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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Informative Speaking: General Lesson Overview

Feel free to add observations, ideas, additional concepts
or to respond and ask questions about specifics in this overview.

For additional insight into informative speech

II.             Informative Speaking
A.   Applications
1.     Workplace
a.     Often ranked most important skill for many professions
b.     Many workers use informative speaking, in public or interpersonal, “almost constantly.”
2.     Wide Range of Other Everyday Situations
a.     The ability to convey knowledge and information is valuable in all aspects of life
b.     The ability to listen to and identify information is valuable in decision making and framing knowledge
B.    Three Criteria for effective informative speaking
1.     Communicate accurately
2.     Communicate clearly
3.     Made meaningful to the receiver
4.     Made interesting to the receiver
C.    Goal to share or convey knowledge and/or information
D.   Can be persuasive in that it provides new information
1.     Goal is not to persuade
2.     But any knowledge can shift a persons perspectives
3.     Should educate but not advocate
4.     Avoid words such as “should” or “ought” or “need”
E.    Is about sharing knowledge and ideas
1.     For mutual understanding
2.     Social or Political purpose
a.     Why is its importance for your audience
b.     What will be gained through this information
c.     How does it effect or interact with human priorities
d.     How does it effect or interact with the human condition
3.     Education and Enrichment
a.     How will audience benefit
b.     Will it improve understanding
c.     Will it result in a better life or world
d.     How does it interface with other information
4.     Present reasonable knowledge
5.     Present responsible knowledge
6.     Present balances information
7.     Persuasive only in
a.     Advancing information base
b.     No strong point of view
c.     No call for action
d.     Balanced and as unbiased as possible
F.    Sharing ideas and information is an integral part of the human condition
1.     Only human being have the linguistic and cognitive ability to accumulate, transmit and utilize complex information
2.     Shared information is essential to human progress and survival
3.     Information is a powerful commodity for individual success

G.   Speeches that are primarily informative perform four basic functions
1.     Share information and ideas to teach and enhance understanding
2.     Reasonable knowledge to share information effectively
3.     Value can be considered on how new information is to audience
a.     Is topic significant enough for audience to care
b.     How much does audience already know about topic
c.     What more does the audience need to know
d.     Does speaker have significant enough understanding to communicate accurately with the audience
e.     Why should the audience listen
f.      How does it relate to other issues of importance to listeners
g.     Informative function to adapt information to the listeners
4.     Informative speeches can persuade
a.     By providing information that may shape perspectives or decisions
b.     By being selective in what is presented
c.     Though the bias of the speaker or editor
d.     By favoring or suggesting on interpretation over others
e.     By distorting information
f.      By interpreting the information for the listener
g.     By adding to the information library of the listener
h.     By providing new ideas and perspectives to the listener
i.      By properly navigating the Nose/filters of the receiver
j.      Information can shape the agenda or priority of decision makers
k.     Information can shape agendas or perspectives by preparing or laying the groundwork for future efforts to persuade.
l.      Information can clarify options
H.   Ethical speaking (applies to all forms of speech) involves
1.     Responsible knowledge
2.     Reasonable knowledge
3.     Covers all major reasonable options
4.     Covers all responsible options
5.     Is fair
6.     Is objective
7.     Keeps in mind the effect on the listeners
8.     Takes responsibility for the effect and response of listeners
I.      Learning principles can enhance the effectiveness of informative speaking
1.     Motivate to learn
a.     Relate topic to the needs and interests of the listeners
b.     Use direct examples and narratives
2.     Techniques to attract and sustain audience interest
a.     Intensity of language
b.     Artful repetition of key words, phrases, sounds, phrases
c.     Acronyms
d.     Novelty
e.     Physical activity
f.      Verbal activity
g.     Strong presentation aids (well used)
h.     Contrast (works because opposites attract attention)
i.      Vocal changes
j.      Stress relevance
k.     Invoke ideas and interests
3.     Information is useless unless the audience retains it
4.     Techniques for retention
a.     Repetition
b.     Key points
c.     Relevance (what’s in it for me: WIIFM)
d.     Well organized
e.     Use of visuals
f.      Use of acronyms
g.     Humor
J.     Four major types of informative speaking for complete understanding of the range and mission of informative speaking in communication
1.     Description
a.     Paint a clear picture of activities, objects, people, places
b.     Rely heavily on artful language use
c.     Commonly use special, categorical, comparative designs
d.     A mental picture of a topic, person, place, activity, etc.
e.     Drawing or creating a picture with words
2.     Demonstration
a.     Aim for understanding or Application
b.     Usually use sequential design
c.     Visual aids are usually required or desirable
d.     Show how it is done and often why
e.     An explanation of a specific process
f.      Actually shows how to do something
3.     Explanation
a.     Appropriate for complex or abstract applications
b.     Define critical terms
c.     Offer Examples and/or non-examples
d.     Seek the understanding of the audience
e.     May show how something works
f.      May show why something works
4.     Briefings
a.     Short explanations or descriptions
b.     Presented in an organized setting
c.     Brief and to the point
d.     Organized with audience in mind
e.     Organized with situational need in mind
f.      Organized with need to know in mind
g.     Rely on verified facts, figures, testimony
h.     Use short examples
i.      Presented with confidence
j.      Deal with questions forthrightly and honestly
k.     Be as informed as possible with questions in mind
K.   Another Four types of informative speeches 
1.     About Objects
a.     Describe something viable, tangible and stable in form
b.     Speeches about objects need to be sharply focused (you cannot convey everything to all people, have a specific purpose and limit the range of the speech)
c.     Speeches may take a variety of organizational forms (see Designs/ Organization below)
2.     About Processes
a.     A process is a systematic series of actions that leads to a specific result or product.
b.     Explain or Describe
How something is made
How something is done
How something works
c.     Goals
Organize better
Understand better
Or be able to do something themselves
d.     Often visual aids are needed
Charts can show process
Physical demonstration of steps in a process
Other as needed (see presentation and visual aids notes)
e.     Careful organization needed
Usually step by step in chronological order
May focus on major principles or techniques involved in performing the process, using a Topical organization
Each step in the process must be clear and easy to follow
Transitions between steps must be clear and assure audience understanding of previous and next steps.
3.     About Events
Any kind of happening or occurrence
i.               Occurrence may be historical event (Pearl Harbor, 9/11)
ii.              Occurrence may be historical movement or trend (Civil Rights, Women’s Suffrage, the Abolition of Slavery)
Examples personalize the events (real is best, but hypothetical will work as well)
Humanize the event as much as possible
Show relevance to the audience
Show relevance to current day
iii.            Occurrence may be everyday in nature     (dancing, waiting on customers, cooking dinner, chronic fatigue syndrome)
4.     About Concepts
i.               Convey information concerning beliefs, theories principles or other abstract subjects
ii.              Usually in topical order, but not required
iii.            Enumerate main features or ideas alternative structure
iv.             Define the concept, major elements and use examples to illustrate (third alternative structure)
v.              Compare and contrast competing schools of thought or approaches (fourth alternative)
vi.             Other (see structures and designs)
vii.           Be sure to define concepts clearly, terms in ways the audience can understand. Avoid cluttering with too many technical concepts or taking leaps beyond what is important to your presentation or discussion.
viii.          Consider using examples and comparisons to make concepts understandable
b.     Speeches may include all of the above or even other elements

