Choosing a speech topic is a very important step. You want to try and find an interesting topic that will capture the attention of your audience. But before we discover different ways to trigger topic ideas, lets first understand what is speech.
What is a Speech?
A speech is a verbal presentation that uses language and body language to convey ideas or information to an audience.
A speech can be structured into three sections: Introduction, Body, and Conclusion.
The introduction is the first part of the speech where you give background information about the topic and frame your message for what you want to talk about.
The body of your speech conveys your main points in chronological order.
The conclusion is where you summarize your main points, restate the major idea that you want people to remember or give a call to action to the audience.
Choosing A Speech Topic
Choosing a topic for a speech can be one of the most challenging things to do! Although the time spent to come up with a topic may vary, even for season speakers, finding a topic can be a challenge.
There are many ways to choose a topic. You can select something that’s very current, whether it be politics or something like the Olympics. A good thing to think about is your audience – what will resonate with them? What do they want to hear about? You may also want to consider what you’re passionate about.
There are many different ways you can come up with speech topics, with these being some of the most common ways.
1. Read through your favorite books and try to find something in it that you could talk about. This is a great way to get yourself inspired. Pick a book you’ve been wanting to read for a while, but never had the time. Get yourself a copy and spend a few hours reading through it. As you read, note down ideas that interest you, or just jot them down in a notebook. You can use this as inspiration for your speech topic.
2. Think about a quote that’s stuck with you for years, and talk about how that’s changed your life. Sometimes, the quote itself can be your topic and can lead to a good amount of speech time. Keep in mind to acknowledge where you got the quote from.
3. If you have a specific subject you want to talk about, you could make it the topic of the speech. For example, if you wanted to talk about the environment, you could talk about the impact of air pollution or the importance of recycling. You can also talk about how your lifestyle has changed in recent years due to the climate change.
4. Think about something you’re passionate about. Choosing a speech topic can relate to something that’s important to you. It could be something that’s in the news, or something that’s a cause that you believe in. You could also choose something that you’ve had some experience with, like a hobby or a sport.
5. Find Something That’s Not As Common. A good way to avoid being too general is to find something that’s not as common. It’s something that your audience won’t have heard before, and it gives you an opportunity to talk about something they’re not familiar with. Choosing a speech topic that is uncommon may be a challenge
6. Think of A Popular News Story. News stories can be a great way to start off a speech. This is because people are always interested in news stories and they tend to have a lot of interest in what’s going on in the world right now. If you’re unsure about what news stories to talk about, think about the news headlines and you’ll probably have plenty of ideas to choose from.
7. Keep something in mind that has happened recently in your own life. This could be an event, a news story, something that has been in the media, or anything else. If you’ve had some experience in this area then you’ll probably know that there are lots of people who have similar experiences to yours. By choosing something that’s current and relatable, you’ll make your audience feel more comfortable – and you’ll also be able to talk about something that’s relevant to their lives.
8. Search for speeches by famous people and see what they talk about. If you have a specific person in mind, you could use them as inspiration. If not, you could go through speeches by well-known speakers such as Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Clinton, or even famous historical figures. By using speeches by these people, you could find something to talk about that your audience will be interested in hearing.
The Right Audience
Choosing a speech topic complimented by the right audience makes your speech even better. Why? The right audience for your speech is the audience that wants to listen to what you have to say.
One of the reason for a speech is to to change your beliefs. If you want to convince someone of something, then the people who are most likely to be influenced by your argument are those who already agree with it.
Understand the Types of Speeches
One of the components in choosing a speech topic is understanding the type of speech you are targeting for. Generally, there are 3 types of speeches:
- Speeches to inform. These type of speeches seek to provide information to the audience.
- Speeches to motivate. These type of speeches seek to motivate the audience for a call to action.
- Speeches to entertain. These type of speeches seek to provide humor, drama or even for the audience enjoyment.
There may be other types of speeches but you can start with these 3 first. When you understand the type of speech you are targeting for, then, it makes it easier to find the words when choosing a speech topic.
Decide on the Purpose
The decision you make as to what type of speech to deliver will influence your preparation. The next step is to decide on the purpose of your speech. Now, sometimes choosing a speech topic derives from the purpose of the speech. Hear me out, when you understand the purpose of your speech, it gives you the direction of where your speech is going.
Let’s explore some questions to get you started:
- What is the purpose for my speech?
- What are the steps I can take to achieve my speech purpose?
- How does my purpose relate to the idea of authenticity?
Create your Main Message
In this section, we will explore how you can create a compelling main message for your speech. At this point, you’ve discovered the type of speech and the purpose of the speech. The main message is the central idea of your speech and it is the most important element to achieving success.
So, how do you create your main message?
- One sentence message. Write your message in one sentence. If you are able to write one sentence that clearly sums your message, then you are on the right track. The core message of your speech or presentation is what you want your audience to remember. It should be short and catchy. This is the message that you want to be communicated at the end of your speech or presentation. The core message is usually one sentence and it gives a sense of accomplishment for both the speaker and audience. A good example of a core message would be “The world needs more entrepreneurs”.
- Believe in the message. When you have the core message, ask yourself, “Do I believe in the message? Does it resonate with me?”. When you believe in your message, preparing your speech will be a breeze.
- Expand the message. Now that you have gotten your main message, it is time to expand it.
In the world of speeches, we often hold onto the idea that every single point we make will be remembered. The reality is that only a few points will be remembered from your speech. Therefore, you should design your content to ensure few points are remembered by the audience.
Delivering Speeches Effectively
Presenting an speech or presentation is a part of a a student’s life, an executive at a corporation or even a youth speaker. A speech is not just about what you are saying, but how you say it. It is the power of your speech and your body language that will catch their attention and convince them to do something.
Below are some tips to deliver a successful oral presentation:
- Introduction of the topic should be short and concise to capture audience’s attention
- Use powerful words
- Use eye contact technique when speaking
- Speak with confidence
- Make sure gestures are appropriate
Choosing a speech topic can be a challenging tasks but it’s possible to overcome. Once you have chosen your speech topic, the rest will flow nicely.
I hope this article has helped you in some way to choose an interesting topic for your next speech. I hope that you will be able to make a high-quality speech and I wish you good luck!