As famously put forward by Thomas Mann, Speech is civilization itself. The word, even the most contradictory word, preserves contact it is silence which isolates. Delivering a speech before an organized audience is different from having an informal chat with a group of friends. Public speaking essentially involves a definite purpose and the purpose is to communicate something to the audience. Speech is the conduit through which your ideas and thoughts are communicated to those listening to you. You can use your speech for three primary purposes; to entertain, to inform to persuade. There can be other purposes also for which you can use your speech effectively. You can inspire or motivate people with your speech, you can advocate for something or some idea with your speech. You can also show your gratitude or honor somebody by an appropriate speech. On the other hand speeches can be used to criticize or condemn certain act whereas speeches can be employed for uniting people and move them in a positive direction. Speeches are also delivered in ceremonies to commemorate a special day.
Thus depending on the type of occasion, the type and theme of the speech also keep on changing. Although there are many different types of speeches, the four main categories of speeches are persuasive, informative, demonstrative, and commemorative. What would be the type of your speech will be determined by the occasion where you are going to deliver the speech. Along with the type, the occasion will also determine the length of your speech. What should be the tone of the speech and what to expect from the audience also depend on this factor. For example, you can maintain a humorous tone through out a commemorative speech that your are delivering on a wedding ceremony. But it will not serve the purpose of your speech if you do not maintain a formal tone in an industrial presentation.
Now let us discuss about several types of speeches.
The main consequence of persuasive speech is it inflicts some changes in the minds of the people. It helps the audience to make a decision. In the persuasive communication the speaker is regarded as the sender who tries to influence the values, beliefs, attitudes, or behaviors of the listeners who are regarded as receivers. For example a persuasive speech may attempt to persuade the audience to believe something that they doe not presently believe. Or it can also persuade the audience to do something that they presently do not. The success of persuasive speech is determined by the degree to which the speaker was able to make the audience go for the change as put forward by the speaker. However, persuasive speech intends to inflict changes in the minds of the audience but it involves influence, not control.
Lawyer convincing the jury board or a politician seeking support from the electorate are classic examples of persuasive speech .
This type of speech is like teaching and explaining of a subject or idea. It tries to explain how things work or how to do something. You also have to convince the audience of the value and usefulness of the information you are sharing with them. The speech is constructed on a body of related facts. The success of the speaker with regard to this type of speech depends on how well the audience was able to grasp the subject explained by the speaker. If the audiences understand the subject well they will think about the matter long after the speech is over and remember the basic points of the speech. The classroom lecture of the teacher on any new subject is a typical example of informative speech.
It has many similarities with an informative speech. Like the informative type, demonstrative speech also tends to teach you about something. The point of difference lies in the inclusion of practical teaching of how to do that thing. The speech is successful if the audience can do on their own the act what you taught them. The chefs teaching at the television cooking show is a good example of demonstrative speech.