Speech Plan 2 – Outline

Plan a five-minute speech about anything that really matters to you (that’s generally civil to your classmates and PG or G-rated). Apply everything you’ve learned.

Your presentation must include a thesis and two to four supporting points.

Each point must be supported by a minimum of three sources/pieces of evidence:

  1. story
  2. statisitic or expert testimony
  3. Story, statistic, or expert testimony.

The sources must be varied–a minimum of three different sources per point.

The presentation will be delivered conversationally from your outline (no reading from a word-for-word script or memorizing).

IMPORTANT TIP: 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.

To receive credit for this outline – you must receive instructor input and a number grade at least 24 hours before the speech is due.

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

Somewhere in the outline in red, include one (ETHOS), one (PATHOS), two (ANTICIPATE OBJECTIONS), two (AUDIENCE ADAPTATION), and two (CHOOSE WORDS WITH EFFECTIVE CONNOTATION).

Note: Your audience consists of college students who live in the Janesville area, so for audience adaptation, include one item in your speech about a college student (or about being a college student), and include one item about Janesville or the surrounding area.

Don’t forget, you need:
Two to four supporting points.
Three different, persuasive sources for each point.
At least one story for each point. (A story is one thing that happened one time to one person, team, village etc.)




ATTENTION-GETTER: Close your eyes…concentration on your breathing…good air in…bad air out… Depression can be like carrying an elephant. (rather than “depression can be difficult” CHOOSE WORDS WITH EFFECTIVE CONNOTATION)

BACKGROUND: I struggled with depression but meditation has helped a ton (ETHOS)

DEFINITIONS: Depression is a word that’s used a lot but according to the American Psychological Association…

STATE POINTS (PREVIEW): Meditation can help people overcome (rather than “be cured of” CHOOSE WORDS WITH EFFECTIVE CONNOTATION) depression and lower blood pressure.

THESIS: Meditation has important uses.


Supporting Point 1 –  You might think that nothing but medication can help serious depression (ANTICIPATE OBJECTIONS) but meditation can make a huge difference.

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 story – College student (AUDIENCE ADAPTATION), Jim Triniston, nearly flunks out his last semester at the University of Nevada because of depression but overcomes it using meditation. Before meditation, he had created a noose to hang himself but walked past a flyer on a campus kiosk advertising a meditation group and decided to try it first. (PATHOS)
Source – Newsweek, 2016

Evidence expert testimony – Burdette Peters, a therapist who works for Mercy Options, says that he has seen many patients control depression with meditation.
Source – Time, 2017

Transition: Now that you understand how meditation can alleviate depression, you might think that it can’t do much for your physical health, but…(ANTICIPATE OBJECTIONS)

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 statistic – A study in Finland found that males over 40 diagnosed with moderate artery blockage were able to reduce the amount of blood pressure medication needed by 50% though meditating three times a week for one year.
Source – US News and World Report, 2015


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… There is a meditation group that meets once a week at Common Grounds Coffee Shop in Janesville. Their next meeting is this Friday at 7 p.m. (AUDIENCE ADAPTATION)

Speech Plan 2 Outline 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?
  • 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”)?