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Objectives

At the end of this lesson, you should be able to:.

 identify an expository or informative speech,


 distinguish the types of informative speeches, and
 show the qualities of a good informative speaker.

Have you ever given an oral report about an assigned topic in class before? What was it about? How
did you prepare for it?
What techniques or strategies did you use to deliver your oral report effectively?

Learn about it!


Public communication involves a single speaker and an audience. The speaker is tasked to deliver
a message or a speech of general interest to the audience.

Speeches can be classified according to purpose and delivery. According to purpose, speeches
can be informative, persuasive, or entertaining.

This lesson focuses on the expository or informative speech. (Note: The other types of speech
according to purpose and delivery will be discussed in the succeeding lessons.)

Expository or Informative Speech


As a student, you engage in various speech activities in school. In class you give an oral report,
explain a concept, tell a news story, and describe or demonstrate a process, among others. In each
of these activities, your purpose is to inform the audience.

An expository or informative speech aims to provide the audience with information about a topic
or to expand their knowledge about a topic with which they are already familiar. Some situations that
call for an informative speech are the following:

 A science teacher discussing how a typhoon forms with her students


 A pharmaceutical sales representative describing the uses and side effects of a drug
 A production manager instructing factory workers on how to operate a machine
 A fitness trainer demonstrating different exercises to reduce belly fat
 A news anchor reading a news story about a fire incident

Not only does an informative speech provide the audience with knowledge, but it also shapes its
perception. With the new information, the audience may view something (e.g., concept, belief,
experience) differently. Additionally, it allows the audience to understand a situation, issue, or
problem and helps them to think critically and make sound judgments and decisions.

Types of Informative Speeches


Below are the three main types of informative speeches.

1. Description speech – This provides a vivid picture of a person, a place, an object, or an


event. It creates a clear picture of a subject in the minds of the audience using sensory
details (i.e., sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste). Examples of speech topics for a
descriptive speech are describing the person who influenced you the most, the symptoms of
a rare genetic disorder like progeria, and the magnificence of the Northern Lights.
2. Definition speech – This explains a concept, term, or an abstract topic (e.g., idea, principle,
philosophy). It tells the audience what something is using facts, the etymology of the concept
or word, classification, examples, or other details. Examples of speech topics for a definition
speech are explaining the effects of global warming, the concept of realism, and the term net
cash flow in business.
3. Demonstration speech – This presents information about how to do something or how
something is done. It gives the audience detailed information of a certain process in order to
achieve a particular task or information about how something happens. Examples of speech
topics for a demonstration speech are explaining how to operate a vote-counting machine,
how toothpaste is made, and how to apply for a student loan.

Example:
Below is an excerpt from an informative speech by Sarah Putnam entitled “The Titanic.”

From the disaster to the movie, the sinking of the Titanic remains one of the most famous tragedies
in history. The Titanic was thought to be the largest, safest, most luxurious ship ever built. At the
time of her launch, she was the biggest existing ship and the largest moveable object ever built.
According to Geoff Tibbals, in his 1997 book The Titanic: The extraordinary story of the “unsinkable”
ship, the Titanic was 882 feet long and weighed about 46 000 tons. This was 100 feet longer and 15
000 tons heavier than the world’s current largest ships. Thresh stated in Titanic: The truth behind the
disaster, published in 1992 that the Titanic accommodated around 2345 passengers and 860 crew-
members.

Source: https://www.cmich.edu/office_provost/academicaffairs/cbtc/documents/sampleoutlines.pdf (
accessed on 16 May 2016)

Explanation:
The given example is an informative speech about one of the most famous ships in history,
the Titanic. The speaker gave concrete details about the Titanic by appealing to the sense of sight
(e.g., “the Titanic was 882 feet long and weighed about 46 000 tons. This was 100 feet longer and
15 000 tons heavier than the world’s current largest ships.”) The complete speech gives information
on why the sinking of the Titanic remains one of the most famous tragedies in history.

Learn about it!


Qualities of a Good Informative Speaker
Whether you are giving a descriptive, definition, or demonstration speech, you should have the
following characteristics:

 Be credible. The audience is more likely to listen to you if it sees that you are fully prepared
and qualified to speak about the topic. Otherwise, you would not be able to hold the interest
of the audience members if they know that you do not have expertise on the subject. Also,
the audience would lose interest if it sees that you cannot identify with it or that you give the
impression that you are being untruthful. To build credibility, present valid arguments and
sound reasoning, relate with the audience, and be honest.
 Be accurate and knowledgeable. You need to show the audience that you are well-
informed and that you know what you are talking about. A good informative speaker presents
accurate information that is up-to-date, reliable, and unbiased.
 Be clear. You must clearly convey the information to avoid misinterpretation and confusion
among the audience. To ensure the clarity of your speech, use simple words and
straightforward sentences, define unfamiliar concepts, and choose an organizational pattern
(e.g., chronological, spatial, cause-effect) that will clearly present the information.
 Be memorable. Make a long-lasting impact on the audience by being memorable. Show
enthusiasm, creativity, and sincerity. It is also essential that you build rapport with the
audience. Engage them by sharing a personal experience, asking a provocative question,
and telling a humorous story, among others.

Key Points
 An expository or informative speech aims to provide the audience with information about a
topic or to expand their knowledge about a topic with which they are already familiar. The
three types of informative speeches are description, definition, and demonstration.
 A description speech provides a vivid picture of a person, a place, an object, or an event.
 A definition speech explains a concept, a term, or an abstract topic.
 A demonstration speech presents information about how to do something or how
something is done.
 To be a good informative speaker, you must be credible, accurate and knowledgeable, clear,
and memorable.
 Q1
 Speeches are classified into two main categories: according to purpose and according to [% \underline{\hsp
ace{3cm}}. %]
 Exact Value
 We hide question answers, hints and explanations, to prevent students from cheating.
 Report errors in this content
 Q2
 An informative or [% \underline{\hspace{3cm}} %] speech is designed to inform the audience about a topic o
r expand the knowledge of the audience members about a topic with which they are already familiar.
 Exact Value
 We hide question answers, hints and explanations, to prevent students from cheating.
 Report errors in this content
 Q3
 This type of informative speech tells the audience how to do something or how something is done.
 Exact Value
 We hide question answers, hints and explanations, to prevent students from cheating.
 Report errors in this content
 Q4
 The following should be done by a good informative speaker except [% \underline{\hspace{3cm}}. %]
 Multiple Choice
 We hide question answers, hints and explanations, to prevent students from cheating.
 Report errors in this content
 Q5
 How can you establish credibility when giving an informative speech?
 Multiple Choice
 We hide question answers, hints and explanations, to prevent students from cheating.
 Report errors in this content
 Q6
 Which of the following speech situations calls for a description speech?
 Multiple Choice
 We hide question answers, hints and explanations, to prevent students from cheating.
 Report errors in this content
 Q7
 Suppose you relate the details of the text above in a speech. Which type of speech would best suit the situat
ion?
 Multiple Choice
 We hide question answers, hints and explanations, to prevent students from cheating.
 Report errors in this content
 Q8
 Identify the best type of speech to give using the information about the sun.
 Multiple Choice
 We hide question answers, hints and explanations, to prevent students from cheating.
 Report errors in this content
 Q9
 Kris is assigned to deliver an informative speech in class. She has listed some speech topics to choose from
. Which of the following does not call for an informative speech?
 Multiple Choice
 We hide question answers, hints and explanations, to prevent students from cheating.
 Report errors in this content
 Q10
 Identify the type of speech that best suits each of the following speech topics.