Extemporaneous speeches can be frightening. Surveys spanning decades, including those by "The Book of Lists" and Texas Christian University, have concluded that the fear of public speaking surpasses fears of flying, illness, terrorism, and even the daunting fear of death itself. Choosing an extemporaneous speech topic for a student in a classroom should be done with care. Choosing topics relating to cultural influences, politics, and environmental or personal issues can strike a passionate chord in the heart of the student, which could make extemporaneous speaking easier.
Cultural issues can strike a passionate chord in many students. For an extemporaneous speech, consider giving topics relating to sexuality, governmental censorship, racism, ethics, imperialism, gender and class. These are a few speech topics for cultural extemporaneous speeches:
"Should the government have the authority to censor what information the news broadcasts?"
"How can this country reduce the gap between social classes?"
"Should the government have the authority to set an ethical code to live by?"
Political issues have been hot topics for hundreds of years. For extemporaneous speech topics, use current political issues as a base for the topics you give. Alternatively, use past or ongoing issues as a source of topic. For example:
"Should the government fund agencies that advocate abortion through citizens' tax dollars?"
"How have the political parties changed since the country's founding?"
As environmental issues continue to rise to the forefront of news and activism, choosing environmental extemporaneous topics can bring about interesting speeches. Focus on environmental issues that hold importance in your region, or worldwide environmental issues. Consider these topics:
"Should law require citizens to recycle on a regular basis?"
"How can you improve environmental awareness within your community?"
"What poses the biggest threat to the environment in America?"
Personal speeches can reveal unknown facts about your student's lives. These speeches are easiest for students and can be a productive starting point for teaching students how to speak extemporaneously. Try these topics:
"Introduce yourself to the class by giving some interesting facts about you."
"What was the best night of your life, and why?"
"Tell the class, in detail, about where you see your life in 10 years."
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