Content Frame
Note for screen reader users: There is text between the form elements on this page. To be sure that you do not miss any text, use item by item navigation methods, rather than tabbing from form element to form element.

Template Outlines

Here are a variety of template outlines that you can use to get started organizing your speech. Below are templates for the following organizational patterns:

1. Temporal Pattern
2. Spatial Pattern
3. Problem-Solution Pattern
4. Cause-Effect Pattern
5. Motivated Sequence Pattern
6. Structure-Function Pattern I
7. Structure-Function Pattern II
8. Comparison-Contrast Pattern
9. Pro-and-Con Pattern I
10. Pro-and-Con Pattern II
11. Claim-Proof Pattern
12. Multiple Definition Pattern
13. Who? What? Why? When? Where? Pattern


These skeletal outlines are designed to serve as templates for a wide variety of speeches discussed in the text. [A skeletal outline for the speech following a topical organizational pattern appears in the text.] View these templates as flexible; adjust them as you need to on the basis of your topic, your purpose, your audience, and all the factors discussed throughout this text and this course.

In these outlines, the three functions of the introduction (to gain attention, to establish a connection among speaker, audience, and topic, and to orient the audience) are similar for all speeches (except the Motivated Sequence, which uses a somewhat different pattern). Notice that the orientation step identifies the main points, giving the audience a fairly detailed description of what is to follow. The three functions of the conclusion (to summarize, to motivate, and to close) are likewise the same for all speeches (except, again, for the Motivated Sequence). In the summary statement (Roman numeral I in the conclusions, each of the main points is summarized, giving the audience a rather detailed restatement of what you’ve covered. But, depending on your specific topic, your audience, and your purpose, you might decide that you just want to orient the audience more generally and that you don’t want to give a detailed preview of your speech’s propositions. Similarly, you may decide that you want only to summarize your thesis and not each of your main points. In these cases, your orientation would be covered in the third Roman numeral of your introduction and your summary would be covered in the first Roman numeral of the conclusion each without any sub-points (denoted here with capital letters, A, B, and sometimes C). Notice that the Introduction’s III A, B, and C, correspond to the Body’s I, II, and III, and the Conclusion’s I A, B, and C.

The skeletal outlines presented here usually contain three propositions but this is only for purposes of illustration. The number of propositions you use should depend on your analysis of the entire speech situation. In some cases, two propositions or perhaps four or even five would prove more effective. As explained in the text, if you include more than five propositions, you risk covering too broad a territory with the result that you don’t have the time to cover any of them in depth.

Generally, two or three items of supporting material are illustrated for each main point. But, again, this is for purposes of illustration and the number of supporting materials and the specific type you use will depend on your topic, purpose, audience, and so on.

You’ll notice that these outlines contain what may at first appear too many transitions. Most public speaking texts recommend that you use transitions between the introduction and body and between the body and the conclusion. Here, however, transitions are indicated not only in these two places but also between the main points. For some very short speeches this number of transitions may be too much but for longer speeches or speeches that may be a little difficult for an audience to follow, this more extensive use of transitions may be extremely useful in helping the audience follow your train of thought. As with all items in these templates, adjust the number and detail of your transitions on the basis of your topic, audience, purpose, and so on.

The title, general purpose, specific purpose, and thesis are noted in the beginning of the outline. These items are generally required for most speeches. Adjust these and add others (for example, identifying data such as your name, your email address, the assignment number) on the basis of the specific assignment.

The reference list given at the end of each speech contains five items but this is just for purposes of illustration. Depending on your specific speech and on the specific requirements of the assignment, you may have more or fewer references.

Temporal Pattern
This hypothetical outline for a speech using a temporal pattern of organization covers three major issues. Generally, it is easy to follow if you begin with the earliest and work up to the most recent but, in some instances, you may wish to begin with the present or most recent and work back to the past or the earliest. In this outline there are three main points, each of which is supported by two items of supporting material (for example, examples, illustrations, visual aids, statistics, testimony). Of course, you may construct a speech with two or four or five main points and each of these may be supported by two, three, four, or even more items of supporting materials.

