CHOOSING YOUR TOPIC ~ CMST 101
In choosing a topic for your speech, there are a few things for you to consider. I recommend putting a lot of thought into what issues concern you. What topics do you find continually coming up for discussion with your friends and family? If nothing occurs to you offhand, I suggest that you read a daily newspaper for a few days or so and see what pops up to interest you. You will be researching and studying this topic for three weeks, so make sure it is one you’re interested in. Here are the guidelines for you to consider as you select a topic to speak about.
Your topic MUST be appropriate for the public forum. That means:
ü It must be an issue of significant public interest/value.
ü It should be something that you believe your audience and society in general will benefit from knowing more about.
ü It cannot be trivial or merely personal.
ü Reputable sources must be available for researching/checking facts.
As you can see, these criteria rule out such things as cell phone plans or informing your audience of the dangers of not exercising or avoiding questionable hairstyles. While such topics may be personally interesting/relevant, they don’t fit the criteria of a public forum topic.
If your topic is controversial (differences in belief about what is true), then you MUST present both sides equally. Your purpose is to INFORM, not persuade.
No matter how current your topic, if it’s not interesting to this audience, you’ll have trouble holding your audience’s attention. Almost any topic can be made interesting to your audience members if you find a way to make it matter to them. Make sure you analyze your audience in advance of your speaking day. Never assume everyone cares as much as you do about your topic. You will need to convince us that your topic matters.
Your topic must be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and approved during the dates available for this process.