The most critical part to speaking is preparing the outline. Mapping out what you are going to say will help you prepare for your speech!


Remember, do not begin outlining until you have written the top of the outline AND have collected all of the research.

Once those are done then begin outlining the BODY of the speech.

The main points and the sub points are the body of the speech.  They are intended to let the audience know what it is you are talking about as well as give them detail on the topic.  The main points should expand on the specific purpose by giving the audience more details on the topic as well as enhance the thesis.

Main points express the key ideas or the information that you would like to express in your speech.

It is better to stick to just a few main points and explain them in detail than to have many main points and cover them briefly.  In the case of speeches, the audience does not have the luxury of a reading the content repeatedly therefore; you want to cover fewer points in detail rather than many topics vaguely.

Write all main points in declarative sentences; do not phrase them as questions.

In addition, write the main points so they finish, or answer, your specific purpose. Meaning, make sure the main points always relate to the specific purpose.


Next is to dissect the preview and summary

Most people are poor listeners; the preview only helps them to sort out the information to be discussed.  A preview helps the audience follow your speech better by alerting them what is coming up.  The preview is an exact list of your main points.  You do not want to leave your audience guessing about the main points they should be listening for.  Instead you will introduce each of your main points using the same language and the same order as in the body of your speech.

Restating the main points is the best way to reinforce your message.  It is an invaluable tool that helps the audience members understand your message, remember your message, find the relevance of your topic.  The best summaries are those which are an expanded version of the preview.  Restate your main points but also include at least one sub point that you want the audience to remember.


Taken from Jay Medallon’s speech
Ebola Virus

Preview: So tonight I would like to tell about the history of the Ebola Virus, the different strands of the Ebola Virus, and the effects the Ebola Virus has on humans.

Main Points:

A. The initial outbreak of the Ebola Virus occurred in 1976 in Zaire, Africa.

B. There are three different strands of the Ebola Virus.

C. The effect that the Ebola Virus has on us when contracted is horrifying.

Summary: Before the first outbreak of the Ebola Virus the people in Zaire were not aware of this virus that would kill 9 out of 10 of those who contracted it.  There are 3 different strands of Ebola but the small negative-strand RNA has shocked the nation!  Since then, the Ebola virus has been feared for its terrifying way of killing both humans and animals.  Even today there is not a cure to this horrendous virus.

Following the preview and summary you will finish the introduction and conclusion

The Introduction

The Conclusion

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