One of my favorite radio programs is On The Media on NPR. I especially like how On The Media describes what they are. They state that they "explores how the media 'sausage' is made." Essentially, they make sure that what the media is covering is honest, transparent and correct.
In this weekend's episode, they take a peering eye at conspiracy theories and the eulogy of Walter Cronkite. In both instances the show examined the so called 'evidence' that the news was using and broke it down to see if there was any truth in the stories. What I found most interesting was the story on the eulogy of Walter Cronkite. In the eulogies, the AP had reported a couple of items that most people thought were true - especially since it was reported in the AP eulogy. However, once some research was done, those statements were found out to be false.
In this day and age of instant news and the 24-hour news cycle - lies and false claims can be rooted out in an instant. In the past if someone stated something it took quite a bit of time for that comment to be refuted with the facts. Unfortunately by then, the comment had become conventional wisdom and was harder to dispute - even though the original statement was completely false.
This means that if you are giving a speech you have to make sure all of your facts are correct. I am not suggesting that anyone who reads this blog has intentionally lied in their speeches and presentations. Unfortunately though, we sometimes think that we know something is correct when it is actually false. When this happens, people refute what you have to say and it can hurt your credibility. Make sure to double-check all of your facts and statements that you are making. This will not only help you answer any questions should they come up, but it will ensure that you are taken seriously. Credibility when giving a speech is a key component to effective speech making - it goes back all the way to Aristotle - so make sure you keep that credibility.