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Informative Speech Outline – Template & Examples

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Jim Peterson has over 20 years experience on speech writing. He wrote over 300 free speech topic ideas and how-to guides for any kind of public speaking and speech writing assignments at My Speech Class.

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Informative speeches are used in our day-to-day lives without even noticing it, we use these speeches whenever we inform someone about a topic they didn’t have much knowledge on, whenever we give someone instructions on how to do something that they haven’t done before, whenever we tell someone about another person. Informative speaking is fairly new to the world of public speaking. Ancient philosophers like Aristotle, Cicero and, Quintilian envisioned public speaking as rhetoric, which is inherently persuasive.

In this article:

What is an Informative Speech?

Here are some ways to prepare for your speech, 1. develop support for your thesis, 2. write your introduction and conclusion, 3. deliver the speech, example of an informative speech outline.

Woman Pointing to White Background While Smiling

An informative speech is designed to inform the audience about a certain topic of discussion and to provide more information. It is usually used to educate an audience on a particular topic of interest. The main goal of an informative speech is to provide enlightenment concerning a topic the audience knows nothing about. The main types of informative speeches are descriptive, explanatory, demonstrative, and definition speeches. The topics that are covered in an informative speech should help the audience understand the subject of interest better and help them remember what they learned later. The goal of an informative speech isn’t to persuade or sway the audience to the speaker’s point of view but instead to educate. The details need to be laid out to the audience so that they can make an educated decision or learn more about the subject that they are interested in.

It is important for the speaker to think about how they will present the information to the audience.  

Informative Speech Preparation

Close-Up of a Black Microphone

When you are preparing your informative speech, your preparation is the key to a successful speech. Being able to carry your information across to the audience without any misunderstanding or misinterpretation is very important.

1. Choose Your Topic

Pick a topic where you will explain something, help people understand a certain subject, demonstrate how to use something.

2. Make a Thesis Statement

Think about what point you are trying to get across, What is the topic that you want to educate your audience on? “I will explain…” “I will demonstrate how to…” “I will present these findings…”

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3. Create Points That Support Your Thesis

Take a moment to think about what would support your thesis and take a moment to write the points down on a sheet of paper. Then, take a moment to elaborate on those points and support them. 

Typical Organization for an Informative Speech:

How to Speech: 4 Key steps to doing what you are talking about.

Example: Step One: Clean the chicken of any unwanted feathers and giblets. Step Two: Spice the chicken and add stuffings. Step Three: Set oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Step Four: Place chicken in the oven and cook for an hour. 

History/ What Happened Speech: Points listing from the beginning to the latest events that you want to discuss in your speech.

Example: First, Harry met Sally. Second, Harry took Sally out to the roadhouse. Third, Harry and Sally started their courtship. Fourth, Harry and Sally moved in together and adopted a dog named Paco.

What is it Speech: Two to Four main points that discuss the key elements of your subject.

Example: First, there must be four wheels. Second, the car’s engine must be functioning. Third, the doors must be functional. Fourth, in order to get to your destination, the car’s steering has to be functional.

Explain it Speech: Two to Four main points that go through the key elements of the topic to explain it.

Example: Firstly, the car drives by the engine that powers it to move forward. Secondly, by the wheels that rotate in a forward or backward motion. Thirdly, the car’s engine is powered by gas which gives it the ability to function and essentially move the car.

Write down support for your points. Take some time to research your topic thoroughly. It is good to gather statistics, expert opinions, facts, and much more to make your speech unique and effective. 

There are three main types of support you should use to strengthen your speech: 

Interest supports.

Interest supports are used to increase the audience’s interest in the topic you are presenting.

  • Personal experiences
  • Interaction (e.g., Questions to the audience)

Evidence Supports

Evidence increases solid factual support in your speech. Examples of evidence supported are statistics, expert opinions, direct quotations. Studies, surveys, and facts.

Multimedia Aids

Multimedia aids such as posters with pictures and writing, DVDs, music or recordings on a stereo player, videotapes, and PowerPoint presentations.

Write your introduction. Provide a quick attention getter, state your thesis, elaborate on why it is important to you and your audience. It is expected that you preview your main points in the introduction by listing all your main points of discussion in your introduction.

Write your conclusion. Tie the speech together, build to a higher point and give it a sense of conclusion.

Practice your speech until you feel confident. Present your material as effectively as possible.

Informative Speech Outline

Woman Speaking in a Conference Room - Four People Smiling and Clapping

Creating an outline for an informative speech will help you organize your ideas and information to share with your audience in an effective manner. A well-planned outline will ensure that all the important information is included in your speech and ensure that you don’t wander off-topic.

Topic: This will be the title of your speech.

Purpose: To inform the audience about the topic.

Thesis: A theme statement that clearly describes the topic and points made in the presentation.

  • Introduction
  • Attention-grabbing opening statement
  • Reason to listen to the speech
  • Thesis statement
  • Preview of points to be covered
  • First main point
  • First subpoint
  • Supporting detail
  • Second subpoint
  • Second main point
  • Third main point
  • Restatement of main points
  • Restatement of thesis
  • Concluding remarks

When developing an outline, follow these rules to ensure a successful speech:

  • Include one idea for every point, subpoint, or supporting detail.
  • If there is one point, there must be a second point. If there is one supporting point, there should be a second supporting point. 
  • Be consistent. If you are using full sentences to describe points and subpoints, use full sentences throughout the outline. Ensure that the verb tense is consistent throughout your outline as well.

Informative Speech Outline Examples

Man Holding a Book With the Words Information Written on it

Topic: Adoption

Purpose: To inform people about adoption

Thesis: Adoption is the act of transferring parental rights and duties to someone other than the adopted person’s biological parents. The number of children adopted each year by American families is an estimate only.

  • What do Edgar Allan Poe, John Lennon, Steve Jobs, and Eleanor Roosevelt all have in common? They were all adopted. Adoption is the act of transferring parental rights and duties to someone other than the adopted person’s biological parents. The adoption process is lengthy, expensive, and varies from country to country and even state to state. Not only does adoption vary from state to state, but sometimes the adoption process even varies within regions of a state.
  • Many children get adopted every year. No one knows how adoption works.
  • Adoption is a life-changing event, not just for the children involved but also for every single family made whole through adoption.
  • Adoption processes vary from place to place. Types of adoption. Benefits and detriments to adoption. Many children who are adopted have experienced neglect and abuse.
  • Adoption processes vary from place to place.
  • The adoption process varies from state to state.
  • It is more expensive in certain states than in others.
  • The amount of paperwork throughout the process also depends on the state legislature.
  • The adoption process varies within a state.
  • In certain states, the adoption process is different from one region to the next.
  • The process is different depending on the child protection laws set in each region inside a state.
  • Types of adoption
  • There are different types of adoption.
  • There is step-parent or other family member adoption
  • There is also adoption across state lines
  • The more traditional adoption types are commonly known.
  • There is private adoption which is most commonly found throughout the U.S.
  • Adoption through foster care is a good thing to try for first-time adopters.
  • The adoption process is expensive.
  • There are a lot of upfront expenses.
  • You are subjected to adoption agency fees to help you find a suitable match for your family.
  • You also have to pay to adopt the child you want to adopt.
  • There are a lot of big expenses in terms of the child too.
  • Readying a living space to suit a child’s wants and needs can be expensive.
  • Many new expenses come to light like healthcare, school, etc.
  • Adoption processes vary from state to state. There are many different types of adoption. Adoption can be expensive, so you have to ensure that you are financially capable of caring for another human being.
  • Adoption is the act of transferring parental rights and duties to someone other than the adopted person’s biological parents. The number of children adopted each year by American families is an estimate only.
  • Adoption is an absolutely life-changing adventure, but everyone needs to be more educated before walking into a demanding process. There will be many emotions, expenses, and frustration, but it truly is worth it in the end.

Topic: Snakebites and how they’re treated

Purpose: To inform the audience of the dangers of snakes and how to respond to being bitten by a snake.

Thesis: Snakebites are dangerous and could ultimately lead to loss of life if not acted upon correctly.

  • Imagine that you and your friend are walking in the woods, one sunny day in the fall when leaves cover the ground. Suddenly, your friend accidentally steps on a snake and gets bitten.
  • Your friend’s chance of survival depends on your knowledge of acting promptly and taking proper measures in this situation.
  • Today I will inform you about three common poisonous snakes seen in our country and explain to you the effects of a snake bite.
  • Three poisonous snakes. Effects of the snake’s venom. How to administer first aid in the event of a snake bite.
  • Three poisonous snakes
  • There are two types of Rattlesnakes.
  • William Pinkston: Responsible for more deaths in this country.
  • Western diamondback: found from Texas to Eastern California.
  • Copperhead and Cottonmouth
  • Before striking, it opens its mouth wide to reveal its white inside.
  • That’s how it got its name.
  • The effects of snake venom on the human body
  • Hepatotoxic
  • Destroys blood vessels and red blood cells.
  • Deadly and fatal to the victim.
  • It affects the optic nerves in the eyes, causing blindness.
  • It affects the nerves controlling the respiratory muscles, causing suffocation and eventually leading to death if left untreated.
  • How to administer first aid in the event of a snake bite.
  • Immobilize the bitten area slightly lower than the heart.
  • Apply a flat constricting band 2-4 inches above the bite.
  • With a sterile scalpel or knife, make one incision that connects the fang marks.
  • Squeeze venom gently from the incision with your fingers for 30 minutes.
  • Get the victim to the hospital as soon as possible.
  • Snake bites are dangerous and could ultimately lead to loss of life if not acted upon correctly.
  • Snake bites are dangerous and could ultimately lead to loss of life if they are not cared for properly, and the victim doesn’t get the necessary treatment in time.

Informative speeches have one main goal: to inform the audience of a specific topic of interest. For you to have an effective and successful informative speech, it is important to do your research and draw up an informative speech outline. The speech outline ensures that you do not wander off topic or get carried away with one point. 

If, on the other hand, you have to prepare persuasive speech, we have a guide on outlining and preparing for it the right way right here .

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Informative Speech Outline - Format, Writing Steps, and Examples

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Are you tasked with delivering an informative speech but don’t know how to begin? You're in the right place! 

This type of speech aims to inform and educate the audience about a particular topic. It conveys knowledge about that topic in a systematic and logical way, ensuring that the audience gets the intended points comprehensively. 

So, how do you prepare for your speech? Here’s the answer: crafting an effective informative speech begins with a well-structured outline. 

In this guide, we'll walk you through the process of creating an informative speech outline, step by step. Plus, you’ll get some amazing informative speech outline examples to inspire you. 

Let’s get into it!

Arrow Down

  • 1. What is an Informative Speech Outline?
  • 2. How to Write an Informative Speech Outline?
  • 3. Informative Speech Outline Examples

What is an Informative Speech Outline?

An informative speech outline is like a roadmap for your presentation. It's a structured plan that helps you organize your thoughts and information in a clear and logical manner.

Here's what an informative speech outline does:

  • Organizes Your Ideas: It helps you arrange your thoughts and ideas in a logical order, making it easier for your audience to follow your presentation.
  • Ensures Clarity: An outline ensures that your speech is clear and easy to understand. It prevents you from jumping from one point to another without a clear path.
  • Saves Time: With a well-structured outline, you'll spend less time searching for what to say next during your speech. It's your cheat sheet.
  • Keeps Your Audience Engaged: A well-organized outline keeps your audience engaged and focused on your message. It's the key to a successful presentation.
  • Aids Memorization: Having a structured outline can help you remember key points and maintain a confident delivery.

How to Write an Informative Speech Outline?

Writing a helpful speech outline is not so difficult if you know what to do. Here are 4 simple steps to craft a perfect informative outline. 

Step 1: Choose an Engaging Topic

Selecting the right topic is the foundation of a compelling, informative speech. Choose unique and novel informative speech topics that can turn into an engaging speech. 

Here's how to do it:

  • Consider Your Audience: Think about the interests, knowledge, and expectations of your audience. What would they find interesting and relevant?
  • Choose Your Expertise: Opt for a topic you're passionate about or knowledgeable in. Your enthusiasm will shine through in your presentation.
  • Narrow It Down: Avoid broad subjects. Instead, focus on a specific aspect of the topic to keep your speech manageable and engaging.

With these tips in mind, you can find a great topic for your speech.

Step 2: Conduct Some Research

Now that you have your topic, it's time to gather the necessary information. You need to do thorough research and collect some credible information necessary for the audience to understand your topic.

Moreover, understand the types of informative speeches and always keep the main purpose of your speech in mind. That is, to inform, educate, or teach. This will help you to avoid irrelevant information and stay focused on your goal.

Step 3: Structure Your Information

Now that you have the required information to make a good speech, you need to organize it logically. This is where the outlining comes in! 

The basic speech format consists of these essential elements:

Moreover, there are two different ways to write your outline: 

  • The complete sentence format 
  • The key points format

In the complete sentence outline , you write full sentences to indicate each point and help you check the organization and content of the speech. 

In the key points format, you just note down the key points and phrases that help you remember what you should include in your speech.

Step 4: Review and Revise

Finally, once you've created your initial informative speech outline, you need to review and revise it. 

Here's how to go about it:

  • Ensure Clarity: Review your outline to ensure that your main points and supporting details are clear and easy to understand. 
  • Verify Logical Sequence: Double-check the order of your points and transitions. Ensure that the flow of your speech is logical and that your audience can follow it easily.
  • Eliminate Redundancy: Remove any redundant or repetitive information. Keep your outline concise and to the point. 
  • Time Yourself: Estimate how long it will take to deliver your speech. Ensure it fits within the allotted time frame, whether it's a few minutes or an hour.
  • Get Feedback: Share your outline with a friend, family member, or colleague and ask for their input. Fresh eyes can provide valuable suggestions for improvement.

Follow these basic steps and write a compelling speech that gives complete knowledge about the topic. Here is a sample outline example that will help you better understand how to craft an informative speech outline.

