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How do you choose a speech topic?

Whenever we are called upon to give a speech a daunting task most speakers face is: What do I talk about? Toastmasters face the same challenges when trying to decide upon what to write a speech about. There are often two places where you can get ideas for your next speech topic: speaker-podiumPersonal Experience and Reference Material.

Personal Experience
The more personally you are involved with your speech, the more likely you will be connected to your audience. There is lots of subject matter that can be related to your personal experience. Here are a few examples of personal topics that can generate ideas:

  • Interests: Sports, hobbies, travel, entertainment, values, and or goals.
  • Career: Business processes, ethics, investments, or retirement.
  • Family: Ancestors, marriage, or traditions
  • Education: Study habits, achievements, memorable mentors/teachers, and subjects you enjoyed in school.

Reference Material
An unlimited amount of ideas is available all over the internet. You can also visit your local public library and get a great deal of inspiration. Here are just a few places from reference material where you can get your ideas:

  • Websites: Wikipedia, university research studies, medical sites, etc.
  • Books: Self-help, Science, Children, Mystery, Horror and all sorts of other fictional and non-fictional genres.
  • Magazines: Current trends, editorials, entertainment, fashion, lifestyle.
  • Newspapers: Advertisements, current events, travel, technology, editorials.

Get Inspired Everywhere
Inspiration can come at any moment whether you’re watching a television program, having a conversation with a friend, or exercising at the gym. An idea can come into your mind and you should remember to write it down on paper. Attending speech contests are another place for inspiration so keep your smartphone or notepad and pen close by. Even if you do not end up using a particular idea, keep your notes in a file to be referenced for future speeches.