There are four types of informative speeches. They are speeches about objects, processes, events, and concepts.
- Decide on the type of informative speech you want to give. Do not choose a Process topic.
- Review the following sample Informative Speeches:
What you must submit:
- A video-recording of your speech.
- A typed full-sentence Preparation Outline.
- A listing of 3 to 5 sources in proper MLA Format.
- A roster of your audience members, with names, age of listeners, date of speech, and contact information.
- Note cards that you used to deliver your speech.
- A two-dimensional visual aid is also required. The visual aid or a representation of the aid must also be submitted.
Minimum time is 4 minutes.
Maximum time is 7 minutes.
These examples are just to give you ideas. If you really are not interested in these sample topics, then you really should select an original topic of your own that you yourself know a great deal about, and about which you are excited and enthusiastic about sharing with others.
- Causes of hazardous fires (heat, fuel, and air)
- How pencils are manufactured (pencil trivia)
- How chocolate is manufactured (tell about cacao beans, not your favorite brands of candy bars)
- Christmas customs in three countries (don’t choose more, or you’ll run out-of-time)
- How to detect counterfeit money (newer bills have threads, color-changing ink, etc)
- Stopping shoplifting (in addition to research, tell about being a plain-clothes detective in stores)
- Origins of sports (I get Naismith’s basketball peach baskets a lot. Any other sports’ origins?)
- Bulimia or Anorexia (statistics are important. Singer Karen Carpenter was one victim)
- Marriage customs in many lands (not too many. Limit yourself to three)
- Customs in Arab or European countries (discuss differences with customs in USA, but don’t put down others.)
- Diabetes Mellitus (a popular topic for diabetics, or those with friends and family who have it)
- ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder—Ritalin can provide relief, or make them zombies)
- DNA Testing for those accused of crimes- (can clear the innocent & convict the guilty UNLESS the testing is not done properly)
- Origins of Halloween (especially popular in Fall Semesters)
- Schizophrenia, Obsessive Compulsive Behavior, Multiple Personalities (Sybil). Pick one if you can.
- Alzheimer’s (you get to meet a lot of new people. former President Ronald Reagan was afflicted)
- Texas Tornadoes (give statistics on how many & speed. Waco in 1950’s, etc)
- Renaissance Fairs (authentic food, stories, language, costumes, and battles – but no injuries)
- Time Limits: 4 to 7 minutes (These time limits are strictly enforced) For most people, the middle of the range (5 1/2 minutes) is a good choice because your speech can be a little longer or shorter than you planned, and you are still okay time-wise. If you talk very fast when you are nervous, then you may want a speech closer to seven minutes so your presentation will not be too short. If you are long-winded and add in NEW information that you didn’t plan to say when you practiced, then you may want your speech to be barely four minutes in practice.
- Time your speech when you practice, using a stopwatch, an egg-timer, a clock with a sweep second hand, or even a microwave. If you wish, you may have someone in your audience signal you with time-cards as your speech progresses, just as we would on Central Campus. Please tell your time-keeper to not hold up the time-cards in such a position that they block your recording device’s view of the speaker and/or audience. I do not recommend that the speaker take a timer with him or her to the lectern or speaking area because doing so tends to distract the speaker from his/her speech.
- There is a ten-point penalty for each minute your speech falls outside of the time range. (Thus, a speech that lasted 7:01 would lose ten points, and a speech that lasted 8:01 would lose twenty points, while a speech that lasted only 3:59 would lose ten points, and so on and so forth.)
- Get your Professor’s Approval for your Informative Speech Topic:
- Please send your choices (via Messages in the course menu) for three Informative topics to your professor by the deadline date. After receiving your message, I will respond by approving, disapproving, or by offering limitations on how you may narrow, implement, or apply your Informative topics.
- It is imperative that you choose a topic for your Informative Speech that is not Persuasive or a Demonstration.
- You should NOT take a stand on a controversial issue or try to convince the audience to adopt your point-of-view. That is the objective of a Persuasive Speech. At the end of an Informative Speech, you want the audience to know more factual information.
- Your speech should also NOT physically show the audience how to move yourself or objects through a series of steps. A “how to” speech is called a Demonstration Speech or a Process Speech and it too is different from an Informative Presentation.
- The topic should be information that most of us do not already know because the information we already know would be boring. You should also try to find information that is interesting, surprising, and relevant to most members of your audience. The audience members want to know: “Does this have a big effect on me? Why should I care?”
- Attempt to adapt your information to the group you are addressing. For example, if all the members of your audience are eighteen years-of-age and fresh out of high school, then they really do not care a great deal about retirement homes and cemetery plots.
