In a persuasive speech, the speaker is clearly and blatantly aiming to change not only the minds of the audience members, but also their behaviors. She is hoping to sell a product, gain compliance, or gain support for an idea. The key here is: a persuasive speaker’s main goal is a change in behavior. We will discuss this more later in the semester.
The informative speaker’s main goal, however, is to convey information to the other person. That is not to say that persuasion is not present in an informative speech. As an informative speaker, you want to be sure that your goals is to get the audience interested, which will hopefully lead a change in behavior. For example, in my informative lectures, I try to add elements of persuasion to encourage students to apply their concepts to their everyday lives. My main point:
Your informative speech should NOT be simply a dumping of information. Think back to our listening discussion. We focus on listening for about 17 seconds. This means if you simply dump information (list out general facts and statistics), your audience will end up like this:
Sleepy, bored, easily distracted. So, as we move forward, we want to develop our speeches so that our audience members will not need to struggle to pay attention. Hopefully, as we move forward in the class, we will learn how to do this effectively!
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What Is the Difference Between Informative Speaking and Persuasive Speaking?