Five Research Essentials for Every Presentation

ImageThe best speakers are confident and well prepared. Since preparedness leads to confidence, research and practice are two essentials for every speaker.

Here are some of the essentials to research before you deliver your next speech or presentation.

Your audience

This is a given for any presenter. You don’t make all your word choices based on what you like; you write with language that will appeal to your audience. Know the types of people who will watch your presentation. Do they have positive, neutral or negative feelings about the topic? Are they similar or diverse? The more you know about your audience, the more you can tailor your speech to their interests.

Your environment

Know where you will be speaking. Is it a large or small room? Will you have a microphone? Is there a podium? Asking questions like these will mean fewer surprises when you arrive at the location.

Current events

As with news articles, your speech should be timely. Knowing the latest news will allow you to make your message relevant to today’s event. It can also prepare you for questions connected to how your topic relates to current events.

Existing work

What’s already been said about your topic? What angle hasn’t been covered? Know what exists so that you can reference it appropriately, but also make sure to offer new insights that have yet to be discussed.

A backup plan

I’ve seen presentations with every disaster, from the power going out to the speaker losing his PowerPoint file. Always look into alternative options for the rare circumstance that you experience technical difficulties. The best alternative is to know your topic. These “disasters” turned into some of the best presentations I’ve seen because the speakers were prepared, with our without technology.

What are your pre-presentation research essentials?

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