The Best Speech Topics Blog will help you to keep up-to-date with all the offerings at best-speech-topics.com and user-submitted examples. We look forward to inspiring you with topic ideas, speech content suggestions, and public speaking examples.
Understand the basic building blocks of case theory and theme for mock trial. A case theory forms the foundation for everything in a trial.
The three keys to cross examination success. Explores building blocks for effective examination of adversarial witnesses at a trial.
Episode 1 of Mock Trial Flight School - Witness Preparation - Brian Bellamy discusses knowing, analyzing, practicing the witness role and teamwork
Wedding toast speeches are part of a wedding just as the white dress and the chicken dance. Learn to make your contribution to the occasion successful.
Learn how to writing an informative speech, giving information without expressing a point of view. Three different ways to organize your presentation.
Thank you very much. My father’s commencement speaker was the great Martin Luther King. My Father was 20 years old and didn’t show up for that talk so
A personal Grammarly Review December 2018 discussing my insights and statistics and several ways that the Grammarly grammar checking software helps improve my writing, quickly check student essays, and ensure quality work by employees and blog post contributors.
Have you ever had to speak out in the open air?
It can feel quite different to giving a speech indoors - and there may be a few things about outdoor speaking you hadn't considered!
Here are my 5 tips for delivering a successful outdoor speech...
If you need to write an inspiring and motivating persuasive speech, consider using Monroe's motivated sequence to organize your presentation.
The technique was developed by Alan H Monroe, a Purdue University professor during the 1930's.
It's based on the psychology of persuasion and is an effective method still used by public speakers today.
The reason the method works so well is that it truly engages the audience - key to any successful speech.
It shows the audience the action they can take to resolve the problem your speech addresses. It also demonstrates that you understand the problem and makes the audience members feel that you care about them personally.
1. Grab the attention of the audience.
Do this by stating a shocking fact, relating an interesting story, using a powerful quotation or sharing an astounding statistic!
2. Appeal to the audience's needs.
Based on the assumption that your audience members are motivated by their needs, this step involves showing them how the topic you're discussing applies to their psychological needs. So rather than simply stating the problem that needs resolving, show the audience how it relates to them and make sure they understand that the problem will not go away unless they personally do something about it.
3. Provide satisfaction by offering a solution.
Your solution(s) needs to be personally or collectively actionable by the audience members and it's a good idea to think through any potential counter-arguments to your solutions and address them at this point.
4. Use visualization to portray the future.
With detailed, descriptive language, explain what will happen if the audience members implement the solution(s) you proposed... and exactly what will happen if they don't.
5. Call the audience to action.
Present a clear call to action - specific things that audience members can do to help. Precede this by asking "Can you help me?", which appeals to them very directly and helps inspire your audience to do the things you WANT them to do!
For more help with persuasive speeches, please see...
5 easy-to-use tips to improve your speech-writing skills!
Look through a few newspapers and magazines. Study the headlines and note which ones really grab your attention. Then, create a similarly compelling 'headline' for your speech. You don't need to actually use it, but the idea is to then create the speech around the headline, and deliver on the promise that the headline makes.
For example, you may be planning an informative speech about feminism. An engaging headline could be
"The Weaker Sex? 10 Surprising Ways That Women Have Shaped the World"
You may never use that title again, but it's provided the inspiration for what could be a truly awesome speech!
In order to write well, it's important to read. Often.
Go outside your comfort zone and pick books you would normally overlook. Challenge yourself with 'difficult' texts. Read works by different authors and note their techniques and writing styles.
The purpose here is not necessarily to find longer or more difficult words, but to enrich and widen your vocabulary. This will help you avoid clichés (over-used expressions) and make your speech more interesting. It will also help you communicate your ideas more descriptively and effectively.
A word of caution though...
Be sure that the words you use are - in fact - appropriate. There's nothing worse (or more embarrassing) than using a word incorrectly!
Do you find that your best thoughts and phrases come to you NOT when you are writing, but when you are taking a bath or lying in bed?
I find this quite often - it's as if the pressure to put words on paper causes our brains to freeze, but that the words flow when we allow ourselves to relax.
So make sure you're ready to record all of these ideas, by carrying a pen and notebook everywhere you go, or recording your voice using an app on your smartphone.
