You have been asked to give a presentation. To make it easier for you they have also let you chose your own topic.
The problem is that you have too much choice. Now you are worried and are going to spend too much of your creative time trying to pick the right topic and not rehearsing your presentation. So how do you choose the right presentation topic?
Choosing a presentation topic
The right presentation topic.
It is easy to pick the topic. Just follow these two simples rules.
Pick a subject you are passionate about. The passion will come out in your voice and in your body language and will be naturally picked up by your audience.
Pick a topic that could be illustrated by pictures. A lot of the research shows that you could increase message retention dramatically if you use pictures rather than bullet points.
Job interview topics
Pick a project or area of your work that was well received. Ideally one where you received lots of positive feedback and got the end result despite all the setbacks. This will show you as someone who can get things done and is well liked. If you can please do include the feedback you received.
If you are going for a management or leaders position it is a good idea ask your team to describe your leadership style. If you have not lead a team before - just ask the people you work with to describe your style.
The key is the passion. Examples that can work well are hobbies and holidays. These are both topics that can be well illustrated.
Your holidays should have lost of photos and most hobbies have lots of photos available. You can probably find lots of travel photos on the web, but please do ensure that you have the permission of the copyright owners.
If you pick a hobby make sure that you keep the jargon out of it and bring the topic down to a simple enough level everybody will be able to understand it. This is an area where your fellow hobbyists should be able to help you with lots of pictures. Here are some of the great hobby presentations that I have seen - all very visual
• Steam trains
• Lorries and trucks
• ateur radio expeditions
If you are looking to speak on professional (paid) basis the best topic is one that grabs people's attention. Here are a few examples
• The seven deadly sins of presentations
• Motivating people in boring jobs
• The physics of football
• PowerPoint poisoning - the antidote
• CRM - holy grail or holy smoke
• The life and times of _____
(e.g. Abraham Lincoln, Julius Caesar/ Winston Churchill/ Bob Dylan)
• My Pop Idol (Give a speech on John Lennon, Elvis or someone similar)
• The evolution of _____
(e.g. the railway locomotive headlamp)
• On this day in history
• When will man get to Mars?
• The first Moon Landing
• Top Internet searches
• The Darwin Awards
• Origami in action - Show how you can make things out of paper (prepare some paper examples for the audience)
• Colour blindness
• 25 uses for a _____
(paperclip/ tennis ball/ bus ticket)
• Who says that crime doesn't pay?
• My dream holiday
(e.g. Walking a donkey in Ireland)
• Winston Churchill
• Scott of the Antartcic
• Lawrence of Arabia
• Julius Caesar
• Charles Dickens
• Ronald Regan
• Marie Curie
• Joan of Arc
• General McArthur
• Nelson Mandela
Well known films (often a lot of the backup material can be found on a collectors DVD)
• Jean de Florette
• Ben Hur
• The wizzard of Oz
• The Italian Job
• Gone with the Wind
• Forrest Gump
• One flew over the cuckoos nest
• The six wives of Henry 8th
• The spanish civil war
• The rise of Nazism
• Decline and fall of the Roman Empire
• 1066 and all that
• The Gettysburg address
• Roman military hardware
• The telegraph: the 'internet' of the 19th Century
• Who invented the internet?
• Wolves in the living room - how the wolf evolved into of the domestic dog
• The secret life of an eel
• Is an owl really wise?
• A day in the life of a Beluga Whale
• Why Dolphins jump out of the water
• Cats and lions - how do they compare?
• All quiet on the western front
• Little Women
• Pride and Prejudice
• Tom Sawyer
• A tale of two cities
More informative speech topics
• Why the Titanic sank?
• Just how long do we expect to live?
• How much do we need to save for a comfortable life?
• Formula one
• Healthy Eating
• 5 easy to grow vegetables
• How to make a perfect soufle
• How to have your cake and eat it
• What I'd do if I won the lottery
• Anglicized spanish words
• 21 things to do with your
• The race for the White House
• How cheap will PCs become?
• Why businesses fail
• Test marketing your idea
• 10 easy marketing ideas
• Time management for dummies
• Emotional Intelligence
• The One Minute Manager
• Equal Opportunities
• Overcoming Presentation Nerves