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How to Write an Informative Speech Outline: A Step-by-Step Guide

speech outline example informative

It’s the moment of truth — the anxiety-inducing moment when you realize writing the outline for your informative speech is due soon. Whether you’re looking to deliver a report on the migratory patterns of the great white stork or give a lecture on the proper techniques of candle making, knowing how to write an effective outline is essential.

That’s why we’ve put together this complete, step-by-step guide on how to write an informative speech outline. From selecting a topic to transitioning during your speech, this guide will have you well on your way to writing a compelling informative speech outline . So grab your pen and paper, put on your thinking cap, and let’s get started!

What is an Informative Speech Outline?

An informative speech outline is a document used to plan the structure and core content of a public speech. It’s used by speakers to ensure their talk covers all the important points, stays on-topic and flows logically from one point to another. By breaking down complex topics into smaller, concise sections, an effective outline can help keep a speaker organized, set objectives for their talk, support key points with evidence and promote audience engagement. A well-structured outline can also make a presentation easier to remember and act as an invaluable reminder if nerves ever get the better of the speaker. On one hand, an informative speech outline enables speakers to cover multiple ideas in an efficient manner while avoiding digressions. On the other hand, it’s important that speakers remain flexible to adjust and adapt content to meet audience needs. While there are some tried-and-tested strategies for creating outlines that work, many successful speakers prefer to tweak and modify existing outlines according to their personal preferences. In conclusion, preparing an informative speech outline can boost confidence and create an effective structure for presentations. With this in mind, let’s now look at how to structure an informative speech outline

How to Structure an Informative Speech Outline

The structure of your informative speech outline should be based on the points you need to cover during your presentation. It should list out all of the main points in an organized and logical manner, along with supporting details for each point. The main structure for an informative speech should consist of three parts: the introduction, body and conclusion.


When starting to craft your structure, begin by introducing the topic and giving a brief synopsis of what the audience can expect to learn from your speech. By setting up what they will gain from your presentation, it will help keep them engaged throughout the rest of your talk. Additionally, include any objectives that you want to achieve by the end of your speech.

The body of an informative speech outline typically consists of three parts: main points, sub-points, and supporting details. Main points are the core topics that the speaker wishes to cover throughout the speech. These can be further broken down into sub-points, that explore the main ideas in greater detail. Supporting details provide evidence or facts about each point and can include statistics, research studies, quotes from experts, anecdotes and personal stories . When presenting an informative speech, it is important to consider each side of the topic for an even-handed discussion. If there is an argumentative element to the speech, consider incorporating both sides of the debate . It is also important to be objective when presenting facts and leave value judgments out. Once you have determined your main points and all of their supporting details, you can start ordering them in a logical fashion. The presentation should have a clear flow and move between points smoothly. Each point should be covered thoroughly without getting overly verbose; you want to make sure you are giving enough information to your audience while still being concise with your delivery.

Writing an informative speech outline can be a daunting yet rewarding process. Through the steps outlined above, speakers will have created a strong foundation for their speech and can now confidently start to research their topics . The outline serves as a guiding map for speakers to follow during their research and when writing their eventual speech drafts . Having the process of developing an informative speech broken down into easy and manageable steps helps to reduce stress and anxiety associated with preparing speeches .

  • The introduction should be around 10-20% of the total speech duration and is designed to capture the audience’s attention and introduce the topic.
  • The main points should make up 40-60% of the speech and provide further detail into the topic. The body should begin with a transition, include evidence or examples and have supporting details. Concluding with a recap or takeaway should take around 10-20% of the speech duration.

While crafting an informative speech outline is a necessary step in order for your presentation to run smoothly, there are many different styles and approaches you can use when creating one. Ultimately though, the goal is always to ensure that the information presented is factual and relevant to both you and your audience. By carefully designing and structuring an effective outline, both you and your audience will be sure to benefit greatly from it when it comes time for delivering a successful presentation .

Now that speakers know how to create an effective outline, it’s time to begin researching the content they plan to include in their speeches. In the next section we’ll discuss how to conduct research for an informative speech so speakers are armed with all the facts necessary to deliver an interesting and engaging presentation .

How to Research for an Informative Speech

When researching an informative speech, it’s important to find valid and reliable sources of information. There are many ways that one can seek out research for an informative speech, and no single method will guarantee a thorough reliable research. Depending on the complexity of the topic and the depth of knowledge required, a variety of methods should be utilized. The first step when researching for an informative speech should be to evaluate your present knowledge of the subject. This will help to determine what specific areas require additional research, and give clues as to where you might start looking for evidence. It is important to know the basic perspectives and arguments surrounding your chosen topic in order to select good sources and avoid biased materials. Textbooks, academic journals, newspaper articles, broadcasts, or credible websites are good starting points for informational speeches. As you search for information and evidence, be sure to use trustworthy authors who cite their sources. These sources refer to experts in the field whose opinions add credibility and can bolster your argument with facts and data. Evaluating these sources is particularly important as they form the foundation of your speech content and structure. Analyze each source critically by looking into who wrote it and evaluating how recent or relevant it is to the current conversation on your chosen topic. As with any research paper, one must strive for accuracy when gathering evidence while also surveying alternative positions on a topic. Considering both sides of a debate allows your speech to provide accurate information while remaining objective. This will also encourage audience members to draw their conclusions instead of taking your word for it. Furthermore, verifying sources from multiple angles (multiple avenues) ensures that information is fact-checked versus opinionated or biased pieces which might distort accuracy or mislead an audience member seeking truth about a controversial issue. At this stage in preparing for an informative speech, research should have been carried out thoroughly enough to allow confidently delivering evidence-based statements about a chosen topic. With all of this necessary groundwork completed, it’s time to move onto the next stage: sourcing different types of evidence which will allow you to illustrate your point in an even more helpful way. It is now time to transition into discussing “Sources & Evidence”.

Sources and Evidence

When crafting an informative speech outline, it is important to include accurate sources and valid evidence. Your audience needs to be sure that the content you are presenting not only reflects a clear understanding of the topic but is also backed up with reliable sources. For example, if you are speaking about climate change, include research studies, statistics, surveys and other forms of data that provide concrete evidence that supports your argument or position. Additionally, be sure to cite any sources used in the speech so that your audience can double-check the accuracy. In some cases, particularly when discussing sensitive topics, each side of the issue should be addressed. Not only does this make for a more balanced discussion, it also allows you to show respect for different points of view without compromising your own opinion or position. Presenting both sides briefly will demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter and show your ability to present a well-rounded argument. Knowing how to source accurately and objectively is key to creating an informative speech outline which will be compelling and engaging for an audience. With the right sources and evidence utilized correctly, you can ensure that your argument is both authoritative and convincing. With these fundamentals in place, you can move on to developing tips for crafting an informative speech for maximum impact and engagement with the listeners.

Tips for Crafting an Informative Speech

When crafting an informative speech, there are certain tips and tricks that you can use to make sure your outline is the best it can be. Firstly, if you are speaking about a controversial issue, make sure you present both sides of the argument in an unbiased manner. Rely on researching credible sources, and discuss different points of views objectively. Additionally, organize and prioritize your points so that they are easy to follow and follow a logical progression. Begin with introducing a succinct thesis statement that briefly summarizes the main points of your speech. This will give the audience a clear idea of what topics you will be discussing and help retain their attention throughout your speech. Furthermore, be mindful to weave in personal anecdotes or relevant stories so that the audience can better relate to your ideas. Make sure the anecdotes have a purpose and demonstrate the key themes effectively. Acquiring creative ways to present data or statistics is also important; avoid inundating the audience with too many facts and figures all at once. Finally, ensure that all visual aids such as props, charts or slides remain relevant to the subject matter being discussed. Visual aids not only keep listeners engaged but also make difficult concepts easier to understand. With these handy tips in mind, you should be well on your way to constructing an effective informative speech outline! Now let’s move onto exploring some examples of effective informative speech outlines so that we can get a better idea of how it’s done.

Examples of Effective Informative Speech Outlines

Informative speeches must be compelling and provide relevant details, making them effective and impactful. In order to create an effective outline, speakers must first conduct extensive research on the chosen topic. An effective informative speech outline will clearly provide the audience with enough information to keep them engaged while also adhering to a specific timeframe. The following are examples of how to effectively organize an informative speech: I. Introduction: A. Stimulate their interest – pose a question, present intriguing facts or establish a humorous story B. Clearly state the main focus of the speech C. Establish your credibility– explain your experience/research conducted for the speech II. Supporting Points: A. Each point should contain facts and statistics related to your main idea B. Each point should have its own solid evidence that supports it III. Conclusion: A. Summarize supporting points B. Revisit your introduction point and explain how it’s been updated/changed through the course of the discussion C. Offer a final statement or call to action IV. Bibliography: A. Cite all sources used in creating the speech (provide an alphabetical list) Debate both sides of argument if applicable: N/A

Commonly Asked Questions

What techniques can i use to ensure my informative speech outline is organized and cohesive.

When crafting an informative speech outline, there are several techniques you can use to ensure your speech is organized and cohesive. First of all, make sure your speech follows a logical flow by using signposting , outlining the main ideas at the beginning of the speech and then bulleting out your supporting points. Additionally, you can use transitions throughout the speech to create a smooth order for your thoughts, such as ‘next’ and ‘finally’. Furthermore, it is important that each point in your outline has a specific purpose or goal, to avoid rambling and confusion. Finally, use visual aids such as charts and diagrams to emphasise key ideas and add clarity and structure to your speech. By following these techniques , you can ensure your informative speech outline is well organized and easy to follow.

How should I structure the order of the information in an informative speech outline?

The structure of an informative speech outline should be simple and organized, following a linear step-by-step process. First, you should introduce the topic to your audience and provide an overview of the main points. Next, give an explanation of each point, offer evidence or examples to support it, and explain how it relates to the overall subject matter. Finally, you should conclude with a summary of the main points and a call for action. When structuring the order of information in an informative speech outline, it is important to keep topics distinct from one another and stick to the logical progression that you have established in your introduction. Additionally, pay attention to chronology if appropriate; when discussing historical events, for example, make sure that they are presented in the correct order. Moreover, use transition phrases throughout your outline to help move ideas along smoothly. Finally, utilize both verbal and visual aids such as diagrams or graphics to illustrate complex knowledge effectively and engage your audience throughout your presentation.

What are the essential components of an informative speech outline?

The essential components of an informative speech outline are the introduction, body, and conclusion. Introduction: The introduction should establish the topic of your speech, provide background information, and lead into the main purpose of your speech. It’s also important to include a strong attention-grabbing hook in order to grab the audience’s attention. Body: The body is where you expand on the main points that were outlined in the introduction. It should provide evidence and arguments to support these points, as well as explain any counterarguments that might be relevant. Additionally, it should answer any questions or objections your audience may have about the topic. Conclusion: The conclusion should restate the purpose of your speech and summarize the main points from the body of your speech. It should also leave your audience feeling inspired and motivated to take some kind of action after hearing your speech. In short, an effective informative speech outline should strongly focus on bringing all of these elements together in a cohesive structure to ensure that you deliver an engaging presentation that educates and informs your audience.

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How to Write an Informative Speech

Last Updated: October 6, 2022 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Lynn Kirkham . Lynn Kirkham is a Professional Public Speaker and Founder of Yes You Can Speak, a San Francisco Bay Area-based public speaking educational business empowering thousands of professionals to take command of whatever stage they've been given - from job interviews, boardroom talks to TEDx and large conference platforms. Lynn was chosen as the official TEDx Berkeley speaker coach for the last four years and has worked with executives at Google, Facebook, Intuit, Genentech, Intel, VMware, and others. There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 1,386,076 times.

An informative speech tells an audience about a process, event, or concept. Whether you’re explaining how to grow a garden or describing a historical event, writing an informative speech is pretty straightforward. Knowing the topic inside and out is key, so start by conducting thorough research. Organize your speech logically so your audience can easily follow, and keep your language clear. Since speeches are recited out loud, be sure to set aside time after writing to perfect your delivery.

Researching the Topic

Step 1 Choose a subject that interests you if the topic isn’t assigned.

  • Suppose your prompt instructs you to inform the audience about a hobby or activity. Make a list of your clubs, sports, and other activities, and choose the one that interests you most. Then zoom in on one particular aspect or process to focus on in your speech.
  • For instance, if you like tennis, you can’t discuss every aspect of the sport in a single speech. Instead, you could focus on a specific technique, like serving the ball.

Step 2 Gather a variety...

  • For example, if your speech is about a historical event, find primary sources, like letters or newspaper articles published at the time of the event. Additionally, include secondary sources, such as scholarly articles written by experts on the event.
  • If you’re informing the audience about a medical condition, find information in medical encyclopedias, scientific journals, and government health websites.

Tip: Organize your sources in a works cited page. Even if the assignment doesn’t require a works cited page, it’ll help you keep track of your sources. [3] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source

Step 3 Form a clear understanding of the process or concept you’re describing.

  • For instance, if your speech is on growing plants from seeds, explain the process step-by-step to a friend or relative. Ask them if any parts in your explanation seemed muddy or vague.
  • Break down the material into simple terms, especially if you’re addressing a non-expert audience. Think about how you’d describe the topic to a grandparent or younger sibling. If you can’t avoid using jargon, be sure to define technical words in clear, simple terms.

Step 4 Come up with a thesis that concisely presents your speech’s purpose.

  • For example, if your speech is on the poet Charles Baudelaire, a strong thesis would be, “I am here to explain how city life and exotic travel shaped the key poetic themes of Charles Baudelaire’s work.”
  • While the goal of an informative speech isn't to make a defensible claim, your thesis still needs to be specific. For instance, “I’m going to talk about carburetors” is vague. “My purpose today is to explain how to take apart a variable choke carburetor” is more specific.

Step 5 Focus on informing your audience instead of persuading them.

  • For instance, a speech meant to persuade an audience to support a political stance would most likely include examples of pathos, or persuasive devices that appeal to the audience's emotions.
  • On the other hand, an informative speech on how to grow pitcher plants would present clear, objective steps. It wouldn't try to argue that growing pitcher plants is great or persuade listeners to grow pitcher plants.

Drafting Your Speech

Step 1 Write a bare...

  • Delivering memorized remarks instead of reading verbatim is more engaging. A section of a speaking outline would look like this: III. YMCA’s Focus on Healthy Living  A. Commitment to overall health: both body and mind  B. Programs that support commitment   1. Annual Kid’s Day   2. Fitness facilities   3. Classes and group activities

Step 2 Include a hook, thesis, and road map of your speech in the introduction.

  • For example, you could begin with, “Have you ever wondered how a figure skater could possibly jump, twist, and land on the thin blade of an ice skate? From proper technique to the physical forces at play, I’ll explain how world-class skaters achieve jaw-dropping jumps and spins.”
  • Once you've established your purpose, preview your speech: “After describing the basic technical aspects of jumping, I’ll discuss the physics behind jumps and spins. Finally, I’ll explain the 6 types of jumps and clarify why some are more difficult than others.”
  • Some people prefer to write the speech's body before the introduction. For others, writing the intro first helps them figure out how to organize the rest of the speech.

