Delivering an informative speech: 7 key tips every speaker should follow
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Delivering an informative speech: 7 key tips every speaker should follow

Delivering an informative speech seems somehow easier than giving a big sales pitch or giving a speech at a conference.

There are all sorts of speeches in the world that seem difficult (persuasive, impromptu, etc.), and therefore giving an informative speech seems like a piece of cake.

However, here’s the challenge. If you’re trying to communicate with people, it’s not about the information coming out of your mouth and it’s not necessarily about the information on the PowerPoint slides. Mostly, it’s about the information your audience understands and can remember.

So, never lose sight of that. You’ve got to really figure out how can you convey this information.

How do you deliver an informative speech?

Here is a brief overview of what you should keep in mind in order to deliver a great speech.

#1 Be memorable The main goal of your speech is to deliver your message as clearly as possible and to be memorable
#2 Brainstorm all the ideas you want to communicate Brainstorm ideas that you should be able to communicate in 10 seconds, or less 10 words or less.
#3 Isolate the ideas you want people to remember These should be your main ideas or information you want people to understand and remember.
#4 No more than five key points for the speech
Quite often people don’t remember anything, or they remember two or three points from the speech. Therefore keep your speech focused on no more than five key points of information.
#5 Avoid providing too much information The biggest problem most people have when they’re giving speeches is they just throw it all out there and try to talk about an hour’s worth of information for 20 minutes.
#6 Practice your speech and practice with the video camera The best thing about practicing in front of a video camera is that it gives you honest feedback about what to improve.
#7 Test your speech beforehand Take your video that you’re proud of and send it to three or four people who are similar to the audience you’ll be speaking to in real life. Ask them to watch it once and give you feedback.

Additional reading:

What is the purpose of an informative speech?

Now, tet’s dive in and see how to get your audience to understand you and to remember your message(s).

#1 The main purpose of an informative speech is to be Memorable

So, here’s the dirty little secret: It’s incredibly easy to give an informational speech.

BUT: It’s much harder when a transfer of information, from your brain into the brains and memories of the audience, is required.

That’s why your focus should not just be giving a speech, but also giving an effective informational speech.

So, you need to remember that the main goal of your speech is to deliver your message as clearly as possible and to be memorable. Your audience wants to know exactly what information you have.

How do you write a good informative speech?

The good news is that you don’t have to be wildly entertaining while delivering an informational speech. Remember:

  • You’re not the comedian for the night.
  • You don’t have to be incredibly charming during your speech
  • You’re not the master of ceremonies

Nevertheless, we still need a specific goal for this speech.

#2 Brainstorm all the ideas you want to communicate

I do not recommend that you sit down and just try to type a 20-page speech. For some people, it’s easier to sit back, relax and have a notepad. You may want to take notes on your phone or tablet. It doesn’t really matter.

But rather than thinking in terms of entire paragraphs and flow, brainstorm ideas that you should be able to communicate in 10 seconds, or less 10 words or less.

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Just start brainstorming on every idea on your topic that you might want to communicate to the audience.

Some things to remember:

  • Don’t check things out
  • Don’t scrutinize
  • Don’t be critical
  • Dump it all out there

#3 Isolate the ideas you want people to remember

After brainstorming, you have to figure out the messages you want to communicate in this informational speech.

Therefore, usually, it takes a lot of time to isolate the ideas, messages, and information you want people to understand and remember.

Next, figure out now how to make this information memorable.

It’s just this basic, low-level goal of trying to communicate information in a way that people can digest.

#4 No more than five key points for the speech

An exercise for you: think of the best speaker you’ve seen give an speech in the last few years.

If you had to recall, how many numbers, facts or bits of information do you remember?

I’ve asked this question for years and quite often people don’t remember anything, or they remember two or three points. Occasionally, someone will remember five ideas or five bits of information from the best speaker.

That’s the main reason I am suggesting to keep your speech focused on no more than five key points of information.

#5 Avoid providing too much information

The biggest problem most people have when they’re giving speeches is they give away too much information. They just throw it all out there and try to talk about an hour’s worth of information for 20 minutes.

This kind of speech is abstract and disconnected.

Since there are no examples, no case studies and no stories, nobody remembers anything.

Additional reading:

How to prepare for an informative speech?

#6 Practice your speech and practice with the video camera

In order to figure out whether your speech is any good  – and whether you can deliver it properly – it is important to practice. The less time you prepare and practice, the greater the probability that no one will listen to and retain what you have to say.

Practice in front of a video camera

The best way to see how you look and sound is to practice in front of a video camera. If you are a bit lazy and skip that part then there’s an excellent chance you’re never going to improve.

The best thing about practicing in front of a video camera is that, unlike your friends, it does not kill you with kindness by saying, “Hey, best speech ever!” It gives you honest feedback about what to improve.

Here are some tips regarding how to practice your speech in front of a video camera:

  • Watch yourself and write down everything you liked about your first try
  • Write down everything you didn’t like about this speech
  • If you finished, do it again, and this time, try to avoid the mistakes you wrote down earlier.
  • Keep practicing until you are satisfied with what you see and hear

If you do this, you’re going to be in good shape.

Additional reading:

#7 Test your speech beforehand

The good news about informational speeches is that they are very easy to test, whether it works or not.

Send your video to a couple of people

Now, if you’ve done what I’ve asked thus far, I want you to take that last video that you’re proud of and send it to three or four people who are similar to the audience you’ll be speaking to in real life. Ask them to watch it once and to call you right away.

Ask them to tell you the messages they remember from the speech

Ask them, “Tell me…what messages do you remember from my speech? What are the main takeaways?”

It’s completely irrelevant whether or not they liked your speech or found you charismatic or charming. You’re simply trying to figure out if they retained the information.

Did they throw back in your face those five ideas that were important (at least at some conceptual level)?

If so, congratulations! You are five for five and that’s a one hundred present success rate. There’s not a professional speaker in the entire world who can ever do better than that.

If they don’t remember your message(s), you have failed

However, if they remember only a couple of those messages (or none) and they’re just telling you, “You’re great and fantastic,” that means you failed.

That means you now have empirical evidence that the way you conveyed the information in your presentation didn’t work.

You need to take your speech, tear it up, throw it away and start again. If your audience doesn’t remember your messages, it’s not their fault – it is your fault.

Final words about delivering an informational speech

I am sure that if you follow these tips about how to give an effective speech, you will deliver a great speech in the future.

What I hope you really took away is the idea that it’s not about what comes out of your mouth or even if you have great eye contact. It’s about whether or not people understand and remember the information you are trying to convey.

You’re going to really use your judgment to figure out one of the handfuls of ideas that this audience really has to know, and then spend your time making it more understandable and memorable with examples, case studies, and stories.

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Who is Janek Tuttar?

My name is Janek Tuttar, and I am the founder and author of Speak and Conquer website.

I have been teaching public speaking at Estonian Entrepreneurship University of Applied Sciences

Here, I am sharing the wisdom of how to cope in different public speaking situations.

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Janek Tuttar

Hi! My name is Janek Tuttar, and I am the founder and author of SpeakAndConquer.com.

I have been teaching and blogging about public speaking since spring 2007. Here, I am sharing the wisdom of how to cope in different public speaking situations.

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