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How to Identity the Main Point in a Speech or Movie

Updated on December 31, 2016

Have you ever listened to a speech or watched a movie and wondered what the main point was? Chances are the purpose was not clearly defined. In this exercise, you will practice determining the purpose of a speech and observing its organization.

Choose a video from the playlist in Connect to watch, noting the answers to the following questions:

  • What is the speaker’s main purpose?
  • How does the speaker communicate the main point?
  • Did the speaker accomplish the purpose in the allotted time?

Then reflect on how this activity is relevant to your life. Why is it important to know the main point of a speech or conversation? Use an example from your own life to support your claim.

I chose to do this journal on the last video on the Connect to watch page. The speaker’s main purpose is to inform the audience about medical robots. The speaker discusses the different types of medical robots and their uses in medical environments. The speaker communicates his main point through stories, a PowerPoint, quotes, and audience interaction. The speaker tells a story of a woman who had her kidney replaced by a medical robot, the speaker activates a PowerPoint presentation that allows the audience to see medical robots at work, the speaker uses direct quotes from knowledgeable source on medical robots, and the speaker asks the audience to imagine themselves in the role of a patient being treated by a medical robot. It is hard to say if the speaker accomplished his purpose in the allotted time because the Connect to watch page does not list the time limit and this video is the longest on the site. If the speaker went over his time limit then the answer might be no as he went over his allotted time. However I feel that the speaker adequately educated his audience, and myself, about medical robots in the seven minutes and two seconds that his speech lasted.

Understanding the main point of a speech or conversation is a vital part of everyday life. Understanding the main point of a speech is important because it allows a person to adequately judge whether or not they understood the speech. If an audience member does not understand the main point of a speech then that can mean that either the person was not listening, the person did not understand the speech, or that the speaker did not do a good job in creating their speech. Every day people have conversations with each other and it is vital that both parties understand the main point of the conversation so as to ensure that they have a clear communication channel. A misunderstanding can easily occur when people have different ideas on the main point of a conversation. For instance I often have difficulty communicating with my father because during our conversation he will randomly start talking about something unrelated to the main point of our conversation; this has often occurred because he thought the main point of our conversation was different from what I thought it was.


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