Step 3 Present your main ideas in a logically organized body.

  • For instance, if your speech is about the causes of World War I, start by discussing nationalism in the years prior to the war. Next, describe the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, then explain how alliances pulled the major players into open warfare.
  • Transition smoothly between ideas so your audience can follow your speech. For example, write, “Now that we’ve covered how nationalism set the stage for international conflict, we can examine the event that directly led to the outbreak of World War I: the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. [11] X Research source

Step 4 Review your main points in the conclusion.

  • For instance, your conclusion could point out, “Examining the factors that set the stage for World War I shows how intense nationalism fueled the conflict. A century after the Great War, the struggle between nationalism and globalism continues to define international politics in the twenty-first century.”

Step 5 Write a complete draft to edit and memorize your speech.

  • Typically, speeches aren’t read verbatim. Instead, you’ll memorize the speech and use a bare bones outline to stay on track.

Avoid information overload: When you compose your speech, read out loud as you write. Focus on keeping your sentence structures simple and clear. Your audience will have a hard time following along if your language is too complicated. [14] X Trustworthy Source University of North Carolina Writing Center UNC's on-campus and online instructional service that provides assistance to students, faculty, and others during the writing process Go to source

Perfecting Your Delivery

Step 1 Write the main points and helpful cues on notecards.

  • While it’s generally okay to use slightly different phrasing, try to stick to your complete outline as best you can. If you veer off too much or insert too many additional words, you could end up exceeding your time limit.
  • Keep in mind your speaking outline will help you stay focused. As for quotes and statistics, feel free to write them on your notecards for quick reference.

Memorization tip: Break up the speech into smaller parts, and memorize it section by section. Memorize 1 sentence then, when you feel confident, add the next. Continue practicing with gradually longer passages until you know the speech like the back of your hand.

Step 2 Project confidence with eye contact, gestures, and good posture.

  • Instead of slouching, stand up tall with your shoulders back. In addition to projecting confidence, good posture will help you breathe deeply to support your voice.

Step 3 Practice the speech in a mirror or to a friend.

  • Have them point out any spots that dragged or seemed disorganized. Ask if your tone was engaging, if you used body language effectively, and if your volume, pitch, and pacing need any tweaks.

Step 4 Make sure you stay within the time limit.

  • If you keep exceeding the time limit, review your complete sentence outline. Cut any fluff and simplify complicated phrases. If your speech isn’t long enough, look for areas that could use more detail or consider adding another section to the body.
  • Just make sure any content you add is relevant. For instance, if your speech on nationalism and World War I is 2 minutes too short, you could add a section about how nationalism manifested in specific countries, including Britain, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Serbia.

Sample Informative Speeches

speech outline example informative

Expert Q&A

Lynn Kirkham

  • You're probably much better at informative speeches than you think! If you have ever told your parents about your day at school or explained to a friend how to make chicken noodle soup, you already have experience giving an informative speech! Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 0
  • If you get nervous, try to relax, take deep breaths, and visualize calming scenery. Remember, there’s nothing to worry about. Just set yourself up for success by knowing the material and practicing. Thanks Helpful 3 Not Helpful 0
  • When composing your speech, take your audience into consideration, and tailor your speech to the people you’re addressing. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 1

speech outline example informative

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Write a Speech

  • ↑ https://courses.lumenlearning.com/suny-realworldcomm/chapter/11-1-informative-speeches/
  • ↑ https://2012books.lardbucket.org/books/a-primer-on-communication-studies/s11-01-informative-speeches.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_works_cited_page_basic_format.html
  • ↑ https://open.lib.umn.edu/communication/chapter/11-1-informative-speeches/
  • ↑ https://www.comm.pitt.edu/informative-speaking
  • ↑ https://rasmussen.libanswers.com/faq/337550
  • ↑ Lynn Kirkham. Public Speaking Coach. Expert Interview. 20 November 2019.
  • ↑ https://www.hamilton.edu/academics/centers/oralcommunication/guides/how-to-outline-a-speech
  • ↑ https://wac.colostate.edu/resources/writing/guides/informative-speaking/
  • ↑ https://www.comm.pitt.edu/structuring-speech
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/speeches/
  • ↑ https://www.speechanddebate.org/wp-content/uploads/High-School-Competition-Events-Guide.pdf
  • ↑ https://open.lib.umn.edu/communication/chapter/10-4-physical-delivery/

About This Article

Lynn Kirkham

To write an informative speech, start with an introduction that will grab your audience's attention and give them an idea of where the rest of your speech is headed. Next, choose 3 important points that you want to make to form the body of your speech. Then, organize the points in a logical order and write content to address each point. Finally, write a conclusion that summarizes the main points and ends with a message that you want your audience to take away from it. For tips on researching topics for an informative speech, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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21 Outlining Your Informative Speech

Learning Objectives

Students will learn to outline an informative speech.

  • Demonstrate an understanding of outlining.
  • Create a proper outline for an informative speech.

Outlining Your Speech

Most speakers and audience members would agree that an organized speech is both easier to present as well as more persuasive. Public speaking teachers especially believe in the power of organizing your speech, which is why they encourage (and often require) that you create an outline for your speech.  Outlines , or textual arrangements of all the various elements of a speech, are a very common way of organizing a speech before it is delivered. Most extemporaneous speakers keep their outlines with them during the speech as a way to ensure that they do not leave out any important elements and to keep them on track. Writing an outline is also important to the speechwriting process since doing so forces the speakers to think about the main points and sub-points, the examples they wish to include, and the ways in which these elements correspond to one another. In short, the outline functions both as an organization tool and as a reference for delivering a speech.

Carol Shafto speaking

Preparation Outline

There are two types of outlines. The first outline you will write is called the  preparation outline . Also called a working, practice, or rough outline, the preparation outline is used to work through the various components of your speech in an inventive format. Stephen E. Lucas [1]  put it simply: “The preparation outline is just what its name implies—an outline that helps you prepare the speech” (p. 248). When writing the preparation outline, you should focus on finalizing the purpose and thesis statements, logically ordering your main points, deciding where supporting material should be included and refining the overall organizational pattern of your speech. As you write the preparation outline, you may find it necessary to rearrange your points or to add or subtract supporting material. You may also realize that some of your main points are sufficiently supported while others are lacking. The final draft of your preparation outline should include full sentences, making up a complete script of your entire speech. In most cases, however, the preparation outline is reserved for planning purposes only and is translated into a speaking outline before you deliver the speech.


Title:  Organizing Your Public Speech

Topic:  Organizing public speeches

Specific Purpose Statement:  To inform listeners about the various ways in which they can organize their public speeches.

Thesis Statement:  A variety of organizational styles can be used to organize public speeches.


  • Attention Getter
  • Topic/ Audience relevance
  • Establish Your Credibility
  • Central Idea/Thesis statement
  • Preview Main Points


I. Main point #1

A. First sub-point

B. Second sub-point

I. Main point #2

  • Provide closure

Of course, your actual outline may look different based on your content. You may have three main points or different levels of sub-points. Use this guide to help format your own content for your preparation outline.

Include the title, topic, specific purpose statement, and thesis statement at the top of the outline. These elements are helpful to you, the speechwriter, since they remind you what, specifically, you are trying to accomplish in your speech. They are also helpful to anyone reading and assessing your outline since knowing what you want to accomplish will determine how they perceive the elements included in your outline. Additionally, write out the transitional statements that you will use to alert audiences that you are moving from one point to another. These are included in parentheses between main points.

On a separate page, you should include a  reference page  for any outside resources you mention during the speech. These should be cited using whatever citations style your professor requires.

Speaking Outline

A  speaking outline  is an outline you will prepare for use when delivering the speech. The speaking outline is much more succinct than the preparation outline and includes brief phrases or words that remind the speakers of the points they need to make, plus supporting material and signposts. [2]  The words or phrases used on the speaking outline should briefly encapsulate all of the information needed to prompt the speaker to accurately deliver the speech. Although some cases call for reading a speech verbatim from the full-sentence outline, in most cases speakers will simply refer to their speaking outline for quick reminders and to ensure that they do not omit any important information. Because it uses just words or short phrases, and not full sentences, the speaking outline can easily be transferred to index cards that can be referenced during a speech.

Using the Speaking Outline

Major General John Nichols speaking to an audience.

Using a speaking outline will help you to deliver an effective speech. Under no circumstances should you ever attempt to use your preparation outline or a word for word written out speech during your speech delivery. You will end up reading a sequence of words to your audience instead of delivering your message extemporaneously.

Whether you decide to use index cards or the printed outline, here are a few tips. First, write large enough so that you do not have to bring the cards or pages close to your eyes to read them. Second, make sure you have the cards/pages in the correct order and bound together in some way so that they do not get out of order. Third, just in case the cards/pages do get out of order (this happens too often!), be sure that you number each in the top right corner so you can quickly and easily get things organized. Fourth, try not to fiddle with the cards/pages when you are speaking. It is best to lay them down if you have a podium or table in front of you. If not, practice reading from them in front of a mirror. You should be able to look down quickly, read the text, and then return to your gaze to the audience.

Key Takeaways

  • Outlining our speech helps us to organize our speech content so that we can communicate it effectively to the audience.
  • You will create two outlines for successful speech delivery.
  • The preparation outline is intended to help you prepare your delivery.
  • The speaking note outline is intended to help you deliver your speech extemporaneously.
  • Lucas, Stephen E. (2004). The art of public speaking  (8th edition). New York: McGraw-Hill.  ↵
  • Beebe, S. A. & Beebe, S. J. (2003).  The public speaking handbook  (5th edition). Boston: Pearson.  ↵


  • Chapter 8 Outlining Your Speech.  Authored by : Joshua Trey Barnett.  Provided by : University of Indiana, Bloomington, IN.  Located at :  http://publicspeakingproject.org/psvirtualtext.html .  Project : The Public Speaking Project.  License :  CC BY-NC-ND: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives
  • Alpena Mayor Carol Shafto Speaks at 2011 Michigan Municipal League Convention.  Authored by : Michigan Municipal League.  Located at :  https://flic.kr/p/aunJMR .  License :  CC BY-ND: Attribution-NoDerivatives
  • TAG speaks of others first.  Authored by : Texas Military Forces.  Located at :  https://www.flickr.com/photos/texasmilitaryforces/5560449970/ .  License :  CC BY-ND: Attribution-NoDerivatives

Public Speaking Copyright © by Dr. Layne Goodman; Amber Green, M.A.; and Various is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Informative speech examples

4 types of informative speeches: topics and outlines

By:  Susan Dugdale  | Last modified: 08-05-2023

The primary purpose of an informative speech is to share useful and interesting, factual, and accurate information with the audience on a particular topic (issue), or subject.

Find out more about how to do that effectively here. 

What's on this page

The four different types of informative speeches, each with specific topic suggestions and an example informative speech outline: 

  • description
  • demonstration
  • explanation

What is informative speech?

  • The 7 key characteristics of an informative speech

Image - Label: 4 Informative speech example outlines: definition, description, explanation, demonstration

We all speak to share information. We communicate knowledge of infinite variety all day, every day, in multiple settings.

Teachers in classrooms world-wide share information with their students.

Call centers problem solve for their callers.

News outlets (on and offline) issue reports on local, national and international events and issues, people of interest, weather, traffic flow around cities...

Health care professionals explain the treatment of addictive behaviors, the many impacts of long Covid, the development of new treatments...

Specialist research scientists share their findings with colleagues at conferences.

A pastry chef demonstrates how to make perfect classic croissants.

The range of informative public speaking is vast!  Some of us do it well. Some of us not so well - largely because we don't fully understand what's needed to present what we're sharing effectively. 

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The key characteristics of an informative speech

So, what are the key characteristics or essential elements, of this type of speech? There are seven.

1. Objectivity

The information you give is factual, neutral and objective. You make no attempt to persuade or push (advocate) a particular viewpoint.

Your personal opinions: feelings thoughts, or concerns about the topic you're presenting are not given. This is not a persuasive speech.

As an example,  here's an excerpt from a Statistics Department report on teenage births in New Zealand - the country I live in.

Although it's a potentially a firecracker subject: one arousing all sorts of emotional responses from outright condemnation of the girls and their babies to compassionate practical support, the article sticks to the facts. 

The headline reads: "Teenage births halved over last decade"

"The number of teenage women in New Zealand giving birth has more than halved over the last decade, Stats NZ said today.

There were 1,719 births registered to teenage women (those aged under 20 years) in 2022, accounting for around 1 in every 34 births that year. In 2012, there were 3,786 births registered to teenage mothers, accounting for around 1 in every 16 births that year."

For more see: Statistics Department NZ - Teenage births halved over last decade 

You present your information clearly and concisely, avoiding jargon or complex language that may confuse your audience.

The candidate gave a rousing stump speech , which included a couple of potentially inflammatory statements on known wedge issues .

If the audience is familiar with political jargon that sentence would be fine. If they're not, it would bewilder them. What is a 'stump speech' or a 'wedge issue' ?

Stump speech: a candidate's prepared speech or pitch that explains their core platform.

Wedge issue: a controversial political issue that divides members of opposing political parties or the same party.

For more see: political jargon examples

3. Relevance

The content shared in your speech should be relevant and valuable. It should meet your audience's needs or spark their curiosity.

If the audience members are vegetarians, they're highly unlikely to want to know anything about the varying cuts of beef and what they are used for.

However, the same audience might be very interested in finding out more about plant protein and readily available sources of it.  

4. Organizational pattern

The speech should have a logical sequential structure with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion.

If I am giving a demonstration speech on how to bake chocolate chip cookies, to be effective it needs to move through each of the necessary steps in the correct order.

Beginning with how to spoon the mixture on to the tray, or how to cool the cookies on a wire rack when you've taken them out of the oven, is confusing.   

5. Research and credibility

Informative speeches are based on thorough research and reliable sources to ensure accuracy and credibility. And sources need to be properly cited.

My friend told me, my mother says, or I saw it on Face Book is neither authoritative nor enough. ☺

Example: My speech is on literacy rates in USA. To be credible I need to quote and cite reputable sources.

  • https://www.apmresearchlab.org/10x-adult-literacy
  • https://www.thinkimpact.com/literacy-statistics/

6. Visual aids

Slides, charts, graphs, or props are frequently used to help the audience fully understand what they're being told.

For example, an informative speech on the rise and fall of a currency's daily exchange rate is made a great deal easier to follow and understand with graphs or charts illustrating the key points.

Or for a biographical speech, photos of the person being talked about will help hold the attention of your audience.  

7. Effective delivery

To be effective your speech needs to be delivered in a way that captures and hold the audience's attention. That means all aspects of it have been rehearsed or practiced. 

If you're demonstrating, you've gone through every step to ensure you have the flow of material right.

If you're using props (visual aids) of any sort you've made sure they work. Can they be seen easily? Do they clearly illustrate the point you're making?

Is your use of the stage (or your speaking space) good? Does your body language align with your material? Can your voice be heard? Are you speaking clearly? 

Pulling together a script and the props you're going to use is only part of the task of giving a speech. Working on and refining delivery completes it.

