Pellissippi HOME | Library Site A-Z

COMM 2045: Public Speaking: 1. Find a Topic

Find a Topic

Breaking down the assignment into steps can help reduce anxiety. 

Topic Finding Tips:

  • Begin Brainstorming all possible ideas.
    • Write down all ideas
    • Look at all your ideas and make a short list selecting the best topics.

Once you have a list of ideas ask yourself these questions:

  • Does this topic interest me?                                                       
  • Will I enjoy researching and learning more about this topic?
  • Will I enjoy sharing this topic with my audience?

Use these questions to help narrow a choice.

Informative Speech 

The goal of an informative speech is to educate the audience about a specific topic. Focus on providing bias-free information without trying to persuade the audience in any way. A well-presented informative speech should be easy to understand, yet in depth enough to convey key information.

Ex. A student interested in weather may decide to focus their topic on tsunamis.

Persuasive Speech

The goal of a persuasive speech is to convince the audience to accept a certain point of view. For this reason, you will need a topic with more than one viewpoint, and you will need to pick a side. Think about how you can persuade the audience with your argument.  

Ex. A student interested in the environment could focus on the negative effects of single-use plastic bags. 

Opposing Viewpoints Search Tip:

  • Select a Topic of interest
  • Scroll to "On This Page" subheading
  • Select "Viewpoints" to browse various viewpoints on the topic