14.6 Sample Informative Speech Outlines

Sample Outline: Informative Speech on Lord Byron
By: Shannon Stanley

Specific Purpose: To inform my audience about the life of George Gordon, Lord Byron.

Central Idea: George Gordon, Lord Byron overcame physical hardships, was a world-renowned poet, and an advocate for the Greek’s war for freedom.


I. Imagine an eleven year old boy who has been beaten and sexually abused repeatedly by the very person who is supposed to take care of him.
  A. This is one of the many hurdles that George Gordon, better known
  as Lord Byron, overcame during his childhood.
  B. Lord Byron was also a talented poet with the ability to transform his life into the
  words of his poetry.
  C. Byron became a serious poet by the age of fifteen and he was first published in
  1807 at the age of nineteen.
  D. Lord Byron was a staunch believer in freedom and equality, so he gave most of his
  fortune, and in the end, his very life, supporting the Greek’s war for independence.
  E. While many of you have probably never heard of Lord Byron, his life and written
  work will become more familiar to you when you take Humanities 1201, as I learned
  when I took it last semester.


II. Lord Byron was born on January 22, 1788 to Captain John Byron and Catherine Gordon Byron.
  A. According to Paul Trueblood, the author of Lord Byron, Lord Byron’s father only married
  Catherine for her dowry, which he quickly went through, leaving his wife and child nearly
  B. By the age of two, Lord Byron and his mother had moved to Aberdeen in Scotland and
  shortly thereafter, his father died in France at the age of thirty-six.
  C. Lord Byron was born with a clubbed right foot, which is a deformity that caused his foot to
  turn sideways instead of remaining straight, and his mother had no money to seek
  treatment for this painful and embarrassing condition.
    1. He would become very upset and fight anyone who even spoke of his lameness.
    2. Despite his handicap, Lord Byron was very active and liked competing with the other
  D. At the age of ten, his grand-uncle died leaving him the title as the sixth Baron Byron of
    1. With this title, he also inherited Newstead Abbey, a dilapidated estate that was in
    great need of repair.
    2. Because the Abbey was in Nottinghamshire England, he and his mother moved there
    and stayed at the abbey until it was rented out to pay for the necessary repairs.
    3. During this time, May Gray, Byron’s nurse had already begun physically and sexually
    abusing him.
    4. A year passed before he finally told his guardian, John Hanson, about May’s abuse; she
    was fired immediately.
    5. Unfortunately the damage had already been done.
    6. In the book Lord Byron, it is stated that years later he wrote “My passions were
    developed very early- so early, that few would believe me if I  were to state the period,
    and the facts which accompanied it.”
  E. Although Lord Byron had many obstacles to overcome, during his childhood, he became a
  world renowned poet by the age of 24.

III. Lord Byron experienced the same emotions we all do, but he was able to express those
  emotions in the form of his poetry and share them with the world.
  A. According to Horace Gregory, The author of Poems of, George Gordon, Lord Byron,
    the years from 1816 through 1824 is when Lord Byron was most known throughout
  B. But according to Paul Trueblood, Childe Harold was published in 1812 and became one of
    the best-selling works of literature in the 19th century.
    1. Childe Harold was written while Lord Byron was traveling through Europe after
    graduating from Trinity College.
    2. Many authors such as Trueblood, and Garrett, the author of
    George Gordon, Lord Byron, express their opinion that Childe Harold is an autobiography
    about Byron and his travels.
  C. Lord Byron often wrote about the ones he loved the most, such as the poem “She Walks in
  Beauty” written about his cousin Anne Wilmont, and “Stanzas for Music”
  written for his half-sister, Augusta Leigh.
  D. He was also an avid reader of the Old Testament and would write poetry about stories
  from the Bible that he loved.
    1. One such story was about the last king of Babylon.
    2. This poem was called the “Vision of Belshazzar,” and is very much like the bible version
    in the book of Daniel.
  E. Although Lord Byron is mostly known for his talents as a poet, he was also an advocate for
  the Greek’s war for independence.

IV. Lord Byron, after his self-imposed exile from England, took the side of the Greek’s in their
  war for freedom from Turkish rule.
  A. Byron arrived in Greece in 1823 during a civil war.
    1. The Greek’s were too busy fighting amongst themselves to come together to form a
    formidable army against the Turks.
    2. According to Martin Garrett, Lord Byron donated money to refit the Greek’s fleet of
    ships, but did not immediately get involved in the situation.
    3. He had doubts as to if or when the Greek’s would ever come together and agree long
    enough to make any kind of a difference in their war effort.
    4. Eventually the Greek’s united and began their campaign for the Greek War of
    5. He began pouring more and more of his fortune into the Greek army and finally
    accepted a position to oversee a small group of men sailing to Missolonghi.
  B. Lord Byron set sail for Missolonghi in Western Greece in 1824.
    1. He took a commanding position over a small number of the Greek army despite his
    lack of military training.
    2. He had also made plans to attack a Turkish held fortress but became very ill before the
    plans were ever carried through.
  C. Lord Byron died on April 19, 1824 at the age of 36 due to the inexperienced doctors who
  continued to bleed him while he suffered from a severe fever.
    1. After Lord Byron’s death, the Greek War of Independence, due to his support, received
    more foreign aid which led to their eventual victory in 1832.
    2. Lord Byron is hailed as a national hero by the Greek nation.
    3. Many tributes such as statues and road-names have been devoted to Lord Byron since
    the time of his death.


