Hear Ye, Hear Ye: Speaking to Inform 68 Spatial: The Order of Space Here, information is arranged in the order of direction: up to down, down to up, north to south, east to west, inside to outside, right to left, and so on. A building can be discussed floor by floor, for example, or the layout of a plaza can be described from the fountain in the center to the parking fields on the outskirts. Topical: The Order of Subjects Some themes lend themselves to topical arrangements through long use: For example, financial reports are usually divided into assets and liabilities; and the federal government is broken down into the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches. You don't want your method of organization to be shopworn, but remember that audiences are listening, not reading. Dividing your theme into familiar subtopics makes it easier for an audience to follow your logic. Because this method of organization can be used with all three kinds of speeches, it is covered in greater depth in Chapter 10, "My Way or the Highway: Speaking to Persuade." Class Act People learn new things by associating them with what they already know. Connect new facts with familiar ones to help your audience grasp your ideas. Hit the Books While their primary purpose is to teach, effective informative speeches need not be dull or dry. People absorb information much more easily when it's interesting, so pepper your speeches with juicy facts, tantalizing details, and delectable examples. Specific facts are the backbone of the informative speech. Read as much as you can about your topic. If you're plugged into the Internet, you can download piles of information from any of the online services to which you subscribe. However, keep in mind that not all sources are reputable. Five Ws and an H One of the best ways to research is to ask yourself the standard reporter's questions: who, what, when, where, why, and how. As you prepare an informative speech, think of yourself as a journalist. Here's what I mean: Who? Speech of the Devil Speakers who do research with the 5Ws and an H in mind often feel an urge to structure their speech like a news story, with a lead that contains all the facts. You're under no obligation to do so, however: Structure your speech to suit your audience and purpose.