How to Write a Speech to Inform

If you’ve ever told your spouse about your day at work, or explained how to make an omelet, you already have experience giving an informative speech. An informative speech can be used to tell people about something you’re interested in or to explain how to do something. If that sounds easy, it’s because it is. Just choose your topic and make sure you know what you’re talking about.

  1. Choose a topic. You may have been given your subject. Alternatively, you should choose a topic you’re interested in, to give the best coverage of the subject. It may be obvious, but informative speeches inform. Don’t select a topic that requires you to give your opinion: that’s a persuasive speech.
  2. Narrow down your topic. Don’t try and cover every aspect of a subject. Pick a subject niche will allow you to thoroughly cover your topic in the time allotted.
  3. Develop your thesis. For example, “I am going to explain how to take apart a carburetor,” or “In this speech I’ll explain how to claim your pet as a tax deduction” could be good theses.
  4. Research your subject. If there’s one key to writing an informative speech it’s: know your topic. If you’re writing about something you know well you may not need much research. Otherwise, learn as much as possible about your subject. Take notes of crucial information as you go along.
  5. Consider your audience. In general, unless you know otherwise, assume your audience knows little about your topic. You may need to give background information and be careful about what jargon you use to explain your subject. However, if speech on carburetors is given to a group of auto mechanics, you can skip the background information.
  6. Outline your speech. List the information you wish to cover. Arrange it in a logical order. Decide what type of order best suits the subject: step-by-step, chronological, etc.
  7. Write the introduction. Your first words should grab the audience’s attention, with an anecdote or citation relevant to your topic. Then proceed to your thesis statement. If it’s a long or complicated speech, provide your audience with an overview of where you are going..
  8. Expand your outline to create the body of the speech. Include all the key points from your outline.
  9. Write your conclusion. A conclusion should summarize the main points of the speech. Your ending should refer back to the introduction to make the presentation cohesive.

Some guidelines to keep in mind when writing the informative speech:

  • Grab their attention – Give the audience a good reason to listen to you.
  • Make sure the audience understands – This refers back to point five above. Observe the audience as you speak. Do they look like they are following or are their eyes glazed over? It may be useful to insert breaks to ask if there are any questions.
  • Cover the basics – Who, when, what, why, where, how.
  • Emphasize the main ideas – Use basic speech-writing principles and use strong transitions between key points.
  • Repeat the main ideas – People need to hear something three times before they remember. State the main ideas in three different ways.
  • Be passionate about your topic – It’s easier to get people interested and informed by your topic, if you’re excited about what you have to say.

3 tips for a stress-free connected workplace

(NC) Does your workplace stress you out? It may not be the everyday tasks, projects and deadlines, but rather the physical environment.

Maybe your desk is too messy, or your colleagues are too loud. Perhaps your boss is always looking over your shoulder, the dated technology gives you anxiety, or you can’t stand the fluorescent lights.

If any of these resonate with you, there’s a good chance that your physical workplace is affecting your attitude and performance.

According to the recent Connected Workplace Report, commissioned by Rogers Communications and conducted by Harris-Decima, 76 per cent of Canadians believe technology helps them to be more efficient and productive at their job. And, 30 per cent of respondents report that staying connected to their work with mobile technology helps them to enjoy a healthier work/life balance.

Creating a stress free environment for you and your team can pay off big time. Whether you are an executive, manager, or team member, you can have an impact on the stress level of your co-workers by using technology and other techniques.

Here are three ways to do this every day of the week:

Keep your workspace clean and organized. Clear all the clutter around your desk. Put work in progress neatly in one location. File away completed projects, and do an assessment of what you really need to keep. Determine if you can digitize any of your printed documents. Recycle or shred anything that you do not need a copy of.

Ensure your office and desk set up is comfortable. Place your computer directly in front of you with your keyboard and mouse in a comfortable position – your lower arms should rest at a comfortable angle. Think ergonomics – you should have a desk chair that is adjustable and provides proper back support. This will alleviate both physical and mental stress.

Use technology. Modern technology has changed the way we do business. Smooth collaboration between employees, partners, suppliers, and customers is a sure-fire way to boost efficiency while also reducing stress. There are numerous tools that allow people to collaborate and share from anywhere, like interactive calendaring, videoconferencing, Microsoft’s Office 365 and the Rogers One Number app are two examples.

Be a good communicator. Poor communication often causes confusion, leading to stress in the office. If those around you aren’t communicating well, ask questions, make suggestions and do whatever else you can to improve the situation.

Sixty per cent of those surveyed believe that smartphones and tablets have a positive effect on workplace communication. To stay productive on the move, workers need to be able to quickly and easily reach the people and information they need. With file sharing tools and mobile worker solutions and devices, it is easy to work outside the office and still enjoy safe access to the business network.More information is available at

Learn to Stop to Keep Going

Imagine getting behind the wheel of your car and driving continuously, without any thought to refueling or maintenance. It would run along for a while, but sooner or later something would bring the car to a halt.

To keep a car going, you need to stop it periodically. Frequent stops are needed to add fuel. Less frequent stops are needed for maintenance and repair. Neglecting these stops will soon turn a new car into a pile of scrap metal.

