Introduction, Transition, Conclusion

Finding the right support 

  1. What does good support do? Shows validity and provides details. 
  2. Types of support: Facts, statistics, and testimony, metaphors, and analogies. 
  3. Generally, aim for a diversity of support types. 

Discussing your examples concretely and concisely

When discussing your support:  

  1. Focus on the relevant details. 
  2. Focus on clarity over comprehensiveness 
  3. Help the audience craft a mental image.

Performing your key points

Don’t just march from the top of your outline to the bottom. Include repetition and amplification. 

  1. State it: give us the claims
  2. Explain it: unpack the claim and prime us for the support
  3. Show it: explain the support and how it relates to the claim
  4. Conclude it: touch on the key claim again as a way of wrapping up.   


Focus on the introduction’s functions.

  1. Open the speech
  2. Orient the audience  
  3. Provide a preview


  1. Transitions demonstrate distinctness.
  2. Transitions orient the audience.
  3. Transitions provide a break.
  4. Many transitions are both performance and content. The audience should hear and feel a transition.
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  1. Conclusions reinforce key points.
  2. Conclusions provide a sense of closure.
  3. Your final line should sound like a final line (usually, slower and more deliberate).

Speech revisions

  1. Revise for fit between claims and support.
  2. Look for rearrangement opportunities.
  3. Try a couple of different models.

Speech practice and memory

  1. How exact the speech needs to be should affect how much you write. 
  2. Reserve time for practicing. Aim for 3-7 run-throughs. 
  3. Don’t aim for perfect memorization
  4. Practice the speech, but be sure to actually talk to the audience at the moment.

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