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COMM 361 (Thornton-Sides)

COMM 361 (Thornton-Sides)



Speech Purpose

  • To persuade your audience (our class of diverse students) to purchase an item or service that they would be likely to buy.
  • This should not be a policy speech! (like solving the homeless problem). You are asking us to part with money.

Time Limit

  • 6 minutes (you will have 30-seconds leeway on either side, so the speech needs to be within 5:30 and 6:30.
  • Please time it at 6:00


  • This is an extended commercial (but, hopefully, done seriously and not as a parody of infomercials)
  • Organize according to Monroe’s Motivated Sequence (Attention/Need/Satisfaction/Visualization/Action. This is a needs-based organization. This should not be a benefits speech.
    • NOTE:Make sure you really follow this organization. The Attention (introduction) should not be an extended Need step.
    • Don’t forget the preview statement (probably the hardest part of this speech).
    • Develop the need. It should comprise about half of the body of the speech.
    • We shouldn’t know what your product/service is until you get to the Satisfaction step. Don’t mention the product/service in the preview statement.
    • Don’t forget to tell us how much the item/service costs and where we can buy it.

Oral Source Citations

At least two (2) sources cited orally during your speech (they have to come out of your mouth).

  • These sources need to be good quality sources, with the dates cited--at least the year (e.g., “In March 2016, USA Today reported that…”).
    • You do not count as a source, even if you are an expert!
    • All the source citations should not come from the company who makes the product (they are very likely biased).
    • Even if you are doing a fictitious product, you still need REAL source citations. For example, if you are selling a miracle pill that, if you are intoxicated, will help you sober up quickly, you can find some real drunk driving statistics to use in the Need step.
  • Refer back to the Source Citations video lecture and the textbook on the proper way to cite your sources orally during your speech.

Speaking Notes

You are limited to no more than three (3) 3x5 note cards, single sided, handwritten. If you have exceeded this limitation (too many cards, too large, written on the back), your notes will be taken away and you will have to present the speech without notes.

Presentation Aids

  • Presentation aids are NOT required for this speech unless your speech requires them or would benefit from them. (Let’s be honest… you are likely to have at least one aid for a sales speech: the product you are selling).
    • You are limited to what's available in the classroom (if we have a computer projection unit in the room, you may use PowerPoint or whatever is installed on the computer)
    • WARNING: The more technology involved, the more time needed for set up AND the greater the likelihood that something will go wrong.
  • You are limited to 30 seconds of set-up and take-down of presentation aids, so if you are using PowerPoint, make sure your presentation is loaded up and ready to go at the beginning of our class session.