113 Extemporaneous Speech Topics

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Written By Jim Peterson

Jim Peterson has over 20 years experience on speech writing. He wrote over 300 free speech topic ideas and how-to guides for any kind of public speaking and speech writing assignments at My Speech Class.

extemporaneous speech topicsExtemporaneous speech topics tutorial including preparation in three steps and examples. Prepare good, quick and properly in a minimum of preparation time for school and / or college assignments, tournaments or business public speaking occasions.
The goal of right extemporaneous speaking is this: to persuade or inform an audience briefly. This is the common general definition of speaking.

If you are asking yourself: What should I do in the extemp speech? Then keep this rule of thumb in mind: the extemporaneous speech topics must answer the question in a school assignment or tournament. Simple and easy. Although the best spontaneous speaker can speak almost without any notes. But avoid that if you feel not confident enough.

In general, we can define three specified types of extemporaneous speeches:

  • High School And College Assignments – Always do what your teacher asks you to do! Often you have to pick out forms of informative, analytical, international, domestic or economic questions about current events. Your extemporaneous speech topics should answer the question exactly.Check if some written notes are permitted in classroom.
  • Tournaments – An event where speakers receive their questionnaire forms. Check the tournament entry to see which format and which rules will be used. Successful extempers don’t use cards.However, if you are allowed to use notes, then use a card for each element in the form below. Just use keywords.
  • Business Presentations – The are considered as difficult by those who must give presentations in business. Here I limit myself to good class hints for at school, college and for tournaments.

Preparation In 3 Steps

These three steps for preparing extemporaneous speech topics will help you to do what you have to do: answering the question in case of school assignments or tournaments.

The First Step – Analyze what extemporaneous question you have to answer:

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    • Questions of fact – Characterized by is and are, or will or would.
    • Questions of value – Characterized by should.
    • Questions of policy – Characterized by can and could. Often used for an political discour.

The Second Step – Determine if it is informative or persuasive. The words what, which and who indicate that it is an informative issue. The words should and why indicate that it is a persuasive issue.

The Third Step – Always stay with your subject. In other words: never change the ideas. Now, organize your ideas and points effectively. You can use the outline technique below. Focus on your subject and think about the various angles.

Now write those first thoughts quickly down. Catch them in keywords.

Extemporaneous Speaking Without Preparation

Extemporaneous speaking speech topics in three parts to help you do a better job next time you have to speak without preparation. Almost everyone is going to have to speak extemporaneously at some point in their lives, whether it is a simple introduction to a group, presentation for work, or something more complex occasion.

Most natural communication can fall under the umbrella of the term extemporanous speech.
But just what is it, and what are the best rules to follow so that you know you are giving a real winner extemporaneous speaking talk or address and cure your on stage fear?

Let’s take a look at my tricks that will help you do a better job next time you have to speak without preparation:

Extemporaneous Speech Topic Examples

Ready for a couple of extemporaneous speech topics? Here we go:

