Introduction to Informative Speaking

"Informative speeches generally concentrate on explaining--telling how something works, what something means, or how to do something. A speaker who gives an informative speech usually tries to give his or her audience information without taking sides." (Hybels & Weaver, Communicating Effectively, p. 293)

Preliminary Analysis and Planning: (Southern Illinois University)

Questions to ask yourself:

A. Why am I speaking on this subject (problem)?
B. To whom am I speaking (lay person, executive, expert)?
C. What does the listener (audience) want or need to
D. Am I supposed to offer a solution to the problem?
E. Do I expect the listener to take any action?
If so, what action?
F. Do I want questions, suggestions, or comments from
the audience?
G. What is the purpose of my oral report? Is it to
communicate information?
To motivate my audience to accept my conclusions and
To stimulate them to take action?

Gathering and Organizing Information:

A. Use card catalogs, indices, reference sections, internet
B. Read and take notes on relevant information
C. Develop a working outline, group information by category
D. Read more articles than you use

Composing the Speech:

A. Introduction--States the idea of your presentation
1. Capture the attention of your audience
a. First few sentences must interest your
b. Humor--can help, but use it appropriately
c. Begin with a visual aid or sound effect
2. Introduce subject of your speech
a. Clearly state objectives
3. Establish your credibility for your conclusions
and thesis

B. Body--Develops the idea
1. Explain subject in detail to accomplish the
objectives of your presentation
2. Methods for developing the Body
a. Examples illustrating points (Visuals)
b. Repetition of the major points
c. Statistics sparingly used, and projected as
d. Comparisons and contrasts to touch the
experience of the audience
e. State expert source of subject

C. Conclusion--Reinstates and reinforces the idea
1. The last thing you say is as important as the first
in which you gained your audience's attention
2. Deliver the "payload."
a. Review the purpose (objectives) of your
b. Summarize and underscore the main points
c. Make a conclusion from those points
3. Keep short and to the point


A. "Practice makes perfect"
B. Rehearse as closely to the actual speech situation as
1. Practice standing up
2. Practice holding your note cards
3. Practice using visual aids
4. Practice in room that your giving presentation in
or imagine it
5. Practice in front of friends, in tape recorder or
in front of mirror


A. Breathing
--Take big breath before you start, breath often during
B. Pitch
--Voice inflection makes presentation more interesting
C. Voice Quality
--Resonance adds richness to sound
D. Intensity
--Be loud enough for everyone to hear, speak slightly
louder than conversation
E. Rate
--Speaking too fast or too slow will irritate and lose your
F. Pause
--Pauses draw attention to important points and help in
G. Pronunciation
--Make sure you pronounce words correctly
H. Enunciation
--Speak clearly and precisely
I. Body Language
--Try to appear self-confident and relaxed
--Eye contact is very important
--Avoid distracting gestures: scratching, excessive
walking, etc.
J. Visual Aids (See Below)

Visual Aids:

A. Function
1. Keep audience interested
2. Present information in clearer fashion
3. Help audience retain information
B. Types of visual aids
1. Models
2. Graphs
3. Maps
4. Charts
5. Photos
6. Drawings
7. Short Printed Passages
C. Keep Simple and readable
D. Explain in detail