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LIT - SPCH 1315 - Public Speaking


There are two types of purposes: a general purpose and a specific purpose.

The general purpose is one of three options:  

  1. to inform: to share information with listeners by defining, describing, or explaining a thing, person, place, concept, process, or function.
  2. to persuade: to change or reinforce a listener's attitude, belief, value, or behavior.
  3. to entertain:  to help listeners have a good time by getting them to relax, smile, and laugh.

For more information about general purposes and a chance to check what you have learned:

The specific purpose requires two steps:

  1. identify a behavioral objective:  what do you want your audience to do after your speech
  2. formulate the specific purpose:  a goal statement that focuses your speech on the audience

More explanation on the topic of specific purposes:

Three guidelines for preparing your specific purpose:

  1. use words that refer to observable or measurable behavior
  2. limit the specific purpose to a single idea
  3. reflect the needs, interests, expectations, and level of knowledge of your audience

Having a specific purpose will help keep you on track while preparing your speech.