  1. Can We Blame – fill in a team – For Its Defeat?
  2. Why Do I Play Golf? Or another kind of sports
  3. Should – fill in a name – Win A MTV Award?
  4. I’m Just A Paperboy Now, Will I Become A Millionaire?
  5. Who Is The Laziest Person On The Campus And Why?
  6. Should We All Buy – fill in a product – ?
  7. Why Do We Celebrate Thanksgiving?
  8. Which Moviestar Earns Too Much Money In Comparison To His / Her Merits?
  9. Why Is Barcelona A Special Place To Be? Or any other city or region
  10. Is The X-Box Better Than Playstation?
  11. Will – fill in a name- Become Senator?
  12. Who Is The Best Songwriter?
  13. Could We Really Say To Our Bosses What’s On Our Mind?
  14. What Television Program Should Be Banned And Why?
  15. Should cruel and very authoritarian principals be sacked – or are there any degrees in domineering the campus population with accordingly disciplinary fines for them?
  16. Why do we need a Whistle Blower Protection Act – whether we like it or not they always serve as a replacement or scape goat anyway?
  17. Does the Bharatiya Janata Party represents a pan Indian ideology and how did it evolve over the years?
  18. Must we focus more on improving basic education for the poor and historically disadvantaged – and what are the chain reactions for the overall well-being of human beings in society?
  19. Do gays have as many rights as the rest of society does?
  20. Does global warming makes the Arctic Sea ice melting or is it a conspiracy theory to make us believe to invest in alternative power sources? Both sides of the same coin are extemporaneous public speaking topics you could consider to try out anyway.
  21. Does the world community really want to solve the Darfur Sudan problem even the states are now separated?
  22. How India can be persuaded to participate in efforts to tackle global warming, or is it not prerequisite?
  23. Is the growing population and economy a threat to India’s environment?
  24. Does the development of tourism in Malaysia open new opportunities?
  25. Should the Indian society invest in maintaining peace between Hindus and Muslims?
  26. What are the causes of political instability in Pakistan?
  27. Can prime-minister and Democratic Party leader Yukio Hatoyama give a boost to the Japanese economy?
  28. Reasons why Facebook’s popularity is falling down?
  29. Is Wikipedia sometimes more reliable than for example the Online Encyclopaedia Britannica?
  30. Should illegal immigrants receive no doctor care?
  31. Will petroleum be the major fuel till 2050?
  32. The quality of health care in America is the best in the world, or is it a myth?
  33. Do pharmaceuticals profit too much from Swine Flu or other mondial diseases?
  34. Should the Cash for Clunkers program be continued due to its success?
  35. Should we prosecute individual American intelligence personnel involved in outrages committed during the hunt for al-Qaeda members?
  36. Will microloans and community banking be the lifesaver for developing countries?
  37. Did bankers caused the recession and are ordinary people paying the price?
  38. Should we be afraid of internet crime and piracy?
  39. Is this the time to increase taxes?
  40. Should we lower our tolerance for repeat drunk driving?
  41. Does the number of abandoned and abused pets swell as the economy has worsened or even closer at home: when the vacation season will soon be in sight …
  42. Will on-campus housing problems worsen in the future – what are botherations and squeezing annoyances that should be cleaned up right away>
  43. Should there be fines for running out of petrol on the motorway?
  44. Should we consider free public transportation (metro, bus, or other forms) in large cities?
  45. Should the time high school students spend on homework each school night be limited to two hours maximum?
  46. Is Barack Obama the next John F. Kennedy but better because he is an expert in auticue teleprompting reading …
  47. Does the fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan become tougher over time?
  48. Should internet service providers and hosts be prohibited from blocking any content?
  49. Is the Hugo Chavez controlled legislature in Venezuela a serious threat to free thought and freedom of speech in that country?
  50. Is the reappointement of Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors a good and wise decision?
  51. Should lobbyists in our financial and political capitals work transparent and open?
  52. Do we need a government funded campaign to transform our capitalist economy to a clean and green energy economy?
  53. Will freezing the construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank favors the Middle East peace process?
  54. Is prison and jail reform more than just reworking tough legislative packages of criminal sentencing laws?
  55. Does fanatic animal rights extremists endanger the universal human rights, or vice versa?
  56. Will a flexible timetable to withdraw American troops from Iraq will best serve our national needs and interests?
  57. Is seizing laptops or other computers indefinitely by the customs a proper instrument to fight the border crime?
  58. Does lifting the moratorium on commercial whaling cause more slaughter by commercial vessels in the oceans?
  59. Is it acceptable to force American laborers or employees to be fingerprinted at the working place?
  60. Should all young girls up to 15 years be required to get the vaccine against the human papillomavirus H P V to avoid cancer of the cervix?
  61. Should NASA abandon plans and blueprints for colonization of the Moon by 2021 – or even Mars?
  62. Should we improve mental health care for returning veterans and servicemembers – longer than five years after they have returned home?
  63. Should India and China work together to counter western economic power? Or is it still under construction and do we see and hear less about that successful joint venture?
  64. Could the conflict between Georgia and Russia implode to a threat to world peace? Pick some other regional conflict if you like, as long as you stay close to actual politics.
