The Art Of Correctly Researching A Speech

by drjim on October 17, 2017

Your library has sophisticated research tools that you'll need for your next speech

Your library has sophisticated research tools that you’ll need for your next speech
Image Credit: Stewart Butterfield

When you are creating a speech, where does your content come from? I’ll go along with the thought that a lot of it comes from you – your views on the world, your experiences, your hopes and dreams. However, what about all of the other stuff? The parts of your speech that support all of the things that you have been saying and show your audience the importance of public speaking? The really smart people who spend their time writing speeches all seem to agree on one thing. Your next speech is only going to be as good as the quality of the research that you take the time to put into it. Do you know how to go about doing this?

What’s The Big Deal With Research?

What does it actually mean to do research for a speech? What you are going to be looking for are nuggets of useful information that you can add to your speech. In order to find these nuggets, you are going to have to spend some time working your way through a mountain of reliable information (note that I said reliable).

In order to successfully gather the information that you are going to need for your next speech, you are going to have to make sure that you completely understand what research resources are currently available to you. What this means is that you are going to have to find, evaluate, and ultimately use good research information for a number of different purposes.

All too often we can make assumptions about how to do research that are incorrect. We can easily believe that all research needs to be done the same way. Nothing could be further from the truth. Different research sources are required for speeches that deal with different disciplines. A good example of this would be a speech that was talking about some topic from the fields of technology, medicine, or science. The research that you would do for this type of speech would require that you access the most recent information available on the topic. If, however, your speech deals with topics from the social sciences or even humanities, then you are going to want to find information about the longer term, bigger picture.

How To Do High Quality Research

One of the first things that you are going to have to realize as you start to do your research for your next speech is that not all research resources are created equally. Specifically what this means is that although we may live in a thoroughly modern age where we seem to have an almost unlimited access to electronic data, some of the research resources that you may want to access may not be digitized. What this means for you is that you’re going to have to make a trip to the library to view the material that you need.

Another reason to visit the library is that they may have access to material that you just can’t get your hands on. Specifically, your local library may have a subscription to a specialty resource that is unavailable to you. Each library is different and it’s the job of the librarian to determine which proprietary subscription databases their library will select based on who the library serves.

The world wide web is a great resource, but you need to be very careful when you are using it to conduct research for a speech that you are creating. The problem is that when you search the internet for information, you’ll get a lot of results but most of them will not be appropriate. Your time would be better spent checking relevant databases before checking the internet. Keep in mind that on the web, anyone can post anything that they want.

What All Of This Means For You

The quality of your next speech will in part be determined by the quality of the research that you put into it. In order to be able to get the best information to include in your speech and to show the benefits of public speaking, you are going to have to know how to go about doing good research.

The goal of any research effort is to find the nuggets of information that you can include in your next speech. In order to do good research, you are going to need to know what kinds of resources are available to you. You’ll also have to understand that different topics are going to require different type of research resources. Your local library may be a key part of the research that you’ll do. The library may have access to databases that you don’t have access to. The internet is a powerful tool; however, since you don’t really know where the information that you are getting is coming from you need to use it carefully when doing research.

The best speeches are the ones that have been well thought out. They show that they are good speeches by containing a lot of good information from reputable sources. The only way that we can get this kind of information is by doing research using the right tools. Take some time to do high quality research for your next speech and then go out and show your audience what you’ve learned!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: How many different sources do you think that you need in order to confirm that something is true?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Communicator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Communicator Newsletter are now available. Subscribe now: Click Here!
 
Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

If someone came along and asked you to participate in a debate, what would your response be? I think that for most of us, the idea of what a debate looks like is shaped by the presidential debates that we see every four years. The Clinton / Trump debates especially stand out. However, it turns out that there is more to debatingthan our politicians are showing us and you would need to understand what it means to successfully debate someone in order to show the importance of public speaking.

{ 0 comments }

Add Some Variety To Your Next Speech

by drjim on October 10, 2017

Vocal variety can make a speech more interesting

Vocal variety can make a speech more interesting
Image Credit: Terry Robinson

When we give a speech, we have a real challenge on our hands. We understand the importance of public speaking and we want to be able to keep our audience’s attention for the entire speech. However, listening to any one person talk for any length of time can become boring. How are you going to hold on to your audience’s attention from the time that you start your speech until the time that you wrap things up? As speakers, we have a number of different tools available to us, but one of the most powerful is vocal variety.

What is Vocal Variety?

During a speech your audience is going to be spending the entire time listening to you. If you are not careful, you may end up droning on at some point in time and every word that comes out of your mouth is pretty much going to sound like the words that have come before it. What you need to do is to interject some vocal variety into your speech. When it comes to vocal variety, it turns out that there are six different ways that you can do this. When you are speaking you can vary your tone, pitch, cadence, volume, intonation and inflection.

When you want to work vocal variety into a speech, one of the easiest places to start is to work a story into your speech. This makes vocal variety easy because each story generally has multiple characters in it. As a speaker you can exaggerate each character’s voice in order to make sure that your audience can tell them apart from each other. The different voices that you use for each character in your story can complement the different physical characteristics of each character.

Sometimes when we want to add a story to our speech, just creating characters that our audience is going to have to picture in their heads may not be enough. When you find yourself in this type of situation, you can invite some puppets to join you on stage. The puppets can take on the roles of the different people in your speech. Each puppet can speak in a different voice in order to help your audience keep track of just exactly who is saying what. Remember that puppets don’t have to be large – you can make each finger on each hand a different puppet and your audience will be able to follow along.

