Personal Experience Speech Ideas

Personal Experience Speech Ideas

By definition, personal experience speeches are subjective in nature. The general topic direction depends on the location of the assignment, the speaker's age and the amount of personal information the speaker is willing to disclose. The most important consideration when delivering a personal speech, regardless of content, is emotion. Whether humorous, sad, happy or reflective, the attitude of the presentation should convey feelings that represent the personal experience she describes.

1 It's the First Time

Describe an experience that set the stage for a life-long passion or hobby. For example, if your passion is music performance, give a speech about the first concert you attended and how it inspired you. Other examples include an artist's first successful encounter with a paintbrush, a culinary student's first cooked meal or a car enthusiast's first time behind the wheel.

2 Most Embarrassing Moment

If you prefer to avoid sentimental nostalgia, take a humorous approach. The audience will enjoy a good laugh and that will help you deliver the speech with ease. Most people have countless embarrassing moments to choose from, so be sure to pick something you feel comfortable sharing with a large group.

3 True Confessions Time

This approach can vary in degrees of seriousness. If you'd like to keep on the light-hearted end of the spectrum, talk about a silly confession or quirky secret behavior: "I enjoy tea parties with my cat, Snuffles, who I dress up in tiny ballerina outfits." For a more sincere approach, confessing a serious experience like dealing with anorexia can serve as an opportunity to connect with and help others.

4 Meeting Someone Special

Special people can include your closest childhood friend, a spouse, a distant relative, a celebrity or any other person who made a significant difference in your life. Perhaps the way you two met is an interesting story in itself. If not, describe additional notable moments you've shared since then.

5 What Your Parents Taught You

Children learn social behaviors by observing human interaction at home. What did you learn by watching your parents? Perhaps you credit them with your independent spirit, rebelliousness, perseverance, specific talents or other personal attributes. Sometimes the bad habits you learn at home serve as powerful lessons for others. Overcoming adversity is moving and is an effective way to develop a connection with your audience.

6 Reaching for Relevant Revelations

Describe a simple, unlikely experience that taught an important lesson. A creative approach may begin with a seemingly bland anecdote that leads into a significant life discovery. Examples are: "How a dish of burnt spaghetti led me to religion" or "What salsa dancing taught me about my marriage." Selecting a fun topic that reinforces a deeper life lesson will bring life to a topic that has deeper meaning. Your audience will be entertained while learning something new about you.

Alison Datko is a professional editor with experience as a journalist, writer and blogger. She contributes to a variety of print and online publications, specializing in music, food, art, fashion and culture.