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Touchstone 4: Persuasive Speech Outline

12171A. Directions
Step 1: Select Persuasive Topic/Issue
Your speech should be consistently persuasive in nature. Identify your audience, purpose, and thesis.

Today, there are many different debates being had all around the world about topics that affect our personal, professional, civic, and/or academic lives. Some of these debates have been such hot topics for so long that it has become very difficult to add to the conversation with new and original ideas or stances to take. To move beyond this trend, we have created a list of topics that may not be used for this Touchstone. Feel free to access a tutor if you would like support choosing a topic for this essay.

Please AVOID choosing any of the following topics:
Abortion Rights
Climate Change
Belief in God(s) or Afterlife(s)
Death Penalty / Capital Punishment
Euthanasia / Assisted Suicide
Fad Diets (e.g., Keto, etc.)
Funding/Defunding Law Enforcement
Gender Affirming Care
Legal Alcohol/Tobacco Age
Legalization of Marijuana
Legalization of Sex Work
Paying Student Athletes
Second Amendment Rights (i.e., Gun Control)
Social Media’s Impact on Mental Health
Universal Healthcare
Choosing to write about any of the above topics will result in a non-passing score.

Step 2: Plan Speech
Plan your speech, considering what your introduction, main points, and conclusion will include. Gather information and evidence to support your main points and thesis. Determine what persuasive strategies you will use (ethos, pathos, and/or logos).

Step 3: Outline Speech
Using the Touchstone 4 Template, outline your speech, which should include an introduction, body (main points), conclusion, and transitions. Your outline should be 3–5 pages, excluding the reference page.

3a. Develop General Premise
Constructing a presentation will require that you begin by developing your goal and translating it into a general premise you will state to your audience.

3b. Generate Main Points and Organize Strategically
After you have established a premise, you will be able to generate main points to support this claim. Be sure to coherently organize these main points so that the audience can easily follow your flow of ideas. For this touchstone, you should create three to four main points to ensure clarity and timeliness when you deliver your speech in Touchstone 5. Keep main points separate (transitions separate ideas) and balance the time spent on each point.

Refer to the following lessons for support:

Choosing the Main Points
Highlighting the Main Points
Ordering the Main Points
3c. Create an Introduction and Conclusion
After you have developed your main points, you will need to complete the introduction and conclusion. Create the introduction first—the conclusion really reiterates much of what was said in the introduction. The introduction opens the speech and is responsible for getting the audience’s attention, relating the topic to the audience, establishing the speaker’s credibility, and previewing the main points of the presentation. The conclusion should summarize the main points, repeat your thesis, and end with something memorable.

Refer to the following lessons for support:

The Role of the Introduction
Establishing Credibility: Topic, Thesis, and Main Points
Introducing the Topic, Thesis, and Main Points
The Role of the Conclusion
3d. Fill In Transitions
Prior to delivering your presentation, your final step will be to develop transitions that lead your audience between parts of the presentation and between distinct main ideas. Take the final step of filling in transitions seriously. Transitions play an important role in the success of your speech.

Refer to the following lessons for support:

The Role and Use of Transitions
3e. Incorporate Visual Aids
Think of an effective way to incorporate at least one visual aid that will be relevant to your purpose and message and will enhance your speech, whether that is in the introduction, the body, the conclusion, or even in a transition.

Highlighting the Main Points
3f. Cite Sources
Be sure to include a reference list of sources you have used to prepare your speech. List these sources using APA style on the reference page in the template.

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