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These vocabulary terms are for the beginner speech and public speaking class.

Toastmasters International

A nonprofit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of helping members improve their communication, public speaking and leadership skills.

The National Forensics Association (NFA)

A national organization within the United States which sponsors competitive public speaking on the undergraduate level.

National Forensic League (NFL)

An organization with a similar structure and purpose to AFA, but serves as the national organization within the United States for competitors in high school.

Persuasive speech

A clear and convincing opinion about a social or political issue. Need to use strong and specific examples to prove your point.

Narrative speech

This type of speech is used when you tell a story about an influential event in your life. Revolves around a central theme or forceful conviction.

Informative speech

This type of speech explains a process, activity, pastime, sport, hobby, or field of study upon which you are a relative expert. This speech is the "grown-up" version of "show and tell."

Needed for Presentation

Eye contact, open body language and clear speaking voice.

Needed for Content

Topic choice, central point of thesis and use of specifics.

Informative Speeches about Events

Focus on things that happened, are happening, or will happen.


Sets the tone of the entire speech.


Designed to intrigue the audience members and to motivate them to listen attentively for the next several minutes.

Thesis Statement

Needed for clearly communicating your topic and purpose to the audience.

Audience Adaptation

To figure out who your audience members are, what things are important to them, what their biases may be, and what types of subjects/issues appeal to them.

Credibility Statement

Establishes your qualifications as a speaker. You should come up with reasons why you are someone to listen to on this topic.


Said "credibility, or ethos, consists of good sense, goodwill, and good moral character".

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