Tips for Informative Speaking
Analyze the audience. What can the audience be reasonably expected to know? If talking to a field of medical professional about cloning, they likely know the basics of DNA. An audience of lay people might not be so fluent in the language of biomedical engineering, and so basic concepts like this will have to be explained. Never presume that an audience has a thorough background in the subject.
Use appropriate language. What are the norms for speaking style for the audience? If they expect lots of jargon and specialized language, the speech should be peppered with such language or else the audience will feel like they are being talked down to. If the audience is unfamiliar with these technical terms, avoid using them or introduce them with an explanation of what they mean.
Explain the importance of the topic. Why should the audience listen? Will this information improve their lives in some meaningful way? Especially with a captive--involuntary--audience, a speaker must establish a connection between their topic and the interests of the audience.
Express interest in the subject material. Why should an audience listen if the speaker seems just as bored as they do? A speaker who confesses their own interest in the topic might activate the audience to share a similar interest.
Show, don't tell. Don't most people learn through doing or seeing? Being told about a process, like cloning, could be informative, but probably not have as great an impact as being shown the process with pictures or perhaps even lab equipment. Informative speeches often benefit from a demonstration or visual aid. Technology can assist "showing" when the subject is not easily brought physically into the room (imagine the troubles of an informative speech on the sun if a prop was required!)
Be specific. Informative speeches thrive on detail, and dive on generalities. If speaking about basket weaving, carefully note what types of weaving materials work and do not work for basket making. Audiences are often impressed by detail, but be careful not to become so detail-oriented that the big picture of the speech is lost (missing the forest for the trees).
Tips for Persuasive Speaking
What is a Commemorative Speech?
Commemorative speeches are sometimes known as "ceremonial" or "epideictic" speeches. At the most basic level, commemorative speeches pay tribute or praise a person, an institution, an event, idea, or place. Their focus is on VALUES. All societies hold certain values central to human existence: beauty, loyalty, wisdom, kindness, tradition, success, innocence, experience, and courage, for example. The commemorative speech will celebrate these values. Types of commemorative speeches include the eulogy, the speech of nomination, the speech of goodwill, the wedding toast, and the award acceptance speech.
Please note that the commemorative speech is not just informative. Thus, a speaker would not just give a biography of Ghandi, but rather would celebrate who he was, why he was worthy of praise, and encourage the audience to celebrate those values.
Commemorative Speaking and the Future
Often, the inspiring commemorative speech goes beyond celebrating past or present accomplishments to give the audience hope for the future. For example, in 1986, when Ronald Reagan gave his now famous eulogy for the Challenger astronauts, he not only praised Christa MacAuliffe and the deceased astronauts, he gave the people of the United States a message of hope for the future of the space program—that it would not die with this mission, but would continue to thrive. Consider how the speaker can link past, present, and future in a commemorative speech.
As you may have guessed, language becomes an essential part of effective commemorative speeches. Using stories, illustrations, and figurative language helps the audience to share your experience.
Note that it is difficult to pay tribute to trivial topics. Therefore, a commemorative speech on, say, “tailgating parties” would not be appropriate. This speech is about what is most important to society --honor, trust, gentleness, etc.