A Proposition of Fact
Speech makes a persuasive argument about a controversial topic of social or
This speech requires you to use all that you’ve learned this
semester. It is also the most difficult type of speech to deliver, in that you may be asking your audience to change long
held beliefs and opinions.
Now, you get to take
the soapbox, and argue about what keeps you awake at night, or yelling at the television.
Your speech will take
a position and make an argument. You will use your opinion, yes, but it will have become a learned opinion, as a result of
your research and reading.
But, isn’t a
fact –well--a fact? When people disagree, isn’t it really just a matter of one not knowing the truth?
Consider two medical doctors–each went to the same medical school,
received the same scores on state boards, and has comparable positions at local hospitals. Yet, one believes that life begins
at birth (pro-choice); while the other believes that life begins at conception (pro-life). When experts disagree about facts
(and values), we have propositional arguments, in which facts are used to support claims, and the facts themselves
are often in dispute. In this speech, you will make an argument about a serious problem, addressing the effects and causes
of the problem.
The areas of controversy for your topic will be found
in the causes and effects of the problem. Each topic, however, will have different areas of controversy. For
example most agree about the effects of juvenile crime or unemployment, but we might disagree about the causes.
Make sure you distinguish between primary and secondary causes.
For juvenile violence you will admit that there are other causes than those you’ve selected, but your causes are more
important (primary) than the others (secondary)
I Smart people disagree with my position. Should I
ignore them? Joke about them?
NO–you want to acknowledge that smart people disagree with you.
Then, respectfully demonstrate how they are incorrect in their conclusions. Anticipate objections in your speech.
Your surveys and research should guide you.
JDemonstrate Rhetorical sensitivity — the speech should be about the audience’s relationship to the subject, and only
secondly, about your relationship to the subject. Use pronouns "you", "yours", "our" "we." Ask the audience to imagine themselves
in the examples you use. Use rhetorical questions to shape the audience’s thinking.
MDon’t use all of the research you have found — only the very strongest information should appear in your speeches.
C Use all three
types of evidence:
@ Demonstrate Clear Organization
Body — the bulk of your speech.
Your Main Points match your preview; Transitions separate Main points
Conclusion-signals the end, recap matches preview
OTHER IMPORTANT GUIDELINES
==Time: 6-8 minutes
==Organization: Causes-Effects (of the stated social/political problem)
==Cite 4 sources DURING the speech
==TYPED Outline must be handed in on the day of the speech, BEFORE you may give your speech.
Be sure you REVIEW the Checklist
from the Informative Speech!
Oh NO, I still can’t
get started….What should I do???
After you have researched
the topic, and you are overwhelmed with materials, you need to take a step backward and ask yourself these two very general
What is my Specific Purpose? To persuade my audience that _____ is a serious problem.
What is my Central Idea?
_______ is a serious problem because it has _____ effects, and is
caused by _________.