To give a successful speech each of these seven aspects needs to be fine-tuned: to hook your audience's interest, to match their knowledge level, your topic, your speech purpose and, fit within the time constraints you've been given.

Types of informative speeches

There are four types of informative speeches: definition, description, explanation and demonstration. A speech may use one, or a mix of them.

1. Informing through definition 

An informative speech based on definition clearly, and concisely, explains a concept * , theory, or philosophy. The principal purpose is to inform the audience, so they understand the main aspects of the particular subject being talked about.

* Definition of concept from the Cambridge dictionary - an  abstract principle or idea 

Examples of topics for definition or concept speeches

A good topic could be:

  • What is global warming?
  • What are organics?
  • What are the core beliefs of Christianity?
  • What is loyalty?
  • What is mental health?
  • What is modern art? 
  • What is freedom?
  • What is beauty?
  • What is education?
  • What are economics?
  • What is popular culture?

These are very broad topic areas- each containing multiple subtopics, any of which could become the subject of a speech in its own right. 

Example outline for a definition or concept informative speech

Speech title:.

What is modern art?

- people who want an introductory overview of modern art to help them understand a little more about what they're looking at - to place artists and their work in context 

Specific purpose:

- to provide a broad outline/definition of modern art 

Image: The Scream - Edvard Munch Text: What is modern art? An example outline for a concept or definition informative speech

Modern art refers to a broad and diverse artistic movement that emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and continued to develop throughout the 20th century. 

It is characterized by a radical departure from traditional artistic styles and conventions and encompasses a wide range of artistic styles, techniques, and media, reflecting the cultural, social, and technological changes of the time.

Key characteristics or main points include:

  • Experimentation and innovation : Modern artists sought to break away from established norms and explore new ways of representing the world. They experimented with different materials, techniques, and subjects, challenging the boundaries of traditional art forms.
  • Abstraction : Modern art often features abstract and non-representational elements, moving away from realistic depictions. Artists like Wassily Kandinsky and Piet Mondrian explored pure abstraction, using shapes, lines, and colors to convey emotions and ideas.
  • Expression of the inner self : Many modern artists aimed to convey their inner emotions, thoughts, and experiences through their work. This led to the development of various movements like Expressionism (See work of Evard Munch) and Surrealism (See work of Salvador Dali). 
  • Rejection of academic conventions : Artists sought to break free from the rigid rules of academic art and embrace more individualistic and avant-garde approaches. For example: Claude Monet, (1840 -1926) Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Édouard Manet
  • Influence of industrialization and urbanization : The rapid changes brought about by industrialization and urbanization in the 19th and 20th centuries influenced modern art. Artists were inspired by the dynamics of the modern world and its impact, often negative, on human life. 
  • Multiple art movements : Modern art encompasses a wide array of movements and styles, for example Cubism, Futurism, Dadaism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art... Each movement brought its own unique perspective on art and society.
  • Focus on concept and process : Modern artists began to emphasize the underlying ideas and concepts behind their work, giving greater importance to the creative process itself. 

Modern art should not be confused with contemporary art. While modern art refers specifically to the artistic developments of the early to mid-20th century, contemporary art encompasses art created by artists living and working in the present day. The transition from modern art to contemporary art happened around the late 20th century- 1950s onward.


  • mymodernmet.com/abstract artists
  • differencess.com/expressionism vs surrealism
  • lorimcnee.com/artists who died without recognition
  • industrial revolution the influence on art
  • mymodernmet.com/important art movements
  • theartstory.org/conceptual-art
  • Image: The Scream, Edvard Munch  

2. Informing through description

Informing through description means creating detailed, vivid verbal pictures for your audience to make what you're talking about come to life in the minds of those listening which in turn, will make your subject matter memorable.

Examples of good informative speech topics that could be used for descriptive speeches

  • How I celebrate Christmas
  • My first day at school
  • My home town
  • A time I feared for my life
  • A time when I felt contented and happy

My first car

  • An object I find fascinating: lotus shoes, bustles, corsets, panniers (These are historical items of women's clothing.)
  • Working from home: the joys, the hazards
  • My dream home, job, or holiday
  • An event I'll never forget
  • The most valuable or interesting thing I own
  • Martin Luther King, Benjamin Franklin, President Lincoln... a notable person from the past or present, including someone you may know: a family member, friend or yourself, or a public figure (an artist, singer, dancer, writer, entrepreneur, inventor...)

Example outline for a descriptive informative speech

- to take the audience with me back to the time when we bought our first car and have them appreciate that car's impact on our lives 

Central idea:

Our Austin A50 was a much-loved car

Image: Austin A50 advertising picture Text: Austin A50 Cambridge - the car that gives you more

About the car:

- English, Austin A50, 1950ish model - curvy, solid, a matron of cars

Background to purchase:

  • 1974 - we were 20 and 21 - young and broke
  • The car cost $200 - a lot of money for me at that time. I raided my piggy bank to buy it.
  • It was a trade up from the back of the motorbike - now I could sit side by side and talk, rather than sit behind and poke my husband, when I wanted to say important things like, 'Slow down', or 'I'm cold'. The romance of a motorbike is short-lived in winter. It diminishes in direct proportion to the mountain of clothes needing to be put on before going anywhere - coats, scarf, boots, helmet... And this particular winter was bitter: characterized by almost impenetrable grey fog and heavy frosts. It was so cold the insides of windows of the old house we lived in iced up.
  • It was tri-colored - none of them dominating - bright orange on the bonnet, sky blue on the rear doors and the roof, and matt black on the front doors and the boot. (Bonus - no one would ever steal it - far too easily identified!)
  • The chrome flying A proudly rode the bonnet.
  • The boot, (trunk lid) was detachable. It came off - why I can't remember. But it needed to be opened to fill the tank, so it meant lifting it off at the petrol station and leaning it up against the boot while the tank filled, and then replacing it when done.
  • There were bench seats upholstered in grey leather (dry and cracked) front and back with wide arm rests that folded down.
  • The windows wound up and down manually and, in the rear, there were triangle shaped opening quarter-windows.
  • The mouse-colored lining that had been on the doors and roof was worn, torn and in some patches completely missing. Dust poured in through the crevices when we drove on the metal roads that were common where we lived.
  • It had a column gear change - 4 gears, a heater that didn't function, proper old-school semaphore trafficators indicators that flicked out from the top of the door pillars and blinked orange, a clutch that needed a strong push to get it down, an accelerator pedal that was slow to pick up and a top speed of around 50 mph. 


We called her Prudence. We loved, and remember, her fondly because:

  • I was taught to drive in her - an unforgettable experience. I won the bunny hopping record learning to coordinate releasing the clutch and pressing down on the accelerator. Additionally, on metal roads, I found you needed to slow before taking corners. Sliding on two wheels felt precarious. The bump back down to four was a relief.  
  • We did not arrive places having to disrobe - take off layers of protective clobber.
  • We could talk to each without shouting and NOW our road trips had a soundtrack - a large black portable battery driven tape player sat on the back parcel shelf blasting out a curious mix of Ry Cooder, Bach, Mozart's Flute Concerto, Janice Joplin... His choice. My choice. Bliss.
  • My father-in-law suggested we park it down the street rather than directly outside his house when we visited. To him Prudence was one eccentricity too many! An embarrassment in front of the neighbors. ☺
  • austinmemories.com/styled-33/styled-39/index.html
  • wikipedia.org/Austin_Cambridge
  • archive.org/1956-advertisement-for-austin-a-50

3. Informing through demonstration

Informing through demonstration means sharing verbal directions about how to do a specific task: fix, or make, something while also physically showing the steps, in a specific chronological order.

These are the classic 'show-n-tell', 'how to' or process speeches.

Examples of process speech topics:

  • How to bake chocolate chip cookies
  • How to use CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) correctly
  • How to prepare and plant a tub of vegetables or flowers
  • How to read a topographic map
  • How to make a tik-tok reel
  • How to knit a hat

How to brainstorm material for a speech

For literally  100s more demonstration topic ideas

A demonstrative informative speech outline example

To demonstrate the brainstorming process and to provide practical strategies (helpful tips) for freeing and speeding up the generation of ideas

Main ideas:

Understanding brainstorming - explanation of what brainstorming is and its benefits

Preparing for brainstorming - the starting point - stating the problem or topic that needs brainstorming, working in a comfortable place free from distractions, encouraging open-mindedness and suspension of judgment.

Techniques for brainstorming : (Show and tell on either white board or with large sheets of paper that everyone can see) mind mapping, and free writing. Take topic ideas from audience to use.

Example : notes for maid of honor speech for sister

Example of brainstorming notes - free writing - ideas for a maid of honor speech for my sister

Benefits : Demonstrate how mind maps can help visually organize thoughts and connections, how free writing allows ideas to flow without stopping to judge them

Encourages quantity over quality - lots of ideas - more to choose from. May generate something you'd never have thought of otherwise.

Select, refine, develop (show and tell) 

For more see: brainstorm examples

4. Informing through explanation 

Informing through explanation is explaining or sharing how something works, came to be, or why something happened, for example historical events like the Civil War in the United States. The speech is made stronger through the use of visuals - images, charts of data and/or statistics.

Examples of explanatory informative speech topics

  • How did the 1919 Treaty of Versailles contribute to the outbreak of World War Two?
  • What led to The American Civil War (April 12, 1861 – May 26, 1865)?
  • Why is there an increase in type two diabetes and problems associated with obesity in first world countries, for example, in UK and USA?
  • How do lungs work?
  • What causes heart disease?
  • How electric vehicles work?   
  • What caused the Salem witch trials?
  • How does gravitation work?
  • How are rainbows formed?
  • Why do we pay taxes?
  • What is cyberbullying? Why is it increasing?

Example explanatory informative speech outline

The Treaty of Versailles: how did it contribute to the outbreak of World War Two

Image: Signing The Treaty of Versailles 1919 - dignitaries gather in the Hall of Mirrors, Palace of Versailles to sign the treaty, June 28, 1919

- to explain how the Treaty of Versailles (1919) was a significant causal factor leading up World War two

Central ideas:

Historical context : World War One, 'the war to end all wars' ended in 1918. The Allied Powers: USA, UK, France, Italy and Japan, met in Paris at the Paris Peace Conference 1919 to work out the details and consequences of the Treaty of Versailles, which would impact the defeated Central Powers, principally Germany. 

These included:

  • territorial boundary changes which stripped Germany of land in Europe, and established new nations - e.g. Poland and Czechoslovakia
  • military restrictions - the disarmament of the German military, restrictions on weapons and technology, demilitarization of the Rhineland
  • reparations - demands that they were unable to meet, plus being forced to accept a "war guilt" clause (Article 231) had an enormous impact, economically and psychologically. The country plunged into deep recession - albeit along with many other countries. (The Great Depression 1929-1939 which ended with the beginning of World War Two.)

The League of Nations - The League of Nations was an international diplomatic group developed after World War I as a way to solve disputes between countries before they erupted into open warfare. Despite being active in its set up, USA refused to join it - a stance that weakened its effectiveness.

Controversies within Germany: Public anger and resentment, plus political instability as result of reparations, territory loss and economic hardships

Controversies with Treaty partners: The Treaty's perceived fairness and effectiveness: Italy and Japan felt their settlements were inadequate compared to what had been taken by UK, USA and France.

The rise of 'isms'   Simmering discontent eventually emerged as the rise of Fascism in Italy, Nazism in Germany and Statism (a mix of nationalism, militarism and “state capitalism”) in Japan.

Expansionist Nationalism Spread of expansionist nationalism - a state's right to increase its borders because it is superior in all ways. Therefore, Hitler was 'right' to take back what had previously been regarded as German territory (Czechoslovakia and Austria), and to go after more, all the while goading the Allied Powers to act. When his armies went into Poland, Britain declared war against Germany - 21 years after the end of the last.

  • history.com/treaty-of-versailles-world-war-ii-guilt-effects
  • tinyurl.com/Treaty-of-Versailles
  • Image:  tinyurl.com/signing-Treaty-of-Versailles

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Informative Speech

Informative Speech

As a speaker, you’re given a special role. You’ve been given the power for your voice to be heard. For those who deliver an informative speech, this role can come as a challenge. Not only do you have to write a speech , but you also need to deliver it well. Of course, there’s also the challenge of making your speech interesting enough to capture the attention of your audience.

What Is an Informative Speech? An informative speech is a type of speech designed to educate the audience on a particular topic. It aims to provide interesting and useful information, ensuring the audience gains new knowledge or insights. Unlike persuasive speeches that seek to convince the audience of a particular viewpoint, informative speeches focus on explaining a subject matter clearly and objectively, without trying to influence the audience’s opinions or beliefs.

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An informative speech must be made memorable for it to be effective. Check out these examples and outlines of speeches that have tried to do just that. If they succeeded or failed, you’ll be the judge of that. Take what works and replicate it in your own speech drafts.

Informative Speech Format


Attention Getter : Start with a hook to grab the audience’s attention. This could be a surprising fact, an intriguing question, or a relevant story. Purpose Statement : Clearly state the purpose of your speech. This tells the audience exactly what they will learn. Preview : Briefly outline the main points you will cover. This gives the audience a roadmap of your speech.
First Main Point : Introduce your first key point. Support this point with evidence, such as data, examples, or expert quotes. Explain how this information is relevant to your topic. Second Main Point : Follow the same format as the first point, presenting new information and supporting evidence. Third Main Point : Continue with the format, ensuring each point is distinct and contributes to your overall topic. Remember to transition smoothly between points to maintain the flow of your speech.
Summary : Briefly recap the main points you’ve covered. This reinforces the information for the audience. Closing Statement : Conclude with a strong closing statement. You can reiterate the importance of the topic, share a concluding thought, or call to action if relevant.

Example of Informative Speech

The Impact of Technology on Society Good morning, everyone. Today, I am excited to delve into a topic that affects us all profoundly: the impact of technology on society. From the way we communicate to how we work and learn, technology has transformed every facet of our lives. But what does this mean for us as a society? Let’s explore this together.   Imagine a world without smartphones, social media, or the internet. It’s hard, isn’t it? These technologies have become so integral to our daily lives that living without them seems almost unthinkable.   My aim today is to shed light on both the positive and negative effects of technological advancements on our societal structures, behaviors, and relationships. We will explore three main areas: communication, privacy, and education.   Technology has revolutionized the way we communicate. Social media platforms have made it easier than ever to stay connected with loved ones around the globe. While this keeps relationships alive across distances, it also raises questions about the depth and quality of these connections.   The digital age has brought about significant concerns regarding privacy. Personal information is often collected by companies for targeted advertising, sometimes without explicit consent. This practice has led to a global conversation about the rights to privacy and the need for stricter regulations to protect personal information.   Technology has transformed the educational landscape. Online learning platforms and digital textbooks make education more accessible than ever. However, this shift also presents challenges, such as the digital divide, where not all students have equal access to technology.   In conclusion, technology’s impact on society is multifaceted, influencing our communication, privacy, and education. While it offers unprecedented opportunities for growth and connectivity, it also presents significant challenges that we must address.   As we navigate this digital age, let us embrace the benefits of technology while also being mindful of its implications. By doing so, we can ensure that technological advancements serve to enhance, rather than diminish, the quality of our societal fabric.   Thank you for your attention, and I look forward to any questions you might have.

