Remember that topic selection can make or break a successful speaker. Speakers should choose topics that they feel passionate about or know extensive amounts of information about. The speaker’s selection of a personally motivating topic can effectively cut anxiety in half. Consider a topic’s “share test”—if the information sounds worthy enough to share on social media, it will likely present a viable choice with which to work.
Next speakers need to determine the speech’s purpose: to inform, to persuade, or to entertain. From there, begin brainstorming topics right away, and the sooner, the better. While narrowing and focusing topic ideas, start working to develop a specific purpose statement. What should the audience know upon completion of the speech? If persuading, what is the goal? Identify the specific purpose first, and then start working on a draft of the central idea. Remember to keep everything fairly fluid and flexible, because, as the presentation develops, valuable information about what the audience members know (or don’t know) and how they feel about the topic (or don’t feel about it) may change how the speaker’s purpose ultimately looks and subsequently, the central idea.