Sample Preparation Outline
Attention-getter: Listen up - would everyone in here like to earn a much better grade in their speech class just by following this example? Motivate the audience to listen: A good outline can make the difference between an A and B, and sometimes even between an A and a C. Establish credibility: As the person who will be grading your speeches, and having graded hundreds of speeches in the past, I know what makes a good speech outline. Central Idea (Introduce the subject): Today I am going to inform you how to write a preparation outline for Mrs. Hammond’s public speaking class. Preview Main Points: First, I’m going to give you a few tips on what to include in the outline, then I will tell you why having a good outline is so important, and finally, I will tell you how to use the preparation outline.
I. First, here are some tips that will ensure you get full credit on your speech outline by including the essentials. A. Make sure your outline is full-content.
1. Everything that is in your speech should be in your outline. 2. You might think it is ridiculous to write out the entire speech, but it actually helps with delivery. 3. A full-content outline forces a speaker to put their thoughts into sentences, thus completing the thought. If you just have key words and phrases, you might have trouble completing the thoughts when delivering the speech. 4. Students ask me all the time, “How long should the outline be?” The answer is, “I don’t know!” The outline should be as long as it needs to be in order to be within the time limits. It isn’t about how many pages; it’s about how many minutes. B. Next, make sure you turn in an outline!
1. An outline is set up in this format.
a. It should follow in this pattern: Roman numerals, capital letters, numbers, lower-case letters. It continues, but rarely will you need to go further than this in this class. b. It is important to indent like this. This shows us what information is the most important. As we indent more, the information becomes more supporting material and less major ideas. 2. An outline is necessary because it shows the relationships between and within the material you are covering. a. For example, look at the Roman numerals in the outline. Each Roman numeral includes one of the three main points of the speech (the same three points you previewed in the introduction, and the same three points you will review in your conclusion). b. The capital letters indicate subpoints. c. The numbers indicate supporting material. d. And, the lowercase letters indicate subpoints of the supporting material, and so forth and so forth. e. Basically, whatever you have underneath a larger section should have something to do with that entire section. If it doesn’t, it should be removed! i. For example, this point (i) has something to do with e., which has something to do with 2., which has something to do with B., which has something to do with I. ii. If you find that some of your material doesn’t fit, it should be moved somewhere where it does fit, or it should be taken out of the speech entirely. This is the purpose of an outline. It FORCES us to be organized. C. Next, always make sure you include your sources in the outline. 1. For most speeches, you will be required to cite at least five separate sources. 2. If you do not include your sources in your outline, it is considered plagiarism. 3. According to Beebe and...