Good Topics for Informative Speech with Samples

  • Climate Change: Discuss the causes, effects, and solutions related to climate change.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Explore the impact of AI on various industries and daily life.
  • Space Exploration: Cover recent advancements in space exploration and missions to other planets.
  • Cybersecurity: Explain the importance of cybersecurity and how individuals can protect their online privacy.
  • Mental Health Awareness: Discuss common mental health issues and strategies for maintaining mental well-being.
  • History of a Notable Figure: Present a biography of a historical figure and their contributions.
  • Healthy Eating Habits: Share tips for maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle.
  • Renewable Energy Sources: Explain different types of renewable energy and their benefits.
  • The Impact of Social Media: Discuss the positive and negative effects of social media on society.
  • The Importance of Education: Explain the significance of education in personal and societal development.
  • Cultural Diversity: Explore the value of cultural diversity and its impact on societies.
  • Medical Breakthroughs: Highlight recent advancements in medical science and healthcare.
  • Effective Time Management: Provide strategies for better time management and productivity.
  • The History of a Local Landmark: Share the history and significance of a well-known local landmark.
  • The Power of Positive Thinking: Discuss the benefits of a positive mindset and its impact on success.
  • Economic Trends: Explain current economic trends and their implications for businesses and individuals.
  • Animal Conservation: Discuss endangered species and efforts to protect them.
  • The Importance of Voting: Explain the significance of participating in the democratic process.
  • DIY Home Improvement: Offer tips and tricks for various home improvement projects.
  • The Art of Public Speaking: Provide insights into effective public speaking techniques.

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Guidelines for an Effective Informative Speech

Always maintain your focus. It’s easy to swerve lanes with topics that are too broad, as there just too many areas that may be covered. So instead, identify the specific areas that you wish to tackle. You may also see tribute speech examples & samples.

Focus on these areas and provide supporting details for each.

If you wish to paint a mental picture for your audience, make your speech as detailed as possible. You can do so by describing even the tiniest detail of a given subject.

Additionally, consider your audience’s needs when crafting your speech. Make sure that it caters to their knowledge level and group. You need to be accurate, clear, and meaningful in order for your speech writing to be effective enough.

How to Create an Outline for Informative Speech

1. Before you create the actual outline for your speech, you need to decide on your topic of interest. This will help you brainstorm on key points that you would want to emphasize in your speech. You may also like dedication speech examples .

2. Next, it would be necessary to arrange these points in a certain manner. It may be in topical, spatial, or chronological order. This will help you make smooth transitions between different points.

3. Finally, conclude your speech . Since you aren’t meant to provide a call of action for this type of speech, simply summarize the main points.

Remember, your speech outline isn’t your whole speech but it will serve as a draft to guide you with your final speech.

Why Is an Informative Speech Important?

An informative speech is an essential part of learning, especially if you want to share your knowledge on a given matter or even spread awareness to the public. An effective informative speech provides an audience with information that are significant, yet uncommon.

Listeners wouldn’t want to hear about things that they already know, it’s the speaker’s job to expand the knowledge of an audience. At the end of the day, this ideal of educating a public proves to be beneficial for both the speaker and the audience. You may also check out orientation speech examples & samples.

What is Informative Writing Speech?

Informative writing and informative speech both aim to provide valuable information to an audience, but they differ in their presentation formats. Informative writing refers to the act of conveying information through written text, while an informative speech is the oral presentation of information to an audience. Here’s a brief explanation of each:

Informative Writing : Informative writing is a form of writing that is designed to educate or inform readers about a specific topic. It typically presents factual information, explains concepts, or provides an analysis of a subject. Informative writing can take many forms, including essays, articles, reports, research papers, blogs, and more. The primary goal is to convey information clearly and concisely to the reader. It often includes supporting evidence, examples, and details to enhance the reader’s understanding of the topic.

Informative Speech: An informative speech, on the other hand, is an oral presentation delivered to an audience with the purpose of conveying information, facts, or insights about a particular topic. It is a spoken form of communication that allows the speaker to engage with the audience in real-time. An informative speech typically follows a structured format, with an introduction, body, and conclusion. The speaker’s goal is to educate the audience, and the speech may include visual aids or props to enhance comprehension.

Types of Informative Speech

  • Descriptive Speeches – These speeches aim to provide a detailed description of a subject, allowing the audience to form a clear mental image.
  • Explanatory Speeches – Focused on explaining the reasons behind phenomena or processes, offering a deeper understanding of how and why things happen.
  • Demonstrative Speeches – These are how-to speeches that guide the audience through the steps of doing something, emphasizing practical skills and techniques.
  • Definition Speeches – Aim to clarify the meaning, background, and context of a particular term or concept, especially complex or abstract ones.
  • Informative Report Speeches – Present factual reports on specific events, findings, or research, providing detailed information and analysis.
  • Comparative Speeches – Discuss the similarities and differences between two or more entities, offering insights into their unique characteristics and relationships.
  • Biographical Speeches – Focus on the life and achievements of a person, providing a detailed account of their contributions, experiences, and legacy.
  • Historical Speeches – Offer a detailed examination of past events, including their causes, effects, and significance in history.
  • Technical Speeches – Deal with complex technical information, aiming to make specialized knowledge accessible and understandable to the audience.
  • Scientific Speeches – Present scientific concepts, discoveries, or research findings, emphasizing the methodology, results, and implications of scientific studies.

What are examples of informative writing?

  • News Articles: News reports provide information about current events, often answering the who, what, when, where, and why questions.
  • Expository Essays : These essays present information, facts, and explanations about a specific topic or subject.
  • Research Papers: Academic papers that provide in-depth information and analysis on a particular subject or research question.
  • How-to Guides: Instructions on how to perform a specific task, such as cooking a recipe, assembling furniture, or using software.
  • Textbooks: Educational materials that provide information on various subjects, often used in schools and colleges.
  • Encyclopedias: Reference books that offer detailed information on a wide range of topics.
  • User Manuals: Instruction manuals that explain how to operate and troubleshoot devices, appliances, or software.
  • Travel Guides: Publications that provide information about travel destinations, including attractions, accommodations, and local culture.
  • Scientific Journals: Articles that report the methods, results, and conclusions of scientific research studies.
  • Technical Documents: Documents that explain technical specifications, processes, or procedures in various fields, such as engineering or computer science.
  • Historical Accounts: Writings that provide historical facts and analysis of past events, periods, or figures.
  • Biographies: Accounts of individuals’ lives that offer information about their personal and professional experiences.
  • Health and Wellness Articles: Articles that provide information on various health topics, including medical conditions, nutrition, and fitness.
  • Product Reviews: Reviews that give detailed information about the features, performance, and quality of products or services.
  • FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions): Lists of questions and answers that provide information about a specific topic or product.
  • Documentary Narration: Narration scripts for documentaries that educate viewers on various subjects.
  • Lecture Notes: Notes taken during educational lectures that summarize information presented by the lecturer.
  • Financial Reports: Documents that present financial information and analysis of a company’s performance.
  • Government Publications: Documents released by government agencies that provide information on laws, regulations, policies, and statistics.
  • Blogs and Online Articles: Informative content published on blogs or websites covering a wide range of topics, from technology to lifestyle.

How do you write a good informative speech?

  • Choose a Topic: Select a topic that interests you and is relevant to your audience. Ensure it’s not too broad or too narrow for the allotted time.
  • Research: Gather reliable information from various sources, including books, articles, websites, and expert interviews. Take thorough notes.
  • Organize Your Content:  Introduction, Body, Conclusion
  • Engage Your Audience:  Use stories, anecdotes, or real-life examples to make your speech relatable.
  • Practice: Rehearse your speech multiple times to become comfortable with the content and timing. Practice your delivery, tone, and gestures.
  • Timing: Stay within the allotted time. Being too brief or too long can diminish the impact of your speech.
  • Feedback: Seek feedback from others to improve your speech’s clarity and effectiveness.
  • Delivery: When delivering the speech, maintain good eye contact with the audience, use a clear and audible voice, and control your body language.
  • Q&A Session: If appropriate, be prepared for a question-and-answer session following your speech. Anticipate potential questions related to your topic.

What does a good informative speech look like?

  • Clear Structure: It follows a clear and logical structure, typically consisting of an introduction, body with main points, and a conclusion. The main points are well-organized and flow seamlessly.
  • Engaging Introduction: It begins with an attention-grabbing introduction, which may include a compelling anecdote, quote, rhetorical question, or startling fact. The introduction also introduces the topic and states the purpose or thesis of the speech.
  • Thorough Research: It is well-researched, presenting accurate and reliable information from credible sources. The information is presented in a clear and organized manner.
  • Well-Defined Main Points: The main points are distinct, well-defined, and supported with relevant evidence, examples, statistics, or anecdotes.
  • Effective Transitions: The speech includes smooth transitions between main points, ensuring that the audience can follow the progression of ideas easily.
  • Engagement: It engages the audience through effective storytelling, relatable examples, and a conversational tone.
  • Clarity and Simplicity: It uses clear and concise language to convey complex concepts, making it understandable to a diverse audience.
  • Audience Focus: The speech is tailored to the needs and interests of the audience. The speaker considers the prior knowledge and expectations of the listeners.
  • Audience Interaction (if appropriate): It incorporates opportunities for the audience to engage, such as asking questions, participating in polls, or sharing their thoughts.

How do you start an informative speech?

1. Select a Clear and Engaging Opening:

Begin with an attention-grabbing opening that piques the audience’s interest. You can use a surprising fact, a rhetorical question, a relevant quote, a brief anecdote, or a compelling story. This opening should relate to your topic and set the stage for what’s to come.

2. Introduce Yourself:

After your opening, briefly introduce yourself. Share your name and any relevant qualifications or expertise that establish your credibility on the topic.

3. State the Topic and Purpose:

Clearly state the topic of your speech and its purpose. In one or two sentences, explain what you’ll be discussing and why it’s important or relevant.

4. Provide an Overview:

Offer a brief preview of the main points or subtopics you’ll cover in your speech. This gives the audience a roadmap of what to expect.

5. Establish a Connection:

Establish a connection with the audience by demonstrating the relevance of the topic to their lives or interests. Explain why they should care about the information you’re going to present.

6. Set the Tone:

Consider the tone of your speech. Depending on your topic, you may want to set a serious, informative, motivational, or humorous tone. Ensure that the tone aligns with the subject matter and the audience’s expectations.

7. Engage the Audience:

Encourage audience engagement by asking a rhetorical question or by posing a question that you’ll answer later in your speech. This can pique their curiosity and involve them from the beginning.

8. Transition to the Body:

Conclude your introduction with a smooth transition to the main body of your speech. This transition should connect the opening to the content that follows.

What not to do in an informative speech?

In an informative speech, avoid vague or biased information, complex jargon, excessive detail, disrespect, and lack of organization. Maintain clarity, engage the audience, and stay focused on the topic.

How do you write a hook for an informative speech?

To create an engaging hook for an informative speech, use a startling fact, anecdote, question, quote, or humor that captivates the audience’s interest and introduces your topic effectively.

What is an informative speech for kids?

An informative speech for kids is a presentation designed to educate young audiences about a specific topic in a simple, engaging, and age-appropriate manner, promoting understanding and learning.

Mastering the art of informative speeches is pivotal for effective communication in various settings. These speeches play a key role in educating and enlightening audiences on diverse topics, emphasizing the importance of clarity, engagement, and factual accuracy. The speaker’s ability to present information in an interesting and accessible manner can significantly enhance the audience’s understanding and retention of the subject matter.

For a deeper understanding of informative speeches, including their structure and purpose, explore the resources at Southwest Tennessee Community College’s guide on Competent Communication . Additionally, Modesto Junior College Library offers a comprehensive guide on writing and delivering informative speeches , which can be an invaluable resource for anyone looking to improve their speech-making skills.

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Struggling to understand how to create informative speeches? You're not the only one.

Exploring the world of informative speaking can be tricky, especially for students and new speakers.

But don't worry, we're here to help! Our blog will guide you through each step. It's packed with clear examples, and topics to help you become a pro at giving informative speeches.

So, let's begin!

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Understading Informative Speech

An informative speech is a presentation designed to share facts, knowledge, or information with the audience. These speeches are characterized by their fact-based, non-persuasive nature, focused on delivering general information.

Unlike persuasive speech , the goal is not to convince the audience but to provide unbiased, reliable information. 

This type of speech aims to enhance the knowledge level of audience members, making complex topics accessible. Informative speaking is about educating and fostering critical thinking in the audience, helping them grasp the subject matter effectively.

Informative Speech Outline Example

An informative speech should be organized around the central idea and easy-to-follow to effectively convey information to the audience. 

Let's say you're giving an informative speech on "The Importance of Recycling." Here's what the informative speech outline would look like for this:

Ready to create a speech outline? Check out this in-depth guide on how to craft a perfect informative speech outline !

Informative speeches can be given on multiple themes, and here are multiple informative speech examples:

Informative Speech Examples About Life

Informative Speech Examples About Yourself

Literature Informative Speech Example

Business Informative Speech Example

Informative Speech Examples For Students

Students often need to deliver an informative speech. In schools and colleges, these are common to enhance students’ public speaking skills. Here are some examples for students:

Informative Speech Examples For Highschool Students

Informative Speech Examples For College Students

Short Informative Speech Examples

Short and concise speeches can have a significant impact. Check out this short informative speech example pdf:

3 Minute Informative Speech Examples

Here is a 5 minutes informative speech example:

Short Informative Speech Examples About Life

How To Write An Informative Speech Examples

Crafting an informative speech is a step-by-step process. Here are some short guides to help you, from attention getter for informative speech examples to conclusion sample:

How To Start An Informative Speech Examples

Starting a speech effectively is essential for capturing your audience's attention. Here are some introduction and thesis statement examples to help:

Thesis Statement For Informative Speech Examples

Introduction Informative Speech Examples

Conclusion Informative Speech Examples

Concluding your informative speech with impact is crucial. View this example conclusion for an informative speech:

Examples for Different Types of Informative Speech

Depending on the objective, informative speeches can take various forms, each with its unique purpose. 

Here are the common types of informative speeches and their examples:

Definition Speech

A definition speech aims to clarify and explain the meaning of a specific concept, term, or idea. It focuses on providing a clear definition and understanding of the subject.

Definition Speech Example

Explanatory Speech

An explanatory speech is designed to provide insight into how something works or why it happens. It delves deeper into the processes, causes, or mechanisms behind a particular phenomenon.

Explanatory Speech Example

Descriptive Speech

A descriptive speech aims to paint a vivid picture of a subject by using vivid language, sensory details, and figurative language to create a clear mental image for the audience.

Descriptive Speech Example

Demonstrative Speech

A demonstrative speech involves showing or teaching the audience how to do something. It often includes step-by-step instructions or a demonstration to explain a process or showcase a skill.

Demonstrative Speech Example

Informative Speech Topics

Choosing a topic for informative speech can be a crucial step in the process of delivering a captivating speech. 

