How to Create an Engaging 5-Minute Presentation

Caroline Forsey

Published: September 15, 2023

A 5-minute speech can feel both incredibly short and infinitely long.

man gives a five minute presentation at work

While this short format encourages audiences to pay more attention, presenters often struggle to fit everything into five minutes even as they navigate nervousness that seems to stretch out each second.

As a result, preparation is key for 5-minute speech success.

But how can you ensure your presentation accomplishes everything it needs to within just five short minutes? We’ve put together an (appropriately condensed) guide on five-minute presentations to help you get started.

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How many words are in a 5-minute presentation?

A five-minute presentation is approximately 700 words long. The average person speaks 120 to 160 words a minute, which means the average five-minute presentation is 600 to 800 words.

how to make a 5 minute speech

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To calculate your own personal speaking speed (words per minute, or WPM):

  • Make an audio recording of yourself speaking for one minute.
  • Use a free transcription service to generate a text version of your speech.
  • The number of words you spoke in that minute is your personal WPM.

When constructing a longer presentation, you might be more concerned about transitions and keeping the audience engaged with more extensive narrative elements.

In a short presentation, everything you say should directly tie back to your central premise and further advance your main point.

Keeping a tight scope and using your words carefully ensures your time isn't wasted and the audience leaves with a clear, singular takeaway.

How many slides are in a 5-minute presentation?

Five or six slides, or about one per minute, is a good baseline for a 5-minute presentation. Depending on your subject matter, however, you might use up to 20 slides and spend about 10 or 15 seconds on each.

More important than your slide count is what each slide contains. It‘s a good rule of thumb to keep your slides simple and focused on visuals instead of text for a presentation of any length.

This becomes especially important when you’re dealing with a condensed presentation window.

Trying to cram in as much information as possible within a short time frame can be tempting. Resist the urge. Instead, focus on simple, clean visuals that all tie back to your central premise.

You can also use these free presentation templates to arrange your slides in a way that makes the most sense for your delivery and the content of your presentation.

how to make a 5 minute speech

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The 5-Minute Speech and How to Write One

how to make a 5 minute speech

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5-Minute Speech

Many people feel nervous before giving a speech, and there is added pressure if you have to get your message across in a short space of time. It is a challenge to be sure to include all the various crucial points that make your speech impactful and engaging. 

To overcome this challenge we suggest that you prepare a speech outline that includes all those points that can illustrate your central idea, but which you can cover in the allotted time.

In this article, we will take a quick look at how to write a 5-minute speech having defined all of your core points. Let’s first understand where these types of speeches are required the most. 

When are 5-Minute Speeches Required?

Here are some specific situations where you may be asked to deliver a 5-minute speech. 

Introducing a new employee in the company and letting everyone know about his designation and experience.

Making a special event announcement in the office where you have to describe the importance of that event.

Pitching a service or product to customers with a simple yet effective speech. 

Offering a short speech at the opening of a business such as a real estate company. In this case, you can deliver a strong 5-minute speech along with catchy real estate slogans .

Describing your favorite personality’s contribution to society at a charity event. 

Giving a speech at a wedding or a funeral to describe some special memories.

Besides these situations, there are a number of other situations where you may have to give a quick speech. Therefore, always try to be prepared with simple, sample outlines to deliver speeches that can grab people’s attention . 

How to Write a 5-Minute Speech?

Here are some important points to remember when writing a short speech for any special event.

Consider Your Audience

Before starting to write a speech, you need to first analyze the audience properly. This is necessary because it will help you to prepare a speech that will engage them specifically. It will simplify your selection of words and tone that fit the audience best. 

Create an Outline

Once you understand your audience , shift your focus to the preparation of a strong speech outline. 

You have to keep various factors in mind while creating an overall outline. You need to consider the time limitation, and how to define your thoughts inside the frame. Create an outline that is short, but covers all the points that need to be described to the audience. Do not include what you will say, just stick to the points you need to make for now.

Start with Powerful Words

Now, it is time to start writing your actual speech, opening it with some thought-provoking words. The start of your speech can really make or break your whole presentation. Therefore, try to come up with those words that will grab your audience’s attention. It could be a factual example, an anecdote,  or an inspirational quote. Choose your opening words to influence the audience that you have identified.

