Choosing a speech topic can be a tricky thing in the beginning. I have seen many people asking me questions about how to choose a topic for their next speech. Further, I have also seen people getting stuck as a result of this.
Do make note that before choosing a topic, the Audience has to be kept in mind. One dare not tell about the evolution of Dinosaurs to a bunch of lawyers at a college commencement address.
Assuming the audience interests are taken care of, here is a list of 11 ways in which you can choose your speech topic.
Make a list of 5 things you like doing. These can be dancing, cycling, swimming, coding, painting, or even cleaning dry leaves from the streets if that suits you. You can pick one and create a speech about them, narrating stories from your life. The speech can be informative, say how to swim in the ocean or can be about your learning from your ocean swimming experience.
- Life events
Life events, such as birth of a baby, failing an exam, even passing an exam, marriage, a relative in hospital, first car, first house, or similar others are usually the kind of experiences which teach a man (or woman) a lot. We just tend to not properly sit down and focus on what we learnt from that particular event. Instead we let it go to the deep subconscious memory and forget them. A nice speech can be prepared and delivered from each one of those events and your learning from them.
Think about your family members. Each one of them must have undergone some of their own ordeals and struggles in their lives. You must have learnt something from them or got influenced in some way through them in your daily dealings. Another potential speech topic (with their consent of course).
We go through so much at work on a daily basis that every new milestone achieved can be a potential speech topic. You just need to know how to frame it in the right manner. A lot of people would love to hear about what you do, what you have learnt at work so far and how you tackle your troubles on a daily basis.
Media or current affairs are a great potential of speech topics. Politics, sports, science, technology or what’s happening in the world around us on a daily basis can be easily research upon and condensed in the form of a nice informative speech. This would do good to you as well to your audience.
- Pick a Story
Stories can be great topics of speeches. What stories? Eternal Folk Tales such as Aesop’s Fables, Panchtantra and all those stories our grandmothers have told us a million times are all great sources of speech topics. Here, since the content is already there, delivery makes all the difference.
- Create a story
If you are the creative kinds, create a nice story with a moral and narrate it in front of the audience. People love interesting stories. Why else would Rowling & GRRM be so acclaimed?!
- 10 Things You Learnt Last Year
Recall the movie I Know What You Did Last Summer? Well this one’s something similar with a little difference. We are in the middle of 2016. Make a list of 10 things you did in the year 2015 and what you learnt from them, and you’ve got yourself a speech! Another 10 in 2014 (if you can remember) and here’s another one.
- Explain Something Interesting
Do you know about cars? What about spaceships? Nanotechnology? AI? Elon Musk is doing a lot for the mankind. Can you study some of what he does and bring it out in the form of a speech? Research about some aspect of science & technology and present it in the form of a speech and people will love you for that.
Read any interesting book lately? Fiction, non-fiction? Game of Thrones? Present what you learnt in that book in the form of a speech.
- Pick an Emotion
All of us are governed by six basic human emotions – happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise and disgust. Pick one emotion (say fear) as the centerpiece, think of stories and other incidents of your life linked to this emotion and connect them in the form of a speech. Since we all feel the same basic emotions, it becomes easy for the audience to connect with you while narrating a life story pertaining to one of these emotions.
See. Selecting a speech topic is not that difficult after all!
All you need to do is to pick one out of the above eleven and begin writing your speech.
Now that we know what to speak on, let’s look at how best to start a speech using these 8 tested methods.