These informative speech ideas cover a wide range of subjects, making them ideal as informative speech example topics for your next presentation:

  • The Impact of Climate Change on Our Oceans
  • The Art of Effective Time Management
  • Understanding the Basics of Artificial Intelligence
  • Exploring the History and Culture of Ancient Egypt
  • The Benefits of Meditation for Stress Reduction
  • Cybersecurity: How to Protect Your Personal Information
  • The Wonders of the Human Brain and Memory
  • Space Exploration: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe
  • The Influence of Social Media on Modern Relationships
  • Healthy Eating: Navigating Nutrition Labels and Diet Myths

Need more informative speech topics? Head over to these informative speech topics for a treasure trove of engaging ideas.

No matter what type of informative speech you’re writing, these examples and helpful insights will kickstart your speech writing journey. 

But if you ever feel stuck or need some extra support, our team of experienced writers is here to help. Our essay writing service has helped thousands of students for multiple writing needs.

So, when you ask our experts to ‘ write my speech ’, you can be sure to receive a 100% original and top-quality speech. So, order now to ensure you nail that speech!

Cathy A. (Literature, Marketing)

Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.

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  • Informative Speech

Informative Speech Outline

Last updated on: Jun 21, 2023

Learn How to Create an Informative Speech Outline

By: Cathy A.

Reviewed By: Rylee W.

Published on: May 26, 2020

Informative Speech Outline

Giving a speech can be really nerve-wracking, especially if you're not sure where to start. 

Most people try to wing it, and that's why they bomb. They get up in front of an audience and have no idea what to say next. This is why an outline is necessary.

We've got your back with our informative speech outline. Here you will learn how to outline your speech in the easiest way. 

So get ready to learn so that you can deliver a powerful, memorable speech that leaves your audience wanting more.

Informative Speech Outline

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What is an Informative Speech? 

An informative speech is a powerful way of sharing knowledge with your audience. It needs to be well-formatted and properly structured. 

This type of speech allows you to inform the audience and share detailed information about a topic. 

Moreover, the general purpose of an informative speech is to educate the audience about any subject. Also, there are different types of informative speeches, but the purpose is the same for all types.  

However, to write a good informative speech, you should create an outline first. 

Unfortunately, many people are intimidated by the idea of outlining because they don't know how to do it or what type of outline should be used. 

So, continue reading to learn how to make a perfect informative speech outline.  

An informative speech outline helps to organize your ideas and thoughts before you start writing. It allows you to see the flow of your speech and that all main points are cohesive with each other. 

An effective speaker should always create an outline for an informative speech. Without a perfect outline, you will never write a great speech. 

A clear and concise outline helps a speaker develop their thoughts on a topic. It also creates a structure to help them keep track of all the points they want to make.

There are two ways to outline your speech, and each has its own purpose and advantages:

  • Complete Sentence Format: In this type, the speaker writes full sentences that help you check the content of the speech.  

      2. Key Point Format: Note down the main points that help you remember what you should include in your speech. 

Therefore, you have the chance to choose whichever outline format suits your needs best. Once your outline is complete, you'll have an idea of how the speech will go. 

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How to Write an Informative Speech Outline? 

An outline is a great way to organize your ideas before you start writing. A great informative speech starts with the perfect outline. It's not as difficult as you may think if you follow some steps. 

“How do you create an outline for an informative speech?”

Below are the steps that will help you in creating a well-written outline without any problem.  

1. Choose a Topic that Interests You

Speech topics are usually assigned, but if you have to pick on your own, create a list of topics that interest you. Select one topic from the plethora of ideas about which there is still so much to learn and explore.

Also, think of unique and interesting informative speech topics for the audience. 

Since it is a descriptive speech, the topic should give you the space to provide information to the audience. 

2. Gather Information

After choosing the topic, start the research phase and gather relevant information. The information should be so that it helps to satisfy your specific purpose of delivering the speech. 

Also, make sure that you collect information from credible and trustworthy sources. You can collect data for your speech from:

  • Scholarly articles 
  • Encyclopedias
  • Government documents

The more you research, the more easily you write a good informative speech. 

3. Create the Outline 

Now that you have all the information, start writing the outline. But first, make sure that you follow the proper outline format. Without a proper format, you will miss many important points and end up with a poor outline.

As discussed earlier, an outline has three sections, including an introduction, body, and conclusion.

  • The introduction is the first paragraph that discusses the main points of the essay.
  • The body provides examples and supporting evidence to prove those arguments.
  • Lastly, the conclusion provides a brief summary of the entire essay and restates the thesis statement .

Informative Speech Outline Format

An outline is the backbone of a well-delivered and interesting speech. 

“What are the 3 main parts of the informative speech outline?”

Every good outline contains three main parts:

1. Introduction

  • Grab the audience's attention  
  • Include the speaker’s opinion or hypothesis
  • Present thesis statement
  • Outline the main points with real-world examples and supporting facts
  • Use transition between main points

3. Conclusion

  • Summarize the main points
  • Restate the thesis statement 

Here is a template that gives you a better idea of crafting an outline. 

Done with understanding what an informative speech outline is? Now let’s move to view some examples of informative speech outlines for free. All the examples below are free and easy to download!

Informative Speech Outline Examples 

Writing an outline for a speech might seem like a daunting task. However, if you have examples that professional writers write, you can easily create a good one.  

Check the below informative speech outline samples and get an idea of the perfect outline. 

Simple Informative Speech Outline Example

Informative Speech Outline NSDA

Informative Speech Outline about Social Media

Informative Speech Outline about Depression

Informative Speech Outline about Covid 19

Global Warming Informative Speech Outline

Mental Health Informative Speech Outline

Anxiety Informative Speech Outline

Sleep Informative Speech Outline

Informative Speech Outline About Education

Informative Speech Outline Format 3-5 Minutes

Taking Depression Seriously Informative Speech Outline

Sample Informative Speech Outline

Mental Illness Informative Speech Outline

Tips for Writing the Informative Speech Outline 

An informative speech is a type that connects with its audience by educating them about a certain topic. Following are the tips you should follow to impress the audience with your speech. 

  • Start with a clear and concise thesis statement that states the main topic or purpose of your speech.
  • Identify and prioritize the main points or key ideas you want to cover in your speech.
  • Organize your main points in a logical order, such as chronological, spatial, or topical sequence.
  • Develop subpoints or supporting details for each main point to provide more depth and clarity.
  • Consider using a consistent structure, such as the problem-solution, cause-effect, or compare-contrast format, depending on the nature of your topic.
  • Use a consistent numbering or lettering system to indicate the hierarchy and relationship between main points and subpoints.
  • Ensure that each main point and subpoint contributes to the overall coherence and flow of your speech.
  • Incorporate transitions between different sections of your outline to create smooth transitions between ideas.
  • Include visual aids, any necessary evidence, statistics, or examples to support your main points and make your speech more credible and persuasive.
  • Review and revise your outline to ensure it is well-organized, balanced, and effectively conveys the information you want to present.

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Mistakes To Avoid While Creating Informative Speech Outline

Here are mistakes to avoid while creating an informative speech outline:

  • Do not overload your outline with excessive information, as it can overwhelm your audience.
  • Steer clear of a disorganized structure that confuses your audience.
  • Do not provide shallow information; instead, ensure depth and substance in your main points.
  • Avoid neglecting transitions, as it can disrupt the flow of your speech.
  • Do not overlook the importance of engaging your audience through visuals, storytelling, and rhetoric.
  • Avoid inadequate time management, as it can lead to rushing or exceeding the allocated time.

Wrapping Up! Now, you have a complete guide to writing an informative speech outline. However, if you need professional help in creating a speech that is an attention-getter, consult MyPerfectPaper.net. 

Our team of professional writers will help you create an engaging, interesting, and creative speech. Whether it be a demonstration speech, explanatory speech, informative essay, or persuasive speech, our team of experts is ready to help you. All you have to say is ‘ do my paper ’, and writers will take your writing stress away! 

So, contact us now and get our essay writer help at affordable rates. 

Cathy A.

Marketing, Literature

Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.

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Planning and Presenting an Informative Speech

In this guide, you can learn about the purposes and types of informative speeches, about writing and delivering informative speeches, and about the parts of informative speeches.

Purposes of Informative Speaking

Informative speaking offers you an opportunity to practice your researching, writing, organizing, and speaking skills. You will learn how to discover and present information clearly. If you take the time to thoroughly research and understand your topic, to create a clearly organized speech, and to practice an enthusiastic, dynamic style of delivery, you can be an effective "teacher" during your informative speech. Finally, you will get a chance to practice a type of speaking you will undoubtedly use later in your professional career.

The purpose of the informative speech is to provide interesting, useful, and unique information to your audience. By dedicating yourself to the goals of providing information and appealing to your audience, you can take a positive step toward succeeding in your efforts as an informative speaker.

Major Types of Informative Speeches

In this guide, we focus on informative speeches about:

These categories provide an effective method of organizing and evaluating informative speeches. Although they are not absolute, these categories provide a useful starting point for work on your speech.

In general, you will use four major types of informative speeches. While you can classify informative speeches many ways, the speech you deliver will fit into one of four major categories.

Speeches about Objects

Speeches about objects focus on things existing in the world. Objects include, among other things, people, places, animals, or products.

Because you are speaking under time constraints, you cannot discuss any topic in its entirety. Instead, limit your speech to a focused discussion of some aspect of your topic.

Some example topics for speeches about objects include: the Central Intelligence Agency, tombstones, surgical lasers, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the pituitary gland, and lemmings.

To focus these topics, you could give a speech about Franklin Delano Roosevelt and efforts to conceal how he suffered from polio while he was in office. Or, a speech about tombstones could focus on the creation and original designs of grave markers.

Speeches about Processes

Speeches about processes focus on patterns of action. One type of speech about processes, the demonstration speech, teaches people "how-to" perform a process. More frequently, however, you will use process speeches to explain a process in broader terms. This way, the audience is more likely to understand the importance or the context of the process.

A speech about how milk is pasteurized would not teach the audience how to milk cows. Rather, this speech could help audience members understand the process by making explicit connections between patterns of action (the pasteurization process) and outcomes (a safe milk supply).

Other examples of speeches about processes include: how the Internet works (not "how to work the Internet"), how to construct a good informative speech, and how to research the job market. As with any speech, be sure to limit your discussion to information you can explain clearly and completely within time constraints.

Speeches about Events

Speeches about events focus on things that happened, are happening, or will happen. When speaking about an event, remember to relate the topic to your audience. A speech chronicling history is informative, but you should adapt the information to your audience and provide them with some way to use the information. As always, limit your focus to those aspects of an event that can be adequately discussed within the time limitations of your assignment.

Examples of speeches about events include: the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington, Groundhog's Day, the Battle of the Bulge, the World Series, and the 2000 Presidential Elections.

Speeches about Concepts

Speeches about concepts focus on beliefs, ideas, and theories. While speeches about objects, processes, and events are fairly concrete, speeches about concepts are more abstract. Take care to be clear and understandable when creating and presenting a speech about a concept. When selecting a concept, remember you are crafting an informative speech. Often, speeches about concepts take on a persuasive tone. Focus your efforts toward providing unbiased information and refrain from making arguments. Because concepts can be vague and involved, limit your speech to aspects that can be readily explained and understood within the time limits.

Some examples of topics for concept speeches include: democracy, Taoism, principles of feminism, the philosophy of non-violent protest, and the Big Bang theory.

Strategies for Selecting a Topic

In many cases, circumstances will dictate the topic of your speech. However, if the topic has not been assigned or if you are having difficulty figuring out how to frame your topic as an informative speech,the following may be useful.

Begin by thinking of your interests. If you have always loved art, contemplate possible topics dealing with famous artists, art works, or different types of art. If you are employed, think of aspects of your job or aspects of your employer's business that would be interesting to talk about. While you cannot substitute personal experience for detailed research, your own experience can supplement your research and add vitality to your presentation. Choose one of the items below to learn more about selecting a topic.

Learn More about an Unfamiliar Topic

You may benefit more by selecting an unfamiliar topic that interests you. You can challenge yourself by choosing a topic you'd like to learn about and to help others understand it. If the Buddhist religion has always been an interesting and mysterious topic to you, research the topic and create a speech that offers an understandable introduction to the religion. Remember to adapt Buddhism to your audience and tell them why you think this information is useful to them. By taking this approach, you can learn something new and learn how to synthesize new information for your audience.

Think about Previous Classes

You might find a topic by thinking of classes you have taken. Think back to concepts covered in those classes and consider whether they would serve as unique, interesting, and enlightening topics for the informative speech. In astronomy, you learned about red giants. In history, you learned about Napoleon. In political science, you learned about The Federalist Papers. Past classes serve as rich resources for informative speech topics. If you make this choice, use your class notes and textbook as a starting point. To fully develop the content, you will need to do extensive research and perhaps even a few interviews.

Talk to Others

Topic selection does not have to be an individual effort. Spend time talking about potential topics with classmates or friends. This method can be extremely effective because other people can stimulate further ideas when you get stuck. When you use this method, always keep the basic requirements and the audience in mind. Just because you and your friend think home-brew is a great topic does not mean it will enthrall your audience or impress your instructor. While you talk with your classmates or friends, jot notes about potential topics and create a master list when you exhaust the possibilities. From this list, choose a topic with intellectual merit, originality, and potential to entertain while informing.

Framing a Thesis Statement

Once you settle on a topic, you need to frame a thesis statement. Framing a thesis statement allows you to narrow your topic, and in turns allows you to focus your research in this specific area, saving you time and trouble in the process.

Selecting a topic and focusing it into a thesis statement can be a difficult process. Fortunately, a number of useful strategies are available to you.

Thesis Statement Purpose

The thesis statement is crucial for clearly communicating your topic and purpose to the audience. Be sure to make the statement clear, concise, and easy to remember. Deliver it to the audience and use verbal and nonverbal illustrations to make it stand out.

Strategies For Framing a Thesis Statement

Focus on a specific aspect of your topic and phrase the thesis statement in one clear, concise, complete sentence, focusing on the audience. This sentence sets a goal for the speech. For example, in a speech about art, the thesis statement might be: "The purpose of this speech is to inform my audience about the early works of Vincent van Gogh." This statement establishes that the speech will inform the audience about the early works of one great artist. The thesis statement is worded conversationally and included in the delivery of the speech.

Thesis Statement and Audience

The thesis appears in the introduction of the speech so that the audience immediately realizes the speaker's topic and goal. Whatever the topic may be, you should attempt to create a clear, focused thesis statement that stands out and could be repeated by every member of your audience. It is important to refer to the audience in the thesis statement; when you look back at the thesis for direction, or when the audience hears the thesis, it should be clear that the most important goal of your speech is to inform the audience about your topic. While the focus and pressure will be on you as a speaker, you should always remember that the audience is the reason for presenting a public speech.

Avoid being too trivial or basic for the average audience member. At the same time, avoid being too technical for the average audience member. Be sure to use specific, concrete terms that clearly establish the focus of your speech.