Informative Speech Outline Format

Informative Speech Outline Examples

Let’s explore a few example outlines to help you visualize an informative speech outline. These examples illustrate the outlines for different topics and subjects.

Mental Health Informative Speech Outline

Stress Informative Speech Outline

Social Media Informative Speech Outline

Informative Speech Outline Template

Informative Speech Outline Sample

To sum it up,

Creating an effective outline is your pathway to delivering an impactful, organized, and engaging speech. Making an outline for your speech ensures that your message shines through with clarity and purpose. 

With the help of the steps and examples given above, you will be able to create a well-structured outline for your informative speech. So go ahead and deliver an engaging informative speech with the help of outlines.

Moreover, if you're passionate about public speaking but find speech writing a tedious task, your worries can now take a back seat. At MyPerfectWords.com , we offer a convenient solution.

Our essay writing service is dedicated to providing you with top-notch content, ensuring you get the results you desire. 

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Informative speech examples

4 types of informative speeches: topics and outlines

By:  Susan Dugdale  | Last modified: 08-05-2023

The primary purpose of an informative speech is to share useful and interesting, factual, and accurate information with the audience on a particular topic (issue), or subject.

Find out more about how to do that effectively here. 

What's on this page

The four different types of informative speeches, each with specific topic suggestions and an example informative speech outline: 

  • description
  • demonstration
  • explanation

What is informative speech?

  • The 7 key characteristics of an informative speech

Image - Label: 4 Informative speech example outlines: definition, description, explanation, demonstration

We all speak to share information. We communicate knowledge of infinite variety all day, every day, in multiple settings.

Teachers in classrooms world-wide share information with their students.

Call centers problem solve for their callers.

News outlets (on and offline) issue reports on local, national and international events and issues, people of interest, weather, traffic flow around cities...

Health care professionals explain the treatment of addictive behaviors, the many impacts of long Covid, the development of new treatments...

Specialist research scientists share their findings with colleagues at conferences.

A pastry chef demonstrates how to make perfect classic croissants.

The range of informative public speaking is vast!  Some of us do it well. Some of us not so well - largely because we don't fully understand what's needed to present what we're sharing effectively. 

Return to Top

The key characteristics of an informative speech

So, what are the key characteristics or essential elements, of this type of speech? There are seven.

1. Objectivity

The information you give is factual, neutral and objective. You make no attempt to persuade or push (advocate) a particular viewpoint.

Your personal opinions: feelings thoughts, or concerns about the topic you're presenting are not given. This is not a persuasive speech.

As an example,  here's an excerpt from a Statistics Department report on teenage births in New Zealand - the country I live in.

Although it's a potentially a firecracker subject: one arousing all sorts of emotional responses from outright condemnation of the girls and their babies to compassionate practical support, the article sticks to the facts. 

The headline reads: "Teenage births halved over last decade"

"The number of teenage women in New Zealand giving birth has more than halved over the last decade, Stats NZ said today.

There were 1,719 births registered to teenage women (those aged under 20 years) in 2022, accounting for around 1 in every 34 births that year. In 2012, there were 3,786 births registered to teenage mothers, accounting for around 1 in every 16 births that year."

For more see: Statistics Department NZ - Teenage births halved over last decade 

You present your information clearly and concisely, avoiding jargon or complex language that may confuse your audience.

The candidate gave a rousing stump speech , which included a couple of potentially inflammatory statements on known wedge issues .

If the audience is familiar with political jargon that sentence would be fine. If they're not, it would bewilder them. What is a 'stump speech' or a 'wedge issue' ?

Stump speech: a candidate's prepared speech or pitch that explains their core platform.

Wedge issue: a controversial political issue that divides members of opposing political parties or the same party.

For more see: political jargon examples

3. Relevance

The content shared in your speech should be relevant and valuable. It should meet your audience's needs or spark their curiosity.

If the audience members are vegetarians, they're highly unlikely to want to know anything about the varying cuts of beef and what they are used for.

However, the same audience might be very interested in finding out more about plant protein and readily available sources of it.  

4. Organizational pattern

The speech should have a logical sequential structure with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion.

If I am giving a demonstration speech on how to bake chocolate chip cookies, to be effective it needs to move through each of the necessary steps in the correct order.

Beginning with how to spoon the mixture on to the tray, or how to cool the cookies on a wire rack when you've taken them out of the oven, is confusing.   

5. Research and credibility

Informative speeches are based on thorough research and reliable sources to ensure accuracy and credibility. And sources need to be properly cited.

My friend told me, my mother says, or I saw it on Face Book is neither authoritative nor enough. ☺

Example: My speech is on literacy rates in USA. To be credible I need to quote and cite reputable sources.

  • https://www.apmresearchlab.org/10x-adult-literacy
  • https://www.thinkimpact.com/literacy-statistics/

6. Visual aids

Slides, charts, graphs, or props are frequently used to help the audience fully understand what they're being told.

For example, an informative speech on the rise and fall of a currency's daily exchange rate is made a great deal easier to follow and understand with graphs or charts illustrating the key points.

Or for a biographical speech, photos of the person being talked about will help hold the attention of your audience.  

7. Effective delivery

To be effective your speech needs to be delivered in a way that captures and hold the audience's attention. That means all aspects of it have been rehearsed or practiced. 

If you're demonstrating, you've gone through every step to ensure you have the flow of material right.

If you're using props (visual aids) of any sort you've made sure they work. Can they be seen easily? Do they clearly illustrate the point you're making?

Is your use of the stage (or your speaking space) good? Does your body language align with your material? Can your voice be heard? Are you speaking clearly? 

Pulling together a script and the props you're going to use is only part of the task of giving a speech. Working on and refining delivery completes it.

To give a successful speech each of these seven aspects needs to be fine-tuned: to hook your audience's interest, to match their knowledge level, your topic, your speech purpose and, fit within the time constraints you've been given.

Types of informative speeches

There are four types of informative speeches: definition, description, explanation and demonstration. A speech may use one, or a mix of them.

1. Informing through definition 

An informative speech based on definition clearly, and concisely, explains a concept * , theory, or philosophy. The principal purpose is to inform the audience, so they understand the main aspects of the particular subject being talked about.

* Definition of concept from the Cambridge dictionary - an  abstract principle or idea 

Examples of topics for definition or concept speeches

A good topic could be:

  • What is global warming?
  • What are organics?
  • What are the core beliefs of Christianity?
  • What is loyalty?
  • What is mental health?
  • What is modern art? 
  • What is freedom?
  • What is beauty?
  • What is education?
  • What are economics?
  • What is popular culture?

These are very broad topic areas- each containing multiple subtopics, any of which could become the subject of a speech in its own right. 

Example outline for a definition or concept informative speech

Speech title:.

What is modern art?

- people who want an introductory overview of modern art to help them understand a little more about what they're looking at - to place artists and their work in context 

Specific purpose:

- to provide a broad outline/definition of modern art 

Image: The Scream - Edvard Munch Text: What is modern art? An example outline for a concept or definition informative speech

Modern art refers to a broad and diverse artistic movement that emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and continued to develop throughout the 20th century. 

It is characterized by a radical departure from traditional artistic styles and conventions and encompasses a wide range of artistic styles, techniques, and media, reflecting the cultural, social, and technological changes of the time.

Key characteristics or main points include:

  • Experimentation and innovation : Modern artists sought to break away from established norms and explore new ways of representing the world. They experimented with different materials, techniques, and subjects, challenging the boundaries of traditional art forms.
  • Abstraction : Modern art often features abstract and non-representational elements, moving away from realistic depictions. Artists like Wassily Kandinsky and Piet Mondrian explored pure abstraction, using shapes, lines, and colors to convey emotions and ideas.
  • Expression of the inner self : Many modern artists aimed to convey their inner emotions, thoughts, and experiences through their work. This led to the development of various movements like Expressionism (See work of Evard Munch) and Surrealism (See work of Salvador Dali). 
  • Rejection of academic conventions : Artists sought to break free from the rigid rules of academic art and embrace more individualistic and avant-garde approaches. For example: Claude Monet, (1840 -1926) Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Édouard Manet
  • Influence of industrialization and urbanization : The rapid changes brought about by industrialization and urbanization in the 19th and 20th centuries influenced modern art. Artists were inspired by the dynamics of the modern world and its impact, often negative, on human life. 
  • Multiple art movements : Modern art encompasses a wide array of movements and styles, for example Cubism, Futurism, Dadaism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art... Each movement brought its own unique perspective on art and society.
  • Focus on concept and process : Modern artists began to emphasize the underlying ideas and concepts behind their work, giving greater importance to the creative process itself. 

Modern art should not be confused with contemporary art. While modern art refers specifically to the artistic developments of the early to mid-20th century, contemporary art encompasses art created by artists living and working in the present day. The transition from modern art to contemporary art happened around the late 20th century- 1950s onward.

References:

  • mymodernmet.com/abstract artists
  • differencess.com/expressionism vs surrealism
  • lorimcnee.com/artists who died without recognition
  • industrial revolution the influence on art
  • mymodernmet.com/important art movements
  • theartstory.org/conceptual-art
  • Image: The Scream, Edvard Munch  

2. Informing through description

Informing through description means creating detailed, vivid verbal pictures for your audience to make what you're talking about come to life in the minds of those listening which in turn, will make your subject matter memorable.

Examples of good informative speech topics that could be used for descriptive speeches

  • How I celebrate Christmas
  • My first day at school
  • My home town
  • A time I feared for my life
  • A time when I felt contented and happy

My first car

  • An object I find fascinating: lotus shoes, bustles, corsets, panniers (These are historical items of women's clothing.)
  • Working from home: the joys, the hazards
  • My dream home, job, or holiday
  • An event I'll never forget
  • The most valuable or interesting thing I own
  • Martin Luther King, Benjamin Franklin, President Lincoln... a notable person from the past or present, including someone you may know: a family member, friend or yourself, or a public figure (an artist, singer, dancer, writer, entrepreneur, inventor...)

Example outline for a descriptive informative speech

- to take the audience with me back to the time when we bought our first car and have them appreciate that car's impact on our lives 

Central idea:

Our Austin A50 was a much-loved car

Image: Austin A50 advertising picture Text: Austin A50 Cambridge - the car that gives you more

About the car:

- English, Austin A50, 1950ish model - curvy, solid, a matron of cars

Background to purchase:

  • 1974 - we were 20 and 21 - young and broke
  • The car cost $200 - a lot of money for me at that time. I raided my piggy bank to buy it.
  • It was a trade up from the back of the motorbike - now I could sit side by side and talk, rather than sit behind and poke my husband, when I wanted to say important things like, 'Slow down', or 'I'm cold'. The romance of a motorbike is short-lived in winter. It diminishes in direct proportion to the mountain of clothes needing to be put on before going anywhere - coats, scarf, boots, helmet... And this particular winter was bitter: characterized by almost impenetrable grey fog and heavy frosts. It was so cold the insides of windows of the old house we lived in iced up.
  • It was tri-colored - none of them dominating - bright orange on the bonnet, sky blue on the rear doors and the roof, and matt black on the front doors and the boot. (Bonus - no one would ever steal it - far too easily identified!)
  • The chrome flying A proudly rode the bonnet.
  • The boot, (trunk lid) was detachable. It came off - why I can't remember. But it needed to be opened to fill the tank, so it meant lifting it off at the petrol station and leaning it up against the boot while the tank filled, and then replacing it when done.
  • There were bench seats upholstered in grey leather (dry and cracked) front and back with wide arm rests that folded down.
  • The windows wound up and down manually and, in the rear, there were triangle shaped opening quarter-windows.
  • The mouse-colored lining that had been on the doors and roof was worn, torn and in some patches completely missing. Dust poured in through the crevices when we drove on the metal roads that were common where we lived.
  • It had a column gear change - 4 gears, a heater that didn't function, proper old-school semaphore trafficators indicators that flicked out from the top of the door pillars and blinked orange, a clutch that needed a strong push to get it down, an accelerator pedal that was slow to pick up and a top speed of around 50 mph. 

Impact/benefits:

We called her Prudence. We loved, and remember, her fondly because:

  • I was taught to drive in her - an unforgettable experience. I won the bunny hopping record learning to coordinate releasing the clutch and pressing down on the accelerator. Additionally, on metal roads, I found you needed to slow before taking corners. Sliding on two wheels felt precarious. The bump back down to four was a relief.  
  • We did not arrive places having to disrobe - take off layers of protective clobber.
  • We could talk to each without shouting and NOW our road trips had a soundtrack - a large black portable battery driven tape player sat on the back parcel shelf blasting out a curious mix of Ry Cooder, Bach, Mozart's Flute Concerto, Janice Joplin... His choice. My choice. Bliss.
  • My father-in-law suggested we park it down the street rather than directly outside his house when we visited. To him Prudence was one eccentricity too many! An embarrassment in front of the neighbors. ☺
  • austinmemories.com/styled-33/styled-39/index.html
  • wikipedia.org/Austin_Cambridge
  • archive.org/1956-advertisement-for-austin-a-50

3. Informing through demonstration

Informing through demonstration means sharing verbal directions about how to do a specific task: fix, or make, something while also physically showing the steps, in a specific chronological order.

These are the classic 'show-n-tell', 'how to' or process speeches.

Examples of process speech topics:

  • How to bake chocolate chip cookies
  • How to use CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) correctly
  • How to prepare and plant a tub of vegetables or flowers
  • How to read a topographic map
  • How to make a tik-tok reel
  • How to knit a hat

How to brainstorm material for a speech

For literally  100s more demonstration topic ideas

A demonstrative informative speech outline example

To demonstrate the brainstorming process and to provide practical strategies (helpful tips) for freeing and speeding up the generation of ideas

Main ideas:

Understanding brainstorming - explanation of what brainstorming is and its benefits

Preparing for brainstorming - the starting point - stating the problem or topic that needs brainstorming, working in a comfortable place free from distractions, encouraging open-mindedness and suspension of judgment.

Techniques for brainstorming : (Show and tell on either white board or with large sheets of paper that everyone can see) mind mapping, and free writing. Take topic ideas from audience to use.