Stay Clear with Your Central Message

The central message of your speech should always be loud and clear. Pick words that simplify your message and enhance your audience's understanding, allowing them to remember your speech for a long time.  

Conclude the Speech with Inspirational Words

End your speech with some lines that will invoke positive thoughts among your audience. As a professional speaker , this is your chance to maintain the interest of listeners even after you have concluded your speech. That could be done by making your conclusion powerful and uniquely attractive. It should also include the central message.

Final Words

Public speaking is not easy. It requires you to have complete confidence in your words and body language. It is even more challenging when you have limited time to get your points across and engage your audience. 

Consider the above tips to ensure that your short speeches are powerful and insightful for your audience. These tips will simplify your speech preparation process, allowing you to deliver a great thought-provoking message in 5 minutes or less.

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Frantically Speaking

5-minute speech topics: Everything You Need to Know (With Examples)

Hrideep barot.

  • Presentation , Public Speaking , Speech Topics

5-minute speech topics

Coming up with 5-minute speech topics is a more tedious task than researching, framing, and delivering your speech altogether.

It is a general rule that having a fantastically written and presented speech adds less value when the speech topic isn’t interesting and effective enough.

In 5-minute speeches, your topic becomes more crucial as the length of your speech increases compared to any 1–2-minute speeches which are very brief.

How long are 5-minute speeches?

When we talk about how long 5 minutes speeches should be, we are essentially answering the question,

How many words are there in a 5-minute speech?

With an average individual speaking about 130-150 words per minute, 5-minute speeches are usually 650-750 words long .

But to gauge the exact number of words you should speak for your 5-minute speeches, try to understand your pace of speaking. Your pace of speaking is the number of words you can talk in a minute. And then frame the speech accordingly.

How many slides are there in a 5-minute speech?

As a general rule, adding 5-6 slides for your 5-minute presentations is ideal . However, there are compulsions which means you can add as many slides as you wish as long as you are able to present your topic effectively.

What do 5-minute speech topics look like?

Before coming up with a 5-minute speech topic for your speech, you must understand what the topic should look like so as to grab everyone’s attention and instill enough curiosity in them.

Keep your title short. Very lengthy titles are challenging to recall and can be very boring for the audience members. Keeping the title of your article within the limit of 50 characters is usually a good idea.

2. Informative

After reading the above point, you might be tempted to cut down words and that is okay but try to make sure that it doesn’t steal the very essence of the speech. The title should give a brief idea to your audience so that they know what they can expect to gain from your speech.

3. Relevant

Make sure that your topic is relevant to the occasion and preferences of your audience.

How to go about selecting a 5-minute speech topic?

There are 2 ways to find a topic for your 5-minute speech:

  • Research and elimination : When you try to come up with a topic yourself by conducting research about your audience, your own interests, and knowledge areas and then narrow it down to a specific topic, it is the process of research and elimination.
  • Picking a topic from the internet : A very convenient way to choose 5-minute speech topics is to find one on the internet!

Research and Elimination

To find a perfect 5-minute speech topic for yourself, you will have to take into consideration a couple of things while researching. Here is a list of things to consider before selecting a 5-minute speech:

1. Audience

Before selecting a topic for your 5-minute speech, ask yourself “who is my audience?”

The idea is to understand what the majority of your audience would comprise. Are you giving a speech to college students? Or working professionals? Which gender makes the majority of your audience? What ethnicity do they come from?

Answering all these questions will give you an idea of what your audience would likely prefer to hear.

For example, if you have to give a speech on future financial planning, you can focus on retirement planning in case your audience is made up of mid to senior-level working professionals. Or you can focus on the trending investment options like cryptocurrencies and small cases if your audience comprises a young crowd.

2. Occasion

Understand the occasion for which you will be giving the speech. Is it a wedding toast or for a product launch? In both cases, your language, humor, and the same content of your speech would be very different.

A speech for a wedding toast for example would sound more like,

“To all those who know Nisha, I am her best friend. We have been friends since the 2nd grade and have been inseparable since. On this wonderful day, if I am happy to see her as a beautiful bride, I am equally saddened to see her leave all of us behind. But as she always says, She will just be a call away”

On the other hand, a speech for a product launch would look like this,

“Hello and good evening, everybody. We are excited and elated to have you here with us today to experience the magnificence of a new powerful gadget that would be the future of hair drying: Stylion ”

3. Interests

No matter how good a speaker may be, if he or she isn’t passionate about a topic, it will be visible to their audience. This is where the interests of the speaker come into the picture.

