Difference between Informative and Persuasive Speeches

By: | Updated: Sep-26, 2023
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Most of us are familiar with speeches (also referred to as presentations). However, there’s some confusion between informative and persuasive speeches. Each type of speech is different from the other.

Do you know those long monologues people hold on various occasions or in a formal, business setting, called speeches? Well, you probably tuned out many times before and did not notice that there were two types of speeches: informative and persuasive. Dare we ask if you remember which type of speech you have heard more often? If you cannot tell, read the following article to find out which is which.

Summary Table

Informative Speech Persuasive Speech
Is intended to deliver information Is intended to convince people to do or believe something in particular
Can be as entertaining and engaging as the speaker makes it Usually is entertaining and engaging because it has a purpose

Definitions

man giving speech

An informative speech is used to educate and train the audience. It implies having a certain volume of information that needs to be transmitted to the public. The presenter is not trying to convince the audience to think or feel in a specific way. Instead, the presenter is providing the audience with facts and information.

This type of speech can be practiced in companies when a new product or service is introduced and the personnel need to be trained to work with it or sell it, or when a merger or another such event will cause changes in the company and people need to understand how the company structure will change.

When giving an informative speech, the presenter must be mindful of who they are speaking to. They also need to understand the level of knowledge the audience needs (if they are not subject matter experts) and avoid giving too much information about the topic. It’s essential to avoid using jargon or professional language that is not understood by the audience. These would be too difficult for them to understand, making the presentation ineffective.

Giving an informative speech means having people leave with information they did not have coming in. Such a speech is as entertaining as the speaker makes it. Generally, this means including large volumes of information which are not easily digested, but it all depends on how the speaker presents it, how engaging he makes his content and how well he can couple the new information to pre-existing knowledge just to make it more relatable.

On the other hand, there’s a different reason for giving a persuasive speech.

A persuasive speech is intended to convince you to do or believe something when you are done listening. It can be a sales speech, a motivational speech or anything that includes calls to action, advice on how to do something and encouragement in this respect. Good speakers will give out a lot of useful information and keep the public entertained and engaged because the stakes are high at the end. They need those who have listened to the speech to get up and do something specific, and this is why the speech must be delivered very well.

For instance, a persuasive speech can be given to raise funds for charity. The presenter tries to persuade the audience to support the charity financially. In this case, the presenter may also include information about the charity, why it needs funding, and more. The overall goal is to get the audience to give money to support the charity. The presenter may use emotions such as sadness, excitement, and other emotions to move the audience to provide funding for the charity.

A persuasive speech is difficult to deliver as some people come in to the event reluctant to whatever the speaker has to say, and set on not changing their minds. It’s the talent of every speaker that makes the difference in this case.

What Do Informative and Persuasive Speeches Have in Common?

  • The presenter’s goal is to provide a clear presentation that’s understood and remembered by the audience.
  • The material for both types of speeches should be tailored to each specific audience.
  • The presenter needs to engage their audience with questions and answers, along with other interactive methods.

Informative speech vs Persuasive speech

So what is the difference between an informative speech and a persuasive speech?

  • An informative speech is only aimed at presenting given information, to educate and train. The persuasive speech is aimed at convincing you to believe or do something very specific. There is an end to whatever you are listening to, and more effort is put into keeping you entertained just so that you will act on whatever the speech was about.
  • Although persuasive speeches are much more engaging and interesting, making the public more attentive and entertained, they still need to be delivered. This means that informative speeches, with their smaller stakes, are easier to deliver.
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