Title	
General Purpose	
Specific Purpose	
Thesis	
	
	Introduction
Gain audience attention	I.
Establish S-A-T connection	II.
Orient the audience (e.g., your thesis)	III.
	Orientation of 1st occurring event		A.
	Orientation of 2nd occurring event		B.
	Orientation of 3rd occurring event		C.
Transition from introduction to body	[				]
	
	Body
First occurring event	I.
	Support for I		A.
	Support for I		B.
Transition from 1st event to 2nd event	[				]
Second occurring event	II.
	Support for II		A.
	Support for II		B.
Transition from 2nd event to 3rd event	[				]
Third occurring event	III.
	Support for III		A.
	Support for III		B.
Transition from body to conclusion	[				]
	
	Conclusion
General summary statement	I.
	Summary of 1st occurring event		A.
	Summary of 2nd occurring event		B.
	Summary of 3rd occurring event		C.
Motivation	II.
Closure	III.

References
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
 


Spatial Pattern

The spatial pattern is very similar to the temporal pattern but instead of the items being organized by time, they’re organized by space or physical proximity. This hypothetical outline for an information or persuasive speech using a spatial pattern of organization covers three major issues.

 Title	
General Purpose	
Specific Purpose	
Thesis	
	
	Introduction
Gain audience attention	I.
Establish S-A-T connection	II.
Orient the audience (e.g., the thesis of the speech)	III
	Orientation to the 1st concept		A.
	Orientation to the 2nd concept		B.
	Orientation to the 3rd concept		C.
Transition from introduction to body	[				]
	
	Body
Topmost (highest, lowest, leftmost) concept	I.
	Support for I		A.
	Support for I		B.
Transition from 1st concept to 2nd concept	[				]
Middle concept	II.
	Support for II		A.
	Support for II		B.
Transition from middle to 3rd concept	[				]
Bottommost (lowest, highest, rightmost) concept	III.
	Support for III		A.
	Support for III		B.
Transition from body to conclusion	[				]
	
	Conclusion
General summary statement	I.
	Summary of 1st concept		A.
	Summary of 2nd concept		B.
	Summary of 3rd concept		C.
Motivation	II.
Closure	III.

References
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.


Problem-Solution Pattern This hypothetical speech outlines using the problem-solution pattern of organization covers three major problems and three major solutions. Each problem and each solution is illustrated as having two items of supporting materials, though, of course, more might be appropriate for some speeches. Depending upon your specific speech purpose and thesis, your audience, your time limitations, and so on, you would adjust the number of problems and solutions you cover.

 Title	
General Purpose	
Specific Purpose	
Thesis	
	
	Introduction
Gain audience attention	I.
Establish S-A-T connection	II.
Orient the audience (the thesis of the speech)	III.
	Orientation to problems to be 	discussed		A.
	Orientation to solutions to be 	discussed		B.
Transition from introduction to body	[				]	
	
	Body
General statement of the problems to be discussed	I.
	First major problem		A.
		Supporting material for 1st 			major problem			1.	
		Supporting material for 1st 			major problem			2.
Transition from 1st problem to 2nd problem	[				]
	Second major problem		B.
		Supporting material for 2nd 			major problem			1.
		Supporting material for 2nd 			major problem			2.
Transition from 2nd problem to 3rd problem	[				]
	Third major problem		C.
		Supporting material for 3rd 			major problem			1.
		Supporting material for 3rd 			major problem			2.
Transition from problems to solutions	[				]
General statement of solutions to be discussed	II. 
	First major solution		A.
		Supporting material for 1st 			major solution			1.
		Supporting material for 1st 			major solution			2.
Transition from 1st solution to 2nd solution	[				]
	Second Major Solution		B.
		Supporting material for 2nd 			major solution			1.
		Supporting material for 2nd 			major solution			2.
Transition from 2nd solution to 3rd solution	[				]
	Third Major Solution		C.
		Supporting material for 3rd 			major solution			1.
		Supporting material for 3rd 			major solution			2.
Transition from body to conclusion	[				]
	
	Conclusion
General summary statement	I.
	Summary of problem issues discussed 		A.
	Summary of solution proposals 	discussed		B.
Motivation	II.
Closure	III.