Having an immense interest in the topic you would like to speak on is important because it helps you reach the audience and makes the entire process of researching, formatting, and delivering the speech very enjoyable for you!

4. Knowledge

You could be very interested in astrology but if you have no idea how these planetary movements affect individuals’ lives, then giving an effective speech could be challenging.

Besides interest, you also need to have enough knowledge about the topic that you’ll be speaking on so that you have some credible content to deliver passionately to your audience.

The last and the most important factor to take into consideration is the purpose for which you are giving the speech.

Are you trying to educate your audience or sell a product or give them a different perspective on a topic?

Whatever your purpose is, it needs to be taken into consideration so that you can narrow down your topics and select one that perfectly fits your requirements.

Some purposes of 5-minute speeches could be:

Informative speeches are where the speaker tries to inform his audience about the topic. It doesn’t focus on tweaking the audience’s perception in any way. Rather the idea is to share with the audience some facts and statistical figures or events in history with as detailed speech as possible.

An example of an informative speech would be a speech on the Indian freedom struggle.

To Persuade

Persuasion is an act of asking others to behave a certain way or do a certain thing. Oftentimes, politicians and salespersons are famous for using persuasion techniques like rhetoric and metaphors to persuade the crowd to do something.

To celebrate

Wedding toasts are the best example of celebratory speeches. The purpose of these speeches is to s hare an emotional or fun memory or tell stories to the audience in an attempt to enjoy and celebrate the event.

how to make a 5 minute speech

How can I talk for 5 minutes straight?

5 minutes is actually a very convenient time to give an effective speech. However, it can seem very daunting to talk for 5 minutes straight if you are trying to memorize your speech by heart.

So the first thing to effectively talk for 5 minutes straight is to avoid memorizing it by heart. You can use various interactive methods like storytelling , using props, or dividing your speech into points to make it easier for you to give your speech for such an extended time.

Create a well-defined outline for your speech and practice it a couple of times in order to make the task of giving 5-minute speeches a little easier for yourself!

All this discussion would suggest that 5-minute speeches are tricky but is that really the case?

Is a 5-minute speech hard?

While from the audience’s perspective, 5-minute speeches are nothing but a blessing; for you as a speaker, 5-minute speeches could actually be a little too less or too much. Thus making it a tad bit difficult to give effective and engaging 5-minute speeches.

If for instance, you are to present your research proposal, then 5 minutes would not do justice to years of your dedicated efforts. While on the other hand, if you are giving a speech on some generic topic like climate change then even 2 minutes would be sufficient to get your point across.

So whether 5-minute speeches are hard or not would depend completely on how you perceive them.

If you do feel that they are difficult then remember the old saying “Practice makes the man perfect!”

5-minute speech outline

Once you come up with a topic for your speech, the next step is to look at its outline. The outline of any speech refers to the way in which you plan on structuring it.

Usually, 5-minute speeches are structured in the format given below:

1. Opening the speech

For a 5-minute speech, you can spend about a minute introducing yourself and the topic you will be speaking about.

Make sure to give the audience a glimpse of what you’ll be talking about so that they get a clear idea of what to expect from your speech.

It is also recommended to start with a very effective and attractive opening line so as to grab the audience’s attention quickly.

A few ways you can open your speech are:

  • Proactive Statements : Provocative statements are the ones where you try to break the audience’s long-held views and later provide an alternative through your speech.

An example of this is

I want to discuss with you this afternoon why you are going to fail to have a good career Larry Smith
  • Imagination : Imagination is a great tool to give your audience a chance to relate to you.

You can begin your speech with the word “imagine” and then proceed to narrate an incident that is relevant to your speech. An example of this is given below.

Imagine a big explosion as you climb through 3000 feet. Imagine a plane full of smoke. Imagine an engine going clack, clack, clack. Rick Elias

Check out the video below to get a more detailed idea about the opening lines.

