We have all had to do some explaining at one point or the other. Maybe you were trying to explain a concept to a friend or trying to explain the benefits of a product to potential customers, it all counts as explanatory speech. Of course, there are also examples in corporate settings, you may be tasked with the researching and explaining the ins and outs of a new concept to your team or you may want to explain an idea you came up with.
An explanatory speech is a speech that explains an idea, a process or an event. An explanatory speech goes into the details associated with a particular topic and tries to simplify it for an audience. In this article, I will be showing you how to best give an effective explanatory speech. Here we go.
This is one of our posts on the types of speech series, should you be interested in learning about other types of speeches, please click on of the links below when you are done reading this article.
Types of Speech Series
7 Steps for an Effective Explanatory Speech
1. CHOOSING A TOPIC
It is expected that before you explain any topic to an audience, you should be well-grounded in that particular topic. So, if you are given the opportunity to pick a topic, choose something that you know a lot about.
If the topic is being imposed on you, then you will have to be a gentleman about it, do research and deliver a great speech. You will also have to consider your audience, investment bankers have no business understanding the inner workings of web development, neither are teenage high school students interested in planning for retirement. So, pick a topic that will appeal to the audience you will be talking to.
2. GATHER INFORMATION
After you have decided on a topic for your explanatory speech, it’s now time to gather as much information as you can on the topic. If you are already an expert at the topic, Great! But if you know nothing about the topic, do your research.
If you live in the 21st century, you are most likely going to be doing your research online. here are some tips to help you with that.
- When starting out, gather as much information as you can. Do a broad search on the topic.
- After having a feel of what the topic is all about, you can now narrow the scope of your research and focus on what is important.
- Don’t use only Google. Go further to use other websites and resources that are more detailed.
- Don’t just rely on only one source. Cross-check your information using different sources.
3. ORGANIZE THE INFORMATION
After collecting as much data and info as you can on a particular topic, you should then organize it into a cohesive piece. Have an intro, body, and conclusion. Best to present the information in a manner that your audience can easily understand. Prepare an outline to guide your explanatory speech.
4. WHY DOES IT MATTER
As part of your introduction to your explanatory speech, you should tell your audience why what you are explaining is important. If you can answer the question of why the topic matters and how it can help your audience, you will have the attention of the audience.
For example, if you are explaining to an audience the importance of a stethoscope. After explaining what a stethoscope is and what it does, the next thing is to explain why the stethoscope is important. If you can successfully explain ‘what is’, ‘what it does’ and ‘why it matters’, your audience will be hooked.
5. THE CURSE OF KNOWLEDGE
There is a very high tendency that being an expert on a topic or having done extensive research on the topic, you are more likely to employ technical jargons and industry-specific lingo as you give your explanatory speech. If that happens, you are sure to lose the attention of the audience and leave them more confused.
So, over the course of giving your explanatory speech, try to keep things as simple as possible. Use language that your audience can easily understand. After all, the concept of explaining is all about using simpler language to explain complex concepts.
6. THE RIGHT WAY
The semi-perfect(I say semi-perfect because I probably don’t have the answers to cracking a perfect speech, you will have to figure that out yourself ) way to give an explanatory speech is this: State the idea, topic or concept, Explain the idea or topic in simple words, then provide examples to help your audience understand and then illustrate by using diagrams or any means available to you. This format of explaining is known as the SEE-I method; state it, elaborate, exemplify and illustrate. It is great for explaining an idea in a simple and concise manner. It is sure to be effective in any situation.
Of course, at the end of your explanatory speech, a recap or summary of all that you talked about will help your audience remember and retain the knowledge you have passed to them. Remind them of the key points of your explanatory speech. The parts of your speech that best exemplifies all you were trying to explain.
EXPLANATORY SPEECH TOPIC IDEAS
Explanatory Speech Ideas in Finances
- How to build a healthy credit score.
- How to build wealth from the stock market.
- How to invest in your financial future.
- How to save for retirement.
Explanatory Speech Ideas in Science and Technology
- How to install Ubuntu on your computer.
- How to land a job in tech.
- How to get rid of and prevent your computer from being affected by a computer virus.
- How stem cells work.
Explanatory Speech Ideas in Environment
- How to dispose of your trash without harming the environment.
- How to survive on eco-friendly products.
- How to transition to environmental-friendly living.
Explanatory Speech Ideas in Sports and Health
- How to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- How to avoid stress.
- How to pick the perfect fitness regimen.
- How volleyball works.
Explanatory Speech Ideas in Business
- How to come up with a business idea.
- How to test the viability of your idea.
- How to run multiple businesses.
- How to build an income stream.
There you have it, a guide to effectively delivering an explanatory speech. Explaining our ideas and beliefs shouldn’t be difficult, let’s make it so. Next time you are called upon to give an explanation, make me proud. 🙂
REFERENCES & FURTHER READING