You’re the Speaker!  Don’t Mess It Up!

An informative speech must have a topic that is of interest to the audience. It does not need to be persuasive, but must have impeccable preparation and clarity of content.

Probably the best way to select a topic is to look for something that you would like to know more about. Perhaps you have an interest in sewing and you believe that your audience does also. You could choose the evolution of the sewing machine as your subject.

I know I would have an interest in how the internet works. Is the signal relayed from station to station or does it use satellites? Why do we not receive messages in Chinese? But, would my audience have the same interest?

It is important that the speaker knows his audience and what they would like to learn. What are they curious about that I can give them in the time available?

Success versus Failure!

If you do not carefully assess your audience’s interest in your topic, you will fail to captivate your audience and you will fall short of your goal. Just because you have an interest in a topic does not mean that they do.

Not only do you need to captivate your audience, you need to find a way that they can use the information. Will they be excited to tell others what they have learned?

Success is much more fun than failure. Choose your topic well. Be specific and articulate. Present it in logical order based on chronology or commonsense.

An informative speech is much easier than comedy, for example. It requires good material presented coherently.

Limiting the topic to only a portion of the subject matter is the key. In my example of “How the Internet Works”, it would be a major error to include all the things that it provides (emails, research, etc).

An Informative Speech Consists of an
Introduction,
the Body, and a Conclusion!

Introduction:

Briefly sets the tone. Explains the topic and the goal (reason for the speech) in concrete terms. Using full sentences will help to. Try to avoid being too trivial or too technical.

The introduction will tell your audience where you are headed and how long it will take to get there. Remember, they are captives –unless they rudely walk out.

Make your introduction solid. Don’t lose them before you get started. They will have an opinion about you after the first 20 seconds.

Body:

Captivate the audience with your creative research. Give them “nuggets” to take with them.

Carefully limit your discussion to the topics that you can explain completely and clearly in the time available. Those who exceed their level of expertise are often exposed as amateurish.

Now is the time to be clear and understandable. Refrain from anything argumentative. Provide unbiased and specific facts about your subject.

Always give credit to your sources. Be aware that one or more of the listeners may be more knowledgeable on the subject than you are. They will respect your honesty and may test any untruthfulness.

Conclusion:

Now is the time to summarize your main points. Try to tie the conclusion into the introduction.

Speak clearly and slowly. There is a tendency for inexperienced speakers to go too fast. Remember, you have heard what you are about to say many times, but it is the first time for the listener.

(Did you ever call a business and not be able to understand what the person said because they spoke too fast?)


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