Putting It Together: Choosing and Researching a Topic

Choosing a topic is one of the hardest parts of public speaking. As we discussed in this module, the best topics are found at the intersection of three areas:

  • What do you know about?
  • What matters to you?
  • What interests your audience?

Once you’ve found a topic that satisfies all three questions, you can start narrowing down the topic. How can you make the topic fit perfectly into the amount of time you have to speak? How can you cover it in a way that will speak to the audience’s interests and level of pre-existing knowledge?

When you’ve found the specific purpose of your speech, it’s time to do some research to find supporting materials for your speech. These might be stories and testimony or statistics and data. Either way, it’s crucial to carefully vet any information you will be using in your speech to make sure it’s accurate and credible.