Informative Speech Assignment
Your assignment is to create and deliver a 5-minute informative presentation with slides to your classmates. Your speech can be about any subject that:
requires explanation, demonstration or instruction;
Examples: the weather derivative, map/reduce, gamification to reduce energy consumption, animal coat pattern genetics, Faraday cage, chirality, Hough transform, Giffen goods, cognitive dissonance, telomerase, pipeline, Eastern vs. Western musical scales, arsenic poisoning in South Asian well water, DNA origami
The distinction between explanation and persuasion is key. This is an informative task so you should, for example, explain how games can be used to reduce energy consumption, but you cannot argue this is the most effective reduction method. That statement would be evaluative, rather than informative. Discussing the pros and cons of this approach would be a more even-handed approach and more appropriate for an informative talk.
you know well, can speak about with comfort and enthusiasm without extensive research, and are likely to have to speak about again in your future.
is interesting and unfamiliar to your audience. The topic should also be well-adapted to your audience’s level of knowledge that area.
can be addressed adequately in a 5-minute presentation
Informative Speech Evaluative Criteria
Content: The topic fits the assignment (i.e., it is informative or explanatory) and is well adapted to this audience. The topic is clearly stated, and an appropriate number of main ideas are well selected and clearly defined for a 5-minute talk. The main ideas are well supported through effective development.
Structure and Organization: The introduction captures the audience’s attention, clearly states the topic, establishes reasons to listen (relevance or benefit to audience, “So what?”) and previews the structure of the speech both orally and in an agenda slide.
The important ideas or points are clearly indicated by discourse markers and signposting (“So, let’s look at my second point”) and logically arranged. Transitions facilitate audience understanding by connecting ideas, as well as sections of the speech. The conclusion does not simply repeat the agenda items but substantively summarizes the main points and provides a closing “take-away” message. Ending a talk with “That’s it” or “That’s all” is never an effective conclusion.
Delivery: Eye contact with the camera should be maintained, and it should not appear as if the presenter is reading from a script. Vocal qualities (volume, speed, pauses, intonation, and energy) enhance the presentation. Gestures and facial expressions contribute to a dynamic, polished performance. Key vocabulary is properly pronounced, and important words are appropriately stressed. Time is well managed, and the 5-minute speaking time is not exceeded.
Visuals: Slides are effectively designed and clarify and reinforce the content of the presentation rather than serving as a distraction and/or a teleprompter used to host a read-along. Slides are managed effectively and incorporated smoothly into the speech.
For a more detailed list of grading criteria, refer to the informative presentation grade rubric, posted in Sakai.
Informative Speech Assignment