References

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.


Cause-Effect Pattern
Similar to the problem-solution pattern of organization is the cause-effect or effect-cause pattern. Here you divide the speech into two major sections: causes and effects. For example, a speech on the reasons for highway accidents or birth defects might yield to a cause-effect pattern, where you first consider, say, the cause of highway accidents or birth defects and then some of the effects—the number of deaths, the number of accidents, and so on. In this hypothetic speech, three causes and three effects are discussed. Depending on your topic, purpose, and audience, you may wish to revise the pattern and discuss the effects first and the causes second. This effect-cause pattern is illustrated in the text.

Title	
General Purpose	
Specific Purpose	
Thesis	
	
	Introduction
Gain audience attention	I.
Establish S-A-T connection	II.
Orient the audience (the thesis of the speech)	III.
	Orientation to causes		A.
	Orientation to effects		B.
Transition from introduction to body	[				]
	
	Body
General statement of causes to be discussed	I.
	First major cause		A.
		Supporting material for 1st 			major cause			1.	
		Supporting material for 1st 			major cause			2.
Transition from 1st cause to 2nd cause	[				]
	Second major cause		B.
		Supporting material for 2nd 			major cause			1.
		Supporting material for 2nd 			major cause			2.
Transition from 2nd cause to 3rd cause	[				]
	Third major cause		C.
		Supporting material for 3rd 			major cause			1.
		Supporting material for 3rd 			major cause			2.
Transition from causes to effects	[				]
General statement of effects to be discussed	II. 
	First major effect		A.
		Supporting material for 1st 			major effect			1.
		Supporting material for 1st 			major effect			2.
Transition from 1st effect to 2nd effect	[				]
	Second Major Effect		B.
		Supporting material for 2nd 			major effect			1.
		Supporting material for 2nd 			major effect			2.
Transition from 2nd effect to 3rd effect	[				]
	Third Major Effect		C.
		Supporting material for 3rd 			major effect			1.
		Supporting material for 3rd 			major effect			2.
Transition from body to conclusion	[				]
	
	Conclusion
General summary statement	I.
	Summary of causes		A.
	Summary of effects		B.
Motivation	II.
Closure	III.

References

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.


Motivated Sequence Pattern
In the motivated sequence pattern of organization, you divide your speech into five parts as illustrated here and in the text.

Attention step (e.g., ask a question, make reference to audience members, etc.)	I. 
Transition from attention to need	[				]
Need step (statement of the problem or the need)	II.
	Proof that this is really a problem		A.
	Proof that this is really a problem		B.
Transition from need to satisfaction	[				]
Satisfaction step (statement of your proposal to satisfy the need or solve the problem)	III.
	Proof that this proposal will in fact 	satisfy the need		A.
	Further proof that this proposal will 	in fact 	satisfy the need		B.
Transition from satisfaction to visualization	[				]
Visualization step (statement that helps audience visualize their problem satisfied)	IV.
	Illustration of the benefits listeners 	will receive from this proposal 		A.
	Further illustration of the negative 	effects 	listeners will experience if 	this proposal is not adopted		B.
Transition from visualization to action	[				]
Action step (statement of what you want the listeners to do)	V.
	Summary of the need, satisfaction, 	and visualization steps (reminding 	the audience that there is a problem, 	that is can and will be solve with 	your proposal, and that they will be 	better off if your proposal is 	adopted)		A.
	Closure		B.

References

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.


Structure-Function Pattern I
In this hypothetical speech organized into a structure-function pattern, there are three structures and three functions discussed. Here the three structures are covered first and the three functions are covered next. Depending on your specific topic and purpose, however, it might be more effective to discuss the functions first and the structures second. In this case, you would simply reverse the pattern; in I you’d cover the functions and in II you’d cover the structures. An alternative structure-function pattern is illustrated in Structure-Function II discussed below.

