Saturday, September 26, 2009

Give Them a Map

You've found a topic that excites you.
You've decided exactly what you want to say about it.
You've stated your idea in a simple, declarative sentence—a thesis.
You've searched out Numbers, Examples, Testimonies, and Stories to support the idea.
Now, you will organize your main points into a presentation that is easy to follow.

It's Easy to Follow a Map

1. Select two or three main points that directly support your thesis. Write them as full sentences, just like the thesis. The thesis and main points are the foundation of your speech. For example:

Thesis sentence: “Pets teach children life's lessons.”

Main points:

  • “Pets teach children to deal with birth, illnesses, accidents, and death.”
  • “Caring for pets teaches children responsibility.”
  • “Children with pets learn to respect other living things.”

2. Preview the main points at the beginning of your speech. Review the main points at the end of your speech. This follows the old advice, "Tell them what you are going to tell them. Then tell them. Then tell them what you told them." That is sound advice.

Learning Activity

1. Write your thesis statement .

2. Select two or three main points that support the thesis. These are also presented as full sentences.

3. Preview the main points in your introduction and review them in your conclusion, i.e., "Today I'm going to give you three reasons why you should get your child a pet. . . ." (Give the three reasons. Explain them in the body of speech. Move to the conclusion.) . . . . "Please remember these three reasons for having a pet. . . ." (Repeat the three reasons.)

It's so simple. And it works. You have just made it easy for your listeners to follow you by giving them a map. Well done.

© Frank Richardson, 2009.


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