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					Public Speaking

   Chapter 5: Selecting & Researching
              Your Topic
Objectives

    Upon completing this session, you will
     be able to:
      Select a topic
      Focus your topic

      Determine your purpose

      Develop a clear thesis statement

      Obtain responsible knowledge
Selecting & Researching Your Topic

    Chart Your Interests to Select Topic
        Perform 3 phases
         1.   Select the topic
                 Decide on a topic that fits both you and your
                  audience
                 List all and decide on most logical, given time,
                  audience, and environment
         2.   Determine your purpose
                 What do you need to communicate?
         3.   Acquire responsible knowledge
                 Research the topic
Selecting & Researching Your Topic


    Phase 1



    Phase 2

    Phase 3



                Public Speaking, 6th Ed., Osborne /Osborne, P. 121
Selecting & Researching Your Topic
 Finding a Good Topic for Your Speech
       Chart your
        personal interests
    See list: p. 122
       Browse Media for
        ideas if stumped
         Be careful,
          to summarize is
          to plagiarize


                             Figure 5.2 (Osborn / Osborn, 2003)
Selecting & Researching Your
Topic
     Match your interests to your audience
      My Interests       Audience Interests      Possible Topics
     Traveling/Hiking   Unusual places to go   Weekend adventures
                                                close to campus
Selecting & Researching Your Topic

    Focusing Your Topic
         Topics noted so far are … too broad
         Topics must be focused, especially short ones
             A speech is like a spotlight; the more focused it is,
              the more intense the light with a smaller area
              covered. (Sir Winston Churchill)
         To focus ask: What, why, when, how, where,
          and who.
         Example: What is environmental pollution?
          Why do we have it? When did it become a
          problem? How can we reduce it? Where are
          problems greatest? Who suffers from it?
Selecting & Researching Your Topic

    Evaluating Your Topic Selection
        Does it fit the assignment?
        Can I give a speech on this topic in the
         allotted time?
        Can I learn enough about this topic to
         give a responsible speech?
        Why would I want to speak on this topic.
        And…more importantly
            why would anyone want to hear about it?
Selecting & Researching Your Topic

    Topic Selected: Now Determine Your
     Purpose
        General Function: Inform? Persuade?
         Celebrate?
        Specific Purpose
            Example:
                Topic: National Parks
                General Function: To Inform
                Specific Purpose: To inform audience of the hiking
                 trails in the High Country
Selecting & Researching Your Topic

    Stating Your Specific Purpose
        Informative Example:
            Poor: Inform audience about the high country
            Better: Inform audience of the three most
             picturesque trails in the High Country
        Persuasive Example:
            Persuade audience to stay alert when driving
            Persuade audience that they should not talk on
             cell phone while driving
Selecting & Researching Your Topic

    The Thesis Statement
        The Thesis Statement usually reflects the Specific
         Purpose
            Example: Today I want to present to you the three most
             beautiful trails in the High Country
    The Preview
        The preview follows the thesis statement and
         signals the man points to be covered
            Example: First we will look at the Grandfather Profile
             Trail and then traverse the Linville Gorge and Virginia
             Creeper trails.
    Ethics Alert: Be careful not to mislead in your
     thesis and preview statements.
Selecting & Researching Your Topic

    Variations on the Thesis and Preview
     Statements
        The unstated Thesis
            As a device to involve the audience in
             discovering/formulating the thesis
                Careful: Make sure they form the thesis you intended.
        Thesis/Preview Combined
            This is where the Thesis leads naturally into the preview
             as a part of the introduction.
                Example: To introduce you to the many wonders of hiking
                 the High Country, today I would like to describe the three
                 picturesque trails: Profile, Gorge, and Creeper.
Selecting & Researching Your Topic

    Acquiring Responsible Knowledge
        Main issues
        What Respected authorities say
        Latest Developments
        Related local applications
    Delivering responsible Knowledge
     gives you audience something in return
     for their time
Selecting & Researching Your Topic

    Acquiring Responsible Knowledge
        Major sources are:
            Your own knowledge and experience
            The library
            The Internet
            Interviews
        Sources provide the following to support your
         speech
            Facts
            Testimony
            Examples
            Narratives
Selecting & Researching Your Topic

        Personal knowledge and experience
          Lack direct experience? Arrange to get some
              Visit site
              Interview
              Journal
        The Internet
          Learn to search productively
          Avoid getting caught up in entertainment of buzz
          Be sure to cite all information about the article you find
              Author and credentials
              Date posted/created
              URL
              Sponsoring source/site
              Bookmark the link
          Evaluate Internet Research results using the list on p.136
Selecting & Researching Your Topic

    Using the Resources of:
        Background Information Sources
        Access to Information Sources
        In-depth Information Sources
        Current Information Sources
        Local Information Sources
Selecting & Researching Your Topic

