What are good speech topics? This depends largely on the purpose of the speech, but in general, good topics should meet two criteria.
(Are you only looking for lists of topics? Click here for links to the different topic categories).
First of all, the topic of your speech should be a subject about which you are genuinely interested in talking. When we speak about topics that interest us, we are likely to be more natural, more passionate and less nervous in our delivery.
The best speech topics are those with which we're familiar and comfortable discussing. This makes the speech more enjoyable for us to write AND for the audience to listen to!
Speaking of the audience leads us into the second element of choosing ideal topics...
Although it is important for you to be comfortable with your topic and to choose something you're interested in, you shouldn't solely focus on what YOU like!
A successful speech is a form of communication with the audience, so preparing a speech should involve a significant amount of attention to the needs and interests of the audience. Prior to choosing a topic for your speech, perform an audience analysis.
An audience analysis is simply a matter of determining the characteristics of your audience.
Consider their age, gender, and educational background. What do they need to know, what do they already know and what are they interested in learning? Having this information will help you choose the best speech topic as well as the appropriate language to use and method of presentation. For example, if you are speaking to young children on the general topic of fire prevention, a visual presentation would be far more successful than a technical speech with long, difficult-to-understand words!
Good topics for informative speeches might be selected from among your hobbies, interests, activities, heroes, and favorite recipes. Your speech could either inform the audience about the topic, or be a demonstration instructing your audience how to do one of your favorite activities.
For persuasive speeches, good topics might include controversial issues, volunteer opportunities and causes that need funding.
For an inspirational or motivational speech, you might select a moving story as the centerpiece for a speech on the topic of making the most of life, or overcoming challenges.
Unique speech topics are fun to write about and can have your audience on the edge of their seats if done correctly!
The best speech topics come from your own experience and interests... but if you are still stuck, there are a number of places to look.
Pick up a newspaper or a magazine and see what interesting stories are in the news. Browse an online news site or an encyclopedia. Many of the public speaking texts include a "topic finder." There are also a few places online to find good speech topics, like this site!
Remember that good speech topics are those that are interesting and easy for you to research and speak about. They will also appeal to your audience and are presented in a way that your audience will understand and enjoy.