Basic Types of Speeches in English with Examples
Public speaking is an amazing art, and it can become more amazing if the speaker has an objective in mind. Having a clear objective and purpose of speech in mind makes the speech writing process simpler and easier.
There are several types of speeches; they all follow the same speech format but serve different purposes. The basic purpose of a speech is to deliver a message to the audience. Speeches have the power of touching hearts as long as they are well thought out.
Let’s see the different types of speeches in detail.
Different Types of Speeches in English
Speaking in public has more formality than talking, as you need to present yourself professionally. That doesn't mean you just need to dress formally, but you need to be presentable by being well-groomed and showing positive body language.
It also means that you should be well prepared to communicate with the audience, make eye contact, and use language correctly. You need to show your audience that you are well prepared and you know your topic very well.
We look at the speeches in 3 different ways;
- Types of speeches according to the delivery
- Types of speeches according to the purpose
- Types of speeches according to special occasion
Types of Speeches According to the Delivery
The easiest way to start your speech is not always the best one. A substantial amount of work goes into the preparation of delivering a compelling message. So when you are asked to deliver a speech, get familiar with the type of speech and your target audience.
A good speaker always thinks of the delivery method that is suitable for delivering a particular message. There are four ways that can help you understand how to balance the formality while delivering the speech.
1. Impromptu Speaking
Impromptu speaking is done when you have not planned or prepared to deliver a speech in advance. It is the presentation of a short message without being prepared in advance. The good thing about such speeches is that it's spontaneous and given in the animated group context. The bad thing about it is that you have given little or almost no time to contemplate the message.
2. Extemporaneous Speaking
Extemporaneous speaking is the opposite of impromptu speaking, as it is planned, well prepared, and rehearsed properly. It is a perfect balance as it allows the speaker to use notes and give time to prepare well to deliver the speech.
3. Manuscript Speaking
It is the word-for-word iteration of a written message. The speaker keeps his attention on the printed page while delivering a manuscript message. It works well where the exact repetition of original words is required, i.e. reading the organization’s mission statement.
This is the easiest type of public speaking, but it is not as effective as others. The audience might lose their interest soon, as the speaker has not involved the audience and is just reading the manuscript.
4. Memorized Speaking
Memorized speaking is the rote recitation of the specific message that the speaker has committed to the memory. Effective speeches need to be memorized i.e. the actors speak from their memory whenever they perform, and that is why their acting comes naturally. It allows them to make eye contact with the audience members. If they are reading the script from the paper while performing, it won't have any effect.
Types of Speeches According to the Purpose
Each and every speech has a specific purpose, i.e. some are delivered to entertain the audience, and others might be given to inform the audience. When a speaker delivers a speech, he has a clear purpose in his mind for why he wants to convey this message to the audience.
The principle purpose of delivering a speech falls into four basic categories:
1. Informative Speech
Informative speeches are a type of speech in which the speaker tries to inform the audience about a particular subject. The speaker shares the information on a specific place, person, issue, or occasion by describing, explaining, and defining.
It provides useful information and knowledge that makes the particular subject easy to understand for the audience. The three types of informative speeches include definition speech, explanatory speech, and descriptive speech.
2. Persuasive Speech
In the persuasive speech, the speaker attempts to persuade the audience with his personal beliefs. The speaker tries to reinforce or change the audience’s perspective, beliefs, values, or feelings about a particular subject.
The persuasive speech revolves around three basic propositions that can be defended using data and reasoning. These 3 types of persuasive speeches propositions are factual claims, value claims, and policy claims.
This genre of speech is the hardest because it is difficult to convince people of anything. And it becomes more difficult if you ask them to challenge their current belief and think out of that perspective. While this is the hardest type of speech, it is still the most influential one.
3. Entertaining Speech
Entertainment speeches are intended to entertain the audience. The basic purpose of such kinds of speeches is to provide pleasure and enjoyment that make the audience laugh. Although this speech is meant to make the audience laugh and enjoy the occasion, it should have a lighter moment as well.
4. Demonstrative Speech
A demonstrative speech describes how a specific action needs to be performed. It is a kind of step-by-step guide on how to do something. It is usually known as how-to speech. It uses visual examples that show the audience how to move forward through a step-by-step procedure.
Types of Speeches According to Special Occasion
Special occasion speeches are intended to entertain or commemorate the audience. They have no set format and are designed to fit the particular occasion. The special occasion could be a birthday party, a graduation ceremony, or someone’s funeral.
There are eight common types of special occasion speeches. These are:
The introduction speeches are given to introduce the speaker that is going to give a speech. It is given to inspire or persuade the audience to listen to that speaker. It is generally small and brief speeches.
These speeches are usually given at award ceremonies where an individual presents an award or prize to a person. The main purpose of the presentation speech is to provide recognition of the recipient’s accomplishments.
A toast is a brief tribute to a particular person or an event. The toasts are given on a special occasion to honor or acknowledge someone. It is given to express the best wishes to someone for the future.
A roast is a kind of toast where the speaker praises and humorously poke the person being honored. It might be given to a person who has achieved noteworthy success or moving away. It contains administration, appreciation, comedic insult, or tribute to someone.
These types of speeches are given by the person who has just received a prize or an award. Acceptance speech allows the recipient to show humility and grace for the award and say a few words of appreciation.
6. Commemorative Speech
These types of speeches are given at conventions, conferences, or graduation ceremonies. The commemorative speech is the summary of the central message around which the whole meeting or conference revolves.
Farewell speeches are like keynote addresses. These speeches are usually given at graduation ceremonies, or when someone leaves an organization, or at farewell parties. It is celebratory in nature and emphasizes looking ahead towards the future.
Eulogies are given at funeral and memorial ceremonies to praise the person who has just died. The basic purpose is to reflect the audience’s emotions and offer condolences to the dead person’s relatives.
Types of Speeches Examples
Below are some good speech examples that will make the idea clear to you.
Informative Speech Example
Persuasive Speech Example
Special Occasion Speech Example
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