Omygosh..... WHAT AM I GOING TO TALK ABOUT??? So, you wanna know how to choose a topic?
CHOOSING A TOPIC: BRAINSTORMING PEOPLE or ANIMALSPLACESTHINGS My best friend Abraham Lincoln Dogs Hawaii Tibet Mediterranean Rock & roll Books Cross-country skis EVENTSPROCESSESCONCEPTS Viet Nam War My trip to Russia Weddings Learning to snowboard How to bake a cake Setting up an audio system Political liberalism Environmental activism Ethical treatment of animals NATURAL PHENOMENAPROBLEMSPLANS/POLICIES Earthquakes Snowflakes Hurricane Katrina Pet overpopulation Methamphetamine use Domestic violence Human cloning Late-term abortions Community college funding
BRAINSTORMING: FREE-ASSOCIATION –Slavery –Racism & hatred –Assassination –Prophetic dreams –ESP –Ghosts –Angels –Devils –Vampires ABRAHAM LINCOLN ABRAHAM LINCOLN EARTHQUAKES EARTHQUAKES ICE CREAM ICE CREAM –Earthquake zones –San Francisco –Lombard Street –Crooked –Snake –Bite –Apples –Apple pie –Cold –Winter –Snow –Skiing –Boreal –Traffic –Smog –Hybrid cars
ELEMENTS of a SPEECH TOPIC or SUBJECT THE BROAD SUBJECT OF YOUR SPEECH Example: Building a Backyard Pond GENERAL PURPOSE THE UNDERLYING GOAL OF YOUR SPEECH Example: To inform ( or: To persuade … To celebrate) SPECIFIC PURPOSE WHAT YOU WANT YOUR SPEECH TO ACCOMPLISH: WHAT YOU WANT YOUR AUDIENCE TO UNDERSTAND, THINK, FEEL, BELIEVE, OR DO AS A RESULT OF YOUR SPEECH Example: To inform my audience about anyone can build a simple backyard pond. CENTRAL IDEA SINGLE PHRASE THAT SUMMARIZES YOUR SPEECH Example: Building a simple backyard pond or water garden can be fun, easy, inexpensive, and will add a relaxing new element to your back yard
Express the Specific Purpose as a Not a QUESTION Ineffective:What is Día de los Muertos? More Effective:To inform my audience about the history of Mexico’s Día de los Muertos celebration Ineffective:Is the U.S. space program necessary? More Effective:To persuade my audience that the U.S. space program provides many important benefits to people here on earth STATEMENT,
Avoid in the Specific Purpose Statement Ineffective:To inform my audience that yoga is extremely cool More Effective:To inform my audience how yoga can improve their health Ineffective:To persuade my audience that the policy prohibiting dogs at Sierra is no good More Effective:To persuade my audience that the policy on prohibiting dogs at Sierra should allow well-behaved dogs on campus FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE
Make sure the Specific Purpose is not too Ineffective:To inform my audience about the Civil War More Effective:To inform my audience about the role of African- American soldiers in the Civil War Ineffective:To persuade my audience that something should be done about marijuana More Effective:To persuade my audience that the federal government should allow the cultivation of marijuana for personal or medical use VAGUE or GENERAL
What’s WRONG with These Specific Purpose Statements? 1.To inform my audience how to make great popcorn every time. 2.To inform my audience about the problem of identity theft and methods of sound financial planning. 3.What is obsessive-compulsive disorder? 4.To inform my audience about Europe. 5.Donate blood. 6.To persuade my audience that something has to be done about the problem of HIV-AIDS.
TOPIC REALITY CHECK Check Number One: Is this a GIMMICK topic? Check Number Two: Is this a topic that the audience already knows well? Check Number Three: Is this topic something that you really about? Check Number Four: Is readily available on this topic? (If you’re having real trouble finding material, go back and find a different subject you can research.) INFORMATION