Thesis Statement and Delivery

When creating the thesis statement, be sure to use a full sentence and frame that sentence as a statement, not as a question. The full sentence, "The purpose of this speech is to inform my audience about the early works of Vincent van Gogh," provides clear direction for the speech, whereas the fragment "van Gogh" says very little about the purpose of the speech. Similarly, the question "Who was Vincent van Gogh?" does not adequately indicate the direction the speech will take or what the speaker hopes to accomplish.

If you limit your thesis statement to one distinct aspect of the larger topic, you are more likely to be understood and to meet the time constraints.

Researching Your Topic

As you begin to work on your informative speech, you will find that you need to gather additional information. Your instructor will most likely require that you locate relevant materials in the library and cite those materials in your speech. In this section, we discuss the process of researching your topic and thesis.

Conducting research for a major informative speech can be a daunting task. In this section, we discuss a number of strategies and techniques that you can use to gather and organize source materials for your speech.

Gathering Materials

Gathering materials can be a daunting task. You may want to do some research before you choose a topic. Once you have a topic, you have many options for finding information. You can conduct interviews, write or call for information from a clearinghouse or public relations office, and consult books, magazines, journals, newspapers, television and radio programs, and government documents. The library will probably be your primary source of information. You can use many of the libraries databases or talk to a reference librarian to learn how to conduct efficient research.

Taking Notes

While doing your research, you may want to carry notecards. When you come across a useful passage, copy the source and the information onto the notecard or copy and paste the information. You should maintain a working bibliography as you research so you always know which sources you have consulted and so the process of writing citations into the speech and creating the bibliography will be easier. You'll need to determine what information-recording strategies work best for you. Talk to other students, instructors, and librarians to get tips on conducting efficient research. Spend time refining your system and you will soon be able to focus on the information instead of the record-keeping tasks.

Citing Sources Within Your Speech

Consult with your instructor to determine how much research/source information should be included in your speech. Realize that a source citation within your speech is defined as a reference to or quotation from material you have gathered during your research and an acknowledgement of the source. For example, within your speech you might say: "As John W. Bobbitt said in the December 22, 1993, edition of the Denver Post , 'Ouch!'" In this case, you have included a direct quotation and provided the source of the quotation. If you do not quote someone, you might say: "After the first week of the 1995 baseball season, attendance was down 13.5% from 1994. This statistic appeared in the May 7, 1995, edition of the Denver Post ." Whatever the case, whenever you use someone else's ideas, thoughts, or words, you must provide a source citation to give proper credit to the creator of the information. Failure to cite sources can be interpreted as plagiarism which is a serious offense. Upon review of the specific case, plagiarism can result in failure of the assignment, the course, or even dismissal from the University. Take care to cite your sources and give credit where it is due.

Creating Your Bibliography

As with all aspects of your speech, be sure to check with your instructor to get specific details about the assignment.

Generally, the bibliography includes only those sources you cited during the speech. Don't pad the bibliography with every source you read, saw on the shelf, or heard of from friends. When you create the bibliography, you should simply go through your complete sentence outline and list each source you cite. This is also a good way to check if you have included enough reference material within the speech. You will need to alphabetize the bibiography by authors last name and include the following information: author's name, article title, publication title, volume, date, page number(s). You may need to include additional information; you need to talk with your instructor to confirm the required bibliographical format.

Some Cautions

When doing research, use caution in choosing your sources. You need to determine which sources are more credible than others and attempt to use a wide variety of materials. The broader the scope of your research, the more impressive and believable your information. You should draw from different sources (e.g., a variety of magazines-- Time, Newsweek, US News & World Report, National Review, Mother Jones ) as well as different types of sources (i.e., use interviews, newspapers, periodicals, and books instead of just newspapers). The greater your variety, the more apparent your hard work and effort will be. Solid research skills result in increased credibility and effectiveness for the speaker.

Structuring an Informative Speech

Typically, informative speeches have three parts:


In this section, we discuss the three parts of an informative speech, calling attention to specific elements that can enhance the effectiveness of your speech. As a speaker, you will want to create a clear structure for your speech. In this section, you will find discussions of the major parts of the informative speech.

The introduction sets the tone of the entire speech. The introduction should be brief and to-the-point as it accomplishes these several important tasks. Typically, there are six main components of an effective introduction:

Attention Getters

Thesis statement, audience adaptation, credibility statement, transition to the body.

As in any social situation, your audience makes strong assumptions about you during the first eight or ten seconds of your speech. For this reason, you need to start solidly and launch the topic clearly. Focus your efforts on completing these tasks and moving on to the real information (the body) of the speech. Typically, there are six main components of an effective introduction. These tasks do not have to be handled in this order, but this layout often yields the best results.

The attention-getter is designed to intrigue the audience members and to motivate them to listen attentively for the next several minutes. There are infinite possibilities for attention-getting devices. Some of the more common devices include using a story, a rhetorical question, or a quotation. While any of these devices can be effective, it is important for you to spend time strategizing, creating, and practicing the attention-getter.

Most importantly, an attention-getter should create curiosity in the minds of your listeners and convince them that the speech will be interesting and useful. The wording of your attention-getter should be refined and practiced. Be sure to consider the mood/tone of your speech; determine the appropriateness of humor, emotion, aggressiveness, etc. Not only should the words get the audiences attention, but your delivery should be smooth and confident to let the audience know that you are a skilled speaker who is prepared for this speech.

The crowd was wild. The music was booming. The sun was shining. The cash registers were ringing.

This story-like re-creation of the scene at a Farm Aid concert serves to engage the audience and causes them to think about the situation you are describing. Touching stories or stories that make audience members feel involved with the topic serve as good attention-getters. You should tell a story with feeling and deliver it directly to the audience instead of reading it off your notecards.

Example Text : One dark summer night in 1849, a young woman in her 20's left Bucktown, Maryland, and followed the North Star. What was her name? Harriet Tubman. She went back some 19 times to rescue her fellow slaves. And as James Blockson relates in a 1984 issue of National Geographic , by the end of her career, she had a $40,000.00 price on her head. This was quite a compliment from her enemies (Blockson 22).

Rhetorical Question

Rhetorical questions are questions designed to arouse curiosity without requiring an answer. Either the answer will be obvious, or if it isn't apparent, the question will arouse curiosity until the presentation provides the answer.

An example of a rhetorical question to gain the audiences attention for a speech about fly-fishing is, "Have you ever stood in a freezing river at 5 o'clock in the morning by choice?"

Example Text: Have you ever heard of a railroad with no tracks, with secret stations, and whose conductors were considered criminals?

A quotation from a famous person or from an expert on your topic can gain the attention of the audience. The use of a quotation immediately launches you into the speech and focuses the audience on your topic area. If it is from a well-known source, cite the author first. If the source is obscure, begin with the quote itself.

Example Text : "No day dawns for the slave, nor is it looked for. It is all night--night forever . . . ." (Pause) This quote was taken from Jermain Loguen, a fugitive who was the son of his Tennessee master and a slave woman.

Unusual Statement

Making a statement that is unusual to the ears of your listeners is another possibility for gaining their attention.

Example Text : "Follow the drinking gourd. That's what I said, friend, follow the drinking gourd." This phrase was used by slaves as a coded message to mean the Big Dipper, which revealed the North Star, and pointed toward freedom.

You might chose to use tasteful humor which relates to the topic as an effective way to attract the audience both to you and the subject at hand.

Example Text : "I'm feeling boxed in." [PAUSE] I'm not sure, but these may have been Henry "Box" Brown's very words after being placed on his head inside a box which measured 3 feet by 2 feet by 2 1\2 feet for what seemed to him like "an hour and a half." He was shipped by Adams Express to freedom in Philadelphia (Brown 60,92; Still 10).

Shocking Statistic

Another possibility to consider is the use of a factual statistic intended to grab your listener's attention. As you research the topic you've picked, keep your eyes open for statistics that will have impact.

Example Text : Today, John Elway's talents are worth millions, but in 1840 the price of a human life, a slave, was worth $1,000.00.

Example Text : Today I'd like to tell you about the Underground Railroad.

In your introduction, you need to adapt your speech to your audience. To keep audience members interested, tell them why your topic is important to them. To accomplish this task, you need to undertake audience analysis prior to creating the speech. Figure out who your audience members are, what things are important to them, what their biases may be, and what types of subjects/issues appeal to them. In the context of this class, some of your audience analysis is provided for you--most of your listeners are college students, so it is likely that they place some value on education, most of them are probably not bathing in money, and they live in Colorado. Consider these traits when you determine how to adapt to your audience.

As you research and write your speech, take note of references to issues that should be important to your audience. Include statements about aspects of your speech that you think will be of special interest to the audience in the introduction. By accomplishing this task, you give your listeners specific things with which they can identify. Audience adaptation will be included throughout the speech, but an effective introduction requires meaningful adaptation of the topic to the audience.

You need to find ways to get the members of your audience involved early in the speech. The following are some possible options to connect your speech to your audience:

Reference to the Occasion

Consider how the occasion itself might present an opportunity to heighten audience receptivity. Remind your listeners of an important date just passed or coming soon.

Example Text : This January will mark the 130th anniversary of a "giant interracial rally" organized by William Still which helped to end streetcar segregation in the city of Philadelphia (Katz i).

Reference to the Previous Speaker

Another possibility is to refer to a previous speaker to capitalize on the good will which already has been established or to build on the information presented.

Example Text : As Alice pointed out last week in her speech on the Olympic games of the ancient world, history can provide us with fascinating lessons.

The credibility statement establishes your qualifications as a speaker. You should come up with reasons why you are someone to listen to on this topic. Why do you have special knowledge or understanding of this topic? What can the audience learn from you that they couldn't learn from someone else? Credibility statements can refer to your extensive research on a topic, your life-long interest in an issue, your personal experience with a thing, or your desire to better the lives of your listeners by sifting through the topic and providing the crucial information.

Remember that Aristotle said that credibility, or ethos, consists of good sense, goodwill, and good moral character. Create the feeling that you possess these qualities by creatively stating that you are well-educated about the topic (good sense), that you want to help each member of the audience (goodwill), and that you are a decent person who can be trusted (good moral character). Once you establish your credibility, the audience is more likely to listen to you as something of an expert and to consider what you say to be the truth. It is often effective to include further references to your credibility throughout the speech by subtly referring to the traits mentioned above.

Show your listeners that you are qualified to speak by making a specific reference to a helpful resource. This is one way to demonstrate competence.

Example Text : In doing research for this topic, I came across an account written by one of these heroes that has deepened my understanding of the institution of slavery. Frederick Douglass', My Bondage and My Freedom, is the account of a man whose master's kindness made his slavery only more unbearable.

Your listeners want to believe that you have their best interests in mind. In the case of an informative speech, it is enough to assure them that this will be an interesting speech and that you, yourself, are enthusiastic about the topic.

Example Text : I hope you'll enjoy hearing about the heroism of the Underground Railroad as much as I have enjoyed preparing for this speech.

Preview the Main Points

The preview informs the audience about the speech's main points. You should preview every main body point and identify each as a separate piece of the body. The purpose of this preview is to let the audience members prepare themselves for the flow of the speech; therefore, you should word the preview clearly and concisely. Attempt to use parallel structure for each part of the preview and avoid delving into the main point; simply tell the audience what the main point will be about in general.

Use the preview to briefly establish your structure and then move on. Let the audience get a taste of how you will divide the topic and fulfill the thesis and then move on. This important tool will reinforce the information in the minds of your listeners. Here are two examples of a preview:

Simply identify the main points of the speech. Cover them in the same order that they will appear in the body of the presentation.

For example, the preview for a speech about kites organized topically might take this form: "First, I will inform you about the invention of the kite. Then, I will explain the evolution of the kite. Third, I will introduce you to the different types of kites. Finally, I will inform you about various uses for kites." Notice that this preview avoids digressions (e.g., listing the various uses for kites); you will take care of the deeper information within the body of the speech.

Example Text : I'll tell you about motivations and means of escape employed by fugitive slaves.


For example, the preview for a speech about the Pony Express organized chronologically might take this form: "I'll talk about the Pony Express in three parts. First, its origins, second, its heyday, and third, how it came to an end." Notice that this preview avoids digressions (e.g., listing the reasons why the Pony Express came to an end); you will cover the deeper information within the body of the speech.

Example Text : I'll talk about it in three parts. First, its origins, second, its heyday, and third, how it came to an end.

After you accomplish the first five components of the introduction, you should make a clean transition to the body of the speech. Use this transition to signal a change and prepare the audience to begin processing specific topical information. You should round out the introduction, reinforce the excitement and interest that you created in the audience during the introduction, and slide into the first main body point.

Strategic organization helps increase the clarity and effectiveness of your speech. Four key issues are discussed in this section:

Organizational Patterns

Connective devices, references to outside research.

The body contains the bulk of information in your speech and needs to be clearly organized. Without clear organization, the audience will probably forget your information, main points, perhaps even your thesis. Some simple strategies will help you create a clear, memorable speech. Below are the four key issues used in organizing a speech.

Once you settle on a topic, you should decide which aspects of that topic are of greatest importance for your speech. These aspects become your main points. While there is no rule about how many main points should appear in the body of the speech, most students go with three main points. You must have at least two main points; aside from that rule, you should select your main points based on the importance of the information and the time limitations. Be sure to include whatever information is necessary for the audience to understand your topic. Also, be sure to synthesize the information so it fits into the assigned time frame. As you choose your main points, try to give each point equal attention within the speech. If you pick three main points, each point should take up roughly one-third of the body section of your speech.

There are four basic patterns of organization for an informative speech.

  • Chronological order
  • Spatial order
  • Causal order
  • Topical order

There are four basic patterns of organization for an informative speech. You can choose any of these patterns based on which pattern serves the needs of your speech.

Chronological Order

A speech organized chronologically has main points oriented toward time. For example, a speech about the Farm Aid benefit concert could have main points organized chronologically. The first main point focuses on the creation of the event; the second main point focuses on the planning stages; the third point focuses on the actual performance/concert; and the fourth point focuses on donations and assistance that resulted from the entire process. In this format, you discuss main points in an order that could be followed on a calendar or a clock.

Spatial Order

A speech organized spatially has main points oriented toward space or a directional pattern. The Farm Aid speech's body could be organized in spatial order. The first main point discusses the New York branch of the organization; the second main point discusses the Midwest branch; the third main point discusses the California branch of Farm Aid. In this format, you discuss main points in an order that could be traced on a map.

Causal Order

A speech organized causally has main points oriented toward cause and effect. The main points of a Farm Aid speech organized causally could look like this: the first main point informs about problems on farms and the need for monetary assistance; the second main point discusses the creation and implementation of the Farm Aid program. In this format, you discuss main points in an order that alerts the audience to a problem or circumstance and then tells the audience what action resulted from the original circumstance.

Topical Order

A speech organized topically has main points organized more randomly by sub-topics. The Farm Aid speech could be organized topically: the first main point discusses Farm Aid administrators; the second main point discusses performers; the third main point discusses sponsors; the fourth main point discusses audiences. In this format, you discuss main points in a more random order that labels specific aspects of the topic and addresses them in separate categories. Most speeches that are not organized chronologically, spatially, or causally are organized topically.

