How to Write an Informative Speech About a Person

How to Write an Informative Speech About a Person

If someone were to write an informative speech about you, what would you want them to say? Coming up with the main points and highlights about a person's life can be difficult, but not impossible. The goal of an informative speech about a person is to present the topic in a way that informs your audience about useful and unique information and keeps them interested in the subject.

A good way to start this process is to 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.

1 Grab the Audience's Attention Right Away

Write an attention-grabbing introduction. 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.

2 Decide on the Core Message About the Person

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.

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. This should appear towards the beginning of your speech. Get this information out to your audience right away so they know why you chose this topic.

4 Explain Why You Are Qualified to Speak About This Person

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.

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.”

6 Focus on the Body of the Speech

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.

7 Wrap-It-Up

Conclude by restating your theme. This is like tying a bow on a package. It's the final touch on your speech that allows you to wrap-up all of your main points and leaves the audience with a finished package. Your close should stick with the audience. When you're finished the goal is to leave them interested in your topic and possibly wanting to find out more information.

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.