How to Develop Central Ideas for a Speech

Focus on one main idea in a speech.
Focus on one main idea in a speech. (Image: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

The best speech is simple, with a clear message and supporting points. Whether you are giving a persuasive speech, a political speech or an entertaining speech, you can benefit from knowing your central ideas and focusing on them. Developing central ideas requires outlining your thoughts and finding your message. Once you have done that, the supporting topics will come easily.

Write down your target audience, the purpose of your speech and what you want the audience to learn. Your target audience might be married women, the purpose of your speech might be "how to have a healthy marriage", and you might want them to learn tips on sustaining a marriage.

Brainstorm a list of your possible points. Look through your list to find one main idea, message or thesis statement for your speech. For a speech on marriage, your main message might be, "Aa marriage takes hard work."

Write that one idea in a sentence. Make sure it is specific. An example of a specific sentence might be, "Sustaining a healthy marriage takes patience, understanding, and perseverance."

Write down three points that support your main idea. Your three points could be, "A marriage takes patience," "A marriage takes understanding" and "A marriage takes perseverance."

Write an introduction and an explanation for each point. Provide evidence that each point is true or untrue. For the point, "A marriage takes patience," you might introduce the topic with a story of how impatience had consequences, then add quotes about how patience is important to a relationship.

Tips & Warnings

  • To combat the jitters, make a thorough outline of all your points.

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