Speechwriting can seem like a difficult skill to master. Knowing how to get your point across in a set time limit while engaging an audience feels tricky. But it's not so hard when you've got the right structure with an outline example for an informative speech.
That's why I'll walk you through how to write an informative speech in this tutorial. Once you follow these steps, you'll be able to make a speech that'll leave any crowd more informed on any topic you choose.
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Different Types of Informative Speeches
Before you can even consider putting pen to paper (or more likely, fingers to keyboard), you must know not all informative speeches are the same. There are a many different types to be aware of. But we'll focus on definition, demonstration, explanatory, and descriptive informative speech styles.
Let's dive into what makes them unique:
- Definition. These speeches aim to define concepts or theories that audiences may not know. Use this type if you've got a new idea or concept your audience is unfamiliar with.
- Demonstration. This speech is all about process. Walk your audience through the steps on how to perform, create, or fix something. Make sure your steps are in order!
- Explanatory. An explanatory speech is about the state of a given topic. This could be the state of a business, country, or sports team. The goal is to show why the chosen topic is in the state that it finds itself.
- Descriptive. This type of speech is all about the details. You'll want to use it when you want to paint a vivid picture about your topic. These speeches tend to be filled with descriptions of physical characteristics, comparisons, and functions as a result.
As you can see, knowing that you want to inform your audience is just a small part of your speech. To make your speech as effective as possible, write with the right type of speech in mind.
1. Choose Your Topic
Before starting your informative speech outline example, you need to know what you're writing about. That's why it's important to pick the right topic. Now, I understand that in some situations where you've got no choice in what you speak about. But if you get to pick yourself, let me give you some pointers.
First, you want to pick something that you're passionate about. It's a lot easier to engage an audience when they can tell that you care about the topic you're speaking about. Think about the types of things you're drawn too and see if there's an opportunity to choose it as your speech topic.
Also ask yourself how much you know about the topic. Even if you're passionate about it, you might not have the facts and figures to draw upon to properly inform a crowd. Consider the time you have available to prepare your speech before you lock in your topic.
But arguably your most important consideration when choosing a topic is your audience. What will be interesting to them? Think about the demographics of who you'll be talking to as you select your topic. We'll talk later about how this will affect your writing.
2. Perform Research
It's hard to write an example of an outline for an informative speech if you're not informed yourself! That's why it's important to do some research. Providing verified sources is one of the best ways to strengthen what you've got to say.
The key word there is verified. Make sure your sources are trustworthy before including them in your speech. Look to reputable journalists, peer-reviewed papers, and accredited universities. Find out who are the leaders in the niche your topic is in and see what they've got to say on the subject.
3. Define Your Thesis Statement
If your speech is our solar system, your thesis statement is the sun everything orbits around. Don't start thinking about other attention getters for informative speeches without your thesis in place.
So, what's a thesis statement? It's a summary of the central point of your whole speech that's part of your introduction. This isn't a long summary either. Your thesis statement shouldn't be longer than a sentence. Sure that's short, but it's plenty opportunity to get the point of your speech across.
A strong thesis is important to have. It gives you a north star to write towards, so you never lose focus of your main point. A focused speech is a strong one that'll engage your audience.
4. Outline Your Speech
Now that you've defined your thesis, it's time to structure your speech. And the best way to do that is to create an example of an outline for your informative speech.
Keep in mind that the outline of your informative speech is an overview example. You're not going into full detail of your speech just yet, that'll come in your draft. What you want to do is create the flow you'd like your speech to take. These can be as simple as bullet points.
Start with your introduction, end with your conclusion, and place all the important beats in between. You can even add one or two sentences for each point of your speech. This is the basic structure you should have if you've never made an example of an outline for an informative speech.
5. Consider Your Audience
Playing to your audience is one of the biggest keys to giving a successful speech. As I mentioned earlier, understanding the demographic is important. After all, teenagers and adults have different viewpoints that must be considered.
But that's not the only consideration. Before you start your informative speech outline, think about how knowledgeable your crowd is. A general audience will require you to simplify so that everyone can understand. But if you're speaking to people with technical understanding in your subject, you can dive into the nitty-gritty of your topic.
This is made easier with a strong example of an outline for your informative speech in hand. And so is the next step, which is writing.
6. Write a Draft
It's now time to write your informative speech draft. This is where you bring your topic, research, and audience knowledge to life. So have fun with it! You're the one providing the information, so write with confidence.
As you write, keep your outline example for an informative speech in mind, as well as these points:
Writing Your Introduction
Your introduction might be the most important part of your speech. As they say, you only get one chance at a first impression. So, make yours memorable.
You can do that by starting your informative speech with a line that'll hook your audience. This can be with an intriguing question or concept, an anecdote, or a quote. We've got an incredible tutorial that can give you more information on attention getters for informative speeches.
Once you've nailed your opener, it's time to introduce your thesis statement. As mentioned earlier, your thesis statement is a brief summary of the rest of your speech. Add a transition that allows you to flow into the first key point of your informative speech outline example.
