Informative Speech about Friendship
The common task of the course of public speaking is to prepare the informative speech about friendship. But sometimes it seems that everything that could be said about friendship was already said by someone else. The definition of friendship, the comparison of love and friendship, the best friendship examples from personal experience… Just imagining that you are the last one in the class to make your informative speech can be a nightmare – everyone have said exactly what you were going to say!
But the public speaking is not only about passion and sincerity. It is also about being original and presenting the well-known facts from the different point of view to make them stick to the audience’s minds. Let’s think over some ideas for your really outstanding informative speech!
The first thing you need is to draw the attention of the audience. Always think about the worst situation: like a dozen of overly sceptical and tired people who are determined to give you a C grade at very best. Start your speech from something that would wake them up immediately, something they don’t know yet.
For example tell them about some most unusual symbols of friendship you know, like the West African picture of teeth and tongue that means roughly “we are useless without each other like teeth without tongue”, or cutting hands and mixing blood in Pagan cultures that means that the friendship of the two is as strong as blood bond.
Another way to make them listen to you is try to explain logically the thing that is usually explained emotionally and even metaphorically. Presenting even the best friendship as an evolutionary mechanism of collaboration and mix of dopamine, oxytocin and other “hormones of happiness”, omitting the psychological and spiritual aspects at first will definitely make the audience listen to you.
Maybe at first they will be angry, listening only to object, enraged that someone dares to diminish something as dear as friendship to the mere hormonal activity – but they will listen to you very attentively. You have to be very careful if you choose this path: the audience will be eager to criticize you, so make sure that the rest of your informative speech covers every other aspect of friendship from different points of view.
Before transferring to the more casual parts of the informative speech about friendship, you may also mention the brief definition of friendship from the different point of view – psychology, sociology, culture, biology… the comparison of different definitions may give the audience the full picture of what the friendship is, its different facets.
Also, resorting to more “practical” science may show the importance of friendship in human evolution and development of human conscience. Even the probability theory and game theory shows us the importance of friendship as cooperative strategy which gives every participant more than rivalry.
The interesting, though used commonly, topic to build your informative speech around is the comparison of love and friendship. The border between one and other is very vague and isn’t always related to sexual tension. You may use the four definitions of love used by ancient Greeks and then transferred to modern culture – eros, agape, philia and storge – to define the love and friendship separately, discuss the common traits and the ones that distinguish one from another.
You yourself can be surprised how close can friendship be to love, sometimes being of the same level of intimacy. Greek concept of “philia” describes exactly this kind of friendship (though it is quite weirdly for the modern people called “the love between the equals).
Usually the students receive the task to make an informative speech about friendship right before the Friendship Day. This gives us a bit more space to talk about. You may tell the audience about the history of the Friendship Day in your country, compare the celebration in your country and in the other ones, make parallels between the ancient rituals of friendship and modern customs that descend from them. It is quite interesting to observe how the ominous rituals and oaths of the ancient times transform into cheerful celebrations and receive new meanings in the modern culture.
If you still need more to say, give the audience the examples of the best friendship that saved the world or something on the lesser scale but not less important. The friendship and devotion to the friends is the basis of lots of myths of different nations all over the world, history knows the cases of friendship ending wars and changing the impossible odds. From Vikings to Babylonians to Roman senators – you may see the examples of the true friendship everywhere and see that even with the changing of the cultural values, the meaning and importance of this kind of relationship stays essential to humanity.
The portrayal of friendship in modern media and culture is also a very interesting topic though highly speculative. The concept of the absolute tolerance and the idea that everyone deserves friendship sometimes clashes with the more conservative idea that a true friend is a rare privilege that one should deserve and preserve as a treasure for all their life.
Friendship as tolerance and generally positive attitude to everyone (that is more of a friendliness as a trait than friendship as a relationship) is often mistaken for another social phenomenon – the mutual devotion that doesn’t demand lots of social interactions to maintain. This is what often shown in popular culture as “military brotherhood” or something similar, rough and tough but sincere. These two different images of friendship are sometimes confusing, because they use the same word and the same definition of friendship.
The popular series for kids also present different approaches. For example “Barbie” series is more of a first type, “My Little Pony” tries to balance both and “Adventure Time” tends to the second type. Sometimes the two polar portrayals of friendship are connected to gender stereotypes: the friendliness and forgiveness is considered “girlish” type when hiding emotions and showing the affection through the action is considered “boyish”. Luckily, the latest media products both for kids and adults are capable to show the full and complicated image of friendship that can include but not be limited to these two.
Another thing you can include into your speech is the psychological and sociological aspects of friendship. Learning positive social interactions or having “safe people” around in your hard times reduces the chance to get a depression or even can save people from the suicide or developing psychiatric issues.
Try to browse through medical magazines, from neuroscience to psychiatry, and you will see the incredible studies and cases that prove that friendship sometimes is as good as the most modern medicine. Having friends has positive influence to self-esteem and confidence and, though non-directly, helps people to achieve success. Friendship also has a lot to deal with the basic trust to the world – the concept that is essential in battling the anxiety.
Friendship helps people to cope with anything: from social failures to terminal illnesses. Humans are social beings by nature, so feeling your “pack” behind your back is just equally important to being fed and having the place to rest. Even the sociology studies place the need of friendship between the essential needs of human being. The meaning of friendship in psychological development and well-being of the person is just enormous.
And, also, it can give some statistics to add credibility to your informative speech (we’re staying practical after all!)We gathered here only a few ideas for the informative speech and tried to make them as brief as possible. But please, don’t think that you are limited to them or to similar ones.
Of course, every great speech needs an emotional part that taps into our subconscious and makes the audience empathize. Your personal experience is unique and you will make your speech much better by illustrating the facts you present with the episodes of your own life. Do not be shy to show your own emotions about this or that fact.
If it’s not too personal, use this opportunity to share your own symbols of friendship, tell why you chose them beforehand and why you feel it is important to you. You may even say some words to your friends who may be present in the audience, we are sure they will be glad to hear them! Also, don’t forget to measure time you need to tell everything you want to transfer to the audience.
You may try to start with a few thesis statements and then expand them until you use all the time you have. We are sure that you have a lot of wonderful ideas now, so pick the most brilliant of them, add some personal experience and attitude and compose everything in a perfect public speaking task.