Types of Informative Speeches

4.1.2

          Informative speeches are divided into five general categories based on the topic you have chosen and your approach to that topic. The specific arrangement of the main points will be determined by the outcome/goal you have for your speech. Once you have decided on the type of informative speech you will do, your task becomes to decide on the best pattern of organization for the main points to have the greatest success with your speech.

Objects

          Informative speeches about objects are speeches about items as they exist in the world. These speeches give the audience pertinent information about the object. Informative speeches about objects can be arranged topically, spatially, and/or chronologically. Speeches about objects may be used with several patterns of organization but must remain strictly informative in their approach.

Examples: Corvette cars, Mickey Mouse, Shih Tzu dogs, computers, Legos, etc.

People

          Informative speeches about people give the audience details of a person’s life, their characteristics, accomplishments, their history perhaps; these speeches may also be considered a speech about an object. Informative speeches about people can be arranged topically, spatially, chronologically or in the narrative/biographical pattern of organization. They must also stay strictly informative about the person.

Examples: the Dalai Lama, Prince William and Kate Middleton, John Lennon, Bono, Nikola Tesla, Stephen Hawking, etc.

Concepts

          Informative speeches about concepts give the audience an abstract view of a concept, theory, or idea. Due to the abstract nature of a concept, these speeches may be the most difficult to do as a strictly informative speech. These speeches can be arranged topically, spatially, and/or chronologically. While it takes significant thought and strong direction to stay strictly informative, other patterns may work for concept-based speeches as well. For example, you may organize a concept based informative speech as compare-contrast, problem-solution, cause-effect, or effect-cause.

Examples: Einstein’s Theory of relativity, feminism, Taoism, Big Bang theory, national systems of governance, etc.

Events

          Informative speeches about events give the audience an overview of a specific event that has occurred or is going to occur. These speeches can be arranged topically, chronologically, or in a spatial pattern of organization.

Examples: Woodstock, Women’s March, March on Selma, World War I or II, Mars landing of NASA’s Insight, etc.

Processes

          Informative speeches about processes give the audience an explanation about a process/procedure or processes/procedures. These speeches can be arranged topically, spatially, chronologically, or even in the compare-contrast pattern of organization.

Examples: How cars are made, the process of lean manufacturing, how to make chocolate chip cookies, the process of making maple sugar, a surgical procedure, etc.

Review Questions

1) What types of patterns of organization should be used when discussing events? 

2) Due to their abstract nature, what type of informative speech is most difficult? How might you overcome this difficulty to deliver an effective presentation?

3) If you were giving a speech about your favorite brand of ice cream, what type of informative speech would it be? What pattern would you consider using?

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