Informative Speeches By The Numbers

Informative speech
An informative speech tells the audience about people, places, processes, events, ideas, or things without attempting to persuade them. The purpose is to tell them about something in a clear, easy-to-understand, and memorable way.

When it comes to public speaking, there are several ways to deliver information. The type of speech you choose depends on your intent and topic.

You deliver a persuasive speech when trying to convince your audience of something. When trying to impart factual information, you deliver an informative speech.

What is An Informative Speech?

Informative speeches have a very specific purpose – to present information on a particular topic and related details. The subject matter should not require interpretation or be subject to dispute.

  • “The office is two blocks down on the right.”
  • “A new restaurant opened on Second Street.”
  • “First, you make an incision. Second, you insert the needle.” 

These may seem simplistic, but they are all examples of informative speaking. Opinions are not involved, the statements cannot be refuted, and they provide information that the audience may otherwise not be aware.

Informative speech - business data

Similarly, an informative speech provides information that educates the audience on an unfamiliar topic without attempting to persuade or convince them.

What Should You Include In Informative Speeches

Most informative speech topics fall into one of four categories:

1. Concepts

Delivering an informative speech on a concept can be tricky. The topics can be abstract and lend themselves easily to persuasive rhetoric.

Concepts are generally theories, ideas, or beliefs. Examples of concepts that can be addressed with an informative speech are religion, political party principles, scientific theories, or civil rights.

2. Events

These are things that have happened or will happen. The information presented must be relatable, provide context, and be relatable to the audience.

Examples of events that might be addressed are elections, past or future, historical events, or traditional holiday celebrations.

Informative speech on George Floyd discusses the event, not the politics
Informative speech on George Floyd discusses the event, not the politics

3. Processes 

An informative speech related to a process will lay things out in a step-by-step or how-to manner. It might be done demonstrative way if the topic lends itself to that.

Examples of processes that might be addressed are how to achieve your master’s degree, how your food goes from farm to grocery store, or the scientific method.

4. Objects 

This is the most straightforward of the topic categories. Speeches about objects deal with people, places, or things. Since any object can have many aspects, it’s best to narrow your speech to one area.

Examples of objects to address with an informative speech are Mars, Bill Gates, or artificial intelligence.

Informative speech on Mars

What Are The Types Of Informative Speeches?

There isn’t universal agreement on how many different types of informative speech there are. The number of categories ranges from 3-7. There are, however, 4 primary categories of informative speech that are universally recognized.

They are:

1. Descriptive speech

A descriptive speech uses factual information to paint the audience a picture of a topic. This type of speech uses clear and vivid language that allows a person to accurately visualize what’s being discussed.

2. Explanatory speech

This type of speech will provide new or updated information regarding a process, concept, or issue. It may be an overview of steps or historical evolution of the topic.

3. Definition speech

A definitional speech seeks to explain an unfamiliar topic to an audience. Topics appropriately addressed by definitional speeches vary, but the goal of the speech remains the same – providing factual information to an audience that includes historical context and modern relevance.

4. Demonstrative speech

Similar to an explanatory speech, a demonstrative speech may provide step-by-step information. Still, in this case, visual aids are incorporated. Materials utilized will vary depending on the topic. Still, the aim is to provide the audience visual instruction on how something is accomplished.

There is disagreement on whether a demonstrative speech is genuinely informative or a category of its own. The claim is that actual informative speech discusses a process without specific how-to information, leaving that territory to the demonstrative speech.

Informative speech topics are addressed by utilizing one of the informative speech styles above. They employ the best elements of communication.

What Are The 10 Steps To Writing An Informative Speech?

Organization of material is crucial to both writing and delivering an informative speech.

Because the information is factual, presenting your subject matter must be clear, easy to follow, and concise to keep the audience’s attention.

Below are steps that will help you go from concept to delivery of your informative speech.

1. Select a topic

Begin by selecting a topic. Good informative speech topics will be those that you find interesting or specific topics with which you have personal experience.

Informative speech topics - select one and narrow it down

If your topic is broad, narrow it down to the most intriguing or pertinent aspect and focus on that.

Once you have a topic, determine which of the 4 general topic categories it falls into.

2. Research your chosen topic

Regardless of your familiarity, you’ll need to thoroughly research your chosen topic. The more expertise you develop on the subject, the more comfortable you’ll be when delivering your speech.

Focus on areas specific to the aspect you intend to present.

For instance, if your topic is climate change, you could discuss it from a historical perspective, causal perspective, ways to combat it, or future related issues. But because speeches generally have a time limit, discussing all aspects is likely too much and could be exhausting for your audience.

