The purpose of an informative briefing is to enhance the audience’s knowledge about a specific topic in which the speaker is an expert. The goal of the presenter is to present clear-cut information in an interesting yet enlightening manner. The purpose of my speech was to enhance the audience’s awareness of what marijuana is, as well as to dispel many myths that exist around it that emanate from the fact that it is an illegal substance, causing often untrue information to be spread. The ultimate goal of my presentation was to leave the audience with a better understanding of what the plant actually is and how it may be of use to society.
Introducing a topic during a presentation is one of, if not the, most difficult part of any speech. If the speaker does not draw the audience’s attention immediately, then they are, in effect, lost for the duration of the speech. I believe that my introduction was relatively effective because it introduced my topic in a way that most members of the class can most likely relate to. By asking the audience if they recognized the rolling paper, they were forced to focus on me as well as my question, which then introduced a relatively controversial topic.
In doing so, I should have captured the attention of the audience. In reviewing my performance, however, it was clearly evident how nervous I was which hindered the eloquence of the introduction, making it less effective than I had planned and ultimately hoped for; it was, nonetheless, still effective in capturing the audience.
As with any other presentation, the body of the speech followed the introduction. The body was organized in a manner that would logically suit the presentation. First, there was a brief description of what marijuana really is, which was actually quite important based on the purpose of the speech. Marijuana is most often referred to by one of the multitudes of street names that it has acquired and the purpose of the speech was to enhance the knowledge of the audience by presenting facts, not street information. Following the description was a point counter-point narrative of many of the myths surrounding marijuana usage and the truth behind those myths. Next, I spoke about many of the federal studies that have occurred whose findings differ greatly with much of the propagandized information that is presented to the general population. The third major topic area that I covered was the potential that marijuana has for the business and financial world, as well as the repercussions that would ensue if marijuana was actually made into a legal plant and turned into an industry.
Each of the major points was supported by numerous documented facts. In defining what marijuana is, I used the Common Sense for Drug Policy Foundations definition as well as other information that the site provided that enhanced the understanding of the defining characteristics of marijuana. After this, I spoke about the many studies that have occurred, such as the Schaffer Study conducted under the Nixon Administration, which I obtained information about from a book authored by Raymond Schaffer, the man who lead the study (the book was titled A Signal of Misunderstanding). I found that many of the other studies provided statistics that further enhanced the information provided in my speech because it described the ineffective nature of current policing policies as well as introduced the final portion of my presentation, which was the business aspects involved in the marijuana debate.
The information provided by the national commission on marijuana and drug abuse was valuable in supporting my statement that there are business repercussions that could emanate from the use of marijuana. First, I stated how many users there are in the United States, followed by the extent of the crimes committed. Then, using information from an Associated press article entitled UN Estimates Drug Business Equal To 8% of World Trade, I described how the business world would most likely benefit from the legal use of marijuana.
The basis of any conclusion is to tie up the presentation and basically re-cap what was presented. My conclusion was not as effective as I had hoped. My goal was to create a clincher, a final thought provoking, or at least interesting, point that would regain the audiences attention if it had been lost during the presentation. In attempting to do so, I was not effective in summarizing the major points, nor was the clincher too effective. It seemed as if I was struggling to come up with an adequate clincher, which could have been avoided with more practice of the conclusion.
Because I did not have a speech prepared, my eye contact was relatively effective in viewing the audience. Realistically, I should have looked up at the audience more, and for more sustained periods of time, but the lack of a composed speech forced me to look at the audience throughout the presentation. My vocal variation during the speech was sub-par. It was clearly evident that I was nervous throughout the speech and the voice was a reflection of my anxiety. In practicing the speech, I had used various intonations to emphasize certain points, but during my presentation I was, for the most part, speaking in a monotone. There were points where I did alter my vocal tone, but it was not frequent or effective enough.
The speed and enunciation of the speech were adequate, but the volume of my voice and the general variation of tone in general could have been improved upon. Because I did not have any physical examples and no podium was set up, body movement was not necessarily appropriate. If we had been encouraged to walk around the front of the room or if there was a large physical example, then movement would have been appropriate. However, under the given circumstances and time restrictions, body movement was, personally, minimal because it was not overly necessary in the presentation of the information.
As many of the other class members discovered, it was difficult to involve the class in the discussion. Few, if any, members of the class actively participated in any presentation, even if solely by asking questions. I believe that most of the class members have been confronted with my topic at some point or another during their lives, so even at an unspoken level most of my classmates must have at least related to the presentation. Again, my class is not overly participatory in any nature, so it is difficult to rate the amount of audience participation because, in general, the class does not participate unless there isn’t an alternative.
Informative speeches are an effective method of enhancing an audiences knowledge of a given topic. They are purposeful and necessary, especially in the upbeat modern world that requires quick and effective transference of information from one individual to another. Through the use of these speeches, a large amount of information can be provided to a room full of individuals in a relatively short amount of time. The information provided can then be used or applied immediately following the presentation. The goal of my informative speech was to enhance the audience’s knowledge about what marijuana really is, and how it can be used today to augment the way of life of our growing economy.