Many things might be included in a speech, but when you think about it, there are really only four basic types of speeches. The Type depends on the occasion and the purpose. The four basis types of speeches are so named not because of the contents but because of the reason it is given.

When you are asked to deliver a speech, think about what you want to accomplish. Then, that becomes the type you will give. For instance, do you want to inform, instruct, persuade or entertain? Speakers might do some of each, but one should dominate over the others.

For instance, a speaker might inform in an entertaining way.

To inform

An informative speech is simply one where the speaker shares some information with the audience. How detailed the information is depends a lot on the audience. A speaker would not inform a group of kindergarteners about quantum physics. However, the speaker could inform the group about the best type of dog to own. They would understand and enjoy that subject must better.

An informative speech is filled with information about a specific subject. The subject matter could be about a person, place or thing.

To instruct

The instructional speech is one that teaches the audience about something. "How to" speeches fall into this category.

For instance, dog owners can give instructions about how to bathe a dog. During the presentation, listeners are expected to learn instructions about bathing a dog.

Some information can be given about the size of a tub to be used. While the main topic is instructional, a little bit of information also has been given.

To persuade

A persuasive speech is one that convinces people to do something. This is the type where the sole purpose is to get someone to act upon something. A good example is to convince a group of parents to get a dog for their children. If the message is delivered effectively, parents will rush out and get a dog.

To entertain

An entertaining speech is more relaxed because it gives the audience pleasure and enjoyment. A person doesn't have to be a stand-up comedian to give a speech that entertains. A good example is to tell some funny stories about training a dog.

The next time you are assigned to give a speech, think first about the purpose. Once you have established the purpose, you can develop your speech around that purpose.

Unfortunately, some speakers write a speech and then try to decide what the purpose is. Needless to say, the speech doesn't turn out well.