This section Principles of Public Speaking: Informative Speeches talks about the format of speech that is primarily focused on informing the audience. It will explain to you the simple process of an informative speech as well as give you some tips on how to make your informative speeches more engaging.
As a leader there are times when you have to speak to inform your team about new products, processes and other new initiatives by your organization.
The purpose of such speeches is to educate in general, aiding your team in their jobs or roles within the organization with the newly obtained information.
However, the nature of informative speeches is such that they are data heavy, and often the restless listener can drift away unknowingly from too much information.
Therefore, you have to be a very well trained speaker to engage the audience throughout the whole session despite having some data-heavy material.
Principles of Public Speaking
The Process of Informative Speeches
1. Provide the motivation by answering the “why?”
Before you can motivate a person to receive the information, you have to explain why they have to do so.
Maybe this new information will help them be more effective in their work? Maybe this new initiative by the government will change the way you do business?
Whatever it is, tell them why you’re teaching it first. If you don’t take this most important first-step, you’ll find that the audience quickly shuts down after you are 4-5 minutes only into your presentation.
I have worked in a big corporation before that required me to learn a lot of IT processes as well as sales processes.
Because my managers did not take this step: they assumed that I am naturally motivated to learn, I found myself daydreaming very quickly midway into the speech.
No matter what, there’s always a reason you’re teaching them this new information.
Tell them why you’re doing so and better yet, how it would benefit them to obtain this new information.
2. Illustrate and Demonstrate
While you’re running through the facts, illustrate and demonstrate each step as much as possible.
People will absorb the new information faster if they can see a graph, watch a live demonstration rather than have everything told to them in theory.
Also, constantly get feedback from your audience about whether they understand what you are doing.
Remember that in your crowd there are both fast and slow learners. You have to cater to the slowest learner in this case because it is important that everyone understands.
3. Conclude by repeating
As you conclude your speech, provide a brief summary of what you have just said, and once again remind them of the “why” they’re learning this information.
If your information is quite complex, do take the time to repeat it step by step again and ask for feedback or questions at the end, so that any doubts about it can be cleared up.
Principles of Public Speaking
More Tips on Informative Speeches
1. Share only the important information
Because the potential for the audience to lose their attention is high, you have to be very careful about everything you say.
Look through your presentation again and decide which parts of the information can be omitted, and pare it down a few times to its bare essentials.
2. Start with the most important information
For the same reason, start your presentation with the most important information down to the least important or use a chronological order, starting from earliest to latest.
3. Use visuals
If the information is crucial or complex, use visual aids like powerpoint to illustrate your point.
Graphs, data tables with interpretation, photos, videos would assist your audience in retaining the information.
4. Small group discussion
If your presentation topic allows for discussion, consider breaking your audience into groups to talk about it.
When they actually regurgitate or share the information they just learnt, they will more likely retain the information well.