Organizing Presentations


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  • A method of speech organization in which the main points follow a time pattern.
  • Here is an example of a Chronological Pattern This method works best when the main idea of the speech is a process. For example, if you were to use this pattern on MLK, your focus would likely be on his growth as a leader.
  • A method of speech organization in which the main points follow a directional pattern
  • Use the spatial pattern if direction is your focus. This organizational pattern forces us to focus on the location of things. Another MLK example: MLK’s influence in the South, North, and Northeast.
  • A method of speech organization in which the main points show a cause-effect relationship.
  • We typically see this organization pattern in Persuasive speeches. Probably because we are trying to justify a policy. That is, if x causes Y, then we need to change X. MLK Example  Why was MLK so influential (what was the cause of his influence).
  • A method of speech organization in which the first main point deals with the existence and seriousness of a problem and the second main point presents a solution to the problem.
  • The Proble/solution Method is also used primarily with persuasive speaking. Do this if you are proposing a change in policy. You first must begin by highlighting a particular issue, then explain how your solution deals with that problem. MLK Example  To persuade my audience that we need to have class on MLK day. (Problem  kids are not learning enough about MLK, Solution  instead of canceling class on MLK day, dedicate an entire school day to explore his contributions.
  • A method of speech organization in which the main points divide the topic into logical and consistent subtopics.
  • This method is the most common. Three ideas based on a given topic. Please keep in mind, this is not the “random” organizational pattern. All three of the main points must be related and parallel in some way. Bad Example  MLK History, His Policies, and his appearance. (This is bad because there is no logical sequence. It looks like just a random selection of facts, not good organization. Good Example  MLK’s work as a preacher, as a speaker, and as a leader. (This is better, as it is parallel, we can see a logical progression.)
  • Along with organizing main points, it is important that you guide your audience through the speech. Connectives are words or phrases that connects the ideas of a speech and indicates the relationship between them. There are four different types of connectives, including internal previews, summaries, transitions, and signposts.
  • A word or phrase that indicates when a speaker has finished one thought and is moving on to another. You will need a transition between each main point. They should show a logical connection and must connect both ideas. Bad  Next, I am going to talk about… (bad because it does not connect, it simply introduces a new idea) Good  So we discussed x, which helps us understand Y (where x is the first point and Y is the next point)
  • You have probably always heard this, but in your speeches, you should always “Tell them what you are going to say, say it, tell them what you said.” This repetition will solidify the speech structure for the audience. Thus  they will get it! Internal preview  A statement in the body of the speech that lets the audience know what the speaker is going to discuss next. Internal summary  A statement in the body of the speech that summarizes the speaker’s preceding point or points.
  • A very brief statement that indicates where a speaker is in the speech or that focuses attention on key ideas. Include these often. Whenever you can. First, next, in conclusion. These words trigger the brain to pay attention and organize the idea.
  • Organizing Presentations

    1. 1. OrganizingYou Have the Data – Let’s Put it All Together
    2. 2. Chronological Order
    3. 3. Chronological OrderSpecific Purpose: To inform my audience howthe Great Wall of China was built.Main Points:IV.Building of the Great Wall began during theQin dynasty of 221-206 B.C.V.New sections of the Great Wall were addedduring the Han dynasty of 206 B.C.-220 A.D.VI. The Great Wall was completed during theMing Dynasty of 1368-1644.
    4. 4. Spatial Order
    5. 5. Spatial OrderSpecific Purpose: To inform my audience about thestructure of a hurricane.Main Points:IV.At the center of a hurricane is the calm, cloud-freeeye.V.Surrounding the eye is the eyewall, a dense ring ofclouds that produces the most intense wind andrainfall.VI.Rotating around the eyewall are large bands ofclouds and precipitation called spiral rain bands.
    6. 6. Causal Order
    7. 7. Causal OrderSpecific Purpose: To inform my audience about thepossible causes for the collapse of Mayan civilization.Main Points:•Mayan civilization flourished for over a thousandyears until 900 A.D., when it mysteriously began todisintegrate. (EFFECT)•Scholars have advanced three major explanationsfor the causes of this disintegration. (CAUSE)
    8. 8. Problem-Solution Order
    9. 9. Problem-Solution OrderSpecific Purpose: To persuade my audience thatlegislation is needed to control the abuses offraudulent charity fund-raisers.Main Points:IV.Fraudulent charity fund-raising has become awidespread national problem.V.The problem can be solved by a combination ofgovernment initiative and individual awareness.
    10. 10. Topical Order
    11. 11. Topical OrderSpecific Purpose: To inform my audience about the achievements of Ida Wells-Barnett.Main Points:IV.As a teacher, Wells-Barnett spoke out against inferior school facilities for African-American children.V.As a journalist, Wells-Barnett campaigned against lynching.VI.As a civic organizer, Wells-Barnett helped found the NAACP.
    12. 12. n s it io n sT ra
    13. 13. Internal Preview Main Point Internal Summary
    14. 14. Sign Posts
    15. 15. How might theorganization of your speech change thetheme of your topic? .(Compare three approaches: topical, chronological, and spatial)