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LIT - SPCH 1315 - Public Speaking

Generating your Main ideas

Generate Main Ideas

After you develop the central idea, the next step in the speechmaking process is to generate main ideas. On this page, we'll:

  • Generate the main ideas for your speech
  • Formulate the preview statement.

It is important that you subdivide your speech into two, three, or four main ideas.

Consider these three questions:

  1. Does the central idea have logical divisions? "three types" or "four means"
  2. Can you think of several reasons why the central idea is true?
  3. Can you support your central idea with a series of steps or a chronological progression?

The divisions, reasons, or steps you discovered will become the main ideas of your speech.



Finding Logical Divisions

Here's an example:
The art of mehndi is a 5,000 year old tradition that has been used for artistic, medical, and mystical purposes.

The logical divisions in the above statement are artistic purposes, medical purposes, and mystical purposes.



Establishing Reasons

Here's an example:
Capital punishment should be illegal because it is discriminatory, inhumane, and not necessary.

The three reasons that will compose the speech are that capital punishment is discriminatory, capital punishment is inhumane, and capital punishment is not necessary.




Tracing Specific Steps

Here's an example:
Traveling to another country involves three steps, obtaining a passport, making travel plans, and learning about the language and culture of the country you will visit.


Copied and adapted by Karen B. Nichols from the following:
Pearson Allyn & Bacon.  (2010). The Speechmaking Wheel.