Martin Luther King’s I have a dream. Winston Churchill’s we shall fight on the beaches speech. J. F. Kennedy’s The decision to go to the moon speech. Nelson Mandela’s I am the first accused speech. Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address. Barrack Obama’s yes we can speech.

One thing all these have in common is that they were some of the most powerful speeches of their times. They brought people together and got them united towards the achievement of a single cause.

Speeches are a great way to sell an idea to people, deliver a message, impart knowledge, and persuade people to support a cause or idea. What many do not know, however, is that there are several types of speeches.

Knowing the different types of speeches can make you more effective at making speeches and move you from the 75% of the population who have a fear of public speaking, because you will have a good idea of which type of speech to use on which occasion and to which audience.

Below, let’s take a look at 9 different types of speeches.


Have you ever been to a workshop or seminar where a speaker was showing people how to do something, such as how to exercise at home, how to use certain software, or how to use a certain product? If you have, it means that you have witnessed a demonstrative speech in action.

A demonstrative speech is a speech that is given with the aim of educating the audience about something. The key differentiating thing about demonstrative speeches, however, is that they are always accompanied by a demonstration.

The speaker doesn’t simply tell you how to do something or how something works. Instead, they demonstrate how to do it, or how the thing works, with visual aids to make it easier for the audience to understand what the speaker is talking about. The video below shows an example of a demonstrative speech.

Since the demonstrative speech seeks to impart knowledge, it can easily be confused for an informative speech, which also has similar objectives.

However, they have their differences. First, we have already seen that unlike the informative speech, the demonstrative speech has to be accompanied by visual aids to demonstrate what is being taught.

The other key difference between the two kinds of speeches is that whereas the informative speech focuses mostly on theoretical concepts, the demonstrative speech is more focused on the practical aspect of things. In other words, the demonstrative speech focuses more on the how, unlike the informative speech, which focuses mainly on the what.

You can give a demonstrative speech on just about anything that teaches people how to do something – how to earn a passive income, how to prepare for a job interview, how to maintain a car, you name it. However, for it to qualify as a demonstrative speech, you have to actually demonstrate how to do whatever it is you are talking about.


The informative speech, as you might have deduced, is a close ally of the demonstrative speech. The main objective of the informative speech is to convey information that the audience wasn’t aware of previously.

Remember your days back in college, when you used to doodle on your notebook while your professor droned on and on about some concept in physics that you couldn’t seem to wrap your head around? You might not have known it at the time, but your professor was actually giving an informative speech.

Similarly, if you have had a guided tour of a zoo or a game reserve, what you experienced was an informative speech.

Informative speeches can convey information about events, concepts, objects, processes, and so on.

To make the speech effective, the speaker tries to break down the topic they are talking about into simple, easy-to-digest ideas that can be understood by a layman. Informative speeches are usually accompanied by statistics, facts, and other data. Unlike demonstrative speeches, however, informative speeches are not accompanied by visual aids.


Have you been to an event where the MC enthralled the audience with funny story after funny story, leaving the crowd dying with laughter? If you have, what you witnessed was an example of an entertaining speech.

The main objective of the entertaining speech is to amuse the audience and provide them with pleasure and enjoyment.

To achieve this objective, entertaining speeches are accompanied by funny stories and illustrations, jokes, and other forms of humor. In most cases, entertaining speeches are quite short, lasting just a few minutes.


A politician giving a campaign speech with the aim of convincing the electorate to elect him or her to public office. A lawyer trying to convince the jury about the innocence of their client.

A teenager trying to convince their parents to allow them to go out with friends. Someone trying to convince a group of friends to try out a certain restaurant. An entrepreneur giving a sales pitch to convince investors to invest in his startup. All these are examples of persuasive speeches.

A persuasive speech refers to any speech given with the objective of persuading the audience that the speaker’s opinion is the right one, and by extension, convincing them that they should embrace the same opinion or provide their support to the speaker.

Obviously, persuading people to not only view your opinion as the right one, but to also embrace the same opinion and give you their support is not an easy thing to do.

Therefore, persuasive speeches employ a variety techniques to convince the audience. For instance, the speaker might use facts and statistics to make what they are saying more believable and more sensible. This means that the speaker needs to have performed a thorough research of the topic and gathered as much material as possible to back up their argument.

Alternatively, the speaker can appeal to the feelings and emotions of the audience to persuade them to adopt the speaker’s point of view and give their support.

