You’re excited about a speech. The topic is perfect! You already know your main points and just how you’re going to start your introduction. Then, it happens.
One day, out of the blue, you decide that your topic sucks. Everyone will hate it. It’s boring and bland. Been there? Then you know that I’m talking about the exact same speech!
The problem in this case isn’t the speech topic; most likely it’s just your nerves. Everyone gets nervous, and for many, it means that we suddenly get very unsure about our topic, our authority, our reasons for even giving this speech. Don’t listen to yourself!
If you were absolutely certain that your speech topic was gold, don’t change it a week before your presentation. It’s just your nerves going crazy. If you can’t shake that feeling that your speech will bomb, contact your mentor right away. Get an objective viewpoint.
Now, for those of us who want to speak but are without a topic, here’s how to get an idea of what to speak about:
- What is your job / passion?
- What do you do in your free time?
- Watch a TED talk — great ideas there!
- What is the last book you read?
- What are some of the toughest things that you’ve been through? Could your survival story inspire others?
- Where have you traveled? Speak about that!
- What makes you angry? Speaking up about it can change people’s minds!
- What would a really good title of your speech be? (This is your hook to get people interested, so it’s a great place to start!)
- Go to a Toastmasters meeting. I’ve been regularly inspired by our speakers. On the way home, I’m already writing my next speech!
Now, if you’re giving your Icebreaker, things are a bit simpler for you. The Icebreaker is all about you, but you don’t have to tell us everything. You can:
- Tell us how you became interested in your career
- Tell us 3 significant points in your life
- Tell us why you’re a survivor
You see? Much simpler than thinking of a speech from scratch. If you’re still stuck, talk to your mentor. He or she is here to help you navigate and get over any stuck parts.
Your speech topic should be exciting for you to present about. Your audience will know that you’re excited about it, and that will show in your speech. Most of all, get out there and get practicing! Each time you give a speech, you’ll get a little better at picking a speech topic.