How to Make a Boring Speech Sound Interesting

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Some speech topics may seem difficult and dull at first glance. Relax; a little humor and creativity can go a long way toward turning a boring subject into an interesting presentation. For example, did you know that in Michigan there is a law stating that “a man owns his wife’s hair?” Imagine how you could use that fact in your presentation! Fortunately, there are several strategies to add interest to a boring subject. Developing unique angles, introducing humor, sharing stories and maintaining a conversational tone can all help make a boring speech topic more interesting.

  • Use a conversational speech tone. Pretend you are talking to a friend about your topic to prevent your speech from sounding too formal. A conversational tone communicates that you are trustworthy and worth listening too, while a formal, rushed or tense tone often causes people to stop listening. For a boring topic, this is especially important because people will tend to stop listening quickly unless you are relaxed and conversational.

  • Know your audience. A captive audience of students is different than a group of teachers at a training session or a group of salespeople at a marketing seminar. Even the most boring topic can be personalized to be relevant to your audience. For example, a speech on doorknobs can be personalized with stories about pranks for students, use in science experiments for teachers, and doorknob varieties for salespeople.

  • Open with a joke or a funny personal story. Even really dumb jokes about your subject can relax and engage your audience. Opening with a joke can set your audience up to expect an entertaining presentation. For example, a speech about blankets might open with “Did you know that some blankets come with the warning ‘not to be used as protection in a tornado’?”. Intersperse a few well-timed stories, or put a cartoon on the overhead, to maintain interest throughout the speech.

  • Look for little-known facts, trivia or silly laws to add interest. Is it flu season? Include data on how long germs stay on doorknobs. Teachers and students alike might be interested to learn why doorknobs feel colder to the touch than the door. Or consider the fact that in Connecticut, pickles have to bounce to be considered pickles. Sprinkle them throughout your speech to keep your audience engaged.

  • Develop an unexpected angle. For example, gargling may not be a captivating speech topic, but consider the fact that it is illegal to gargle in public in Louisiana. Explaining what it is about gargling that caused the people of Louisiana to write a law adds an interesting element to a boring topic.

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