Week2Presentation - EN116 1 Choosing Your Topic Herzing...

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EN116 Herzing University Online Week 2 Presentations 1. Choosing Your Topic Because you will be using the same topic for the next two speeches, choosing your topic can seem like a daunting task. I hope to make you feel better by dispelling a huge myth you might be worried about: There is no such thing as a perfect topic. Wait, I am going to say it again because this is such an important idea: There is no such thing as a perfect topic. To say it another way, any topic could be the perfect topic. The trick? Choosing a topic that matters to you. If you choose a topic that matters to you, doing the research for your speech, writing your speech outline, revising your speech, and delivering your speech will all be enjoyable tasks. As I discussed in the Week 1 presentation, if you enjoy your topic, if it matters to you, then you can significantly reduce the communication apprehension you feel heading into the speech process. This presentation is going to take the mystery out of choosing your topic by covering 3 main areas: the problems of invention, the idea of social and cultural diversity, and how to narrow your topic for your specific speaking situation. First, I would like to focus on the problems of invention. You might be asking yourself, what is invention? It’s something that rhetoricians since the ancient Romans have been discussing. In fact, according to the great Roman scholars, who borrowed many of their ideas from the ancient Greeks we talked about last week, invention was the first canon of the great art of oratory. The other canons, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery, will be discussed as the term progresses, although because we live in a written culture, as opposed to an oral one the canon of memory has slowly fallen by the wayside. Today, most speakers speak from a set of prepared notes. In this class, for instance, you will speak from a keyword outline. Invention is the process of discovering and framing your topic, and it is something speakers from Socrates, to Cicero, to Martin Luther King have grappled with. Invention is topic selection. According to your textbook, there are several characteristics of a good topic. A good topic involves you, meaning it makes you feel enthusiastic and it engages your experience, your passions, your expertise, and your interests. A good topic involves your listeners. Think about the audience of 5 you will assemble to hear your speech. Make sure the topic you choose appeals to those important listeners. A good topic is one you can manage. This means that it is not too broad, so you can fit your speech into the assigned time limit. A good topic is also not too narrow, meaning you have enough information to talk about in the allotted time. For this class, your informative speech should be about 5 minutes, and your persuasive speech can be between 5 and 7 minutes long.
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  • Fall '16
  • Rhetoric, Want, Regulatory Focus Theory, Herzing University Online

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