    Using the Resources of:
        Background Information Sources
            www.libraryspot.com links to most major
             encyclopedias
            www.oed.com for Oxford English Dictionary
            Dmoz.org/reference/dictionaries for list
Selecting & Researching Your Topic

    Using the Resources of:
        Background Information Sources
        Access to Information Sources
            Readers Guide to Periodical Literature
            Business Periodical Index
            Library of Congress Subject Headings
                Gives you the key terms by which to search the
                 indexes
            Search Engines on the internet
Selecting & Researching Your Topic

    Using the Resources of:
        Background Information Sources
        Access to Information Sources
        In-depth Information Sources
            Periodicals
            Books
            Book Review Index
            Journals
            See list at end of Chapter 5
                Remember to cite sources, give credit to originators of
                 ideas.
Selecting & Researching Your Topic

    Using the Resources of:
        Background Information Sources
        Access to Information Sources
        In-depth Information Sources
        Current Information Sources
            The internet
                Log onto local papers
                www.ecola.com list newspapers online
            The Library
                Facts on File (A weekly Publication)
Selecting & Researching Your Topic

    Using the Resources of:
        Background Information Sources
        Access to Information Sources
        In-depth Information Sources
        Current Information Sources
        Local Information Sources
            Library
                Vertical file of Newspaper Clippings pamphlets, and other
                 materials about local people and issues
                Local newspaper archives
                Ecola newsstand at www.ecola.com/archive/press
Selecting & Researching Your Topic

    Interviewing for Information
        Excellent source of facts, testimony, examples,
         and stories
            Problem: If you don’t know much about the subject you
             may not be able to properly evaluate what you hear.
            In general the benefits outweigh the drawbacks
        To get good sources, check you local library
         clippings or newspaper archives for good local
         interview candidates
            Don’t forget campus sources: Expert professors & staff
        You can interview on the telephone, via mail or e-
         mail but face-to-face is best
Selecting & Researching Your Topic

    Making Contact
        Write a letter explaining why you want to interview
         them
        Send an e-mail
    Prepare for the interview
        Complete library and Internet research first
        Write out interview questions ahead of time
            Make sure responses will be relevant
            Make them opened ended rather than closed ended
            Design in a sequence so that they guide a line of
             thought
Selecting & Researching Your Topic

    Preparing Your Interview (contd.)
        If so then structure
        Word questions so as not to be abrasive or
         provoking
    How to record the answers
        Recording avoids later misquotes or
         misunderstandings but …
            Must ask permission
            Some people just freeze up or won’t allow
        Take good notes and ask for clarification when in
         doubt
Selecting & Researching Your Topic
    Conducting The Interview
        Arrive on time and well prepared
        Dress appropriately and with respect to person
         being interviewed
            Shows you take this interview and your task seriously
        Let the expert do most of the talking
        Adapt to the flow of the conversation
        Be alert for opportunities to follow up. Use:
            Probes-Questions that as a person to elaborate on a
             response
            Mirror questions-Reflect back a part of the response to
             encourage further discussion.
Selecting & Researching Your Topic
    Conducting The Interview
        Arrive on time and Dress appropriately
            Shows you take this interview and your task seriously
        Let the expert do most of the talking
        Adapt to the flow of the conversation
        Be alert for opportunities to follow up. Use:
            Probes-Questions that ask a person to elaborate
            Mirror questions-Reflect back a part of the response to
             encourage further discussion.
            Verifiers – Confirms the meaning of something said
            Reinforcer – Encourages the person to expand further.
                Smiles, nods or phrases such as, “I see.”
Selecting & Researching Your Topic
    Buttoning Things Up
        Verify the quotes you intend to use with the
         person so that you don’t misquote
        After the interview, find a quiet place to go over
         your notes and make sure you clarify them while
         the discussion is fresh in your mind
        Place all possible content on note cards to:
            Have all you need and more to finally construct speech
            Handle and sort categories
            Source cards: Contain standard bibliographic information
            Information cards: Hold facts, figures, examples or
             quotations
Selecting & Researching Your Topic
    Testing Information
        Does this source contain helpful and relevant
         information?
        Does it cite experts who I can quote to support
         my position?
        Are there interesting, clarifying examples?
        Are there stories that will enliven my topic?
        Is the information and are the sources
            Reliable, trustworthy, and in agreement?
            Thorough? Keep searching until no longer surprised
            Recent?
            Precise: Accurate for where and when you speak?
Summary

  Having completed this session, you
  are able to:
    Select a topic
    Focus your topic

    Determine your purpose

    Develop a clear thesis statement

    Obtain responsible knowledge

				
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posted:5/17/2012
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