Speech Organization: Importance to Speaker & Audience

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  • 0:01 Why Is Speech…
  • 1:14 Organizing Your Speech
  • 2:41 Methods of Organizing…
  • 4:58 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kat Kadian-Baumeyer

Kat has a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management and teaches Business courses.

In speech writing, it is important to keep the information organized, which demonstrates credibility and makes the speech easier to comprehend. It starts with the main idea, the speech body and a compelling conclusion.

Why Is Speech Organization Important?

We have all been there. You are asked to stand before an audience to present a topic and have no clue where to begin. It's frightening at best!

Grappling for the right words, you may decide to simply state everything you know about the topic. And that may get the job done but probably not as effectively as taking the time to actually organize the information.

You may ask: why do I have to organize the information? If I tell the audience everything I know, they can do the organizing, right? So, why do you need to organize your speech?

Speech organization is effectively taking the information one wishes to present and arranging it in a logical order. It comes down to two things: credibility and audience understanding.

You want your speech to be organized because it will be more enjoyable, easier to understand and add credibility to both you and the speech itself. Oh, don't forget, people will also remember the information better if it is organized. In this lesson, we will look at how organizing your speech can help make it more effective and also at methods of organizing a speech, which also can boost effectiveness.

Organizing Your Speech

When the information in a speech flows, the audience will more likely pay attention. There is a strategy in play. Information that is organized using a main idea followed by main points and other details is easier to understand. It also shows credibility and thorough knowledge of the topic.

Just like writing a term paper, your speech should begin with a main idea or the central purpose of the speech. Having a main idea allows you to immediately focus your speech. Think about what you want the audience to walk away with. How you develop your speech will help you ensure that your audience will understand your speech. It will also allow you to ensure there is credibility to your speech.

Once you decide on the main idea, think about smaller pieces of that idea, which are your main points, smaller chunks of information to break down the main idea. These should reinforce your main idea. Include at least two or three main points. You don't want to include so many that the main idea becomes clouded by the smaller details, which could make your speech difficult for the audience to follow and understand.

Then, as you begin to further flesh out your speech, you will use supporting materials, like examples, statistics, testimony or a narrative, that back your claims. These will add credibility to your speech.

Sounds easy enough! Now, let's look at a few methods for organizing a speech.

Methods of Organizing Information

You can talk about things in a chronological order. This means arranging the information on a timeline. This will work if you are taking your audience on a journey. For example, if your speech were about the history of speech writing, you would begin with Socrates' Apology in the 4th Century B.C. and work your way up to recent times.

Spatial organization follows a pattern of direction. This type of organization would be helpful if you were speaking about the diverse areas of Florida. You may begin with Florida's 800 miles of coastline, then talk about Florida's farmland and end with its Everglades Preserves. This will give the audience a very good idea of the different regions of Florida.

You can use causal relationships as a way to demonstrate the relationship between two things. Usually this method involves relating causes with effects. For example, if your speech is intended to bring awareness of the dangers of spilling chemicals into waterways, you may tell your audience that polluting the ocean is causing coral reef to die at alarming rates.

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