Preparing an Outline


The purpose of this presentation is to
help you put together an outline that will help you give a really good speech.
Now you may be asking yourself: Why do I need to bother with an outline or why can I
just write it out in paragraph format like I’m use to doing in my English
class or my history class? well I can give you three good reasons
why you want to put together an outline instead of write a paper. First of all an outline is going to help
you organize your ideas, second it’s going to help you build support and add information to your speech and
third most importantly it’s really gonna help you with your delivery when it’s
time to get up and present that speech. So let’s start with the first reason
organizing your ideas, when you’re putting together a speech you need to have a
goal you need to have something that you’re trying to accomplish. Maybe you’re trying to inform your
audience how to practice could study skills or maybe you try to persuade your
audience to serve as a mentor for a local child, regardless your goal you want to keep
your speech moving forward everything you say is towards
accomplishing the purpose of whatever the goal of your speech is. The best way to do it is to
subdivide your speech into sections rather than just generically talk about
ways to mentor child you wanna come up with three good reasons on how you can better mentor a child or
rather than just talk about study skills in general come up with four good study habits that will
help raise your GPA this will be more memorable help it
stick in the audiences head in with an outline you’re gonna be able to organize that
and see it all laid out nice and neat. Ultimately to as you build your outline
with more detail your going to add your introduction and your
conclusion which are gonna be bookended around that outline that you created.
The second thing you want to accomplish with your outline is to build support material for your
speech to help beef it up a little bit and as you put
together the foundation of your speech with your outline at some point you’re
gonna going to want to add the
bricks-and-mortar a little more detail to your speech. You wanna make sure that your speech is
balanced you don’t wanna spend a whole lot of time talking about one section and then later realized you neglected another sections so it’s visually laid out in an outline you can just easily see where your
speech meets needs more or less support. The third reason your going to put together an
outline to me this is the most important reason is ultimately your speech delivery
nobody likes to hear somebody get up there and drone on and on in a
monotone cadences as they read their paper out loud it’s just boring plus your voice lapses into this weird
sing song rhythm thing that’s just not natural people don’t talk like
that. Think about people that you like to listen to celebrities who just do a really good
job engaging the audience their not reading word for word off of a cue
card they may have a cue card that cues them
about what they’re gonna talk about but again they’re not reading it word
for word, so that’s what you’re aiming for with your
outline. You’re gonna put your information together in front of you in
cue cards in words and phrases that are gonna help remind you what you wanna say without necessarily reading it verbatim
off of the paper and ultimately this comes down to
practice once you put together that outline without all those complete
sentences you have to practice it out loud again
and again and again until you’re really comfortable with how that is put
together. Another thing about delivering off of an outline is it’s going to help you
make better eye contact with the audience let’s say that you have a dense
paragraph of information in front of you if you try to read from that and look up
at your audience and look back down to your piece a paper again you are gonna lose
your spot it’s just really hard to do on the other hand if it’s nice and
spread out across your paper and you can easily see things you can
look up at audience look back at your paper and easily find your place again, because it’s
spread out maybe you used big fonts are highlighted things are
bold face thing it’s just much easier to engage with the audience without having
to burn a hole through your paper trying to find your place on it. Now
let’s talk about a few guidelines for putting together an outline. Some rules that you want to
follow as you build your outline so here’s my outline here and the first
thing I want to point out is that I’ve indented things I have my main ideas here it’s left
justified “Pay it forward!” in group personally and they’re lined up nice and neat with
one another. “Pay it forward!” has 2 sub-ideas “Help the next generation” and “It will come
back to you someday”, so does “Go personally” and notice these
are AB’s and they’re also intended underneath their main ideas and then I’ve also got
a third level of ideas here indented underneath the previous idea, so
they’re all lined up nice and neat and indented as appropriate. Second rule that
you wanna follow is keep your symbols consistent I’m not picky about what
symbols you use you can use whatever you want just as long as once
you start with something you stick with it the whole way through.
