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How to Write an Informative Speech About a Person

by Michele Vrouvas, Demand Media

    An informative speech about a person should follow the same rules for writing about any other topic. Frame a key message based on the person's most notable characteristics or memorable achievements. Then articulate several main points that demonstrate those characteristics and achievements, backing up each with careful research. Use anecdotes about the person that create vivid mental images for the audience. Finally, don't allow the speech to drag on for more than 25 minutes.

    Step 1

    Write an attention-grabbing introduction by following tips from Colorado State University's writing coaches. Tell a story about the person, ask a rhetorical question that seems relevant to his or her accomplishments or make a startling statement. For example, if your speech is about a major league baseball player who broke all records for hitting home-runs, you might shock the audience by announcing upfront that as a little league player he went several seasons without even hitting the ball.

    Step 2

    Choose a core message about the person to form a thesis statement. Even opinions are appropriate for an informative speech. For example, the thesis for a speech about a former president might be that his economic policies ended up causing more harm than good.

    Step 3

    Mention the occasion for the speech. It might be an anniversary of the person's death or the realization of a goal that the person worked to achieve. Teachers at Colorado State University say these statements enhance "audience receptivity."

    Step 4

    Write a "credibility statement" explaining why the speaker is qualified to give an informative speech about this person. You might say the speaker studied or worked under the person, is a longtime admirer of his or a close friend.

    Step 5

    Announce the main points the speech will make. These can be either topical or chronological. A topical announcement would be, "First let me explain the historical context of the president's policy-making decisions and then I'll tell you why and how he formulated his policies." A chronological statement of main points might say, "Before I tell you why the president chose this course of action, I must summarize similar policies from presidents in the past and then explain the event the political event that triggered the president's decision."

    Step 6

    Move on to the body of the speech. Take up each main point in the order they were discussed in your introduction. Mention special research, such as interviews with the person's family or a review of his private papers.

    Step 7

    Conclude by restating your theme and closing with remarks that are, as Colorado State University professors advise, "...refined and practiced....Your close should stick with the audience and leave them interested in your topic."

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    About the Author

    Michele Vrouvas has been writing professionally since 2007. In addition to articles for online publications, she is a litigation paralegal and has been a reporter for several local newspapers. A former teacher, Vrouvas also worked as a professional cook for five years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Caldwell College.

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