We live in a world where communication is king.
With social media and all the digital stuff, we're bombarded with information constantly, and everyone is fighting for our attention.
Research shows that our attention spans have declined from 12 seconds to just 8.25 seconds in the past 15 years, even shorter than a goldfish's attention span.
So, the point is being able to get your point across quickly and effectively is a big deal. That’s where the invaluable skill of public speaking comes in handy.
But being a great speaker goes beyond just having confidence. It's about understanding different kinds of speeches and knowing which one works best for your audience and purpose.
In this blog, we will explore four main types of speeches (or types of public speaking), each with its own purpose and impact. By understanding these types, you can connect with your audience, cater to their needs, and deliver a message that resonates.
So, let’s dive right in:
- What is Speech?
- Importance of Public Speaking (7 Benefits)
- 4 Main Types of Public Speeches (With Examples)
- Other Types of Speeches
- Final Thoughts
What is Speech?
💡 A speech is a formal or informal presentation in which a person communicates their thoughts, ideas, or information to an audience. It is a spoken expression of thoughts, often delivered in a structured and organized manner.
Speeches can be delivered to serve various purposes, such as to persuade, educate, motivate, or entertain the audience.
People usually give speeches in public places, like meetings, conferences, classrooms, or special events, aiming to connect with and influence the listeners through their words.
A public speech may involve the use of supporting materials, such as visual aids, slides, or props, to enhance understanding and engagement.
The delivery of a speech encompasses not only the words spoken but also factors like the tone of voice, body language, and timing, which can greatly impact the overall effectiveness and reception of the message.
You may want to check out our short video on how to speak without hesitation.
Importance of Public Speaking (7 Benefits)
Public speaking is a superpower that transforms your life in more ways than you can imagine.
Here are 7 reasons why Public speaking is an invaluable skill:
- Effective Communication: Being a good public speaker helps you express yourself clearly and confidently. It allows you to share your knowledge, opinions, and ideas in a captivating manner.
- Professional Growth: Mastering public speaking gives you a competitive edge in the job market. It allows you to lead meetings, present ideas, negotiate deals, and pitch projects with confidence.
- Building Confidence: Overcoming the fear of public speaking and delivering successful presentations significantly boosts your self-confidence. With experience, you become more self-assured in various situations, both inside and outside of public speaking.
- Influence and Persuasion: A strong public speaker can inspire, motivate, and influence others. By effectively conveying your message, you can sway opinions, change attitudes, and drive positive change in your personal and professional circles.
- Leadership Development: Public speaking is a crucial skill for effective leadership. It enables you to inspire and guide others, lead meetings and presentations, and rally people around a common goal.
- Personal Development: Public speaking encourages personal growth and self-improvement. It pushes you out of your comfort zone, enhances your critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and helps you become a more well-rounded individual.
- Increased Visibility: The ability to speak confidently in public attracts attention and raises your visibility among peers, colleagues, and potential employers. This can lead to new opportunities, collaborations, and recognition for your expertise.
💡 Public speaking is a vital tool for social change.
History has shown us how influential speeches have shaped the world we live in. From Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech to Malala Yousafzai's advocacy for girls' education, public speaking has been at the forefront of inspiring change.
Your words have the power to challenge beliefs, ignite passion, and rally others around a cause.
So, if you have a message you want to share or a mission you want to pursue, mastering the art of public speaking is essential.
4 Main Types of Public Speeches
📎 The рrinсiрle рurроse оf delivering а sрeeсh fаlls intо fоur bаsiс саtegоries.
1. Informative Speech
💡 An informative speech is a type of public speaking that aims to educate or provide information to the audience about a specific topic. The main purpose of this speech is to present facts, concepts, or ideas in a clear and understandable manner.
Delivering an Informative Speech
In an informative speech, the speaker's objective is to provide knowledge, increase awareness, or explain a subject in detail.
To be informative, you need to structure your content in a way that's clear and easy to follow. The structure of an informative speech typically includes:
- an introduction where you grab the audience's attention and introduce the topic
- the body where you present the main points and supporting evidence
- a conclusion where you summarize the key information and emphasize your message.
- a Q&A session or a brief discussion to further deepen their understanding.
Informative speech could be formal or informal speech, depending on the context. However, it is helpful to maintain a conversational tone.
Use relatable examples, anecdotes, or even a touch of humor to keep your audience engaged and interested. Think of it as having a friendly chat with a group of curious friends.
Examples of Informative Speeches:
An Example of Informative Speech
- Academic Settings: Students may deliver presentations to educate their classmates. Teachers or instructors may explain a specific subject to students in schools, colleges, and universities.
- Business and Professional Presentations: In the corporate world, professionals may present information about industry trends, new technologies, market research, or company updates to inform and educate their colleagues or clients.
