What should you talk about?


Editors Note: I spoke about this topic the day after writing this post, and the handout info is here: http://robchristeson.com/speaking-about-what-should-you-talk-about

If you are a Toastmaster, you might be struggling with a topic for your next presentation. The last two posts I wrote were about sparking ideas, but not specifically for speaking. Here are a couple of prompts I’ve come up with to help me generate speaking ideas:

1. What have I spoken on before that people enjoyed? What feedback did I get?

2. What have others in my club spoken on that people enjoyed? Is there something related I could speak about?

3. What has been missing from our club meetings? Has anyone spoken about shopping on-line, hybrid cars, job interview tips, or anything that might  interest our club?

Brainstorm on each of these for just 3-5 minutes per question. This should give you a pretty good list.

Next, answer the questions more fully for each one. For instance, in question one you may have answered that you once gave a great speech on FaceBook, and and some may have responded by telling you that they joined FaceBook thanks to you.

This gives you two really great choices. First, if it’s been a while, give a similar presentation. Go back to that manual and look at the feedback. Make a few adjustments and give the speech. Second choice: Give a follow-up presentation. You could talk about privacy settings, having a fan page, or how fun it is to follow famous people. Be creative, and remember that by limiting your scope you can do two things. 1 – keep their interest and 2 – save some topics for a later speech.

Follow the same thought processes for the question #2 ideas, and for things missing, think about what you know and what you’d like to learn. Use that as your guide and remember to keep the scope small.

Use prompts like these, and soon you’ll have plenty to talk about!


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