Expository Speaking Overview


Expository (a.ka. Expos) speeches inform, more than persuade. The speech describes, clarifies, illustrates, or defines an object, idea, concept, or process. Still, the speech does have to persuade interest in the topic. You are not required by CHSSA regulations to use visual and/or auditory aids, but good Exposers have them. Don’t worry, your teammates will teach you the wonders of VA making. Expos is a special event existing only in California, and for the past three years, *Insert Old High School Name* has had an Expository Finalist at the State Championships. So, you’re definitely learning from the best. Expos is a pattern B event.

Personally, as a past speech captain, I think Expository is one of the easiest events to start off in, because all one has to do is talk about something interesting and give it importance. However, it can be one of the most time-consuming events due to VA making. If you like finding pictures that express a thousand more words about your topic, or engineering gimmicks with magnets and string on a poster, or simply enjoy rattling off facts, this event is definitely for you. If not, speakers with simple VAs have still done well in the past. Expos is an event you will grow in. The quality of Expos speeches, I feel, varies immensely compared to other events because 1) novices usually start out with simpler posters and topics 2) you’re given a lot of creative space 3) if you’re really serious about pwning the competition, more thought and work you put into your speech will make you can stand above the average competitor. At *insert old high school*, we pride ourselves in presenting high-quality work and worthy competition to our league.


l  Definitely pick a topic that is important and interesting not only to the general society, but also to YOU. Yes, YOU. You’re giving the speech so you better like your topic!

l  Common AGD formats include 1) a fictional/real story about oneself that then ties in the topic. a.k.a situational introduction 2) a mystery introduction describing the topic without revealing it until the end of the introduction.

l  Justification isn’t always needed directly in the introduction. You may bring it in throughout your speech.

l  Subtopics can range from a topic’s history, how the topic is effecting the world today, the applications of the topic, what the topic is made of, the topic in pop culture or other cultures, etc. Usually, they follow a chronological order and link together smoothly with transitions. The subtopics are usually short. For example, with the bread speech, the speakers spends only 35 seconds talking about Bread in Ancient Egypt, then he moves on to 30 seconds about bread’s significance to the French Revolution.

l  You may have as many as 11 paragraphs in your entire speech=OK. As in 5-10 body paragraphs is not out of the norm!

l  Puns, alliteration, and cleverness incorporated with VAs, all add to a great Expos.

l  Designing and making VAs will be explained more in the future. For now, write a speech with some pictures in mind of what you would show, or act out using props, while you speak.

l  IMPORTANT: When researching, make sure you have sources/links to return to your original source of information, because in the future, you will have to write a works cited page for your speech in order to compete at State. This means, every piece of information you put in your speech will need to be sourced. So, copy and paste those links down with the information you read and put into your speech.

By the way!!! You will most likely have to buy a stand and case, unless you inherit one from graduating seniors, or take that one sitting in the corner of the classroom…You will most likely spend about $40 on the case, and $50 on the stand.


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