Planning Successful Talk or Paper
Three essential aspects for all formal writing/speaking
- Take Home Message (THM): what audience carries away.
- Topic Sentences (TS): Point of paragraph or slide.
- Topic Sentence Outline (TSO or SO): topic sentence order leading to THM,
that is, order of paragraphs/slides leading to Take Home Message
Note: While these concepts are central to any
successful formal presentation,
their technical content must adjust to the level and
expectations of the audience.
- During the research stage, the THM may
be unclear or change, but during the TS/TSO stage the THM must be clear.
An excellent THM can be shortened to be title of talk/paper.
- You don't have a THM, until you have simple, clear sentence
- The THM drives the organization. When it doesn't, something is wrong
with either it or TS/TSO.
- Topic sentence is the point of paragraph or a slide. Whenever a
paragraph/slide is not about single point,
- TS is 1st sentence of paragraph; introduces main idea of paragraph;
indicates to reader what paragraph is about.
- Contract between writer and reader: here is idea I want to explain;
all right explain it to me. Contract means: (i) only one topic that both
understand; (ii) a
limited topic; not more general than supporting evidence in paragraph; (iii) TS directs flow of paragraph.
- Some of TS functions: (i) announces the topic; (ii) make transition
from previous paragraph; (iii) forecasts sub-topics to be dealt with in
a whole serious of paragraphs.
- Efficiency. Revision of the plan of paper is much easier and
quicker if you have only to delete or re-order sentences.
Doing this on the completed draft involves much more work.
- Since a concept must be explained when it first appears,
interchanging paragraphs will require moving definitions.
- Paragraphs should smoothly flow into each other.
Reordering paragraphs may require extensive rewriting.
- Writing to length. With a sentence outline you can easily
judge how long the manuscript will be and modify it
to keep the essential material within the prescribed length.
- Time. All the above -- clarity, argument flow,
efficiency, length management -- can be done faster using a sentence
But spoken practice (before audience if possible) gives
best check on how smoothly you give talk to desired time.
The successful talk/paper delivers a clear, compelling and memorable
Take Home Message.
Topic Sentences summarize the points of paragraphs ordered
(TSO) in the minimum argument necessary to deliver the Take
To cite this page:
[Thursday, 14-Dec-2017 03:13:20 EST]
Edited by: firstname.lastname@example.org on
Wednesday, 16-Sep-2015 10:16:26 EDT