Note which parts of those speeches grab your attention and which parts motivate or inspire you. Analyze WHY they have those effects on you. Is it the words used? The timing of the delivery of the words? The use of pauses, or gestures, or humour?
Aim to apply these techniques to the delivery of your own speech.
Thesaurus.com - Online thesaurus
50 Incredible, Historical Speeches (NOTE: A couple of the videos listed are no longer available on the links provided, but there are still plenty to choose from!)
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King (US). This excellent book is primarily aimed at fiction writers but is a wonderful resource for anyone looking to hone their writing skills. Also available in the UK
I sometimes think that the hardest part about writing a speech is putting pen to paper and getting started!
But have you ever noticed how much easier it is to start TALKING about a topic than start writing about it?
Well, that's actually something you can use to your advantage! Why not try creating your speech out loud, then writing it down afterwards?
Not only will this help you get over your writer's block, it will also help you create a piece of writing that flows well when read aloud. And that, after all, is exactly what you want your speech to do!
You may also find that speaking aloud triggers your imagination in a way that writing simply doesn't.
There are a few ways you could approach this when preparing your next speech...
Using your phone (or any device that allows for audio recording), record yourself speaking.
Afterwards, you can simply write down what you said, polishing any parts you're not happy with.
If you still find yourself at a loss for words, working with a friend can help.
It's sometimes easier to think of what you want to say when you have someone sitting in front of you than it is when you are simply dictating into a device.
You can either have your friend record you, or - if they have short-hand skills - they can write down your words. They may even be able to come up with questions that will prompt you to expand on your theme!
If you want to avoid writing altogether, then you can use dictation software to turn your voice into text.
Many phones and computer operating systems have this functionality built in. Alternatively, you could try Dragon Naturally Speaking, which I use myself and find incredibly accurate.
Have YOU tried dictating your speeches? Do you have any tips you'd like to share?
Please contact me here - I'd love to hear from you.
One of the best ways to wow your listeners and make your speech stick in their memories is to use audience participation.
In other words, you need to let your listeners join in.
This will not only grab their attention, it will ensure they really engage with your topic... and with YOU!
And there are two ways to include questions in your speech...
Asking your listeners a question right at the beginning of your speech is a great way to break the ice and get everybody's attention.
If you are delivering a speech about good nutrition, for example, you could show a picture of a healthy salad and ask "How many of you ate a meal that looked like THIS last night?"
A certain percentage of your audience will raise their hands.
In order to include the rest of the audience, get them to raise their hands too by showing a contrasting picture (of some tempting-looking fast food, for example) and asking "And how many of you ate a meal that looked more like THIS?"
Having answered your question, your audience has made a connection with you and now has a vested interest in what you have to say on the matter!
Once you reach the end of your speech, take the opportunity to connect with your audience again.
This time, invite your listeners to ask YOU questions about your topic.
Each time you are asked a question, repeat it clearly for the benefit of the rest of the audience before answering.
Make sure you have previously gathered as much information as you can on your chosen topic. This will help you answer questions effectively. (This also demonstrates why it's important to base your speech on a topic that truly interests you!).
If you don't know the answer to a question you are asked then - whatever you do - DON'T pretend that you do! It will make you look foolish and undermine your entire presentation.
Instead, explain honestly that you don't have an answer for that person right there and then. But invite them to come and speak to you after the presentation, by which time you will have researched your response and will be able to help.
...and see how it helps you build a relationship with your audience that ensures they remember you!
When you're asked to prepare a speech, you're often given a specific time frame in which you have to deliver it. And it can be quite challenging to ensure your speech will fit into that time frame as you're writing it.
That's where a free tool called Readtime© can come in very handy!
Head over to Readtime© and you'll see some introductory text.
Click the stopwatch tab under the text, then start it as you begin reading. Press stop once you've finished and you'll be able to see your personal reading speed for that particular piece of text. Use the slider to then adjust the tool to your personal speed and you're ready to go.
Simply copy and paste the text of your speech into the tool and it will now tell you approximately how long it will take you to read it. Since we all vary quite a bit in our reading speeds, this is so much more accurate than estimating the length using an average reading speed.
Don't forget to also check out this free public speaking app to help you prepare for the big day!
Time management for college students - tips for ensuring success in your academic AND your social life!
Audiences tend to make judgments about speakers VERY early in their presentation.
This means that you only really have about 40 to 60 seconds to grab their attention and sound interesting!
