Choose a Great Speech Topic

This month’s question:

“I find it difficult to come up with new speech ideas each time I present. Any suggestions?”

Response from the editors:

Follow these steps to pick a speech topic that will wow your audience:

Step 1: Determine what type of speech you want to present. Are you presenting a speech to inform, persuade, demonstrate, entertain or inspire? Your speech must fit the occasion and match the mood of the event.

Step 2: Connect with the audience. Who are your audience members? What do they care about? Find a way to relate your topic to the audience, and you will make your listeners understand and care about what you are saying.

Step 3: Consider your knowledge. What do you care about? Pick a topic that you are passionate about and one you can speak knowledgeably about. Your enthusiasm will come through in your voice and body language, and your audience will feel it.


July’s Poll Results:

In last month’s poll, we asked “How do you find informative speech ideas?” Forty percent of you pick a topic you are passionate about. That’s good because your audience is much more likely to connect with you and hear your message if you are passionate about what you are saying.

Beware: You may have to convince your audience to buy in to your ideas, and you risk losing their attentions if you are long-winded and unfocused. Narrow your speech topic down to a specific point. If you’ve chosen to discuss education, focus on just one issue, for example, classroom size in the average public school. Limiting your speech to one key point—rather than trying to cover everything—allows you to add more detail and interesting facts, and that will keep your audience tuned in.


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Delivered each month, American Speaker Forum offers you public-speaking advice and tips for wowing your audience during your next presentation. This resource also offers you a way to ask for feedback on your next speaking engagement and to share your own experience with your colleagues.

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