Constructing the Body of Your Speech
Writing the body of your informative speech is a lot easier thanks to your outline. The perfect example is to say it's the GPS for the rest of your speech. How long that journey will be and what twists and turns it'll take all depend on your content.
Even if your body paragraphs have different focuses, there will be similarities in how you present their contents. You'll always want to start by introducing what the key point you're introducing will be. Then dive further into the point and present any facts or figures you found in your research. And, if you've structured your speech well, introduce a transition into the next key point.
Now, notice how I said there will be similarities, and not that your paragraphs will be identical. That's because an identical structure is easy to spot and not very interesting for your audience. Find ways to mix things up in your writing to make sure you're keeping audiences engaged. Take some time to watch some informative speech examples online. Notice that the best ones always find ways to inform without following a strict writing style.
Concluding in Style
All good things must come to an end, and that includes the stellar speech you're writing. So, when it's time to bring it all to a close, do so in a memorable way.
Your conclusion needs a few elements. One of them is a summary of all the topics you've discussed. It's like a brief recap of your key points. Also restate your thesis. Remember, the last time you brought up your thesis statement was in the introduction! It's a good idea to reinforce your main goal before you end. And make sure your end feels like an end. Even if you're informing your audience about ongoing efforts, your speech will need to have a sense of finality.
7. Prepare Your Visual Aid (Optional)
Unlike creating an outline example for your informative speech, this step isn't mandatory. but if you know you'll have a screen at your disposal, take advantage of it. One of the best attention getters for informative speeches is a visual presentation. It's especially helpful when your topic can be easily shown, but it's also helpful for abstract concepts.
A slide deck is easy to create if you use a template. You can find the one that best fits your topic from Envato Elements. The creative service has thousands of presentations with a great offer. But I'll tell you more about that later. For now, check out some of the PowerPoint and Keynote presentation templates you can use to share any visuals you've got for your audience:
- 40 Awesome PowerPoint Templates (With Cool PPT Presentation Designs 2023)Sean Hodge30 May 2023
- 34 Best Google Slides Templates for Business Presentations in 2023Laura Spencer12 Jul 2023
- 35 Modern Keynote Templates to Create Beautiful Presentation Designs 2023Dacia Egurrola14 Apr 2023
8. Rehearse and Rewrite
You've come a long way from selecting your topic and creating the outline for your informative speech. You're just about ready to give your speech, but before you do you've got one last thing to do: practice.
There are a couple ways to practice. You can do it by yourself, with or without the help of a mirror. If you do go this route, make sure you force yourself to fully do your informative speech out loud. It's the best example of what you'll do in front of a crowd. If you've got a willing friend or family member, sit them down and rehearse with them. An outside perspective will give you the best feedback of what you can do to improve your delivery.
If you're speech has a time limit, make sure you time yourself with each run through. Doing this will help you see how close you are to your max allotment. You'll also be able to see whether you're rushing through your speech or speaking a bit too slowly.
Sometimes the words we write don't always translate when speaking out loud. Take this as an opportunity to rewrite when necessary. Make your speech more natural so it's easier for you to get the words out. You might also realize you left out key details you think your audience needs to know.
More Tips for Your Informative Speech
These steps are always going to be helpful when writing your speech. but I've got a few more tips to keep in mind if you want to take things to the next level:
- Inform, don't persuade. Once you've finished your informative speech outline example and prepare to write, don't forget its goal. You're here to share information. Avoid using words and phrases that may aim to convince. You don't want your audience to leave with the feeling that they've just heard a sales pitch.
- Make everything flow. For effective speeches, you'll hear a lot about storytelling. A story makes sure your audience stays engaged. You don't have to structure your speech like a fairytale. But think about how you'd like each key point and idea to connect with each other. Have this at the front of your mind when putting together your outline example for your informative speech.
- Personal touches are nice. If you had the freedom to pick your topic, you probably picked one that you care about. Don't be afraid to let that show in your speech! If you found a key point to be especially interesting, verbalize it. Audiences engage better with your information if they know you're engaged with it too.
- Interact with your audience. Look to interactivity if you're looking for easy ways to engage your audience. Now, you don't need to invite someone from the crowd to stand next to you while you talk. But you can ask them questions or open the floor so you can answer some yourself. Props, quizzes, or even asking for a show of hands are options at your disposal.
- Use key points for memorization. Remembering everything in your speech can be tricky. But there are some memorization tricks you can use. One of them is to focus memorizing the key points first. This helps you keep the flow of your informative speech in mind. Brenda Barron, an Envato Tuts+ instructor, has even more useful memorization tips that you can check out:
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You're Ready to Write Your Informative Speech
No matter the niche, you can trust that these steps apply to your speech. Download a template and get started.
We started off by picking a topic and performing research. We then defined a thesis and created an outline of your informative speech example. After thinking about your audience, we wrote a draft, rehearsed, and made our edits.
You've done the work in putting together a well-structured foundation. Now comes the fun part in giving your speech. Good luck!