Boone County High School Forensics


Informative Speaking


When practicing Info with students, make sure to focus on both content and presentation. Like all memorized pieces, your ability to effectively coach a student is minimized if their piece isn’t memorized. If a student attends a practice session with most of the piece not memorized, encourage them to spend that practice session memorizing the piece instead. If the Info isn’t written, work with the student on drafting and writing the speech.


  • Because students have to write and revise their Infos before practicing, the first practice session or two may focus more on creating the speech than rehearsing it. While coaches will have to give the final approval for a speech topic, students will appreciate any help brainstorming ideas, researching sources, outlining, writing, revising, etc.


  • Remember that Infos should be both informative and interesting (while not being overtly persuasive). Be on the lookout for this during the writing/drafting process and note any concerns you have when a student is brainstorming topics.


  • The visual aid is important in Info. When practicing with students, ask yourself what the purpose of the visual aid is. Is it enhancing your understanding of the speech? Do you find yourself getting distracted by it? The earlier you mention visual aid concerns, the easier it will be for the student to fix them.


  • Is there a clear structure or organization in the info? Could you remember the main idea and body points five minutes after the speech? Try this, and if the answer is no, figure out why. Are the points not clearly stated or repeated? Are the body points too similar? Was one point longer and more developed than another?


  • Like with all speaking events, tone, diction, voice inflection, hand gestures, etc. are important. Coach students on how to use the speech walk to help organize their speech. Make sure gestures are natural without being sloppy. If a student is rushing through the speech or speaking in a monotone, try working on just a paragraph at a time, coaching them through how to emphasize important sections.


  • It may help students to imagine emphasis as italics. Just like how your brain internally emphasizes italicized words/phrases while reading, so too should they emphasize parts in a speech that hold the same type of depth or meaning.


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