Donate Today! Help us help others.

Lynch Coaching


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Developing Your Purpose and Topic

Every speech you present has one overall goal or general purpose: to inform, to persuade, or to entertain. The general purpose determines the nature of your speech.

In brainstorming for topics, list all the topic ideas you can think of without evaluating them. Often brainstorming begins long before you finally write down your topic ideas. But setting aside some time to gather together all your topic ideas will help you consider your options more clearly.

Evaluate possible topics in terms of five areas: yourself, your audience, available resources, time, and setting. Choose a topic that is appropriate for yourself, the audience, and the situation. Also make sure you can find enough information to present a well-researched speech.

Your specific purpose--what you want to achieve--merges your general purpose and topic with the response you seek from your audience. As you work on choosing a topic, you'll frame the specific purpose.

Phrasing the thesis is a crucial step in topic development. Your thesis flows from your specific purpose and indicates how you will achieve the objective of your speech. Written as a single declarative sentence, the thesis captures the essence of your speech by incorporating the main points you plan to address.

Developing your topic starts with brainstorming for ideas associated with that topic. The next step is to identify themes and group them by category. These categories become the main points of your speech and suggest the thesis--the essence of what you'll cover.

Your topic, general purpose, specific purpose, thesis, and main points form the basis of your working outline. The working outline provides a tentative plan for your speech that may change as you learn more about your topic and audience. This early work gives you a solid foundation for analyzing your audience, researching your topic, identifying appropriate supporting materials, and determining the best way to organize your ideas.

New York Times (for topics):

Opposing Views (for topics):

AltaVista News
A useful resource for topic ideas, AltaVista News 
is organized by categories such as top stories, 
technology, society, international, and science.
Google Directory > Society > Issues
A directory of current issues in the news that 
can help you identify a topic for your speech. 
Click on a topic area for a list of more 
specific issues.
Speech Topics Help, Advice, and Ideas
Topic ideas and suggestions for informative, 
persuasive, and entertaining speeches.
Yahoo > Society and Culture > 
Issues and Causes
This part of the Yahoo! Directory provides 
a useful list of topics in the news that can 
help in the topic brainstorming process.



Anonymous said...

I wish i had read this soon. Lol
Danielle Hoyer

Anonymous said...

Picking a topic is the worst for me. I never know what my audience would enjoy hearing about. I finally just picked topics that interested me.

Erin Penman
Sec. 4080