Picking a presentation topic requires finding the right subject to match your style. While you have a list of criteria and a deadline, you need a topic that will complement your strengths and match your personality. To grab your audience's attention, dress up and discuss a virtual trip, an unusual topic or an unlikely pair.

Come in Character

A mix of drama and fact makes the perfect topic for any oral presentation. Pick a person of interest who falls in your category and attend class as that person, bringing in items important to the figure's life. Biography Online offers a list of popular figures from across the centuries to choose from. Adapt this project for an English class and dress up as a fictional character from literature. If you are extremely courageous, make an inanimate object your focus. Come to class as boron -- an element used in glass and detergents -- wearing the atomic No. 5, and bring in a bleach container and various glass items to discuss your properties.

A Virtual Trip

Use technology to take your classmates on a virtual field trip. This type of presentation works great in history class, and websites like Prezi offer free presentation templates that you can use to embed links to photographs, maps and videos. Take a location from the past like ancient Greece and explore the various city-states, experiencing the cultures and customs of the people as you click on various points of interest on a map. Allow your classmates to experience your topic, and serve as a tour guide for the exploration.

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Embrace the Unusual

The website My Speech Class offers thousands of speech topics. Select an unusual one. For example, create an informative speech on the history of one of your favorite products, including details on the product's history, and share samples of the product with classmates. Taking on an unusual topic also works well with a persuasive speech. By selecting an unlikely or controversial position, such as why the First Amendment -- which guarantees the right to free speech, assembly and religion -- should be limited, you will easily sustain your audience's attention and guarantee a compelling experience.

Unlikely Pairs

Pair two unlikely topics to grab the attention of your teacher and classmates. Think of combinations like short stories and pastry chefs. Explain each of the ingredients for a good short story using basic foods as a metaphor, such as eggs as the characters, flour as the plot and butter as the point of view. A visual metaphor often serves to ground an abstract topic and bring everyday appeal to your presentation.

About the Author

Based in Winchester, Va., Karen Hartless has 10 years of teaching experience in the areas of English, creative writing and public speaking. She earned a Master of Education degree as a reading specialist from Shenandoah University, focusing on teaching, reading, and writing clear, concise text.