This tactic is especially useful when trying to rally up support for a cause, such as raising funds to help the elderly, the poor, oppressed women, orphaned children, and so on.

For instance, Martin Luther King’s I have a dream speech is an example of a persuasive speech that appealed on the emotions of people to persuade them to take a stand against racism and inequality.


This term refers to speeches that are delivered in an orator’s style. I know this might sound a little bit confusing since in the basic sense of the word, anyone giving a speech is an orator.

In most cases, oratorical speeches are given at events that call for a special celebration, such as ribbon cutting ceremonies, graduation parties, inauguration ceremonies, going-away parties, birthday parties, retirement parties, wedding receptions, and so on.

In some cases, some political speeches can also be considered to be oratorical in nature. For this to happen, however, the speaker should not be trying to persuade people to do something (such as vote for them) or to settle complex arguments. Instead, they should be general speeches that appeal to basic truths and common virtues.

Depending on the nature of the event, oratorical speeches can either be short and informal (such as in birthday parties and retirement parties), or long and formal (such as in presidential inauguration ceremonies). A good example of a great oratorical speech is J. F. Kennedy’s inaugural speech.


In my final year in high school, I was captain of the basketball team, and there’s this one game I will never forget. It was the final game of the high school basketball tournament, and if we won, we would be crowned state champions.

Problem is, we were trailing by 15 points at the break of half time. During the half time break, our coach gave us one of the most moving speeches I have ever heard.

He reminded us how much we had trained for this moment, reminded us that we were the best team he had ever coached, and told us that we had it in us to overturn the game and clinch the trophy.

We went back onto that court with so much determination and desire, and by the time the ref blew the final whistle, we were leading by 12 points and were crowned state champions. I attribute our success on the court that day to that half-time speech by our coach.

The speech he gave us is an example of a motivational speech.

A motivational speech is a type of speech that is given with the aim of encouraging or inspiring the audience and getting them to do better or improve themselves.

Motivational speeches are common in business meetings to encourage employees to improve their performance, in schools to inspire students to do their best in tests, and in sporting events to inspire athletes to give their all.

Motivational speeches are also good for lifting a person’s self-esteem or turning negative situations into positive ones. A good example of a great motivation speech is Steve Job’s Stanford commencement speech.


An introductory speech refers to a kind of speech that is used to get the audience ready for the main focus on a meeting, gathering or event.

For instance, before the keynote speaker at an event gets on stage to give their speech, someone else will get on stage to introduce the keynote speaker to the audience.

Basically, the introductory speech introduces to the audience whoever or whatever they came to see or listen to. This could be a musician, a music band, an award winner, a motivational speaker, or even a staged production.

Introductory speeches are also common in social gatherings, such as graduations, promotion parties, wedding receptions, and so on. They are used to introduce the person(s) in whose honor an event or gathering has been held.

Ideally, an introductory speech should be short, and its main focus should be the person the speech is introducing. The introductory speech will usually provide a few biographical details about the person being introduced, mention this person’s qualifications or credentials, and probably share a quick anecdote about the person.

For an introductory speech to be effective, it should be positive, including a few complementary words about the person being introduced, and if possible, it should also be entertaining.

The aim is to get the audience excited about listening to the person being introduced.


This is a type of speech that is made by person who is the recipient of a certain honor or award. In most cases, the acceptance speech comes immediately after an introductory speech introducing the recipient of the award.

In most cases, the acceptance speech is usually short. The aim of the acceptance speech is for the speaker to express their gratitude for the award or honor they have received, to thank the people behind the competition or event, and to appreciate those who helped them achieve whatever it is that led to them being honored.

In most cases, acceptance speeches are accompanied by a lot of emotion, which can make them quite difficult, especially for someone who is giving such a speech for the first time.

Perhaps the best thing to do when giving an acceptance speech is to follow the advice of former US President Franklin D. Roosevelt: Be sincere. Be brief. Be seated.


A toast refers to a speech that is made with the main objective of honoring another person or a group of people. Toasts typically end in a phrase like “let’s raise our glasses to…” followed by a drink.

Toasts are usually given at celebratory events and gatherings, such as retirement parties, graduations, birthday parties, wedding receptions, award dinners, and so on. Most toasts are usually informal and relatively short. Still, they can be difficult to make, and in most cases, they need some prior rehearsal.

In many cases, there are rules and guidelines to specify who is supposed to give a toast. For instance, in a wedding reception, the toast is usually made by the best man or the bride’s father.

