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CAS 110 - Public Speaking (Carter)

This guide provides resources to help support the CAS 110 course and assignments.

Questions to Consider in Choosing a Topic

Consider these questions:

  • What subjects or ideas interest you?
  • What kinds of life experience do you have?
  • What kinds of issues have affected you or people you care about?
  • Do you have a passion about an idea, a question, a subject? How can you explain or describe it such that others might be passionate about it as well?
  • Does your subject have an edge? Does the topic have passionate supporters and opponents as well as being logical and reasonaable. Is it debatable. Is it an unsolved problem?.

These questions may generate ideas. Next brainstorm. Which topics are most worthy of your time? Why is your topic significant? What angle might you take to fulfill the requirement: informative, persuasive, etc. Consider making your topic specific. For example:

Are ther ways to tell if a person is lying?

Avoid over-done topics. These may include abortion, global warming, affirmative action, the death penalty, recycling, and sex and violence in the media. When you are narrowing your topic choices, try to choose something fresh and interesting.

Choosing a Topic

Here are some general topics for (interpersonal) speeches:

  • Language use
  • Interpersonal communication in business relationships
  • Nonverbal communication and behavior
  • Gender differences in interpersonal communication
  • Perception
  • Listening
  • Social cognition and selfhood
  • Self-disclosure
  • Relational development
  • Social and personal relationships
  • Family and intimate relationships and communications styles
  • Infant communication
  • Deception in interpersonal relationships
  • Conflict and conflict resolution
  • Power in communication: misuse of power in relationships
  • Interpersonal communication in business relationships
  • How do children communication
  • Intergenerational communicaton
  • Fear and apprehension
  • Gestures
  • Group Behavior, communication, identity
  • Psychology of gropus
  • Crossing cultures in communication
  • Here are two sources to help you to discover possible speech topics:

For example: My Topic Is...

For example: My Topic Is: Lying

The PURPOSE of my speech is to provide my audience with information about lying. First I want to brainstorm and begin to focus on what I want to say. Making a concept map will help in that process. I need to be mindful of the academic and statistical research that may be done on my topic. I know I will find general information but will I be able to formulate a topic that is supported by research?

Who is my AUDIENCE?  Will my audience be experienced at lying?   Students? Adults? Children? How I present my information is based on who will hear what I have to say.

Concept Mapping Knitting Example

Sources: Types, Credibility, Synthesis

1.  One of the first things to think about is what are the kinds of sources to use in giving a speech?

  • Books or e-books
  • Articles: journals, magazines, newspapers
  • Statistics

Start with Zondervan Library tools and resources. Why?

The content is reliable and the statistics are solid.

2. Next consider the credibility of what you have found.

Here is an easy way to remember what to look for when evaluating the information that you find. These questions will help you assess what you might find most useful.    CARS: Credibility, Accuracy, Reasonableness, Support

Credibility. Is this source trustworthy? What are the author’s credentials? Is he or she known or a respected authority on this topic?  Is there evidence of quality control?   Goal: an authoritative source, a source that supplies some good evidence that allows you to trust it.

Accuracy. Is the informatio up to date, factual, detailed, exact, comprehensive? What is the intended audience and purpose? Does it reflect intentions of completeness and accuracy. Goal: a source that is correct today (not yesterday), a source that gives the whole truth.

Reasonableness.  Is the presentation fair, balanced, objective, reasoned? Can you find that the author has no conflict of interest? Is there an absence of fallacies or slanted tone. Goal: a source that engages the subject thoughtfully and reasonably, concerned with the truth.

Support:  Does this information provide background sources or references? Is there contact information for the author? Are claims supported, documentated and corroborated?. Goal: a source that provides convincing evidence for the claims made, a source you can triangulate (that is are you able to find at least two other sources (non web) that support it). 

taken from Virtual Salt. Robert Harris

3. Synthesizing the sources.  Once you have gathered a variety of sources, look over them and determine how they fit together and relate to your topic.

  1. What am I trying to say? Do my sources support my ideas?
  2. How does the information from your sources align with your claims? How well does the information tie together?
  3. What ideas seem most common within the information you have gathered?
  4. What pieces should be used as quotations? What should be paraphrased?
  5. How much statistical information do you want to give? How many examples? What are the best examples to use?



Pamela Meyer on Lying