- Public Events and Conferences: Informative speeches are prevalent in public events and conferences where experts and thought leaders share their knowledge and insights with a broader audience.
- Ted Talks and Similar Platforms: TED speakers design their speeches to educate, inspire, and spread ideas that have the potential to make a positive impact on society.
- Community Gatherings: Informative speeches can be delivered at community gatherings where speakers may inform the community about local issues, government policies, or initiatives aimed at improving the community's well-being.
The beauty of informative speeches is their versatility; they can be adapted to different settings and tailored to suit the needs and interests of the audience.
2. Demonstrative Speech
💡 In a demonstrative speech, the main goal is to show how to do something or how something works. It is like giving a step-by-step guide or providing practical instructions.
The purpose of a demonstrative speech is to educate or inform the audience about a specific process, task, or concept.
It can be about anything that requires a demonstration, such as cooking a recipe, performing a science experiment, using a software program, or even tying a tie.
The key to a successful demonstrative speech is to be organized and concise.
When preparing for a demonstrative speech, you need to break down the process or technique into clear and easy-to-follow steps.
You need to make sure that your audience can grasp the concepts and replicate the actions themselves. Visual aids like props, slides, or even live demonstrations are incredibly helpful in illustrating your points.
A great demonstrative speech not only teaches but also inspires.
You need to ignite a sense of enthusiasm and curiosity in your audience. Encourage them to try it out themselves and apply what they've learned in their own lives.
Examples of Demonstrative Speeches:
An Example of Demonstrative Speech
- Educational Settings: Demonstrative speeches are often used in classrooms, workshops, or training sessions to teach students or participants how to perform specific activities. For instance, a teacher might give a demonstrative speech on how to conduct a science experiment, play a musical instrument, or solve a math problem.
- Professional Training: In the workplace, a trainer might give a demonstrative speech on how to use a new software application, operate a piece of machinery, or follow safety protocols.
- DIY and Home Improvement: Demonstrative speeches are commonly seen in DIY (do-it-yourself) videos, TV shows, or workshops where experts demonstrate how to complete tasks like painting a room, fixing plumbing issues, or building furniture.
- Culinary Demonstrations: Demonstrative speeches are prevalent in the culinary world, where chefs or cooking experts showcase recipes and cooking techniques.
Overall, a demonstrative speech is a practical and hands-on type of speech that aims to educate, inform, and empower the audience by teaching them how to perform a particular task or skill.
3. Persuasive Speech
💡 A persuasive speech is when the speaker tries to convince the audience to adopt or support a particular point of view, belief, or action. In a persuasive speech, the speaker aims to influence the audience's opinions, attitudes, or behaviors.
You may present arguments and evidence to support your viewpoint and try to persuade the listeners to take specific actions or simply agree with you.
You have to use persuasive techniques such as logical reasoning, emotional appeals, and credibility to make your case.
Let me break it down for you.
- First, you need a clear and persuasive message. Identify your objective and what you want to achieve with your speech. Once you have a crystal-clear goal, you can shape your arguments and craft your speech accordingly.
- Secondly, you need to connect with your audience on an emotional level. You may use stories, anecdotes, and powerful examples to evoke emotions that resonate with your audience.
- Thirdly, you need to present compelling evidence, facts, and logical reasoning to support your arguments. Back up your claims with credible sources and statistics.
- Additionally, the delivery of your speech plays a crucial role in persuasion. Your body language, tone of voice, and overall presence should exude confidence and conviction.
- Lastly, end your persuasive speech with a call to action. Whether it's signing a petition, donating to a cause, or changing a behavior, make it clear what steps you want your audience to take.
Examples of Persuasive speeches:
An Example of Persuasive Speech
- Political speeches: Politicians ****often deliver persuasive speeches to win support for their policies or convince people to vote for them.
- Sales and marketing presentations: Advertisements ****use persuasive techniques to persuade consumers to buy their products.
- Social issue speeches: Activists, advocates, or community leaders often give persuasive speeches to raise awareness about social issues and mobilize support for a cause.
Effective persuasion helps you win over clients, close deals, and secure promotions.
💡 However, it's important to note that persuasion should always be used ethically and with integrity. It's not about manipulating people but rather about creating win-win situations.
4. Entertaining Speech
💡 An entertaining speech is a type of public presentation that aims to captivate and amuse the audience while providing enjoyment and laughter. Unlike other types of speeches, entertaining speeches prioritize humor, storytelling, and engaging content to entertain and delight the listeners.
In an entertaining speech, the speaker uses various techniques such as jokes, anecdotes, funny stories, witty observations, humorous examples, and clever wordplay to engage the audience and elicit laughter.
The primary objective is to entertain and create a positive, lighthearted atmosphere.
