Information in speech making
The purpose of a speech in a very fundamental sense is to inform, persuade and entertain the audience. Of the three goals, one can see why ‘informing’ is ethically, generically and essentially the most important function of a speech. During the speechmaking process, the speaker must ensure that the information he is going to use in his speech is relevant, up-to-date and factual. This is not only an ethical obligation he or she has towards the audience, but also a very necessary attribute when it comes to making a long-term impact in the audience’s mind. After all, we live in the Information Age and any incorrect information one might provide is bound to be pointed out or realised sooner or later, which makes the whole purpose of the speech invalidated.
Supporting materials for this information provided must be doled out in the speech skilfully whether it is examples, narratives, statistics or testimonials. While examples and narratives hold the listener interest at that point of time, statistics and testimonials assist the speaker in the second important goal: persuasion. Statistics mean numbers and numbers are always useful for grabbing attention in communication, whether it is a speech or a published article. But then again, a testimonial from an expert might be combined with narratives or examples in such a way that the listener’s curiosity is peaked enough to remember the concepts and the experts presented in the speech later on. After all, real people always make more impact than numbers.
The supporting materials should always contain attributed information whichever of the four types mentioned above were chosen. This is because, while the speaker might hold the audience attention, he would evoke mass responses when the audience hear something they are already familiar with or can relate to.