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7.5: Conclusion, Glossary, References

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    This chapter first shows how to structure and develop introductions and conclusions. Second, it argues that introductions function to gain audience attention and goodwill, and that introductions help structure the speech with a thesis statement and preview. Third, the chapter explains that conclusions help audiences remember the key ideas of a speech. Finally, the chapter reveals that there are a variety of different techniques for introductions and conclusions, and that many of the techniques for introductions apply to conclusions as well.

    Introductions set the stage for the speech that is to come; conclusions make sure that the audience goes away changed in a positive manner. Short in time, they require careful thought and precise language to be effective. Done well, introductions prepare an audience to learn, and conclusions help to insure that an audience has understood the purpose of the speech.

    When you can do the common things of life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.

    ~ George Washington Carver

    Review Questions

    1. What are the four basic functions of introductions, and why are these functions important?
    2. List and give one original example of an effective attention-getting device.
    3. What are three reasons why stories are effective as introductions?
    4. What is a preview statement, and why is it important as part of an introduction?
    5. What are the basic functions of conclusions, and why are these functions important?
    6. What does it mean to “follow the structure” in a conclusion?
    7. Why are introductions and conclusions prepared last?


    Internal Credibility
    This is a form of credibility based on attributes that are largely controlled by a speaker, such as appearance, confidence, charisma, trustworthiness, and speaking ability.
    Internal Preview
    Sometimes called a road map, a preview is a brief oral outline in which the speaker clearly and concisely states the main points of the speech.
    External Credibility
    This is a form of credibility based on attributes that a speaker can “borrow,” such as using credible sources and referring to credible and popular people and events.
    Primacy Effect
    According to this principle, audiences are likely to remember what they hear or read first.
    Recency Effect
    According to this principle, audiences are likely to remember what they hear or read last.
    Rhetorical Question
    When a speaker asks a question that is not meant to be answered out loud, or a question for which the audience already knows the answer. This is often used as a way to get an audience to think about the topic.
    One sentence or statement that succinctly and accurately lets the audience know what the speech will be about and what the speaker plans to accomplish in the speech.


    • Aristotle (1982). The art of rhetoric. (J.H. Freese, Trans.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
    • Flora, C. (May-June 2004). The once- over you can trust: First impressions. Psychology Today, 37 (3), 60- 64.
    • Fisher, W. (1987). Human communication as narration: Toward a philosophy of reason, value, and action. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.
    • Garlick, R. (1993). Verbal descriptions, communicative encounters and impressions. Communication Quarterly, 41, 394-404.
    • Townsend, C. (2007, February 5). Spring break in Mexico. Speech posted at

    Contributors and Attributions

    7.5: Conclusion, Glossary, References is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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