L.    Designs/ Organization structures
1.     See previous week’s note postings
2.     See textbook (as always)
3.     Use appropriate and best design for your topic / goals
4.     All designs may be used but the four best for informative are
a.     Spatial
b.     Sequential
c.     Categorical
d.     Comparative
e.     Causation
5.     Spatial Design
a.     Effective for describing places, locations or locating subjects within a physical setting
b.     Ordered by physical location or size, or special relationship or connection
c.     Determine a starting point and proceed in an orderly manner
d.     Complete patterns of descriptions to satisfy an audience need for closure
6.     Sequential Design
a.     Move audiences through time
b.     Effective for showing times steps
c.     Effective for showing change over time
d.     Effective for placing in historical perspective
e.     See previous notes and text for types of sequential design
f.      Includes random sequence, sequence, motivated sequence and chronological designs
g.     Chronological puts main points in order of time
h.     Sequential orders main points in terms of place in a particular process or puts them into a numbered order so that the audience may follow a process
7.     Categorical Design
a.     Appropriate for subjects with natural or customary divisions
b.     Suggested that 2 to 5 categories be used
c.     Begin and end with the most interesting categories
d.     Tie category relationships together
e.     See previous notes and text for additional information
f.      Main points do not have to have an inherent relation to each other
8.     Comparative Designs
a.     Helpful with new, abstract or difficult subjects
b.     Helpful for describing changes
c.     Helpful contrasting differing issues and proposals
d.     Best to relate one topic to something the audience already understands
e.     There are three types of comparative design
1.     A literal analogy draws subjects from the same field of expertise
2.     A figurative analogy draws subjects form differing fields of expertise
3.     Comparison and contact design points to similarities and/or differences
9.     Causation Design
a.     Explains a situation, condition, or event in terms of the causes that led up to it.
b.     See previous notes and text for types of causation design
M.  Steps in preparation for an informative speech
1.     Brainstorm on topic selection
2.     Select and analyze a topic
a.     Choose a worthwhile topic
b.     Choose a topic you care about
c.     Choose a topic that can meet the requirements for the speech assignment or situation
d.     Adapt your topic so that it is interesting and relevant
e.     Limit your topic to something that can be handled in the time, situation or environment provided for the speech
f.      Determine, private and public purpose
g.     Determine thesis (proposed, be open to change)
3.     Develop responsible knowledge on the subject
a.     Review what you already know
b.     Use the library to expand what you know’
c.     Use other research tools to develop your knowledge
d.     Seek out the required amount of academic and non-academic sources
e.     Gather evidence including:
f.      Find facts, figures, testimony, examples and narratives to add substance to your speech
4.     Adapt the topic to the audience
5.     Organize your materials
a.     Select the proper structure
b.     Determine your main points
c.     Usually select between two and five key points
d.     Arrange the points to make the speech flow and easy to understand or follow
e.     Write the conclusion
f.      Write the introduction
6.     Outlining
a.     Prepare a formal outline (with sources shown)
b.     Make sure formal outline is detailed and reflects all of your research
c.     Shorten the outline
d.     Prepare a key word / key note / thumbnail presentation outline
e.     Write it out on note cards
f.      Practice, practice, practice
g.     Reduce the number of note cards if possible
7.     Practice
a.     At least ten times, more if possible
b.     Rule of thumb, one hour per minute minimum practice
c.     Practice using presentation aids
d.     Keep potential audience, environment, and situation in mind.
e.     Remember flash card principle for note cards (eliminate those you do not need).
N.   Five Guidelines for effective informative speaking as outlines in the text
1.     “Never overestimate the knowledge of your audience and Never underestimate their intelligence.”
a.     Do not overestimate what an audience knows
b.     Do not talk down to them either
c.     Best to explain things clearly and with as much passion and interest as you can for the topic
2.     Find ways to relate the subject directly to the audience
a.     Know that you need to gain their interests
b.     Know that they may not share your interests in the subject
c.     Get them interested and keep them interested
i.               Consider a creative introduction
ii.              Always answer WIIFM (what’s in it for me?)
iii.            Find ways to reengage the audience throughout the body of the speech
iv.             Give the audience a sense of pride, knowledge or closure in your conclusion
d.    Avoid being too technical
i.               Keep the audience in mind
ii.              Avoid jargon
iii.            Avoid technical terms
iv.             Explain the terms and concepts you do use, in plain English
v.              Know your audience (see audience analysis)
e.     Avoid Abstractions
i.               Specific easy to understand and relate to details make a speech more compelling
ii.              Colorful descriptions draw listeners in
iii.            Internal feelings described vividly and engagingly bring speech to live
iv.             Make it real!
v.              Comparisons allow the speaker to explain new ideas in concrete familiar terms
vi.             Contrast gives listeners a sense of perspective on concepts, events, ideas
f.      Personalize
i.               Use personal illustrations
ii.              Try to dramatize the ideas in human terms
iii.            Use examples (real of hypothetical, real is always preferred)

