ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Types of Public Speaking

Updated on March 17, 2013

Let me start this discussion by asking you these few questions…

What are the different types of public speaking? Does any readily come to your mind right now? Why do you think it is important that you know the different types of public speaking?

Still thinking about these? Do you need more time?

Hmm… Alright, let me help out!

First and foremost, it is important that you know the various types of public speaking because each type of public speaking requires different approaches and skills. Knowing these will definitely take you a step closer to achieving your dream of becoming a proficient public speaker.

The types of public speaking vary from author to author. Some will tell you that there are three or four types of public speaking. Others may list as many as nine!

I have, however, grouped the different types of public speaking into two categories: the Basic Types of Public Speaking and the Other Types of Public Speaking.

Basic Types of Public Speaking

Almost all experts in public speaking agree on these kinds of public speaking. And really, these are the primary types of public speaking. They include:

  • Informative Public Speaking
  • Persuasive Public Speaking
  • Ceremonial Public Speaking
  • Demonstrative Public Speaking
  • Motivational Public Speaking
  • Extemporaneous or Impromptu Public Speaking Speaking

Other Types of Public Speaking

These include:

  • Debate
  • Broadcasting

Now let’s look at each type of public speaking more closely.


Quick Reminders...

  • Be precise. Avoid a lengthy speech.
  • Be specific and make sure that any figures and statistics you quote are accurate.
  • Use simple language that is easy to understand.
  • Explain the value and meaning of facts presented without taking sides.
  • Briefly explain unfamiliar terms.
  • Do research on the subject.
  • Explain how to use the information you provide to solve problems or take decisions.


Informative Public Speaking

Informative public speaking comprises speeches that are meant to inform the audience. You are passing a new body of knowledge to your listeners. Your intention is not to change their view on the subject nor to persuade or convince them to take side with your point of view.

You are simply passing valuable information to them.

These types of public speaking are usually used at business seminars, technology and scientific conferences, school presentations etc. They most times include facts and statistics and follow the introduction-body-conclusion structure.

How Can You Do This Effectively?

  • Be precise. Avoid a lengthy speech. Otherwise you may bore your audience.
  • Be specific and make sure that any figures and statistics you quote are accurate.
  • Use simple language that is easy to understand. The success of an informative speech is how much your audience gets from it, not the amount of big vocabularies it contains.
  • Do not simply present the facts. Explain their value and meaning without taking sides. And don’t persuade your audience to do same.
  • If you must use unfamiliar terms, briefly explain them.
  • Do research on the subject to arm yourself with enough information on the subject.
  • Explain how to use the information you provide to solve problems or take decisions.


Quick Reminders...

  • Let your enthusiasm and passion shine forth in your speech.
  • Appeal to your audience’s emotions.
  • Present your argument in a logical manner.
  • Establish common grounds with your audience.
  • Use rhetoric questions to stimulate their thoughts.
  • Conclude by asking your audience to take a specific action.


Persuasive Public Speaking

Unlike informative speeches, persuasive speeches are intended to influence or convince the audience to agree with a particular point of view and to take specific action(s).

To be successful, you must be able to appeal to your listeners’ emotions and move them to accept your view of the matter.

These types of public speaking are usually used by sales executives, politicians, in debates and religious sermons.

How Can You Do This Effectively?

  • Let your enthusiasm and passion shine forth in your speech. Speak with strength and vigor. Let your face reflect how you feel.
  • Appeal to your audience’s emotions.
  • Present your argument in a logical manner.
  • Establish common grounds with your audience even with those who share a completely different view on the subject.
  • Use rhetoric questions to stimulate their thoughts. Rhetoric questions are questions used during a speech to which you don’t expect answers from the audience. Their purpose is simply to stimulate thinking.
  • Conclude by asking your audience to take a specific action.


Quick Reminders...

  • Know the background facts about the occasion.
  • Tell stories about the person(s).
  • Avoid harmful or hurtful remarks.
  • Don’t make it too lengthy.

