Organisational Patterns for Speeches

Speeches must have an organisational structure. Without such a structure it will be difficult to make the speech, and it will be difficult for the audience to understand. So, an organisational structure or pattern makes the speech easier to understand. Speeches can be organised in many ways. The type of pattern you choose will depend upon the topic and purpose of your speech.

There are seven basic patterns for organising a speech:

1. Logical or topical pattern

Use this pattern when you have several ideas to present and one idea naturally follows on from another. Or you may have one main topic, such as 'Advertising', which can be divided into three subtopics; Television Advertising, Magazine Advertising, and Radio Advertising. This is a useful pattern for informative speeches.

2. Chronological or Time Sequence pattern

Use this pattern when your main points are connected by 'time'. For example, if you are going to give a speech about the history of Toyota would begin with how the company was created, and finish with a description of may what happen to the company in the future. Demonstration speeches also use time sequence patterns. For example, if you are demonstrating how to make a cake, the your first point will be about the ingredients, and your last point will be about taking the cake out of the oven.

3. Spatial or Geographical pattern

Use this pattern when your main points cover a certain physical space. This physical space could be anything from buildings in a university, to regions in a country. For example, if you were going to give an informative speech about Tokyo, each point could be about a certain district in Tokyo. Or, if you were going to give a speech about skiing in Japan, each point would be about a certain ski area (e.g. Nisseko, Appi, Zao, Tateyama and Iox Arosa), or about a certain part of Japan in which it is possible to ski (e.g. Hokkaido, Tohoku and Chubu).

4. Classification pattern

Use this pattern when your main points are all about parts of one larger unit. For example, if your speech is about the Japanese Education system, your first main point would be about kindergarten, and your last point about universities. Or, if your speech is about advantages of using a certain computer, each main point would cover one certain advantage.

5. Problem-Solution pattern

Use this pattern when you have two main points; one point is about a problem, and the second is the solution to the problem. This pattern is often used in persuasive speeches. For example, if you were trying to persuade the audience to take regular exercise, your first main point would be about poor health of many people, and your second point would be about how to become healthier by exercising (the solution). Each of these two points could be organised in their own way. For example, the first point could have a 'classification pattern' in which you could describe the various health problems that people have. he second point could have a 'logical pattern' in which you describe some exercises that people can take, starting with easier exercises and finishing with some harder ones.

6. Cause-effect pattern

Use this pattern when you have two main points; the first point is about the cause of a problem, and the second is the effects of the problem. For example, if you were giving an informative speech about environmental pollution, your first problem would describe how environmental pollution is caused, and your second point would be about the effects that this environmental pollution has on our lives. As with the 'problem-solution pattern', each point will probably be organised using one of the above patterns.

7. Advantage-Disadvantage pattern

Use this pattern when have two main points; one point is about the advantages of something, and the second point is about the disadvantages of something. For example if you were trying to persuade people to buy a certain car, you would talk about the advantages of that car in one point, and then the disadvantages in another point. As with the 'problem-solution pattern', each point will probably be organised using one of the above patterns.