Choosing a Topic for the School Speech Competition

It is that time of year again, the annual speech competition at school. Every year students prepare, practice, and pray their speech will win the gold medal. They carefully choose their topics in the hopes of winning the popular vote. Students scramble to remember who won last year’s awards, was it the humorous speech on “The Advantages of Being a Dog,” the controversial rant on “The Fallacies of Climate Change,” or the relatable oration on “Being Stuck in the Middle: Life as a Middle child”? What these young competitors fail to realize is that the best speeches are not written after an analysis of the most popular topics of the past, or the speech where the audience was laughing so hard that one parent actually fell off their chair. Speakers should choose topics that they are most passionate about, for only then will they be able to speak from their heart, and truly engage the audience.


A speech should not be contrived or forced; it should flow with feeling and persuasion. It should move the audience to care as much as the speaker cares. A great speech is one where the speaker does not need to refer to their notes because the ideas are in their head stories are ones they’ve told many times before and their words echo their beliefs.

Though many are under the impression that if they can get the audience to laugh, they have won, but speech competitions are not a stand-up comedy show. Comedians often find that audiences will politely chuckle at their jokes, out of politeness than genuine warmth. When told a joke, most people laugh, either because they truly felt the joke was funny, or as a matter of etiquette. Although sincere laughter does indicate an engaged audience, it is not the only yardstick for a memorable speech. A gifted speaker knows they have hooked the audience when the listeners follow their gestures, nod in agreement, exhibit a thoughtful expression, or simply smile.



So, when choosing a topic, choose one that lights a fire in your belly and gets you talking for hours. Choose the one with the riveting story about Aunt Mathilda, or the one where the audience gasps in disbelief. Those are the speeches that stick and a passionate speaker sticks!

If the anxiety of the upcoming speech competition is quashing all your passionate ideas, Quills and Quotes has prepared a list of possible topics to help get your brain juices flowing. Quills and Quotes, Mississauga’s leading kid’s public speaking program, encourages kids to speak with passion!


Passionate Speech Topics:

My struggle with math

Growing up in another country

Being a hockey kid

How I de-stress

My sugar addiction

My secret life as a YouTuber

What kids can teach adults

Why being a kid these days is so tough

The perks of being a nerd

I secretly can’t stand {sports, art, the violin}

How I outsmart my parents every day

Social media has changed my life, for the better

A visit to a strange place

Why I prefer books to people

How to win over a teacher in 4 easy steps

Why Alexa is my best friend

My big, crazy, {nationality} family


Quills and Quotes is dedicated to teaching students the art of public speaking.

Contact Us: admin@quillsandquotes.ca  

Head Office: 10 Rosewood Avenue, Mississauga, ON, L5G 3H9  

Phone: 647-985-3711

  • Twitter | Quills and Quotes
  • Facebook | Quills and Quotes
  • Instagram | Quills and Quotes

© 2019 by Quills and Quotes