Choosing Relevant Public Speaking Topics

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Choosing good public speaking topics is not as difficult as you might imagine, although it will always depend on the occasion and the people you are going to be addressing. In addition it will depend on who you are and what you know about.

Anyone with any experience in public speaking knows that it is much easier to talk about something you believe in and know about than something that doesn’t interest you, or that you have only a cursory knowledge of. If you are very familiar with a topic, not only will the words come more easily, but you will also be more confident.

So if you have to come up with a speech topic, first find out about your audience and the event you will be speaking at. Find out if there is a theme and what other speakers, if any, are going to be discussing. Then see how you can relate the theme to yourself, your interests and to your business or personal activities. Also consider how you can make the speech topical and relevant.

Here are a few examples:

    * A university professor who normally teaches information technology is asked to give a speech at a conference that is going to be attended by travel agents. The theme of the conference is Changing Trends in the Travel Industry. So he decides to talk about The Impact of the Internet on the Travel Trade and to focus on how travel agents can improve their business and change their accounting systems by setting up secure web servers for online payments.
    * A popular television presenter is asked to be MC at the same conference. She has been told to give a short speech at the beginning, to open the conference, so decides to discuss her personal experiences travelling. She calls her opening speech A Sign of the Times, and tells three humorous stories about travelling on cheap airlines versus travelling in business class on a popular but expensive national airliner. She keeps her speech short and sweet, makes delegates laugh and thus breaks the ice for the rest of the speakers.
    * A high-powered company director is another speaker at the conference. His business involves finance and the stock market. He is a renowned speaker who is well travelled, but decides that he will not talk about his travels. Instead he gives a speech that is more closely related to his business: The Stocks and Shares of Travel, and analyses the impact of inflation on the travel trade.

Each of these speakers has stuck to the theme of the conference, and has chosen a topic they feel comfortable with.

Of course, having decided on a particular topic, you will need to define exactly what you are going to discuss. Be careful not to go into too much detail or to allow your topic to become too broad. Work out a logical outline with an interesting introduction and a convincing conclusion, and make sure you know exactly what point or points you intend to make.

Tim Ackerman is a public speaking enthusiast, author, and owner of PublicSpeakingInsider.com. Be sure to visit his visit his site for other great insights on choosing public speaking topics, along with many other useful tips to help you become a more powerful and effective communicator.

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