  65. Do the Six-Party Talks on North Korea’s nuclear program lead to a satisfying package solution? What if they progress on down to earth nuclear tests …
  66. Does the Arab television stations al-Arabiya, al-Jazeera and the Saudi financed Middle East Broadcasting Center in the United Arab Emirates together reach more people worldwide watching television than CNN?
  67. Does the system to register and grant patents for new innovations needs to be reformed?
  68. Does Venezuela really need to nationalize private rice-processing plants? And why the powerplant supplies branches …
  69. Is legalizing the opium cultivation in Afghanistan a better option than forcing it down?
  70. Is Osama bin Laden still alive? Or has the conspiracy ended a couple of years ago with the sniper action …
  71. Should the federal Attorney General be chosen by the people?
  72. Is the NATO nuclear policy consistent with our federal nuclear policy
  73. Is Vladimir Putin the real almighty political and national strength that Russia needs now?
  74. May U S military authorities hire private security contractors in doubtful areas?
  75. Must the international community assembled in the ASEAN nations (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) work collaboratively to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – or is that a so-called mission impossible for lots of nations? (You can fill in other organizations as alternative extemporaneous topics)
  76. Must we make the immigration system consistent with national economic precedences and priorities – what are the exceptions anyway?
  77. Will the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty C T B T have more positive ramifications for arms control – or is it ‘paper tiger’?
  78. Reasons why Facebook’s popularity is not falling down despite the critics.
  79. The controversy over President Obama’s broadcast education speech to schoolchildren.
  80. Why we have to preserve architecturally significant historic-cultural monuments and heritage.
  81. Should we make legal alcohol limits the same for both car drivers as well as boaters?
  82. Should the labels light and low tar be banned on in tobacco and nicotine products? And what to say about the mandatory illustrations on the packaging in some countries that are supposed to shock and deter people?
  83. A Few Extemporaneous Topic Ideas To Test Your and Your Public Audience Intelligence.
  84. Bailouts and have prevented that our economy become worse in current and future times.
  85. Does Europe rely too much on Russian gas petrol fuel sources? And what about the border conflicts in relation to vulnerable pipeline transports.
  86. Must all college and university textbooks also be available in easy to update and cheaper electronic ebook versions – to save money and easily updatable versions?
  87. Why releasing Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi from a Scottish prison is an insult of the relatives of the Lockerbie victims.
  88. The government of India should advocate for a nationwide census; regarding the population growth and in spite of the totally understandable privacy concerns that could override the need for credible statistics to rule a country?
  89. Should the African Union nations and organizations end direct military aid to the Transitional Federal Government?
  90. Why we should not be afraid of the Swine Flue and trust on the precautions.
  91. How former vice president Dick Cheney breaks the tradition of being not critical towards a new Washington administration.
  92. Pre-existing conditions may never be a reason to to deny coverage by insurance companies.
  93. Or choose the opposite side for an extemporaneous topic: Bailouts will cost us, the taxpayers, in the end mucht more?
  94. Should we accept a sky-high federal budget deficit number?
  95. Why church ministers should have lifelong, monogamous, stable relationships.
  96. The three pillars of a labor union: higher salaries, secondary benefits and job security.
  97. Will freshwater supply to millions become the next huge world problem besides the global warming issue?
  98. Does marijuana has a therapeutic and medicinal value for cancer patients and what about the legal consequences.
  99. Why do bush fires often occur immediately after a rainy season in spring and autumn is there an scientific explanation for this annually natural phenomenon?
  100. Should mayors keep a daily blog concerning their whereabouts and policies – just for squaring up at the next election time?
  101. The requirement to register to vote in general elections. Should we end, keep / alter that practice – what is the reason behind it, is there some kind of a preambule in the laws concerning registration?
  102. Should we outlaw taxpayer-funded events in political campaigns?
  103. Should the Justice Department release information more often and sooner to local media to involve the local residents in crime fighting and solving almost undoable cases?
  104. Is it ethical to wipe away illegal migrant or asylum camps in Europe?
  105. Are teens with free access to a car more at risk to get involved in accidents?
  106. Will Hispanic immigrants – like other foreigners – adapt to the American society?
  107. Is the new G-20 summit effective in solving the economic crisis?
  108. Must judges sentence drunk drivers who for long terms in jail?
  109. Is the decision to stop the development of an Eastern-Europe air missile defense system a threat to the national security of the nations involved?
  110. Or: alternative best speech topics could be the position of the western world, or even Russia’s point of view.
  111. Could we lose the war in Afghanistan now the insurgent troops are multipying their forces?
  112. Are the rich G-20 nations buying out their efforts to reduce the negative climate change effects?
  113. Will water supply be the next geopolitical problem we must face seriously?
Tip: Tweak a little bit with the why’s, can’s, could’s. That’s the way to discover your own themes and original extemporaneous speech topics. Nice for your audience too.