- In addition to what you might know about your topic from your own experience, you must find at least three — and no more than five — sources (books, magazines, newspapers and the Internet), but they must be REPUTABLE sources (that is, the vast majority of what they say is true.) Thus, Readers’ Digest would be a reputable publication, but the National Enquirer would not (unless Elvis and JFK were really abducted by space aliens, and are returning next month.) In appraising Internet sites, remember that .org (nonprofit organization) and .edu (for education) usually contain objective factual information, while .com (for commercial or business) may or may not be factual. Carefully evaluate the credentials of the person or organization that created the site. Remember, anyone can put anything on the Internet; just because you found it on the Internet does not necessarily mean that it is true.
- One of your required three sources can be an interview with an expert, such as a doctor or a lawyer, and you may get that interview information either through e-mail or in person. However, the other two sources must be in print (book, magazine, Internet article, etc.) Please print-out the first page only of each of your Internet sources (sites sometimes literally disappear overnight, and the page you print for me is proof that you actually found the site.) Please do NOT print-out a twenty-page Internet article which I neither want nor need. If the site prints as a single page that scrolls on and on forever, just cancel printing after the first 8 1/2 by 11 page has printed on your paper.
- Informative Speech Supporting Material: The Informative Speech gives interesting new information that the average person would not already know. To be effective, the supporting material should be incorporated in a way that it proves the contentions that you are making in an organized, understandable way while preventing the speech from becoming dull and boring. For your speech to be useful, the data that you share in your Informative Speech must be accurate. The student is not expected to be an expert in the topic selected for the speech. The student is expected to study and research the topic until he or she is sure the information that is included in the speech is accurate and comprehensive. Even if the student is an expert, for the purpose of this class, the student must support all assertions by citing reputable sources.
- Part of the learning objective for this speech and the grading criteria for the speech is the student’s use of research techniques. You may use both library and Internet sources to research your topic. A minimum of three sources- – and no more than five sources- – in MLA form must be listed in your “Works Cited.”. You should orally refer to their sources during your speech.
- Sources should be cited each time information from a source is used in the speech. For example, when you offer a statistic you need to cite what group or agency conducted the study. Otherwise, we will assume that you performed the research yourself and you will have to have the data to prove it.
- Speakers must employ at least two statistics in their speeches, and cite which of the sources provided those numbers. If all the statistics come from the same source, then you may say something like, “All my statistics came from the National Bureau of Statistics as reported in the Jones book.” To clarify statistics, posters with pie, line, bar or picture graphs can be used to illustrate relationships and ratios clearly. Changes in time periods can also be illustrated with statistics.
- If you were giving a speech on schizophrenia, you might tell the audience what percentage of the U. S. population has the affliction, the percentage who receive help, the percentage who become violent, etc. Tell which agency conducted the study and how reputable they are. For example, “According to the National Bureau of Statistics, it has been shown that nine out of ten automobile accidents occur within two miles of home.” Statistics can show how widespread a problem is. If few people are affected, why would the average person be interested?
- At least two quotations should be included in your speech. Quotations should be clearly identified as quotes, with a signal phrase such as, “and I quote” or “according to.” The qualifications of the person being quoted should be incorporated before the quote. For example, “According to Dr. John Doe, head of the Research Department at I. M. Smart University, in his book How To Sound Knowledgeable When You Aren’t, and I quote, “As college students use their brains, more neuron pathways are created in their brains and their capacity to learn increases.” Unquote.
- Some speakers feel that the “quote. . .unquote” technique sounds stilted and unnatural. If so, there is another technique that you may employ instead. You may substitute distinct pauses for “quote. . .unquote” before and after the quote. So using the same supporting material, you would say: “According to Dr. John Doe, head of the research department at I. M. Smart University, in his book, How to Sound Knowledgeable When You Aren’t, [distinct pause], “As college students use their brains, more neuron pathways are created in their brains and their capacity to learn increases.” [distinct pause] “Next we move to…”
- At least two specific examples (people, places, or objects) should be included in your speech. While Statistics have logical appeal, and Quotations have both logical and emotional appeal, Specific Examples often appeal to our emotions. For example, according to the January 2004 issue of Time magazine, one particular AIDS victim, John Doe, has been hit hard by the disease. His symptoms include…
- Don’t forget to orally footnote (cite) your sources in your Credibility Step, and each time you incorporate information from those sources. Also, don’t forget to list your sources in your bibliography. Orally refer to your sources during your speech. Not to do so is plagiarism. Usually, only partial notations are given orally (this is called an oral footnote). One might cite book & author, or magazine & month. At least three sources are required in the bibliography, which should employ the MLA bibliography form. The sources must also be referred to orally during the speech. Every source that you use in your speech (at least three are required) must be documented both orally in the speech and in “Works Cited.”
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