Lesson 14 – Expanding a Basic Plan

We’ve concentrated most efforts in this module on very short, two minute responses, because these are the opportunities to speak that most often come our way that we don’t use to advantage. Generally, longer presentations are not spontaneous. You’ve been forewarned and forearmed.

However, you may want to take what we’ve discussed and use those ideas to make a longer presentation. This lesson will give you some ideas on how to fatten up your basic plan by filling in the subsections and reinforcing your argument. In this process, you can include evidence that supports your key theme. The results of your audience analysis allow you to pick examples and illustrations at the listener’s knowledge level which will clarify your points. The listener’s attitudes will influence your use of evidence to prove your points.

Some techniques to consider include:


Use fat words that paint pictures, rather than thin words that leave no impression on our minds. Find the most striking circumstances involved with whatever you are describing. A well-chosen example can be so powerful it becomes the focus for the point being illustrated.


Compare and contrast.


Statistics can be rounded off or made specific. When rounded off, they are easier for the audience to remember. When they are more specific, the audience gives the stats more credibility.


Comparison can be used effectively by talking about the unknown in terms of the known. When arguing that women can do anything that men can do, one woman reminded her audience of the comparison between Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did, only “she did it backwards and in high heels.”

Key Points

Be sure when developing your plan that the extra content works to strengthen your conclusion.

You should also vary the plan types with the main outline to create interest and maintain your listener’s attention.

You will also want to vary the number of subsections to create movement. Review but don’t restate too often or you run the risk of becoming extremely boring.