Example : notes for maid of honor speech for sister

Example of brainstorming notes - free writing - ideas for a maid of honor speech for my sister

Benefits : Demonstrate how mind maps can help visually organize thoughts and connections, how free writing allows ideas to flow without stopping to judge them

Encourages quantity over quality - lots of ideas - more to choose from. May generate something you'd never have thought of otherwise.

Select, refine, develop (show and tell) 

For more see: brainstorm examples

4. Informing through explanation 

Informing through explanation is explaining or sharing how something works, came to be, or why something happened, for example historical events like the Civil War in the United States. The speech is made stronger through the use of visuals - images, charts of data and/or statistics.

Examples of explanatory informative speech topics

  • How did the 1919 Treaty of Versailles contribute to the outbreak of World War Two?
  • What led to The American Civil War (April 12, 1861 – May 26, 1865)?
  • Why is there an increase in type two diabetes and problems associated with obesity in first world countries, for example, in UK and USA?
  • How do lungs work?
  • What causes heart disease?
  • How electric vehicles work?   
  • What caused the Salem witch trials?
  • How does gravitation work?
  • How are rainbows formed?
  • Why do we pay taxes?
  • What is cyberbullying? Why is it increasing?

Example explanatory informative speech outline

The Treaty of Versailles: how did it contribute to the outbreak of World War Two

Image: Signing The Treaty of Versailles 1919 - dignitaries gather in the Hall of Mirrors, Palace of Versailles to sign the treaty, June 28, 1919

- to explain how the Treaty of Versailles (1919) was a significant causal factor leading up World War two

Central ideas:

Historical context : World War One, 'the war to end all wars' ended in 1918. The Allied Powers: USA, UK, France, Italy and Japan, met in Paris at the Paris Peace Conference 1919 to work out the details and consequences of the Treaty of Versailles, which would impact the defeated Central Powers, principally Germany. 

These included:

  • territorial boundary changes which stripped Germany of land in Europe, and established new nations - e.g. Poland and Czechoslovakia
  • military restrictions - the disarmament of the German military, restrictions on weapons and technology, demilitarization of the Rhineland
  • reparations - demands that they were unable to meet, plus being forced to accept a "war guilt" clause (Article 231) had an enormous impact, economically and psychologically. The country plunged into deep recession - albeit along with many other countries. (The Great Depression 1929-1939 which ended with the beginning of World War Two.)

The League of Nations - The League of Nations was an international diplomatic group developed after World War I as a way to solve disputes between countries before they erupted into open warfare. Despite being active in its set up, USA refused to join it - a stance that weakened its effectiveness.

Controversies within Germany: Public anger and resentment, plus political instability as result of reparations, territory loss and economic hardships

Controversies with Treaty partners: The Treaty's perceived fairness and effectiveness: Italy and Japan felt their settlements were inadequate compared to what had been taken by UK, USA and France.

The rise of 'isms'   Simmering discontent eventually emerged as the rise of Fascism in Italy, Nazism in Germany and Statism (a mix of nationalism, militarism and “state capitalism”) in Japan.

Expansionist Nationalism Spread of expansionist nationalism - a state's right to increase its borders because it is superior in all ways. Therefore, Hitler was 'right' to take back what had previously been regarded as German territory (Czechoslovakia and Austria), and to go after more, all the while goading the Allied Powers to act. When his armies went into Poland, Britain declared war against Germany - 21 years after the end of the last.

  • history.com/treaty-of-versailles-world-war-ii-guilt-effects
  • tinyurl.com/Treaty-of-Versailles
  • Image:  tinyurl.com/signing-Treaty-of-Versailles

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21 Outlining Your Informative Speech

Learning Objectives

Students will learn to outline an informative speech.

  • Demonstrate an understanding of outlining.
  • Create a proper outline for an informative speech.

Outlining Your Speech

Most speakers and audience members would agree that an organized speech is both easier to present as well as more persuasive. Public speaking teachers especially believe in the power of organizing your speech, which is why they encourage (and often require) that you create an outline for your speech.  Outlines , or textual arrangements of all the various elements of a speech, are a very common way of organizing a speech before it is delivered. Most extemporaneous speakers keep their outlines with them during the speech as a way to ensure that they do not leave out any important elements and to keep them on track. Writing an outline is also important to the speechwriting process since doing so forces the speakers to think about the main points and sub-points, the examples they wish to include, and the ways in which these elements correspond to one another. In short, the outline functions both as an organization tool and as a reference for delivering a speech.

Carol Shafto speaking

Preparation Outline

There are two types of outlines. The first outline you will write is called the  preparation outline . Also called a working, practice, or rough outline, the preparation outline is used to work through the various components of your speech in an inventive format. Stephen E. Lucas [1]  put it simply: “The preparation outline is just what its name implies—an outline that helps you prepare the speech” (p. 248). When writing the preparation outline, you should focus on finalizing the purpose and thesis statements, logically ordering your main points, deciding where supporting material should be included and refining the overall organizational pattern of your speech. As you write the preparation outline, you may find it necessary to rearrange your points or to add or subtract supporting material. You may also realize that some of your main points are sufficiently supported while others are lacking. The final draft of your preparation outline should include full sentences, making up a complete script of your entire speech. In most cases, however, the preparation outline is reserved for planning purposes only and is translated into a speaking outline before you deliver the speech.

OUTLINE FORMATTING GUIDE

Title:  Organizing Your Public Speech

Topic:  Organizing public speeches

Specific Purpose Statement:  To inform listeners about the various ways in which they can organize their public speeches.

Thesis Statement:  A variety of organizational styles can be used to organize public speeches.

Introduction

  • Attention Getter
  • Topic/ Audience relevance
  • Establish Your Credibility
  • Central Idea/Thesis statement
  • Preview Main Points

(Transition)

I. Main point #1

A. First sub-point

B. Second sub-point

I. Main point #2

  • Provide closure

Of course, your actual outline may look different based on your content. You may have three main points or different levels of sub-points. Use this guide to help format your own content for your preparation outline.

Include the title, topic, specific purpose statement, and thesis statement at the top of the outline. These elements are helpful to you, the speechwriter, since they remind you what, specifically, you are trying to accomplish in your speech. They are also helpful to anyone reading and assessing your outline since knowing what you want to accomplish will determine how they perceive the elements included in your outline. Additionally, write out the transitional statements that you will use to alert audiences that you are moving from one point to another. These are included in parentheses between main points.

On a separate page, you should include a  reference page  for any outside resources you mention during the speech. These should be cited using whatever citations style your professor requires.

Speaking Outline

A  speaking outline  is an outline you will prepare for use when delivering the speech. The speaking outline is much more succinct than the preparation outline and includes brief phrases or words that remind the speakers of the points they need to make, plus supporting material and signposts. [2]  The words or phrases used on the speaking outline should briefly encapsulate all of the information needed to prompt the speaker to accurately deliver the speech. Although some cases call for reading a speech verbatim from the full-sentence outline, in most cases speakers will simply refer to their speaking outline for quick reminders and to ensure that they do not omit any important information. Because it uses just words or short phrases, and not full sentences, the speaking outline can easily be transferred to index cards that can be referenced during a speech.

Using the Speaking Outline

Major General John Nichols speaking to an audience.

Using a speaking outline will help you to deliver an effective speech. Under no circumstances should you ever attempt to use your preparation outline or a word for word written out speech during your speech delivery. You will end up reading a sequence of words to your audience instead of delivering your message extemporaneously.

Whether you decide to use index cards or the printed outline, here are a few tips. First, write large enough so that you do not have to bring the cards or pages close to your eyes to read them. Second, make sure you have the cards/pages in the correct order and bound together in some way so that they do not get out of order. Third, just in case the cards/pages do get out of order (this happens too often!), be sure that you number each in the top right corner so you can quickly and easily get things organized. Fourth, try not to fiddle with the cards/pages when you are speaking. It is best to lay them down if you have a podium or table in front of you. If not, practice reading from them in front of a mirror. You should be able to look down quickly, read the text, and then return to your gaze to the audience.

Key Takeaways

  • Outlining our speech helps us to organize our speech content so that we can communicate it effectively to the audience.
  • You will create two outlines for successful speech delivery.
  • The preparation outline is intended to help you prepare your delivery.
  • The speaking note outline is intended to help you deliver your speech extemporaneously.
  • Lucas, Stephen E. (2004). The art of public speaking  (8th edition). New York: McGraw-Hill.  ↵
  • Beebe, S. A. & Beebe, S. J. (2003).  The public speaking handbook  (5th edition). Boston: Pearson.  ↵

LICENSES AND ATTRIBUTIONS

  • Chapter 8 Outlining Your Speech.  Authored by : Joshua Trey Barnett.  Provided by : University of Indiana, Bloomington, IN.  Located at :  http://publicspeakingproject.org/psvirtualtext.html .  Project : The Public Speaking Project.  License :  CC BY-NC-ND: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives
  • Alpena Mayor Carol Shafto Speaks at 2011 Michigan Municipal League Convention.  Authored by : Michigan Municipal League.  Located at :  https://flic.kr/p/aunJMR .  License :  CC BY-ND: Attribution-NoDerivatives
  • TAG speaks of others first.  Authored by : Texas Military Forces.  Located at :  https://www.flickr.com/photos/texasmilitaryforces/5560449970/ .  License :  CC BY-ND: Attribution-NoDerivatives

Public Speaking Copyright © by Dr. Layne Goodman; Amber Green, M.A.; and Various is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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informative speech preparation outline example

Planning and Presenting an Informative Speech

In this guide, you can learn about the purposes and types of informative speeches, about writing and delivering informative speeches, and about the parts of informative speeches.

Purposes of Informative Speaking

Informative speaking offers you an opportunity to practice your researching, writing, organizing, and speaking skills. You will learn how to discover and present information clearly. If you take the time to thoroughly research and understand your topic, to create a clearly organized speech, and to practice an enthusiastic, dynamic style of delivery, you can be an effective "teacher" during your informative speech. Finally, you will get a chance to practice a type of speaking you will undoubtedly use later in your professional career.

The purpose of the informative speech is to provide interesting, useful, and unique information to your audience. By dedicating yourself to the goals of providing information and appealing to your audience, you can take a positive step toward succeeding in your efforts as an informative speaker.

Major Types of Informative Speeches

In this guide, we focus on informative speeches about:

These categories provide an effective method of organizing and evaluating informative speeches. Although they are not absolute, these categories provide a useful starting point for work on your speech.

In general, you will use four major types of informative speeches. While you can classify informative speeches many ways, the speech you deliver will fit into one of four major categories.

Speeches about Objects

Speeches about objects focus on things existing in the world. Objects include, among other things, people, places, animals, or products.

Because you are speaking under time constraints, you cannot discuss any topic in its entirety. Instead, limit your speech to a focused discussion of some aspect of your topic.

Some example topics for speeches about objects include: the Central Intelligence Agency, tombstones, surgical lasers, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the pituitary gland, and lemmings.

To focus these topics, you could give a speech about Franklin Delano Roosevelt and efforts to conceal how he suffered from polio while he was in office. Or, a speech about tombstones could focus on the creation and original designs of grave markers.

Speeches about Processes

Speeches about processes focus on patterns of action. One type of speech about processes, the demonstration speech, teaches people "how-to" perform a process. More frequently, however, you will use process speeches to explain a process in broader terms. This way, the audience is more likely to understand the importance or the context of the process.

A speech about how milk is pasteurized would not teach the audience how to milk cows. Rather, this speech could help audience members understand the process by making explicit connections between patterns of action (the pasteurization process) and outcomes (a safe milk supply).

Other examples of speeches about processes include: how the Internet works (not "how to work the Internet"), how to construct a good informative speech, and how to research the job market. As with any speech, be sure to limit your discussion to information you can explain clearly and completely within time constraints.

Speeches about Events

Speeches about events focus on things that happened, are happening, or will happen. When speaking about an event, remember to relate the topic to your audience. A speech chronicling history is informative, but you should adapt the information to your audience and provide them with some way to use the information. As always, limit your focus to those aspects of an event that can be adequately discussed within the time limitations of your assignment.

Examples of speeches about events include: the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington, Groundhog's Day, the Battle of the Bulge, the World Series, and the 2000 Presidential Elections.

Speeches about Concepts

Speeches about concepts focus on beliefs, ideas, and theories. While speeches about objects, processes, and events are fairly concrete, speeches about concepts are more abstract. Take care to be clear and understandable when creating and presenting a speech about a concept. When selecting a concept, remember you are crafting an informative speech. Often, speeches about concepts take on a persuasive tone. Focus your efforts toward providing unbiased information and refrain from making arguments. Because concepts can be vague and involved, limit your speech to aspects that can be readily explained and understood within the time limits.

Some examples of topics for concept speeches include: democracy, Taoism, principles of feminism, the philosophy of non-violent protest, and the Big Bang theory.

Strategies for Selecting a Topic

In many cases, circumstances will dictate the topic of your speech. However, if the topic has not been assigned or if you are having difficulty figuring out how to frame your topic as an informative speech,the following may be useful.

Begin by thinking of your interests. If you have always loved art, contemplate possible topics dealing with famous artists, art works, or different types of art. If you are employed, think of aspects of your job or aspects of your employer's business that would be interesting to talk about. While you cannot substitute personal experience for detailed research, your own experience can supplement your research and add vitality to your presentation. Choose one of the items below to learn more about selecting a topic.

Learn More about an Unfamiliar Topic

You may benefit more by selecting an unfamiliar topic that interests you. You can challenge yourself by choosing a topic you'd like to learn about and to help others understand it. If the Buddhist religion has always been an interesting and mysterious topic to you, research the topic and create a speech that offers an understandable introduction to the religion. Remember to adapt Buddhism to your audience and tell them why you think this information is useful to them. By taking this approach, you can learn something new and learn how to synthesize new information for your audience.

