Informative Speaking

Official Description: An original, factual speech by the student on a realistic subject to fulfill the general aim to inform the audience.

Visuals may or may not be used to supplement and reinforce the message. Multiple sources should be used and cited in the development of the speech. Notes are permitted. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes.

What you should expect to get out of this event:

  1. You will learn a great deal about an interesting topic.
  2. You will learn how to research a topic to find useful information.
  3. You will learn how to structure information for clear and effective presentation.
  4. You will enjoy sharing your observations and insights with coaches and team members in rehearsal, and with audiences in competition.
  5. You will learn greater control of your voice and body, making both more expressive.
  6. You will learn self-control and poise under pressure.
  7. You will read more widely and perceptively, sorting and gathering material which you can use in your speech.
  8. You will develop your memory, learning to depend on it to provide you with the latest version of your speech.
  9. You will learn to become a better observer of the world around you, staying alert for information and viewpoints that will make you a better thinker and speaker.
  10. You will come to a better understanding of yourself, searching your own experience to help you find worthwhile things to say.
  11. You will learn a lot by watching excellent speakers.

Special features of this event in competition:

The INF event is usually the largest of the public address events. In the first tournaments, the good speakers are those who have been working over the summer. Late in the semester the event gets much larger, because students in college speech courses are encouraged to enter - sometimes whole classes enter. Most of these are not competitive, but some are good. The best informative speeches improve and develop over a long series of tournaments. Visual aids are often used; if so, they should be very well done, with a professional look (figure a minimum of a week to plan and construct them).

What you will do to be competitive in this event:

Initial preparation: about 4 weeks

  1. select the Informative event
  2. find a good topic area 2-3 days
  3. do some preliminary research 1-2 days
  4. develop an effective thesis statement 1 day
  5. create preliminary outline 1 day
  6. extensive research to support outline points 1 week
  7. write the speech 2-3 days
  8. rewrite for timing and polish 2 days
  9. memorize the speech 2 days
  10. practice delivery 4-5 days

Between-tournament preparation:

  1. Additional research to strengthen, keep up-to-date
  2. Rewrite to strengthen, clarify
  3. Re-memorize new version
  4. Continue practicing delivery

Hints for finding good topics:

A good INF topic is one that we know little of, yet which touches all of us. Your goal is to help the listener understand something that affects them, but of which they know little. There are two kinds of topics that are so often used it is best to avoid them: obscure diseases, and obscure scientific discoveries. Better to find a topic that is more every-day, but still little understood.