How Can You Use Vocal Variety In Your Next Speech?

The idea of using vocal variety can cause some speakers a moment of pause. They may not feel comfortable speaking using a voice that they don’t consider to be their true voice. If you happen to find yourself in this type of situation, then one thing that you may want to consider is taking on a different persona. Changing who you are from top to bottom just might be what it takes to give you the comfort that you need to start to speak a voice that is different from your normal voice.

When you are thinking about changing how you talk during at least a portion of your next speech, who are you going to use as a role model? We all know people who have a very distinct way of speaking. If we want to capture our audience’s attention, what we can do is emulate these types of recognizable speakers. Examples of speakers that we might want to sound like include a racetrack or sports announcer, a newscaster, a sidewalk barker, or even an auctioneer. Each of these individuals has a unique form of pronounced elocution that we can emulate in order to grab our audience’s attention.

Not all of us have the ability to generate a wide collection of different voices. You might think that this could limit your ability to introduce vocal variety into your next speech. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. One thing that you can do is to include the reenactment of a scene from a movie that your audience will recognize. When you do this, you’ll take on the personality of one or more of the actors who are in the scene. Because your audience already knows the movie, you don’t have to be that similar to the actual actors – your audience will fill in any gaps automatically.

What All Of This Means For You

As speakers we have a tough task ahead of us when we agree to deliver a speech and share the benefits of public speaking with an audience. We have basically signed up to attempt to keep our audience’s attention for the duration of our speech. One of the biggest challenges that we are going to be facing is that if we are not careful we can start to drone on and all of our words will start to sound the same to our audience. In order to prevent this from happening, what we’ll want to do is to introduce some vocal variety into our next speech.

Vocal variety can show up in any one of six different ways. You can vary your tone, pitch, cadence, volume, intonation and inflection. No matter what you choose to do, the simplest way to get some vocal variety into a speech is to add a story to your speech where you use different voices for the different characters in your story. If just talking about character is not enough, you might want to consider bringing some puppets to your speech to help your audience visualize the characters in your speech. If you are not comfortable using different voices in a speech, you might want to try adopting a totally different persona and allowing that person to speak in a different voice. You can always pick a role model who has a distinct way of speaking and emulate them. Finally, if you are not confident that you can pull off a different voice then you can try acting a scene out from a well-known movie.

The one thing that none of us want to do when we are giving a speech is to bore our audience or lose their attention. In order to make sure that this does not happen, we have the ability to change how our voice sounds during a speech and by doing so we can recapture our audience’s attention. Try some vocal variety in your next speech and watch what happens.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that it is possible to put too much vocal variety into a speech?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Communicator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Communicator Newsletter are now available. Subscribe now: Click Here!
 
Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

When you are creating a speech, where does your content come from? I’ll go along with the thought that a lot of it comes from you – your views on the world, your experiences, your hopes and dreams. However, what about all of the other stuff? The parts of your speech that support all of the things that you have been saying and show your audience the importance of public speaking? The really smart people who spend their time writing speeches all seem to agree on one thing. Your next speech is only going to be as good as the quality of the research that you take the time to put into it. Do you know how to go about doing this?

{ 0 comments }

How Speakers Can Handle Getting Feedback

October 3, 2017

When we give a speech we understand the importance of public speaking and so we spend time writing a speech that we think that our audience will enjoy hearing. We (hopefully) spend time practicing what we will be saying and then when the big day arrives, we get up in front of our audience and […]

Read the full article →

What You Need To Know About Giving A Speech In English

September 26, 2017

I speak in English. Unfortunately, the only language that I can effectively speak in is English. I have a number of friends whose first language is not English, but who do a very good job of both speaking in English and giving speeches in English in order to show the importance of public speaking. It […]

Read the full article →

How Speakers Can Increase Their Vocabulary

September 19, 2017

Public speaking is actually pretty simple. What we do is we stand up in front of a group of people and then we use words to communicate thoughts and ideas with them – that’s what the importance of public speaking is all about. Note that I just told you how we do this – we […]

Read the full article →

Your Shortest Speech

September 12, 2017

When we are asked to give a speech, we understand the importance of public speaking and so we generally plan on talking for somewhere between 30 and 60 minutes depending on the venue. However, that is not always the case. In fact, there is one type of speech that we may be called on to […]

Read the full article →

Become A Better Speaker By Giving 3 Other Types Of Speeches

August 29, 2017

I think that I’m on safe ground if I say that we’d all like to find a way to become a better public speaker. Every time that we take the stage there is that moment just before we start our speech where a thought runs through our head. It says, “it’s too late now, but […]

Read the full article →

How To Grow Your Speaking Abilities

August 22, 2017

As speakers we all start out the same: we get asked to give our first speech, we may be nervous but somehow we summon up the strength to get up there in front of everyone and actually give a speech! Now that that is over, we’d like to get better at this speech giving thing […]

Read the full article →

Apps For Speakers: Which Ones Are Best For You?

August 15, 2017

Welcome to the 21st Century! Even as we enter into what appears to be an almost all-digital age, it turns out that the art of being able to give a speech to an audience is still in high demand and people still appreciate the importance of public speaking. What we need to learn how to […]

Read the full article →

How To Move Beyond PowerPoint For Visual Aids

August 8, 2017

In most cases, when we give a speech we like to show up with some visual aids. When it comes time to make visual aids, I am more than willing to admit that I’ll turn to PowerPoint and get busy. Why not? I know how to use PowerPoint and I must have made about a […]

Read the full article →