Think about Previous Classes

You might find a topic by thinking of classes you have taken. Think back to concepts covered in those classes and consider whether they would serve as unique, interesting, and enlightening topics for the informative speech. In astronomy, you learned about red giants. In history, you learned about Napoleon. In political science, you learned about The Federalist Papers. Past classes serve as rich resources for informative speech topics. If you make this choice, use your class notes and textbook as a starting point. To fully develop the content, you will need to do extensive research and perhaps even a few interviews.

Talk to Others

Topic selection does not have to be an individual effort. Spend time talking about potential topics with classmates or friends. This method can be extremely effective because other people can stimulate further ideas when you get stuck. When you use this method, always keep the basic requirements and the audience in mind. Just because you and your friend think home-brew is a great topic does not mean it will enthrall your audience or impress your instructor. While you talk with your classmates or friends, jot notes about potential topics and create a master list when you exhaust the possibilities. From this list, choose a topic with intellectual merit, originality, and potential to entertain while informing.

Framing a Thesis Statement

Once you settle on a topic, you need to frame a thesis statement. Framing a thesis statement allows you to narrow your topic, and in turns allows you to focus your research in this specific area, saving you time and trouble in the process.

Selecting a topic and focusing it into a thesis statement can be a difficult process. Fortunately, a number of useful strategies are available to you.

Thesis Statement Purpose

The thesis statement is crucial for clearly communicating your topic and purpose to the audience. Be sure to make the statement clear, concise, and easy to remember. Deliver it to the audience and use verbal and nonverbal illustrations to make it stand out.

Strategies For Framing a Thesis Statement

Focus on a specific aspect of your topic and phrase the thesis statement in one clear, concise, complete sentence, focusing on the audience. This sentence sets a goal for the speech. For example, in a speech about art, the thesis statement might be: "The purpose of this speech is to inform my audience about the early works of Vincent van Gogh." This statement establishes that the speech will inform the audience about the early works of one great artist. The thesis statement is worded conversationally and included in the delivery of the speech.

Thesis Statement and Audience

The thesis appears in the introduction of the speech so that the audience immediately realizes the speaker's topic and goal. Whatever the topic may be, you should attempt to create a clear, focused thesis statement that stands out and could be repeated by every member of your audience. It is important to refer to the audience in the thesis statement; when you look back at the thesis for direction, or when the audience hears the thesis, it should be clear that the most important goal of your speech is to inform the audience about your topic. While the focus and pressure will be on you as a speaker, you should always remember that the audience is the reason for presenting a public speech.

Avoid being too trivial or basic for the average audience member. At the same time, avoid being too technical for the average audience member. Be sure to use specific, concrete terms that clearly establish the focus of your speech.

Thesis Statement and Delivery

When creating the thesis statement, be sure to use a full sentence and frame that sentence as a statement, not as a question. The full sentence, "The purpose of this speech is to inform my audience about the early works of Vincent van Gogh," provides clear direction for the speech, whereas the fragment "van Gogh" says very little about the purpose of the speech. Similarly, the question "Who was Vincent van Gogh?" does not adequately indicate the direction the speech will take or what the speaker hopes to accomplish.

If you limit your thesis statement to one distinct aspect of the larger topic, you are more likely to be understood and to meet the time constraints.

Researching Your Topic

As you begin to work on your informative speech, you will find that you need to gather additional information. Your instructor will most likely require that you locate relevant materials in the library and cite those materials in your speech. In this section, we discuss the process of researching your topic and thesis.

Conducting research for a major informative speech can be a daunting task. In this section, we discuss a number of strategies and techniques that you can use to gather and organize source materials for your speech.

Gathering Materials

Gathering materials can be a daunting task. You may want to do some research before you choose a topic. Once you have a topic, you have many options for finding information. You can conduct interviews, write or call for information from a clearinghouse or public relations office, and consult books, magazines, journals, newspapers, television and radio programs, and government documents. The library will probably be your primary source of information. You can use many of the libraries databases or talk to a reference librarian to learn how to conduct efficient research.

Taking Notes

While doing your research, you may want to carry notecards. When you come across a useful passage, copy the source and the information onto the notecard or copy and paste the information. You should maintain a working bibliography as you research so you always know which sources you have consulted and so the process of writing citations into the speech and creating the bibliography will be easier. You'll need to determine what information-recording strategies work best for you. Talk to other students, instructors, and librarians to get tips on conducting efficient research. Spend time refining your system and you will soon be able to focus on the information instead of the record-keeping tasks.

Citing Sources Within Your Speech

Consult with your instructor to determine how much research/source information should be included in your speech. Realize that a source citation within your speech is defined as a reference to or quotation from material you have gathered during your research and an acknowledgement of the source. For example, within your speech you might say: "As John W. Bobbitt said in the December 22, 1993, edition of the Denver Post , 'Ouch!'" In this case, you have included a direct quotation and provided the source of the quotation. If you do not quote someone, you might say: "After the first week of the 1995 baseball season, attendance was down 13.5% from 1994. This statistic appeared in the May 7, 1995, edition of the Denver Post ." Whatever the case, whenever you use someone else's ideas, thoughts, or words, you must provide a source citation to give proper credit to the creator of the information. Failure to cite sources can be interpreted as plagiarism which is a serious offense. Upon review of the specific case, plagiarism can result in failure of the assignment, the course, or even dismissal from the University. Take care to cite your sources and give credit where it is due.

Creating Your Bibliography

As with all aspects of your speech, be sure to check with your instructor to get specific details about the assignment.

Generally, the bibliography includes only those sources you cited during the speech. Don't pad the bibliography with every source you read, saw on the shelf, or heard of from friends. When you create the bibliography, you should simply go through your complete sentence outline and list each source you cite. This is also a good way to check if you have included enough reference material within the speech. You will need to alphabetize the bibiography by authors last name and include the following information: author's name, article title, publication title, volume, date, page number(s). You may need to include additional information; you need to talk with your instructor to confirm the required bibliographical format.

Some Cautions

When doing research, use caution in choosing your sources. You need to determine which sources are more credible than others and attempt to use a wide variety of materials. The broader the scope of your research, the more impressive and believable your information. You should draw from different sources (e.g., a variety of magazines-- Time, Newsweek, US News & World Report, National Review, Mother Jones ) as well as different types of sources (i.e., use interviews, newspapers, periodicals, and books instead of just newspapers). The greater your variety, the more apparent your hard work and effort will be. Solid research skills result in increased credibility and effectiveness for the speaker.

Structuring an Informative Speech

Typically, informative speeches have three parts:

Introduction

In this section, we discuss the three parts of an informative speech, calling attention to specific elements that can enhance the effectiveness of your speech. As a speaker, you will want to create a clear structure for your speech. In this section, you will find discussions of the major parts of the informative speech.

The introduction sets the tone of the entire speech. The introduction should be brief and to-the-point as it accomplishes these several important tasks. Typically, there are six main components of an effective introduction:

Attention Getters

Thesis statement, audience adaptation, credibility statement, transition to the body.

As in any social situation, your audience makes strong assumptions about you during the first eight or ten seconds of your speech. For this reason, you need to start solidly and launch the topic clearly. Focus your efforts on completing these tasks and moving on to the real information (the body) of the speech. Typically, there are six main components of an effective introduction. These tasks do not have to be handled in this order, but this layout often yields the best results.

The attention-getter is designed to intrigue the audience members and to motivate them to listen attentively for the next several minutes. There are infinite possibilities for attention-getting devices. Some of the more common devices include using a story, a rhetorical question, or a quotation. While any of these devices can be effective, it is important for you to spend time strategizing, creating, and practicing the attention-getter.

Most importantly, an attention-getter should create curiosity in the minds of your listeners and convince them that the speech will be interesting and useful. The wording of your attention-getter should be refined and practiced. Be sure to consider the mood/tone of your speech; determine the appropriateness of humor, emotion, aggressiveness, etc. Not only should the words get the audiences attention, but your delivery should be smooth and confident to let the audience know that you are a skilled speaker who is prepared for this speech.

The crowd was wild. The music was booming. The sun was shining. The cash registers were ringing.

This story-like re-creation of the scene at a Farm Aid concert serves to engage the audience and causes them to think about the situation you are describing. Touching stories or stories that make audience members feel involved with the topic serve as good attention-getters. You should tell a story with feeling and deliver it directly to the audience instead of reading it off your notecards.

Example Text : One dark summer night in 1849, a young woman in her 20's left Bucktown, Maryland, and followed the North Star. What was her name? Harriet Tubman. She went back some 19 times to rescue her fellow slaves. And as James Blockson relates in a 1984 issue of National Geographic , by the end of her career, she had a $40,000.00 price on her head. This was quite a compliment from her enemies (Blockson 22).

Rhetorical Question

Rhetorical questions are questions designed to arouse curiosity without requiring an answer. Either the answer will be obvious, or if it isn't apparent, the question will arouse curiosity until the presentation provides the answer.

An example of a rhetorical question to gain the audiences attention for a speech about fly-fishing is, "Have you ever stood in a freezing river at 5 o'clock in the morning by choice?"

Example Text: Have you ever heard of a railroad with no tracks, with secret stations, and whose conductors were considered criminals?

A quotation from a famous person or from an expert on your topic can gain the attention of the audience. The use of a quotation immediately launches you into the speech and focuses the audience on your topic area. If it is from a well-known source, cite the author first. If the source is obscure, begin with the quote itself.

Example Text : "No day dawns for the slave, nor is it looked for. It is all night--night forever . . . ." (Pause) This quote was taken from Jermain Loguen, a fugitive who was the son of his Tennessee master and a slave woman.

Unusual Statement

Making a statement that is unusual to the ears of your listeners is another possibility for gaining their attention.

Example Text : "Follow the drinking gourd. That's what I said, friend, follow the drinking gourd." This phrase was used by slaves as a coded message to mean the Big Dipper, which revealed the North Star, and pointed toward freedom.

You might chose to use tasteful humor which relates to the topic as an effective way to attract the audience both to you and the subject at hand.

Example Text : "I'm feeling boxed in." [PAUSE] I'm not sure, but these may have been Henry "Box" Brown's very words after being placed on his head inside a box which measured 3 feet by 2 feet by 2 1\2 feet for what seemed to him like "an hour and a half." He was shipped by Adams Express to freedom in Philadelphia (Brown 60,92; Still 10).

Shocking Statistic

Another possibility to consider is the use of a factual statistic intended to grab your listener's attention. As you research the topic you've picked, keep your eyes open for statistics that will have impact.

Example Text : Today, John Elway's talents are worth millions, but in 1840 the price of a human life, a slave, was worth $1,000.00.

Example Text : Today I'd like to tell you about the Underground Railroad.

In your introduction, you need to adapt your speech to your audience. To keep audience members interested, tell them why your topic is important to them. To accomplish this task, you need to undertake audience analysis prior to creating the speech. Figure out who your audience members are, what things are important to them, what their biases may be, and what types of subjects/issues appeal to them. In the context of this class, some of your audience analysis is provided for you--most of your listeners are college students, so it is likely that they place some value on education, most of them are probably not bathing in money, and they live in Colorado. Consider these traits when you determine how to adapt to your audience.

As you research and write your speech, take note of references to issues that should be important to your audience. Include statements about aspects of your speech that you think will be of special interest to the audience in the introduction. By accomplishing this task, you give your listeners specific things with which they can identify. Audience adaptation will be included throughout the speech, but an effective introduction requires meaningful adaptation of the topic to the audience.

You need to find ways to get the members of your audience involved early in the speech. The following are some possible options to connect your speech to your audience:

Reference to the Occasion

Consider how the occasion itself might present an opportunity to heighten audience receptivity. Remind your listeners of an important date just passed or coming soon.

Example Text : This January will mark the 130th anniversary of a "giant interracial rally" organized by William Still which helped to end streetcar segregation in the city of Philadelphia (Katz i).

Reference to the Previous Speaker

Another possibility is to refer to a previous speaker to capitalize on the good will which already has been established or to build on the information presented.

Example Text : As Alice pointed out last week in her speech on the Olympic games of the ancient world, history can provide us with fascinating lessons.

The credibility statement establishes your qualifications as a speaker. You should come up with reasons why you are someone to listen to on this topic. Why do you have special knowledge or understanding of this topic? What can the audience learn from you that they couldn't learn from someone else? Credibility statements can refer to your extensive research on a topic, your life-long interest in an issue, your personal experience with a thing, or your desire to better the lives of your listeners by sifting through the topic and providing the crucial information.

Remember that Aristotle said that credibility, or ethos, consists of good sense, goodwill, and good moral character. Create the feeling that you possess these qualities by creatively stating that you are well-educated about the topic (good sense), that you want to help each member of the audience (goodwill), and that you are a decent person who can be trusted (good moral character). Once you establish your credibility, the audience is more likely to listen to you as something of an expert and to consider what you say to be the truth. It is often effective to include further references to your credibility throughout the speech by subtly referring to the traits mentioned above.

Show your listeners that you are qualified to speak by making a specific reference to a helpful resource. This is one way to demonstrate competence.

Example Text : In doing research for this topic, I came across an account written by one of these heroes that has deepened my understanding of the institution of slavery. Frederick Douglass', My Bondage and My Freedom, is the account of a man whose master's kindness made his slavery only more unbearable.

Your listeners want to believe that you have their best interests in mind. In the case of an informative speech, it is enough to assure them that this will be an interesting speech and that you, yourself, are enthusiastic about the topic.

Example Text : I hope you'll enjoy hearing about the heroism of the Underground Railroad as much as I have enjoyed preparing for this speech.

Preview the Main Points

The preview informs the audience about the speech's main points. You should preview every main body point and identify each as a separate piece of the body. The purpose of this preview is to let the audience members prepare themselves for the flow of the speech; therefore, you should word the preview clearly and concisely. Attempt to use parallel structure for each part of the preview and avoid delving into the main point; simply tell the audience what the main point will be about in general.

Use the preview to briefly establish your structure and then move on. Let the audience get a taste of how you will divide the topic and fulfill the thesis and then move on. This important tool will reinforce the information in the minds of your listeners. Here are two examples of a preview:

Simply identify the main points of the speech. Cover them in the same order that they will appear in the body of the presentation.

