Toastmaster Project 7 – Research Your Topic urges us to have the knowledge on the topic before we speak.
The Objectives for the Project 7 speech
- Collect information about your topic with numerous sources.
- Carefully support your points and opinions with specific facts, examples, and illustrations gathered through research.
- Time: Five to seven minutes
Why is This Speech Important?
If you want to convince an audience, you need the facts to support your message. Facts and statistics if used correctly are the best arsenal to influence the audience. Your speech will be more effective if you can support your main points with statistics, testimony, stories, anecdotes, examples, visual aids and facts.
How to Begin
Start your research by compiling what you already know or have on your speech subject. You may have had personal experience with the subject matter, perhaps even have files, magazines and other literature about it. Organize what you already know or have and see where any gaps exist. Your research goal will be to fill in these gaps.
Use websites wisely
Today the most convenient research source is the Internet. You can comfortably sit at your desk with your personal computer and find a variety of information on numerous subjects on the Internet through common search engines such as Yahoo and Google. There’s a wealth of information out there, and you’d be stupid not to utilize it.
But don’t be lazy when choosing your sources. I’m a huge fan of Wikipedia, but I would always pick up the idea and look for primary sources. Use few sources to verify. Be especially careful while using data from social media, as any wrong data used can have a wrong impact on your credibility.
The old fashioned way
Sure that internet is one of the most important source of information is this world, but remember to try the old fashioned way. The books, newspaper, magazines are a source of huge information. Try to have a first hand knowledge, talk to an expert, listen to the talk shows on the television, radio etc. Remember you will only raise your credibility by going beyond the “easy” or “expected” source.
“Don’t include statistics just because they are jaw-dropping. Include them because they improve the strength of your argument.” Remember that if they statistics don’t support your argument, it will only distract your audience and you will loose their attention.
Provide Context and Sources
Remember statistics may be accurate, but without citing the sources you will not earn the trust. Your audience may dismiss it because of the lack of credibility. Facts, statistics, quotations, and whatever else you discover in your research can rarely be presented all alone. In most cases, you’ll need to wrap your research by providing some context, and explaining the relevance.
Avoid cramping your speech with an array of data and statistics. Too much of data without proper illustration will put your audience into sleep mode. If you have too much data that you can reasonably fit – try giving them in a handout. And in the speech you can only speak of the big tickets one.
Like many of my speeches I struggled to find a topic that I really could nail down and explore because my mind often goes on wild tangents that it never fully recovers from. When I was brain storming topics for this project 7 speech – I was very interested in specific facts and figures I wanted to highlight rather than coming up with a skeleton idea and doing some good research around that idea (actually what the Project speech encourages you to do!) One of the main reason of joining Toastmaster is my “Shyness”. This Shyness was making me Lonely.
Also one thing I noticed that for the last 1 year I caught the bus from the same stand with almost the same amount of people, but I still don’t know their names. Just a smile that was our conversation. These realisation provoked me to look into the topic of Loneliness. Upon research I figured that this in not only me or the few person standing in the bus stand. It is disease, which is spreading so fast, that we will soon refer it as epidemic.
The speech is referred will be uploaded in the next blog.