Chapter 10: Speech Preparation

10.7 Summary, Discussion, References


In this chapter, we have discussed best practices for effective speaking. The decisions we make in preparing and delivering a speech are impacted by our audience, the speaking occasion, as well as our specific purpose or goal. Because informative speaking plays a key role in a variety of professional, personal, and civic contexts it is important that we continually build upon our speaking experience and skill sets. Indeed, we are always refining our ability to speak well. Listening to others’ presentations and taking note of their strengths in using presentation aids, delivery style, and clear organization can help us build upon our own best practices. Make a commitment to attend guest speakers at Indiana State University, in our local community, and other special events.

Discussion Questions

  1. What qualities exemplify a good speech?
  2. What do you consider to be your best strengths when speaking in public? In what areas do you feel you need the most improvement?
  3. How can understanding your audience make for a more effective informative speech?

Key Terms

  • articulation
  • audience analysis
  • causal organizational pattern
  • comparison/contrast organizational pattern
  • conversational style
  • extemporaneous speaking
  • eye contact
  • general purpose
  • gestures
  • impromptu speaking
  • manuscript speaking
  • memorized speaking
  • pauses
  • pitch
  • presentational aids
  • pronunciation
  • rate
  • spatial organizational pattern
  • specific purpose
  • subordination
  • topical organizational pattern
  • transitions
  • vocal variety
  • vocalics/ paralanguage
  • volume



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Koch, A. (2010). Speaking with a purpose (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

LeFrancois, G. R. (1999). Psychology for teaching, 10th Ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Lucas, S. (2011).  The art of public speaking, 11th Ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

McCroskey, J. C., Wrench, J. S., & Richmond, V. P., (2003). Principles of public speaking. Indianapolis, IN: The College Network.

Mehrabian, A. (1972). Nonverbal communication. Chicago, IL: Aldine-Atherton.

Mitchell, O. (n.d.). Mehrabian and nonverbal communication [Web log post]. Retrieved from

O’Hair, D., Stewart, R., & Rubenstein, H. (2001). A speaker’s guidebook: Text and reference. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Rowan, K. E. (2003). Informing and explaining skills: Theory and research on informative communication. Handbook of Communication and Social Interaction Skills. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Eribaum Associates Publishers.

Smith, R. G. (1951). An experimental study of the effects of speech organization upon attitudes of college students. Speech Monographs, 18: 292-301.

Stossel, J. (2011, March 2). An Academy Award–winning movie, stuttering and me [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Thompson, E. C. (1960). An experimental investigation of the relative effectiveness of organizational structure in oral communication. Southern Speech Journal, 26: 59-69.


The following images were available under the CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0 License via an archived copy of the open textbook,  Public Speaking: Practice and Ethics

  • Coriolis Effect Diagram
  • Model of Communication Diagram
  • Petroglyph Diagram
  • Water Supply visualization

Some images were retrieved from Pixabay available under a CC0 license.


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