What are the different types of outline methods for speeches and is there any one better than the others?

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There are many different ways of organizing a speech, although there is no singular "best" way to do so. Let's look at a few methods:

  • Causal Organization: A causally organized speech is one that attempts to persuade the listener by establishing a "cause and effect" relationship between two variables. It can be organized by cause first and effect second or effect first and cause second. It is best to use this type of organization when you are trying to illustrate a connection between two things, one which depends on the other. 
  • Chronological Organization: A chronologically organized speech is one that is organized in a temporal sequence. It is best to use this type of organization when your topic involves some sort of procedural ("how to") or historical topic. 
  • Topical Organization: A topically organized speech is one that organizes your topics into subtopics. It is a fairly general pattern of organization that can easily be applied to any number of topics.
  • Problem-Solution Organization: A speech organized in this manner attempts to persuade a listener that a problem exists and that there is a solution to this problem. In this organization, the speech writer first describes the seriousness of the problem and then articulates how this problem can be solved.
  • Spatial Organization: A speech organized spatially attempts to explain the geographic or directional relationships between points.

Choosing which pattern you want to use is dependent upon the topic and objective of your speech. Take some time to review the above approaches and decide which one would best fit your topic!

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