For example, the preview for a speech about kites organized topically might take this form: "First, I will inform you about the invention of the kite. Then, I will explain the evolution of the kite. Third, I will introduce you to the different types of kites. Finally, I will inform you about various uses for kites." Notice that this preview avoids digressions (e.g., listing the various uses for kites); you will take care of the deeper information within the body of the speech.

Example Text : I'll tell you about motivations and means of escape employed by fugitive slaves.

Chronological

For example, the preview for a speech about the Pony Express organized chronologically might take this form: "I'll talk about the Pony Express in three parts. First, its origins, second, its heyday, and third, how it came to an end." Notice that this preview avoids digressions (e.g., listing the reasons why the Pony Express came to an end); you will cover the deeper information within the body of the speech.

Example Text : I'll talk about it in three parts. First, its origins, second, its heyday, and third, how it came to an end.

After you accomplish the first five components of the introduction, you should make a clean transition to the body of the speech. Use this transition to signal a change and prepare the audience to begin processing specific topical information. You should round out the introduction, reinforce the excitement and interest that you created in the audience during the introduction, and slide into the first main body point.

Strategic organization helps increase the clarity and effectiveness of your speech. Four key issues are discussed in this section:

Organizational Patterns

Connective devices, references to outside research.

The body contains the bulk of information in your speech and needs to be clearly organized. Without clear organization, the audience will probably forget your information, main points, perhaps even your thesis. Some simple strategies will help you create a clear, memorable speech. Below are the four key issues used in organizing a speech.

Once you settle on a topic, you should decide which aspects of that topic are of greatest importance for your speech. These aspects become your main points. While there is no rule about how many main points should appear in the body of the speech, most students go with three main points. You must have at least two main points; aside from that rule, you should select your main points based on the importance of the information and the time limitations. Be sure to include whatever information is necessary for the audience to understand your topic. Also, be sure to synthesize the information so it fits into the assigned time frame. As you choose your main points, try to give each point equal attention within the speech. If you pick three main points, each point should take up roughly one-third of the body section of your speech.

There are four basic patterns of organization for an informative speech.

  • Chronological order
  • Spatial order
  • Causal order
  • Topical order

There are four basic patterns of organization for an informative speech. You can choose any of these patterns based on which pattern serves the needs of your speech.

Chronological Order

A speech organized chronologically has main points oriented toward time. For example, a speech about the Farm Aid benefit concert could have main points organized chronologically. The first main point focuses on the creation of the event; the second main point focuses on the planning stages; the third point focuses on the actual performance/concert; and the fourth point focuses on donations and assistance that resulted from the entire process. In this format, you discuss main points in an order that could be followed on a calendar or a clock.

Spatial Order

A speech organized spatially has main points oriented toward space or a directional pattern. The Farm Aid speech's body could be organized in spatial order. The first main point discusses the New York branch of the organization; the second main point discusses the Midwest branch; the third main point discusses the California branch of Farm Aid. In this format, you discuss main points in an order that could be traced on a map.

Causal Order

A speech organized causally has main points oriented toward cause and effect. The main points of a Farm Aid speech organized causally could look like this: the first main point informs about problems on farms and the need for monetary assistance; the second main point discusses the creation and implementation of the Farm Aid program. In this format, you discuss main points in an order that alerts the audience to a problem or circumstance and then tells the audience what action resulted from the original circumstance.

Topical Order

A speech organized topically has main points organized more randomly by sub-topics. The Farm Aid speech could be organized topically: the first main point discusses Farm Aid administrators; the second main point discusses performers; the third main point discusses sponsors; the fourth main point discusses audiences. In this format, you discuss main points in a more random order that labels specific aspects of the topic and addresses them in separate categories. Most speeches that are not organized chronologically, spatially, or causally are organized topically.

Within the body of your speech, you need clear internal structure. Connectives are devices used to create a clear flow between ideas and points within the body of your speech--they serve to tie the speech together. There are four main types of connective devices:

Transitions

Internal previews, internal summaries.

Within the body of your speech, you need clear internal structure. Think of connectives as hooks and ladders for the audience to use when moving from point-to-point within the body of your speech. These devices help re-focus the minds of audience members and remind them of which main point your information is supporting. The four main types of connective devices are:

Transitions are brief statements that tell the audience to shift gears between ideas. Transitions serve as the glue that holds the speech together and allow the audience to predict where the next portion of the speech will go. For example, once you have previewed your main points and you want to move from the introduction to the body of the Farm Aid speech, you might say: "To gain an adequate understanding of the intricacies of this philanthropic group, we need to look at some specific information about Farm Aid. We'll begin by looking at the administrative branch of this massive fund-raising organization."

Internal previews are used to preview the parts of a main point. Internal previews are more focused than, but serve the same purpose as, the preview you will use in the introduction of the speech. For example, you might create an internal preview for the complex main point dealing with Farm Aid performers: "In examining the Farm Aid performers, we must acknowledge the presence of entertainers from different genres of music--country and western, rhythm and blues, rock, and pop." The internal preview provides specific information for the audience if a main point is complex or potentially confusing.

Internal summaries are the reverse of internal previews. Internal summaries restate specific parts of a main point. To internally summarize the main point dealing with Farm Aid performers, you might say: "You now know what types of people perform at the Farm Aid benefit concerts. The entertainers come from a wide range of musical genres--country and western, rhythm and blues, rock, and pop." When using both internal previews and internal summaries, be sure to stylize the language in each so you do not become redundant.

Signposts are brief statements that remind the audience where you are within the speech. If you have a long point, you may want to remind the audience of what main point you are on: "Continuing my discussion of Farm Aid performers . . . "

When organizing the body of your speech, you will integrate several references to your research. The purpose of the informative speech is to allow you and the audience to learn something new about a topic. Additionally, source citations add credibility to your ideas. If you know a lot about rock climbing and you cite several sources who confirm your knowledge, the audience is likely to see you as a credible speaker who provides ample support for ideas.

Without these references, your speech is more like a story or a chance for you to say a few things you know. To complete this assignment satisfactorily, you must use source citations. Consult your textbook and instructor for specific information on how much supporting material you should use and about the appropriate style for source citations.

While the conclusion should be brief and tight, it has a few specific tasks to accomplish:

Re-assert/Reinforce the Thesis

Review the main points, close effectively.

Take a deep breath! If you made it to the conclusion, you are on the brink of finishing. Below are the tasks you should complete in your conclusion:

When making the transition to the conclusion, attempt to make clear distinctions (verbally and nonverbally) that you are now wrapping up the information and providing final comments about the topic. Refer back to the thesis from the introduction with wording that calls the original thesis into memory. Assert that you have accomplished the goals of your thesis statement and create the feeling that audience members who actively considered your information are now equipped with an understanding of your topic. Reinforce whatever mood/tone you chose for the speech and attempt to create a big picture of the speech.

Within the conclusion, re-state the main points of the speech. Since you have used parallel wording for your main points in the introduction and body, don't break that consistency in the conclusion. Frame the review so the audience will be reminded of the preview and the developed discussion of each main point. After the review, you may want to create a statement about why those main points fulfilled the goals of the speech.

Finish strongly. When you close your speech, craft statements that reinforce the message and leave the audience with a clear feeling about what was accomplished with your speech. You might finalize the adaptation by discussing the benefits of listening to the speech and explaining what you think audience members can do with the information.

Remember to maintain an informative tone for this speech. You should not persuade about beliefs or positions; rather, you should persuade the audience that the speech was worthwhile and useful. For greatest effect, create a closing line or paragraph that is artistic and effective. Much like the attention-getter, the closing line needs to be refined and practiced. Your close should stick with the audience and leave them interested in your topic. Take time to work on writing the close well and attempt to memorize it so you can directly address the audience and leave them thinking of you as a well-prepared, confident speaker.

Outlining an Informative Speech

Two types of outlines can help you prepare to deliver your speech. The complete sentence outline provides a useful means of checking the organization and content of your speech. The speaking outline is an essential aid for delivering your speech. In this section, we discuss both types of outlines.

Two types of outlines can help you prepare to deliver your speech. The complete sentence outline provides a useful means of checking the organization and content of your speech. The speaking outline is an essential aid for delivering your speech.

The Complete Sentence Outline

A complete sentence outline may not be required for your presentation. The following information is useful, however, in helping you prepare your speech.

The complete sentence outline helps you organize your material and thoughts and it serves as an excellent copy for editing the speech. The complete sentence outline is just what it sounds like: an outline format including every complete sentence (not fragments or keywords) that will be delivered during your speech.

Writing the Outline

You should create headings for the introduction, body, and conclusion and clearly signal shifts between these main speech parts on the outline. Use standard outline format. For instance, you can use Roman numerals, letters, and numbers to label the parts of the outline. Organize the information so the major headings contain general information and the sub-headings become more specific as they descend. Think of the outline as a funnel: you should make broad, general claims at the top of each part of the outline and then tighten the information until you have exhausted the point. Do this with each section of the outline. Be sure to consult with your instructor about specific aspects of the outline and refer to your course book for further information and examples.

Using the Outline

If you use this outline as it is designed to be used, you will benefit from it. You should start the outline well before your speech day and give yourself plenty of time to revise it. Attempt to have the final, clean copies ready two or three days ahead of time, so you can spend a day or two before your speech working on delivery. Prepare the outline as if it were a final term paper.

The Speaking Outline

Depending upon the assignment and the instructor, you may use a speaking outline during your presentation. The following information will be helpful in preparing your speech through the use of a speaking outline.

This outline should be on notecards and should be a bare bones outline taken from the complete sentence outline. Think of the speaking outline as train tracks to guide you through the speech.

Many speakers find it helpful to highlight certain words/passages or to use different colors for different parts of the speech. You will probably want to write out long or cumbersome quotations along with your source citation. Many times, the hardest passages to learn are those you did not write but were spoken by someone else. Avoid the temptation to over-do the speaking outline; many speakers write too much on the cards and their grades suffer because they read from the cards.

The best strategy for becoming comfortable with a speaking outline is preparation. You should prepare well ahead of time and spend time working with the notecards and memorizing key sections of your speech (the introduction and conclusion, in particular). Try to become comfortable with the extemporaneous style of speaking. You should be able to look at a few keywords on your outline and deliver eloquent sentences because you are so familiar with your material. You should spend approximately 80% of your speech making eye-contact with your audience.

Delivering an Informative Speech

For many speakers, delivery is the most intimidating aspect of public speaking. Although there is no known cure for nervousness, you can make yourself much more comfortable by following a few basic delivery guidelines. In this section, we discuss those guidelines.

The Five-Step Method for Improving Delivery

  • Read aloud your full-sentence outline. Listen to what you are saying and adjust your language to achieve a good, clear, simple sentence structure.
  • Practice the speech repeatedly from the speaking outline. Become comfortable with your keywords to the point that what you say takes the form of an easy, natural conversation.
  • Practice the speech aloud...rehearse it until you are confident you have mastered the ideas you want to present. Do not be concerned about "getting it just right." Once you know the content, you will find the way that is most comfortable for you.
  • Practice in front of a mirror, tape record your practice, and/or present your speech to a friend. You are looking for feedback on rate of delivery, volume, pitch, non-verbal cues (gestures, card-usage, etc.), and eye-contact.
  • Do a dress rehearsal of the speech under conditions as close as possible to those of the actual speech. Practice the speech a day or two before in a classroom. Be sure to incorporate as many elements as possible in the dress rehearsal...especially visual aids.

It should be clear that coping with anxiety over delivering a speech requires significant advanced preparation. The speech needs to be completed several days beforehand so that you can effectively employ this five-step plan.

Anderson, Thad, & Ron Tajchman. (1994). Informative Speaking. Writing@CSU . Colorado State University. https://writing.colostate.edu/guides/guide.cfm?guideid=52

  • Speech Crafting →

Preparation: How to write a Speech Outline (with Examples)

Featured-image-speech-outline

You have been chosen to give a speech on a particular topic and you reckon that you’re a good speech writer.

However, without a good speech outline, your speech lacks the proper skeleton to put meat on.

A speech outline is to a speech what a blueprint is to an unconstructed building.

So, how do you develop a good speech outline? First, break it down into small steps as this will make it easier for you to prioritize your ideas and organize them in the right order before you add more details to them.

How to Make an Outline for a Speech

Below are steps that will enable you to write an effective speech outline for your presentation.

You should start by asking yourself:

a) What is the big picture?

Before you begin writing your outline, you should take a step back and think about your speech as a whole.

big-picture

First, think about the 3 keystones for your presentation or speech, i.e. the audience, your subject matter and of course, you, as the speaker.

Then, write a few notes down about each keystone and how they relate with each other. For instance,

  • With regard to your presentation’s subject matter and the audience, what does the audience know about the subject? Do they find the subject interesting or not at all? Is the subject relevant to them?
  • What do you as the speaker know about the subject in question? What are the reasons behind your presentation? Do you have any expertise on the matter? What new information will you be sharing with your audience?

A good outline will help you engage with your audience in a way that not only captures their attention but enables them to understand the subject matter.

b) What is your objective?

This refers to the goal of your presentation. Here, you should ask yourself, what do you want your audience to do after your presentation is over?

speech-outline-objective

While the objective for most speakers is for their audience to know something, that may not be enough. The best presentations and speeches are those that move people to act.

If you would prefer to make an impact in such a way, then you should ensure that you are as specific as you can be when deciding on your objective in your speech outline.

c) What is your message?

Your message is what holds your presentation or speech together. This is not to mean that you shouldn’t have different parts in your speech, but it does mean that your speech should have one message that you are trying to put across.

call-to-action

Trying to include several different messages in your speech may confuse your audience, which makes it harder for them to understand the main point you are trying to convey. 

To do this, summarize the message of your presentation in one statement. This will not only allow you to understand the message in its entirety but also allow you to explain the message to your audience in a way that is easy to understand.

