Speech Outlining… Just fill in the blanks with good stuff Part 2

In Speech Outlining… Just fill in the blanks with good stuff Part 1 we broke down each part of the speech introduction.  It’s important stuff.

Now, let’s take a look at the body of the speech and the conclusion.  Once again, I’ll be using my transmedia outline as an example.

Transition lines

Sometimes I’ll listen to a student’s speech and find it to be choppy.  Different parts of the speech seem unrelated to each other.  Nine times out of 10 I’ll look at their outlines and discover they haven’t included any transition lines.  You need transition lines.

Think of transition lines as road markers at an intersection.  They help guide the listener into the right direction.

Transition lines don’t have to be complex.  It could be as simple as saying “First, let’s start with….”  Of course, if everyone says “First, let’s start with…” that transition line will lose it’s impact fairly quickly.  But, the idea is to say something that steers the listener to the next point of your speech.

For the transition from the introduction to the first main point of the speech I simply wrote:

But first, let’s define transmedia.

That line lead into the first main point of my speech… attempting to define transmedia.

Later in the speech I use the transition line to direct my listeners to an example of this type of story telling.

One example of this transmedia story telling is the Lizzie Bennett Diaries.

Look at my transmedia outline.  Think about how choppy it would sound if I jumped from the last subpoint of my first main point to my second main point.  Or from the last subpoint of my second main point to my third main point.

Make sure to place transition lines between your intro and your first main point, between each main point and between your final main point and the conclusion.

Speaking of Main points

You only have 5-6 minutes for your informative speech.  There’s no way I can tell you everything about transmedia in 5 to 6 minutes.  There’s no way you can tell me everything there is to know about motocross, traveling across Europe or how to bake a quiche in that time.  But there is enough time to focus on one or two parts of the topic.

For example, when I researched transmedia I found all sorts of examples.  I read commentary about how transmedia storytelling is just a fad.  I read lots of info about how people are trying to define what transmedia is.  I read articles about how people are trying to make money off transmedia.  There’s no way I could cram all of that into 5-6 minutes.  So, I chose my main points based on what I thought the audience needed to know and on what research I had to back up my main points.

In a 5-6 minutes speech you probably won’t have more than three main points.  I say most of you will have two main points.  But there are always exceptions that make sense.  Vice versa you probably wouldn’t have just one main point either.  That wouldn’t be enough material to fill the speech time limit.

Take a look at my transmedia speech outline.  I have three main points.

  • First main point: defining transmedia.  Please note how I used an expert to define the term.  Using experts lends credibility to the speaker.  It says, “I took the time to do some research to provide you with valid information.”
  • Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 7.13.33 PM
    Wait until after summer quarter is over to start binge watching this transmedia vlog. You’ll find it at https://www.youtube.com/user/LizzieBennet


    Second main point: Using Lizzie Bennett Diaries to explain elements of transmedia.  To begin the point, I give some background on the Lizzie Bennett Diaries, then I describe all the other media that relates back to the original vlog series.  (I actually used a PowerPoint when I gave this speech.  Looking at the PowerPoint might help you understand the subpoints.)

    • An important concept about subpoints.  If a subpoint doesn’t have anything to do with the main point, then it shouldn’t be a subpoint.
    • For example, what if one of my subpoints to Main Point #2 focused on how brother really liked what I showed him of the Lizzie Bennett Diaries but my sister didn’t.  How does that relate to the main point about using Lizzie Bennett Diaries to explain how transmedia works?
    • Perhaps I could use that information about my brother and sister in a transition or in the conclusion of the speech.  But it doesn’t belong under Main Point #2.
  • Third main point.  I thought it was important to show how Lizzie Bennett Diaries aren’t the only example of transmedia out there.  So I came up with some other examples.
    • Notice how my descriptions of these other transmedia examples aren’t as detailed as the Lizzie Bennett diaries examples.  That’s because I don’t have time!  Plus, the purpose of this main point is to provide other examples.  Going into more depth would kill the thought and my speech time limit.

The Conclusion

Remember how I spoke about Primacy/Recency theory in Part 1?  Well, here we are at the recency part of the speech.  So many times people skip over working on the conclusion of their speech because they are so focused on the beginning and getting into the body of the speech.  As a result, they forget to work on the conclusion.

Here’s what happens.  You grab your audience’s attention with the intro, they know you are credible and you’ve even told them of a benefit or two of listening to your speech.  You even gave them a verbal road map of your speech with your preview (that you actually said.)  You motor through the main points.  You’re kicking butt and taking names.  Then, suddenly, you finish you last sub point and this look of fear and confusion comes over your face.  You’ve nailed this speech… except you can’t remember how to end it.

What do you think I and your audience are going to remember?  Your fabulous speech or how you screwed it up fabulously at the end?

Work on your conclusion.  It has several parts like the introduction.  But, in my mind, the conclusion is easier to put together.

  • First, you restate your thesis.  Yup, this can be as easy as copying and pasting your thesis statement from the introduction.  Don’t forget to say it.
  • Second, main point summary.  In my mind this is like a reverse preview.  It’s saying here’s how I got you to this conclusion.  It was by telling you about point one, point two and point three.
  • Third, the clincher. Think of something memorable.  It could be a story, a fact or statistic, your own experience.  But paint an image for your listener to soak in and remember.   In my speech I gave a bit of a warning:

Trust me, this type of storytelling can be as addicting as binge watching your favorite series on Netflix.  The only difference is when you finish a Netflix series you just have to wait around for the next season or the next series.  With transmedia you may finish the story in one form of media, but you still need to explore story information provided across Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, books, blogs and so, so, so much more. Do me and yourself a favor and wait until the end of the quarter to get started on this addicting form of media!

Yup, you’ve concluded your speech but your outline isn’t done yet

After your conclusion give me a list of the resources you consulted to put together your speech.  I require at least two.  Include those and any other resources you tapped into.  Remember, resources go beyond web sites.  You can source newspapers, magazines, journal articles and even conversations with people who know something about what you’re talking about.

For this assignment don’t worry about APA or MLA style.  Just give me enough information that I could look your research up.  A web address, the name of a magazine article, the magazine name and the date it was published, the name of the expert you talked with and when you talked, etc.

Your assignment

Write up a draft outline for your speech.  You may want to use the outline template.

Turn your draft outline to the IS:Draft assignment on Canvas.