Instead, focus on a specific area and cover it thoroughly. Be sure that your research utilizes credible sources and the appropriate citations.

Citations will be verbally referenced within your speech. If using specific information or research done by someone else during your speech, failure to cite your source is tantamount to plagiarism.

Delivering a well-researched speech on climate change

3. Consider your audience

How you cover your topic, the level of detail, and your delivery will be determined in part by the audience you’re addressing. Speaking to students in high school, for instance, is different than talking to college students.

4. Develop a thesis statement

Once you’ve researched and have your supporting material, you must develop a thesis statement.

The purpose of the thesis statement is to inform your audience of the topic, aspects of the subject, and the goal of your speech. This sets the direction for your speech and lets the audience know what they should expect to gain by listening.

A strong thesis statement should be preceded by an attention-getter.

An attention-getter is a statement that piques your audience members’ attention. It can be a tease, story, rhetorical question, or dramatic comment followed by the thesis statement.

Delivery of an attention-getter needs to be well practiced and done in a compelling, intriguing, and entertaining way. This will set the tone for what’s to come.

5. Create an outline

Before creating your speech’s body, develop an outline of what you intend to cover. Creating a speech outline will ensure that you have the main points you intend to cover laid out in a way that makes sense and doesn’t overlook anything.

Two types of outlines can help you prepare for your speech – the complete sentence outline and the speaking outline.

The complete sentence outline is helpful as you organize information before writing your speech. The speaking outline is an aid for you when delivering your speech. Both serve important purposes and should be part of your preparation.

6. Write a draft

Once the outline is complete, and the main points addressed, writing the draft of your speech is the next step.

Your draft should have an introduction, body, and conclusion pertaining to your speech topic’s central idea. More on that is below.

7. Evaluate your tone

When the draft is complete, read it, considering your audience and the tone of your speech. The tone should be appropriate for the audience and suitable for keeping their attention. This means that while the speech itself should be informative (using an informative tone), how you deliver it may also be humorous, assertive, energetic, and academic. Or it may change from one tone to another depending upon the aspect you’re covering.

The goal is to maintain the audience’s attention and interest. So, as the speaker you need to connect and engage personally and not just through the material.

8. Edit

There is no such thing as a final first draft. Editing your speech for tone and clarity will be required. Reading it out loud is one of the best ways to determine what needs editing. Hearing what you’ve written and how it sounds when spoken can illuminate areas that need to be reworked.

9. Practice

Once you have your speech finalized, it’s time to practice. Not just the words and saying them but also your delivery. An effective speech isn’t only about the information being provided but also about how it’s imparted. So, practicing means working on speaking skills like regular eye contact, speech pace, and effective use of pauses.

Informative speech - practice makes perfect

10. Commit to memory

The final step in preparing your speech is committing it to memory. Being a strong informative speaker or public speaker of any kind means relying minimally on notes and your speaking outline and comfortably delivering the information to the audience.

What Are The Three 3 Main Parts Of The Informative Speech?

Step 6 of preparing your informative speech is writing a draft. Because what you write is ultimately what you’ll deliver, it bears a deeper look at how that should be structured.

Any informative speech or essay will have the following three components:

  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion

This structure is helpful for both you and the audience as a road map for understanding where things are going and the connections between them.


Your introduction should incorporate an attention-getter, a thesis statement, a brief preview of what the audience will gain by the end of the speech, and a transition to the body of the speech.

In any speech, you have precious few seconds, in the beginning, to hook them and give them a reason to pay attention. For this reason, your introduction should be dynamic and exciting.

It should also contain a smooth transition to the body of your speech.


The body of your speech will address the main points of your topic. As a rule of thumb, you should present at least two main points in order of importance and concisely in a time-conscious manner.

Organizing the information in your speech’s body is typically done using one of four organizational patterns.

  • Topic order
  • Chronological order
  • Causal order
  • Spatial order

Which organizational pattern you choose will depend upon which is best suited to your topic.

Informative speech delivery


Once the main points have been covered, the conclusion is the natural next step. A strong conclusion will:

  • Review your thesis
  • Connect the main points to the thesis
  • Leave the audience feeling interested in your topic

Like the introduction, the conclusion should be dynamic, interesting, and engaging. This means putting a personal touch and flair to things.

Lorin Harrott

After years as a professional speaker and corporate trainer,Lorin Harrott has turned her attention to sharing her knowledge through writing. She's currently a writer, photographer, and mom in Sacramento, CA, with occasional speaking engagements related to education and STEM topics in the public school system.

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