What are the three parts in order of a specific purpose statement?

Before any work can be done on crafting the body of your speech or presentation, you must first do some prep work—selecting a topic, formulating a general purpose, a specific purpose statement, and crafting a central idea, or thesis statement. In doing so, you lay the foundation for your speech by making important decisions about what you will speak about and for what purpose you will speak. These decisions will influence and guide the entire speechwriting process, so it is wise to think carefully and critically during these beginning stages.

Selecting a Topic

Generally, speakers focus on one or more interrelated topics—relatively broad concepts, ideas, or problems that are relevant for particular audiences. The most common way that speakers discover topics is by simply observing what is happening around them—at their school, in their local government, or around the world. Student government leaders, for example, speak or write to other students when their campus is facing tuition or fee increases, or when students have achieved something spectacular, like lobbying campus administrators for lower student fees and succeeding. In either case, it is the situation that makes their speeches appropriate and useful for their audience of students and university employees. More importantly, they speak when there is an opportunity to change a university policy or to alter the way students think or behave in relation to a particular event on campus.

But you need not run for president or student government in order to give a meaningful speech. On the contrary, opportunities abound for those interested in engaging speech as a tool for change. Perhaps the simplest way to find a topic is to ask yourself a few questions, including:

• What important events are occurring locally, nationally and internationally?
• What do I care about most?
• Is there someone or something I can advocate for?
• What makes me angry/happy?
• What beliefs/attitudes do I want to share?
• Is there some information the audience needs to know?

Students speak about what is interesting to them and their audiences. What topics do you think are relevant today? There are other questions you might ask yourself, too, but these should lead you to at least a few topical choices. The most important work that these questions do is to locate topics within your pre-existing sphere of knowledge and interest. David Zarefsky (2010) also identifies brainstorming as a way to develop speech topics, a strategy that can be helpful if the questions listed above did not yield an appropriate or interesting topic. Starting with a topic you are already interested in will likely make writing and presenting your speech a more enjoyable and meaningful experience. It means that your entire speechwriting process will focus on something you find important and that you can present this information to people who stand to benefit from your speech.

Once you have answered these questions and narrowed your responses, you are still not done selecting your topic. For instance, you might have decided that you really care about breeds of dogs. This is a very broad topic and could easily lead to a dozen different speeches. To resolve this problem, speakers must also consider the audience to whom they will speak, the scope of their presentation, and the outcome they wish to achieve.

Formulating the Purpose Statements

By honing in on a very specific topic, you begin the work of formulating your purpose statement. In short, a purpose statement clearly states what it is you would like to achieve. Purpose statements are especially helpful for guiding you as you prepare your speech. When deciding which main points, facts, and examples to include, you should simply ask yourself whether they are relevant not only to the topic you have selected, but also whether they support the goal you outlined in your purpose statement. The general purpose statement of a speech may be to inform, to persuade, to celebrate, or to entertain. Thus, it is common to frame a specific purpose statement around one of these goals. According to O’Hair, Stewart, and Rubenstein, a specific purpose statement “expresses both the topic and the general speech purpose in action form and in terms of the specific objectives you hope to achieve" (O'Hair, Stewart, & Rubenstein, 2004)

Critique: too vague and broad. No clear expectation of what the reader will learn. Questions: What specific changes in corporate America will be described? What types of changes? What aspects of corporate America will be discussed? Will this paper also discuss the effects of these changes?

(2) "The purpose of this report is to discuss the eating disorders Anorexia and Bulimia."

Critique: too vague and broad. It is not clear what aspect of these disorders will be discussed, or what the reader will learn. Questions: What specific aspects of these eating disorders will be discussed? The causes of these disorders? The signs or symptoms of these disorders? The effects of these disorders? If so, what types of effects - physical, emotional, psychological?

(3) "This article will cover the different ways a company can become organized."

Critique: obscure and misleading. It is not clear what is meant by "different ways" or "become organized." These terms are vaguely stated and ambiguous. Questions: What is meant by "different ways" and "become organized"? What, specifically, will the reader learn about companies and how they become organized? Any specific types of organization? Any specific types of companies?

Examples of effective purpose statements:

(1) "This paper will describe four common causes of co-worker conflict in organizations and explain how to use a five-step procedure to constructively manage this conflict."

Critique: Very specific about what aspects of conflict will be discussed. Very precise about how much information will be given. Very clear about what the reader will learn.

(2) "This report will explain how supervisors can use four planning strategies to improve employee productivity in the workplace."

Critique: Very specific about what will be discussed (planning strategies), and what the outcome will be for the reader (how to improve employee productivity).

(3) "This purpose of this report is to describe the main causes of traffic congestion in Seattle."

Critique: Leaves no doubt about the report's main purpose. Specific about the focus of the traffic congestion (Seattle).

What are the three parts of the specific purpose statement?

These three elements are you (your interests, your background, past jobs, experience, education, major), your audience (which you learned to analyze in Chapter 2), and the context or setting (also discussed in Chapter 2).

What are the three 3 main parts in organizing your written speech?

Speeches are organized into three main parts: introduction, body, and conclusion.

What are the types of specific purpose?

A specific purpose starts with one of the three general purposes and then specifies the actual topic you have chosen and the basic objective you hope to accomplish with your speech. Basically, the specific purpose answers the who, what, when, where, and why questions for your speech.

What is a specific purpose statement?

A specific purpose statement builds on your general purpose (to inform) and makes it more specific (as the name suggests). So if your first speech is an informative speech, your general purpose will be to inform your audience about a very specific realm of knowledge.