You can now use the statement you wrote above to help you develop your speech outline. Using the statement to determine whether a certain point supports your main message will ensure that your speech flows and doesn’t include any information not relevant to your subject topic.

d) How is your presentation relevant?

When it comes to a presentation or speech, the audience should always come first. That is why as a speaker, you should always keep your audience in mind when presenting.

If you have already decided on the message you will be conveying to your audience, you should now ask yourself; how is your message relevant to the audience?

audience

If you can’t come up with a reason why your presentation is relevant, then it’s back to the drawing board for you. This could mean that you will be presenting to the wrong audience or you will be giving the wrong presentation.

You can refer back to step (c) then review steps (a) and (b) for clarity.

e) Your speech structure

This is a very important part of your presentation as without it, your speech will have no impact on the audience. Therefore, you should ensure that you include the speech structure in your speech outline.

A structure has 3 basic parts; the introduction, the body and the conclusion. It should be noted though that when working on your speech outline, a common suggestion is to begin with the body before developing both your introduction and conclusion.

structure-of-a-presentation

Under your speech structure, the introduction is the opening of your speech/presentation. To make a good first impression on your audience, ensure that your introduction is strong.

This doesn’t have to be the usual, “Good morning, my name is YXZ…” Instead, capture your audience’s attention by either telling a story or an interesting fact, recite a quote, ask your audience to recall or imagine something or even ask a rhetorical question!

Related: How to Start a Speech to Engage Your Audience

The body of your presentation represents the bulk of your speech. You should therefore ensure that your main points can be explained in detail and that they have been organized in a logical order that makes your message easy to comprehend.

Similar to your introduction, you should finish on a strong note when it comes to your conclusion. You can do this by linking your conclusion to your introduction, after which you can then echo and summarize your message’s main points.

Different Speech Outline Examples

Below are a few examples of different speech outlines that you can use as a basis to write your own outline. Choosing the right one that works for you may depend on the type of speech you will be giving .

1. Persuasive Speech Outline

Persuasive presentations and speeches usually have a specific purpose in mind; either to urge the audience to take action on something or persuade them to adopt a certain view or opinion of something.

call-for-action

This type of outline allows you, the speaker, to focus on the subject matter point while arguing your case in the most effective and compelling way to your audience.

A persuasive speech outline is made up of these parts:

  • An introduction
  • The conclusion
  • Source Citation

The first three parts are common in most if not all presentations; please refer to step (e) to familiarize yourself with them once more.

A source citation is simply citing the sources for the research and facts that you presented in your speech. Remember you are trying to persuade your audience, so authoritative sources add weight to your argument.

2. Informative Speech Outline

There are different types of informative outlines. These include:

  • The informative speech outline
  • The informative presentation outline
  • The informative essay outline

These outlines are made up of 3 basic parts; the introduction, body and conclusion. For purposes of this article, we will be discussing the informative speech outline.

The central objective of an informative speech is to offer unique, useful and interesting information to your audience. Before choosing your informative speech topic , you should consider your overall objective.  

informative speech

Additionally, there are various types of informative speeches , including:

  • Concept - These are used to discuss abstract ideas like ideas and theories.
  • Process - These are used when describing broad processes.
  • Event - These are used to explain things that may happen, are already happening or those that have happened already.
  • Object - These are used when talking about products, places or people.

In addition to this, there are patterns that can be used to organize your speech outline. These will be chosen depending on your speech type.

Types of these patterns include:

  • Chronological or sequential - This pattern deals with a sequence of events; which could be useful in demonstration speeches or when discussing historical topics
  • Spatial or geographic - Use this pattern when discussing topics that deal with physical spaces
  • Logical - This pattern is suitable for a broad topic that has been broken down into sub-topics.
  • Advantage-disadvantage - This pattern can be used when you will be examining a range of negative and positive aspects of an event or idea

Furthermore, there are 2 possibilities for preparing a speech outline; the speaking and preparation outline.

The speaking outlines make use of phrases and keywords, which helps keep you focused on the subject matter while the preparation outline is used to help you develop your speech and makes use of full sentences.

3. Demonstrative Speech Outline

A demonstrative speech is an instructional speech that teaches the audience something by demonstrating the process.

explain-with-chart

Here are the basic steps for a demonstrative speech:

  • Ask yourself why you choose this topic and why it is important to the audience
  • Provide an overview
  • Explain the steps involved in your process
  • Talk about variations, other options
  • Ensure you allot time for Q&A
  • Give a brief summary

For a more in-depth guide on writing demonstrative speeches, click here .

Pro-Tip: Write down the specific purpose of your speech and your topic of discussion as you formulate your generic speech outline.

Conclusion: On Speech Outline Formats

As you become better at writing and delivering speeches, you will soon learn that the different outline formats described above aren’t mutually exclusive. Rather, situations often make it necessary to mix different formats.

What are you waiting for? Go out there and grow your confidence as a speech writer and speaker!

informative speech preparation outline example

How to Write an Effective Speech Outline: A Step-by-Step Guide

  • The Speaker Lab
  • March 8, 2024

Table of Contents

Mastering the art of speaking starts with crafting a stellar speech outline. A well-structured outline not only clarifies your message but also keeps your audience locked in.

In this article, you’ll learn how to mold outlines for various speech types, weaving in research that resonates and transitions that keep listeners on track. We’ll also show you ways to spotlight crucial points and manage the clock so every second counts. When it’s time for final prep, we’ve got smart tips for fine-tuning your work before stepping into the spotlight.

Understanding the Structure of a Speech Outline

An effective speech outline is like a map for your journey as a speaker, guiding you from start to finish. Think of it as the blueprint that gives shape to your message and ensures you hit all the right notes along the way.

Tailoring Your Outline for Different Speech Types

Different speeches have different goals: some aim to persuade, others inform or celebrate. Each type demands its own structure in an outline. For instance, a persuasive speech might highlight compelling evidence while an informative one focuses on clear explanations. Crafting your outline with precision means adapting it to fit these distinct objectives.

Incorporating Research and Supporting Data

Your credibility hinges on solid research and data that back up your claims. When writing your outline, mark the places where you’ll incorporate certain pieces of research or data. Every stat you choose should serve a purpose in supporting your narrative arc. And remember to balance others’ research with your own unique insights. After all, you want your work to stand out, not sound like someone else’s.

The Role of Transitions in Speech Flow

Slick transitions are what turn choppy ideas into smooth storytelling—think about how bridges connect disparate land masses seamlessly. They’re not just filler; they carry listeners from one thought to another while maintaining momentum.

Incorporate transitions that feel natural yet keep people hooked. To keep things smooth, outline these transitions ahead of time so nothing feels left up to chance during delivery.

Techniques for Emphasizing Key Points in Your Outline

To make certain points pop off the page—and stage—you’ll need strategies beyond bolding text or speaking louder. Use repetition wisely or pause strategically after delivering something significant. Rather than go impromptu, plan out what points you want to emphasize before you hit the stage.

Timing Your Speech Through Your Outline

A watchful eye on timing ensures you don’t overstay—or undercut—your moment under the spotlight. The rhythm set by pacing can be pre-determined through practice runs timed against sections marked clearly in outlines. Practice will help ensure that your grand finale isn’t cut short by surprise.

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Depending on the type of speech you’re giving, your speech outline will vary. The key ingredients—introduction, body, and conclusion—are always there, but nuances like tone or message will change with each speaking occasion.

Persuasive Speeches: Convincing With Clarity

When outlining a persuasive speech, arrange your arguments from strong to strongest. The primacy effect works wonders here, so make sure to start off with a strong point. And just when they think they’ve heard it all, hit them with an emotional story that clinches the deal.

You might start by sharing startling statistics about plastic pollution before pivoting to how individuals can make a difference. Back this up with data on successful recycling programs which demonstrate tangible impact, a technique that turns facts into fuel for action.

Informative Speeches: Educating Without Overwhelming

An informative speech shouldn’t feel like drinking from a fire hose of facts and figures. Instead, lay out clear subtopics in your outline and tie them together with succinct explanations—not unlike stepping stones across a stream of knowledge.

If you’re talking about breakthroughs in renewable energy technology, use bullet points to highlight different innovations then expand upon their potential implications one at a time so the audience can follow along without getting lost in technical jargon or complexity.

Ceremonial Speeches: Creating Moments That Matter

In a ceremonial speech you want to capture emotion. Accordingly, your outline should feature personal anecdotes and quotes that resonate on an emotional level. However, make sure to maintain brevity because sometimes less really is more when celebrating milestones or honoring achievements.

Instead of just going through a hero’s whole life story, share the powerful tales of how they stepped up in tough times. This approach hits home for listeners, letting them feel the impact these heroes have had on their communities and sparking an emotional bond.

Incorporating Research in Your Speech Outline

When you’re crafting a speech, the backbone of your credibility lies in solid research and data. But remember, it’s not just about piling on the facts. It’s how you weave them into your narrative that makes listeners sit up and take notice.

Selecting Credible Sources

Finding trustworthy sources is like going on a treasure hunt where not all that glitters is gold. To strike real gold, aim for academic journals or publications known for their rigorous standards. Google Scholar or industry-specific databases are great places to start your search. Be picky. Your audience can tell when you’ve done your homework versus when you’ve settled for less-than-stellar intel.

You want to arm yourself with evidence so compelling that even skeptics start nodding along. A well-chosen statistic from a reputable study does more than decorate your point—it gives it an ironclad suit of armor.

Organizing Information Effectively

Your outline isn’t just a roadmap; think of it as scaffolding that holds up your argument piece by piece. Start strong with an eye-opening factoid to hook your audience right off the bat because first impressions matter—even in speeches.

To keep things digestible, group related ideas together under clear subheadings within your outline. Stick to presenting data that backs up each key idea without wandering down tangential paths. That way, everyone stays on track.

Making Data Relatable

Sure, numbers don’t lie but they can be hard to connect to. If you plan on using stats in your speech, make them meaningful by connecting them to relatable scenarios or outcomes people care about deeply. For instance, if you’re talking health statistics, relate them back to someone’s loved ones or local hospitals. By making the personal connection for your audience, you’ll get their attention.

The trick is using these nuggets strategically throughout your talk, not dumping them all at once but rather placing each one carefully where its impact will be greatest.

Imagine your speech as a road trip. Without smooth roads and clear signs, the journey gets bumpy, and passengers might miss the scenery along the way. That’s where transitions come in. They’re like your speech’s traffic signals guiding listeners from one point to another.

Crafting Seamless Bridges Between Ideas

Transitions are more than just linguistic filler. They’re strategic connectors that carry an audience smoothly through your narrative. Start by using phrases like “on top of this” or “let’s consider,” which help you pivot naturally between points without losing momentum.

To weave these seamlessly into your outline, map out each major turn beforehand to ensure no idea is left stranded on a tangent.

Making Use of Transitional Phrases Wisely

Be cautious: overusing transitional phrases can clutter up your speech faster than rush hour traffic. Striking a balance is key—think about how often you’d want to see signposts on a highway. Enough to keep you confident but not so many that it feels overwhelming.

Pick pivotal moments for transitions when shifting gears from one major topic to another or introducing contrasting information. A little direction at critical junctures keeps everyone onboard and attentive.

Leveraging Pauses as Transition Tools

Sometimes silence speaks louder than words, and pauses are powerful tools for transitioning thoughts. A well-timed pause lets ideas resonate and gives audiences time to digest complex information before moving forward again.

This approach also allows speakers some breathing room themselves—the chance to regroup mentally before diving into their next point with renewed vigor.

Connecting Emotional Threads Throughout Your Speech

Last but not least, don’t forget emotional continuity, that intangible thread pulling heartstrings from start-to-finish. Even if topics shift drastically, maintaining an underlying emotional connection ensures everything flows together cohesively within the larger tapestry of your message.

Techniques for Emphasizing Key Points in Your Speech Outline

When you’re crafting your speech outline, shine a spotlight on what matters most so that your audience doesn’t miss your key points.

Bold and Italicize for Impact

You wouldn’t whisper your punchline in a crowded room. Similarly, why let your main ideas get lost in a sea of text? Use bold or italics to give those lines extra weight. This visual cue signals importance, so when you glance at your notes during delivery, you’ll know to emphasize those main ideas.

Analogies That Stick

A good analogy is like super glue—it makes anything stick. Weave them into your outline and watch as complex concepts become crystal clear. But remember: choose analogies that resonate with your target audience’s experiences or interests. The closer home it hits, the longer it lingers.

The Power of Repetition

If something’s important say it again. And maybe even once more after that—with flair. Repetition can feel redundant on paper, but audiences often need to hear critical messages several times before they take root.

Keep these strategies in mind when you’re ready to dive into your outline. You’ll transform those core ideas into memorable insights before you know it.

Picture this: you’re delivering a speech, and just as you’re about to reach the end, your time’s up. Ouch! Let’s make sure that never happens. Crafting an outline is not only about what to say but also how long to say it.

Finding Balance in Section Lengths

An outline isn’t just bullet points; it’s a roadmap for pacing. When outlining your speech, make sure to decide how much time you’d like to give each of your main points. You might even consider setting specific timers during rehearsals to get a real feel for each part’s duration. Generally speaking, you should allot a fairly equal amount of time for each to keep things balanced.

The Magic of Mini Milestones

To stay on track, a savvy speaker will mark time stamps or “mini milestones” on their outline. These time stamps give the speaker an idea of where should be in their speech by the time, say, 15 minutes has passed. If by checkpoint three you should be 15 minutes deep and instead you’re hitting 20 minutes, it’s time to pick up the pace or trim some fat from earlier sections. This approach helps you stay on track without having to glance at the clock after every sentence.

Utilizing Visual Aids and Multimedia in Your Outline

Pictures speak louder than words, especially when you’re on stage. Think about it: How many times have you sat through a presentation that felt like an eternity of endless bullet points? Now imagine if instead, there was a vibrant image or a short video clip to break up the monotony—it’s game-changing. That’s why integrating visual aids and multimedia into your speech outline isn’t just smart. It’s crucial for keeping your audience locked in.

