Speech writing prompts: being original

Speech and communication classes are plagued with boring, overdone topics. There is nothing more dread-inducing for a speech professor than hearing yet another tired personal story about an undergraduate exploring Europe and finding themselves, or a persuasive essay about the importance of voting. No matter how objective a professor strives to be, they will likely give lower grades to speeches that bore them to tears.

To avoid this, you should select a speech writing topic that is entirely novel. There are several routes to take, when choosing a unique topic. Here are just a few possibilities you should consider.

Keep It Current

One way to ensure that your speech topic has never been done before is to select a late-breaking piece of news or a pop cultural scandal. Pay attention to the headlines and read a number of celebrity or political news blogs, waiting for juicy news. To make your speech topic even more unique, you should read international news and consider issues of foreign policy. Do not limit yourself to your own culture or political context. Do a great deal of research on something very new; your audience may be completely unfamiliar with the topic. The audience’s sense of wonder and curiosity will seriously propel your speech to the next level.

There is one downside to this speech writing method, however: it doesn’t allow for preplanning. If you want to write a truly current and novel speech about current events, you must wait until the last minute to select a subject. Don’t write a news piece about something that occurred a week or two ago. This will elicit audience boredom.

Make It Obscure

Another way to surprise and intrigue your audience is to give a speech about something incredibly strange or obscure. Nothing is off limits in this case. You could deliver a speech about the history of the pinball machine, or ancient methods of contraception, or a long dead language, or a rare species of insect with strange behavioral patterns. Try and find a topic that ignites your own interest and passion. If you have a hobby that you know a great deal about, such as music, sports, illustration, or gardening, you may want to select an obscure topic related to that area.

Make It Personal

Personal details and anecdotes can infuse your speeches with a sense of immediacy and importance. Do not bog your audience down in boring, self-absorbed details; instead, focus on ways of using yourself and your own experiences to illustrate something larger about humanity.


11 2016