Supporting material will constitute the bulk of your
talk. Any means a speaker uses to clarify and to make
his main points meaningful make up the supporting
material. Supporting material should accomplish the
following in developing main points:
. ClarifyClear up doubts; eliminate confusion.
. AmplifyExpand, develop a complete dis-
cussion; include all essential elements.
. VerifyGive factual support to prove con-
tentions; provide evidence for state-
. EmphasizeMake prominent; underscore.
There are many types of supporting material, some
of which are discussed below.
Your experiences, past and present, are an excellent
source of supporting material. Relating actual
experiences that you may have had concerning the main
point will often result in a sharp increase in interest. A
word of caution: Too many personal experiences in one
presentation may make you sound self-centered. Do not
overuse this type of supporting material to build yourself
up or to avoid research. Also, avoid using naval jargon,
especially Navy acronyms. It is a surefire way to lose an
audience in a hurry.
Illustrations are detailed stories of examples of the
idea to be supported. Illustrations are either factual or
hypothetical. Factual illustrations relate what actually
happened; they describe a situation that has actually
occurred. Hypothetical illustrations tell what could have
happened or probably will happen; they describe a
situation that only has the appearance of an actual
situation. Factual illustrations can carry conviction,
whereas hypothetical illustrations are used principally
to make abstractions more vivid and concrete.
Factual examples are usually from qualified sources
found in libraries. They give added weight to the main
point they are supporting.
In an analogy, similarities are pointed out between
that which is already known or believed by the audience,
and that which is not. In a talk to inform, this is probably
the most effective way to get your audience to remember
the main point in question.
Other Supporting Materials
The previous sections highlighted the three most
common and effective forms of supporting materials.
Other excellent supporting materials include the
experiences of others, anecdotes, testimony, quotations
and current news events.
Again, keep in mind, the explanation of your talk
consists of two parts-main points and supporting
material. The main points are concise, one-sentence
statements of facts or ideas that you want your audience
to remember. Supporting material is any means you use
to clarify, amplify, verify or emphasize the main points.
Learning Objective: Recognize the elements specific to
the summary part of a speech.
Just as the introduction consisted of three parts, so
does the summary. The three segments of the summary
are as follows:
. Recap the main points
l Re-emphasize motivation
l Present a forceful conclusion
RECAP THE MAIN POINTS
To make sure your audience remembers your first,
second and third main points, it is always wise to repeat
them. A summary should be brief, but accurate. Note the
Well, I have been talking for 20 minutes and
in this time I have said three things: (1) Preserving
our environment is a priority issue for the American
people and for the American sailor; (2) The U.S.
Navy is committed to operating its ships and shore
facilities in a manner compatible with
environmental goals; (3) We are obligatedand
dedicated-to help our commands at sea and ashore
around the globe continue these efforts, large and
small, to preserve the environment for our own
well-being and for future generations.