As if public speaking weren’t already hard enough, choosing your own interesting topics for oral presentation can make the process seem even more daunting. There are endless subjects from which to choose, and your task is to consider which topic is best suited to the assignment, your interests and your audience.
The number one rule of thumb when choosing a topic for your speech is to select something that genuinely interests you on a personal level. If you are excited about the topic, then your enthusiasm is sure to come across in your presentation. Since enthusiasm is often contagious, speaking on a topic about which you are passionate will likely resonate with your audience far more profoundly than if you pick something that doesn’t really click with you. Explore various categories of possible topics, and when you come across a topic that speaks to you, dig deeper to see if it might be the right topic for you.
Oral Report Topics That Explore Animal Issues
If you are an animal lover, you might consider persuasive speech topics that explore some issues related to domestic or wild animals. This topic lends itself well to persuasive speeches but can also be informative depending on the specific issue and how you angle it. Start with a question about animal issues and then prepare your presentation to answer that question. Consider some of the topic ideas below or put your own spin on one of them.
- Is it ethical to use animals for medical and cosmetic testing?
- What types of animals are acceptable for humans to have as pets?
- Is it ethical to hunt animals?
- Are zoos more harmful than beneficial?
- Should people be legally allowed to own pit bull terriers?
Social Media Topics
It’s hard to deny that social media has vastly transformed the way people interact these days. Social media makes a good example for oral presentation topics. While social media giants like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have revolutionized communication by making it easier than ever to stay in touch even with people on opposite ends of the earth, they have also given birth to new problems like cyberbullying and the breakdown of authentic, real-life connections. There are many avenues for exploration when it comes to social media. Perhaps one of the topics below will resonate with you.
- Are online friendships as valuable as offline ones?
- Has social media and text talk diminished the need for spelling and grammar skills?
- What is cyberbullying, and what can be done about it?
- How can one distinguish between real and fake news online?
- What are some of the psychological effects that social media “likes” or lack thereof sometimes produce?
Historical Speech Topics
The good old days might harbor some interesting opportunities for an oral presentation. Perhaps you can investigate how food, music or fashion trends have evolved over the years. Revisit local headlines from years past and use them to draw comparisons to today’s headlines to show how things have changed. Identify a list of jobs that are now or will soon be obsolete thanks to modern technological advances, and explore how these changes affect society and the economy. Choose your favorite decade in time and provide an overview of what a typical day in that year was like. The past offers endless options for your presentation.
- What happened on this day in history?
- What did people do for fun and recreation 50 years ago?
- How has the automobile industry evolved over time?
- How have shopping methods changed over the years?
- How has slang changed in the last two decades?
Family and Relationship Topics
Talking about family and relationships is something that nearly everyone can relate to on some level, which makes it an ideal choice for an oral presentation topic. Whether you stick with safe, traditional relationship issues or you venture into a more controversial and taboo area, the topic ideas below are sure to intrigue your audience.
- Is it possible to balance a happy family life and a successful career at the same time?
- To what family values should families aspire?
- Has our society outgrown traditional marriage?
- What are the benefits of monogamy?
- What can be done to prevent child abuse?
Health and Lifestyle Topics
Topics that explore health and lifestyle choices make a good subject for oral presentations because many people find them interesting. Whether you are debating the hazards of drinking or singing the praises of good personal hygiene habits, consider health and lifestyle topics that personally appeal to you so that you will be excited to talk about them.
- What are some of the effects of genetically modified foods?
- What kind of influence does sleep duration have on your health and productivity?
- Is it healthier to be a vegan or vegetarian than to eat meat?
- Should smoking in any public place be banned?
- How does fast food consumption affect general health?
Social Issues and Government Policy Topics
Topics about social issues and government policies are likely to stir up a lot of emotions in you and your audience. Despite their controversial nature, these subjects are interesting to explore since most people have strong opinions about them.
- Which country is the safest to live in and why?
- In what ways do war and violence affect children?
- How do immigration policies influence world peace?
- Why is gun control important?
- How does media consumption influence societal attitudes and behaviors?
Space, Science and Technology Topics
From questions about how much money countries should be investing in space exploration to ideas about scientific and technological advancements, these topics can generate a lot of useful and interesting information to include in an oral presentation.
- What evidence of extraterrestrial life has space exploration yielded so far?
- Is it ethical to pursue cloning for medical advancement purposes?
- What effects will artificial intelligence likely have on future employment opportunities?
- What is cryogenics and how does it work?
- How do computer networks communicate with each other over long distances?
Humorous and Unusual Topics
If you want your oral presentation to stand out from the crowd, consider choosing a unique topic that injects some good-natured humor into the mix. From teaching your audience how to procrastinate like a professional to reinventing traditional excuses or sharing tips on how to successfully annoy others, these topic ideas are sure to get your audience talking and hopefully laughing.
- What was your most embarrassing experience?
- How can you tell if your pet needs counseling?
- What are the top three strangest hobbies a person can have?
- How can failures be turned into opportunities?
- What are some ways to test if your friends are genuine?
How Do You Choose a Topic for a Presentation?
If none of the ideas above resonate with you, take some time to think it over. Peruse through current events to generate potential subjects that pique your interest. Watch the news, surf a variety of social media feeds or research controversial issues. Make a list of topics you are considering and then run it by friends or loved ones for input. Keep your eyes, ears and mind open until you feel confident that you have chosen the right topic. Remember that aside from meeting the guidelines and requirements of the assignment, your own interest and passion for the subject are key to a successful presentation.
Kristina Barroso earned a B.A. in Psychology from Florida International University and works full-time as a classroom teacher in a public school. She teaches middle school English to a wide range of students from struggling readers to advanced and gifted populations. In her spare time, she loves writing articles about education for TheClassroom.com, WorkingMother and other education sites.