I started out with Roman numerals at my main level if there was a third main idea I have a
Roman numeral 3 and then underneath Roman numeral one
I’ve gotten A and a B and then underneath those I’ve got 1, 2 so again notice I’ve used A, B all the way
through my whole outline in the 1, 2 all the way through the whole outline just
be consistent. The third thing you want to do is make
sure you give each idea its own line this is part of spreading it out around
the page in making it easy to look at again “Pay it forward!” has its own line
“Help the next generation” has its own and each idea that follows has its own unique
line, so if you can just remember these basic
guidelines indent use consistent symbols and give each
idea its own line it’s gonna be much easier to put
together your outline. The magic of word processing makes putting
together an outline really easy, if you’re using Microsoft
Word it has a few tools built in to help create an outline pretty pretty straightforward, and let me
show you how. I’m gonna do this outline on how to raise your GPA, so me type in a
few of my main points. First “Organize ahead” it’s my main idea and then under it I have “Have the tools you need”, “Know your deadlines” and “Go to class”. Okay now I’m gonna put this in the outline
format each idea has its own line, if I
highlight all of that and go up here see this little
multi-level list ,if I click on that it gives me some
options, as I said I like the Roman numeral ABC 123 so I am going to chose that one. Now okay “organize ahead” is my main idea ,but then these should be underneath it
they should be indented underneath “organize ahead” , because have
the tools know your deadlines go to classes are all ways to organize ahead, so what I am going to do I’m gonna highlight that and go
back up here and see this little indent button that’s gonna indent it in, so if I need to
add something else I can just type a few more things here let’s see “Scan question, read, review” it’s my next main idea and then I have “Connect with others” and then under
connect with others I have “Participate in class” this is enough to
give you a good idea some I’m gonna highlight this again click the same
button I clicked before and here once more it puts it out as my
main idea Roman numerals so “Scan question, read and review” is a main
idea so is “Connect with others”, but “Participate in class” should go under”Connect with others”
that’s one way you can connect with others is participating in class so again I’m gonna click my indent tool
and it will indent it automatically, if I have something about
participating in class I can just keep this going “Sit on the front row” “Talk to your professors” can highlight, click indent and indent one more time and see it put
it underneath “Ways to participate in class”, so it’s pretty straightforward. You may
also wonder how much detail you should include on your outline let me talk about different stages that
most have them go through starting with the rough outline. The purpose of a rough outline is just
to help you organize your ideas it doesn’t have a lot to detail it’s got
some I’m you just trying to figure out do I have enough to say about each main idea what order do I want to put it in you
might think a little bit about your introduction and your conclusion, but
pretty much you’re just making sure that you know what you wanna say and the
order you wanna say it in. When you get to the second step of the
outline the preparation outline this one has a lot more detail remember
I told you to avoid complete sentences it’s okay if it’s in the preparation
outlined you just don’t have this in front of you when you actually deliver
your speech that might give your comfort level
figuring out exactly what you wanna say and how you’re gonna say it and just remember is you fill in all of
that detail back it up with research do your research Write your orally cited sources and include those in
this preparation outline, but it’s going to help you figure out
all of the guts again the bricks-and-mortar what you actually
wanna say about your speech. The final version of the outline is the
speakers outline and this is the one you’re actually gonna have in front of
you when you deliver your speech now notice the difference between that
preparation outline and this one this one has a lot less detail it looks a
little more like my rough draft outline, but it’s a cue card it’s going to help
me know what I’m gonna say because I’ve practiced it out loud a
bunch I know what I’m supposed to be talking about so I can pretty easily
glanced down at this and look back up at my audience and know
what I wanna say, also think of your outline like a roadmap when I’m driving my car I need to be
looking at the road more than looking at the navigation on my phone, so I can glance down and see that big
arrow with just turn right on Avenue R that’s a lot
easier for my eyes to look down at my phone and looked back up at the road then the other set of directions is, so
your goal is to make your outline look more visually appealing whatever works
for you, so that it’s easy to read and that you
can follow it well enough. Another thing is some people like to put
their outlines onto note cards I don’t have any objection to this I
think this can be a good strategy I personally don’t like to do it just
because I like to type my handwriting messy I can use again the
word processor makings bolder make a bigger font or highlight things
it’s just easier for me to type it, but you’re welcome to use note cards if
you want to, but here’s some things you don’t want to do. You don’t want to use your phone
sometimes I will have a student get up with their speeh on their phone its little its this little
screen you having to hold up to your face or lean down over it scroll around it just looks strange
don’t do that. Laptop are not quite as bad, but it’s
still not good first of all you’re doing more scrolling
around then you probably thought you were going to you’ve got this barrier you’ve created
between you and your audience with the laptop screen folded up there and then you’re stuck in one place you
can’t move around in a because you have to stay right there behind your screen. A tablet is a happy medium between the
two and I’ve seen tablets work okay again you’ve got this scrolling around
thing and while I love love love my iPad I don’t know sometimes accidentally
leave it on and it drains the battery I am just a fan of the good old piece paper
so, note cards, paper, tablet I think all of those
can work but you just gotta find what works best for you when you deliver your
speech, so to wrap it up I hope this
presentation has helped you put together figure out how to put together an
outline and understand that how an outline with
the rough draft helps you organize your ideas. Preparation outline can help you support
your speech and then ultimately that speakers outline is going to help you
deliver a good conversational speech where you can make eye contact with your
audience. Good luck!

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