Inspire, engage… but most of all inform people with your presentation skills
You've got tons of knowledge stuffed inside your brain. But how can you share it with the people around you? The answer, as you may have guessed, is an informative speech.
While there are many types of informative speech out there, they all have one thing in common. The goal is to impart your wisdom to the people to whom you're speaking. It's a tall order, but one that you can surely fulfil. In the following guide, we'll take a look at what type of professional gives these speeches and how to structure your next presentation. Sit back, grab yourself a cuppa, and upgrade your skills.
What is informative speech?
An informative speech is exactly what it says on the tin. It's a talk - or, sometimes, a presentation - in which you share your knowledge with the audience. Now, that may be your standard PowerPoint display, a freeform speech, or something in between. The point is that you share important information with a group of people. You need to make sure that the talk is engaging, interesting, and, perhaps most importantly, easy to understand.
There are plenty of reasons why you may need to deliver an informative speech at work. For example, if you've recently completed a report, you may be asked to share your findings with the wider department. On the other hand, if you're an expert in your field, your manager may ask you to give a presentation to enlighten the rest of the workforce. Whatever the reason for your speech, having this skill puts you in a prime position.
What type of professional gives informative speeches?
You already know what an informative speech is. So, let's talk about the type of people who give them. As we've covered, anyone in any line of work may be asked to share their nuggets of knowledge with an audience. However, there are some professions in which giving informative speeches will be part of the humdrum of their everyday tasks. Here are some of the jobs where you may find yourself frequently delivering these talks:
Teacher or Lecturer. If you're shaping young (or old!) minds, you'll need to be a pro when it comes to giving informative speeches. Every day is a school day, as the old saying goes, and that's certainly true for you. In this job, you'll need to put together lessons and speeches that share valuable information with your students.
Managers. Whenever you're overseeing or guiding a team of people, it's important to make sure that you're all on the same page. If you're a poor communicator, that may be something of a problem. Your team won't know what to do. Learning how to give informative speeches will help you on the road to success.
Marketers. Working in marketing means that you have to draw upon a whole range of different skills, one of which is communicating. Ensuring that the workforce is on board with the latest campaigns means giving informative speeches. You may be sharing the results of a recent initiative or showcasing details of a product launch.
Presenters. If presenting is your day job, giving informative speeches should be second nature. Whatever field you work in - TV, radio, or another form of media - you'll need to share loads of information with your audience. For that reason, knowing how to structure and deliver this type of talk is essential to your role.
Researchers. If you're conducting some mind-blowing research, you're going to want to share your findings with the public or, indeed, shareholders. The best way to ensure that people understand your results is with an informative speech.
CEOs and Founders. Let's face it, the leaders of businesses have to be dab hands at delivering news. These professionals often give informative speeches about new products, services, or initiatives. You may need to deliver all-singing, all-dancing presentations when you launch a brand new product, for example.
If you fall into one of the above categories, there are plenty of informative speech topics you may have to cover in your professional life. However, it's worth keeping in mind that, whatever your specific job role, knowing how to give a good informative speech is a real advantage. This skill will allow you to communicate effectively with your coworkers.
The 8 types of informative speech
Informative speeches exist to educate people. That's their sole purpose. But before you start drafting your next presentation, you need to know about the different types of informative speech that you may want to use. Yes, not all of these talks are created equal. Here's a quick rundown of eight types of presentation that you may want to use:
Is your audience completely oblivious to a certain topic? If the answer is yes, you might want to give a definition speech. This type of talk simply explains what something is and why it's important. For instance, you may be explaining what a certain marketing theory is and, of course, how it applies to your team members. When you're delivering this type of informative speech, you need to make sure that you give some context. The listeners not only need to understand what the theory is, but also how they can apply it in the real world.
If you're a Researcher or Marketing Executive, you may be all-too-used to this specific category. Report speeches allow you to share your findings with a group in an easy-to-digest way. You may deliver your informative speech alongside a presentation with graphs and charts. That way, your audience can visualise the findings of your report. Should you work in a role where you continually have to share your results, feeling confident in delivering this type of speech is vital.
Sometimes it's better to show people something rather than merely tell them about it. That's where demonstrations come into play. Let's use the example of a new piece of software that all staff members will need to use on a daily basis. You might give a demonstration to show them the exact process they'll need to follow. You can share your screen with the group, so that they can see what steps you're taking in real time. That way, when the team members try to do it, they'll know just what to do from start to finish.
News and updates
Has something changed in your workplace? Do you have exciting news that you want to share with the team? If so, you might want to deliver this type of informative speech. Delivering news and updates - either internally or externally - is always important. You'll need to use your communication skills to stay on topic and make sure that everyone understands what you have to say. Managers or other leaders may give this type of speech on a monthly or even quarterly basis. It's all about keeping everybody in the loop.
Do you have a spark of an idea that you want to share with the world? Maybe you've come up with a theory that will change the way the entire business functions. An informative speech will help you to outline your theory and let people know what it means in real terms. You may be delivering this speech to your office or to a group of campaigners. Whatever the circumstances, it can be hard to share theories with an audience. You'll need to make sure that you give examples and perhaps even demonstrate it too.
“Say hello to Freddie, everyone! He's our new Account Manager…” Introductions serve a purpose. These speeches let people know when new members join the team. If you're a manager, you may have to introduce a new staff member and let people know what their role will be. Alternatively, as a newcomer to a workplace, you may need to introduce yourself. These presentations include the person's name, their role, and what they do.
History or event speeches
We can learn a lot from our past. Many informative speeches will focus on a historical subject matter. In the business world, that may be how a company was founded. However, you may also look at case studies from the past or even events that have shaped the company. The main components of this type of speech are when something happened, who was involved, where it took place, and why it matters. Tick those boxes when talking.
If you're a Teacher or Lecturer, you'll be familiar with this last category. Lessons share knowledge with a group in an organised manner. For example, you may find yourself taking your audience through mathematical equations or telling them about a specific psychological theory. It takes a great deal of finesse to ensure that your lesson is effective. Of course, it's not merely about getting the information out there. You need to make sure that it's engaging and makes an impression on the people listening to it, too.
How to structure an informative speech
We've looked at some of the informative speech topics you may cover, so now it's time to talk about how to cover them. While there will be differences from speech to speech, there are some core elements you'll want to include in each. Here's a simple structure to try:
Before you kick things off, you need to introduce your subject matter. Who are you? What will you be talking about? Why does it matter? If you answer these three questions in the first part of your informative speech, you'll be off to a good start. You should also touch upon some of the points you are planning to delve into, to give the audience a taster.
Next, it's time to get to the meat of your argument. What do you have to share with your audience? You might want to let them know what the results of your recent study were. You may have updates about an exciting new project and want to let them in on the secret. Take the time to outline each point you have and explain what it means to the listener.
Can you back up your points? There are plenty of ways that you can provide evidence. For instance, you may offer a case study or some statistics. The more you can support what you have to say, the more relatable your informative speech will be. When you're creating your presentation, make sure that you do as much research as you can. While you don't want to slide in unnecessary facts and figures, knowing your subject matter in depth will pay off.
When you've said all there is to say, you simply need to round off the informative speech. You might want to reiterate some of the main points from your presentation and leave the audience with a strong message. Consider what the most important takeaway from your speech is now. Be sure to thank people for their time before you say goodbye to them.
Nail that speech!
Now that you've got the inside scoop on how to create an informative speech, what are you waiting for? Whatever type of presentation you need to deliver, preparing in advance is the most effective approach. Use our guide to help you get started on your speech.
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