Within the body of your speech, you need clear internal structure. Connectives are devices used to create a clear flow between ideas and points within the body of your speech--they serve to tie the speech together. There are four main types of connective devices:


Internal previews, internal summaries.

Within the body of your speech, you need clear internal structure. Think of connectives as hooks and ladders for the audience to use when moving from point-to-point within the body of your speech. These devices help re-focus the minds of audience members and remind them of which main point your information is supporting. The four main types of connective devices are:

Transitions are brief statements that tell the audience to shift gears between ideas. Transitions serve as the glue that holds the speech together and allow the audience to predict where the next portion of the speech will go. For example, once you have previewed your main points and you want to move from the introduction to the body of the Farm Aid speech, you might say: "To gain an adequate understanding of the intricacies of this philanthropic group, we need to look at some specific information about Farm Aid. We'll begin by looking at the administrative branch of this massive fund-raising organization."

Internal previews are used to preview the parts of a main point. Internal previews are more focused than, but serve the same purpose as, the preview you will use in the introduction of the speech. For example, you might create an internal preview for the complex main point dealing with Farm Aid performers: "In examining the Farm Aid performers, we must acknowledge the presence of entertainers from different genres of music--country and western, rhythm and blues, rock, and pop." The internal preview provides specific information for the audience if a main point is complex or potentially confusing.

Internal summaries are the reverse of internal previews. Internal summaries restate specific parts of a main point. To internally summarize the main point dealing with Farm Aid performers, you might say: "You now know what types of people perform at the Farm Aid benefit concerts. The entertainers come from a wide range of musical genres--country and western, rhythm and blues, rock, and pop." When using both internal previews and internal summaries, be sure to stylize the language in each so you do not become redundant.

Signposts are brief statements that remind the audience where you are within the speech. If you have a long point, you may want to remind the audience of what main point you are on: "Continuing my discussion of Farm Aid performers . . . "

When organizing the body of your speech, you will integrate several references to your research. The purpose of the informative speech is to allow you and the audience to learn something new about a topic. Additionally, source citations add credibility to your ideas. If you know a lot about rock climbing and you cite several sources who confirm your knowledge, the audience is likely to see you as a credible speaker who provides ample support for ideas.

Without these references, your speech is more like a story or a chance for you to say a few things you know. To complete this assignment satisfactorily, you must use source citations. Consult your textbook and instructor for specific information on how much supporting material you should use and about the appropriate style for source citations.

While the conclusion should be brief and tight, it has a few specific tasks to accomplish:

Re-assert/Reinforce the Thesis

Review the main points, close effectively.

Take a deep breath! If you made it to the conclusion, you are on the brink of finishing. Below are the tasks you should complete in your conclusion:

When making the transition to the conclusion, attempt to make clear distinctions (verbally and nonverbally) that you are now wrapping up the information and providing final comments about the topic. Refer back to the thesis from the introduction with wording that calls the original thesis into memory. Assert that you have accomplished the goals of your thesis statement and create the feeling that audience members who actively considered your information are now equipped with an understanding of your topic. Reinforce whatever mood/tone you chose for the speech and attempt to create a big picture of the speech.

Within the conclusion, re-state the main points of the speech. Since you have used parallel wording for your main points in the introduction and body, don't break that consistency in the conclusion. Frame the review so the audience will be reminded of the preview and the developed discussion of each main point. After the review, you may want to create a statement about why those main points fulfilled the goals of the speech.

Finish strongly. When you close your speech, craft statements that reinforce the message and leave the audience with a clear feeling about what was accomplished with your speech. You might finalize the adaptation by discussing the benefits of listening to the speech and explaining what you think audience members can do with the information.

Remember to maintain an informative tone for this speech. You should not persuade about beliefs or positions; rather, you should persuade the audience that the speech was worthwhile and useful. For greatest effect, create a closing line or paragraph that is artistic and effective. Much like the attention-getter, the closing line needs to be refined and practiced. Your close should stick with the audience and leave them interested in your topic. Take time to work on writing the close well and attempt to memorize it so you can directly address the audience and leave them thinking of you as a well-prepared, confident speaker.

Outlining an Informative Speech

Two types of outlines can help you prepare to deliver your speech. The complete sentence outline provides a useful means of checking the organization and content of your speech. The speaking outline is an essential aid for delivering your speech. In this section, we discuss both types of outlines.

Two types of outlines can help you prepare to deliver your speech. The complete sentence outline provides a useful means of checking the organization and content of your speech. The speaking outline is an essential aid for delivering your speech.

The Complete Sentence Outline

A complete sentence outline may not be required for your presentation. The following information is useful, however, in helping you prepare your speech.

The complete sentence outline helps you organize your material and thoughts and it serves as an excellent copy for editing the speech. The complete sentence outline is just what it sounds like: an outline format including every complete sentence (not fragments or keywords) that will be delivered during your speech.

Writing the Outline

You should create headings for the introduction, body, and conclusion and clearly signal shifts between these main speech parts on the outline. Use standard outline format. For instance, you can use Roman numerals, letters, and numbers to label the parts of the outline. Organize the information so the major headings contain general information and the sub-headings become more specific as they descend. Think of the outline as a funnel: you should make broad, general claims at the top of each part of the outline and then tighten the information until you have exhausted the point. Do this with each section of the outline. Be sure to consult with your instructor about specific aspects of the outline and refer to your course book for further information and examples.

Using the Outline

If you use this outline as it is designed to be used, you will benefit from it. You should start the outline well before your speech day and give yourself plenty of time to revise it. Attempt to have the final, clean copies ready two or three days ahead of time, so you can spend a day or two before your speech working on delivery. Prepare the outline as if it were a final term paper.

The Speaking Outline

Depending upon the assignment and the instructor, you may use a speaking outline during your presentation. The following information will be helpful in preparing your speech through the use of a speaking outline.

This outline should be on notecards and should be a bare bones outline taken from the complete sentence outline. Think of the speaking outline as train tracks to guide you through the speech.

Many speakers find it helpful to highlight certain words/passages or to use different colors for different parts of the speech. You will probably want to write out long or cumbersome quotations along with your source citation. Many times, the hardest passages to learn are those you did not write but were spoken by someone else. Avoid the temptation to over-do the speaking outline; many speakers write too much on the cards and their grades suffer because they read from the cards.

The best strategy for becoming comfortable with a speaking outline is preparation. You should prepare well ahead of time and spend time working with the notecards and memorizing key sections of your speech (the introduction and conclusion, in particular). Try to become comfortable with the extemporaneous style of speaking. You should be able to look at a few keywords on your outline and deliver eloquent sentences because you are so familiar with your material. You should spend approximately 80% of your speech making eye-contact with your audience.

Delivering an Informative Speech

For many speakers, delivery is the most intimidating aspect of public speaking. Although there is no known cure for nervousness, you can make yourself much more comfortable by following a few basic delivery guidelines. In this section, we discuss those guidelines.

The Five-Step Method for Improving Delivery

  • Read aloud your full-sentence outline. Listen to what you are saying and adjust your language to achieve a good, clear, simple sentence structure.
  • Practice the speech repeatedly from the speaking outline. Become comfortable with your keywords to the point that what you say takes the form of an easy, natural conversation.
  • Practice the speech aloud...rehearse it until you are confident you have mastered the ideas you want to present. Do not be concerned about "getting it just right." Once you know the content, you will find the way that is most comfortable for you.
  • Practice in front of a mirror, tape record your practice, and/or present your speech to a friend. You are looking for feedback on rate of delivery, volume, pitch, non-verbal cues (gestures, card-usage, etc.), and eye-contact.
  • Do a dress rehearsal of the speech under conditions as close as possible to those of the actual speech. Practice the speech a day or two before in a classroom. Be sure to incorporate as many elements as possible in the dress rehearsal...especially visual aids.

It should be clear that coping with anxiety over delivering a speech requires significant advanced preparation. The speech needs to be completed several days beforehand so that you can effectively employ this five-step plan.

Anderson, Thad, & Ron Tajchman. (1994). Informative Speaking. Writing@CSU . Colorado State University. https://writing.colostate.edu/guides/guide.cfm?guideid=52

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Free Printable Informative Speech Outline Templates [PDF, Word] Example

Are you tired of delivering dull and unengaging informative speeches ? Whether you’re a student or a business owner, the ability to make your speeches interesting is a valuable skill. Your audience will be more likely to listen and retain the information you present if they find the speech engaging. So, how can you make your informative speech more interesting?

There are various techniques you can use, such as using humor, incorporating interactive elements, and incorporating real-life examples. In this article, we’ll explore different ways to make your informative speeches more engaging and memorable for your audience.

Table of Contents

What is an Informative Speech?

Informative Speech Outline

An informative speech is a type of public speaking that aims to educate and inform the audience about a specific topic or subject. The goal of an informative speech is to provide the audience with knowledge, understanding, and insight into the topic being discussed.

The speaker delivers information in a clear and concise manner, using examples, facts, and other supporting materials to help the audience understand the topic. Unlike persuasive or argumentative speeches, the objective of an informative speech is not to persuade the audience to take a particular action or adopt a certain viewpoint, but simply to provide them with valuable information. Informative speeches can be delivered in a variety of settings, including classrooms, business meetings , and public events, and can be used to inform people about a wide range of topics, from science and technology, to history and culture.

Informative Speech Templates

example informative speech outline

Deliver impactful and organized presentations with our collection of Informative Speech Outline templates . These templates serve as a roadmap for structuring your speech, ensuring that your content is clear, engaging, and well-organized. Whether you’re delivering a speech in an academic setting, business environment, or any other professional context , our templates provide a framework to effectively convey information to your audience.

With sections for introduction, main points, supporting details, and conclusion, these templates help you organize your thoughts and present your ideas in a logical and compelling manner. Customize the templates to fit your specific topic, add visuals, and enhance the overall flow of your speech. Download our Informative Speech Outline templates and captivate your audience with a well-structured and impactful presentation.

Types of Informative Speeches

There are several types of informative speeches, including:

Definition speech

A definition speech is a type of informative speech in which the speaker defines and explains a specific term or concept. The goal of a definition speech is to provide the audience with a clear and concise understanding of the term or concept being discussed. The speaker may provide a brief history of the term or concept, as well as its origin and evolution over time. The speaker may also use examples, illustrations, and analogies to help the audience understand the meaning of the term or concept.

The key to a successful definition speech is to provide accurate and relevant information in a clear and easy-to-understand manner, so that the audience leaves with a comprehensive understanding of the topic. Definition speeches can be used to educate people about a wide range of subjects, from technical terms in a specific field to commonly misunderstood concepts in society.

Descriptive speech

A descriptive speech is a type of informative speech in which the speaker provides a detailed description of a person, place, or object. The goal of a descriptive speech is to create a vivid mental image for the audience so that they can imagine the person, place, or object being described. The speaker may use sensory details such as sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell to help the audience understand the subject being described.

The speaker may also use comparisons and contrasts to help the audience understand the unique qualities and characteristics of the person, place, or object. A successful descriptive speech requires the speaker to be imaginative and creative in their descriptions, and to use language that is both descriptive and easy to understand. Descriptive speeches can be used to educate people about a wide range of subjects, from famous historical landmarks to unique cultural experiences.

Explanatory speech

An explanatory speech is a type of informative speech in which the speaker provides a step-by-step explanation of how to perform a task or process. The goal of an explanatory speech is to provide the audience with the knowledge and understanding they need to successfully perform the task or follow the process being discussed. The speaker may use diagrams, illustrations, and other visual aids to help the audience understand the steps involved.

The speaker may also use examples and anecdotes to help the audience understand the purpose and importance of each step. A successful explanatory speech requires the speaker to be organized and clear in their presentation, and to use language that is easy to follow and understand. Explanatory speeches can be used to educate people about a wide range of subjects, from technical processes in a specific field to everyday tasks such as cooking or home maintenance.

Process speech

A process speech is a type of informative speech in which the speaker outlines the steps or stages involved in a process or event. The goal of a process speech is to provide the audience with a clear understanding of the sequence of events that take place in a particular process or event. The speaker may use diagrams, illustrations, and other visual aids to help the audience understand the steps involved.

The speaker may also use examples and anecdotes to help the audience understand the purpose and importance of each step. A successful process speech requires the speaker to be organized and clear in their presentation, and to use language that is easy to follow and understand. Process speeches can be used to educate people about a wide range of subjects, from complex industrial processes to everyday events such as baking a cake or preparing for a trip.

Demonstration speech

A demonstration speech is a type of informative speech in which the speaker physically demonstrates how to perform a task or process. The goal of a demonstration speech is to provide the audience with a clear and hands-on understanding of how to perform the task or process being discussed. The speaker may use visual aids, props, and actual products to help the audience understand the steps involved.

The speaker may also use examples and anecdotes to help the audience understand the purpose and importance of each step. A successful demonstration speech requires the speaker to be confident and engaging in their presentation, and to use language that is easy to follow and understand. Demonstration speeches can be used to educate people about a wide range of subjects, from technical procedures in a specific field to everyday tasks such as cooking or home maintenance.

Object speech

An object speech is a type of informative speech in which the speaker provides information about a specific object or item. The goal of an object speech is to provide the audience with a clear understanding of the characteristics, features, and history of the object being discussed. The speaker may use visual aids, props, and actual products to help the audience understand the object being described.

The speaker may also use comparisons and contrasts to help the audience understand the unique qualities and characteristics of the object. A successful object speech requires the speaker to be knowledgeable and descriptive in their presentation, and to use language that is easy to follow and understand. Object speeches can be used to educate people about a wide range of subjects, from famous works of art to unique technological devices.

Compare and contrast speech

A compare and contrast speech is a type of informative speech in which the speaker discusses the similarities and differences between two or more subjects. The goal of a compare and contrast speech is to provide the audience with a clear understanding of the similarities and differences between the subjects being discussed. The speaker may use visual aids, examples, and anecdotes to help the audience understand the similarities and differences being discussed. The speaker may also use comparisons and contrasts to help the audience understand the unique qualities and characteristics of each subject. A successful compare and contrast speech requires the speaker to be organized and clear in their presentation, and to use language that is easy to follow and understand. Compare and contrast speeches can be used to educate people about a wide range of subjects, from different historical events to different types of products or services.

Cause and effect speech

A cause and effect speech is a type of informative speech in which the speaker discusses the relationship between two events or conditions, where one event or condition is the result of the other. The goal of a cause and effect speech is to provide the audience with a clear understanding of the reasons behind an event or condition, and the consequences that result from it. The speaker may use examples, statistics, and anecdotes to help the audience understand the cause and effect relationship being discussed.

The speaker may also use cause and effect diagrams, illustrations, or other visual aids to help the audience understand the relationship between the events or conditions being discussed. A successful cause and effect speech requires the speaker to be organized and clear in their presentation, and to use language that is easy to follow and understand. Cause and effect speeches can be used to educate people about a wide range of subjects, from social and political issues to natural disasters and medical conditions.

Historical speech

A historical speech is a type of informative speech in which the speaker discusses a particular event, person, or era in history. The goal of a historical speech is to provide the audience with a clear understanding of the subject being discussed, including its background, context, and significance. The speaker may use visual aids, props, and primary sources to help the audience understand the historical context of the event, person, or era being discussed. The speaker may also use anecdotes and storytelling techniques to help the audience understand the subject in a more engaging and memorable way.

