9.1 Selecting and Narrowing a Topic


  1. Employ audience analysis.
  2. Determine the general purpose of a speech.
  3. List strategies for narrowing a speech topic.
  4. Compose an audience-centered, specific purpose statement for a speech.
  5. Compose a thesis statement that summarizes the central idea of a speech.

There are many steps that go into the speech-making process. Many people do not approach speech preparation in an informed and systematic way, which results in many poorly planned or executed speeches that are not pleasant to sit through as an audience member and don’t reflect well on the speaker. Good speaking skills can help you stand out from the crowd in increasingly competitive environments. While a polished delivery is important and will be discussed more in Chapter 10 "Delivering a Speech", good speaking skills must be practiced much earlier in the speech-making process.

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