Short speeches are a part of many functions such as weddings, birthday parties, office presentations and even small dinner parties. The most important aspect of giving a short speech is keeping it short. You also have to think about engaging your audience, picking a relevant topic to speak on and appearing confident, relaxed and knowledgeable about the subject matter. The best way to accomplish all three is to speak on a subject you know a lot about.
Speaking about yourself gives you the opportunity to talk about an extremely familiar subject and give your listeners an opportunity to get to know you more. Although it sounds easy to accomplish, it is often difficult to figure out interesting things to say about yourself. You could talk about a turning point in your life, a tragedy you experienced or your earliest memories. You might want to ask several people what they care to know about you and use that as the basis for your speech.
A Friend, Colleague or Mentor
Another topic that makes a good focus for a speech is a friend or colleague. You may be required to speak about a friend or colleague in an event being held in her honor. Speeches of this nature are often very well-received because they are sincere and heartfelt. Keep in mind that you want to say things about the person that are extremely flattering or honorable and not merely mention facts about her that your audience already knows. For instance, you could elaborate on an incident that revealed an admirable quality in her or highlight an action of her that went unrecognized but illustrated her true nature.
A Historical Fact or Event
A historical fact or event is also a good basis for a short speech. By focusing on history, you can inform your audience of a topic they know little about. Your audience is also more likely to be engaged if they find the topic fascinating. A good way to add interest to your speech is to provide little bits of information that your audience would otherwise not have access to. In a speech about business, for instance, you could talk about how the ideas for offices came about, where they originated and how they functioned. You would then find a way to relate your topic to the present day in order to still make it relevant to your audience.
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Chika Nwaka started writing professionally in 2010. She writes for eHow and specializes in education and fashion-related topics. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California-Los Angeles and is pursuing a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.