Speaker Notes: Oral Citations

Now that you have begun crafting your speaker notes, be sure that you are constantly revising and editing them to be most effective. With that in mind, here are a couple of tips for the oral citations needed to make your evidence in the speech more effective.

First, remember that your initial oral citations require 4 chief components:

  1. WHO: Name(s) of author(s) [or source]
  2. WHY: Credibility of the author/source – why should we trust them on this info?
  3. WHERE: The type of source and title of journal, paper, magazine, book, or website
  4. WHEN: Date of publication

For example, if we used our textbook, we might say:

Jess Alberts and Judith Martin, both professors of communication of Arizona State University, and Thomas Nakayama, a professor of communication at Northeastern University, state in the 4th edition of Human Communication in Society, most recently updated in 2016…

Second, remember that oral citations must be given BEFORE you provide information. That is to say, you need to tell the audience the above 4 components before you ever tell us what they said or report.

Notice in the above example, we credit the authors before using their ideas. It’s important to remember that when speaking to an audience, we need to have the source’s information before the idea so that the audience can focus their attention on your evidence and trust you as a reliable and ethical speaker.

After your first citation, of a source, you can limit back to the names of those responsible for the information. So, in the case of our textbook, you would indicate that “Alberts, Nakayama, and Martin also state…

All of this said, you must reinforce citations throughout the speech. That is to say, when you borrow information, you MUST give credit to the source orally. It will help to include this information in your speaker notes, so that you don’t neglect to give credit to the source!

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