Public Speaking and Body Building Help
Introduction to Public Speaking and Body Building
Speech is the mirror of the soul; as a man speaks, so is he.
—Publilius Syrus, First Century b.c.
The body of your speech contains the living organs, or the facts and information that define what you have to say. In this lesson, you will learn how to build that body.
Now that we have constructed a skeleton for our speech, we are ready to add some muscle and flesh to the bones. This is where the majority of the writing work takes place, so it makes the most sense to start here.
You may not be delivering your speech by reading from a fully written text; in fact, most of the time you won't want to. Nevertheless, it will be a very helpful exercise to write out your first speech word-for-word, exactly as you will deliver it. This will help you to understand a number of fundamental principles involved in good speech writing. In this lesson, we will address the most important part of your speech: the body.
There are many types of speeches that you might find yourself asked to give, but all of them follow more or less the same pattern when constructing the body. Therefore, we will tackle the most challenging form of speech, the persuasive type, and use that as our template on how to create a powerful body. All other types of speeches will follow this pattern to some extent, even though the goal will not be to persuade the audience of an opinion. So if you are giving an informative speech or a demonstrative speech, you won't be concerned with the aspect of proving your opinion to be true, but you will still be able to use this structure to build the body of your speech.
Selecting Your Main Points
The first step in writing the body of your speech is to decide what your major points will be. You will tell the audience what your topic or thesis is in the introduction (which we'll cover in Lesson 9), so in the body you will want to start breaking down your topic into several major sub-points or aspects of that topic.
In the case of a persuasive speech, your sub-points will be the pieces of evidence you want to bring in to prove that your thesis—the opinion you stated in the introduction—is true. Before we go any further, however, we should briefly consider how many sub-points your speech should include. This will depend largely upon how much time you have to speak. If you have 20 minutes, you can probably include three sub-points; 10 minutes might restrict you to two; 40 minutes might permit four.
The main rule of thumb would be to have between two and five sub-points. Only one sub-point is not a sub-point at all; it's a secondary topic or thesis. More than five sub-points, on the other hand, becomes too much information. Remember our shotgun/rifle analogy: It's better to cover a few points in depth than a lot of points superficially.
You already created a preliminary outline in the last lesson, so let's use that to begin building a full speech. We'll use the outline that we created on the topic of painting miniatures as our example, even though it's not a persuasive speech. Here is the body portion of that outline:
- Ways to use a paintbrush
- smooth strokes are best (Smith 22)
- but sometimes rough strokes add texture (Jones 43)
- [need more info on various strokes from C. Smith]
- How to select paint
- "lifeblood" quote from Smith 36
- importance of primer (Smith 12; Jones 29; Brown 44)
- why paints are different—summarize Smith 38–43
- Different modeling materials
- metal (Jones 128–132)
- plastic (Brown 33–40)
- ceramic (Smith 13–17)
This is going to be a demonstrative speech, so you won't need to prove anything; rather, you'll need to demonstrateeach of your sub-points in some manner, explaining to your audience how each sub-point is an important aspect of painting miniatures. This will be done both physically and verbally: You'll want to have visual aids that will illustrate your points and enable you to show your audience what you're talking about, but you'll also need to explain in clear language what you're doing and why you're doing it.
As you sit down to write, however, you might suddenly realize that your points are out of sensible order. You think through what you'll need to say for each point, and realize that it makes more sense to begin your speech with point 2 instead of point 1. So, your first point will now be "how to select paint." This will allow you to use a nice quotation from the Smith book early in your lecture, helping your audience to understand one of the most important elements of painting. You will want to put that into plain English in your speech, so you might write something like this:
One of the first important things to consider when painting miniatures is what paint you will use. As John Smith writes in his excellent bookHow to Paint Realistic Miniature Figures, "Paint selection is the lifeblood of any painting project. Selecting the wrong paint for your project is like eating poison—bad paint can kill your favorite figure." Therefore, the first step in painting miniatures is to choose an appropriate paint.
There are, of course, many types and brands to choose from. As you can see [gesture to row of paints], it can be a bit intimidating to choose if you don't know what to look for. The best place to start is to select an appropriate primer to use as a base-coat on your figure, because a good primer will allow you to use some paints that might not adhere to your figure otherwise.
I have taken the raw material from my outline and fleshed it out into a workable first draft of my speech. I introduce my first sub-point by explaining that paint selection is an important aspect of painting miniatures, and this leads naturally into the quotation from the Smith book.
I next work in my first visual aid, which will be a row of paints set up in front of the podium. By gesturing to them, I am working them into my speech, giving the audience a nice visual aid to bring my words to life, while also not permitting them to become a distraction frommy words.
Next, I move onto the importance of selecting a primer, following my outline, and will spend a paragraph or two in the speech explaining how to do so. But notice one other thing that I did in that last sentence: I explained whyprimer selection is important to my topic.
Today on Education.com
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- Coats and Car Seats: A Lethal Combination?
- Signs Your Child Might Have Asperger's Syndrome
- Child Development Theories
- The Homework Debate
- Social Cognitive Theory
- GED Math Practice Test 1
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- First Grade Sight Words List