SELECTING A SUBJECT
Once you clearly understand the general purpose of
you speech, you are ready to choose a subject.
when doing so, your decision should be based on a
number of consideration:
1. Is the subject suited to my purpose?
2. Is the subject interesting to me?
3. Am I qualified to speak on this subject?
4. Will my audience find this subject interesting?
5. Will my audience find this subject useful?
6. Is my subject sufficiently restricted?
After you have chosen your subject in
accordance with the considerations
above, you are ready to formulate a specific
purpose. Earlier I classified the general
purpose for speaking : to entertain, to inform
; and to persuade.
1. General purpose : to entertain
a. To amuse my audience by explaining how to
wash a bull elephant
b. To hold my audience in suspense while
telling of the time I was robbed
c. To amaze my audience with a
demonstration of magic
d. To fascinate my audience with a story about
my first parachute jump
2. General purpose : to inform
a. To explain the art of tree dwarfing
b. To demonstrate how to make an omelet
c. To show how to take an effective snapshot
d. To report the result of a recent experiment
3. General purpose : to persuade
a. To motivate my audience to contribute to
b. To prove to my audience that my new plan
for ending the arms race will work
c. To increase my audience’s reverence for our
d. To modify my audience’s attitude about
THE CENTRAL IDEA
The central idea as a complete sentence will
help you plan your communication more
following are three central idea statements
related to three of the specific purpose
• specific purpose: to amuse my audience be
telling them how to wash a bull elephant
• central idea: washing a bull elephant isn’t all
When developing your speech, you must
always consider your purpose in terms of
audience response. More realistic purpose that
could achieve a reasonable response.
WILL MY AUDIENCE FIND THIS SUBJECT
People willing pay attention if they will again
something from doing so. If for some reason
members of your audience need to know the
information you will be giving them in you
speech, tell them they do. whenever- possible,
give your listener a reason for listening, and do it
during the introduction to your speech.
WILL MY AUDIENCE FIND THIS
• The second reason that people pay attention
is to satisfy an interest. If you are familiar
with the subject you have chosen, you should
be able to make an educated guess.
• You can do it effectively if you build your
audience’s interest to gain and maintain their
WHAT IS MY AUDIENCE’S
KNOWLEDGE OF MY SUBJECT?
Considering what your listeners already
know about your subject is an important part of
audience analysis. If your audience has little or
no knowledge of your subject, you must explain
unfamiliar terminology and concepts to them.
Your educated guess as to the audience’s
knowledge of your subject should be an
important consideration in terms of your choice
of subject and purpose for each speech you
WHAT DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS
SHOULD I CONSIDER ABOUT MY AUDIENCE?
• The word demography is derived from the Greek
word demos, meaning “people.” the
demographic consideration of your audience has
to do with their vital statistics:
age, education, beliefs, special interest, and so
• These characteristics can often help you in
determining how to handle your subject.
e.g: as a rule, young people tend to be more
physically active than older people, more inclined
to engage in sports rather than watch them.
IS MY AUDIENCE’S ATTITUDES FAVORABLE,
INDIFFERENT, OR OPPOSED?
• A Favorable Audience
Perhaps the greatest advantage to dealing with
a favorable audience is that they are usually both
supportive and attentive. Your goal when
communicating to them is to reinforce their positive
• An Indifferent Audience
When an audience is different, your job is to
stimulate their interest. This can best be done by
explaining the usefulness of the subject to them, by
gaining their attention with a fresh imaginative
approach, or by a combination of both.
• An Opposed Audience?
The hardest audience to deal with is one
that includes many who disagree with your
point of view or your subject. If you find that
this is the case and you have a choice in the
matter, you might consider choosing another