University of Hawai'i Maui Community College Speech Department

Topic Selection Helper

Click on any of the following categories to view a selection of possible speech topics.


General Subjects

The list below is designed to help you select a topic, but be aware that many of these subjects are broad and would need to be narrowed for a classroom speech. For example, advertising could be narrowed to political attack ads or tobacco ads.

  • Abandoned children
  • Abuse of animals
  • Abuse of children
  • Abuse of medication
  • Abuse of spouse
  • Abuse of the elderly
  • Academic dishonesty
  • Academic freedom
  • Accidents, aircraft
  • Accidents, fraudulent
  • Accidents, industrial
  • Accidents, prevention
  • Accidents, sports
  • Accidents, traffic
  • Acid rain
  • Addiction to drugs
  • Adoption of children
  • Adoption of wild animals
  • Advertising
  • Aerobic exercise
  • African killer bee
  • Age and discrimination
  • Age and intelligence
  • Agricultural pests
  • AIDS
  • Air bags, automobile
  • Air pollution
  • Alcohol and drugs
  • Alternative fuels
  • Alternative imprisonment
  • Alternative medicine
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amusement parks, safety
  • Animal communication
  • Animal experimentation
  • Animal extinction
  • Animal training
  • Anti-theft devices for cars
  • Antibiotics
  • Antioxidants
  • Antismoking movement
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Aquariums
  • Architectural design
  • Art therapy
  • Art treasures
  • Assassinations
  • Assisted suicide
  • Asteroids
  • Astronauts
  • Athletes, nutrition
  • Athletes, psychology
  • Athletes, women
  • Auctions
  • Automobiles, electric
  • Automobiles, safety
  • Back pain
  • Bald eagle
  • Beekeeping
  • Behavior, compulsive
  • Behavior, Type A
  • Bicycles, commuting
  • Billboards
  • Biotechnology & genetics
  • Bird-watching
  • Blood banks
  • Blood pressure
  • Bombings
  • Bone marrow
  • Books and censorship
  • Burglary protection
  • Caffeine
  • Calcium
  • Cancer
  • Capital punishment
  • Car theft
  • Cave drawings
  • Cell phone etiquette
  • Censorship in the arts
  • Charities
  • Checking accounts
  • Child labor laws
  • Child support
  • Children and war
  • Children of AIDS patients
  • Children of the mentally ill
  • Cholesterol
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • City planning
  • Civil liberties
  • Clean water
  • Climatic changes
  • Cloning
  • Cocaine
  • College athletes
  • College costs
  • College campus crimes
  • Common cold
  • Communication, family
  • Communication, medicine
  • Commuting
  • Computer fraud
  • Computer graphics
  • Computer viruses
  • Con artists
  • Consumer protection
  • Contamination of water
  • Coral reef ecology
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Cosmic rays
  • Coyotes
  • Credit card fraud
  • Credit card misuse
  • Crime prevention
  • Criminal behavior
  • Cults
  • Day care centers
  • Death, accidental
  • Debt relief
  • Deep-sea ecology
  • Deficit spending
  • Depletion of ozone layer
  • Depression, mental
  • Desalinization of water
  • Designated drivers
  • Diabetes
  • Diagnosis, ultrasonic
  • Diet and nutrition
  • Digital music
  • Digital television
  • Dinosaur discoveries
  • Disaster victims
  • Discrimination, AIDS
  • Discrimination, disabilities
  • Discrimination, gays & lesbians
  • Discrimination, gender
  • Discrimination, weight
  • DNA fingerprints
  • Dog racing
  • Dolphins
  • Drinking and driving
  • Dyslexia
  • Earth-friendly products
  • Earthquakes
  • Elderly drivers
  • Electronic books
  • Electronic mail (e-mail)
  • Electronic music
  • Employee crimes
  • Endangered species
  • Environmental protection
  • Epidemics
  • Ethics, business
  • Ethics, medical
  • Ethnic cleansing
  • Euphemisms
  • Euthanasia
  • Evidence, criminal
  • Expert witnesses
  • False memory syndrome
  • Family therapy
  • Family violence
  • Famines
  • Fashion design
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Fiber optics
  • Fingerprints
  • Fire ants
  • Firefighting
  • Flea markets
  • Folk medicine
  • Food allergy
  • Food poisoning
  • Forest conservation
  • Forgery
  • Fossils
  • Foster parents
  • Galaxies
  • Gambling
  • Gardening
  • Generic drugs
  • Genetic engineering
  • Geothermal power
  • Gerrymander
  • Glaucoma
  • Global warming
  • Glue-sniffing
  • Gold discoveries
  • Gorillas
  • Government secrecy
  • Grand jury
  • Gray wolves
  • Great Wall of China
  • Green movement
  • Greenhouse effect
  • Grief
  • Grizzly bear
  • Groundwater pollution
  • Growth hormones
  • Guerrilla warfare
  • Gullah dialect
  • Gun control
  • Gymnastics
  • Habitual criminals
  • Hailstorms
  • Haiti
  • Hallucinations
  • Hallucinogenic drugs
  • Ham radio
  • Handwriting
  • Harassment, sexual