Title	
General Purpose	
Specific Purpose	
Thesis	
	
	Introduction
Gain audience attention	I.
Establish S-A-T connection	II.
Orient the audience (the thesis of the speech)	III.
	Orientation to the structures to be 	discussed		A.
	Orientation to the functions to be 	discussed		B.
Transition from introduction to body	[				]
	
	Body
General statement of structures to be discussed	I.
	First major structure		A.
		Supporting material for 1st 			major structure			1.	
		Supporting material for 1st 			major structure			2.
Transition from 1st structure to 2nd structure	[				]
	Second major structure		B.
		Supporting material for 2nd 			major structure			1.
		Supporting material for 2nd 			major structure			2.
Transition from 2nd structure to 3rd structure	[				]
	Third major structure		C.
		Supporting material for 3rd 			major structure			1.
		Supporting material for 3rd 			major structure			2.
Transition from structure to functions	[				]
General statement of functions to be discussed	II. 
	First major function		A.
		Supporting material for 1st 			major function			1.
		Supporting material for 1st 			major function			2.
Transition from 1st function to 2nd function	[				]
	Second Major Function		B.
		Supporting material for 2nd 			major function			1.
		Supporting material for 2nd 			major function			2.
Transition from 2nd function to 3rd function	[				]
	Third Major Function		C.
		Supporting material for 3rd 			major function			1.
		Supporting material for 3rd 			major function			2.
Transition from body to conclusion	[				]
	
	Conclusion
General summary statement	I.
	Summary of structures discussed		A.
	Summary of functions discussed		B.
Motivation	II.
Closure	III.

References

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.



Structure-Function Pattern II
This is another example of the structure function pattern. In this pattern the structures and functions are covered together. For example, let’s say you were giving a speech on the structures and functions of the sensory system for sending and receiving messages and that you’re limiting yourself to the auditory and the visual systems. Your speech might look something like this.

Title	
General Purpose	
Specific Purpose	
Thesis	
	
	Introduction
Gain audience attention	I.
Establish S-A-T connection	II.
Orient the audience	III.
	Orientation to the first system to be discussed		A.
	Orientation to the second system to be 	discussed		B.
Transition from introduction to body	[				]
	
	Body
The first system (e.g., the auditory system)	I.
	The structure of the first system		A.
	The function of the first system		B.
Transition between the 1st system and the 2nd system	[				]
The second system (e.g., the visual system)	II.
	The structure of the second system		A.
	The function of the second system		B.
Transition between the body and the conclusion	[				]
	
	Conclusion
General summary statement	I.
	Summary of first system discussed		A.
	Summary of second system discussed		B.
Motivation	II.
Closure	III.

References

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.


Comparison and Contrast Pattern
The comparison and contract pattern is especially useful in informative speeches when you want to illustrate the differences between, for example, two systems, plans, proposals, courses of action, or alternatives. It’s also useful in persuasive speeches when you want to demonstrate the superiority of one plan or product over another.

Title	
General Purpose	
Specific Purpose	
Thesis	
	
	Introduction
Gain audience attention	I.
Establish S-A-T connection	II.
Orient the audience	III
	Orientation to 1st comparison to be discussed		A.
	Orientation to 2nd comparison to be discussed		B.
	Orientation to 3rd comparison to be discussed		C.
Transition from introduction to body	[				]
	
	Body
First comparison (e.g., the products differ in nutritional value)	I.
	Support for I		A.
	Support for I		B.
Transition from 1st comparison to 2nd comparison	[				]
Second comparison (e.g., the products differ in price)	II.
	Support for II		A.
	Support for II		B.
Transition from 2nd comparison to 3rd comparison 	[				]
Third comparison (e.g., the products differ in taste)	III.
	Support for III		A.
	Support for III		B.
Transition from body to conclusion	[				]
	
	Conclusion
General summary statement	I.
	Summary of 1st comparison discussed		A.
	Summary of 2nd comparison discussed		B.
	Summary of 3rd comparison discussed		C.
Motivation	II.
Closure	III.

References

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.



Pro-and-Con Pattern I
The pro-and-con pattern is useful when you want to explain the advantages and disadvantages of one plan or proposal or when you want to compare the advantages and disadvantages of two or even three plans or proposals. In the first pattern—say, a speech on two health plans—each plan is discussed separately. In the example used here the speaker is attempting to convince the audience that the second plan is superior and so first shows the disadvantages of the first (the existing) plan, followed by the advantages of the second (the proposed) plan. An alternative structure for the pro-and-con plan is illustrated next.

