Being able to give an off-the-cuff speech takes practice, but it can be made a bit easier if you already have a few go-to topics up your sleeve. But what makes an impromptu speech different than a standard speech? For starters, impromptu speeches usually spring up with little to no preparation time, and they typically only last about five minutes or so. Typically they’re given at debate competitions or informative events or classes.
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When running through an impromptu speech in your head, it’s important to remember that they usually are made up of three distinct parts: an introduction, engaging and informative body, and a conclusion. This is where the practice comes in because being able to deliver an effective impromptu speech takes a certain degree of oration expertise and organization. That being said, the more you give impromptu speeches, the easier they should become.
So how do you decide on a topic? Well, a good place to start is to know your audience. Are you giving a short talk at a specific event? If so, try catering your topic around the event. If you’re giving a class on speech methods, try throwing a few different topics out to the class and go with whatever one garners the most interest. Maybe you’ve been asked to speak at a friend’s wedding. If this happens, have a short list of personal topics and stories about you and your friend ready for when the microphone is passed to you. It’s also important to choose a topic that is relevant and that hasn’t already been over done.
When it comes to actually delivering your speech, there are a few things to remember. As with any speech, you’ll want to make sure to speak fluidly and with authority. Have a clear topic in mind and stay focused on it. Don’t get overly wordy or off track. Also, keep the speech short and sweet. As mentioned before, your speech should have a beginning, middle and an end. Additionally, keep your speech engaging by crafting a story around your topic to improve its structure. This will also keep listeners interesting. Don’t be afraid to add in a bit of humor where appropriate.
Take a look at some of the following impromptu speech topics below and feel free to add a few to your collection. Some are more serious while others are better suited as ice breakers. As long as you know your audience and stay focused while delivering your speech, the next time you have to give an off-the-cuff speech, you’ll be ready.
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List of Impromptu Speech Topics
- Why manners are important
- Tax incentives for international adoption
- Why the government should cut off all foreign aid to dictatorships
- Standardized tests aren’t fair metrics when gauging a teacher’s effectiveness
- Girls should be allowed on high school football teams
- Calorie counts should be listed on fast food menus
- The current tax system harms the working middle class
- Why churches shouldn’t have to pay taxes
- Yes, motherhood is still valued in today’s society
- The need for effective cyber security protocols
- Is it really that great being young?
- Why do teenagers smoke?
- What human quality do we need more of?
- Are self-driving cars the future?
- Why is a sense of humor important?
- Why is voting important?
- Are professional athletes paid too much?
- Is it ever okay to lie?
- Wisdom vs. intelligence
- Real vs. fake Christmas trees
- Your favorite nickname
- My best job ever
- Your first memory
- The most successful person you know
- My favorite season
- My biggest concern for the future is…
- If I ruled the world…
- The most difficult thing I’ve ever done
- Three things you do well
- Ghosts you’d like to meet
- Best bank to get a mortgage through
- Personal finance advice
- Internal auditing
- How to prevent financial fraud
- Improving ROI (return on investment)
- Importance of social media in marketing
- Decreasing production costs
- Most strategic e-marketing solutions
- Management strategies
- How to handle government regulations
- How to make your favorite meal
- How to start an online blog
- How to prepare your yard for fall
- How to apply for a job
- How to walk gracefully
- How to ace a job interview
- How to buy a car
- How to become a published writer
- How to apply for college
- How to buy a house
- Share something unusual about yourself.
- Talk about a nickname you have and how you got it.
- What is the biggest effect of the internet?
- Three things that scare me.
- If I were in charge of school lunches…
- Could we really say to our bosses what’s on our mind?
- Favorite cartoon character growing up
- How to impress your parents.
- Is a glass half full or half empty?
- Describe the ideal pet.
- What you like and dislike on participating in a picnic in the woods.
- What you did last weekend.
- Why grandma’s baked chocolate chip cookies, cakes and brownies always taste and smell good.
- Why it is okay that parents decide and not kids.
- The good and bad things of dogs.
- How a rainbow arises in the sky while it is raining.
- Why seeing a dentist two times a year is a must.
- Your morning routine.
- How and why earthquakes happen.
- Why you should know the main cities an capitals of the world.
- The true meaning of the Christmas celebration.
- The difference is between I and me in English language.
- The five stages you go through when you are sleeping at night.
Task Words Verbs and Adjectives
When preparing, it is essential to understand the goals of particular duty phrases and the subjects they are associated with.
I know you are often put off by the phrased job in a handout, however, they are relatively easy to understand when studying a school or college public speaking assignment.
It is vital that you are familiar with a wide array of duties in order to convey the message and / or instructions that you’re trying to get across.
ANALYSE – Look closely to a subject, an argument, an idea or a topic, determine the essence of the components in detail and the relation to each other.
E.g. Examine closely a current social event you’ve learned a lot about, or you’ve enjoyed. Look closely to phishing, the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information on the worldwide net.
ARGUE – Present a systematic case built on reasons and evidence supporting or rejecting an idea, theory or proposition.
E.g. Reject the attempts of buying off government, state or local officials.
