Differences between persuasive & informative speaking

Written by kimberli nalven
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Differences between persuasive & informative speaking
Debates are an example of persuasive speech. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Whether you're giving a speech, or just having a conversation with another person, there is a difference between persuasive speech and informational speech. While both types of speech should be supported with accurate information, the information is used in different ways. Persuasive speech seeks to convince the audience of something. Informational speech presents information and teaches.

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Persuasive speech

Persuasive speech intends to influence a person or group's values, attitudes, or even change their beliefs on something. The best persuasive speech marries factual information with reason and logic to convince the audience that they should re-evaluate their thinking. If the logic of the persuasive argument is sound, it can then persuade the listener to go one step further and make changes to her own beliefs. Persuasive speech is not intended to deliver complete and thorough information but to use information to make a convincing argument.

Differences between persuasive & informative speaking
The first goal of persuasive speech is to get the person to suspend her beliefs and hear new ideas. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Informational Speech

Informational speech is all about good, compelling research and creative presentation. Informational speech is typically directed at teaching or educating a person or group about a specific subject. The information needs to be useful, interesting and, if possible, unique. It needs to be delivered in a clear but dynamic fashion to maintain the audience's attention. With informational speech, there is no need to try and change attitudes or beliefs. It's about sharing new information.

Uses and Types of Persuasive Speech

Many professionals use persuasive speech for success in their careers. Politicians, salesmen, decorators and especially lawyers use either written or oral forms of persuasive speech to convince their clients or audiences that their "product" is the best. Persuasive speech should be informative but isn't as reliable as complete and thorough facts. Like informative speech, persuasive speech should be delivered creatively to capture the audience's attention but it must go one step further and get the listener to reconsider his own views or beliefs. Debates, advertising, eulogies and telemarketing campaigns all use persuasive speech.

Uses and Types of Informative Speech

Informative speech is frequently employed by teachers, professors, tour guides and journalists. In all instances, the user's purpose is to inform and educate. The factual information does not intentionally lead the listener or reader toward a conclusion like a persuasive speech, but rather encourages him to form his own conclusions. Research lectures, news reports, book reports and documentaries, whether in written or oral form, all use informative speech.

Differences between persuasive & informative speaking
Reporters aim to deliver informative, not persuasive speech. (Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images)

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