  • Hate crimes
  • Hay fever
  • Hazardous materials
  • Hazing
  • Headaches
  • Health care reform
  • Health foods
  • Health of workers
  • Hearing impairments
  • Heart disease
  • Heart transplants
  • Hemophilia
  • Hepatitis
  • Herbal medicine
  • Heredity of disease
  • Heroin
  • High blood pressure
  • High speed trains
  • Highway safety
  • Hijacking of automobiles
  • Historic preservation
  • HIV infections
  • Holistic medicine
  • Holocaust, Jewish
  • Holocaust, Native American
  • Home accidents
  • Home design
  • Home schooling
  • Homeless persons
  • Homeopathy
  • Homophobia
  • Homosexuality
  • Honeybees
  • Horse-racing
  • Housefly
  • Hunger
  • Hunting
  • Hurricanes
  • Hydrogen as fuel
  • Hydroponics
  • Hyperactive children
  • Hypnotism
  • Illegal aliens
  • Illiteracy
  • Immigrants
  • Immune system
  • In vitro fertilization
  • Income tax
  • Incurable diseases
  • Indoor air pollution
  • Industrial diseases
  • Industrial robots
  • Inequality of income
  • Influenza
  • Injuries, treatment
  • Insanity defense
  • Insect-eating plants
  • Insects as food
  • Insomnia
  • Insurance, car
  • Insurance, health
  • Insurance, life
  • Intelligence tests
  • International language
  • Internet privacy
  • Intolerance
  • Invasion of privacy
  • Investments
  • Iron deficiency diseases
  • Jails, overcrowding
  • Jet lag
  • Jewels
  • Job hunting
  • Job sharing
  • Junk in space
  • Junk mail
  • Juries
  • Juvenile delinquents
  • Kangaroos
  • Kidnapping, parental
  • Killer bees
  • Kleptomania
  • Labor disputes
  • Laboratories, testing
  • Lakes, pollution
  • Landfills
  • Landlords and tenants
  • Language disorders
  • Laser surgery
  • Latchkey children
  • Layoffs
  • Lead poisoning
  • Learning disabilities
  • Legalization of drugs
  • Libel and slander
  • Lie detectors
  • Lightning
  • Limousines
  • Living trusts
  • Living wills
  • Loans, student
  • Low-calorie diet
  • Low-cholesterol diet
  • Low-fat diet
  • LSD
  • Macrobiotic diet
  • Mafia
  • Magic
  • Mail-order catalogs
  • Mandatory sentences
  • Manic-depression
  • Maps
  • Marathon running
  • Marijuana
  • Marine aquariums
  • Marine pollution
  • Marriage customs
  • Mass murder
  • Massage
  • Math anxiety
  • Medical errors
  • Medicinal plants
  • Medicine, preventive
  • Melanoma
  • Memory techniques
  • Mental disorders
  • Mental retardation
  • Meteorites
  • Metric system
  • Microsurgery
  • Microwave cookery
  • Midwifery
  • Migraines
  • Migrant labor
  • Military weapons
  • Militias
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Moon, exploration
  • Moonlighting
  • Motorcycle gangs
  • Mound-builders
  • Mouth, diseases
  • Multiple personality
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Murders, serial
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Mushrooms
  • Music therapy
  • Mythology
  • Names, geographic
  • Names, personal
  • Narcotic laws
  • National parks
  • Naturopathy
  • Neo-Nazis
  • Neanderthals
  • Nicotine addiction
  • No-fault auto insurance
  • Nuclear energy
  • Nuclear proliferation
  • Nursing homes
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Occupational therapy
  • Ocean dumping
  • Ocean fishing
  • Older workers
  • Online auctions
  • Online investing
  • Open adoption
  • Opium
  • Optical fibers
  • Oral tradition
  • Ordination of women
  • Organically grown food
  • Organized crime
  • Outer space, exploration
  • Ozone layer
  • Pain relievers
  • Pandas
  • Parent-child relations
  • Performance art
  • Pesticides
  • Phobias
  • Plants, extinction
  • Plants, medicinal
  • Plea bargaining
  • Poaching
  • Police, job stress
  • Political advertising
  • Pollution
  • Polygraphs
  • Poverty
  • Prehistoric animals
  • Prehistoric painting
  • Premature infants
  • Primates
  • Prisons
  • Product safety
  • Psychiatric drugs
  • Quit-smoking programs
  • Radiation therapy
  • Radio astronomy
  • Rain forests
  • Rare animals
  • Recovering addicts
  • Renewable resources
  • Rescue work
  • Robots
  • Satellites
  • Savant syndrome
  • Scams
  • Schizophrenia
  • Scientific fraud
  • Sea farming
  • Seafood contamination
  • Self-defense
  • Serotonin
  • Sick-building syndrome
  • Sled dog racing
  • Sleep, research
  • Smuggling
  • Soil erosion
  • Solar power
  • Space exploration
  • Spam & junk e-mail
  • Speech disorders
  • Sports injuries
  • Stalking
  • Steroids
  • Suicide
  • Sunken treasure
  • Survival skills
  • Taxes
  • Teenage crime
  • Terrorism
  • Tornadoes
  • Toxic wastes
  • Urban homesteading
  • Victims of crime
  • Volcanoes
  • Water purification
  • Weather forecasting
  • Wildlife rescue
  • Wind power
  • Women’s rights
  • X-rays
  • Year-round education
  • Zoological parks
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Popular Themes

