Steve Jobs’ keynote speeches for Apple launches, motivational speeches by thought leaders, or political speeches by world leaders are all different types of public speaking.

The way each of these kinds of speeches is different is because of the intent of the speaker. Speaker intent determines the types of speeches in public speaking. Where one would be to inform their audience of a new product, another could be to motivate employees to perform better.

What makes an effective public speaker lies in their ability to engage the listener, speak with clarity and read the audience. Let’s discuss types of public speaking and their intent.

What Are Types Of Public Speaking?

Understanding the types of public speaking helps you prepare your speech. If your purpose is to share important business updates, for instance, you need to inform your audience rather than motivate or convince them. Your intent and the audience’s takeaway establishes what kind of speech you should make.

Here are the common purposes behind the types of public speaking you’ll encounter:

  1. To Inform

One of the most common types of public speaking is to inform or share information with the audience. Informational public speaking intends to impart data, updates and knowledge that adds value. For instance, a business leader informs their employees of any internal policy changes, key investment updates or signing new clients. Medical conferences are also informational as professionals share their findings and results to inform contemporaries. The purpose is not to discuss or share opinions, it’s to explain and help people understand any changes or new knowledge.

  1. To Persuade Or Convince

Types of public speech are incomplete without persuasive public speaking. Political leaders, business leaders and lawyers rely on persuasive speeches to convince their audience. They use techniques that appeal to the audience to keep them engaged. The purpose is to get people to agree with them after judging their words for themselves. In a court of law, lawyers try to persuade judges and juries to rule in their favor. Persuasive public speaking is a great skill that can be learned over time.

  1. To Motivate

Commencement speeches are types of public speech that motivate and inspire a graduating class before they embark on a new journey. Motivational public speaking is important and carries a lot of responsibility with it. If you have to deliver a motivational speech, you must be mindful of your audience. Students, for instance, are looking up to you for words of wisdom as they enter the unknown. You have to guide them and help them deal effectively with this transition. Universities invite established professionals, actors and leaders to deliver commencement speeches and share their experience with students.

  1. To Entertain

Public speaking isn’t just formal, it can be informal as well. Think of standup comedy or storytelling. These are types of public speech which intend to entertain their audience. Other speeches that may be entertaining are speeches given in favor of someone. This might be a speech for your friend at their wedding or to celebrate someone at work, in an informal capacity.

  1. To Demonstrate

Demonstrations are needed for product launches, like Apple or Samsung, or if your organization is rebranding. Demonstrations are extremely important to inform, update and get feedback. These help you get an idea of what your audience thinks about your offering. For instance, if you’re launching a new service to your customers, you can use a demonstration to get feedback from your employees or other teams.

Public speaking is an art you can learn and refine with experience. You need a certain skill set to make an impact and connect with your audience. Not only do you have to be clear in your speech but also be mindful of your body language.

Learn about types of public speaking skills for different kinds of public speaking with Harappa’s Speaking Effectively course. You’ll learn how to craft the right message and deliver compelling speeches with key frameworks like the PAM (Purpose-Audience-Message). Become skilled at picking up on non-verbal cues like facial expressions and body language to read your audience. If you can become a public speaker who can modify their speech based on audience reaction, you can master all types of public speaking!


Explore Harappa Diaries to learn more about topics such as Public Speaking, Types Of Speaking SkillsGlossophobia and Advantages Of Public Speaking to deliver ideas with precision.

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