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A demonstration speech or process speech presents an opportunity for the student to really shine. The topic chosen should be something that the speaker likes or knows about...but more importantly, will keep the audience interested. That must be the deciding factor in choosing that subject for this speech.
As always, the speaker must have the ever present goal of being succinct in what he says. Follow an organized outline or in this case procedure.
The possible choices for topics from which to choose are numerous. This is a good list for a male speaker:
How to carve a pumpkin
How to prevent injuries
How to shine shoes
How to groom a dog
How to fix a tire
How to sack groceries
How to milk a cow
How to recycle
How to use the Heimlich Maneuver
How to shave
How to pack a suitcase
How to fillet a fish
How to make a sub sandwich
How to swing a golf club
Here is an example of a process outline for how to take your blood pressure at home.
Central Idea: Blood pressure is a vital sign that can be measured by utilizing three important steps
Introduction: Define blood pressure. Give an example of the importance of knowing what your normal blood pressure is and how someone almost died from hypertension. Give a statistic about how many people are affected by high blood pressure. [It affects over 35 million people, approximately one out of 4 American adults.]
Give your thesis statement: Today, I will demonstrate the three steps of measuring blood pressure: gathering the materials, following a specific procedure, and interpreting the blood pressure reading.
A. Gather needed materials
- Home version of a sphygmomanometer with a gauge and a cuff
B. Four steps for taking blood pressure
- The special cuff is wrapped snugly, with the bottom of the cuff just above the antecubital space.
- The gauge of the sphygmomanometer is placed for easy visibility of the dial.
- The stethoscope diaphragm is placed over the brachial artery.
- The pump valve is closed and the cuff is inflated, then released slowly to obtain a reading.
C. A blood pressure reading is usually expressed in two figures:
- The top figure (systolic) is a measure of the pumping action of the heart muscle itself.
- The bottom figure (diastolic) indicates the ability of the arterial system to accept the blood forced into the system.
- Normal blood pressure is 120/80 for the ages 18-45.
It is estimated that about half of the nation's hypertensives are undetected. One problem is that, unlike a toothache or backache, high or low blood pressure doesn't usually produce symptoms. People may not know they have either until it begins to cause trouble with the heart, brain, or kidneys. Checking one's blood pressure should be a part of every regular physical examination. Also, the American Red Cross offers a "vital signs" course that lasts about 2 or 3 hours. Blood pressure measurement is included in this course. I urge you to put forth the extra time and the little effort needed to help yourself live a long, healthy life; watch your blood pressure!
This sample speech would have had several visuals used in the speech. In addition, one of the other students woud have been used in taking the blood pressure. At the end of the speech, the student would have handed out the procedure to follow on a handout for each of the other students.
Any of the subjects above could follow this outline and have a visual to accompany the speech. Try to have something to give the other students at the end of the speech.
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