Title	
General Purpose	
Specific Purpose	
Thesis	

	Introduction
Gain audience attention	I.
Establish S-A-T connection	II.
Orient the audience	III
	Orientation to 1st plan (e.g., the 	existing plan)		A.
	Orientation to 2nd plan (e.g., the 	proposed plan)		B.
Transition from introduction to body	[				]	
	
	Body
Statement of first plan (e.g., the existing health plan)	I.
	First disadvantage (e.g., it’s expensive)		A.
	Second disadvantage (e.g., it coverage is 	limited)		B.
	Third disadvantage (e.g., it doesn’t cover 	prescriptions)		C.
Transition from 1st plan to 2nd plan	
Statement of second plan (e.g., the proposed health plan)	II.
	First advantage (e.g., it’s inexpensive)		A.
	Second advantage (e.g., it’s coverage is 	extensive)		B.
	Third advantage (e.g., it includes 	prescriptions)		C.
Transition from body to conclusion	
	
	Conclusion
General summary statement	I.
	Summary of the disadvantages of the 	existing plan		A.
	Summary of the advantages of the 	proposed plan 		B.
Motivation	II.
Closure	III.
		
References

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.




Pro-and-Con Pattern II
Another way of organizing the pro and con speech is by discussing each characteristic on which the plans differ and then illustrating the disadvantages of one plan and the advantages of the other plan.

Title	
General Purpose	
Specific Purpose	
Thesis	
	
	Introduction
Gain audience attention	I.
Establish S-A-T connection	II.
Orient the audience	III
	Orientation to first characteristic (e.g., cost)		A.
	Orientation to second characteristic (e.g., 	coverage)		B.
	Orientation to third characteristic (e.g., 	prescriptions)		C.
Transition from introduction to body	[				]
	
	Body
First characteristic on which the plans differ (e.g., the plans differ in cost)	I.
	Disadvantages of existing plan (e.g., it’s 	expensive)		A.
	Advantages of proposed plan (e.g., it’s 	inexpensive)		B.
Transition from 1st characteristic to 2nd characteristic	[				]
Second characteristic on which the plans differ (e.g., the plans differ in coverage)	II.
	Disadvantages of existing plan (e.g., it’s 	coverage is limited)		A.
	Advantages of proposed plan (e.g., it’s 	coverage is extensive)		B.
Transition from 2nd characteristic to 3rd characteristic	[				]
Third characteristics on which the plans differ (e.g., the plans differ on prescription inclusion)	III.
	Disadvantages of existing plan (e.g., it doesn’t 	cover prescriptions)		A.
	Advantage of proposed plan (e.g., it covers 	prescriptions with a small co-payment)		B.
Transition from body to conclusion	[				]
	
	Conclusion
General summary statement	I.
	Summary of the advantages of the proposed 	plan’s 1st characteristic 		A.
	Summary of the advantages of the proposed 	plan’s 2nd characteristic 		B.
	Summary of the advantages of the proposed 	plan’s 3rd characteristic 		C.
Motivation	II.
Closure	III.

References

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.


Claim and Proof Pattern
This pattern is useful when you want to prove the truth or the likelihood of a proposition. In the example provided here the speaker attempts to prove that Higgins stole the money, the kind of situation you’d see in a courtroom. In this type of speech you’d generally begin with your claim—the proposition you want to prove (namely, Higgins stole the money)—and then follow it with your evidence or proof. Of course, you might also reverse the pattern and reserve your claim until you present your evidence. In this case you’d offer your proof first (under I A, B, and C) and once you got your audience to accept this proof, you’d follow it with your claim (under II) that Higgins stole the money.

