Get Organized!

Your guide to speech and presentation organization.

Real Life Examples April 23, 2013

Example 1:

Imagine you are an doctor in the trauma department giving a speech about the necessity to treat injured patients in traumatic shock…

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The following is an excellent example of an outline for a short speech on trauma.

Thesis: Traumatic shock is a dangerous condition for which every injured person should be treated

(Why? Because)

  1. Traumatic shock is potentially fatal.  (What do you mean?)
    1. Shock is a substantial reduction in the vital functions of the body caused by a decrease in the volume of circulating blood (defines and explains shock)
    2. If shock is allowed to persists, the person will die (details results of shock on an injured person)
  2. Traumatic shock can result from almost any injury
    1. Common household accidents can produce shock
    2. Psychological factors may speed the onset of shock
  3. Traumatic shock has no reliable indications that it is present
    1. The symptoms of shock can be misinterpreted or misunderstood
    2. A person can experience shock without showing any of the usual symptoms
  4. Traumatic shock can be treated simply.  (feasibility)
    1. Keep the person in a prone position
    2. Keep the person warm but not over heated
    3. Try to reduce contributing psychological factors reassurance

Why this is a good outline for a speech:

  • Leaves out a number of things that happened in the actual presentation
  • Divides the topic and explains its dimensions
  • Main points prove that the thesis is true
  • Similar wording of main points aids the audience in understanding

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Example 2:

Your closet may be an example of a topical structure, organized by parts.  You could take color as your “topic” and separate the shirts accordingly.

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Topical structures also often use different perspectives to explore a subject.  Commonly recognized divisions — such as the Republican versus the Democratic stance on an issue — can be applied to a wide variety of topics.

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Example 3:

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Most books are organized using a sequence structures, presenting ideas based on order.

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History books typically employ chronological organization, ordering information based on time.

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world-atlas

 ←  An atlas is an example of spatial organization, with the order based on  geographic location (such as country or region).

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Most story books employ a narrative structure, revealing a moral or message gradually within the plot of a story.   →

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Example 4:

Many advertisements use logical structures.  For instance, this commercial employes a compare and contrast scheme to promote Pepsi over Coke:

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The problem and solution format is also very common for advertisements.  The example below first shows the problem of having an over active bladder and then presents Detrol as the solution:

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Advertisements for drugs also often exemplify the pro and con structure of organization.  Commercials such as the one below state both the benefits of taking a drug but also potential side effects:

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Finally, one can often see cause and effect in ads.  In this advertisement for Axe, the body spray is the cause that leads to the effect of attracting women:

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Example 5:

Infomercials are often a good place to spot Monroe’s Motivate Sequence.  Can you identify each part of the sequence (attention, need, satisfaction, visualization, action) in the Snuggie video below?

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