Interest to You The first of the five criteria may seem self-evident, but it is often a factor speakers overlook: the topic you choose needs to be one in which you have real interest. If you have conducted a topic search through current events identification and you have discovered a number of articles about Britney Spears? comeback tour, you have found a potential topic. However, if the life and activities of a pop diva do not interest you, a speech about her probably would not have been a very good one. If you need proof, think back to the book reports you may have given or heard in middle school. Listening to a speaker describe in monotone the content of a book about which he or she is apathetic is a painful experience. So, choose a topic that interests you. Interest is not enough, however. It helps if you are also at least a little knowledgeable about the topic. Nance thinks that the Human Genome Project is really interesting, and she enjoys reading magazine articles about it. She would hesitate, however, to deliver a speech about the Human Genome Project only because she just does not really understand the science behind it. Choosing a topic that interests you produces three clear benefits. First, if you are interested in your speech topic, you are more likely to speak fluently and passionately about that topic. In other words, if you care about your topic, you will deliver a better speech. Second, by choosing a topic about which you have some personal knowledge, your may increase you ethos. Remember, your ethos is your credibility as perceived by your audience. Your audience is more likely to perceive you as having good ethos if they also perceive you as knowing about your topic. The third benefit to choosing a topic that you know a little about and interests you is that it can make the research process a little easier. For instance, when Beth was growing up, she participated in a singing group with her sisters. She grew up in a very musical family. She already has knowledge about reading music, musical genres, harmony and melody, and vocal performance. A topic that has something to do with vocal groups would make sense for Beth with regard to research because she knows where to start ? what websites to search, what materials to read, and what examples she could use. Nance loves zombie movies. A topic about horror films would make sense for her. She knows where to find movie reviews, books about horror movies and zombies, and what anecdotes to tell. Choosing a topic that interests you and about which you have knowledge can improve your delivery, ethos, and research process University Libraries
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