Supporting Your Ideas
Once you have solidified your position in your thesis statement, you want to back up your thesis with a variety of supporting ideas and examples. To do this, there are several ways you can support your claims while adding variety and interest to the overall story of your speech.
Set the Stage
Using exposition is a great way to get your audience all on the same playing field. When you use an expository approach, you're carefully laying out all of the background information your audience needs to know in order to understand your point.
Appeal to Commonalities
As you notice commonalties between audience members, the audience and your topic, and you and your audience, appeal to those commonalities to not only establish rapport but also to more easily persuade them to your thesis and claims. Your audience is more likely to trust and believe you if they feel they share something in common with you and your topic.
Finding a Consensus
Your audience may already feel a certain way about your topic. Depending on what you're trying to argue, you may want to go ahead and appeal to that consensus. Just be careful: you don't want to bore your audience by "preaching to the choir."
Tell a Story
One of the best ways to back up your claims–besides cold, hard, facts and data–is to share a personal story or anecdote. This shows your audience that you really connect to your subject, making you more believable and personable. Using anecdotes are a perfect opportunity to lighten the mood and add some humor as appropriate to your speech.
Deconstruct Your Topic
You might have a particularly complex subject or thesis. In these instances, it's helpful to break it down into its simplest parts. By breaking your information down into bite-sized chunks, your audience may have an easier time of following your train of thought or logic.