Why It Matters: Organizing and Outlining Your Speech

A cake photo sliced up and rearranged.

This photo of a cake has all the right information—it’s just in the wrong order.

Imagine a situation where you gathered all possible research for your speech topic and then didn’t bother to select which specific research to use or where to use it in your speech. What if you just recited facts in random order to your spectators? The audience would be pretty confused. This section surveys the multiple types of organizational patterns that can be used for all speech types and offers criteria to decide which ones might be most effective for the goals of your speech.

Being an organized speaker is one of the key components to keeping an audience engaged and listening. When an audience feels lost, they tune out and become distracted. Using a strategic approach to guiding an audience through a speech will help your listeners retain the information long after the speech ends.