How to research a topic for your speech?
Researching your speech should be easy, right? Enter your keywords in google search, and pick the first article that appears. Is that easy? No, it's not.
This is the poorest way to research your speech's topic. This might have worked for you while making school projects, but that is not how it works when you step into the bigger world.
A well-researched speech can be easily distinguished from a heap of ignorant and plagiarized words. While many sources can help you with the information you need, your speech should be your original creation.
It should be able to exhibit your individuality. Skimming through books and website is one part of the research, not the whole of it. There are many steps that you need to go through before you start collecting the information.
Steps involved in the research process are -
- Know what to research: You cannot begin with your research unless you know what to study; your research shouldn't be limited to the content of your speech. Analyze your audience, the event, the venue, the sponsors, and the associated brands. All of this helps in shaping your speech.
- Embrace a research mindset: Once you know what to research, it is time that you prepare your mind for the research. Adopt an audience-centric and value-oriented mindset. Your speech should be about the audience, not about you. If the audience is able to derive value from your words, then your purpose is met.
- Identify your passion: Though your speech should be audience-centric, you won't be able to deliver value unless you are passionate about what you speak. The audience will listen to you only if it considers your authority in the domain that you are speaking about. Choose a topic that coincides with your and your audience's interests.
- Prepare a rough draft: Before you start surfing through the internet, pick up your notepad or laptop and pen down your original thoughts. Your first draft should be your unfiltered thoughts on the chosen topic. Once you start looking through the sources, you are influenced by what your read, and you don't have an unbiased opinion anymore. So let your thoughts flow freely before you channelize them.
- Use authentic and credible sources: The Internet is not the most credible source always. The information that is available on the web is also updated by people like us. Therefore you should be careful when you trust a source. Also, there are many sources apart from the internet like academic articles, best-selling books, newspaper articles, and magazines articles.
- Credit your sources: Crediting your sources is necessary for two reasons. First, crediting your sources is the ethical thing to do. It isn't right to take the credit for someone's work. You might not credit the sources you take indirect inspiration from, but make sure you mention the sources you are quoting. Second, it portrays the authenticity of your work. When you cite the sources, it is easier for the audience to judge the credibility and authenticity of your words.