Speech Topic Selection 101

Here’s a speech I did on Speech Topic Selection.
There’s also a worksheet at the end you can use to help generate ideas.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Speech Topic Selection – 101
“Talk About What You Know”

Once a month in Toastmasters, this is what happens.

“Let’s see -Time to check my email.
Oh, I see the new monthly schedule is out.
Let’s see first week, nothing todo –  that’s good.
The 2nd week – uh oh – I’m scheduled to speak
Wow – What am I going to talk about?
I know  what I can do – Our Father who art in heaven , I really need your help.”

How many people have ever been in that situation?
You’re literally praying for divine intervention to come up with a speech topic.
Well let me give you a couple of other options before you bother Our Father who art in heaven.

TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU KNOW.
TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU KNOW.

So what do you know?
HOW ABOUT YOUR JOB?

Everyone here either has a job, is looking for a job or is retired from a job.
Even if you call yourself a domestic engineer that’s still work.
Everyone here has stories and knowledge and experience
that makes you an expert in at least one area in life  – your job.

Let me give you a few examples.
Brent is a tax accountant – he talked about changing the tax due date.
Steve  is a relator – he talked about getting a house ready for sale.
Erin a HR professional, talked about how to improve your resume.

In fact I tell prospective new members one of the great reasons to join TMs is that they can practice a presentation they have to give for their job. Practice it here at Toastmasters. – get some feedback and then make your adjustments before you speak at work.

What do you know ?
HOW ABOUT YOUR HOBBIES AND INTERESTS.

Petrina takes YOGA class –  just last week she had everyone in the club doing chair yoga.
I used to be a white water kayaker – one meeting I brought in my kayak, had Howard sit in the kayak and sprayed him with water – now that’s fun.
Steve talked about a  “Get Motivated” seminar he went to and what he learned.
Hopefully, everyone here has some sort of hobby or interest that you can share in a speech.

What do you know?
TALK ABOUT YOUR HEALTH ISSUES
Who here is over 50 years old.
I can guarantee that if you’re over 50, if you go to a party most of the conversation you’re going to have revolves around health issues.
How’s your back?
How’s that knee feeling?
How did the surgery go?

Nilsa told an amazing story about how she was recently paralyzed and couldn’t stick out her tongue.

Believe me health issues are important and are great sources of speech material.

What do you know?
TALK ABOUT YOUR FAMILY and FRIENDS

What’s going on with your family?
Barb told us a great story about her her son and how she develped optimism  from watching a young cancer patient.
Jim has told us at least two times about his encounters with burglers at his house.
Dee talked about his her uncle who came back from the dead and then joined the circus.

What do you know?
HOW ABOUT RELIGION AND POLITICS.

While in most social settings I shy away from discussions of religion and politics,
in a Toastmaster setting – you can talk about anything.
We are not going to criticize you for our beliefs.
We’re here to help you with your presentation and leadership skills.

What do you know?
TALK ABOUT YOUR PETS
Do we have any dog lovers
Cat lovers?
Butterfly Lovers?
People spend thousands of dollars each year on their pets.

Other Things You might Know About
– SPORTS

– TRAVEL AND VACATIONS – where have you been – where are you planning on going?

– LATEST PROJECT – house , car,

– GOALS

TIP !
Everything I’ve told you up to this point is useless
Everything I’ve told you up to this point is useless
Unless you write it down.
ALWAYS KEEP A PEN AND PAPER WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES
Now these days you could use your iPhone or digital recorder
but nothing beats a pen or pencil  and a piece of paper – always works.
the battery is always charged, it never gets acidentally deleted, and you
never get the Blue Screen of Death.

You never know when a good idea will come to you so
ALWAYS KEEP A PEN AND PAPER WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES

If you’re laughing write it down.
If you’re upset –  write it down.
If you find something interesting – write it down.
If you remember a good story. – write it down.

The next step is put it in a folder – either a physical folder or an electronic folder
– maybe a file on your computer.
Then when it comes time to work on a speech, pull out the folder and see what ideas you’ve gathered.

Fellow Toastmasters –  in closing
You are a veritable encyclopedia and  google of knowledge and stories and ideas.
Talk about what you know.
And you’ll never be bothering our father for speech ideas again.

_____________________________________________

Topic Selection Worksheet – Talk About What You Know.

Job:
__________________________________________________________________________

Hobbies:
__________________________________________________________________________

Interests:
__________________________________________________________________________

Family:
__________________________________________________________________________

Friends:
__________________________________________________________________________

Health Issues:
__________________________________________________________________________

Religion and Politics:
__________________________________________________________________________

Goals:
__________________________________________________________________________

Pets:
__________________________________________________________________________

Sports:
__________________________________________________________________________

Travel:
___________________________________________________________________________

TIP – ALWAYS carry a pen and paper with you!

 

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