Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Finding a spicy speech topic

On March 3rd Rate Speeches issued a press release about their second-generation Public Speaking Topics Generator, which now contains a database with 7000 topics and more than 230,000 subtopics. Using it is free, and does not require login or registration. It’s worth keeping in mind for when our imagination goes blank. 

For example, let’s try their Demonstration Speech Topics Generator. The default setting will deliver 5 topics, which on our first try are:

Cranberry Juice

That’s not bad for a start!  For some topics we can click to expand and show subtopics. If we expand on potatoes (a very popular topic here in Idaho) we will see:

How to peel potatoes
How other cultures peel potatoes
Comparison of potatoes with other vegetables
How other cultures or countries cook potatoes
Physical description of potatoes
How to plant and grow potatoes
How to prepare or cook potatoes

We might choose how to prepare or cook potatoes, and then go over to the Idaho Potato Commission web site to find some sage advice on baking potatoes. (In this state there is no comparison between potatoes and other vegetables - that’s just heresy). Or, we might decide instead to talk about spices.

There is also a list of Speech Outline Templates we could download as Microsoft Word (.docx) files with different levels ranging from the simplest (subpoint level) to absurdly detailed (sub-sub-sub-subpoint level).

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