Sunday, July 5, 2009

Two types of speech outlines: speaking and preparation

In Chapter 10 of his textbook on The Art of Public Speaking Stephen E. Lucas defines two different types of outlines used in preparing speeches: a preparation outline and a speaking outline (a structured set of notes).

During the speech preparation process you may create a preparation outline, which is a very detailed outline. It includes: the title, specific purpose, central idea, introduction, main points, subpoints, connectives, conclusion, and bibliography. The main points and subpoints are stated in full sentences.

A speaking outline is just a brief outline used to jog a speaker’s memory during the presentation of a speech. It uses phrases or key words to state main points and sub points.

Other textbooks use slightly different terminology. In Chapter 13 of A Speaker’s Guidebook (2nd edition) by O’Hair, Stewart, and Rubenstein they call the detailed outline a working outline (or preparation outline, or rough outline), and they note that a speaking outline also may be called a delivery outline.

A more detailed discussion of outlines appears in Chapter 6 of the online textbook, Fundamentals of Public Communication.

Word processing software can simplify creating outlines. For example, Microsoft Word has an Outline View that can be used to plan presentations, as described by Charles Anderson, and also in the for Dummies series of books. You can learn how to save yourself hours by using Outline View properly.

Outlines are not the only way to organize a speech. You may prefer to start from mind maps or storyboards

UPDATE October 3, 2015

Chapter 8 of the Public Speaking Project online textbook has a detailed .pdf file that discusses Organizing and Outlining

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