9.4 Analyzing an Introduction

Learning Objectives

  1. See what a full introduction section looks like.
  2. Distinguish among the six parts of an introduction.

A woman writing a story on notebook paper with a pen

Thus far, this chapter has focused on how to create a clear introduction. We discussed why introductions are important and the six important functions of effective introductions. In this section we’re going to examine an actual introduction to a speech. Before we start analyzing the introduction, please read the introduction paragraph that follows.

Smart Dust Introduction
In 2002, the famed science fiction writer Michael Crichton released his book Prey, which was about a swarm of nanomachines that were feeding off living tissue. The nanomachines were solar-powered, self-sufficient, and intelligent. Most disturbingly, the nanomachines could work together as a swarm as it overtook and killed its prey in its need for new resources. The technology for this level of sophistication in nanotechnology is surprisingly more science fact than science fiction. In 2000, three professors of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California at Berkeley, Professors Kahn, Katz, and Pister, hypothesized in the Journal of Communications and Networks that wireless networks of tiny microelectromechanical sensors, or MEMS: sensors, robots, or devices could detect phenomena including light, temperature, or vibration. By 2004, Fortune Magazine listed “smart dust” as the first in their “Top 10 Tech Trends to Bet On.” Thus far researchers have hypothesized that smart dust could be used for everything from tracking patients in hospitals to early warnings of natural disasters and as a defense against bioterrorism. Today I’m going to explain what smart dust is and the various applications smart dust has in the near future. To help us understand the small of it all, we will first examine what smart dust is and how it works, we will then examine some military applications of smart dust, and we will end by discussing some nonmilitary applications of smart dust.

Now that you’ve had a chance to read the introduction to the speech on smart dust, read it over a second time and look for the six parts of the speech introduction as discussed earlier in this chapter. Once you’re done analyzing this introduction, Table 9.2 “Smart Dust Introduction” shows you how the speech was broken down into the various parts of an introduction.

Table 9.2 Smart Dust Introduction

Part of Introduction Analysis
In 2002, famed science fiction writer, Michael Crichton, released his book Prey, which was about a swarm of nanomachines that were feeding off living tissue. The nanomachines were solar-powered, self-sufficient, and intelligent. Most disturbingly, the nanomachines could work together as a swarm as it over took and killed its prey in its need for new resources. Attention-Getter
This attention-getter is using an anecdote derived from a best-selling novel.
The technology for this level of sophistication in nanotechnology is surprisingly more science fact than science fiction. In 2000, three professors of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California at Berkeley, professors Kahn, Katz, and Pister, hypothesized in the Journal of Communications and Networks that wireless networks of tiny microelectromechanical sensors, or MEMS: sensors, robots, or devices could detect phenomena including light, temperature, or vibration. Link to Topic
This link to topic shows how the book Prey is actually very close to what scientists are attempting to accomplish.
By 2004, Fortune Magazine listed “smart dust” as the first in their “Top 10 Tech Trends to Bet On.” Thus far researchers have hypothesized that smart dust could be used for everything from tracking patients in hospitals to early warnings of natural disasters and as a defense against bioterrorism. Reasons to Listen
In this section, the speaker indicates that business professionals have already recognized smart dust as a good economic investment with various applications.

“Professors Kahn, Katz, and Pister hypothesized in the Journal of Communications and Networks

“By 2004 Fortune Magazine listed”

Espousal of Credibility
Notice the inclusion of research from both the Journal of Communications and Networks and Fortune Magazine. This is an attempt to indicate that the speaker has conducted research on the subject.
Today I’m going to explain what smart dust is and the various applications smart dust has in the near future. Thesis Statement
This thesis statement clearly indicates that this is an informative speech because it does not attempt to build an argument or share a specific opinion.
To help us understand the small of it all, we will first examine what smart dust is and how it works, we will then examine some military applications of smart dust, and we will end by discussing some nonmilitary applications of smart dust. Preview
This preview clearly indicates three body points that will be discussed in the speech.

Need More Speech Examples?

The following YouTube videos will show you a wide range of different speeches. While watching these videos, ask yourself the following questions: How have they utilized various attention-getting devices? Have they clearly used all aspects of an introduction? Do they have a strong thesis and preview? How could you have made the introduction stronger?

Animal Experimentation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4yYDt4di0o

Life after Having a Child

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7-DhSLsk1U

Pros and Cons of Cholesterol

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7VIOs6aiAc

On Being a Hero

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYtm8uEo5vU

LASIK Eye Surgery

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0YWy8CXoYk

This is a derivative of Stand up, Speak out: The Practice and Ethics of Public Speaking by a publisher who has requested that they and the original author not receive attribution, which was originally released and is used under CC BY-NC-SA. This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.