V. In conclusion, Lord Byron overcame great physical hardships to become a world-renowned
  poet, and is seen as a hero to the Greek nation and is mourned by them still today.
  A. I have chosen not to focus on Lord Byron’s more liberal way of life, but rather to focus on
  his accomplishments in life.
  B. He was a man who owed no loyalty to Greece, yet gave his life to support their cause.
  C. Most of the world will remember Lord Byron primarily through his written attributes, but
  Greece will always remember him as the “Trumpet Voice of Liberty.”

Garrett, M. (2000). George Gordon, Lord Byron. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Gregory, H. (1969). Poems of George Gordon, Lord Byron. New York, NY: Thomas Y. Crowell Company.
Trueblood, P. G. (1969). Lord Byron. (S. E. Bowman, Ed.). New York, NY:Twayne Publishers.

Sample Outline: Informative Speech on Haunted Places in Gettysburg
By: Leslie Dean

Specific Purpose: To inform my classmates of specific places in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, that are considered to be haunted.

Introduction: Do you believe in paranormal activity? Have you ever been to a place that is haunted? My personal opinion on this subject matter is open to question; however, there are a lot of people that have had firsthand encounters with the paranormal. Throughout the world there are countless places that are considered to be haunted by tormented souls that still lurk among us in search of a way to free their souls. Most places that claim to be haunted are intertwined with tales of battles and as a result many fatalities. Tragic times in history make for the perfect breeding grounds for the haunted places that exist today.
Thesis/Preview: Gettysburg is a city that is plagued by historical events that play a role in the manifestations that haunt Gettysburg today. These include locations at The Devil’s Den, Little Round Top, and the Hummelbaugh House.

I. The Devil’s Den is considered a site for paranormal activity.
  A. The Devil’s Den has historical significance retained during the American Civil War.
    1. Location held heavy fighting during battle that took place on July 2, of 1863.
    2. The total death toll estimated during battle consisted of 800 for the Union and more
    than 1,800 for the Confederates.
  B. Some reported paranormal activity at the Devil’s Den.
    1. According to author, consultant, and lecturer Dennis William Hauck, he states in his
    book Haunted Places that if you stand outside at the Devil’s Den there can be the sounds
    of drum rolls and gunshots heard.
    2. According to many visitors there have been many people that claim to have seen
    and/or taken pictures of and had conversations with a friendly soldier who either
    disappears or doesn’t show up in photographs.

Transition: Spooky, unexplainable things happen at the Devil’s Den but there is also paranormal activity in another area of Gettysburg, Little Round Top.

II. Another location said to be haunted is Little Round Top.
  A. Little Round Top’s historical significance.
    1. A site where Union soldiers held up to maintain an advantage over the Confederate
    2. According to James Brann, an author from Civil War Magazine, this was a site Union
    Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain led his 20th Maine Regiment in perhaps the most
    famous counterattack of the Civil War.
  B. Manifestations at Little Round Top.
    1. During filming of the movie Gettysburg (1993), extras portraying Union soldiers were
    greeted by a man in the uniform of a Union private.
      a. Handed them musket rounds.
      b. Actual rounds that dated back to the Civil War.
    2. Ghostly solders can still be seen marching in formation and riding horses in the fight
    against their enemy.

Transition: It seems that a lot of landmarks are haunted but there are also structures known to be stricken with paranormal activity.

III. Hummelbaugh House is a non-battlefield place for ghost-sightings.
  A. Historical significance of Hummelbaugh House.
    1. The house is located on the east side of the city and was just behind the Union lines.
    2. It was used for a hospital and because of the times amputated limbs would be thrown
    out the windows resulting in a huge pile of body parts.
  B. Paranormal activity at the house.
    1. The windows in the house often startle people with loud vibrations.
    2. The calls for help from soldiers can still be heard in and around the house.

Conclusion: In closing, according to History.com the Battle of Gettysburg was one of the biggest in the Civil War, resulting in over 150,000 causalities. With these statistics it is no surprise that lost souls still lurk the eerie grounds of this historical place. Whether it is vibrating windows or actual encounters with soldiers from 1863, Gettysburg has more than enough encounters with the paranormal to convince the biggest of doubters. Going to Gettysburg would guarantee a chance to literally step back in time and encounter something that is only remembered in history books. So believer in the paranormal or not, Gettysburg is a place to go to experience a part of history whether it be historical sites or a random run in with a ghostly soldier.

Brann, J. R. (1999). The full story. America’s Civil War, 12(5), 34. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=fth&AN=2281134&site=eds-live&scope=site
Hauck, D. (1994). The national directory of haunted places. Athanor Press.
Battle of Gettysburg. (2019, May 20). History.com. Retrieved from https://


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