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Checklist for a Full-Sentence Outline

· The outline begins with a title.

· The specific purpose is clearly stated in one complete sentence.

· The central idea (thesis statement) is clear and concise and no more than one sentence.

· The Introduction, body and conclusion are clearly labeled.

· Roman number 1 clearly establishes a general idea about the speech and supports the central idea.

· The main points focus on the most important ideas of my topic.

· Each main point contains one distinct idea.

· Each main point is stated in one complete sentence.

· Each main point is supported by support material (facts, statistics, examples etc.) which are listed as subpoints.

· Each subpoint refers specifically to the main point it supports.

· The subpoints are more specific than the main point it follows.

· The conclusion contains a review that reinforces the central idea.

· Each part of the outline is in FULL SENTENCE FORM.

· The outline includes in text citation.

· For all outside sources used, references are listed alphabetically in APA 6th edition format.

Taken in part from Osborn & Osborn, (1997). Public Speaking. (4th edition). Boston, Mass: Houghton Mifflin, Co.

Name of Student

Fall 2010

Speech Outline

Title of Speech: Outlining Your Speech

General Purpose: The broad objective, To Inform

Specific Purpose: The precise goal that a speaker wants to achieve. To inform my audience on how to create a proper outline for future speeches.

Central Idea/Thesis Statement: The key concept of your speech. Outlining your speech correctly is essential to having a cohesive, organized speech and will result in you getting a good grade on your outline and speech.


IAttention Material

A. Do you know what an attention-getter is? This is the first part of your introduction and is designed to capture audience interest.

1. Ask a question

2. Shock, surprise or intrigue your listeners

3. Cite a Quotation

4. Arouse Curiosity

5. Provide a Visual Aid

6. Give an incentive to listen

II. Orienting Material – gives listeners the information they need to fully understand and believe the rest of the speech.

A. Tie to the Audience. Your grade will suffer if your outline is incorrect.

B. Establish credibility. As your instructor, I want to ensure everyone understands what I expect for an outline on future assignments.

C. Central idea/thesis statement. Outlining your speech correctly is essential to having a cohesive, organized speech and will result in you getting a good grade on your outline and speech.

D. Preview the body (main points) of the speech. First, I am going to tell you how to label sections of your outline. Next, I will tell you what the content of your outline should include. Finally, I will give some tips on how to further organize your speech ideas.

(Transition: Let’s now focus our attention on labeling the sections of your outline.)


I. Main Point 1: Proper labeling will aid you in gaining full points for your full sentence outline.

A. You should label your introduction, body and conclusion.

1. Labeling the introduction of your document should include the attention material and orienting material.

2. Labeling the body of your document should include labeling your main points.

3. Labeling the conclusion of your outline includes the summary and clincher.

B. Next, you should label your transitions.

1. According to your textbook, The Essential Elements of Public Speaking , transitions should be in three crucial places.

a. Between the introduction and body

b. Between the main points in the body

c. Between the body and conclusion

C. Proper labeling and format guarantees your instructor’s ability to distinguish between the ideas and sections of your outline.

(Transition: Now I have informed you on how to label your outline, I will tell you what the content of your outline should include).

II. Main Point 2: The content of your outline should parallel very closely to your speech.

A. You should outline your introduction, body and conclusion.

1. As a reminder, a complete-sentence outline is a systematic arrangement of ideas, using complete sentences for headings and subheadings.

B. You should have 2-4 assertions (main ideas) with support material for each main idea (Your Instructor Knows Best).

1. Support materials are elements that illustrate or substantiate a point.

a. They explain, illustrate, or reinforce your message.

b. Some examples include: definition, vivid image, example, narrative, comparison and contrast, analogy, testimony and statistics.

2. Support material also helps you establish credibility.

a. Credibility is the audience’s perception of a speaker as believable and competent.

b. You must give credit to the sources of your information in your speech and outline (This helps your instructor when looking for your sources during your speech).

3. If you don’t develop each of you main ideas in full sentence form, your grade will suffer.

C. Your outline should also include your transitions, references and a works cited page.

1. If you use visual aids, include a brief description at the end of the outline.

(Transition: Since I have told you what your outline should include, now I am going to give you some tips on how to better organize your outline.)

III. Main Point 3: The better organized you are in developing and presenting your speech ideas, the more effective your message will be.

A. Organization increases the probability that listeners will pay attention and remember your message.

1. Public Speaking instructor, Megan S. Sparks states, “Following this example outline will not only be helpful for you as the speaker but it will also benefit your listeners.”

B. Characteristics of good speech organization are: clarity and simplicity.

1. The language should be basic and easy to understand.

2. Using jargon can confuse your audience, thus limiting your effectiveness.

3. If it is necessary for some reason, you can define terms important to the concept of the speech.

C. Develop ideas in a reasonable and logical way.

1. You should have 2-4 main points.

2. There is only one main idea for each main point and the supporting ideas contribute clearly to that single point.

3. Supporting the ideas should give listeners reasons to accept the major point and should always answer the question, “Why?”

a. You should have at least two supporting points for each main point.

(Transition: I’d like to review.)


I. Summary

A. Signal of end: In conclusion, today I have informed you on how to effectively outline a speech in this class.

B. Summarize main points. I have shared with you how to label your outline properly, what should be included in the content of the outline and gave some tips on how to organize your speech for effectiveness.

II. Clincher/Tie to audience- final thought that drives home the central idea.

A. Use this template on current and future speeches to assist in quality and effective speaking. Don’t discount the importance of organization and clarity in public speaking. I hope you have paid attention to your lectures and this outline because this will help you get a good grade on your next speech!

Reference Page: Everyone should properly cite sources. I gave you a hand out on APA style. Your book also includes examples of APA style in your book on pages 121-122.

Visual Aids: If you use visual aids, you should briefly describe them in your outline.



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