III.           Additional Informative Speaking Notes
A.    Presenting a speech in which the speaker seeks to deepen understanding, raise awareness, increase knowledge about a topic, idea or concept.
B.    Gatekeeping
1.     Monitoring news sources to analyze ad assess the information they produce
2.     Speaker or source determines that information filters through to the listeners (or at least is made available to the listener should they choose to listen, adapt, absorb or process the information
C.    An informative speech is meaningful
D.   An informative speech is accurate
1.     You do influence others by the material you present for their understading or review
2.     Carries the same ethical rules as persuasive
3.     Must be balanced or attempt to be balanced
4.     Use gatekeeping responsiblities
E.    An informative speech is clear
1.     Audiences need to understand the material
2.     Must have a WIIFM (What’s in it for me) aspect
3.     Adapt to interests, vocabulary and noise filters of audience
F.    Types of Informative Speeches
1.     Objects
2.     Places
3.     People
4.     Living Creatures
5.     Events
6.     Ideas or Concepts
7.     Factual subject matters
8.     Experiences
9.     Other
G.   Organizational Structures (review)
1.     Chronological: Sequential by time
2.     Spatial: Physical or Directional relationship
3.     Topical: divided into subtopics that address the components, aspects, elements of a topic.
4.     Narrative Pattern: Story
1.     Overlaps with other patterns (not used in most textbooks due to this overlap with sequential, spatial and other designs0
5.     Cause and Effect
a.     Usually used in persuasive speaking
b.     How and action produces a particular outcome
c.     Common in demonstration speaking
H.   Guidelines to Effective Informative Speeches
1.     Keep your speech informative
a.     This does not mean you cannot add color or opinion, just do not let it dominate the speech. Color or commentary can actually alienate some key audience members.
b.     Share why it interest you but do not seeek converts
c.     Keep audience in mind, they want to learn
d.     WIIFM is always key (what is in it for the audience)
2.     Make the speech come alive
a.     Positive attitude
b.     You must be interested in the topic an what you are saying
c.     Use vivid language, visuals, active words
d.     You are teaching, keep in mind the audience at all times
3.     Connect the topic to your audience
a.     Connect it to the audiences life and experiences
b.     Reinforce commonalities with audience
4.     Use presentation media to inform
a.     Support what you say
b.     Compliment what you say
c.     Make material memorable
d.     Allow audience to put into perspective
e.     Make concepts easier to understand
5.     Inform to educate
a.     show relevanc to audience lives
b.     WIIFM
c.     Informative speeches may persuade
1.     just by sharing new information
3.     by expanding the experience of audience
4.     by adding perspective for audience

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Anonymous said...

Very detailed & helpful.

Jill Pentkowski

Anonymous said...

good information

Anonymous said...

helpful and good information1

Anonymous said...

when it comes to informative speeches it helps to really know and care about what your are informing the audience about. it will make it more interesting and believable