Choosing Effective Visuals

Selecting the right visuals is not about flooding your slides with random images but finding those that truly amplify your message. Say you’re talking about climate change. In this case, a graph showing rising global temperatures can hit hard and illustrate your chosen statistic clearly. Remember, simplicity reigns supreme; one powerful image will always trump a cluttered collage.

Multimedia Magic

Videos are another ace up your sleeve. They can deliver testimonials more powerfully than quotes or transport viewers to places mere descriptions cannot reach. But be warned—timing is everything. Keep clips short and sweet because no one came to watch a movie—they came to hear you . You might highlight innovations using short video snippets, ensuring these moments serve as compelling punctuations rather than pauses in your narrative.

The Power of Sound

We often forget audio when we think multimedia, yet sound can evoke emotions and set tones subtly yet effectively. Think striking chords for dramatic effect or nature sounds for storytelling depth during environmental talks.

Audiences crave experiences they’ll remember long after they leave their seats. With well-chosen visuals and gripping multimedia elements woven thoughtfully into every section of your speech outline, you’ll give them exactly that.

Rehearsing with Your Speech Outline

When you’re gearing up to take the stage, your speech outline is a great tool to practice with. With a little preparation, you’ll give a performance that feels both natural and engaging.

Familiarizing Yourself with Content

To start off strong, get cozy with your outline’s content. Read through your outline aloud multiple times until the flow of words feels smooth. This will help make sure that when showtime comes around, you can deliver those lines without tripping over tough transitions or complex concepts.

Beyond mere memorization, understanding the heart behind each point allows you to speak from a place of confidence. You know this stuff—you wrote it. Now let’s bring that knowledge front and center in an authentic way.

Mimicking Presentation Conditions

Rehearsing under conditions similar to those expected during the actual presentation pays off big time. Are you going to stand or roam about? Will there be a podium? Think about these details and simulate them during rehearsal because comfort breeds confidence—and we’re all about boosting confidence.

If technology plays its part in your talk, don’t leave them out of rehearsals either. The last thing anyone needs is tech trouble during their talk.

Perfecting Pace Through Practice

Pacing matters big time when speaking. Use timed rehearsals to nail down timing. Adjust speed as needed but remember: clarity trumps velocity every single time.

You want people hanging onto every word, which is hard to do if you’re talking so fast they can barely make out what you’re saying. During rehearsals, find balance between pacing and comprehension; they should go hand-in-hand.

Finalizing Your Speech Outline for Presentation

You’ve poured hours into crafting your speech, shaping each word and idea with precision. Now, it’s time to tighten the nuts and bolts. Finalizing your outline isn’t just about dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s. It’s about making sure your message sticks like a perfectly thrown dart.

Reviewing Your Content for Clarity

Your first task is to strip away any fluff that might cloud your core message. Read through every point in your outline with a critical eye. Think of yourself as an editor on a mission to cut out anything that doesn’t serve a purpose. Ask yourself if you can explain each concept clearly without needing extra words or complex jargon. If not, simplify.

Strengthening Your Argument

The meat of any good presentation lies in its argument, the why behind what you’re saying. Strengthen yours by ensuring every claim has iron-clad backing—a stat here, an expert quote there. Let this be more than just facts tossed at an audience; weave them into stories they’ll remember long after they leave their seats.

Crafting Memorable Takeaways

Audiences may forget details but never how you made them feel—or think. Embed memorable takeaways throughout your outline so when folks step out into fresh air post-talk, they carry bits of wisdom with them.

This could mean distilling complex ideas down to pithy phrases or ending sections with punchy lines that resonate. It’s these golden nuggets people will mine for later reflection.

FAQs on Speech Outlines

How do you write a speech outline.

To craft an outline, jot down your main ideas, arrange them logically, and add supporting points beneath each.

What are the 3 main parts of a speech outline?

An effective speech has three core parts: an engaging introduction, a content-rich body, and a memorable conclusion.

What are the three features of a good speech outline?

A strong outline is clear, concise, and structured in logical sequence to maximize impact on listeners.

What is a working outline for a speech?

A working outline serves as your blueprint while preparing. It’s detailed but flexible enough to adjust as needed.

Crafting a speech outline is like drawing your map before the journey. It starts with structure and flows into customization for different types of talks. Remember, research and evidence are your compass—they guide you to credibility. Transitions act as bridges, connecting one idea to another smoothly. Key points? They’re landmarks so make them shine.

When delivering your speech, keep an eye on the clock and pace yourself so that every word counts.

Multimedia turns a good talk into a great show. Rehearsing polishes that gem of a presentation until it sparkles.

Last up: fine-tuning your speech outline means you step out confident, ready to deliver something memorable because this isn’t just any roadmap—it’s yours.

  • Last Updated: March 5, 2024

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How to Write an Informative Speech

Last Updated: April 30, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Lynn Kirkham . Lynn Kirkham is a Professional Public Speaker and Founder of Yes You Can Speak, a San Francisco Bay Area-based public speaking educational business empowering thousands of professionals to take command of whatever stage they've been given - from job interviews, boardroom talks to TEDx and large conference platforms. Lynn was chosen as the official TEDx Berkeley speaker coach for the last four years and has worked with executives at Google, Facebook, Intuit, Genentech, Intel, VMware, and others. There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 1,392,151 times.

An informative speech tells an audience about a process, event, or concept. Whether you’re explaining how to grow a garden or describing a historical event, writing an informative speech is pretty straightforward. Knowing the topic inside and out is key, so start by conducting thorough research. Organize your speech logically so your audience can easily follow, and keep your language clear. Since speeches are recited out loud, be sure to set aside time after writing to perfect your delivery.

Researching the Topic

Step 1 Choose a subject that interests you if the topic isn’t assigned.

  • Suppose your prompt instructs you to inform the audience about a hobby or activity. Make a list of your clubs, sports, and other activities, and choose the one that interests you most. Then zoom in on one particular aspect or process to focus on in your speech.
  • For instance, if you like tennis, you can’t discuss every aspect of the sport in a single speech. Instead, you could focus on a specific technique, like serving the ball.

Step 2 Gather a variety...

  • For example, if your speech is about a historical event, find primary sources, like letters or newspaper articles published at the time of the event. Additionally, include secondary sources, such as scholarly articles written by experts on the event.
  • If you’re informing the audience about a medical condition, find information in medical encyclopedias, scientific journals, and government health websites.

Tip: Organize your sources in a works cited page. Even if the assignment doesn’t require a works cited page, it’ll help you keep track of your sources. [3] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source

Step 3 Form a clear understanding of the process or concept you’re describing.

  • For instance, if your speech is on growing plants from seeds, explain the process step-by-step to a friend or relative. Ask them if any parts in your explanation seemed muddy or vague.
  • Break down the material into simple terms, especially if you’re addressing a non-expert audience. Think about how you’d describe the topic to a grandparent or younger sibling. If you can’t avoid using jargon, be sure to define technical words in clear, simple terms.

Step 4 Come up with a thesis that concisely presents your speech’s purpose.

  • For example, if your speech is on the poet Charles Baudelaire, a strong thesis would be, “I am here to explain how city life and exotic travel shaped the key poetic themes of Charles Baudelaire’s work.”
  • While the goal of an informative speech isn't to make a defensible claim, your thesis still needs to be specific. For instance, “I’m going to talk about carburetors” is vague. “My purpose today is to explain how to take apart a variable choke carburetor” is more specific.

Step 5 Focus on informing your audience instead of persuading them.

  • For instance, a speech meant to persuade an audience to support a political stance would most likely include examples of pathos, or persuasive devices that appeal to the audience's emotions.
  • On the other hand, an informative speech on how to grow pitcher plants would present clear, objective steps. It wouldn't try to argue that growing pitcher plants is great or persuade listeners to grow pitcher plants.

Drafting Your Speech

Step 1 Write a bare...

  • Delivering memorized remarks instead of reading verbatim is more engaging. A section of a speaking outline would look like this: III. YMCA’s Focus on Healthy Living  A. Commitment to overall health: both body and mind  B. Programs that support commitment   1. Annual Kid’s Day   2. Fitness facilities   3. Classes and group activities

Step 2 Include a hook, thesis, and road map of your speech in the introduction.

  • For example, you could begin with, “Have you ever wondered how a figure skater could possibly jump, twist, and land on the thin blade of an ice skate? From proper technique to the physical forces at play, I’ll explain how world-class skaters achieve jaw-dropping jumps and spins.”
  • Once you've established your purpose, preview your speech: “After describing the basic technical aspects of jumping, I’ll discuss the physics behind jumps and spins. Finally, I’ll explain the 6 types of jumps and clarify why some are more difficult than others.”
  • Some people prefer to write the speech's body before the introduction. For others, writing the intro first helps them figure out how to organize the rest of the speech.

Step 3 Present your main ideas in a logically organized body.

  • For instance, if your speech is about the causes of World War I, start by discussing nationalism in the years prior to the war. Next, describe the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, then explain how alliances pulled the major players into open warfare.
  • Transition smoothly between ideas so your audience can follow your speech. For example, write, “Now that we’ve covered how nationalism set the stage for international conflict, we can examine the event that directly led to the outbreak of World War I: the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. [11] X Research source

Step 4 Review your main points in the conclusion.

  • For instance, your conclusion could point out, “Examining the factors that set the stage for World War I shows how intense nationalism fueled the conflict. A century after the Great War, the struggle between nationalism and globalism continues to define international politics in the twenty-first century.”

Step 5 Write a complete draft to edit and memorize your speech.

  • Typically, speeches aren’t read verbatim. Instead, you’ll memorize the speech and use a bare bones outline to stay on track.

Avoid information overload: When you compose your speech, read out loud as you write. Focus on keeping your sentence structures simple and clear. Your audience will have a hard time following along if your language is too complicated. [14] X Trustworthy Source University of North Carolina Writing Center UNC's on-campus and online instructional service that provides assistance to students, faculty, and others during the writing process Go to source

Perfecting Your Delivery

Step 1 Write the main points and helpful cues on notecards.

  • While it’s generally okay to use slightly different phrasing, try to stick to your complete outline as best you can. If you veer off too much or insert too many additional words, you could end up exceeding your time limit.
  • Keep in mind your speaking outline will help you stay focused. As for quotes and statistics, feel free to write them on your notecards for quick reference.

Memorization tip: Break up the speech into smaller parts, and memorize it section by section. Memorize 1 sentence then, when you feel confident, add the next. Continue practicing with gradually longer passages until you know the speech like the back of your hand.

Step 2 Project confidence with eye contact, gestures, and good posture.

  • Instead of slouching, stand up tall with your shoulders back. In addition to projecting confidence, good posture will help you breathe deeply to support your voice.

Step 3 Practice the speech in a mirror or to a friend.

  • Have them point out any spots that dragged or seemed disorganized. Ask if your tone was engaging, if you used body language effectively, and if your volume, pitch, and pacing need any tweaks.

Step 4 Make sure you stay within the time limit.

  • If you keep exceeding the time limit, review your complete sentence outline. Cut any fluff and simplify complicated phrases. If your speech isn’t long enough, look for areas that could use more detail or consider adding another section to the body.
  • Just make sure any content you add is relevant. For instance, if your speech on nationalism and World War I is 2 minutes too short, you could add a section about how nationalism manifested in specific countries, including Britain, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Serbia.

Sample Informative Speeches

informative speech preparation outline example

Expert Q&A

Lynn Kirkham

  • You're probably much better at informative speeches than you think! If you have ever told your parents about your day at school or explained to a friend how to make chicken noodle soup, you already have experience giving an informative speech! Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • If you get nervous, try to relax, take deep breaths, and visualize calming scenery. Remember, there’s nothing to worry about. Just set yourself up for success by knowing the material and practicing. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • When composing your speech, take your audience into consideration, and tailor your speech to the people you’re addressing. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

informative speech preparation outline example

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Write a Speech

  • ↑ https://courses.lumenlearning.com/suny-realworldcomm/chapter/11-1-informative-speeches/
  • ↑ https://2012books.lardbucket.org/books/a-primer-on-communication-studies/s11-01-informative-speeches.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_works_cited_page_basic_format.html
  • ↑ https://open.lib.umn.edu/communication/chapter/11-1-informative-speeches/
  • ↑ https://www.comm.pitt.edu/informative-speaking
  • ↑ https://rasmussen.libanswers.com/faq/337550
  • ↑ Lynn Kirkham. Public Speaking Coach. Expert Interview. 20 November 2019.
  • ↑ https://www.hamilton.edu/academics/centers/oralcommunication/guides/how-to-outline-a-speech
  • ↑ https://wac.colostate.edu/resources/writing/guides/informative-speaking/
  • ↑ https://www.comm.pitt.edu/structuring-speech
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/speeches/
  • ↑ https://www.speechanddebate.org/wp-content/uploads/High-School-Competition-Events-Guide.pdf
  • ↑ https://open.lib.umn.edu/communication/chapter/10-4-physical-delivery/

About This Article

Lynn Kirkham

To write an informative speech, start with an introduction that will grab your audience's attention and give them an idea of where the rest of your speech is headed. Next, choose 3 important points that you want to make to form the body of your speech. Then, organize the points in a logical order and write content to address each point. Finally, write a conclusion that summarizes the main points and ends with a message that you want your audience to take away from it. For tips on researching topics for an informative speech, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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COMM 101: Fundamentals of Public Speaking - Valparaiso

  • Delivery Skills
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  • Body Language / Non-Verbal Communication
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  • Quotation Resources
  • Speech Outline Examples
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  • Citation Resources This link opens in a new window

A basic speech outline should include three main sections:

  • The Introduction --  This is where you tell them what you're going to tell them.
  • The Body -- This is where you tell them.
  • The Conclusion -- This is where you tell them what you've told them.
  • Speech Outline Formatting Guide The outline for a public speech, according to COMM 101 online textbook  The Public Speaking Project , p.p. 8-9.

