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Speech Communications

This guide will help speech communication students navigate through informative and persuasive speeches, as well as speech anxiety.

Persuasive

persuasive speech attempts to influence or reinforce the attitudes, beliefs, or behavior of an audience.  This type of speech often includes the following elements:

  • appeal to the needs of the audience
  • appeal to the reasoning of the audience
  • focus on the relevance of your topic to the audience
  • fit the speech to the audience - ensure they understand the info
  • make yourself credible by demonstrating your expertise

Watch out for logical fallacies in developing your argument:

  • ad hominem argument = attacking an opponent rather than their argument
  • bandwagoning = using popular opinion as evidence
  • begging the question = using circular reasoning
  • either-or fallacy = the argument is structured as having either one answer or another
  • hasty generalization = taking one instance as a general pattern
  • non sequitur = aka: it does not follow; your conclusions are not connected to the reasoning
  • red herring fallacy = using irrelevant info in the argument 
  • slippery slope = arriving at a truth by supposing a series of possible events

 Below is a poster of different logical fallacies - the full size can be accessed here:  

graphic of fallacies

Informative

An informative speech is one that enlightens an audience.  These types of speeches can be on a variety of topics:

  • Concepts
  • Events
  • Issues
  • Objects
  • People
  • Phenomena
  • Processes

A good informative speech will:

  • define terms to make the information clearer
  • use descriptions to help the audience form a mental picture
  • incorporate a demonstration
  • explain concepts in-depth for greater understanding 

Informative speech example from Bill Gates:  Mosquitos, malaria and education

 

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