No matter what age a speaker is, a compelling and informative topic is a key aspect of drawing -- and keeping -- an audience’s interest. The most effective speeches are well researched, short and to the point. Also, practicing in front of a mirror before the actual live presentation leads to a focused and confident presentation in front of an audience.

Current Events Topics

Bear on floating ice
Bear on floating ice

Both adults and children can create pertinent and compelling speeches by researching a current event. Events that have inspired controversy are, contrary to what you might imagine, great fodder for a speech because you will most likely engage listeners on an emotional as well as intellectual level. As of March 2011, some of the most talked about current events that could be developed into a current events speech include “The Democratic Uprisings in the Middle East,” “Global Warming -- Is It or Isn’t It Happening?,” “Alternative Sources of Fuel,” “Fixing Our Nation’s School Systems” and, for a mixture of current events and historical happenings, “On This Day In History.”

Real-Life Topics

Feet standing on scale
Feet standing on scale

If you have had an amazing adventure, a brush with death or a time when you were extremely down on your luck, you may have the makings of a fascinating speech. Think back over your life and relive a very high or a very low moment, recording all of the details you can remember from the day or circumstance. This sort of speech works best if you tell it as a narrative, much the way you would expect a novel or short story to flow as you read it. The more vividly you can paint the picture of exactly where, when and how the event transpired, the more successful and informative your true life tale will be. Good topics include “How I Lost 100 Pounds,” “My Trip to a South Sea Island,” “I Am a Cancer Survivor” or “The Day That Changed My Life.”

“How To” Topics

Man changing flat tire
Man changing flat tire

If you are a master at accomplishing a certain task, you might have the makings of a “How To” speech within your own skill set. This sort of speech is informative and popular because t is the next best thing to the listener taking a class or workshop on “How To” do some activity or task she needs or wants to accomplish. Research won’t be as necessary to this sort of topic as being sure to present, very clearly, every step along the way. Visual aids and props often help with “How To” speeches. You can create an informative presentation on "Finding a Job," "Fixing a Flat Tire," "Hiring a Babysitter" or "Getting a Good Deal on a Car," for example.

Topics for Kids

Stack of 20 dollar bills
Stack of 20 dollar bills

Though younger kids often present simple book reports or show-and-tell as informal classroom speeches, middle schoolers are ready to learn about creating and delivering speeches before an audience -- whether it be their classroom or the whole school! Topics for kids work best when they are close to their real lives and are based on issues that matter to the individual delivering the speech. Try a speech on “The Famous Person I Look Up to Is…,” “If I Was the Richest Person in the World, I Would…,” “Fast Food Is Killing Our Country’s Kids” or “If I Could Travel Back in Time, I Would Go To…”