The themes below are perennially popular with all kinds of audiences.  A sampling of topics is given.

Health and Longevity
Almost everyone is concerned about being fit and healthy.

  • Good remedies for bad colds
  • Coping with depression
  • How to get a good night’s sleep
  • How to prevent cancer
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • First aid for choking victims

Personal Happiness
What person doesn’t want tips on how to gain or enhance happiness?

  • Finding a creative hobby
  • Ingredients for a happy marriage
  • How to win friends
  • Finding fulfillment through volunteer work
  • How to appreciate a work of art
  • Overcoming shyness

Recreation
People like ideas on how to enjoy leisure activities such as sports, hobbies, movies and TV shows, dining out, and travel.

  • The best restaurants in town
  • The best carnivals–from New Orleans to Rio
  • Touring Europe on a bicycle
  • Hang-gliding
  • Unsung but fabulous movies
  • Walking trips in Great Britain and Ireland

Money and Security
Many people want to make money, find bargains, and gain financial security.

  • How to get a good job
  • How to get a raise
  • How to earn $1,000 a month in your spare time
  • The fine art of haggling at a flea market

Adventure
People love adventure stories. You don’t have to limit yourself to spectacular deeds done by celebrities, such as an astronaut’s walk on the moon. Your speech can deal with more down-to-earth drama, as experienced by you or by friends and relatives.

