An effective presentation needs appealing content backed up by facts and plenty of investigation.
But how exactly does a person approach researching slide content?
Hoarding random data is obviously detrimental to your presentation research. You have to learn to filter the information you collect.
Turning on your internal data filter is a tough choice in itself, but here are a few tips on narrowing research to your advantage:
First, figure out what you want your speech to focus on and narrow down your material. This is different from having a general idea for your presentation. But it’s good to base your questions on this rough draft. Thinking of questions you want your research to answer will define the structure your work will take on.
Start with the basic questions: Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How. If affected by mental block, use the audience’s characteristics as a springboard for research. This allows you to engage people during your speech with relevant information.
Asking questions about your intended listeners’ preferences clues you on how to approach your presentation.
Use Social Media to Your Advantage
The increasing rate of modern technological advancement and social media connectivity should free you of traditional research methods. You can extract statistics from outlets other than published surveys and journals. According to brand manager Anny Smarty, browsing social media trends through hashtags and online keywords can help gauge the current popularity of a subject.
You can cite these sources if you’re in need of fresh material. The audience will appreciate the effort to put in sources that are relevant to their immediate lives. Looking up content connected to yours also widens your scope.
Online material relevant to the subject makes you sound timely. But at the same time, this could keep you grounded on your topic. If you plan on going off tangent in your speech, related issues are always safe territory to touch on.
Check Your References
Don’t forget to double-check your sources. Look for more references that support your primary research material. Just make sure they all remain directly relevant to your presentation’s overall flow.
Don’t forget to check if they’re just as credible as the initial source.
Otherwise, you’ll lose a bit of your own credibility as well. These secondary sources don’t have to be directly included in your slide deck, or even in your speech. You only need them to assure you that your research is supported by other qualified opinions.
While overloading with too much material is bad, thorough research is necessary for creating quality content.
Research is the backbone of your content. Choosing your sources wisely will determine what kind of output you produce. Always take the time to dig through source materials to produce quality work.
Ask questions, use social media to your advantage, and verify your sources through others’ research. If you need help deciding which data to include and keep outside your visual presentation, you can consult with our PowerPoint experts today!
Featured Image: “post-it notes” by Dean Hochman on flickr.com