Avoiding the Pitfalls of References and Resources

Using references and resources to support the facts in your presentation is great. It shows your audience that you are an expert whose ideas are backed by others. However, there are a couple of pits you could fall into that you need to keep an eye out for.

Avoiding the Pitfalls of References and Resources

Too Much Repetition

If you won’t are quoting a lot of resources, you may find yourself saying “according to” so much that it begins to sound like a filler word. Therefore, you need change things up to give your speech some variety. Here are some other ways you can transition to and from your references to other’s work:

  • John Doe once said/wrote, “…”
  • As John Doe put it, “…”
  • In his book/speech/email/article, John Doe said, “…”
  • John Doe explained it this way, “…”
  • In his article/book/speech/ John Doe stated, “…”
  • John Doe agrees, saying, “…”


According to Dictionairy.com, plagiarism is “an act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author’s work as one’s own, as by not crediting the original author.” If you always give credit where credit is due – even if you are paraphrasing – you should be safe from this pitfall.

Again, use the transitions suggestion above to make sure that you are giving credit where it is due. Also, don’t use too much of another author’s content, even with credit. You’ll want to add in your own thoughts and words, as well.

Use References Wisely

One last pitfall is the overuse of references and resources. You want to use just enough to support your point, but not so much that your presentation comes off as a string of quotes of others’ work. This is your speech, let your voice shine through.

Follow these tips and you won’t find yourself having to pull yourself out of an audience-distancing pit!

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About the author

Carma Spence, is author of Public Speaking Super Powers. She is fiercely committed to guiding women to Owning their Superpowers and turning their knowledge and interests into a profitable business. She is masterful at helping her clients see what is possible for them and supporting them on the journey from where they are to where they want to be, releasing the Mind Goblins of self-doubt, self-sabotage and second-guessing that keep them stuck.

With 20+ years experience in marketing communications and public relations, natural intuitive skills and certification in using some of the most effective transformational coaching tools available, Carma’s mission and commitment is to unleash the inner power every woman entrepreneur possesses so they can boldly go out into the world, transforming the fabric of people’s lives in meaningful and positive ways.

You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Her website is CarmaSpence.com.