The purpose of descriptive speeches is to provide a detailed, vivid, word picture of a person, animal, place, or object. Audiences should carry away in their minds a clear vision of the subject (4). In this speech, determine the characteristics, features, functions, or fine points of the topic. What makes the person unique? How did the person make you feel? What adjectives apply to the subject? What kind of material is the object made from? What shape is it? What color is it? What does it smell like? Is it part of a larger system? Can it be seen by the naked eye? What is its geography or location in space? How has it changed or evolved over time? How does it compare to a similar object? When preparing for the speech, try to think of ways to appeal to as many of the senses as possible. As an example, in a speech about different types of curried dishes, you could probably verbally describe the difference between yellow, red and green curry, but the speech will have more impact if the audience can see, smell, and taste samples.
Sample Descriptive Speech Outline
Title: Easter Island: The Navel of the World (16)
Specific Purpose: At the end of my speech my audience will be able to visualize some of the main attractions on Easter Island.
Central Idea: Easter Island hosts a number of ancient, mysterious, and beautiful attractions that make it an ideal vacation destination.