A successful historical speech requires the speaker to be knowledgeable and passionate about their subject, and to use language that is easy to follow and understand. Historical speeches can be used to educate people about a wide range of subjects, from famous historical figures to important events in world history.

Checklist for Your Informative Speech

Here is a checklist that you can use when preparing and delivering an informative speech:

Choose a relevant and interesting topic: Make sure your topic is relevant and interesting to your audience, and that you have enough information to provide a comprehensive overview of the subject.

Research the topic: Gather as much information as possible about your topic, and use credible sources to ensure the accuracy of your information.

Organize your speech: Decide on the best way to present your information, and organize your speech into clear and concise sections.

Develop an introduction: Start your speech with an attention-grabbing introduction that will engage your audience and provide context for your topic.

Use visual aids: Consider using visual aids, such as slides, props, or videos, to help illustrate your points and make your speech more engaging.

Use clear and concise language: Make sure your language is clear, concise, and easy to understand, and use examples and anecdotes to help illustrate your points.

Rehearse your speech: Practice your speech several times, and consider recording yourself so you can get an idea of how it will sound when you deliver it.

Timing: Make sure you have enough time to cover all of the important points in your speech, but also be mindful of your audience’s attention span and keep your speech within a reasonable length.

Engage with your audience: Make eye contact, use gestures, and engage with your audience to help keep their attention and interest.

Practice good posture and delivery: Stand up straight, use confident body language, and project your voice so that everyone in the audience can hear you.

How to Write an Informative Speech?

Writing an informative speech can be a challenging task, but with the right preparation and strategy, it can also be a rewarding experience. Here are the steps you should follow to write an informative speech:

Choose a topic: Start by choosing a topic that is relevant and interesting to your audience. The topic should also be something that you are knowledgeable and passionate about, as this will make it easier for you to convey your information with enthusiasm and energy.

Research the topic: Once you have chosen a topic, it is time to research it thoroughly. Make sure you use credible sources to gather information, and take notes on the key points you want to cover in your speech.

Organize your information: Now that you have gathered all of your information, it’s time to organize it in a way that makes sense to your audience. Consider dividing your speech into clear and concise sections, and use headings or subheadings to help guide the audience through your information.

Write an introduction: Start your speech with an attention-grabbing introduction that will grab your audience’s attention and provide context for your topic. This could include a personal story, a surprising statistic, or a thought-provoking question.

Develop the body of your speech: Use the information you have gathered to develop the body of your speech, making sure to include clear and concise explanations of each key point you want to make. Consider using examples, anecdotes, and visual aids to help illustrate your points and make your speech more engaging.

Write a conclusion: End your speech with a powerful conclusion that summarizes your key points and leaves a lasting impression on your audience. This could include a call to action, a personal reflection, or a thought-provoking question.

Edit and revise: Once you have written your speech, take the time to review it and make any necessary changes. This could include correcting any errors, refining your language, and adding any additional information that you think would be beneficial to your audience.

Rehearse your speech: Once you have completed your final draft, it’s time to rehearse your speech. Practice speaking it out loud, paying close attention to your tone, pacing, and body language. Consider recording yourself so you can get an idea of how it will sound when you deliver it.

Delivery: Finally, it’s time to deliver your speech. Remember to make eye contact with your audience, use gestures to help illustrate your points, and project your voice so that everyone can hear you.

Here are a few examples of informative speech topics:

  • The history of chocolate
  • The benefits of meditation
  • How to start a small business
  • The science of climate change
  • Understanding the human brain
  • The benefits of a plant-based diet
  • The history of the internet
  • The dangers of plastic pollution
  • Understanding renewable energy sources
  • The benefits of practicing gratitude.

What is an informative speech outline?

An informative speech outline is a plan or framework for constructing and delivering a speech that aims to inform or educate the audience on a specific topic. It typically includes an introduction, main points, and a conclusion, and helps the speaker organize their content in a coherent and logical manner.

Why is an informative speech outline important?

An informative speech outline is crucial because it helps to organize ideas, ensures a coherent structure for the speech, aids in remembering key points, and contributes to effective delivery. It also helps to manage the timing of the speech and ensures all important points are covered.

What should be included in the introduction of an informative speech outline?

The introduction should include an attention-grabber, a statement on the importance of the topic, your credibility, a thesis statement , and a preview of the main points you will be covering in your speech.

How do you conclude an informative speech outline?

In the conclusion of your outline, restate the thesis statement, summarize the main points, and provide a closing statement that leaves a lasting impression or calls the audience to further think about the topic.

How detailed should an informative speech outline be?

The level of detail in your outline may depend on your familiarity with the topic and the complexity of the material. However, it should be detailed enough to help you remember your key points and maintain a logical flow, without reading it word-for-word during your speech.

Can I use visual aids in my informative speech?

Yes, visual aids can be very effective in enhancing understanding and retention of the information presented. Incorporate them in your outline at the relevant points to ensure a seamless integration into your speech.

How do I cite sources in an informative speech outline?

Sources should be cited in your outline to give credit to the original authors and enhance your credibility. You can use a standard citation format like APA, MLA, or Chicago, and include a reference list at the end of your outline. During your speech, verbally acknowledge the sources of your information.

How do you write an informative speech outline?

  • Start by researching and understanding your topic thoroughly.
  • Decide on a specific purpose and thesis statement for your speech.
  • List the main points you want to cover in the body of your speech.
  • Draft an engaging introduction to grab the audience’s attention.
  • Write a conclusion to summarize the main points and restate the thesis.
  • Use bullet points and sub-points to organize ideas under each main point.
  • Practice delivering your speech using the outline to ensure a smooth flow and adherence to time constraints.

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20+ Best Informative Speech Outline Templates & Examples [Word, PDF]

An informative speech outline template helps you to organize your presentation. It enables you to break out your speech into an introduction, main points, and a conclusion. In order to make the right kind of informative speech outline, include all the parts in it. However, if you don’t have any idea about the informative speech outline then you can download the informative speech outline template.

What is an informative speech?

An informative speech is a type of speech that informs the audience about facts and figures of a particular topic. It should be well-formatted and perfectly structured. The speaker of this speech has to provide detailed information about a particular topic. Moreover, the main purpose of an informative speech is to provide detailed information to the people about anything. There are different types of informative speech but all the types carry the same purpose;

  • Definitional speech
  • Descriptive speech
  • Explanatory speech
  • Demonstration speech

public speaking outline template

Different ways of writing an informative speech outline:

It is just like an easy outline. There are two different ways of writing an outline for an informative speech;

  • The first one is complete sentence format. In this format, you can include full sentences that assist you to check the content of the speech.
  • The other one is the key points format. This format just contains key points that remind you what you should include in your speech.

According to your ease, you can select any format. However, every informative speech has followed these two formats.

How to write an informative speech outline?

Writing an effective informative speech is not a difficult task, you just have to do thorough research and collect some information. A good informative speech always contains an outline. Let us discuss step-by-step how to write an outline for an informative speech;

  • At first, select an informative and unique topic that can turn into a good speech. Never choose such a topic that the audience has already known. You have to select a topic that is unique and the audience has very little knowledge about it.
  • After selecting an informative topic for your speech, it’s time to do thorough research and collect some credible information about it. You should select the information that is important for the audience to understand the subject of the speech.
  • Now, structure your information to make a good speech. The basic structure of good informative speech has 3 elements;


It is the first and foremost part of a speech that grabs the audience’s attention. Take a start with an attention-getter statement. Then, provide basic information about the speech and explain your credibility in presenting the topic. Furthermore, provide an overview of the main points of your speech.

The body of the speech explains in detail the topic of your speech. Here you must include the examples that help your audience to understand the subject.


career research informative speech outline example

Benefits of an informative speech outline:

  • With the help of an outline, you can group ideas into main points.
  • Your informative speech flows smoothly.
  • You can effectively sequence your information.
  • It ensures that you touch on all your main points.
  • It acts as a tool for the delivery of extemporaneous speaking.

In conclusion, an informative speech template is a helpful tool if you want to make your own informative speech outline . It acts as a guide for you. With the help of an outline, you can explain a particular topic thoroughly. If you make a unique outline then you must include all the parts of your speech.

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Informational topics are objects, events, concepts that you can describe or explain. Here are some broad categories to help you get started on your topic: 

  • Historical Events
  • Places you've visited or want to visit
  • People you admire: Artists, Actors, Politicians, etc. 
  • Books, Movies, TV Shows, Music you enjoy
  • Diseases or conditions
  • Holiday celebrations

Use the Library Research Guide below to see how to search library resources like Credo Reference and the  Discovery!  search tool to find materials for your informative speeches. 

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Informative Essay Outline – Ultimate Guide & Examples

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Amanda Green was born in a small town in the west of Scotland, where everyone knows everyone. I joined the Toastmasters 15 years ago, and I served in nearly every office in the club since then. I love helping others gain confidence and skills they can apply in every day life.

Writing an informative essay requires excellent research skills to educate your audience; I know this from first-hand experience. But creating an outline for your paper is easier said than done. I promise!

I created this guide to show you the correct outline for writing an informative essay with examples. Follow my tips so you can organize your thoughts and ideas.

What Is an Informative Essay?

speech outline example informative

An informative essay’s purpose is to inform and educate readers on a specific topic. Some reports seek to define a term, while others compare and contrast different objects. Some informative essays analyze data or provide procedures for doing something.

It’s the type of essay that should present something other than an opinion. That means you should omit personal pronouns “I” and “me” on the paper. You should also not persuade your reader in an informative essay.

Informational Essay Outline

Most essays and speeches follow four parts: an introduction, thesis, body, and conclusion. The main purpose is to help the writer connect all the information and support their thesis statement. Below is an outline for an informative essay structure with examples.

  • Introduction

The essay introduction is where you introduce the topic of your choice. It should be shorter than the body paragraphs because it merely provides a background of your informative essay topic. Give the readers an overview of the body paragraph.

This part also includes the relevance of your topic. Ask yourself why you are writing about this subject. What makes it timely?

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Here’s an example:

“Tobacco, a plant that contains an addictive drug called nicotine, kills over 8 million people worldwide annually. It occurs as individuals inhale and exhale the burning plant material’s fumes.”

The thesis statement is often part of the introduction. It’s a complete sentence at the end of the first paragraph discussing what the informative essay will inform its readers. The thesis should be brief, concise, and written in simple terms.

For example:

“Smoking is the major cause of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and stroke.”

  • Body paragraphs

The main body of the essay includes a paragraph for every supporting detail. Teachers usually require students to have three points in this section. For every target point, the writer should support it with facts.

The target point is also known as the topic sentence. This statement will serve as the basis of the paragraph for cohesion. After that, support the sentence with facts and studies. Don’t forget to cite your sources to avoid plagiarism.

Don’t forget to summarize each point after every body paragraph to tie everything together.

Below is an example of a body paragraph about one target point.

“Smoking can cause cancer because it weakens the body’s immune system or damages a cell’s DNA. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services (2014), nearly 9 out of 10 deaths caused by lung cancer are caused by smoking cigarettes or exposure to second-hand smoke. Although treatments are advancing, it continues killing more people than other types of cancer.”

The informative essay conclusion summarizes the entire essay, highlighting the key points. Here, you should restate your thesis statement and the paper’s purpose. Do not introduce any new ideas or recommendations.

Here is a quick sample informative essay conclusion.

“Smoking is responsible for a majority of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. It increases the risk of cancer, stroke, and diabetes. Nevertheless, people consume it because of the adrenaline rush that creates short-term energy and pleasure. With an effective action plan, anyone can quit this bad habit for good.”

How to Write an Informative Essay: The Writing Process

speech outline example informative

Now that you know the correct structure of an informative essay, here are some tips for writing one.

Review the Instructions

If you’re writing an informative essay for school, the teacher might have specific instructions for the activity or topic. Find out what you should write about and what they want to read from your paper.

Then, learn the required word and paragraph count. Some professors also have instructions for the writing style guide you should follow.

Formatting guidelines are also common among high school and college professors. Make sure to follow the font style, spacing, and size instructions.

A good essay is about more than just content. Teachers also grade these aspects to help you practice formality in writing. Don’t hesitate to ask questions if you’re unclear about the instructions.

Choose a Narrow Topic

Broad themes like love, weather, music, and technology are not recommended when writing an informative essay. Pick a topic that does not include general knowledge.

Consider smoking, for example. This topic is too broad for a 500-word essay. Try focusing on a subtopic, such as the diseases it causes or why people smoke. Perhaps you can also write about the correlation between smoking and poverty.

Create a Logical Thesis Before Writing the Body

You can only create subtopics for your informative essay if you already have a solid topic and thesis statement. Consider what you want your reader to know and why you choose this subject.

Start with a question in mind and write an initial answer. Research the topic, then formulate a tentative response. Make sure it’s based on facts with credible sources and summarizes your overall exposition. A logical thesis statement for this essay type also doesn’t include an opinion.

Create Several Drafts

Whether you’re asked to submit drafts or not, making several versions of your paper is crucial to ensure its quality. After every draft, you should create a more improved version of it with a better structure and fewer errors.

If you have to submit every draft, the lecturer may write their comments and return the paper for revision. Revising is the process of adding or removing information, fixing sentences, rearranging, or changing your evidence. It helps make your writing more understandable.

Here are some guide questions when revising your informative essay.

  • Are some parts of your informative essay in proportion with others?
  • Do you spend too much time on general knowledge and less on evidence?
  • Does the paper follow the thesis statement?
  • Is the formality appropriate?
  • Does the essay follow a logical pattern?
  • Are all the facts accurate?
  • Have you cited all information appropriately?

Write a Successful Conclusion

Your outline for an informative essay should include a successful conclusion. It wraps up what you have been informing your readers. You can take from general to specific information while focusing on restating your topic.

Do not add extra information to your conclusion unless it’s a call to action for possible future research. In general, this part of the essay should restate your thesis statement, explain why the topic is essential, and address your main points.

One tip for writing a successful conclusion is to use your introductory paragraph as a guide. It also contains the thesis statement and main points. So, you can reword it and add a closing sentence. Provide closure to the reader, leaving them with a significant impression.

Proofread Your Paper

Proofreading is the final stage in the essay writing process before submitting your informative paper or persuasive essay. This step is crucial because professors also grade your essay or academic paper based on a technicality in informative writing. Check for grammar, punctuation, formatting, and spelling errors to make your writing more precise and accurate.

Review from the larger aspects of your text to the narrow ones. Check your complex sentence constructions, variety, vocabulary, and repetitive phrases. You also want to review your list of references. Are you using the correct style guide?

Learn More Writing Tips for Essay Writers

Writing an informative essay takes more than just research skills. You also need to ensure clarity, organization, and coherence in your work. Take a moment and read some informative essay examples you can find online. 

The best method to write an informative essay is to have a specific thesis statement which you can expand in the body paragraphs. Revise, edit, and proofread your work before submitting the final draft. I hope my guide and tips helped you on your way!

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  1. FREE 8+ Informative Speech Samples in MS Word

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