One-minute speeches can liven up a dull atmosphere, ensure individual participation in group settings and help people get comfortable addressing large groups. A one-minute speech topic should have an element of novelty, so that the speech can immediately grab the interest of an audience. Despite its short length, it is important to prepare and practice adequately before giving the speech.

An Interesting Word

Long words are good one-minute speech topics. Audiences can be given a great deal of useful information about a single word in one minute. Spell out the word; give the audience its meaning and a brief history of its roots. Use the word in a few sentences. This word can be related to the material of a class, or it can just be a word that the speaker finds interesting.

Snapshot of a Profession

A one-minute speech on a profession -- especially a profession that's not well known -- can be an eye-opener for the right audience. When giving this speech, focus on key details about the profession, such as salary range, educational qualifications and growth potential. Many young students may find this kind of speech quite fascinating.

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Countries of the World

A snapshot of a country can provide the foundation for a great one-minute speech; there is always so much to say about one country that most audiences are bound to be interested. To keep the speech interesting, talk about little-known facts about a country, such as national customs, national heroes, sights. sounds, strange laws, social etiquette or even its system of government.

Historical Figures

A historical figure is a good one-minute speeches topic. Although many people have heard of historical figures, there is still a lot more that they can learn. Good places to focus on for the speech are on rare facts or stories. Also, elaborate on the person's quirks that may make her seem more human to the audience. Compare historical figures from the same or different eras.

Favorite Thing

Another option for a one-minute speech is one that takes very little preparation time, yet it will spark conversation among audience members. A speaker can talk about his favorite thing -- an object, a person, a place, an event or a moment -- and try to convey its meaning to the audience. This speech is likely to get everyone involved, excited and moved. With this kind of topic you may want to focus on extemporaneous delivery in order to enhance the quality of the speech.

About the Author

Chika Nwaka started writing professionally in 2010. She writes for eHow and specializes in education and fashion-related topics. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California-Los Angeles and is pursuing a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.