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  • Getting integrated: Informative speaking is likely the type of public speaking we will most often deliver and be audience to in our lives. Informative speaking is an important part of academic, professional, personal, and civic contexts.
  • Informative speeches teach an audience through objective factual information and can emerge from one or more of the following categories: objects, people, concepts, events, processes, and issues.
  • Effective informative speaking requires good research skills, as speakers must include novel information, relevant and proxemic examples, and “take-away” information that audience members will find engaging and useful.
  • The four primary methods of informing are through definition, description, demonstration, or explanation.
    • Informing through definition entails defining concepts clearly and concisely using synonyms and antonyms, use or function, example, or etymology.
    • Informing through description entails creating detailed verbal pictures for your audience.
    • Informing through demonstration entails sharing verbal directions about how to do something while also physically demonstrating the steps.
    • Informing through explanation entails sharing how something works, how something came to be, or why something happened.
  • An effective informative speaker should avoid persuasion by reviewing the language used in the specific purpose and thesis statements, using objective supporting material, and appearing trustworthy to the audience.
  • An effective informative speaker should avoid information overload by repackaging information and building in repetition and orienting material like reviews and previews.
  • An effective informative speaker engages the audience by translating information into relevant and concrete examples that appeal to different learning styles.


  1. Getting integrated: How might you use informative speaking in each of the following contexts: academic, professional, personal, and civic?
  2. Brainstorm potential topics for your informative speech and identify which topic category each idea falls into. Are there any risks of persuading for the topics you listed? If so, how can you avoid persuasion if you choose that topic?
  3. Of the four methods of informing (through definition, description, demonstration, or explanation), which do you think is most effective for you? Why?

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