ASSESS – Decide the value, state positive and negative judgments, and conclude. Good impromptu speech topics can be:
E.g. Decide the value of a BA-degree / Masters-degree. Consider the value of a domestic companion animal for the elderly. How an insurance company decide the value of a car, and why that knowledge could be valuable when buying an automobile.
COMPARE – Show and discuss similar and different characteristics or qualities of two things.
E.g. Discuss the pros and cons of offline and online friendships. Identify the similarities and differences of the Christian and Islamic religious traditions. Point out the best styles to more effective public speaking learning.
CONTRAST – Emphasize differences of two things and give evidence to differentiate or distinguish their significance and consequences.
E.g. Emphasise the differences between verbal and non-verbal communication skills. The differences of opinion between Democrat and Republican politicians. Emphasise the differences between Hollywood and Bollywood entertainment movies. Or pick other types for developing alternative impromptu speech topics for high school.
CRITICIZE – Give your judgment about merits and faults of an opinion, theory or statement, and support it with evidence.
E.g. Judge the Academy Award decision for best picture winner Slumdog Millionaire. Judge the merits and faults of this public speaking impromptu assignment. Judge the practice to fancy someone else outside your relationship without really acting on it.
DEFINE – To get good impromptu speech topics make clear what the precise meaning of a word, term, phrase or situation is and why this definition is necessary.
E.g. Give the exact meaning of narcissism. State the precise meaning of a grand jury in a trial. State the precise meaning of our Constitution, and place it in its historical context.
DESCRIBE – Present a detailed account of the features or characteristics.
E.g. Give the details of your baseball team (or other games). Give the characteristics of mammals, the mammalian species. Present a detailed account of the features of the Earth atmosphere.
DISCUSS – Consider all pros and cons, and give a concluding judgment on the value of the for and against arguments.
E.g. The pros and cons of hitchhiking. The pros and cons of lowering the drinking age to a younger age. Give the for and against arguments of felon voting.
ENUMERATE – Mention separately steps and stages of good impromptu speech topics one by one.
E.g. Present the steps to simple life. List the steps and stages to take proper family photos. List the three steps to overcome a fear of public speaking. Or enumerate the steps to catching the catches in insurance company documents for households.
EVALUATE – Explain strong and weak aspects or opinions about the usefulness or utility and formulate a personal judgment.
E.g. The usefulness of diplomas and certifications. The usefulness of old-fashioned printed newspapers in our modern multimedia era.
EXPLAIN – Show clearly how something happens in detail and the reasons or causes why.
E.g. Why sibling rivalry happens plus how. Make clear how childhood obesity begins and what the causes are. Why sibling rivalry happens and make clear how it comes more atrocious sometimes.
ILLUSTRATE – Use examples, diagrams, figures and evidence to make a complex concept easily understood.
E.g. What is a final salary scheme in calculating retirement pensions? Show how an exotic drink is prepared out of precise amounts of ingredients. Demonstrate how to set up an online poll and how to conclude outcomes fairly.
INTERPRET – Bring out the importance, meaning and implications of information data and state your personal judgment.
E.g. The impact of tourism information on China (or other Asian country) befroe you book your trip. The importance and implications of good consumer information on food labels. The value of unbiased reviews and consumer product specifications of pharmaceuticals and prescription drugs.
JUSTIFY – Defend adequate reasons and grounds for your decisions or conclusions, and support your chosen good impromptu speech topics by evidence.
E.g. Why President Obama sure is a good Nobel Prize winner – or why isn’t he not at all. Why the giant bailouts of car manufacturers were needed. Give ground on banking secrecy in some foreign states.
OUTLINE – Provide the main points and principles in a logical order and name the relationship between each point.
E.g. The causes and events that lead to the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1863. The effects of global warming on the Arctic ecosystem. The causes and main effects of the growing fast-food consumption in Asia.
PROVE – Demonstrate the truth or falsity with logical evidence and arguments.
E.g. The truth behind the death of Michael Jackson revealed- and the role of his doctor. The truth about the damages that could occur of vaccinations for pets. How the cigarette industry for decades seduced young people to start smoking.
REVIEW – Critically report the main facts, theories, issues of an event, and explain the importance of off the cuff improvising.
E.g. The likes and dislikes of participating in a Sunday afternoon picnic in the woods or at the riverside. Deliver a critical report about the most famous and popular restaurant or bar in town. This statement will generate good impromptu speech topics high school. Make a report about the best features of your PlayStation or X-box. Or take your favorite video games to develop impromptu speech topics for high school.
SUMMARIZE – Describe concisely the main points of a good speech topic, without examples or details.
E.g. The golden rules of a television sitcom comedy scenario. Make a summary of the primary purposes of a recent police investigation in your local area you read about in the newspapers. List the primary purposes of copyright and intellectual property laws in our country.
TRACE – Identify and describe the stages, steps, phases, processes or the historical events of good impromptu speech topics and start from its origin.
E.g. The effective step by step method to make studying more fun every day again – come over the humb. The development of pregnancy from the conception to the birth of a child. Explain the stages in the nine-month schedule of a beginning new human being. The interesting and amazing process of blood clotting which the body prevents blood loss.