Sample Informative Speech

Sample Informative Speech

On May 1, 2011, President Barack Obama delivered an informative speech to the international community on the death of Osama bin Laden.

Learning Objectives

Identify ways in which President Obama's speech about the death of Osama bin Laden was a good example of an informative speech

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • In the late hours of May 1, 2011, President Barack Obama gathered in the East Room of the White House to address America and the world that Al Qaeda's highest commander, Osama bin Laden, had been killed via military actions in Pakistan.
  • President Obama gives context by describing the events of September 11, 2001 and bin Laden's instrumental role in that day's events.
  • The President shares some details on international intelligence gathering on bin Laden's current location as well as the decision-making process to proceed with the military operation on the bin Laden compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
  • The President's speech is largely focused on events and processes, two examples of informative speeches. He describes the events of September 11, 2001 and the military operation on May 1, 2011 as well as the process of how that military operation was carried out.
  • The President concludes his speech by thanking the many people involved in the locating and killing of Osama bin Laden, as well as the patience and resolve of the American people in the years since September 11, 2001.

Key Terms

  • firefight: A skirmish involving an exchange of gunfire.
  • intelligence: A political or military department, agency or unit designed to gather information, usually secret, about the enemy or about hostile activities.
  • excerpt: A clip, snippet, passage or extract from a larger work such as a news article, a film, a literary composition, or other media.

Sample Informative Speech

President Obama addresses the Nation to announce that the United States has killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda.

The following excerpts are taken from President Barack Obama's informative remarks to the American people of the death of Osama bin Laden, given on May 1, 2011.

Good evening. Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who's responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.

It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. The images of 9/11 are seared into our national


-- hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon; the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction...

...We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice. We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda -- an organization headed by Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe. And so we went to war against al Qaeda to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies.

Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we've made great strides in that effort. We've disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense. In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and al Qaeda safe haven and support. And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot.

Yet Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Afghan border into Pakistan. Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world.

And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.

Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more


about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.

Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a


, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.

For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda's leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation's effort to defeat al Qaeda...

...Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates...

...We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country. And they are part of a


that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day.

Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores.

And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today's achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people...

...Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.

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