Outline Examples

Use this outline to prepare ideas quick and properly. Remember: all information that you want to cover should answer the mandatory question of the teacher or jury members.

Your Theoretical Outline Method

In one complete summarizing sentence: _______


Grab the attention of your public in a oneliner that state the theme. Relate the oneliner to question. State the extemporaneous speech topics question and tell why it is important. Briefly answer it. Tease your main points.


The main points should be phrased as argumentative statements. Devote an equal amount of time at each point. Try to come up with three points.

Try to come up with three sub-points. Construct your sub-points with credible arguments and factual evidence.

Perhaps you can add relevant statistics and references. Think about the pros and cons, likes and dislikes, advantages and disadvantages.

Refer to reliable sources, it will enhance your credibility. Write down your the points in one sentence for each point.

Just pick out the elements which are appropriate within the time limit!



















Summarize the main points of your extemporaneous topics. State the question again. State your answer in a catchy one-liner.

Extemporaneous speech topic outline for students who have to deal with actual themes using ordinairy news articles to formulate arguments and evidence in a snap. For this writing I used four articles as basics to filter out information, listed in the sources paragraph below:

My step by step method: First I decided on the angle of view. Secondly, I simply choose for this extemp question: Does President Obama deserve the Nobel Peace Prize? And thirdly, I follow the instructions in the template below. Remember, you can also take side in favor of the laureate. This is not my personal opinion, but just an example to show you how to write an extemp pattern yourself.


The award of the Nobel Peace Prize 2009 to Barack Obama is a surprise pick which raise lots of doubts. A peace award winner who has not directed any winning peace project so far.

So, does he realy deserve it? No, he has not achieved any real success in foreign policy matters.

The Norwegian Committee has praised his extraordinary efforts in international diplomacy. But world reactions expressed surprise. The honor comes too soon, according to worldleaders, there are no real peace achievements.

(This is a short compelling summary of the vital body bricks)

The laureate does not deserve the prize because of Iraq, the Middle East and Afghanistan, the President himself has spoken openly about his doubts, and other preeminent political figures who won before sure had achieved real substantial diplomatic peace successes.
And they are openly credited for it internationally.


There have not been any concrete achievements in Afghanistan, Iraq or Middle East.

He ordered thousands of US troops extra to Af. The Palestinians claim he has does nothing concrete for their rights. Ir. has been suffering from the deadliest year since the 2003 invasion.

(Explain here how the first argument of the extemporaneous speech topic is constructed, based on your evidence)

More troops could to Af. violence and civilian casualties in the end, the enemy proclaims. There still is no working M E peace plan in which both parties, Israel and Palestinians trust. The schedule of the person in charge for the withdrawal of troops is still discussed, the oppositional forces still try to create disorder.

Can we call that peace efforts? Yes, we can. Can we call that substantial peace achievements? No, we can not – at this moment.

The chief of state himself has spoken openly about his doubts less than a year in office.

He says to be surprised and deeply humbled.

Hw further said that he not feel he ‘deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who have been honoured by this prize’.

O. has stated that he doesn’t see it as a recognition of his accomplishments, but ‘rather as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations’.

These are other cardinal political persons who won before. Who are those transformative figures as the 2009 laureate describes them?

In 1994 Shimon Peres, Foreign Minister of Israel, won. In 1994 Yitzhak Rabin, Prime Minister of Israel, in 1978 Menachim Begin, Prime Minister of Israel, and in 1973 Henry Kissinger, U S Secretary of State.

Their peace efforts resulted in concrete historical peace making moments: Shimon Peres, and Yitzhak Rabin were honoured for their historic agreement between Israel and Palestinians. Menachim Begin for the peace treaty he co-concluded between Israel and Egypt. And Henry Kissinger was praised for helping to establish a ceasefire and U S withdrawal from Vietnam.

Yes, they all accomplish concrete diplomatic successes. Obama not.


There have not been any real substantial peace achievements at this moment. The laureate himself refers to the lack of peace making moments. And he refers to Nobel Peace Prize winners who are awarded because of their historical agreements.

So, now again: is President Obama entitled? No, he has not achieved any real success in foreign policy matters, and predecessors have.

Some call the award a politically motivated insult. I don’t. I prefer to look ahead and cite 1984 Winner South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu ‘it’s a magnificent endorsement for the first African-American leader in history’. But the Commander in Chief of Hope has sure achieved one thing – do think about it – he carries hope in his peace efforts. And I predict: one day he will really deserves the Prize for real peace accomplishments!

Aljazeera News Europe, Norwegian Nobel Committee Report, and All Laureates List.


Is There One Single Best Outline?

No. The best outline doesn’t exist. The pattern above is just a method to organize extemporaneous topics quick and efficient.

