Glossary and References


Chronological Speech A speech in which the main points are delivered according to when they happened and could be traced on a calendar or clock.
Comparative Speech A speech in which two or more objects, ideas, beliefs, events, places, or things are compared or contrasted with one another.
Causal Speech A speech that informs audience members about causes and effects that have already happened.
General Purpose Statement The overarching goal of a speech; for instance, to inform, to persuade, to inspire, to celebrate, to mourn, or to entertain.
Internal Previews Short descriptions of what a speaker will do and say during a speech; may be at the beginning and within the body of a speech.
Main Points The key pieces of information or arguments contained within a talk or presentation.
Monroe’s Motivated Sequence An organization style that is designed to motivate the audience to take a particular action and is characterized by a five-step sequence: (1) attention, (2) need, (3) satisfaction, (4), visualization, and (5) action appeal.
Organizational Styles Templates for organizing the main points of a speech that are rooted in traditions of public discourse and can jumpstart the speechwriting process.
Outline Hierarchal textual arrangement of all the various elements of a speech.
Parallel Structure Main points that are worded using the same structure.
Preparation Outline A full-sentence outline that is used during the planning stages to flesh out ideas, arrange main points, and to rehearse the speech; could be used as a script if presenting a manuscript style speech.
Problem-Solution Speech A speech in which problems and solutions are presented alongside one another with a clear link between a problem and its solution.
Refutation Speech A speech that anticipates the audience’s opposition, then brings attention to the tensions between the two sides, and finally refutes them using evidential support.
Rhetorical Situation According to Lloyd Bitzer, “a complex of persons, events, objects, and relations presenting an actual or potential exigence which can be completely or partially removed if discourse, introduced into the situation, can so constrain human decision or action as to bring about the significant modification of the exigence” (1968, p. 6).
Signposts According to Beebe and Beebe, “words and gestures that allow you to move smoothly from one idea to the next throughout your speech, showing relationships between ideas and emphasizing important points” (2005, p. 204).
Spatial Speech A speech in which the main points are arranged according to their physical and geographic relationships.
Speaking Outline A succinct outline that uses words or short phrases to represent the components of a speech and that is used during speech delivery.
Specific Purpose Statement A sentence or two that describe precisely what the speech is intended to do.
Sub-Points Information that is used to support the main points of a speech.
Summaries Short recaps of what has already been said; used to remind the audience of the points already addressed.
Thesis Statement A one- or two-sentence encapsulation of the main points of a speech, also called the central idea.
Topical Speech A speech in which main points are developed separately and are generally connected together within the introduction and conclusion.
Transitional Statements Phrases or sentences that lead from one distinct-but-connected idea to another.


Beebe, S. A. & Beebe, S. J. (2003). The public speaking handbook (5th edition). Boston: Pearson.

Bower, G. H. (1990). Organizational factors in memory. Cognitive Psychology, 1, 18-46.

Bitzer, L. (1968). The rhetorical situation. Philosophy & Rhetoric, 1(1), 1-14.

Lucas, Stephen E. (2004). The art of public speaking (8th edition). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Monroe, A. H. (1949). Principles and types of speech. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman and Company.

O’Hair, D., Stewart, R., Rubenstein, H. (2004). A speaker’s guidebook: Text and reference (2nd edition). Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Verderber, R. F., Verderber, K. S., & Sellnow, D. D. (2008). The challenge of effective speaking (14th edition). Belmont, CA: Thomson Learning.

Zarefsky, D. (2010). Public speaking: Strategies for success (6th edition). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

photo credits

p. 3 Bog Turtle by R.G. Tucker ning.jpg

p. 4 Oscar Mayer Wienermobile byJalopnik of-the-wienermobile/gallery/1

p. 4 Mac vs PC c.pc.users/t1larg.mac.pc.2.jpg

p. 5 Rio Nido Mudslide by Dave Gately _1337_-_Photograph_by_Dave_Gatley_taken_on_03-01- 1998_in_California.jpg

p. 8 Rainbow Trout by Jonathunder

p. 8 Mayor Carol Shafto by Michigan Municipal League 28314099/

p. 10 Maj. Gen John Nichols by Texas Military Forces 49970/