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Speech Assignment Research Guide

A guide to finding sources for your speech.

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

The goal of an argumentative speech is to present both sides of an issue and get the audience to accept his/her point of view supported by credible evidence and valid reasoning. In essence, it is similar to a debate. It offers several claims for one side while acknowledging that there are valid counterclaims from the opposition. It is important to maintain fairness and an unbiased approach while explore multiple sides of the argument.

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