Chapter 15 Informative Speaking Informative Speaking: Introduction • An informative speech: – Shares information or ideas with audience – Increases understanding and awareness of a topic – Gives listeners new knowledge – Keeps information audience-centered Informative Speaking: An Overview • In this chapter, we will discuss: – Techniques for informing – Types of informative speeches – Developing your informative speech – Clarifying and simplifying your message – Three sample speechs Techniques for Informing: Definition • Definition explains the essence, meaning, or purpose of something such as a(n): – Object – Person or group – Event – Process – Idea or concept Techniques for Informing: Definition • Four types of definitions: – Dictionary: presents the meaning of a term as it appears in a dictionary – Expert: comes from a credible source in the field – Etymological: traces something’s roots in the same or other languages – Functional: looks at how something is applied or how it functions Techniques for Informing: Definition Techniques for Informing: Explanation • Providing an analysis of something to clarify it, or tracing a line of causal connections between events • Works well on speeches that: – Present a process – Trace the emergence of an event – Illustrate how something works Techniques for Informing: Description • Use words to paint a mental picture. • Achieve maximum impact by using: – Vivid language – Presentation aids – Details that evoke the audience’s senses Techniques for Informing: Demonstration • Teaches how a process or a set of guidelines works • Calls for physical modeling and verbal elements to lead an audience through a process • Requires confidence and practice • Helps audiences retain information – Especially when combined with repetition Techniques for Informing: Demonstration Techniques for Informing: Narrative • Present a story that entertains while it informs. • Base narratives on audience analysis and support your message. Tips for Techniques of Informing • Tip: Stories can humanize speakers and improve their credibility, but, as a speaker, you must practice the stories to sound natural and unrehearsed. • Tip: Be audience-centered—it is your job to get information across to the audience, so choose a technique that is appropriate for both the audience and the topic. Types of Informative Speeches: Objects • Types of objects include: – – – – Mechanical/technological Natural Cultural Personal • Appropriate techniques: – – – – Definition Explanation Demonstration Narrative Types of Informative Speeches: Individuals or Groups • People are fascinated by human subjects. • Ideas include: – Famous politician – Famous sports star, entertainer, or artist – An unsung hero – A tragic figure Types of Informative Speeches: Events • Notable or exceptional occurrences from the present or past • Consider events that seem noteworthy, exciting, surprising. • Blend narrative and description. Types of Informative Speeches: Events Types of Informative Speeches: Processes • A series of steps or stages that lead to outcomes • Informative speeches about processes can be at the micro or macro level. • Walk the audience through the steps and their sequence. Types of Informative Speeches: Ideas • Idea: Theory, principle, belief, or value – Relatively abstract – Discussion could benefit from “real life” analogies – Presenter needs to connect with the audience’s: • Interests • Level of education • Prior exposure to the idea Types of Informative Speeches: Ideas Developing Your Informative Speech: Analyzing Your Audience • Examine audience demographics: – – – – – – – – – Age Ethnicity Gender Religion Sexual orientation Academic major Educational background Political affiliation Occupation Developing Your Informative Speech: Analyzing Your Audience • Look for common ground, such as shared values and interests. – This will help to strengthen your ethos. Developing Your Informative Speech: Selecting a Technique • Choice of technique helps you decide how to develop main points and supporting materials. – For demonstration, consider forum and audience size. – For explanation or description, focus on demographics. – For narrative, look to common ground issues. • Keep your focus on your rhetorical purpose. Developing Your Informative Speech: Clarifying and Simplifying Your Message • Clarity is a goal of informative speech. • Being clear makes it easier for audience to understand. Clarifying and Simplifying Your Message: Move from General to Specific • Keep the information simple to help your audience understand. Clarifying and Simplifying Your Message: Move from General to Specific • Ask yourself: – What message do you want your audience to take away? • The answer can help you narrow your topic. Clarifying and Simplifying Your Message: Reduce the Quantity of Information You Present • “Less is more” • Pare down details Clarifying and Simplifying Your Message: Make the Complex Familiar • Use definitions and analogies. • Avoid jargon and an overabundance of technical terminology. Clarifying and Simplifying Your Message: Use Presentation Aids • Use presentation aids to clarify and simplify your message. Clarifying and Simplifying Your Message: Reiterate Your Message • Refer to your message multiple times. • Use different words each time. Clarifying and Simplifying Your Message: Repeat Your Message • Use the same words each time. Sample Informative Speech • Rachel Parish, “Spider Silk: A Miracle Material Derived from…Goats?” • Read the sample speech with comments on pages 487–91. – The three main points are: • Background and unique properties of spider silk • Role of the “spider goat” in producing spider silk • Current and future uses of spider silk Sample Informative Speech • Elvia Anguiano, “Precision-Guided Tumor Killers” • Read sample speech with comments on pages 492–96. – The main points are: • • • • What traditional chemotherapy is and how it works What precision-guided tumor killers (PGTKs) are How PGTKs work The potential benefits of PGTKs Sample Informative Speech • Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “On the Bank Crisis” • Read sample speech with comments on pages 497–501. – The main points are: • How banks work • Why banks failed in 1933 • How the federal government responded Tips for Informative Speeches • Tip: Be audience-centered, choose a topic that will be new to your audience. Novelty helps get and keep audience attention. • Tip: To aid in clarity and interest, focus on what you want the audience to have learned by the end of the speech. The more you narrow your focus, the easier it will be to construct an interesting, informative speech.