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Speech Outlining Guide


Speech Topic p. 02

Speech Title p. 02

Speech Type p. 02

Audience Analysis p. 03

Specific Purpose p. 05

Thesis Statement p. 05

Organizational Patterns p. 06

Causal / Cause-Effect p. 07

Chronological / Temporal p. 07

Comparative Advantage p. 08

Monroe’s Motivated Sequence p. 09

Narrative p. 10

Problem-Solution p. 11

Problem-Cause-Solution p. 11

Refutation p. 12

Spatial p. 13

Topical / Categorical p. 14

Support p. 14

Transitions p. 16

Introduction p. 17

Conclusion p. 19

Speech Topic

Advice: Pick something that you and your audience will be interested in, and
avoid overused topics! Do you feel passionate enough to research, write, and
deliver an entire speech about it? Does the topic concern your audience?

Speech Title

Advice: Make it catchy and informative, but also appropriate to your
audience. Keep a running list and choose the one you like best.

Speech Type

Persuasive speeches seek to influence the attitudes, beliefs, values, and
actions of an audience.

Informative speeches provide the audience with new information, insights,
or ways of thinking about a topic.

Special Occasion speeches are prepared for a specific occasion and
purpose dictated by that occasion. Special occasion speeches can be
informative or persuasive or a mix of both. However, neither of these
functions is the main goal; the underlying function of a special occasion
speech is explained in the types listed below.

Types of Special Occasion Speeches:

Many kinds of special occasions call for a speech that entertains.
Banquets, awards dinners, and roasts, for example, frequently feature
speakers whose main purpose is to entertain those in attendance. In such
cases, listeners expect a lighthearted speech that amuses them.
Depending on the event, they may also expect the speaker to offer a
certain degree of insight into the topic at hand.

Often a special occasion speech will celebrate a person, a place, or an
event. Weddings, anniversaries, retirement parties, and awards banquets
all call for speeches that recognize the person(s) or event being
celebrated. The audience expects the speaker to praise the subject of the
celebration and to cast him or her in a positive light.

p. 2 / 19

The listeners also expect a certain degree of ceremony in accordance with
the norms of the occasion.

Certain special occasion speeches, called commemorative speeches,
focus on remembrance and tribute. Commemorative speeches mark
important anniversaries, such as the fiftieth anniversa

Speaker: [Your Name]

Speech Topic: [Topic]

Speech Title: [Title]

Speech Type: [Persuasive
–or– Informative
–or– Special Occasion]

Audience Analysis:

Knowledge: [What do your listeners know about the topic?]

Attitudes: [How does your audience feel about the topic? What can you do to create or reinforce a positive attitude?]

Expectations: [Why will your audience be present for your speech? What are they expecting to hear?]

Demographics: [Describe the audience’s demographics. How might those factors influence your presentation?]

Setting: [What will your speech setting be?]

Speech Purpose: [Write a specific purpose that expresses in action form what you hope to achieve with your speech.]

Thesis Statement: [Write a single declarative sentence expressing the theme or central idea of your speech.]


Getting Attention: [Gain the audience’s attention.]

Topic and Purpose: [Summarize your topic and purpose.]

Main Points: [Preview the main points.]

Relevance: [Make the topic relevant for your audience.]

Credibility: [Establish credibility as a speaker.]

Organizational Pattern: [Enter the organizational pattern used for your main points.]


[Replace the bracketed information with the contents of your speech. Revise the outline by editing your points, rearranging them if necessary, and adding supporting points.]

I. [First idea (strongest)]
(* Note any visual aid(s) you plan to include)

A. [Support] (
* Note visual aids)

1. [Example] (
* Note visual aids)

2. [Example] (
* Note visual aids)

B. [Support] (
* Note visual aids)

1. [Example] (
* Note visual aids)

2. [Example] (
* Note visual aids)

C. [Support] (
* Note visual aids)

1. [Example] (
* Note visual aids)

2. [Example] (
* Note visual aids)

Transition: [Write a sentence that will help your audience connect one main point to the next.]

II. [Second idea (second strongest)] (
* Note any vi

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