Introduction to Researching and Supporting Your Ideas

Not all speeches require research—a speech introducing yourself, for instance, probably won’t send you to the library. The vast majority of public speaking situations, however, will demand some kind of focused inquiry into sources outside of your own thoughts—also known as research. Why is this the case? Because any point you make in a speech needs some kind of support or evidence. And unless you’re talking about yourself, you’ll be finding that evidence through research.

Conducting significant research on your topic is also one of the ways a speaker earns credibility. The more understanding of your topic you have, the more the audience will respect your opinion and want to hear what you have to say. If you’re speaking on a controversial topic, spend time studying the opposing viewpoint to your own. This will help you know how to address the objections within the opposing view and lead the audience to see the topic the way you do.