Have you ever struggled to find a speech topic?
The speaker’s version of “writers block” is “topic block.”
This problem was on my mind one morning while I was getting dressed for a workout. I looked at my stack of t-shirts and got an idea:
Your t-shirts are a window into your life.
What does that mean?
T-shirts – the ones with logos or pictures – give insight into what’s important to you. Or, those special moments in your life.
These everyday clothes can give you speech subjects that are important to you.
For example, this is a sample of logos on some of my shirts:
- Star Wars (four of them)
- The Indianapolis 500 (three) and a local go-cart racing facility
- Toastmasters and TED X Cincinnati
Insight Into What’s Important to You
Not only do these give me speech ideas, they also give you insight into me.
What can you assume about me from these t-shirts?
I’m a geek, speed freak who likes to speak!
What topics could they inspire?
- The hero’s journey (Star Wars)
- The importance of music to support your story (Star Wars)
- How teamwork can be the difference between winning and losing (Indianapolis 500)
- It’s not always the fastest who wins the race (Indianapolis 500)
- How I won every time I lost a speech contest (Toastmasters)
- How I became a better speaker by coaching other speakers (TED X)
There’s no limit to the number of speeches I can create. The key to these subjects is that they are important to me. They inspire ideas that matter to me.
How I Wove a Race Into a Speaking Video
For instance, I recently recorded a video at the Indianapolis 500. It was the opening for one of my videos in the ‘Your Weekly Dose of Public Speaking Medicine’ series. The subject was the power of teamwork to improve your speeches. The video clip from the race personalized my message, and gives viewers more insight into my life.
This is a critical subject for speakers. I teach it to others. And using my experiences at that race, I can use it as a metaphor for my topic.
So, what does your t-shirt drawer say about you?
What topics can you write about, related to the subject of those shirts?
You don’t need to stress over a speech topic. You just need to look around. The answer may be in your drawer, your closet or on your body, right now.
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