Introduction to Outlining Your Speech

Close up of a map with pins in it

Like maps, outlines offer a simplified overview of the ground we want to cover.

While it is possible to read every detail of a speech out loud, an outline is an effective way to whittle down the speech information into malleable chunks. These chunks help both the audience and the speaker. The audience appreciates the clear organization of the information, while the speaker benefits from a simplified structure that helps them recall small sections at a time. When well-organized, a speech is not only easy to follow, but also memorable. In this section, you will learn how to write a speech outline and then identify the ideal presentation style for any particular speaking situation.