Informative Speech

Topic selection and outline due Tuesday 1/25
Speeches delivered Thursday 1/27 and Tuesday 2/1


"I have a task and that is talking to you. You have a task and that is listening to me. I hope you do not finish before I do." -Author unknown

This speech assumes that you will build off the skills and strategies, such as introductions and conclusions, that we have already covered. The emphasis of this assignment is on your effective use of supporting materials (chapter 7), the clarity and usefulness of your visual aids (chapter 12), and your ability to communicate information to the audience in a strategically organized and effective manner (chapter 8). You must also keep in mind the audience’s interests, experiences, knowledge, expectations, and sensitivities (chapter 5).

You may give this speech about objects, people, events, processes, complex ideas/concepts, or issues (though you must keep in mind the purpose is informative, not persuasive). This speech should be 5-6 minutes in length. It is worth 20% of your final grade.

This assignment requires researched support for the claims you develop. Evidence can include facts, statistics, and definitions, as well as testimonies, narrative accounts, and quotations or paraphrases. Be careful that your supporting materials are relevant, recent, and credible. You should use at least two references beyond your own experiences and those of your friends and family.

Your visual aid needs to be helpful for the audience in supporting or explaining informative aspects of your speech. Use the suggestions offered in chapter 12 of the text for help in develop this aid(s). Think carefully about the information you place on it, how you design it, and when you will choose to use it in the speech. Practice with the visual!

Before you get into researching and organizing your speech too deeply, you will need to turn in a brief outline to help ensure that you have narrowed your topic sufficiently. While narrowing your topic, you will want to consider the general purpose of an informative speech: will you offer novel or new information, extend existing understandings, or update information?

The outline should follow the general guidelines, but in addition, it should identify where you will use your visual aid(s) and include your references in MLA or APA style at the bottom or on a separate sheet.

Checklist for grading:

  • Topic & approach appropriate for audience
  • Offer new or expanded information about topic
  • Use of at least 2 outside sources
  • Supporting material relevant, recent, & credible
  • Use of helpful, appropriate visual aid(s)
  • Easy to follow organizational structure
  • Attention getting introduction
  • Memorable, effective conclusion
  • Within 5-6 minute time limit
  • Sufficient outline which includes reference citations