Depending on the tone of the occasion, a toast can be humorous, inspirational, sentimental, and in some cases, solemn. In most cases, the person making the toast has to be closely associated with the reason behind the toast.


Before giving a speech, you need to be well prepared in order to give a successful speech that will effectively achieve its objective. Remember, no speech is made just for the sake of it.

In addition, considering that most speeches are made in public settings, being prepared and giving a good speech can help cement your reputation as an orator. Below, let’s take a look at some tips that will help you give better and more effective speeches.

Know Your Audience

Having a good understanding of your audience is a very crucial aspect when it comes to making better and more effective speeches. A good speech is one that resonates well with the audience.

However, it is impossible for a speech to resonate with your audience if you do not have a good idea of the people who will be listening to the speech.

For instance, if you were asked to give a motivational speech to a group of entrepreneurs and to a group of students, you would not address them the same way, even if your objective would be the same for both speeches – encouraging and inspiring your audience. Knowing your audience allows you to tailor your speech to them.

Use Interesting Visual Aids For Demonstrative Speeches

We already saw that visual aids are a critical element of demonstrative speeches. It is impossible to make a demonstrative speech without visual aids.

To make your speech effective, you should make sure that your visual aids are both interesting (this allows you to capture and hold the audience’s attention) and simple (this makes it easier for your audience to understand what you are demonstrating).

There is no shortage of items that you can use as visual aids. You can use photographs, drawings, flashcards, 3-D items, or even actual products, if the situation allows that. Keep in mind that your audience might even be more attentive to your visual aids than to what you are saying, which is why you need to make sure you are using the right visual aids.

Choose An Easy Topic

When giving informative and demonstrative speeches, it is always a great idea to choose an easy topic, both for you and for the audience. An easy topic for you means that you won’t have to struggle much to make your audience understand what you are talking about. An easy topic for your audience will make it easier for you to hold the audience’s attention.

If you choose a topic that is excessively complex or technical, most of your audience might get bored along the way and lose their concentration.

Spice Up Your Entertaining Speeches

When giving an entertaining speech, try to find ways to spice up the speech to keep your audience engaged and to ensure they enjoy the speech.

You can do this by inserting jokes and funny stories into the speech every so often. Without doing this, what was supposed to be an entertaining speech can quickly become monotonous, causing your audience to start drifting away.

Have A Goal In Mind When Giving A Persuasive Speech

Before you start giving a persuasive speech, it should be very clear to you what you want to achieve from the speech. What action do you want your audience to take once you are done giving the speech?

This is what will inform how you are going to deliver your speech. For instance, instead of complaining about something and leaving it at that, you should persuade your audience that that thing is bad and then convince them to take some action against it.

In addition, it is always better to talk about the positivity of what you are trying to achieve or what you want your audience to do, rather than focusing on the negativity of what you are against.

Finally, you should give sufficient information about your stand or opinion to maximize your chances of achieving your goal.

Prepare Adequately

Regardless of the kind of speech you are going to be giving, it is very important to make sure that you are adequately prepared. Research the topic as much as you can, make sure you have the correct facts and statistics, and so on.

There is nothing worse than giving a speech about something, only for someone in the audience to dispute something you confidently said and be right about it.

It makes you look like you don’t know what you are talking about. Once you have all the facts you need, sit down, write your speech, prepare your speech cards, and go through your speech to make sure that everything looks okay.

From there, rehearse how you are going to deliver the speech a couple of times. You can do this in front of a mirror, or in front of a close friend or relative. You want to get to a point where you have your speech flowing from your fingertips.

Practice. Practice. Practice

Unless you are one of the few people who are born with a talent for oration and public speaking, becoming an eloquent orator is not something you are going to do within a single day. You need to practice and practice and practice.

This means that whenever you get a chance to give a speech, you should not let it pass you buy.

Offer to give speeches in various events, and following the events, analyze your speeches and see what you can do to improve. If possible, you can even have someone record you every time you give a speech.

You can then go through these speeches and identify various ways through which you can improve your oratory skills.


Speeches are a great way to bring people together and deliver a message or build support for an idea or cause. For you speech to be effective, however, you have to know which kind of speech to give where.

After reading this article, I hope that you now have a good understanding of the different kinds of speeches and where they should be used. I have also shared a couple of tips which I hope you will start implementing to make your speeches better and more effective.

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