After that, you may have lost them... and it can be very difficult to get their interest again.
So here are seven surefire ways to get people listening to what you have to say!
NOTE: Whichever one you choose, make sure you START your speech with it.
Avoid waffling on beforehand "here's an interesting fact, here's a good quote I found etc".
Instead, just get in there and deliver the quote/fact/joke etc as the first words you speak.
1. Give a Startling Fact, Relevant to your Topic
Example: in 1980 Detroit presented Saddam Hussein with a key to the city (yes, this is true).
Something like this would work well with a speech about getting things wrong, poor judgment etc!
2. Share a Shocking Statistic
Useful for informative speeches.
Example: According to a study by the US Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy, 32 million adults in the US can't read.
3. Tell a Joke
Use jokes with caution – they are not appropriate for all speeches. But a well-placed joke can break the ice and help an audience warm to you.
Example: "I've just started a fundraising campaign for golfers who don't like putting. Feel free to chip in!"
This one would be ideal for a golf tournament speech, fundraising speech etc.
4. Share a Personal Story
As long as it's interesting, start with a personal story. People have a natural curiosity about others – and if they can identify with you, they'll be keen to hear what else you have to say.
5. Ask a Question
Getting your audience involved from the outset is a GREAT way to get their attention. Asking a question makes people really THINK about what you're saying, also making them more likely to remember you.
Example: How many of you have thought about volunteering in your community, but do not know where to start?
6. Use a Quote
Good quotes are great attention grabbers and it's usually very easy to find one to tie in with your topic. They work particularly well with inspirational speeches, but someone has had something profound to say about almost any topic you can think of!
Example: I think being fearless is having fears, but jumping anyway (Taylor Swift).
7. Use Props
An eye-catching prop will get most people's interest. The secret is to keep it covered up, then reveal it at an appropriate moment.
Example: A visitor to Best Speech Topics sent in a PowerPoint presentation to accompany the speech she'd written about smoking. It contained shocking images of the damage smoking does to the human body.
I think you'd agree that most of the speech starters given here would make you want to hear more if YOU were the listener.
So keep this in mind when preparing your next presentation and deliver an opening that hooks your audience from the very beginning.
Do you remember the first time you went out in your car alone after passing your test?
Chances are you were somewhat nervous. Driving seemed easy with an instructor beside you, but doing it alone was daunting. You may not have felt too confident about it at all.
For some, the nerves can even become paralyzing. Many new drivers postpone that first solo journey or agonize over it beforehand.
So how did you eventually overcome that lack of confidence?
By getting in your car and driving, driving, driving.
And of course, the more you drove, the easier it became. Eventually you forgot that you were ever nervous in the first place.
And it can be the same with speaking in public.
One of the best ways to overcome your fear of public speaking is to MAKE yourself do it. As often as possible.
Yes, you can read self-help books for dealing with anxiety. But nothing can replace ACTUAL experience in speaking in front of an audience.
Try to put yourself in situations that require you to speak up.
Making yourself the center of attention may feel excruciating at first. But the second and third times will not feel quite as bad. With each situation where you make your voice heard, you will find your confidence building.
You may never completely rid yourself of your public speaking anxiety. But you can certainly get your fear to a manageable level. This will not only give you the ability to speak in public, but to do it WELL.
Using handouts - printed information, graphics or diagrams that you pass out to your audience - can enhance your speech and make it memorable.
Used the wrong way, though, handouts can actually do more harm than good!
You've spent time before your presentation creating excellent handouts, full of useful information and maybe with an eye-catching design.
So what's going to happen if you distribute these handouts to your listeners, right in the middle of your speech?
Well, your audience will very likely READ them... and stop listening to you!
It's the quickest way to lose that all-important engagement with your audience, which can be tough to recapture.
Save your handouts to the very END of your presentation. They give your audience members something to take away with them and help them remember the main message of your speech.
NOTE: The only exception to this rule will be if your audience members actually NEED the handout during the speech - perhaps to refer to some facts or figures. In that case, distribute the handout at the exact point in the speech that you want them to look at it.
You plan to give a good introduction, make a powerful speech, use visual aids, possibly inject a little humor into your words to make people laugh, tap into their emotions etc. What ELSE can you do to make your presentation memorable?
You can ensure your conclusion is as powerful as your introduction!
And the best way to do this is to summarize the main points you made in your speech.
