Short Speech Topics
Mark Twain once said
If you want me to give a 2 hour presentation, I am ready today. If you want only a 5 minute speech, it will take me 2 weeks to prepare.
Because it's infinitely harder to communicate ideas and make an impact in a short space of time.
This, then, makes it that much more important to choose the right topic.
Choose the wrong theme for your speech and you will struggle to deliver a presentation that covers it adquately. Choose the right topic, however, and you can create something powerful that will stick in the minds of your listeners, even if you are only able to speak for a few minutes.
Tips for Creating a Short Speech
- Pick something you feel strongly about. It's easier to make an impact in a short time when you speak with real passion.
- Pick something your audience is interested in too! All the passion in the world won't engage your listeners if the topic hold no interest for them!
- Consider speaking about a personal experience. Heartfelt emotions will be more keenly felt by your audience than those mustered up solely for the purpose of your speech!
- Focus on keeping your phrases brief and your words simple. See this page for help with this. A short speech is not the place for meandering thoughts and complicated sentence structures. Conciseness is key!
- Make sure your speech still includes the three key elements of any good presentation - a strong introduction, body and conclusion.
- Clearly identify the purpose of your speech. Is it to inform? Educate? Motivate? Criticize? Explain? Make sure that every word you write supports your overall purpose.
- Think hard before choosing a persuasive topic - this can be one of the most difficult types of speeches to deliver in a short space of time! It's not impossible, though - so be sure to have a strong argument if you want to convice people to think differently about something in only 5 minutes or so!
- Create a good title (if you will have the opportunity to use one).
Example Formats for Your Short Speech
Here's a simple template for a short persuasive speech...
Treating All Children as 'Winners' - Regardless of Success - is Harmful
- SUPPORTING REASONS
1. It is not a reflection of real life.
2. It stifles competitiveness.
3. It does not reward hard work and achievement.
Whilst no one should be criticized for failure, success should be recognized and honored in order to encourage competitiveness in our children.
Have you always wondered how to make a paper plane that actually flies?
- CLEAR STEPS TO DEMONSTRATE
Fly the plane!
Demonstrations make great short speeches because these are very visual and thus make a big impact - but time yourself beforehand to be absolutely sure that you can complete your demonstration in the time allowed!
Problem and solution
Divide this speech into 2 parts. First, set out the problem, then present the solution.
The 'problem' part should be the longest. This may sound illogical, but it gives the solution more impact when the problem is presented in detail. Describe the problem as vividly as possible and the audience will be looking forward to hearing your ingenious solution!
20 Short Speech Topics
- How social media is uniting the world
- Why pets are better than children
- 5 things to do with a Raspberry Pi
- How to solve the problem of online trolls
- My wish for humanity
- How to take the perfect selfie
- Why we should all be vegan
- If I were an animal I'd be a______
- A day in the life of a dollar bill
- The butterfly effect (how one tiny change in circumstances can alter the course of your life - focus on one example)
- 5 ways to save time in the kitchen
- If I had 5 minutes to talk to Donald Trump I would _____
- What advice I wish someone gave my parents before I was born
- Why the Gettysburg Address is the best speech ever written
- Online dating - cringeworthy or cool?
- My most embarrassing moment
- If I won the lottery I would _____
- Why ______ is the best book ever written
- Why it's sometimes necessary to lie
- How to write a short speech (they won't be expecting that one!)
for more lists of topics to inspire you.