2. Main body

The main body of any speech is where the main essence of your speech lies. You can structure this segment in 2 ways:

a. Pointer format

In the pointer format, the idea is to divide the main content into smaller parts or points. This helps in allocating specific time to each topic. It also helps in easy recall for the audience members.

b. Flow format

A flow format is one wherein two ideas are not separated by points. Rather there is a flow maintained throughout the speech.

3. Conclusion

It is necessary to summarise your speech in the last one minute. This is also the time wherein you will have to restate your takeaway.

Ending any speech on a high note is always recommended. You can do that by quoting a famous personality or calling for action from the audience members.

Check out the short video below to understand more about closing lines in a speech.

Examples of 5-minute speeches

1. the danger of silence.

Clint Smith has done a great job with his 5-minute TED speech wherein he begins by quoting Martin Luther King Jr . He further establishes credibility when he states that he is a teacher and how the quote inspires him to challenge his students to embrace silence in their life.

He speaks as if it were spoken word poetry , emphasizing events that happened in his life and how they changed him to perceive silence in a different light.

2. 3 Things I learned while My Plane Crashed

Ric Elias has used the most effective technique to get the audience to relate to you, the technique of imagination . He begins his speech by asking the audience members to imagine being a part of a plane crash and to feel all the things that he felt when he experienced a similar incident.

There is the use of good humor as well in his speech, taking a dig at how he didn’t have to ask the flight attendant for anything as they clearly knew they were all about to die. He further jokes about his daughter when he says,

About a month later, I was at a performance by my daughter. First grader, not much of an artistic talent…Yet!

Lastly, He very effectively divides the main content of the speech into 3 points or things that he learned from his experience.

3. Being an Introvert is a Good Thing

Crystal Robello has given this amazing 5-minute speech on How being an Introvert is a good thing.

The speech is worth taking a look into as her speech provides a great argument in favor of introverts and tries to break the long-held view against them by society. She shares her own story adding a personal touch to her speech.

Further, she makes use of rhetorical questions which are questions that do not necessarily require an answer from the audience. Check out the rhetorical questions she uses below:

  • ..and I have opinions. I just didn’t want to share them, but is there anything wrong with that?
  • (mentions famous introverts) Do you think being an introvert has stopped them from achieving their goals or being happy?

Lastly, she ends her speech on a very powerful note by quoting a line from the book Quite and saying,

So the next time you see that quiet kid in the back of the class who doesn’t participate very much, I want you to think “I wonder what wonderful things they are going to come up with next?”

5-minute speech topics

In case you don’t have enough time to go through the entire topic selection process, the second-best option is to select a topic that is available on the internet.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to do another google search.

We have curated a list of 5-minute speech topics so that you can take a look at it and select a topic that suits you!

General 5-minute speech topics

  • Climate Change
  • Domestic Violence
  • Environment
  • Importance of Cleanliness
  • Women’s Day Speech
  • Teachers’ Day Speech

5-minute speech topics depending on the type of the speech

The purpose of your speech defines the type of your speech. A few broad speech types are

  • Informative speech
  • Demonstrative Speech
  • Persuasive speech

Informative Speech Topics

Informative speeches focus on educating or introducing the audience to new concepts or ideas. thus, it provides information about a topic to the audience and doesn’t try to make them believe in a particular viewpoint or opinion., 5-minute informative speech topics:.

  • The reality of adoption in India
  • Technological developments in organ transplantation
  • The freedom struggle of any country
  • History of body art
  • Women warriors who made a difference
  • The Indian freedom struggles
  • Story of the greens
  • Side effects of Anti-depressants
  • The rise of Adderall uses among college students
  • Impact of diet on Mental health
  • Impact of sleep deprivation on productivity
  • The great resignation
  • The reality of beauty pageants
  • All about sustainable traveling
  • The efficiency of ayurvedic medicine
  • Western influence on traditional yoga
  • Impact of music on mood
  • Why does playing musical instruments keep you healthy?
  • Evolution of the electric guitar
  • COVID restrictions around the world

Demonstrative Speech Topics

The only difference between an informative speech and a demonstrative speech is the use of visuals.

In a demonstrative speech, the speaker tries you help you understand a new topic or information by demonstrating a few fundamentals of the topic to you.

For example, a salesperson trying to pitch his product through his speech would make use of the product to show his audience how that product can make their lives easy.

