Informative Speech

Your informative speech should be thought of as a way to build the audience's knowledge base about a topic they already know something about. It will, if effectively crafted and delivered, be worthy of your audience's attention because it will demonstrate, show, explain, etc., something that will broaden each individual's frame of reference. Consider your listeners' interests, as well as your own, when choosing a topic.

The criteria for evaluation for this speech are similar to those used to evaluate your first speech. Each criterion is more challenging, however.


Speeches should have a clearly identifiable beginning, middle, and end. The introduction should gain audience attention in a novel way and then serve to orient the audience to upcoming information. Speakers, therefore, should state their speech's specific purpose and central idea before moving into the body of the speech. The body of the speech should be characterized by two-four main points phrased as complete sentences, and these should follow a consistent organizational plan. Topical, chronological, spatial, and compare/contrast are examples of organizational patterns for that part of the speech where the ideas are explained in detail. The speech's conclusion should 1) summarize the specific purpose and central idea; and 2) allow the speaker a smooth way out of the speech by way of a distinctive ending. Just as with attention-gaining language in the beginning, speakers should plan in advance concluding comments. (Note: Just before delivering their speech, speakers are required to turn in a preparation outline of their presentation, as discussed in class. The sample preparation outline, pp. 213-215 of your textbook, is a fine model. 

Supporting Material

Speakers should consult at least five sources* outside their own experience and actually cite completely during the course of the speech three of those sources. Information regarding types of acceptable sources, methods of citing sources, and ways to smoothly integrate supporting material into the flow of the speech will be discussed in class. Use of presentational aids is optional but is encouraged. Speakers who do plan to use visual aids should consult Chapter 13 in the textbook, particularly pp. 275-282, and follow your author's guidelines.


The speech should be delivered extemporaneously and the presentation should be characterized by frequent and varied eye contact with all of the audience.

Time Limit

Speakers should plan for a 4-6 minute speech.

*Sources consulted during your research should be included with your preparation outline by way of an attached bibliography.