Speaking to Inform

Informational speeches are one of the most common types, so most likely you will be asked to present one sometime. This manual contains information about organizing an informational speech, tailoring your speech to the audience, conducting a demonstration, presenting a report and delivering a speech about an abstract subject.

Part of the Advanced Communication Series.

Project Time Objectives
1. The Speech to Inform
5-7 minutes Informative speeches can be educational, entertaining, and enjoyable for your audience, if you plan them carefully. Make the information relevant to your listeners, relate it to what they already know, and involve them in some manner. Keep the information organized and present it in an interesting manner. Remember to repeat the points you want listeners to remember and use visual aids to aid in retention.

  • Select new and useful information for presentation to the audience.
  • Organize the information for easy understandability and retention.
  • Present the information in a way that will help motivate the audience to learn.
2. Resources for Informing
5-7 minutes Knowledge of your audience often determines whether your speech will be successful. Strive to find out as much as possible about your listeners, including their ages, occupations, economic status, education, political orientation and hobbies. Then demonstrate your knowledge of the subject, making sure you have the right support material. Use visual aids appropriately.

  • Analyze your audience regarding your chosen subject.
  • Focus your presentation at the audience’s level of knowledge.
  • Build a supporting case for each major point using information gathered through research.
  • Effectively use at least one visual aid to enhance the audience’s understanding.
3. The Demonstration Talk
5-7 minutes A demonstration is the most effective way to explain a process, activity, or product. Demonstration can be done through body movement (showing a dance step or skiing technique), showing a physical object, or displaying a model. Carefully rehearse the demonstration and be sure the audience can see it. Anticipate any problems that may occur and plan how to handle each one.

  • Prepare a demonstration speech to clearly explain a process, product, or activity.
  • Conduct the demonstration as part of a speech delivered without notes.
4. A Fact-Finding Report
5-7 minutes for the speech, and 2-3 minutes for the Q&A Fact-finding reports are used to present information your audience needs to make a good decision. Keep the report focused, explain the sources of your information, and present facts clearly and quickly. Close with recommendations for action. Often these reports are followed by a question-and-answer session, so anticipate possible questions and prepare your answers beforehand.

  • Prepare a report on a situation, event, or problem of interest to the audience.
  • Deliver sufficient factual information in your report so the audience can make valid confusions or a sound decision.
  • Answer questions from the audience.
5. The Abstract Concept
6-8 minutes Explaining a theory, principle, philosophy, or social issue can be challenging. Make sure the audience knows the general concept and how your speech relates to it. Show how your topic relates to listeners’ everyday lives. Use plenty of examples, anecdotes, illustrations, and visual aids to help listeners understand and visualize your points, and avoid technical jargon.

  • Research and analyze an abstract concept, theory, historical force, or social/political issue.
  • Present the ideas in a clear, interesting manner.

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