Creating an outline provides a speech with a skeleton and foundation from which to prepare spoken remarks. The outline does not represent a transcript of what the speaker will say, though. Creating a transcript for a speech only works for those attempting a memorized or scripted talk, not an extemporaneous speech, the focused style of speaking this book recommends. Extemporaneous speakers start with a basic plan (the outline) and then prepare for a free-flowing, yet guided conversation with the audience using that outline as the plan.
The outline covered in this book identifies five-essential components: introduction, three main points, and a conclusion. Within the introduction step, the speaker should incorporate four primary components: 1) the attention getter, 2) relate to audience, 3) establish credibility/relate to self, and 4) the core of the speech, which consists of the central idea and preview of main points. The body of the speech consists of three main points, each of which is supported by a minimum of two subpoints. Between each main point, the speaker should use smooth and seamless transitions. The conclusion of the speech consists of three parts: 1) signal the end, 2) briefly recap the main points, and 3) conclude with a clincher that reinforces the central idea.
Speaker should write outlines in such a way as to capture the essence of what they intend to say to the audience. Ideally, create an outline for a speech that could be redelivered to multiple audiences over great periods of time. While the phraseology and elaboration of points may differ slightly, the outline provides speakers with the core message of that presentation, so that they can effectively deliver the same essential information to a variety of audiences.
This chapter concludes with some sample course outlines. Note how each incorporate the basic elements of planning an extemporaneous speech.