In this exercise, you will learn:
- The difference between a topic and a point
- How to come up with a point based on simple research
- How to eliminate information that strays from your point
“Skateboarding” isn’t a point—it’s a topic. You can’t use examples or evidence to convince the audience that “Skateboarding.” You can use examples and evidence to convince the audience of a point, for example, “We should prohibit skateboarding in the square of our town.” A point is always a full sentence and can be supported or proven using examples and evidence. A point will always fit into the following blank: “I will show that________________________________________________________.” (You can’t leave “that” out for this to work. You need all four words, “I will show that.”)
Interview one of your classmates or someone else whom you’d like to know better. Take notes.
Come up with one sentence that summarizes the impression you got of the person, but don’t tell your partner! Surprise them when you introduce them to the class. For example: “Bob loves cars,” or “Sally is a fun person.” It should make sense when you write it in the blank: I will show that__________________________________________________________. Whatever you wrote in the blank is your point. (Make sure it’s a single point—no “and” or “as well as” in the point.)
Introduce the person you interviewed to the class. Say the sentence that you wrote in the blank above at the beginning and at the end.
Here’s the catch: everything you say about the person must explain why the point is true. For example, if your point is, “Sally is a fun person,” don’t tell us that she has three kids unless you explain how having three kids contributes to her being fun.
Your introduction must contain three examples of the point–no more no less.
Saul is an big fan of auto racing. He saved all his money as a teenager to take a trip to the Indy 500. He has six posters in his room, all of famous auto racers. He pays extra for a special cable channel that carries auto racing all the time. Saul is a big fan of auto racing.
Type out the basics of what you said in class as you introduced your classmate and submit it via Blackboard. (This should be about five sentences long.)
Congratulations—you’ve just given your first speech. That didn’t hurt, did it?