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IDS 115 Public Speaking

Different kinds of speeches

Types of Speeches

An informative speech gives us unbiased, factual information on a topic, person, event, or concept. The goal is to educate the audience without an opinion, judgment, or intent to change the audience's attitude. The informative speech should enlighten listeners on a subject that is non-controversial. Types of informative speeches include:
  • Demonstrating to an audience how to do something such as changing a tire, or downloading a file.
  • Describing a particular activity, object, person, or place. Examples would be a piece of artwork, the Great Wall of China, or the basic rules of a sport.
  • Concept speeches which focus on a belief, idea, or theory. Topics such as Christianity, the Big Bang Theory, or non-violent protesting would be appropriate.
A persuasive speech proposes to change your beliefs or actions on a particular issue. The presenter takes a side and gives his/her opinion on why something is good/bad, right/wrong, moral/immoral, or justified/unjustified. The topics tend to be debatable and the speech itself should have a convincing tone. While the objective is to sway your audience, it is important to have factual evidence to support your point of view. Common examples of persuasive public speaking include:
  • A politician running for office or re-election
  • A lawyer or prosecutor trying to convince a jury
  • The benefits of physical activity
  • The importance of getting a college education

A reflective essay is an essay in which the writer examines his or her experiences in life. The writer then writes about those experiences, exploring how he or she has changed, developed or grown from those experiences.

  1. A time when you were disappointed or discouraged by something someone said.
  2. When someone showed you that they were proud of you.
  3. A moment when you knew you were in love.
  4. When you first met a new family member.


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