Informative Speeches: Types & Topics

Instructor: Yolanda Williams

Yolanda has taught college Psychology and Ethics, and has a doctorate of philosophy in counselor education and supervision.

Did you know that there are four different types of informative speeches? Learn more about the types of informative speeches and see examples of topics for each type. Then test your knowledge with a quiz.

Informative Speeches

Kim just started her first day at a new high school. After retrieving her schedule and having a brief meeting with the school's guidance counselor, Kim makes her way to her first class. Kim's teacher asks her to introduce herself to her classmates. Kim walks to the front of the class, introduces herself, and tells her fellow students several facts about her life. By doing this, Kim has just given an informative speech.

An informative speech is a speech that aims to provide information to the listeners about some topic. The goal of an informative speech is not to persuade listeners to change their beliefs or to actions, but rather the goal is to increase their knowledge and awareness of the topic. There are four types of informative speeches: speeches about objects, speeches about events, speeches about processes, and speeches about concepts. We will go over each of the four types in more detail below.

Types and Topics

Speeches about objects are about tangible things that can be experienced through the five senses (vision, taste, sound, smell, touch). Speeches about objects are thought to be the most frequently used type of informative speech. These speeches not only include items such as books or movies but also people and places. In the example above, the speech Kim gave about herself is a speech about objects, where Kim is the 'object.' Other examples of object speech topics include speeches about Martin Luther King, Jr., the characteristics of the Empire State building, sharks, and your favorite fictional television character (i.e. Sherlock Holmes from the television show Elementary).

A speech about a company and its products is an example of a speech about objects.

Speeches about events focus on some particular occurrence that happened in the past, is currently happening, or may happen in the future. The purpose of these speeches is to make listeners aware of what has come to pass or what will be happening in the world. A speech that describes the events that led up to the Industrial Revolution is a speech about events. Other examples of topics include speeches about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, the discovery of chemotherapy, the upcoming presidential election, and the fall of the Roman Empire.

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