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100 Great Topics for Public Speaking (+Tips on Choosing the Right One for the Occasion)

public speaking

Communicating your ideas and feelings is key to a happy and fulfilling life. You will need it for conversations with friends and family, bringing your point across to a community, negotiations with business partners, and other situations. Moreover, it’s a marketable skill that can boost your career. Warren Buffet famously stated that communication skills could improve your value as an employee by 50 percent. Who wouldn’t want that?

Yet what if you don’t naturally possess eloquence? What if every time you need to say something important, your knees feel weak, your pulse escalates, your palms sweat, and all you manage is, “Eh, you see… Um”? In that case, I’d say you are in good company! Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Sigmund Freud, Richard Branson, Nicole Kidman, Emma Watson, Renée Zellweger – people famous for their activism, public careers, and performances before live audiences can suffer from fear of public speaking. In fact, this fear is the number one phobia in America. How do we still manage to be a functioning democracy? Practice!

As Gordon Stevens, a motivational coach and entrepreneur, assures: “The more you develop your skills, the more confident you’ll feel during your speeches.” I challenge you to give a short 2-minute speech at the nearest event. I’ve even gathered a collection of speech ideas grouped by broader topics, so you can start planning your inspiring talk immediately.

Don’t forget that you can turn to PaperHelp essay writers service for speechwriting and editing your presentations. Gain that extra confidence to combat your stage fright!

Self-Care and Personal Growth

  1. Coping with grief and loss
  2. Some positive sides of laziness and boredom
  3. Why traveling is good for your brain
  4. What is orthorexia, and why is it harmful
  5. Benefits of intermittent fasting
  6. How to train your memory
  7. The importance of personal boundaries and saying “no”
  8. How journaling helps you live a more mindful life
  9. How distancing and silent observation can help you solve problems better
  10. How to admit your mistakes and take responsibility

Society and Culture

  1. Why supporting small local businesses is a big deal
  2. Why women’s sports should get equal media coverage
  3. How marketing tricks you into overconsumption and what can you do about it
  4. Social media and self-image
  5. Why e-sport is just as important as any other competitive sport
  6. Why we need more women in politics
  7. What our fascination with celebrities tells us about human nature
  8. There is no such thing as “only a joke”: harmful language leads to real tragedies
  9. Should there be more cameras in public spaces?
  10. When ageism can be deadly

Career and Workplace

  1. Why tipping service workers perpetuates a vicious circle and should be abolished
  2. Why affordable childcare will benefit everyone
  3. Why introverts make great leaders but seldom become ones
  4. Why diversity in leadership roles is good for your business
  5. Is the dress code for office employees beneficial or limiting?
  6. Challenges of resuming career after a long break
  7. Men and women have equal rights to parental leave
  8. How to ask for a raise
  9. Changing your career path: risks and benefits
  10. We should normalize vacations

Science and Technology

  1. Is space exploration a prerogative of the state, or should it be commercial?
  2. What is space junk, and why we can no longer ignore it
  3. Possible ethical problems of nanotechnology research
  4. Will it ever be possible for an AI to understand the human condition?
  5. How should the privacy vs. security dilemma be approached in a highly digitalized world?
  6. What overdependence on technology does to your brain
  7. Digital enhancements possible in the nearest future
  8. How to protect yourself from malware and ransomware
  9. The main difference between our brain and computer
  10. How 3D printing transforms life around us


  1. Should animal testing be illegal even for scientific research and pharmacology?
  2. How should we solve the transgender bathroom problem?
  3. American child brides and grooming in traditional communities
  4. Child labor and unethical production practices that we don’t see on the labels
  5. The media must stop demonizing immigrants
  6. Cities are for people, not cars. Agree or disagree?
  7. Do depictions of suicide in media help prevent the problem or escalate it?
  8. Televised court proceedings: transparency or sensationalization?
  9. Cancel culture: accountability or silencing?
  10. Why do mass shootings happen so often in the USA?