Ceremonial Public Speaking

As the name implies, these are speeches given at ceremonies to mark important occasions. They include graduation talks, wedding toasts, anniversary speeches, funeral talks etc. Ceremonial speeches can be funny or sober depending on the occasion. In other words, it must be made to suit the occasion at hand.

How Can You Do This Effectively?

  • Know the background facts about the occasion. This will help you know what to say on the occasion.
  • Tell stories about the person(s). The good things they’ve done in the past. Highlight their good qualities. This will be easy to do since these persons are usually those you already know.
  • Avoid harmful or hurtful remarks.
  • Don’t make it too lengthy. Speeches such as these are usually short.


Demonstrative Public Speaking

These kinds of public speaking employ the use of demonstrations to convey a message. They often use visual aid to show how certain things are done. These are mostly used at workshops and sales presentations.

How Can You Do This Effectively?

  • Select and arrange your visual materials ahead of time.
  • Test the equipments you intend to use before you begin your speech. Be sure they are working as desired.
  • Arrive at the venue early to have ample time for point two above.


Motivational Public Speaking

Motivational public speaking, like persuasive public speaking, involves making a connection with the emotions of your listeners. However, motivational public speaking involves the use of stories, anecdotes (short amusing stories), illustrations and real-life experiences to captivate your listeners, inspire them and uplift their spirits.

These kinds of public speaking are usually intended to boost the power of self-will in the audience. To awaken their passion, fire up their determination and ultimately move them to action. They are mostly used in self-development seminars.

How Can You Do This Effectively?

  • Have background information about your audience. Know what their needs are.
  • Use only stories, anecdotes, illustrations and real-life experiences your audience can relate with.
  • Speak with enthusiasm, passion and conviction. Breathe live into your speech.
  • Charge them to take action.


Extemporaneous or Impromptu Public Speaking

These types of public speaking are speeches that are given with little or no preparation. They are speeches you never planned for but circumstances demand that you deliver. They require you to think on your feet. And because of their suddenness, they have the capacity to make you nervous!

These can be any of the types of public speaking discussed above.

How Can You Do This Effectively?

  • Be calm and relax.
  • Quickly make a mental outline of points you can easily develop.
  • If you are fortunate and the subject is one you know enough about, avoid running overtime.


Debates

Debates are combinations of persuasive and extemporaneous speeches. The main aim is to persuade the audience to agree with a particular viewpoint. Also, short extemporaneous speeches are added at intervals to further buttress your points or rebut the other person’s arguments.

Debates are popular in schools and politics.


Broadcasting

These public speaking types too may be either any or a combination of any of the types discussed above. They may be informative, persuasive, motivational or even demonstrative.

They involve the use of such media as television, radio, Internet, newspaper and magazines.

Yeah! That ends our discussion of the various types of public speaking. But before I draw the curtain, I know a question that is likely running through your mind right now is…

“How do I know which type of public speaking to use at a particular time?” Right?

Well, the kind of public speaking you choose at a particular time will greatly depend on:

  • The Objectives of your speech. What do you want to achieve with your speech or presentation? And…
  • The make-up of your audience.


So, before you ever start preparing your speech, think carefully about your aim. Do you want to inform, persuade, motivate or entertain your audience?

Then ask yourself these questions…

  • Who are my audience?
  • What is (are) their primary concern(s)?
  • How can I tailor my delivery to meet their needs?
  • What do I need to say or do to get the desired result?


Reflecting on questions like these will help stimulate your thinking. It will help you to know the type of public speaking to use. Above all, it will help you to achieve your desired result!

Depending on your objective and audience, you may blend more than one type into your speech!

Now I’d like to wrap this discussion up with this piece of advice…

Do not restrict yourself to any particular type unless you have to do so. Choose a blend that is ideal for your audience!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • dhimanreena profile image

      Reena Dhiman 3 years ago

      Informative and well-written hub