Use these samples to help prepare your speech outlines and bibliographies:

  • Sample Speech Preparation Outline This type of outline is very detailed with all the main points and subpoints written in complete sentences. Your bibliography should be included with this outline.
  • Sample Speech Speaking Outline This type of outline is very brief and uses phrases or key words for the main points and subpoints. This outline is used by the speaker during the speech.
  • << Previous: Quotation Resources
  • Next: Informative Speeches >>
  • Last Updated: Sep 22, 2023 4:37 PM
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13.4 Sample Informative Speeches and Speech Outlines

Sample informative speech outline.

By Shannon Stanley

Topic: Lord Byron

Specific Purpose: To inform my audience about the life of George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron.

Central Idea: George Gordon (Lord Byron) overcame physical hardships, was a world-renowned poet, and was an advocate for the Greek’s war for freedom.

Introduction

A. Attention step : Imagine an eleven-year-old boy who has been beaten and sexually abused repeatedly by the very person who is supposed to take care of him. B. Reveal topic/thesis : This is one of the many hurdles that George Gordon, better known as Lord Byron, overcame during his childhood. Lord Byron was also a talented poet with the ability to transform his life into the words of his poetry. Byron became a serious poet by the age of fifteen, and he was first published in 1807 at the age of nineteen. Lord Byron was a staunch believer in freedom and equality, so he gave most of his fortune, and in the end, his very life, supporting the Greek’s war for independence. C. Establish credibility : While many of you have probably never heard of Lord Byron, his life and written work will become more familiar to you when you take Humanities 1201, as I learned when I took it last semester. D. Preview body of speech : In this speech I will talk about Lord Byron’s early childhood, accomplishments, and life outside of poetry

Transition : Let me start with Lord Byron’s childhood.

Body A. Main point 1: Lord Byron’s childhood

I. Subpoint 1: Birth and disability

a. Lord Byron was born on January 22, 1788, to Captain John Byron and Catherine Gordon Byron. b. According to Paul Trueblood, the author of Lord Byron, Lord Byron’s father only married Catherine for her dowry, which he quickly went through, leaving his wife and child nearly Penniless. c. By the age of two, Lord Byron and his mother had moved to Aberdeen in Scotland and shortly thereafter, his father died in France at the age of thirty-six. d. Lord Byron was born with a clubbed right foot, which is a deformity that caused his foot to turn sideways instead of remaining straight, and his mother had no money to seek treatment for this painful and embarrassing condition. e. He would become very upset and fight anyone who even spoke of his lameness f. Despite his handicap, Lord Byron was very active and liked competing with the other boys.

II. Subpoint 2: Later childhood, sexual abuse.

a. At the age of ten, his grand-uncle died, leaving him the title as the sixth Baron Byron of Rochdale. With this title, he also inherited Newstead Abbey, a dilapidated estate that was in great need of repair. b. Because the Abbey was in Nottinghamshire England, he and his mother moved there and stayed at the abbey until it was rented out to pay for the necessary repairs. c. During this time, May Gray, Byron’s nurse, had already begun physically and sexually abusing him. A year passed before he finally told his guardian, John Hanson, about May’s abuse; she was fired immediately. Unfortunately, the damage had already been done. d. In the book Lord Byron , it is stated that years later, he wrote, “My passions were developed very early—so early, that few would believe me if I were to state the period, and the facts which accompanied it.”

Transition : Although Lord Byron had many obstacles to overcome, during his childhood, he became a world-renowned poet by the age of 24.

B. Main point 2: Lord Byron’s accomplishments as a poet

I. Subpoint 1: Beginning of the career

a. Lord Byron experienced the same emotions we all do, but he was able to express those emotions in the form of his poetry and share them with the world. b. According to Horace Gregory, the author of Poems of George Gordon, Lord Byron , the years from 1816 through 1824 is when Lord Byron was most known throughout Europe. c. But according to Paul Trueblood, Childe Harold was published in 1812 and became one of the best-selling works of literature in the 19th century. d. Childe Harold was written while Lord Byron was traveling through Europe after graduating from Trinity College. e. Many authors such as Trueblood, and Garrett, the author of George Gordon, Lord Byron, express their opinion that Childe Harold is an autobiography about Byron and his travels.

II. Subpoint 2: Poem topics

a. Lord Byron often wrote about the ones he loved the most, such as the poem “She Walks in Beauty” written about his cousin Anne Wilmont, and “Stanzas for Music” written for his half-sister, Augusta Leigh. b. He was also an avid reader of the Old Testament and would write poetry about stories from the Bible that he loved. One such story was about the last king of Babylon. This poem was called the “Vision of Belshazzar,” and is very much like the bible version in the book of Daniel.

Transition : Although Lord Byron is mostly known for his talents as a poet, he was also an advocate for the Greek’s war for independence.

C. Main point 3: Lord Byron’s life other than poetry

I. Sub point 1: Byron arrived in Greece in 1823 during a civil war.

a. Lord Byron, after his self-imposed exile from England, took the side of the Greeks in their war for freedom from Turkish rule. b. The Greeks were too busy fighting amongst themselves to come together to form a formidable army against the Turks. According to Martin Garrett, Lord Byron donated money to refit the Greek’s fleet of ships, but did not immediately get involved in the situation. He had doubts as to if or when the Greeks would ever come together and agree long enough to make any kind of a difference in their war effort. c. Eventually the Greeks united and began their campaign for the Greek War of Independence. d. He began pouring more and more of his fortune into the Greek army and finally accepted a position to oversee a small group of men sailing to Missolonghi. e. Lord Byron set sail for Missolonghi in Western Greece in 1824. He took a commanding position over a small number of the Greek army despite his lack of military training. f. He had also made plans to attack a Turkish held fortress but became very ill before the plans were ever carried through.

II. Sub point II: Death

a. Lord Byron died on April 19, 1824, at the age of 36 due to the inexperienced doctors who continued to bleed him while he suffered from a severe fever. b. After Lord Byron’s death, the Greek War of Independence, due to his support, received more foreign aid which led to their eventual victory in 1832. c. Lord Byron is hailed as a national hero by the Greek nation d. Many tributes such as statues and road-names have been devoted to Lord Byron since the time of his death.

A. Signal end of speech (transition) : In conclusion, B. Review main points and summarize :  Lord Byron overcame great physical hardships to become a world-renowned poet, and is seen as a hero to the Greek nation and is mourned by them still today. C. Sense of completeness/clincher/memorable ending : I have chosen not to focus on Lord Byron’s more liberal way of life, but rather to focus on his accomplishments in life. He was a man who owed no loyalty to Greece, yet gave his life to support their cause. Most of the world will remember Lord Byron primarily through his written attributes, but Greece will always remember him as the “Trumpet Voice of Liberty.”

Sample Informative Speech by Pamela Meyer

Garrett, M. (2000). George Gordon, Lord Byron. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Gregory, H. (1969). Poems of George Gordon, Lord Byron. New York, NY: Thomas Y. Crowell Company.

Trueblood, P. G. (1969). Lord Byron. (S. E. Bowman, Ed.). New York, NY: Twayne Publishers.

It’s About Them: Public Speaking in the 21st Century Copyright © 2022 by LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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14.5: Sample Informative Speeches and Speech Outlines

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Sample Informative Speech Outline

By Shannon Stanley

Topic: Lord Byron

Specific Purpose: To inform my audience about the life of George Gordon, Lord Byron.

Central Idea: George Gordon, Lord Byron overcame physical hardships, was a world-renowned poet, and an advocate for the Greek’s war for freedom.

Introduction

A. Attention step : Imagine an eleven year old boy who has been beaten and sexually abused repeatedly by the very person who is supposed to take care of him. B. Reveal topic/thesis : This is one of the many hurdles that George Gordon, better known as Lord Byron, overcame during his childhood. Lord Byron was also a talented poet with the ability to transform his life into the words of his poetry. Byron became a serious poet by the age of fifteen and he was first published in 1807 at the age of nineteen. Lord Byron was a staunch believer in freedom and equality, so he gave most of his fortune, and in the end, his very life, supporting the Greek’s war for independence. C. Establish credibility : While many of you have probably never heard of Lord Byron, his life and written work will become more familiar to you when you take Humanities 1201, as I learned when I took it last semester. D. Preview body of speech : In this speech I will talk about Lord Byron’s early childhood, accomplishments, and life outside of poetry

Transition : Let me start with Lord Byron’s childhood.

A. Main point 1: Lord Byron’s childhood

I. Subpoint 1: Birth and disability

a. Lord Byron was born on January 22, 1788 to Captain John Byron and Catherine Gordon Byron. b. According to Paul Trueblood, the author of Lord Byron, Lord Byron’s father only married Catherine for her dowry, which he quickly went through, leaving his wife and child nearly Penniless. c. By the age of two, Lord Byron and his mother had moved to Aberdeen in Scotland and shortly thereafter, his father died in France at the age of thirty-six. d. Lord Byron was born with a clubbed right foot, which is a deformity that caused his foot to turn sideways instead of remaining straight, and his mother had no money to seek treatment for this painful and embarrassing condition. e. He would become very upset and fight anyone who even spoke of his lameness f. Despite his handicap, Lord Byron was very active and liked competing with the other boys.

II. Subpoint 2: Later childhood, sexual abuse.

a. At the age of ten, his grand-uncle died leaving him the title as the sixth Baron Byron of Rochdale. With this title, he also inherited Newstead Abbey, a dilapidated estate that was in great need of repair. b. Because the Abbey was in Nottinghamshire England, he and his mother moved there and stayed at the abbey until it was rented out to pay for the necessary repairs. c. During this time, May Gray, Byron’s nurse had already begun physically and sexually abusing him. A year passed before he finally told his guardian, John Hanson, about May’s abuse; she was fired immediately. Unfortunately, the damage had already been done. d. In the book Lord Byron, it is stated that years later he wrote “My passions were developed very early- so early, that few would believe me if I were to state the period, and the facts which accompanied it.”

Transition : Although Lord Byron had many obstacles to overcome, during his childhood, he became a world-renowned poet by the age of 24.

B. Main point 2: Lord Byron’s accomplishments as a poet

I. Subpoint 1: Beginning of the career

a. Lord Byron experienced the same emotions we all do, but he was able to express those emotions in the form of his poetry and share them with the world. b. According to Horace Gregory, The author of Poems of, George Gordon, Lord Byron, the years from 1816 through 1824 is when Lord Byron was most known throughout Europe. c. But according to Paul Trueblood, Childe Harold was published in 1812 and became one of the best-selling works of literature in the 19th century. d. Childe Harold was written while Lord Byron was traveling through Europe after graduating from Trinity College. e. Many authors such as Trueblood, and Garrett, the author of George Gordon, Lord Byron, express their opinion that Childe Harold is an autobiography about Byron and his travels.

II. Subpoint 2: Poem topics

a. Lord Byron often wrote about the ones he loved the most, such as the poem “She Walks in Beauty” written about his cousin Anne Wilmont, and “Stanzas for Music” written for his half-sister, Augusta Leigh. b. He was also an avid reader of the Old Testament and would write poetry about stories from the Bible that he loved. One such story was about the last king of Babylon. This poem was called the “Vision of Belshazzar,” and is very much like the bible version in the book of Daniel.

Transition : Although Lord Byron is mostly known for his talents as a poet, he was also an advocate for the Greek’s war for independence.

C. Main point 3: Lord Byron’s life other than poetry

I. Sub point 1: Byron arrived in Greece in 1823 during a civil war.

a. Lord Byron, after his self-imposed exile from England, took the side of the Greek’s in their war for freedom from Turkish rule. b. The Greek’s were too busy fighting amongst themselves to come together to form a formidable army against the Turks. According to Martin Garrett, Lord Byron donated money to refit the Greek’s fleet of ships, but did not immediately get involved in the situation. He had doubts as to if or when the Greek’s would ever come together and agree long enough to make any kind of a difference in their war effort. c. Eventually the Greek’s united and began their campaign for the Greek War of Independence. d. He began pouring more and more of his fortune into the Greek army and finally accepted a position to oversee a small group of men sailing to Missolonghi. e. Lord Byron set sail for Missolonghi in Western Greece in 1824. He took a commanding position over a small number of the Greek army despite his lack of military training. f. He had also made plans to attack a Turkish held fortress but became very ill before the plans were ever carried through.

II. Sub point II: Death

a. Lord Byron died on April 19, 1824 at the age of 36 due to the inexperienced doctors who continued to bleed him while he suffered from a severe fever. b. After Lord Byron’s death, the Greek War of Independence, due to his support, received more foreign aid which led to their eventual victory in 1832. c. Lord Byron is hailed as a national hero by the Greek nation d. Many tributes such as statues and road-names have been devoted to Lord Byron since the time of his death.

A. Signal end of speech (transition) : In conclusion, B. Review main points and summarize : Lord Byron overcame great physical hardships to become a world-renowned poet, and is seen as a hero to the Greek nation and is mourned by them still today. C. Sense of completeness/clincher/memorable ending : I have chosen not to focus on Lord Byron’s more liberal way of life, but rather to focus on his accomplishments in life. He was a man who owed no loyalty to Greece, yet gave his life to support their cause. Most of the world will remember Lord Byron primarily through his written attributes, but Greece will always remember him as the “Trumpet Voice of Liberty.”

Sample Informative Speech by Pamela Meyer

Garrett, M. (2000). George Gordon, Lord Byron. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Gregory, H. (1969). Poems of George Gordon, Lord Byron. New York, NY: Thomas Y. Crowell Company.

Trueblood, P. G. (1969). Lord Byron. (S. E. Bowman, Ed.). New York, NY:Twayne Publishers.

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Outline Templates

7+ informative speech outline templates for the podium – pdf.

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    2. Body. The body section allows you to provide details of the particular topic of your speech. Section 1. Write the main idea of the section. Provide supporting details, examples, and evidence to support the idea. Smoothly transition to the next main point of your speech. Section 2.

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    Consult examples. Review multiple examples to get an idea of the basic format of well-structured speeches. Identify how to introduce a topic, convey the key message and conclude the speech. Then, craft your outline and incorporate any unique elements and strategies that will be effective depending on the topic, audience, and forum.

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