Title	
General Purpose	
Specific Purpose	
Thesis	
	
	Introduction
Gain audience attention	I.
Establish S-A-T connection	II.
Orient the audience	III
	Orientation to claim that will be proven		A.
	Orientation to proofs that will be offered 	in support of the claim		B.
Transition from introduction to body	[				]
	
	Body
Claim (e.g., Higgins stole the money) 	I.
Transition between claim and proof	[				]
Proof (general statement of what you will prove)	II.
	First Proof (e.g., Higgins had a motive)		A.
		Support for A			1.
		Support for A			2.
Transition from 1st proof to 2nd proof	[				]
	Second proof (e.g., Higgins had the 	opportunity)		B.
		Support for B			1.
		Support for B			2.
Transition from 2nd proof to 3rd proof	[				]
	Third proof (Higgins had no alibi)		C.
		Support for C			1.
		Support for C			2.
Transition from body to conclusion	[				]
	
	Conclusion
Summary of thesis	I.
	Summary of claim		A.
	Summary of proofs		B.
Motivation	II.
Closure	III.

References
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.



Multiple Definitions
The multiple definition pattern is useful in informative speeches when you want to explain a concept or theory, say. Here you’d look at the concept from a variety of perspectives, offering several definitions that each provide a somewhat different insight or clarification of the concept. And so, if you were informing your audience about what is communication, you might you a multiple definition pattern. Here you might begin by offering first a typical dictionary definition where you’d also define any terms within that definition that needed clarification. Then you might follow this by defining the term by etymology where you’d explain how the term developed from the Latin. Then, as your third definition you might present a visual illustration of the communication process.


Title	
General Purpose	
Specific Purpose	
Thesis	
	
	Introduction
Gain audience attention	I.
Establish S-A-T connection	II.
Orient the audience	III.
	Orientation to 1st definition		A.
	Orientation to 2nd definition		B.
	Orientation to 3rd definition		C.
Transition from introduction to body	[				]
	
	Body
Definition One	I.
	Support for I		A.
	Support for I		B.
Transition from 1st definition to 2nd definition	[				]
Definition Two	II.
	Support for II		A.
	Support for II		B.
Transition from 2nd definition to 3rd definition	[				]
Definition Three	III.
	Support for III		A.
	Support for III		B.
Transition from body to conclusion	[				]
	
	Conclusion
General summary statement	I.
	Summary of 1st definition		A.
	Summary of 2nd definition		B.
	Summary of 3rd definition		C.
Motivation	II.
Closure	III.

References

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.


Who? What? Why? When? Where? Pattern
This skeletal outline is designed for a speech in which you want to explain events that happened, much as a journalist would write up a story for a newspaper, magazine, or television presentation. There is no one best order to follow in organizing these five items. Adjust the order in which you present the answers to these questions on the basis of your topic, audience, purpose, and all the other elements that go into public speaking that are covered in this text and in your course.

Title	
General Purpose	
Specific Purpose	
Thesis	
	
	Introduction
Gain audience attention	I.
Establish S-A-T connection	II.
Orient the audience	III.
	Orientation to Who?		A.
	Orientation to What?		B.
	Orientation to Why?		C.
	Orientation to Where?		D.
	Orientation to When?		E.
Transition from introduction to body	[				]
	
	Body
Who? (e.g., Who was involved in the skyjacking)	I.
	Support for I		A.
	Support for I		B.
Transition from Who to What	[				]
What? (e.g., What took place during the skyjacking)	II.
	Support for II		A.
	Support for II		B.
Transition from What to Why	[				]
Why? (e.g., why did the skyjacking take place)	III.
	Support for III		A.
	Support for III		B.
Transition from Why to Where	[				]
Where? (e.g., where did the skyjacking take place)	IV.
	Support for IV		A.
	Support for IV		B.
Transition from Where to When	[				]
When? (e.g., when did the skyjacking take place)	V.
	Support for V		A.
	Support for V		B.
Transition from body to conclusion	[				]
	
	Conclusion
General summary statement	I.
	Summary of Who		A.
	Summary of What		B.
	Summary of Why		C.
	Summary of Where		D.
	Summary of When				E.
Motivation	II.
Closure	III.

References

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.


This activity contains 1 question.

Question 1.



 
To create paragraphs in your essay response, type <p> at the beginning of the paragraph, and </p> at the end.

End of Question 1





Copyright © 1995 - 2014 Pearson Education . All rights reserved. Pearson Allyn & Bacon is an imprint of Pearson .
Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Permissions

Return to the Top of this Page