Open Or Closed Questions?

Mostly there are two types of questions, open and closed for extemporaneous speech topics.Determine what type you are answering.

Closed Questions – You can only state a clear Yes or No in your introduction. In the points of the body part you offer the arguments.
Example: Is Disclosure A Bad Movie? Yes, you can also choose for humorous.

Open Questions – State how or what will, should or can be done in your introduction. Then guide the audience to the answer in logical steps. Those steps are the major points in your extemp.
E.g. What Can We Do Against Corrupt Politicians?

How to Prepare

Tip # 1 Set up your extemp to start with a good summation that grabs the attention, then state the theme in one sentence.

Tip # 2 Develop between three and five main points and make sure each one is a single, clear, self contained idea.

Tip # 3 Make sure that each one is related to your main thesis statement and that it reminds the audience what your key note point is.

Tip # 4 Make sure every point leads smoothly and sensibly into the next one – no non sequiturs here. No ‘bridges’ that do not make sense.

Tip # 5 All your sub points must contain new information or details not stated in the main points. Their job is to describe, explain, or otherwise support your main points. For the conclusion, don’t just summarize. But also analyse and provide a judgement on each conclusion.

Tip # 6 Come back to the introduction and reinforce your thesis statement, connect the interests and needs of the audience to the theme, then go back over the major points of your speech, finishing up neatly.

Tip # 7 Stick to using simple words, and don’t try to impress with complex topics for an extemporaneous. There is a bigger chance that you will end up stumbling over them or that your speech will fall flat.

Tip # 8 It’s all about producing topics for an extemporaneous that get strictly to the point. If you’re feeling nervous, put your hands in your pockets or on front of the table in front of you, and don’t be afraid to let people know.

Tip # 9 Keep comments about your nervousness short and to the point. They will probably get a chuckle, they will understand, and you’ll feel a little better.

Tip # 10 Do not go on and on, though, or stop dead. Go right to what you need to say. Conclude, restate, smile and just stick to that!

How To Deliver

This is about time management, practicing and repeating, and the delivery:

Time Management

The right time management is crucial. Put a watch in front of you. If you have 30 minutes to prepare, then divide that time in parts. Below are three examples of time management. Find out which one is the best for you. If you are allowed to use note cards, then the memorize part can be shorter in time, of course.


5 minutes
10 minutes


10 minutes
10 minutes


10 minutes
5 minutes


5 minutes
5 minutes

More about practicing

Visualize the flow of your extemporaneous speech topics in your mind. Something like this: first I want to state this, and then I prove it by that. And so on. Learn the sequence by heart. If there’s a possibility to practice in front of a friend or classmate, then do it!

And listen to their comment. Elaborate on it. Another idea is to tape yourself on audio or video. Listen and look if you are
making logical steps, transitions and pauses.

Another possibility is to practice out loud in front of a mirror.


Do not be boring with monotonous and facts and a phlegmatic attitude, add some funny extemporaneous speech topics in your presentation. Talk easy, and in a normal tempo – do not talk to fast. Do not speak like a talking puppet in a suit. Move a little bit, use the proper gestures (guide them

trough your material with hand signals and passionate facial expresions) to emphasize your main points and the direction of logical reasoning.

Composing Handy Tubs

Many competitors spend hours a week to prepare files with noteworthy articles about every possible subject for extemporaneous speech topics. They can use these so-called Extemp Tubs in tournaments. But how does a speaker fill these files with the best?


1. Analyze and study current events in magazines and newspapers. Sort out the headlines, the pros and cons, reasons, statistics and sources.

2. Research on the Internet. Pay special attention to quotes and reports of scientific researchers. Don’t forget to find humorous quotes, to break the ice.

3. Watch interesting television documentaries and note the facts and the conclusions that could be extracted.

4. Ask experienced competitors how they prepare for public speaking. Look how they practice and perform on stage, and learn their educational discourse tricks.

5. Organize and update your files in a way you can find your written notes quick and easy. For instance, organize your plastic tub like a cherry tree – pick four or five general extemporaneous speech topics in hanging folders.

And place within those general tabulations lots of sub-sequences categorized from A to Z.

6. Also use a reference book, a dictionary, a small encyclopedia, et cetera to refill fresh and creative ideas.

By now, you have learned how to prepare and outline your communication subjects – I wish you all succes you need and keep improving your communication skills. Bookmark and share this tutorial and come back whenever you like 🙂

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