Although the theme of this article is Practical Creativity, here are some Toastmaster-specific tips for finding speech topics. As you continue to practice being creative, topics will be easier to dream up. For now, here’s a booster shot.
How many times have you done or heard a table topic and thought, “I could probably make a whole speech out of that.” Write it down.
While listening to someone else’s speech, our minds sometimes wander off on a tangent. Pay attention to that tangent and see if there is some speech topic material there that could be useful later on. Write it down. You might also listen to someone’s speech and think, “If I would have given this speech, I would have…” Write it down.
Have you ever asked a question and got (or gave) a really good answer. Perhaps something that made you think, or something new, or a twist on what you thought you knew already. Write it down. If you learned something new, someone else might appreciate knowing it too.
What’s your comfort / discomfort
Likes and dislikes are a fairly common topic of conversation, but is there something that really stands out. Give it a “salute” or give it a “boot”. Write it down.
What are you good at
Most of us like to talk about our skills and abilities. What do you do for work?
What do you enjoy
One of the favorite topics. If could restart your career… If you could learn a new instrument… If you could have any pet… What’s your favorite (fill in the blank). Because this is such an easy category, I recommend using it sparingly or leaving it for the the new members.
…next – One Of These Things