Many speakers get cold feet when it comes to presenting informative speeches. Most of their main concerns surround the same dynamics:
- Will I be seen as credible on the subject?
- Do I know everything about it?
- Will the audience get bored of listening to me and 'tune out'?
- Will I screw up my presentation and come across like a fool?
And it is right, and good, that the speaker have those concerns. They are valid and a great place to start when viewed correctly.
The reason informative speeches fail is, most speakers don't move beyond their own concerns.
Here's what I mean. Re-read the previous four questions and you will immediately notice a common theme: It's all about the speaker. Nowhere in that list of concerns is the audiences learning paramount to the concept of the presentation.
As a speaker, once you turn this perspective around to the needs of your audience, your whole format will automatically re-adjust.
That's the first thing.
Secondly, when speaking to inform, too many speakers read verbatim from the manual, or directly off the PowerPoint presentation.
There's no learning in that!
Your presentation must be structured to your audiences learning. To get them engaged. To get them thinking. To allow them to leave with not only a deeper understanding on the subject at hand, but also about themselves, and the world around them to some degree.
They must be able to take pride and "own" their learning.
And you, as a speaker, are responsible for creating that framework, that atmosphere. Allow the speech to concern the learning and the audiences' needs to begin with. Make your presentation participatory - or at the very least, interactive. Be dynamic. Add impact. Shock. There are hundreds of ways to spice up your educational.
Only then will the accolades follow.