Prove What They Say

Contributor: Jennifer Blanchard. Lesson ID: 13918

Do you know what makes what you say, or what someone else says, more believable? Backing it up and supporting it! Dive into this lesson to discover how to spot -- and give -- proof when speaking.


Verbal Communication

English / Language Arts
learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Skill Sharpener

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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  • What do you think these quotes mean?

Both quotes above are about how proof of what you say gives your words power.

Without that proof, it is hard to believe what is being said.

  • If someone told you there were 100 feet of snow outside, would you immediately believe them?
  • Would you want proof — like looking outside yourself or seeing a photo?

shovel in the snow

Proof matters!

When people speak to share their ideas and thoughts, their goal is to make others believe them, understand them, or think the same we they do.

To do that, they must give reasons for why they think the way they do. The more reasons given, the more likely others are to agree.

Listening closely to speakers and recognizing their reasons is an important skill. It allows you to understand how they support their point, and it will help you make believable points when speaking.

  • So what are the reasons?

Reasons serve as proof and include the following.

  • evidence
  • clues
  • support
  • details
  • How can speakers share these reasons?

Speakers can support what they are saying with the following.

  • written text with facts
  • pictures
  • specific examples
  • real-life events that happened to them
  • things everyone can understand and relate to

Think about when you read something. For it to make sense, there must be main ideas and supporting details.

The same is true when speaking!

Just like the supporting details make you believe a writer's main ideas, the reasons make you believe a speaker's main ideas.

Look at another example.

While speaking to you, I say, "There is a lot of green in nature."

  • Do you believe me?

You might. However, if I listed examples of green in nature, like trees and grass, you would be more likely to believe me.

  • What if I showed you photos or took you outside and showed you all the green in nature?

green park with trees and grass

Those reasons would support you believing me!

So we know speakers give us reasons to support and prove what they're saying, but the work isn't all on them.

As listeners, we need to listen with intention (or on purpose!) to figure out the points that the speaker is making. We must also listen specifically for the reasons and evidence supporting those points.

Move to the Got It? section to practice this topic!

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