For many, addressing a crowd or speaking publicly may seem frightening, and there is hardly a soul who doesn't experience butterflies in his/her stomach when asked to talk in front of a crowd. Our first experience at public speaking usually occurs in school or college. Generally, the topic or subject is chosen and handed to you, but what if you are not given the choice to select a topic and are not sure about what topic to choose?
Here is a collection of various topics that may seem appropriate for your public speaking debut. And yes, we have provided some useful tips, further down below, that will help you speak effectively, minimize anxiety and prevent you from going blank before you start speaking.
For Middle School Students
- Should we be trying to prevent animal species from becoming extinct? If so, why?
- Fur is not a fashion statement
- Turn off your TV and do something more interesting
- Should we ban the use of animals in circuses?
- Are we doing enough to stop bullying? What are the causes and remedies of bullying?
- Consequences of using candy as reward
- Should physical education in schools be compulsory?
- Should smoking in public places be banned?
- Things that will become obsolete in the next 10 years
- Vegetarianism versus non-vegetarianism
- Can pets sense supernatural activity?
- Do superstitions still exist?
- Co-ed school vs. Single-sex school
- History of Yosemite National Park
- Who invented the first computer
- Types of dolphins
- Types of Christmas trees
- Types of dinosaurs
- Types of tropical fish
- History of feminism
- Disappearing bee theories
- What are the Seven Wonders of the World
- How was the Earth formed
- Who invented the bicycle
- Who invented chocolate
- Who invented the iPod
- Reasons why you should recycle
For High School Students
- Do schools have the right to search students' lockers?
- Is there an alternative for prison?
- Chat Rooms: Are they safe?
- Why you should never eat fast food
- Different types of clouds
- Homeschooling Vs. Public school
- Does using mouthwash really cause cancer?
- Are there any ambiguities and loopholes in science?
- Pros and cons of euthanasia
- Is the fashion industry promoting eating disorders in our society?
- Do self-help books really help?
- Is shopping online really cheaper?
- History of the White House
- History of International Space Station (ISS)
- Is there life on other planets?
- Types of dreams
- Types of engineers
- Do magnetic bracelets work?
- Story of the Trojan War
- Uses of computers
- How was the solar system formed
- Who invented golf
- Types of communication
- Why do people need government
- Why should you quit smoking
- Does television affect your intelligence?
For College Students
- Is the current tax system unfair?
- Should prostitution be legalized?
- Can terrorism ever be justified?
- Does luck play an important part in the success of a person?
- Does dieting lead to eating disorders?
- Should HIV positive workers have to tell their employers of their status?
- Brand names cost more, but is the quality any better?
- Religions: Should they interfere with medical care?
- Rehabilitation: Why prison doesn't work
- Should young people be subjected to curfews as a way to reduce crime?
- Priests: Should they be allowed to marry?
- Is stomach stapling the right way to lose weight?
- Should assisted suicide be legalized?
- Why you should become a blood donor
- Highest paying careers
- Impact of oil spills in oceans
- Is premature birth hereditary?
- Should gambling be legalized and regulated?
- Why the death penalty should be abolished
- History of Hip-Hop
- Can we defend testing on animals or should we fight It?
- How to dress for a job interview
- Abortion: Pro-choice arguments
- Should waterboarding be allowed?
- How was the Sun formed
- How did the Bermuda Triangle myth begin
- Does social networking cause depression?
- How was the Moon formed
- Do cigarette warning labels work?
- How was the Grand Canyon formed
- Who invented the first automobile
- Reasons, why gambling should be illegal
- Should college athletes get paid?
- Does ear candling work?
Choosing a topic for a speech can seem a herculean task with so many options but you can reduce the confusion, if you decide the type of topic you want to deliver. Is it going to be informative wherein you provide information to the crowd regarding a particular subject, or persuasive type where you discuss and try to win approval or support for some current social issues. Before you settle with a topic, question yourself whether the respective topic is relevant or appropriate, gather and research the topic properly and make sure your message is covered in the right manner. Public speaking becomes interesting when it is more like an interactive session. So, go for a topic that you are comfortable with, a topic that will give the listener a new insight.
Tips to Improve Public Speaking
To begin with, as a speaker, you must have good command over the audience and be able to grab their attention with your voice. Your voice should be audible and clear.
All the facts, values and reasoning must be thoroughly researched, correct and to-the-point.
To lighten up a serious topic, draw the audience's attention with humor. But remember jokes should be relevant and inoffensive.
A rightly timed pause could give your speech that special dramatic effect, whereas fillers like "umm" and "ahh" could ruin the quality of your speech.
Good Body Language
Practice in front of a mirror, the way you would stand, use your hands and facial expressions when addressing the audience.
Use Flash Cards
Make notes on flash cards and hold them in one hand and use your other hand to gesture the crowd.
Convey and complete your discussion with a powerful and strong conclusion.
The most vital and sometimes the most difficult aspect about public speaking, developing confidence. Yes, confidence comes with experience but till that time I would suggest, virtually playing out the scenario in your mind where you have confidently and successfully delivered a talk. Self-talk and reassurances do help in building confidence.
A speech is nothing but addressing a group of people, either to share some serious information, tell a story or to motivate them to act. The whole idea here is to build a conversation, think of your speech as an important message that you have to tell everyone, overcome your fear, relax, take a deep breath, look up and address the crowd confidently. Remember to smile and do your best.