Chapter 6: Finding your topic

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*What is a good topic? (4)*
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1. Good topic must fit your assignment 2. involves you and your listeners 3. Invites you to find your voice and in the process, enrich the lives of your listeners with the new information or perspective 4. You can speak about responsibly, given the time allotted for the preparation and presentation of your speech
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What does it mean to have a good topic that involve you vs listeners (2)
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1. A topic that makes you feel passionate about 2. Ask yourself what are the audience’s interest and what is cared about or want to know more about a good topic is one you can manage
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The process of searching for the right topic (3)
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1. Discovery phase: you uncover promising topic areas 2. Exploration phase: you focus on specific speech topics within these areas 3. Refinement phase: you identify the general and specific purposes of speeches you might give on these topics and write out your thesis statements
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*Discovery phase (4)*
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1. Brainstorming: a technique that encourages free associations in the search for a topic area 2. Interest charts: a systematic projection of your own and audience interests 3. Topic area inventory chart: a 3 column list that helps you determine a possible speech topic by listing topics you and your listeners find interesting and matching them 4. Media and internet prompts: different sources that suggest ideas for speech topics
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Topic area
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1. broad subject that cover too much for speeches -not the actual topic for the speech -> need to focus and narrow
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*Exploration Phase (2)*
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1. Mind Mapping: changes customary patterns of thinking to encourage creative exploration 2. Topic Analysis: using questions to explore topic possibilities for speeches
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*Habitual patterns (2)*
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1. habitual patterns can prevent us from thinking fully and freely 2. So we use mind mapping instead
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*Refinement phase (3)*
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1. General purpose: The speaker’s intention to inform or persuade listeners or to celebrate some person or occasion 2. Specific purpose: the speaker’s particular goal or the response that the speaker wishes to evoke 3. Thesis statement: summarizes in a single sentence the central idea of your speech
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3 different purpose
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1. inform: to share knowledge with listeners 2. persuade: advise listeners how to believe or act and offer them reasons to follow such advice 3. celebration: important of an occasion, event or person often with intentions of amusing or inspiring listeners
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how to have an effective specific purpose
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1. States precisely what you want your listeners to understand, believe, feel or do -helps you direct your research so that you don’t have to waste time 2. promise new information or fresh advice 3. avoid the double focus trap -avoid saying \”and\” 4. avoid the triviality trap 5. Relevant, but avoid being bias
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*Thesis statement vs specific purpose*
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Specific purpose expresses what you want to accomplish but the thesis statement summarizes what you intend to say
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Hidden specific purpose
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The greater the hidden specific purpose and the thesis statement disclosed in the speech, the larger the ethical issue

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