Toastmasters - Collected Wisdom

These are summaries of the collected wisdom of contributors to a Toastamsters newsgroup which operated between 1995 and 2008 and ToastmastersPrime, a Google group which commenced in 2008. This is not an official Toastmasters site, but is an edited collection of posts from the newsgroup and the Google group. These groups provide an unofficial means of communicating for an enthusiastic group of Toastmasters from throughout the world.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Speech Topic Ideas

Alorac was scheduled to give my third speech in a week and I cannot find a suitable topic. Obviously, nobody can find a topic for me, but perhaps somebody can suggest some ways to go about finding a topic.

Janis suggested these things to think about when trying to find a topic:

What do you do for a living? Can it be explained to someone? Why is it interesting, important?

Can you prepare a status report on your latest project and give to the group?

Do you have a hobby? Can it be described/explained? What does it entail? Why is it interesting/important?

Do you ever eat? What is your favorite meal? How is it prepared?

Is there someone you admire? Why? How have they helped you?

Do you own a car? Does it need maintenance? How do you do that?

Have you ever made a home repair? How is that done? How do you make coffee?

How do you bathe a pet? How do you rake a yard? How do you wash a car? How...?

Have you recently read a book or article that you enjoyed/hated? Tell us about it. Are you interested in health? sports? art? technology? food? literature? mysteries? current events?

Eric attended a Workshop at a District Conference and the theme was that every day at least 5 things happened to you that you could turn into a 5-7 minute speech.

It might be something that happened at home, at work, on the way between home and work, maybe something on the radio caught your interest, or something you saw on TV or read in the newspaper.

John F added
Think of something that has a past, present, future approach. Say your community is paving the street in front of your home. You could talk about what the street was like before the work began, what it is like during construction, and what it will be like when the job is done. While it may not be street paving, maybe there is something else going on in your life that would fit this approach.
Another possibility is a three different locations approach. Perhaps you went to three different schools when you were growing up. You can talk about what it was like at each school. Same approach could be used to talk about three different places you worked.

Ledema recalled something she learned when first joined Toastmasters that has served her well.
I made a list of all the things that interest me including issues I would like to see changed. The list included drunk driving, cost of auto insurance, company greed, etc. and whenever I came across an article in the newspaper or magazine that provided good info on any of my topics I cut it out noted the source and date and filed it in my resource files.

At any time, I can go to these files and select a topic and have enough info for a speech. When I start a new manual, I sit down and read each project and some ideas will pop into my head and I write them down in the margin as I read.

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