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Chapter 4.1 - Topic Selection, Purposes and Thesis

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Elsa Garcia

on 10 September 2015

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Transcript of Chapter 4.1 - Topic Selection, Purposes and Thesis

The Elements of Public Speaking
Chapter 4.1 - Topic Selection, Purposes and Thesis
Prof. Elsa García
The Steps in Public Speaking Preparation and Delivery
General Purposes of a Speech
There are three general purposes that all speeches fall into: to inform, to persuade, and to entertain.

Depending on what your ultimate goal is, you will start by picking one of these general purposes and then selecting an appropriate speech pattern that goes along with that general purpose.

Informative speeches can focus on objects, people, events, concepts, processes, or issues. It is important to remember that your purpose in an informative speech is to share information with an audience, not to persuade them to do or believe something.

There are two basic types of persuasion: pure and manipulative.

Speakers who attempt to persuade others for pure reasons do so because they actually believe in what they are persuading an audience to do or think.

Speakers who persuade others for manipulative reasons do so often by distorting the support for their arguments because they have an ulterior motive in persuading an audience to do or think something. If an audience finds out that you’ve been attempting to manipulate them, they will lose trust in you.

Entertainment speeches can be after-dinner, ceremonial, or inspirational.

Although there may be informative or persuasive elements to your speech, your primary reason for giving the speech is to entertain the audience.
Limiting Topics
Tree diagrams
Search directories
General purpose

Specific purposes
Use an infinitive phrase
Focus on the audience
Limit you specific purpose
Use specific terms
Your Thesis
What is a thesis?
Central idea, theme or essence of speech.
Informative thesis:
states what you want the audience to learn.
Persuasive thesis:
states what you want your audience to believe or accept.
Step 1: Select Your Topic, Purposes, and Thesis
Your Topic
A Good Public Speaking Topic
Culturally Sensitive

Finding Topics
News items
Topic lists
Wording and Using Your Thesis
Limit thesis to one central idea.
State thesis as declarative sentence.
Use thesis to focus audience attention.
Selecting a topic is a process. We often start by selecting a broad area of knowledge and then narrowing the topic to one that is manageable for a given rhetorical situation.

When finalizing a specific purpose for your speech, always ask yourself four basic questions:
Does the topic match my intended general purpose?
Is the topic appropriate for my audience?
Is the topic appropriate for the given speaking context?
Can I reasonably hope to inform or persuade my audience in the time frame I have for the speech?
Full transcript