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Chapter 15

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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.
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