At first glance, an informative speech may seem like the simplest type of presentation. The basis of an informative speech is to introduce a topic to the audience and then describe or explain it. It sounds fairly straightforward, but special care must be given to selecting a topic or the entire speech may not be well received.
Informative speeches can easily become boring for an audience for several reasons. First, the speaker should be sure not to present a topic which is already well known, or the audience will quickly lose interest. The topic should be something the audience has never encountered, or at least include new and exciting information on a familiar topic. Speakers should remember, when preparing the speech, that their own level of interest will become apparent during delivery of the presentation. In other words, if the speaker is bored by the topic, the audience will feel bored as well.
Knowing the audience is a primary factor in choosing an informative speech topic. The speaker should consider the age, knowledge level, subculture, and other demographics of his listeners when preparing the speech. It is important to present information which is neither too elementary nor too difficult for the audience to comprehend. The chosen topic should reflect the interests of the audience, and should be intriguing to them without rehashing information they already know. For example, college students may be interested in a topic on alcohol use, but they are already very familiar with a topic like the dangers of drinking and driving. In this case the speaker might concentrate his topic on the health benefits of red wine. This way, he has chosen a topic which interests the audience, but is likely to present new information which will not bore his listeners.
Finally, speakers should consider time limits when choosing an informative speech topic. A topic should be covered thoroughly enough that the audience feels as if most of their questions on the topic have been answered. On the other hand, a tight time restriction may prevent the speaker from adequately covering a very intricate topic. When time is limited, a subject which requires lengthy explanation should be avoided. The audience should leave an informative speech feeling as if they’ve gained new insight on a topic. It is good if they are interested in doing their own research to learn more about the subject, but they should never leave the presentation feeling confused or unclear about what they have just heard.
Informative Speech Topics
If you are looking for some ideas on informative speech topics, please see our list of informative speeches.