Any speech's overarching goal will be to enlighten, encourage, convince, or entertain your audience. Once you've determined the overall aim of your speech, you may craft your particular mission statement (what the speaker will accomplish). Your speech is developed using your Specific Purpose Statement. Remember, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all speech!
The general purpose statement is an umbrella term for what your speech will generally attempt to do. It should not be confused with your specific purpose statement, which is much more narrow in scope. The general purpose statement can be divided up into three main categories: explain, persuade, and inform. These are just general ideas that can be used as guides; there are many other possibilities as well. When writing your speech, remember that you are trying to achieve certain goals within a limited amount of time. Thus, you must carefully consider how you will reach those goals.
Let's take a look at an example of a general purpose statement: "I will explain the concept of inheritance to my audience." This statement could be used to explain any number of topics to anyone at any time. It is very broad and cannot be used as the only guide for writing your speech; however, it does give us an idea of the overall goal we are trying to achieve with this speech.
Now, let's say that we want to focus our speech on explaining inheritance law to young people.
A specialized purpose statement expands on your overall goal (to inform) and narrows it down (as the name suggests). So, if your first speech is an informational address, your overall goal will be to educate your audience on a very narrow area of expertise. The more focused your message, the easier it will be for the audience to understand and recall later.
Your purpose statement should identify one or more topics within its field and explain them in such a way that listeners will want to know more. It should also indicate what kind of information you will provide and how you will do so. For example, if you are giving an academic presentation, your purpose statement might read: "My topic is leadership and organizations. I will discuss what makes a good leader and how leaders affect their groups."
If you write a good purpose statement, it should be easy for everyone involved with your talk—from organizers planning out content to attendees listening to your lecture—to understand exactly who you are talking to and why they should care about what you have to say.
Without a clear purpose statement, speakers may waste time discussing subjects that aren't relevant to their audiences. They may also fail to cover important topics that their audiences need to know about. A lack of focus can also lead speakers to ramble on for too long or not enough.
A particular purpose begins with one of the three main purposes and then outlines the precise topic you have selected as well as the overall goal you aim to achieve with your speech. The precise objective essentially answers the who, what, when, where, and why questions for your speech. It should also include a clear call to action.
All specific purposes must include one or more objectives. An objective is a clear description of what you want your audience to do or respond in some way. For example, an objective for a talk on "How Google Maps Changed My Life" might be for listeners to learn about Google Maps technology. A statement of intent such as "I will describe how Google Maps changed my life" does not constitute an objective nor is it sufficient by itself. You need to outline exactly what actions your listeners can take as a result of hearing your talk.
Specific purposes are often used by academic speakers when submitting papers for review. Speakers at professional conferences may choose to use a particular purpose when planning talks. And speakers at non-profit organizations may find that giving a speech with a particular purpose helps them connect more effectively with their audiences.