Selecting and Narrowing Topic

Supporting Material

There are a variety of types of support material which can be used to illustrate or prove points you make. The following kinds of materials are commonly used to support assertions in speeches:

  • example - a concrete instance of the point you are making,
  • testimony - direct quotation or paraphrase of a credible source used to prove or illustrate a point,
  • statistics/surveys - quantitative information which proves or illustrates a point,
  • definition - providing a dictionary or personal meaning for an unfamiliar or technical word. e.g., "A tariff is a tax placed on imported goods",
  • narration - A narration is a small story used in a speech or essay (usually appealing to the "mind's eye," told in chronological order),
  • analogy - a comparison of the unfamiliar to the familiar. ,
  • description/explanation - describing why your point is valid in your own words, usually in vivid concrete language,
  • Audio/Visual aids - anything the audience can see or hear (other than your words) which helps you make a point.