Informative speeches are written to inform your audience about a topic. There are several classifications that can be used depending on the purpose of your speech.
What Is an Informative Speech?
How many times have you attended the lecture hall at school to find your professor on stage telling the students about some philosophy mumbo jumbo? Too many, huh?
Well, what your professor is doing is delivering an informative speech, and it is done to inform the audience about a topic. After all, his job is to educate you, and he is doing this by presenting material to you and your fellow classmates on a particular subject.
This type of speech falls into several categories. They are:
Let's check out how each is used.
Speeches about Objects
So, if you're going to talk about a famous person, like Abe Lincoln, your speech would be considered a speech about an object. Objects are things that exist in the world. Objects don't only include people. It could be places or even things. In fact, a speech about breeds of cats falls into this category. This speech is merely used to talk about something that has a physical value.
Speeches about a Process
Now, if you are planning on telling the audience how to do something, this would be a speech about a process. Simply stated, it is designed to explain a series of activities that end in a result. Think about a celebrity chef on that major food TV network. When he describes the steps in making a cheese soufflé, he is really giving a speech about a process.
Speeches about an Event
Suppose you want your audience to know about the things that led up to your arrival on stage. You would deliver a speech about an event. This means you would present information about past, present and future happenings. You might begin with your birth, then move to your first years in school, the time you didn't make the cut for the little league team, and then move all the way to present times.
When writing a speech about an event, keep in mind that it should be put together in a logical way. Use the chronological order to lay out the details in a timeline so the audience understands the progression of the event.
Speeches about Concepts
When you want to talk to your audience about a more abstract topic, like religion, a speech about concepts is your choice. This means delivering information about theories, ideas and beliefs. This category is probably the most challenging for the speechwriter. This is mostly because concepts can be abstract. This means they have no physical existence.
A speech about freedom can take on many different meanings. To be free to some may mean not having to work. To others, it may mean not sleeping in the county jail.
So, to better equip your audience with your point, be a bit more specific. You may start by putting freedom into context by explaining what it is about freedom you wish to talk about. Freedom from debt is much different than freedom from the reigns of a corrupt government. This will give your audience a baseline to understand where you are going with the speech. In other words, support your concept with concrete examples so the audience doesn't make assumptions.
To sum it up, an informative speech is done to inform the audience about a topic. When you set out to write the speech, think about the information you want to present. There are four categories of informative speeches.
Speeches about objects talk about people, places and things that are tangible, like a speech about cats or dogs. A speech about a process takes the audience through a series of activities that end in a result.
In a speech about an event, you take the audience on a journey through time and describe something that happened. You should think about using a chronological order or timeline for this one.
Speeches about concepts are probably the most challenging because they are about beliefs, theories and ideas. This means they may be abstract with no physical existence, like love or freedom.
The most important thing to remember about an informative speech is that your audience is there to learn something. Deliver the information in such a way that they understand.
Upon completing this lesson, you will be able to:
- Describe the purpose of an informative speech
- Explain the four categories of informative speeches and how to effectively deliver each type