133 Controversial Speech Topics That Will Hit Some Nerves

Controversy. It’s everywhere. On TV, in schools, at home. Everyone has an opinion, some stronger than others. What makes a topic controversial is not just the disagreements behind it, but the emotional reactions and how long those disagreements can last. Many go on for months, years, or even decades! 133 controversial speech topics that will keep your audience engaged!

The point of speaking on a controversial topic is to get people talking. Of course, there are going to be those that still disagree with you when all is said and done. However, Rome wasn’t built in a day. And that’s what you want. Behind your words is really a wake-up call to your audience. You are shedding light on a situation from your own perspective. When you hit a nerve, you know you’re doing something important.

Be fearless, be truthful, and go with your gut. But also, remember to be respectful and to stay relevant. There sometimes is a very fine line between speaking your mind and simply insulting others. And there is controversy when there is no relevancy. So go ahead, find a controversial speech topics below that speaks to you.

Go Big or Go Home

  1. LGBTQ Rights
  2. Polygamy legalization
  3. Abortion: Pro-life vs. pro-choice
  4. Implanted GPS systems threatening privacy
  5. Global Warming: Is it real or is it propaganda?
  6. Gun Control vs. Second Amendment rights
  7. Abolishing the Electoral College
  8. Why the world would be better off without organized religion
  9. The negative health effects of consuming Genetically Engineered products
  10. Using torture as an interrogation tactic
  11. Legalizing euthanasia for patients with terminal illnesses
  12. PETA and the war on animal cruelty, specifically as grounds for going vegan
  13. Racial Profiling: Is there a place for it?
  14. Corruption in Journalism
  15. Refusal to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in some American schools
  16. The legalization of marijuana
  17. TSA overregulation in airports
  18. Black Lives Matter vs. Blue Live Matter
  19. Common Core: Is it helping or hurting?
  20. Death Penalty: Barbaric or necessary?

Even More Controversial Topics..

  1. Vaccinations: Mandatory for public school entrance
  2. Vaccinations: Do they work or are they hurting more than helping?
  3. Midwifery is a lost art
  4. Birth control regulation and availability
  5. Planned Parenthood: Should they stay or should they go?
  6. Creation vs. Evolution
  7. The existence of aliens
  8. Driving age for teens
  9. Lowering the legal drinking age
  10. Should the president govern the nation by a set code of ethics?
  11. Banning animal experimentation
  12. Legalizing same-sex marriages
  13. High taxation rates
  14. Drug testing for welfare applicants
  15. Restrictions on 1st Amendment Rights (Freedom of Speech)
  16. Financial protection for farmers against things like draught, and pests
  17. The impact of pornography on a marriage
  18. Meat industry using antibiotics
  19. Men sharing birth control burden
  20. Fuel efficiency of vehicles

“Controversy is Part of the nature of Art and Creativity” ( Yoko Ono) 

  1. Unmarried couples living together
  2. Censorship: We have a right to know
  3. Developing alternate forms of energy
  4. Salaries of professional athletes vs. salaries of military men and women
  5. U.S. intervention in Iraq
  6. Homeschooling and its effect on children
  7. Fetal abuse during pregnancy
  8. Immigration: Restrictions on illegals
  9. Immigration: Doing it the legal way is hard
  10. Registering to be an organ donor
  11. Insanity plea: Just an excuse?
  12. Racism: Playing the victim
  13. The existence of ghosts
  14. Breastfeeding in public
  15. Using spanking for discipline
  16. A woman’s place being in the home
  17. Are guns dangerous or are the people using them dangerous?
  18. Stem cell research
  19. The morality of hunting
  20. Gay couples raising children

“If you’ve got a big mouth and you’re controversial, you’re going to get attention” ( Simon Cowell) 

  1. Cloning
  2. The presence of adult content in shows and movies made for children
  3. The overuse of mudslinging in political races
  4. Mass school shootings and the media
  5. Open adoption records
  6. Ethics in medicine
  7. All athletes receive mandatory drug tests
  8. America should keeps its nose out of other nation’s problems
  9. Adoptive parents must legally allow biological parents to remain in contact with children
  10. UFOs
  11. The paranormal world
  12. Labor Unions
  13. Zero tolerance gun laws in schools
  14. Biological warfare
  15. Abolishment of the jury
  16. Mandatory spaying and neutering of pets
  17. Stricter penalties for those found guilty of animal cruelty
  18. Putting restrictions on weekly garbage output
  19. The Arts: should students go for something more practical
  20. Improve the standards in nursing homes

” Let us welcome controversial books and controversial authors” ( John Kennedy) 

  1. Double standard between men and women in the working community
  2. Getting and online education
  3. Schooling year-round
  4. Harsher punishment for those found guilty of sexual harassment
  5. Overemphasis on computers in schools
  6. Schools not teaching enough “life skills” classes
  7. Removing children from abusive homes to be put in “the system”
  8. Detention facility tactics used
  9. Corruption on the police force
  10. Homosexuals in the military
  11. Divorce
  12. Nuclear arms control
  13. National Deficit
  14. Tobacco regulation
  15. Going Green
  16. Sex offender notification
  17. Tougher laws against discrimination
  18. Stronger child pornography laws
  19. War on homelessness
  20. Gambling

“You have to treat them like sh**” ( Donald Trump) 

  1. Sex on TV
  2. Out-of-school suspension in schools
  3. Recycling
  4. Care for the mentally disabled 
  5. Environment in jails contributing to future crimes committed
  6. Value of pre-schools
  7. Homework for students
  8. America’s war on obesity
  9. Abandoning the requirement for a warrant for search ad seizures
  10. Political campaign finance reforms
  11. College available to all
  12. Prisoner’s rights
  13. Tattoos and other body art
  14. Surveillance in schools
  15. Abusing the right to sue
  16. Seat belt and motorcycle helmet laws
  17. Public surveillance technology
  18. Low morality standards in America
  19. Risks of Wi-Fi and cellular signals to our health
  20. Hate crimes
  21. Protection against medical malpractice
  22. Plastic surgery
  23. Public access to personal health records
  24. Smokers with lung cancer collecting damages
  25. Holding charities accountable for donation allotment
  26. Protection and individual nourishment of children in “the system”
  27. Government bailouts of banks and financial institutions
  28. Student loan debt
  29. Climate change
  30. Drone warfare
  31. Boycotting products made by killing or abusing animals
  32. Eliminating “value size” options at fast food restaurants
  33. Will world peace ever be obtainable

Your controversial speech topics will hit a few nerves. When you hit those nerves, you know you’re talking about something worthy of an argument.

The best thing you can do in selecting your topic is to choose something that makes your blood boil, something that you feel strongly for or against, something you have so much passion for that others can see it even when words don’t escape your mouth.

So, find what makes you tick, stand firm in your argument, and get people’s emotions involved. That’s what true persuasion is all about.