The informative speech is required in every speech class. It's a challenging assignment, so I thought it might be helpful to provide a sample speech with some related files.
I've included a sample informative speech, delivered via YouTube, along with a sample outline, and an accompanying PowerPoint file. I wasn't sure how to incorporate PowerPoint in an online video, so I've just added that separately.
Sometimes, you just need to see a finished product to help you get started - so here they are:
Informative Speech Example
Hopefully this helps!
What Makes a President
Thesis Statement: Thomas Jefferson’s influence was born out of a great love of nature, knowledge and the world
I. (Attention Getter) “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness (US 1776).”
II. (Introduce Topic) You may recognize these powerful words from the Declaration of Independence, which was written by Thomas Jefferson.
III. (Relate to Audience) This message has inspired generations to seek a standard of equality, freedom and justice. And while Thomas Jefferson personally did not measure up to these ideals, his historical impact on our country and the world is undeniable.
III. (Establish Credibility) I recently read The Art of Power, a biography of Jefferson by John Meacham. I became inspired to give a speech about some of his lesser known passions.
IV. (Preview Main Points/Thesis Statement) Thomas Jefferson remains a key figure in this nation’s history. He demonstrated a great love of nature, knowledge and the world.
Transition statement: First, let’s talk about nature.
I. Thomas Jefferson displayed a profound interest in nature.
A. John Meacham’s 2012 biography depicts Jefferson as a serious outdoorsperson.
1. He often took to walking in the woods.
a. He grew up hiking in the Virginia woods for hours on end (Meacham 2012).
b. This must have been an amazing landscape to grow up in
2. Horseback riding was something he also did quite a lot of .
a. He was known to spend the better part of the day horseback riding up until he was in his seventies (Meacham 2012).
b. You don’t often hear of seventy-year-olds riding off into the woods.
B. Thomas Jefferson was also really into gardening.
1. Peter Hatch, director of the gardens and grounds at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, says that Jefferson had a fascination for plants and farming (Huffington Post 2010).
2. He was known to pass around his favorite plant seeds to friends, family and fellow politicians (Hatch 2010).
Transition statement: We can see that nature was a major part of his life; intellectual pursuits also served an important role.
II. Jefferson had a great love of knowledge.
A. He was always learning something new.
1. He was a voracious reader.
a. He once said “I cannot live without books” in a letter to John Adams, as noted by www.montecillo.org, his estate’s official website.
b. He sold over 6000 volumes to congress, as seen on the Library of Congress website (loc.org).
2. He was participated in many different arts
a. He collected paintings and had magnificent displays in his main estate (Meacham 2012).
b. He was a classically trained musician, known to play instruments and sing with his wife (Meacham 2012).
3. He was described by peers as often discussing such varied subjects as medicine, astronomy, geography, mathematics, cooking and architecture (Meacham 2012).
B. Jefferson was influenced by The Enlightenment era, which emphasized reason and rationality over the rule of monarchy or religious authorities.
1. He was strongly influenced by leaders in The Enlightenment such as John Locke and Thomas Paine (Meacham 2012)
2. He was heavily involved in the American Philosophical Society
a. This institution sought to promote scholarship, research, and knowledge, as it does today (amphilsoc.org).
b. He served as president of the society for 18 years which overlapped his time as President of the nation (amphilsoc.org).
Transition statement: Jefferson was a real renaissance man; so what did he think of America’s European counterparts?
III. Jefferson’s admiration of the ‘Old World’ came to a fruition before his Presidency.
A. Thomas Jefferson was a considerable Francophile, an admirer of French culture.
1. According to a government repository, the Office of the Historian, “he succeeded Franklin as Minister to France (1785-1789) before becoming Secretary of State.”
2. He spent a considerable amount of time in France, soaking up its history and culture (Meacham 2012).
3. Later, as secretary of state, Jefferson demonstrated favor towards France in diplomatic disputes, which contributed to clashes amongst Washington’s cabinet members (Office of the Historian).
B. While in Europe, he had opportunities for further travel.
1. He went to England with John Adams to meet political contacts and learn about America’s main adversary (Meacham 2012).
2. Jefferson also took a three-month trip to the South of France and Italy, furthering his European experience (Meacham 2012).
Transition statement: Hopefully you can see that Thomas Jefferson’s life was marked by more than just politics.
I. (Signal Closing) He remains one of the most consequential figures in American history. His legacy continues to shape American values.
II. (Review Main Points) He had an incredible love of nature, knowledge and travel. These passions undoubtedly shaped his intellect and world view.
III. (Relate Back to Audience) We can reflect upon our own interests and consider how they might shape our destiny.
IV. (Memorable Ending) His passions contributed to his leadership and sense of civic engagement. In closing, I’d like to ask you today, what are you passionate about? Thank you.
Biographies of the Secretaries of State: Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826). (n.d.). Office of the Historian. https://history.state.gov/departmenthistory/people/jefferson-thomas
Extract from Thomas Jefferson to John Adams. (2015). Monticello. Retrieved from http://tjrs.monticello.org/letter/322
Hatch, P. (2010). Thomas Jefferson’s Legacy in Gardening and Food. Huffington Post. Last updated May 25 2011. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-hatch/thomas-jeffersons-legacy-_b_714645.html
Jefferson's Religious Beliefs. (n.d.). Monticello.org. https://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/jeffersons-religious-beliefs
Meacham, J. (2012). The Art of Power. New York: Random House Inc.
Thomas Jefferson - Jefferson's Library. (n.d.). Library of Congress.
Thomas Jefferson papers, 1775-1825. (n.d.). American Philosophical Society. Retrieved from http://www.amphilsoc.org/collections/view?docId=ead/Mss.B.J35-ead.xml