Mental Health

  1. The best way to tackle bullying is to nurture empathy
  2. How to be more resilient to failure
  3. How to escape the trap of procrastination
  4. How to stop comparing yourself to others (or at least do it more productively)
  5. Good habits that help you sleep better
  6. Ways to cope with anxiety and stress
  7. Social media addiction and ways to combat it
  8. How positive thinking became toxic, and what can we do to fix it?
  9. The healing power of laughter
  10. Burn-out: noticing early signs and prevention

Environment and Nature Preservation

  1. Should we use cloning and genetic engineering to bring extinct species back to life?
  2. What can be done to reduce and reverse the effects of greenhouse gases?
  3. Should indigenous peoples’ traditional hunting and farming practices be altered or banned if they adversely affect the environment?
  4. Should we colonize other planets or concentrate on preserving our home world?
  5. What is the terraforming potential of the Sahara, Gobi, and other vast deserts?
  6. How can we organize waste management better
  7. Steps to reducing your personal carbon footprint
  8. Why we should all cycle more
  9. Nature has rights
  10. Global pandemics are humanity’s fault


  1. How to learn smarter, not harder
  2. How to find out what is your learning style
  3. How to take the most from your life on campus
  4. Some surprising benefits of learning foreign languages
  5. Rich social life, good grades, sleep – pick any two? How to lead a more balanced life as a college student
  6. Benefits of reading fiction stories
  7. Why teachers, mentors, and role models are still important now when knowledge is free
  8. Homeschooling pros and cons
  9. Why art education is as important as STEM
  10. Schools prepare students for the past instead of future

Ethical and Moral Issues

  1. Have we forgotten how to forgive?
  2. Should the death penalty exist today?
  3. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
  4. How do you understand the saying “Ignorance is bliss”?
  5. What is the difference between intelligence and wisdom?
  6. Gratitude is the only way to achieve happiness
  7. Do you believe that power corrupts?
  8. Should we choose justice over mercy?
  9. Do the interests of the community trump individual rights?
  10. Can stealing be morally justified?

Goals and Motivation

  1. Tips for better time-management
  2. How to eat healthier without demonizing foods
  3. Weight control through self-acceptance and love
  4. My biggest concern for the future
  5. What does it mean to be successful?
  6. What is wealth, and how do you measure it?
  7. Why you should set goals to succeed
  8. How to start saving money in college
  9. Why you should learn to delegate
  10. How to turn your passion into your business

How to choose a topic for your next public speech?

Before you start jotting down potential ideas, here are some things to consider:

  • Identify the purpose
  • First of all, you must know why you speak: to educate, to entertain, to motivate, to persuade? What is the theme of the speaking event as a whole and your speech in particular? Tailor your address with this purpose in mind.

  • Know your audience
  • Knowing your prospective audience, their general characteristics, and their expectations will make it easier to cater to them. Choose the topic, slant, and presentation based on who will sit in front of you: your peers, general audience, experts, etc.

  • Share your personal experience
  • You must have something of value to share, so choose a topic that you are interested in or knowledgeable about. You will still need to do some research, but knowing your subject will give you the necessary confidence. Moreover, sincere enthusiasm is infectious. If you are passionate about your topic, it will be easy to make it interesting for your audience.

  • Catch up on the latest news
  • Did the topic receive media coverage lately? Is it in any way related to the trending news? Putting your issue into a current context will make the speech more attractive and engaging.

Now a few words on topics you should avoid as an inexperienced orator. Although they might raise important issues, some conversations are too divisive to be tackled in a short public speech. Here is what you’d better leave for another time that will allow for a more nuanced discussion:

  • Sex and personal issues;
  • Polarizing views on politics;
  • Race;
  • Religion.

Of course, this is not a rule but rather a guideline. Ultimately, you should be the judge of what is appropriate for this particular rhetorical situation and what is too sensitive or controversial.

Elissa Smart Elissa Smart
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