wood engraving of a session of the 32nd US Congress depicting men gathered in the chamber to hear speeches.

Source: Illustration of Senate chambers, United States Senate,

Sometimes when you watch or listen to a speech, it is difficult to pinpoint the speaker’s position or the main topic. Even the best speakers sometimes go off on tangents that don’t directly connect with their main ideas. This is more often the case when the speech is impromptu rather than written ahead of time.

This lesson will help you learn to identify the speaker’s position and supporting evidence. You will also learn to analyze the speaker’s delivery of the message.