech.
Take your audience into account.
Select main points that will be interesting or
useful to your audience.
Selecting Your Main Points (cont.)
Selecting Your Main Points (cont.)
Select an appropriate number of main
Effective speeches usually present two to five
main points.
Student speeches typically contain three main
Most audiences have trouble remembering
more than three points.
Selecting Your Main Points (cont.)
Guidelines for keeping your main points to a
manageable number:
See whether two or more main points can be
combined into a single broader category.
Consider whether any points can be excluded
because they are less likely to resonate with your
Exclude any less essential main points.
If you have only one main point, consider
making it your thesis.
Selecting Your Main Points (cont.)
Organizing Your Supporting
Each main point must be developed with
supporting materials organized to help the
audience follow your speech.
Organizing Your Supporting
Materials (cont.)
Subordination and coordination
Subordination: Creating a hierarchy of points
and supporting materials in your speech
Main points are supported by subpoints, which are
supported by sub-subpoints.
Coordination: Placing each main point at the
same level of significance
Organizing Your Supporting
Materials (cont.)

Main points are the most

important or highest level.

Supporting materials used

to develop main points are

Materials that support

subpoints are sub-subpoints.
Organizing Your Supporting
Materials (cont.)
Organizing Your Supporting
Materials (cont.)
When a subpoint doesnt fit
Reword a main point to include the additional
Create another main point to include the new
Be sure you have enough supporting materials to
develop the new main point.
Make sure the new main point relates to your topic
or thesis statement.
Organizing Your Supporting
Materials (cont.)
Arranging Your Main Points
Used when
the main
points relate to
each other
spatially (near
one another in
Arranging Your Main Points (cont.)
information in a
Arranging Your Main Points (cont.)
Causal pattern
Links particular events and their outcomes
Two ways to use this pattern:
If there are several major causes for the event or
situation you are discussing, each main point covers
one cause.
If there is a chain of events between cause and
effect, each main point is one link in the chain.
Arranging Your Main Points (cont.)
Organizes the
speech around
major similarities
and differences
between two events,
objects, or situations
Arranging Your Main Points (cont.)
Each main
emphasizes an
aspect of your
Arranging Your Main Points (cont.)
Persuasive speech patterns
When your rhetorical purpose is persuasion, a
number of organizational patterns can help you
convince your audience.
This material will be covered in Chapter 16.
Using Organizing Words and
Sentence that indicates you are moving from
one part of your speech to the next
Introduces a new point and signals the end of
the previous point
Using Organizing Words and
Sentences (cont.)
Words or phrases within sentences that help
your audience understand your speechs
Can be used to:
Show that you are at a specific place in your
Indicate that you are about to cite research
Indicate that a key point is coming
Help the audience understand the structure of your
Using Organizing Words and
Sentences (cont.)
Internal previews and internal summaries
Internal preview
Short list of the ideas that will follow
Helps listeners follow your explanation
Internal summary
Quick review of what you just said about a main
Helps listeners remember what you just said