Writing a topic outline. An outline is an important tool for you
to use to create your speeches. an outline is like a blueprint that a
builder uses when he builds a house. a builder follows a plan in order to avoid
mistakes and to have the finished product turn out the way it should. an
outline helps you organize your thoughts and prevents you from rambling. a topic
outline is a systematic arrangement of ideas using words and phrases for
headings and subheadings. in the standard system of subdividing,
you mark your main points with Roman numerals 1 2 3 etc
indent the next level of supporting materials underneath and mark with
capital letters a B C etc. go to Arabic numerals 1 2 3 etc in the
second level subdivision, use small letters next in the
third-level subdivision, use parentheses with numbers and letters
if you need to be more detailed. each time you subdivide a point you
indent. each heading should have at least two
subdivisions or none at all. for every A you need a B, for every 1 you need a 2.
generally outlines have the following parts: objectives, general purpose,: state
whether you are going to inform, to persuade, or to entertain.
specific purpose: state what you plan to inform to persuade or to entertain the
audience about. central idea: state in a sentence what you want your audience to
remember or the point you want to get across. title: your outline should have a
title but you do not actually say the title in your speech.
purposes and central idea. include these statements in your outline to keep
focused on your speaking tasks. introduction and conclusion: these
elements are so important in a speech that they deserve special attention.
these elements are independent of the body of the speech and have their own
numbering sequence. body: each main point is identified by
Roman numerals. transitions: transitions are words,
phrases, or sentences that help the listener understand the logical
connections between ideas and thoughts, transitions are labeled and placed in
parentheses, transitions are not included in the numbering system of the outline. bibliography: this section lists the sources that you
used in preparing the speech. use a standard format. visual aids: briefly describe the visual
aids you plan to use. This completes this learning activity,
Writing a topic outline.