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The purpose of an informative speech is to present a specific topic or subject to the audience in an objective manner. Unlike a persuasive speech, an informative one depends solely on proven facts and reliable sources and doesn’t contain your personal opinion. When giving an informative speech, your task is not to convince the audience of something, but merely to provide them with useful knowledge that they were previously unaware of.
However, that doesn’t mean that writing a high-quality, informative speech is easy. If you don’t want to end up boring your audience, you’ll need to spend a lot of time researching, writing, and editing to make the speech both relevant and engaging.
Informative Speech Structure
To present your findings in an organized and straightforward fashion, it’s vital to structure your work properly. An informative speech shares the same structure as most academic writing pieces and includes an introduction, the thesis statement, the main body, and the conclusion.
The purpose of the introduction is to grab the attention of your audience and set the tone for the entire speech. Ideally, you should include a brief description of your topic, an interesting fact or two, and let the listeners know how long the speech is going to be.
Now, let’s answer the question of how to start an informative speech. It’s common practice to begin a speech with a thematic joke or an interesting quote that will add credibility to the rest of your writing and entertain the audience. However, you should be careful in applying these tools, as anecdotes aren’t suitable for all situations and can be misunderstood. As a result, you’d be left to endure uncomfortable silence which might hinder your confidence.
The thesis for informative speech is usually the last sentence of the introduction. It should represent the main idea of your piece in a concise manner. The thesis statement has to raise interest about the topic and be self-explanatory. For example, a sentence like “I’m here today to talk about Napoleon Bonaparte” is too broad and doesn’t give the audience sufficient information about what is the point of your speech.
The main part of your speech should contain the bulk of information you want to convey and should support the thesis statement. Usually, the main body consists out of several paragraphs with each dedicated to a new point. Once you’ve provided the argument in the first sentence, you have to add facts and quotes that will help you convince the audience of its relevancy.
If you’re putting together an informative speech about a historical topic or the biography of a notable figure, it’s advised you add the arguments in chronological order. Otherwise, structure them according to their importance.
In this part of your speech, you have to provide a summary of all the points mentioned in the main body. As people tend to remember the opening and closing sentences the most, it’s also wise to reiterate your thesis statement here.
When writing the conclusion, you should also try to tie it in with the introduction. For instance, you can return to the quote or joke you’ve used at the beginning, or, if you’ve opened with a personal story, you can make a callback to it.
How to Choose a Good Informative Speech Topic
Coming up with informational speech ideas can be hard. This is especially true if you never had to write a speech before. That’s why it’s recommended not to grab onto the first idea that comes to your mind. Instead, sit down, relax, and think through everything carefully.
To make this process easier for you, here are three steps you can take to gradually narrow down on a topic that will suit you just right:
Step 1: Write a list of all fields of study that you find interesting.
Your speech can be dedicated either to a specific object, process, person, event or idea. If you’re new to this type of assignment, then you should probably pick a topic which you already know a lot about. This will help you feel more confident when you’ll be presenting it in front of an audience.
Step 2: Turn your list of subjects into a list of topics.
For each point on the list, devise a couple of interesting topics you’d like to explore and think that your audience will find interesting. Good topics for informative speech type of texts aren’t that hard to come up with. Nonetheless, you have to be sure that you’ll find a sufficient amount of reliable sources to fully develop the topic of your choosing.
Step 3: Try to create a thesis statement for each topic on your list.
Once you’ve prepared the lineup of potential candidates, it’s time to narrow it down. This step will help you understand which topics actually suit you, and which you don’t really have anything to say about. It’s advised you pick a topic where coming up with a relevant thesis statement was the easiest.
In case you’re still struggling with coming up with ideas on your own, here’s a list of informative speech topics that might serve as a prompt for you:
Economy & Business Topics:
- The reasons behind China’s rapid economic growth
- The importance of agriculture for the global economy
- Are the best sales tactics of the 20th century still relevant today?
- The dangers of unemployment
- The importance of high-quality customer service
- The benefits of online studies
- Is the teaching staff in rural areas sufficiently qualified?
- Why does education cost so much in the United States?
- How to put your diploma to use
- How to earn extra money as a student
- How to make a second “first” impression
- How to motivate yourself to exercise
- How to quit drinking too much coffee
- How to stop sabotaging your relationships
- How to improve your leadership qualities
- The dangers of using steroids and antibiotics
- How to treat insomnia
- The truth behind the bipolar disorder
- The negative effects of plastic surgery
- The benefits and drawbacks of being vegetarian
- The history of the Venetian Carnival
- The power of sacred art
- How Gandhi changed the world
- The creation of the feminist movement
- The Legacy of Nicola Tesla
Tips for Writing an Informative Speech
Now that you know how to pick a good topic for an informative speech and how to structure it, it’s time to find out how to improve the quality of your work. To do so, it’s recommended that you follow these suggestions:
- Conduct proper research
The main rule you have to follow when writing a speech is “Always know what you’re talking about.” That’s why it’s important to take your time while you’re studying all the relevant sources and choosing which arguments to use.
While you shouldn’t include any information that isn’t directly linked to your thesis statement, you still have to study a lot of materials that are connected to the topic on a grander scale. This is needed because oftentimes after you’ve finished your speech, you’ll have to respond to the questions asked by the audience.
- Craft an outline
Creating an easy informative speech outline doesn’t take a lot of effort, but it will provide you with numerous benefits down the road. Basically, all you have to do is to put together a list of all the information you want to include in your speech and place it in logical order, while using the structure presented above as a guideline.
After you’ve made such an outline, you’ll see what information you might be missing, and which fragments are unnecessary and don’t help you support the thesis statement. Thus, you’ll be able to make the required adjustments before you’ve written the main text.
- Practice giving your speech at home
Read your text out loud and measure how much time it takes to do so. Even if you aren’t limited in time, your speech shouldn’t be too long so that you don’t’ tire out your audience. If there’s an excess or deficiency of material, make the necessary changes.
It’s also vital to speak in a calm manner so that you can articulate every word correctly. Consider recording a video of you giving the speech so that you can see if you’re not talking too fast or skipping any syllables.
- Use visual aids
If possible, add graphic representation to your speech. This will make it more appealing to the audience and will help them better memorize and analyze what you’re talking about. Regardless if it’s a set of charts, photographs or any other kind of visual aid, it will help you reinforce your arguments.
- Don’t be afraid to communicate with your audience
In case you are presenting a complex topic to an unprepared audience, don’t hesitate to pause and ask them if they understand the points you’re making. If they have any questions, answer them so that they can continue following the rest of your speech and aren’t left behind.