It’s amazing how many people don’t see that same principle at work in their life. There are limits to what anyone can accomplish without taking breaks. These stops are necessary on every level of capacity:

  • physical
  • emotional
  • psychological
  • spiritual

If you’re looking to keep moving forward in a focused and productive fashion, you need to have some space in your schedule.


  • Put aside a little time every day to plan what you’re going to do.
  • Put aside a little time every week to review your outstanding commitments and organize them for the following week.
  • Put aside time once or twice a year to review your goals and dreams, and why they are important to you.


  • Things are going to go wrong, or at least different than we anticipated. Knowing that you have a plan in place can help you pick up the pieces and keep moving forward.

Set your attitude

  • Our attitude is a result of deliberate action. We choose the ways we respond to difficulties in our lives. That’s not to say that some situations are going to be more difficult than others, but there are ways to maintain a positive mental attitude.


  • Discern what your skills and strengths are.
  • Say yes to those you are confident you can complete with excellence.
  • Say no to everything else.


Each person’s down time needs to suit themselves.

What are some of the things you do to refuel, re-charge and repair? Leave a comment.

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Use Lists to Manage Your Life

My wife is the queen of lists. She uses an iPHone 4s and can, a swipe and a couple of taps, pull up whatever information she needs to plan her next action. For example, she uses SplashShopper to track all our shopping lists. If we pop into Home Depot to pick up a gallon of paint, she checks to see what other hardware items we might need, saving a second trip. She has lists of gift ideas, quotes for greeting cards, honey-do’s and much more.

Lists are the simplest tool or system for managing your life. They consolidate all your tasks in one place. They can tickle your memory or stimulate your creativity. Lists can be as simple or as complex as you need.

You can read lists that give insight into who we are in the Sasha Cagen book, To-Do List: From Buying Milk to Finding a Soul Mate, What Our Lists Reveal About Us.

Here is a quick outline of some of the lists you can keep:

  • Reference
    • Dates
      • Birthday
      • Anniversary
    • Personal information
    • Account information
    • Action
      • To-do
      • Bills to pay
      • Projects
      • Communication
      • Planning
      • Context-based
    • Shopping
      • Groceries
      • Clothing
      • Household
      • Gifts
    • Ideas

    What are some of the lists you use?

Control your body language for effective communication

Communicating effectively means more than knowing what to say and when to say it. Communication involves the subtle signals your body language sends to those listening. Over half of the information you provide  as you connect with others comes from your body language. Some body language provides positive information and some negative information. Positive bodylanguage says, “I am interested in what you are saying.” Negative body language says, “I don’t believe anything you are saying – and I am bored besides!”

Here are some common body actions and the impressions they create:

  • Fiddling – Playing with your watch or a pen looks like you’re bored or impatient.
  • Clock watching – It looks like you’re anxious to move on to something else.
  • Tapping – Tapping your foot or fingers suggests you are impatient or nervous. Drumming your fingers, scratching, twitching, and darting eyes around room all discredit what you are saying and your image as a person good to know.
  • Staring – An unblinking stare conveys boredom. Blink normally and nod your head to show agreement, and that you are still alive and not bored to death.
  • Body hunched – Closing up your body profile —becoming smaller— looks like you lack confidence. Stand tall and believe what you are saying.
  • Arms crossed – If you keep your arms folded during communication, you appear to be defending yourself against the others. Keep your posture open, except your legs. Crossed at the knee or ankle is O.K. (Depends a lot on the culture. For example, in Thailand don’t cross your legs and point your toes at anyone!)
  • Hiding your hands – Evasive people with secrets don’t show their hands.
  • Touching your face – When you have your hand in front of your mouth, you appear timid. Rubbing nose, eyes, ears, head, or neck shows doubt in what you are saying or hearing.
  • No eye contact – If you won’t look the other speaker in the eye, you seem to have low interest or a lack of confidence. (Don’t forget staring, above.)

How you say things in communication is just as important as what you say. Watch your body language and control the unconscious message you might be sending.

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How to Automate Evernote

or… “Put Evernote on Autopilot, Save Boat Loads of Time and Make Your Life Easier (and More Organized)!”

If you’re really using Evernote to “remember everything,” you know that you need to be diligent in getting your stuff into Evernote. There are a few built-in features to speed-up the process: a dedicated e-mail addressing for sending items to Evernote or import folders that Evernote where you can save files for automatic import. As well, there are apps that tie into Evernote from smartphones and tablets, making it easier to add content for those devices.

However, beyond those considerations, there is nothing in the way of native support for automating Evernote.

Kosio Angelov addresses this “shortcoming” in his ebook, How to Automate Evernote: Put Evernote on Autopilot, Save Boat Loads of Time and Make Your Life Easier (and More Organized)! (aff link) A mouthful of a title.

In the 77 page book, Kosio looks at a couple of tools that can work with Evernote to automate a number of processes: IFTTT, Gmail, Zapier and Evernote’s built-in features.

He takes us through each of the tools in step-by-step detail, offering a few concrete examples form each tool – recipes from IFTTT, zaps from Zapier, and setting up the built-in automation processes.

If you’re looking for a way to take your Evernote experience to the next level, this ebook is the way to go. It’s $7.00, a good investment for improving your productivity processes.

How to Automate Evernote: Put Evernote on Autopilot, Save Boat Loads of Time and Make Your Life Easier (and More Organized)!


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