When you go up on stage to speak in front of an audience, you have a responsibility to them.
You have a message that you want to deliver, and you want to teach them something new.
You’re not there to spread misinformation. You’re not there to lie to them. You are there to educate them and prepare them for the future.
That’s why you need to make sure that you have properly researched your topic before you speak in front of your audience. They deserve good quality information with a superb performance.
It sounds obvious that you should do your research, but many people are more worried about giving the presentation than actually putting it together. After all, it’s the fear of speaking in public that holds people back, not the fear of researching for a presentation.
People will rehearse over and over again for a presentation to make their performance the best it can be, but then will not spend a lot of time doing proper research for their topic.
It’s a shame since schools around the world teach us how to do good quality research, but after you graduate, you’re not putting much of that to use.
But is research really that important? Aren’t audiences more interested in dazzling speakers and passionate speeches to match?
They are, but that is only one half of a good presentation.
Your audience’s takeaway from your presentation is always going to be your message and your facts. Your performance is what is going to make them believe they will have a good time. But it’s your research and your facts that will make the audience believe you have something worth listening to.
You can only take a speech without facts so far. Without any truth to what you say, your message will not be as powerful or as meaningful as you want it to be.
Research Separates Fact From Myth
Depending on the topic that you are talking about, there is a chance that misinformation or false information has spread. It’s not always clear what is true and what isn’t.
This is the perfect opportunity for a speaker to review information and investigate which information is true and which is not.
Audiences appreciate when a speaker can back up their statements with evidence, as it shows that a speaker is willing to put in the hard work necessary to be an expert.
Lying to someone is not hard, especially if they are not an expert on the subject like you are. Even for you as the expert, there might be information that you aren’t sure about, or whose factual integrity you cannot confirm.
To avoid accidentally lying to your audience, it helps to confirm facts, even those that you have believed to be true. You never know what new evidence you could find that will require you to change your presentation.
Research Uncovers New Topics To Talk About
When you constantly learn new things, you discover information that is interesting to you and your audience. By adding new knowledge to what you currently know, you open up new areas for investigation, allowing you to develop even more knowledge about your subject.
Have you ever wondered why experts seem to never run out of things to say in their area of expertise? It’s because they never stop learning, and they always investigate new information that comes to them.
All speakers will inevitably encounter a point in their careers where they have exhausted all they can say about a topic. An audience can only listen to you repeat the same message so many times, and if you don’t change what you have to say, you might lose people who loved your message at the start.
It’s like listening to the same songs over and over again. After a while, it gets old, and you want to look for something that is new and interesting.
Research solves that problem by putting new information in front of you. While it will take some time to read, analyze and sort the information, you will almost always walk away with new knowledge or a new perspective to investigate.
Never be afraid to say that you still have more to learn. The sign of a wise man is not how much he knows, but how much he knows that he does not know.
Research Trains You To Prove Your Point
It’s very easy for a speaker to claim that something is true or false, but it is another matter to actually prove that it is true or false.
You may have noticed that some presentations and speeches are fact-checked to ensure their accuracy, with the results being posted on the Internet or published in a journal. It’s one of many ways to ensure that experts are being filtered out from those who don’t know what they are talking about.
Whether you are giving a scientific presentation or a venture capital pitch, you are going to have to bring evidence and proof to the table. You can’t convince your audience otherwise, and your audience is going to demand proof.
Research is a lot more than just taking the first fact you see and claiming that it is true. It involves reading papers, listening to experts, analyzing all of the arguments and then coming to a reasonable conclusion backed by evidence.
A presentation with low-quality research and cherry-picked facts will always lose out to a presentation with high quality research and an unbiased analysis. People love objectivity, because it helps them make a decision that everyone believes is fair, rather than one motivated by other factors.
If you don’t have solid evidence, don’t use it as fact. If you’re not reading an entire paper, don’t cite the paper as a source.
Research is hard, that’s why experts take the time to do it. If you can’t prove your point, you’re not going to have a presentation that is worth listening to.
Research Will Always Be Important
In a time where it seems like people can get away with putting up misinformation or turning on their confirmation bias, it can seem strange to propose that people should be more concerned about facts than feelings.
The fact of the matter, however, is that you and I live in a world ruled by facts. Whether you like it or not, facts will be more powerful than whatever feeling you can inspire in your audience.
Do your best to educate people and separate the myths from the facts. That is how you become a respected speaker and how your audience will come to admire you as an expert..
Education doesn’t stop for your audience, and it definitely does not stop with the speaker.
What do you think? Do you think research is more important than feelings? Let me know what you think in the comments!