  • Giving birth the Lamaze way
  • Surviving a tornado
  • Enduring boot camp in the military
  • Confronting a mugger
  • Shooting the rapids of a wild river
  • Immigrating to the United States

Exotic Information
Audiences enjoy hearing unusual facts and theories.

  • The possibility of life on other planets
  • Homemade herbal remedies of Native Americans
  • The incredible intelligence of bees
  • The search for Atlantis
  • The last Tsar of Russia
  • Famous people who accurately predicted the date of their death

Personalities
You don’t have to limit yourself to famous people. A zany hometown "character" or an inspiring teacher or coach would also be interesting.

  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • King Kamehameha
  • Queen Liliuokalani
  • King David Kalakaua
  • Queen Kaahumanu
  • Evita Peron
  • Princess Diana
  • Anne Frank
  • José Carreras
  • Louis Armstrong
  • Rachel Carson
  • Malcolm X
  • Chief Seattle
  • Yo-Yo Ma
  • H.H. Dalai Lama
  • Toni Morrison
  • Zora Neale Huston
  • Albert Schweitzer
  • Antonio Vivaldi
  • Christopher Columbus
  • Edward James Olmos
  • Joan of Arc
  • Virginia Woolf
  • Charles Lindbergh
  • Sacagawea
  • John F. Kennedy
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Amy Tan
  • Pelé
  • Sojourner Truth
  • Jackie Robinson
  • Lee Iaccocca
  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • Amelia Earhart
  • Cesar Chavez
  • Mother Teresa
  • Akio Morita
  • Socrates
  • Sam Houston
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Albert Einstein
  • Mikhail Baryshnikov
  • Tecumseh
  • Aretha Franklin
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Topics Based on Students’ Own Lives

In looking for topics, some students overlook fascinating aspects of their own lives. Here is a sampling of topics that students have derived from their personal experiences.

  • Marriage customs and traditions for couples in India–Preeti Vilkhu
  • The advantages of home fitness equipment over membership in a spa or gym–Dawn Lajoie
  • How to survive if stranded in the wilderness–Ryan Banning, rescue worker
  • The history of surfing
  • The satisfactions of growing a flower garden–Ann Hensley
  • Calligraphy–a relaxing, inexpensive hobby–Sherry Boles
  • How to make one of Spain's favorite dishes–Rebecca Ramirez
  • How to make and use dandelion oil to relieve physical ailments–Jennifer Delerme
  • The stress and joys of working in a high-volume restaurant–Kirk Dockery
  • Training for and competing in bicycle races–Chad Schoenauer
  • Surviving a triple-trauma car accident–Pam Browning
  • How to keep a car in good running condition–Michele Jolley
  • How to travel abroad on limited means–Ray Houston
  • Collecting sports cards as a financial investment–Jeff Earwood
  • Rock collecting as a hobby–Dwight Dabbs
  • The value of yoga–Eric Sarratt
  • An explanation of cerebral palsy–Lola Shelton
  • Rock climbing as a safe sport–Chris Williams
  • A demonstration of Korean Taekwondo karate–Maureen Tener
  • How to buy a used car–Ken Owenby
  • Using a mountain bike for transportation and exercise–Brian Bartlett
  • The basics of the water sport called windsurfing–Benjamin Lunsford
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Topics for "How-to" Speeches

These are sample topics for brief process speeches. Whatever topic you choose, get your instructor's permission before bringing animals, babies, small children, and food materials into the classroom. (Needless to say, you should not even think about bringing weapons or illegal substances.)

How-to:

  • avoid athletic injuries
  • avoid food poisoning
  • avoid home burglary
  • avoid repetitive stress
  • child-proof a home
  • choose healthy snacks
  • choose low-fat alternative foods
  • choose the best computer for your needs and budget
  • exercise properly
  • identify poisonous insects
  • identify native plants
  • open a coconut
  • perform the Heimlich maneuver

 

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Page Designer: Ron St. John
Copyright 2002 - Ka Leo Kumu
Last Revised: January 16, 2002