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Structuring your speech will help improve clarity of thought, and increase the likeliness of effectiveness. Disorganized speakers aren’t understood, and come across as unreliable or not credible. When writing your speech, structure it into three main parts:

INTRODUCTION

The introduction of the speech is your audience’s first impression of you as a speaker. The introduction needs to accomplish three things:

1. Get Your Audience’s Attention Focused: Speakers must grab the interest of audience from the start and give the audience the idea of the speech. An effective speaker should orient the audience and make connections between what they know and the speech topic.

2. Establish credibility: Establish yourself as someone the audience needs to listen to. Tell them who you are, and why you are an authority on your topic. Make eye contact and display confidence in voice and body.

3. Give a preview: State the main points to be covered. This prepares the audience to listen for them those points.

BODY

The body also has to be structured based on a logical pattern of thinking about ideas, events, objects, and processes and use good transitions. It displays the information of the speech and is where you discuss the main points. Keep the number of points short or the audience may have trouble following and remembering the speech. Make key ideas easy to remember.

There are many types of structuring the body of a speech:

1. Temporal Structuring—In this structure, you group information according to when it happened or will happen.

  • Chronological order—Beginning to end
  • Reverse chronological order—End to beginning
  • Inquiry order–Useful in presenting some kinds of research, where you take the audience from the initial curiosity and questions to final results.

2. Cause and Effect Structuring– Is showing how one event brings about another. Cause-effect may be used for past, present, or future events and processes, or be reversed, from effect back to cause.

3. Spatial Patterns Structuring: This is where you group and organize your speech based on arrangement of its parts. If a speech is describing a place, object, or process, this method of structuring can be effective.

4. Topical Structuring—This method uses designs and is appropriate when the topic has clear categories of division. This can help divide the subject matter to organize the main points.

5. Compare and Contrast Structuring—Here you must have two or more things and tell how they are similar (compare) and how they are different (contrast). The use of analogies often assists in audience understanding.

CONCLUSION

The conclusion follows the body of a speech. The conclusion is generally a little shorter than the introduction. Your conclusion should accomplish two main purposes:

1. Summarize Your Main Ideas—Good conclusions might refer back to the introduction. You can remind the audience what you told them they would know at the end.

2. Give the Speech a Sense of Closure—Let the audience when you have reached your goal and the speech is over. Often, speakers offer an analogy or metaphor that captures the main idea. You can leave the audience with a question or a challenge of some type.

No matter what your topic, where you’re speaking, or how many people you’re speaking to, lack of structure in your speech will make it unclear. If your structure is good, your audience will get your point and leave with a sense of completion.

 


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