To inform my Communication class about how to get along with a roommate

To inform my Communication class about how to get along with a roommate

Sample Informative Speech Outline

Joe Smith
Comm 101
October 29, 2010
General Purpose: To inform
Specific Purpose: To inform my Communication class about how to get along with a roommate.
Organizational Pattern (page 338-340): Topic


I. Attention-Getting Device (Must be a narrative, a startling statement, a rhetorical question, or a
quotation): They can be your best friend or your worst enemy. They can respect your space or they can go
digging through your closet. They can make your bed when you’re running late or they can pile their dirty
dishes on your clean laundry. Have you ever met this person? It’s someone, who at one time or another, many
of us have had to deal with – a roommate!
II. Audience Adaptation (Give the audience a reason to listen): Most of us in here will have to room with someone
at some point. Learning how to live with someone is not only important for college life but future
relationships too, including marriage.
III. Credibility Statement (State why you are an expert in this subject/establish credibility so that you seem
like a legitimate speaker on your topic): I have been in college for three years and have lived with at least
six different roommates, so I have a good understanding of how to deal with living with others. I’ve also
done extensive research on this topic to aid in my knowledge of how to become a better communicator.
III. Thesis/Transitional Preview (This is a central idea of your speech including a preview of your main
points in the order you are going to share them in your speech): Today, I am going to identify three
specific ways to keep the peace while living with a roommate: First, don’t lie. Second, don’t make
assumptions. Third, remember that each roommate should have an equal voice and equal power in the
Transition (Introduce first main point here before going into the body of speech): The first way to make living with
someone better is to remember not to lie.


I. Lying can cause several problems while living with a roommate.
A. According to the September 2008 issue of Seventeen Magazine, there are three common lies that
roommates tell each other (Barry 123).
1. The first lie roommates tell is “I’m not uptight about neatness.”
a. If you’re a slob, admit it and keep your mess to your space.
b. If you’re a neat freak, try to understand the other person isn’t like you.
2. The second common lie is “I don’t care if you have friends sleepover.”

a. It’s best to set rules about what nights members of the opposite sex may spend the
b. You should set rules about how much prior notice the other person gets if
they need to find another place to sleep (Barry 123).
3. The third most common lie roommates tend to tell is “We’re best friends.”
a. Don’t feel like you have to invite your roommate to tag along wherever you go.
b. It takes a while to become friends, so take your time in developing a friendship
(Barry 124).

B. Usually lying to your roommate creates problems for both of you. Your roommate will feel betrayed
if you lie to them and they may be inclined not to trust you again.
1. Lying creates an emotional backlash. In the end, you may feel worse (Barry 124).

Transition (Must use transitions to link thoughts together – you need to “review” your last point and
“preview” your next point): Lying is not the only way to communicate badly with a roommate. Making
assumptions about the person you’re sharing your living space can cause just as many problems.
II. Remembering not making assumptions about your roommate will make living together much easier.
A. You should always ask before using something that belongs to your roommate.
1. For example, one of the major problems my old roommate and I had was assuming we could
always use each other’s things.
a. I thought I could borrow his X-Box one weekend while he was gone.
b. He assumed he could use my laptop anytime he wanted.

2. Another example occurred when we first moved in.

a. My roommate assumed that since my sound system took up the whole top of the
bookcase, he could take the whole top of the dresser.
b. I assumed that since he chose the bedroom he wanted I had first dibs on the large walk-
in the closet (personal experience).

B. The author of “Crowd Control” tells us that if you’re ever unsure about something, wait until your
The roommate gets home and asks them in person!

Transition (Must use transitions to link thoughts together – you need to “review” your last point and
“preview” your next point): Lying and making assumptions can cause problems, but you can create a positive
the atmosphere in your living space by remembering the third tip – each roommate is equal.
III. The June 26, 2009 issue of the LA Times states that the best way to get along with a roommate is to create a
a place where equality rules (“Crowd Control” E4).
A. Each roommate should have an equal say in all matters.
B. Each roommate has an equal right to voice his/her opinions.
Transition (Must use transitions to link thoughts together – you need to “review” your last point and
“preview” your next point): These three basic tips have been proven effective when it comes to making ‘living with
a roommate’ easier and more pleasant.


I. Transitional Summary (review main points): Never lying, never making assumptions, and remembering
everyone is equal are three essential rules for living with anyone.
II. Concluding Device: (Closing statement/final thought) Someone once said that the quickest way to make an
enemy is to live with them. Perhaps they could have benefited from this speech. By remembering these three
important suggestions I’ve shared with you, you’ll be able to make living with your college roommate, or
someone in the future such as a spouse, an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Works Cited

Barry, Rebecca. “Welcome to Roommate Hell.” Seventeen. September 2008: 123 – 129.
“Crowd Control.” Los Angeles Times. 26 June 2009: E3-4.


Academic LevelHigh school
Subject AreaEnglish 101
Paper Type Presentation or speech
Number of Pages2 Page(s)/550 words
Paper FormatMLA
SpacingDouble spaced
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