A very common question that we are often asked in our workshops is what do we choose to speak about? How do you come up with your speeches? Where do you get the inspiration for that wonderful presentation?

Often with business presentations you have your topic given to you – in fact you may even have your whole presentation ready for you to just deliver. However, there may be many times that you will have to decide on what to speak about.

So when you do have a choice how do you choose your topic? Well first it helps if it is something that you are passionate about, something you know and/or something you want to share. This is a great place to start especially for novice speakers. If you know your information you will find it easy to present, if you are passionate about your topic you will find it flows and your connection to the audience will be easier and if you have something you really want to share, your sincerity will flow through to the audience.

Look at your life experiences, hobbies, work experience and family. There is plenty of inspiration for a myriad of speeches just in these areas.

Inspiration for topics can come from many places and at all times of the day. You may be reading and come across an article on a subject that resonates. There may be a headline that triggers a passionate response from you. It could be just a few words or sentences that stand out.

You may read or hear a quote that captures your attention and which you could build a great speech around on a life lesson. You could be having a conversation with a group of friends and something that is said catches your attention and sparks a thought you can expand on for your speech. One of my favourite quotes “The difference between try and triumph is just a little umph!” by Marvin Phillips was the inspiration for one of my speeches on never giving up. A conversation with a participant in one of our workshops inspired Michele to produce a wonderful speech “Wrapped in Brown Paper” about looking beneath the surface.

There may be an advertisement or a picture that provides the inspiration for your next speech. I heard of a group who brainstormed 50 speech topics from one advertisement page on baked beans.

Inspiration is everywhere and in everything – you just need to let yourself be open to it and most importantly, have a pen and notepad to jot down the inspiration when it does come knocking. There is nothing worse than coming across a great quote or idea – not writing it down – then having this nagging feeling at the end of the day that if you could just remember you would have a wonderful speech.

Keep a pad and pen by the bed – you may be one of those who has wonderful ideas during the night. It is no good waiting until morning to write it down I can guarantee you will have forgotten it – write it down straight away then it will be there for you. Mind you watch the writing –I have tried doing this and quite often I can’t read my own writing! “Sleep writing” sort of negates the whole concept! So make sure you are fully awake when you do jot down your notes.

Keep a file, whether in hard copy or on the computer, it doesn’t matter; just so long as you can come back to those wonderful ideas when you need to prepare for your next speech.

Give it a try for a day and see where inspiration can you lead you and how many topics for speeches you can gather.

Trish @ Trischel

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