Preparing Your Speech – The Working Outline

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After you have completed your research and decided on the purpose and developed your theme, and before you start to write your speech, it is a good idea to prepare a working outline. This is used to plan and develop the speech. It briefly states the theme,  headings and subheadings of the speech.

Good houses are  usually built with a well prepared plan. It is the same with good speeches. They need a good working outline. The outline  will ensure the speech has harmony, sequence and completeness.


You are able to view the speech as a whole with out the distractions of a written speech such as the language used. This helps to check the harmony by:-

(i)   Is there an effective link between the theme of the speech and it purpose

(ii)  Do each of the headings and subheadings support and/or develop the theme

(iii) Enables all supporting information to be united into a single piece of  communication

(iv) The speaker can see and remove any overlapping portions of the speech that could be confusing to the listener.


The outline will help you determine the best sequence for the speech. As in harmony you are able to see the sequence of the ideas without the distractions of a speech written out in full. You are able to “visualise” the speech and see the ideas in relation to each other. You can re-sequence the speech until you achieve the most effective order for your speech.


You can readily assess the completeness of the headings and supporting information in this form. You are able to spot gaps in any missing sub headings and supporting information.  

By completing a working outline it makes the organisation of your speech easier by giving you an overview of your speech, enabling you to check the completeness of theme and supporting information and sequence your speech in the most effective way.

For more public speaking tips, please claim your free preview of my resource “The Art of Great Conversation”  by visiting

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