Speeches. Perhaps one of life’s most stress-inducing occasions. The thought of sweaty palms under bright lights is enough to make almost anyone nervous.
But, before you make your speech, you must pick a topic. Ultimately, making the right choices here regarding what to talk about can go a long way to alleviating your pre-speech jitters. For a quick guide to for selecting the right speech topic, check out these five pointers from the communication experts at Presenting Perfection.
Choosing A Speech Topic Tip #1: Be Relevant
Above nearly everything else, your speech must connect with your audience to be a success. Of course, while there might be more than one way to achieve this connection, focusing on relevant issues is a sure path.
Think of this way: Topics mined from current events, news, or community activities are powerful because they involve things your audience is likely already thinking about. With this approach, your speech will connect and hold interest.
Choosing A Speech Topic Tip #2: Be Invested
The most obvious topic selection tip? Select an issue you care about!
Most of us have endured a presentation, lecture, or other speech-related event given by someone who couldn’t care less. Monotone delivery and lack of enthusiasm can combine to put everyone in the room to sleep!
There is a better way, however. When you select a topic or subject you care about or, better yet, have extensive experience with, you can carry natural enthusiasm and excitement into your speech. Consider topics that you find personally motivating or attention-grabbing and share them with your audience!
Choosing A Speech Topic Tip #3: Be Aware
While taking stock of current events and your personal interests are both critically important, there is, of course, another aspect of any speech: the audience.
When choosing a topic, keeping your audience in mind is key. While sourcing topics from your passions and recent news happenings, the interests of your audience can help you tailor your speech. In most cases, you’ll want to avoid controversy or conflict between your speech and your audience.
Choosing A Speech Topic Tip #4: Be Cohesive
Even after you’ve chosen your general topic, the selection process isn’t over. You’ll want to be sure that your speech’s subject reflects a complete and organized view.
For example, if you choose to deliver a speech about dinosaurs, you would want to include at least some discussion of their extinction. By selecting a topic with a logical flow of information already in mind, you can give your audience a speech that is not only enjoyable – but also makes sense.
Choosing A Speech Topic Tip #5: Be Knowledgeable
Finally, maybe the simplest yet most frequently overlooked part of selecting a good topic: research.
No matter how excited you are about campaign finance laws, for example, selecting them as a topic for a speech is a complete waste if you fail to include accurate information. For politically or current event-minded topics, this is extremely important.
When selecting a speech focus, you will need to be sure to select issues or subjects that you can foreseeably provide quality, researched, and nuanced information for. Your audience will thank you.
Choosing A Speech Topic Tip #6: Get Help From An Expert
Whether you are faced with an upcoming speaking engagement or just want to improve your presentation skills, a consultation with a communications expert can be vital.