This really helps reinforce those points in the minds of your listeners, giving them something to 'take away' with them afterwards. If your speech contains any type of advice or call to action, then this is the time to repeat it... galvanizing your audience into taking the steps you recommend!
Consider finishing with a strong quotation that ties in nicely with your overall theme - and you'll be sure to make a lasting impression that will either stir your audience or tug at their heart strings, depending on the theme of your message.
Ever sat through a boring speech? I know I have - and there's nothing worse than listening to someone droning on about something that interests us very little.
Here are five surefire ways to make YOUR speech interesting and to ensure there's no yawning or glazed expressions in YOUR audience.
1. Start (and end) with a bang! You can pretty much guarantee that your audience WILL pay attention to the first minute or two of your speech - after that, their attention may begin to wander. So make sure your opening line serves as a 'hook' to draw your audience in and keep them listening. Try telling an (appropriate) joke, sharing a startling fact or asking a question and inviting answers.
2. Plan the structure of your speech carefully. Drifting from one idea to another with no logical sequence means that your audience will have difficulty following your train of thought – so they'll simply give up trying and sit there just waiting for you to finish, while they mentally plan what's for dinner. Be clear on your main ideas, move smoothly from one to the next using transitional vocabulary and don't contradict yourself.
3. Make sure your subject matter will interest your audience and not just yourself! Unless the topic of your speech has been predetermined in some way, take time to analyze your listeners and ensure the topic of your speech is something that will appeal to them. If you don't have any flexibility with the SUBJECT of your speech, at least ensure the TONE you use is the right one for YOUR audience.
4. Use 'props' to make some of your points instead of delivering them all verbally. For example, brain researcher Jill Bolte Taylor – who suffered a massive stroke and studied it as it happened – delivered a talk about her experience and used an actual brain to reinforce the point she was making. You can also try to come up with analogies for the major points of your speech, then find those items to represent your ideas.
5. Keep in mind that shorter is better! If you have the freedom to choose the length of your speech, don't abuse it by delivering an epic-length presentation. Keeping things brief gives you the opportunity to hold your audience's attention from the beginning of your speech to the end, gives you less time to make a mistake and allows you to deliver your memorable closing sentences whilst your audience is still listening!
In some situations you may be required to give a speech during which inviting questions would be appropriate.
But is it a good idea to allow questions in the course of the speech?
On the one hand, answering questions as you go along can be a good thing.
It can actually help you relax, as it creates a friendly atmosphere (of course, this is only true if you know your subject very well, so make sure that you do!).
It helps you connect with your listeners and gives them a warm feeling about you.
It clarifies your points in their minds, so they really 'take something away' after listening to you. This is particularly important during a demonstration speech, for example, when your audience really does need to understand the steps you're showing them.
On the other hand, though, questions can be distracting and – if you're already nervous – may cause you to lose your train of thought.
Interruptions may also lessen the impact of your words.
Imagine, for example, that you are giving a persuasive speech, where your goal is to influence the opinions of your listeners.
With a good persuasive speech, you will carefully build your case as you go along and – hopefully – end with a 'bang', using a powerful, thought-provoking comment, statement or quote.
A question asked at the 'wrong' time could interrupt your flow and make the climax of your speech less powerful… and less persuasive.
With speeches of this nature, then, my recommendation would be to announce at the beginning of your speech that you will be holding a 10 minute Q&A session at the end.
This will ensure that you're able to deliver your message flawlessly, yet still meet the objective of thoroughly engaging and communicating with your audience.
Still nervous about speaking in public?
It's a good question and one to which the answer seems obvious - but there are a couple of other considerations to take into account when choosing the wardrobe for your big day.
Whilst it's important to look smart and to dress appropriately for the venue in which you'll be presenting your speech, dressing solely to impress might be a mistake.
Instead, you should aim to be dressed presentably AND comfortably in clothes that make you feel good.
The reason is simple - feeling good will give you confidence, and this will really come across in your delivery!
Public speaking can be nerve wracking enough, so fretting over whether or not your clothing looks good will simply add to your stress and leave you feeling even less inclined to stand up in front of a crowd.
Feel as if you're looking sharp, however, and you'll be MUCH happier about facing your audience!
Pair this confidence with a smile at the start of your speech (if appropriate to the occasion, of course) and your audience will warm to you immediately.