The Structure of an Informative Speech
It’s important, when writing any sort of speech, to present your topic in an understandable, clear, and straightforward manner. The same is true of informative speeches. Informative speeches, because of their nature, also have some other specific requirements in terms of structure. While it’s a great idea to craft your speech in a unique way, it’s also wise to consider the basic outline that most informative speeches follow. Build on this basic outline creatively, rather than diverging from it completely.
The introduction serves a number of functions in an informative speech. First, it identifies the topic for your audience. Second, it serves as a device to build a relationship with them. Third, it gives them a reason to find you to be a credible source of information on the topic. Finally, your introduction should highlight the main points of your speech, first by discussing your purpose in giving the speech and then by outlining how you will carry out your purpose. You’ll want to begin your introduction with an attention-grabbing mechanism to get the audience focused on you. This could be a humorous anecdote, an interesting quote, or a surprising fact. Once you’ve gotten their full attention, introduce yourself, the topic, and your credentials. Explain to the audience why the topic should be of interest to them, how it affects them, or how knowing more about it can improve their lives.
Body of the Speech
The body of the speech should be structured according to the main points you will use to inform your audience about the topic you’ll be speaking on. Each main idea should be its own “subsection,” with various minor, related points discussed concurrently. Be sure to include smooth transitions between points. Also, consider the order in which you’ll present your ideas. It’s often best to start with general points and gradually transition to more specific information.
Sometimes information can also be organized chronologically. For example, if you’re giving information about an event or historical happening, or a biographical speech, chronological organization can be a very intuitive way of keeping your speech organized.
Once you’ve discussed the main content of your speech, you can use the conclusion to reinforce your thesis statement, review primary points, and end on a strong note. You can also suggest other topics of interest for your audience, ways for them to do their own research on the subject, or teasers for other interesting facts they might want to find out more about.