An entertaining speech is a powerful tool for building a connection with the audience. It isn't just about cracking jokes. It's about using humor strategically to reinforce the main message.
When we're entertained, our guards come down, and we become more receptive to the speaker's message. It's like a spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down.
An entertaining speech can be particularly effective when the topic at hand is traditionally considered dull, serious, or sensitive. By infusing humor, you can bring life to the subject matter and help the audience connect with it on a deeper level.
With entertainment, you can make complex concepts more accessible. And also break down barriers that might otherwise discourage people from paying attention.
Delivery and timing are crucial elements in entertaining speeches.
The speaker's tone, facial expressions, gestures, and voice modulation play a significant role in enhancing the comedic effect.
Effective use of pauses, punchlines, and comedic timing can heighten the audience's anticipation and result in laughter and amusement.
Examples of Entertaining Speech:
An Example of Entertaining Speech
- Social Events: Entertaining speeches are often seen at social gatherings such as weddings, birthday parties, or anniversary celebrations.
- Conferences or Conventions: In professional conferences or conventions, an entertaining speech can be a refreshing break from the more serious and technical presentations. A speaker may use humor to liven up the atmosphere.
- Stand-up Comedy: Stand-up comedians are prime examples of entertaining speeches. They perform in comedy clubs, theaters, or even on television shows, aiming to make the audience laugh and enjoy their performance.
💡 The content and style of an entertaining speech should be tailored to the audience and the occasion.
While humor is subjective, the skilled entertaining speaker knows how to adapt their speech to suit the preferences and sensibilities of the specific audience.
By carefully selecting appropriate humor, you can transform a dull or serious setting into an enjoyable experience for the audience.
Other Types of Speeches
Beyond the four main types of public speeches we mentioned, there are a few other different types of speeches worth exploring.
- Special Occasion Speeches: These speeches are delivered during specific events or occasions, such as weddings, graduation ceremonies, or award ceremonies. They are meant to honor or celebrate individuals, express congratulations, or provide inspiration and encouragement.
- Motivational Speeches: Motivational speeches aim to inspire and are commonly delivered by coaches, entrepreneurs, or motivational speakers. They often focus on personal development, goal-setting, overcoming obstacles, and achieving success.
- Commemorative Speeches: These speeches are delivered on anniversaries, memorial services, or dedications. These speeches express admiration, highlight achievements, and reflect on the impact of the person or event being commemorated.
- Debate Speeches: Debate speeches involve presenting arguments and evidence to support a particular viewpoint on a topic. They require logical reasoning, persuasive language, and the ability to counter opposing arguments effectively.
- Impromptu Speeches: Impromptu speeches are delivered without prior preparation or planning. You are given a topic or a question on the spot and must quickly organize your thoughts and deliver a coherent speech. These speeches test the speaker's ability to think on their feet and communicate effectively in spontaneous situations.
- Oratorical Speech: An oratorical speech is a formal and eloquent speech delivered with great emphasis and rhetorical flair. It aims to inspire, persuade, or inform the audience through the skilled use of language and powerful delivery techniques. Oratorical speeches are typically given on significant occasions, such as political rallies, commemorative events, or public ceremonies.
No matter what kind of speech you are giving, pauses play a key role in making it captivating.
Check out our video on how pausing can transform your speeches.
Public speaking is a powerful skill that holds tremendous value in various aspects of our lives. Whether you're aiming to inform, demonstrate, persuade, or entertain, mastering the art of public speaking can open doors to new opportunities and personal growth.
Growth happens when you push beyond your comfort zones. Public speaking may seem daunting at first, but remember that every great speaker started somewhere. Embrace the challenge and take small steps forward.
Start with speaking in front of friends or family, join a local speaking club, or seek opportunities to present in a supportive environment. Each time you step out of your comfort zone, you grow stronger and more confident.
Seek resources like TED Talks, workshops, books, and podcasts to learn from experienced speakers and improve your skills.
Just like any skill, public speaking requires practice. The more you practice, the more comfortable and confident you will become.
Seek opportunities to speak in public, such as volunteering for presentations or joining public speaking clubs. Embrace every chance to practice and refine your skills.
If you are looking for a supportive environment to practice and hone your public speaking skills, try out BBR English.
Our 1:1 live sessions with a corporate expert are designed to help you improve your communication skills. You'll gain the confidence and skills you need to communicate effectively in any situation.
Don't let fear or insecurity hold you back from achieving your goals.
Book your counseling session now and take the first step towards becoming a more confident and effective communicator.
Your future self will thank you!
To get a peek into our results, check out How A Farmer's Son Faced His Fear Of Public Speaking To Climb Up The Leadership Roles In An MNC.
Team BBR English
Meanwhile, why don't you start from our top 3 blogs -