Speech Plan 1

Plan a five-minute speech about anything that really matters to you. (The only limitation being that the speech must be generally G rated and civil.) Apply everything you’ve learned.  Your presentation must include a thesis and two to four supporting points.  Each point must be supported by three pieces of evidence: 1) a story, 2) a statistic or piece of expert testimony, and 3) a story or statistic or expert testimony. The sources must be varied–a minimum of three different sources per point.  You may have a personal story or experience you would like to share–do that! But the personal story doesn’t count as one of the pieces of evidence. (One of the main things you are learning is how to use evidence from beyond yourself to make a point.) The presentation will be delivered conversationally from your outline (no reading from a word-for-word script or memorizing).

IMPORTANT TIP: Pick a topic (such as “organ donation”). You must find evidence first; then let that evidence tell you what your points will be, and next let the points tell you what the thesis is (evidence -> points -> thesis).  If you to build it in the opposite direction (thesis -> points -> evidence) you will struggle to find evidence that fits your points.

Use these sources only.

An outline that earns all the possible points will:

  • be complete—contain all the evidence and points
  • be self explanatory—no additional explanation will be needed to clearly understand the points and evidence
  • include a clear citation of all sources
  • include a label for each point and piece of evidence (story, stat, etc.)
  • be laid out exactly like the example below


Sally Student
Speech Plan 1
Communication MW 2 p.m.


ATTENTION-GETTER: Close your eyes…concentration on your breathing…good air in…bad air out…

STATE POINTS (PREVIEW): Meditation can alleviate depression and lower blood pressure.

THESIS: Meditation has important uses.

Supporting Point 1 – Meditation can alleviate depression.
Evidence story – Mallory Sipowitz overcomes depression using solely meditation.
Source – Newsweek, 2009

Evidence statistic – 78% of patients who used meditation to overcome depression saw a statistically significant reduction in depressive symptoms.
Source – Journal of the American Medical Association, 2011

Evidence statistic – A study done in rural Ohio randomly split a group of 128 teens diagnosed with depression into two equal groups. The group meditated daily in addition to receiving traditional treatment saw a 56% decrease in depressive symptoms; whereas, those receiving only traditional treatments saw only a 30% decrease.
Source – Time, 2016

Transition: Now that you understand how meditation can alleviate depression, let’s look at how it can lower blood pressure.

Supporting Point 2 – Meditation can lower blood pressure.
Evidence story – Mary Smith lowered her blood pressure 10% simply by meditating.
Source – New York Times, 2014

Evidence statistic – In a recent study of 2500 hypertension patients, sufferers were able to lower their blood pressure by an average of 7.9% using only meditation.
Source – The Lancet, 2013

Evidence story – Magician David Thomas demonstrated his ability to lower his blood pressure over ten point through meditation on national television in May of 2015.
Source – Scientific American, 2016


THESIS: Meditation has important uses.
STATE POINTS (REVIEW): Meditation can alleviate depression and lower blood pressure.

Refer back to ATTENTION GETTER for closure: So the next time you see someone meditating…know that it actually does some good.

Speech Plan 1 self-check:


  • Is it a single idea (no “and” or and substitute like, “as well as”)?
  • Is it a complete sentence (fits into “I will show that_____________.”)?

Supporting Points

  • Are there two to four supporting points?
  • Does each point support the thesis?
  • Are they single ideas (no “and” or and substitute like, “as well as”)?
  • Are they complete sentences (fit into “I will show that_____________.”)?
  • Are they simply and similarly worded?
  • Are the supporting points separate—not overlapping?


  • Is the evidence summarized clearly and efficiently? (This is one of the hardest things to do well.  DO NOT just copy/paste the evidence from the source. Summarize it using very few words, just like the example.)
  • Did you include a story/detailed example for each supporting point?
  • Did you include a minimum of one other piece of evidence for each supporting point?
  • Are your sources varied—does your information come from several different places?
  • Are your sources compelling?  In other words are all the sources (or almost all) very recognizable, and do they all have a reputation for accuracy (New York Times for example) and credibility?
  • Have you avoided using the same source twice for the same point?
  • Does the evidence help prove the point?
  • Is the source cited?
  • Is the source cited in a way that will help convince the audience?
  • Is the name of the person or institution typed rather than the URL?(WRONG–>cdc.gov; CORRECT–> Centers for Disease Control, 2016.)
  • All sources are labeled with year?


  • Is your attention-getter a different than restating of the thesis and supporting points?
  • Does your attention-getter focus my attention on your speech topic?
  • Did you state the supporting points nearly word-for-word?
  • Did you state the thesis nearly word-for-word?


  • Did you state the thesis nearly word-for-word?
  • Did you state the supporting points nearly word-for-word?
  • Does your closing statement refer back to the attention-getter and create a feeling of closure?


  • Is your plan laid out like example?
  • Does your plan use all labels like the example. (E.g. “evidence story”)?