The Art Of Correctly Researching A Speech

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?

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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 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.

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