Consider these questions:
These questions may generate ideas. Next brainstorm. Which topics are most worthy of your time? Why is your topic significant? What angle might you take to fulfill the requirement: informative, persuasive, etc. Consider making your topic specific. For example:
Are ther ways to tell if a person is lying?
Avoid over-done topics. These may include abortion, global warming, affirmative action, the death penalty, recycling, and sex and violence in the media. When you are narrowing your topic choices, try to choose something fresh and interesting.
Here are some general topics for (interpersonal) speeches:
For example: My Topic Is: Lying
The PURPOSE of my speech is to provide my audience with information about lying. First I want to brainstorm and begin to focus on what I want to say. Making a concept map will help in that process. I need to be mindful of the academic and statistical research that may be done on my topic. I know I will find general information but will I be able to formulate a topic that is supported by research?
Who is my AUDIENCE? Will my audience be experienced at lying? Students? Adults? Children? How I present my information is based on who will hear what I have to say.
1. One of the first things to think about is what are the kinds of sources to use in giving a speech?
Start with Zondervan Library tools and resources. Why?
The content is reliable and the statistics are solid.
2. Next consider the credibility of what you have found.
Here is an easy way to remember what to look for when evaluating the information that you find. These questions will help you assess what you might find most useful. CARS: Credibility, Accuracy, Reasonableness, Support
Credibility. Is this source trustworthy? What are the author’s credentials? Is he or she known or a respected authority on this topic? Is there evidence of quality control? Goal: an authoritative source, a source that supplies some good evidence that allows you to trust it.
Accuracy. Is the informatio up to date, factual, detailed, exact, comprehensive? What is the intended audience and purpose? Does it reflect intentions of completeness and accuracy. Goal: a source that is correct today (not yesterday), a source that gives the whole truth.
Reasonableness. Is the presentation fair, balanced, objective, reasoned? Can you find that the author has no conflict of interest? Is there an absence of fallacies or slanted tone. Goal: a source that engages the subject thoughtfully and reasonably, concerned with the truth.
Support: Does this information provide background sources or references? Is there contact information for the author? Are claims supported, documentated and corroborated?. Goal: a source that provides convincing evidence for the claims made, a source you can triangulate (that is are you able to find at least two other sources (non web) that support it).
taken from Virtual Salt. Robert Harris http://www.virtualsalt.com/evalu8it.htm
3. Synthesizing the sources. Once you have gathered a variety of sources, look over them and determine how they fit together and relate to your topic.