Types of Public Speaking

By Christine Brinker and Avery Platt

Various types of informational speeches

Speeches About Objects: Speeches about objects deal with anything you can see, feel, hear, taste, or smell. Objects can include people dead or alive, animals, places, plants and structure.

Speeches About Events: An informational speech about an event may be about anything that either has happened or is happening, or that is regarded as happening.

Speeches About Processes: A process is related series of events that lead to a specific result or product. In most speeches the purpose is only to have the audience understand the process or it is to enable the listener to perform the process themselves.

Speeches About Concepts: These speeches include those dealing with beliefs, theories, ideas, and principles.


Correct methods of opening, body and concluding a speech

Correct Methods of Opening, Creating the body of, and closing an informational speech on Voodoo.

Opening- Introduction is the most important part of any speech. Listeners usually base their options on their first impressions. There are many types of techniques to use in your introduction like attention device, humor, anecdote, shock technique, common ground technique and suspense. In my speech on VooDoo is began my speech using the technique of common ground technique. “When you think of Voodoo you probably think of the voodoo you see on Hollywood movies. You will remember the voodoo that was in Princess and the Frog and in Pirates of the Caribbean.” In my speech I included familiar movie titles that most teenagers have seen that helped my audience identify the topic.

Creating body of- The body of your speech contains the essential message of the speech and should be completely developed. When making your points in the paper you must make smooth transitions. Transitions between major points may consist of only a sentence or two that related what you have just finished saying to what you will say next. “The Hougan and Manbo are to help with spiritual guidance but each person is responsible for their own actions and fulfillment in spiritual practice. One practice that Voodooists do is ceremonies of possession.” That was an example of a transition between two of my main points of Voodoo.

Concluding- Conclusions are typically brief, accounting to only five percent of the speech. When concluding a speech you want to reinforce the central idea and summarize the main idea. “Voodoo is a complex religion that is said to be a mix of Christianity and African religion. Its traditions and practices are very different to the religious practices that most practice.This mysterious religion should be heard and talked about more because it is a very complex topic and also a culture that 50 million people live by today.” In my conclusion I review my topic that is a religion that any many people in the world practice and should be studied and understood rather than believing in what we see in movies and media.

How to Conduct an Amazing Question/ Answer Session

When you end your speech make sure you invite and mention you will be happy to answer any questions that audience has so they feel confident in asking. If you are thoroughly prepared and knowledgeable on your topic you will be able to answer most questions easily. If you do not know the answer to the question then respond with “I’m sorry but I can't answer that question.” It will inform the audience that you’re not avoiding the question but just do not have great knowledge of the questions.

Appropriate Ways of Using Visuals:

Using Visual Aids during an informational speech helps both the speaker and the listener. It is important to make the visual you use meaningful and make sure your whole project is not about your visuals but it's just a aid. Types of visual aids are charts, graphs, diagrams, maps, posters, cartoons, pictures, objects models, cutaways and handouts. When making charts, graph and diagrams make sure the images are easy to read for your audience. When presenting a picture make sure that it is large enough for the audience to see and also is not taking the attention away from what you are saying.

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Three primary sources of persuasion

  • Ethos is the way the audience perceives the character and the personality of the speaker. This is massively important because if the audience agrees with the topic but dislikes the speaker, then their overall opinion is tainted in a negative way. My speech was about how free range parenting is overall healthier for children. The audience will enjoy and agree with the speaker much more if they can understand the topic and link it back to personal experiences they have had. If you tell them outrageous stories conflicting with your opinion and theirs then a bond is formed between the speaker and the audience because of that shared opinion.


  • In my speech I asked the audience about childhood memories knowing we had shared experiences. This connects to the audiences logos which is their own thinking process. By integrating their own personal experience in the beginning of my speech. Everything after that was compared to the fond memories of their childhood. Their thinking process was manipulated to shine a fond memory on my topic.


  • Pathos means the audience can be persuaded by their own personal drives, needs and desires. I integrated that into the end of my speech when I asked the group if they were thinking about the next generation of parenting, our generation. I was tying a desire with a topic that might not have interested the audience otherwise.


  • When trying to persuade any audience into the speaker's thinking the importance of ethics is a key factor to any speech, specifically a persuasive one. Melbas speech exemplified the importance of ethics because she was honest about her opinion and forthright with the audience about the pro’s and the con’s of Palestine not because included in the UN.
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Definitions of types of speeches

  • Speeches of Introductions: A short speech used to build enthusiasm and interest for a guest speaker.

  • Presentation: A speech honoring the recipient of a of a gift or award.

  • Acceptance Speeches: A short speech of thanks given by a recipient of a gift or award.

  • Commencement: An address to honor graduates of a school or university.

  • Dedication Speech: A speech that highlights the meaning of a new creation or endeavor.

  • Public Reaction: A persuasive speech that promotes and creates a positive image for an organization.

  • Entertainment Speech: The purpose of the speech is to cause the audience to relax, smile, and enjoy an occasion.

  • Sales Speech: Basic purpose is to sell a product or a service.

  • Impromptu Speaking: A short address given with no advance notice and with only a moment or two of preparation.

Reaction of eulogies, introduction and graduation speeches

I have been to numerous funerals and have heard a tremendous amount of eulogies. Some speakers can barely talk through the tears, but others are because of laughter. A few years ago I was attending a funeral for a person that I was not familiar with. Throughout the service all of the eulogies were filled with recollections of historical moments and tender ones. When leaving the funeral I felt like I had knew that person all of their life. The speakers did a fantastic job by sharing memories that connected the audience through fond memories of their loved one.


At a recent college trip, the visit opened with a variety of speeches from different high end faculty members. Each speaker introduced the preceding member at the end of his or her speech. The introductions highlighted the achievements and role the speaker played at the college. These introductions helped the audience understand the upcoming speaker and prepare themselves for their talks. I really appreciated understanding the backstory on the speakers, it made it seem that I had a relationship with them.


When my sister graduated from high school the commencement ceremony was filled with tearful commencement speeches from successful students reflecting on their high school experience. The speeches are heartfelt and were meant to connect with the rest of the graduating class. It was less about bragging then enjoying and sharing fond memories.