A few verbs or phrases that you can use in your demonstrative 5-minute speech topics are:

  • N ways to..
  • Structure..

Examples of Demonstrative 5-minute speech topics

  • How to ace a test in 5 days
  • How to make mac n cheese
  • How to Organize a party
  • How to prevent a financial loss
  • How to stop procrastinating
  • How to learn a new language in 30 days
  • How to start a successful business from home
  • How to use chopsticks
  • How to wear a scarf in 5 ways
  • 10 steps to writing a blog
  • 20 ways to add protein to your diet
  • 4 ways to motivate yourself every morning
  • 5 ways to calm your anxiety
  • Top 3 ways to deal with stress
  • 5 ways colors can elevate your mood
  • 3 tips for studying abroad
  • 5 ways to know if someone is lying to you
  • Top 3 tips to take care of your white shoes
  • 10 reasons why people prefer online shopping
  • How to revive a dead plant?

Persuasive Speech Topics

Persuasive speeches are the ones wherein the speaker aims to persuade the audience to do something or act in a certain way. as discussed, it is a very common speech type used by salespeople and politicians., examples of 5 -minute persuasive speech topics.

  • How advertisements trick you
  • Why money can’t buy happiness
  • 21: the only legal age to get married
  • Being vegan and sustainable
  • Why wearing sustainable clothes should be a norm
  • Fast fashion: A compromise on the quality of clothes
  • Why reality TV shows need to stop
  • Impact of online classes on poor grades
  • Why investing early is necessary
  • Dogs over cats
  • Private colleges are not fair
  • Why do schools need to start late
  • Cults need to be banned
  • Global warming is not real
  • We can save our planet
  • Endangered species need to be saved
  • Rainwater harvesting should be mandatory in all houses
  • Why xenotransplantation is unethical
  • Depression is overrated
  • Legalizing prostitution

5-minute speech topics for college students

  • Implications of online dating
  • Are movie reviews an accurate indicator of the movie?
  • Teen depression and suicides
  • Should uniforms be compulsory?
  • Academic stress
  • Moving abroad for education
  • Dangers of substance abuse
  • 5 tips for finding the perfect major
  • Can poverty be eradicated?
  • How can world hunger be curbed?
  • Are electronic vehicles a solution to the pollution problem?
  • Legalizing same-sex marriages
  • Brain drain
  • Impact of meat production on the environment
  • Importance of communication
  • Offers and Benefits of being a college student
  • Cashless economy
  • Need for gun control
  • Is school really a safe place?
  • The dangers of Artificial Intelligence

Motivational 5-minute speech ideas

  • Not giving up: A guide for anyone with depression
  • How I overcame my anxiety
  • You are more than your thoughts
  • 3 Reasons why you need to stop comparing yourself to others
  • 4 techniques to beat procrastination
  • Being a great leader is more than the position
  • Importance of positive thinking
  • Breaking societal stereotypes
  • More than my skin color
  • Embracing everybody
  • Failure: A way to learn and grow
  • Time management and self-growth
  • Self-development: a key to self-growth
  • Consistency over motivation
  • The joy of being in nature

General 5-minute presentation ideas

  • The future of communication
  • Population problem
  • Climate Crisis
  • The melting glaciers
  • Pollution and its solution
  • Changes required in the education system
  • Discrimination and hate crimes
  • The rise in migration and poor housing facilities in urban areas
  • Advantages of Artificial intelligence
  • Everything you need to know about the metaverse

5-minute presentation topics for a job interview

how to make a 5 minute speech

  • The future is cashless
  • Data is the new oil
  • Dangers of data privacy
  • women empowerment
  • Gender equality
  • Importance of communication skills
  • The education system in India
  • My biggest accomplishment
  • My role model

5-minute funny presentation ideas

  • How to memorize notes for exams without studying
  • How to pretend to be interested in the conversation?
  • If your boss was honest with you
  • Tips to handle a bridezilla
  • How to prepare a presentation you forgot about?
  • Way to steal your boyfriend’s sweatshirts
  • 4 tips to be the center of attention
  • How to Get a Toddler to stop talking in 383 Easy Steps?
  • How to Live in Your Mom’s Basement?
  • Ways to ruin a date
  • The perfect way to lie
  • When is it okay to give up?
  • 5 things That Are Better Than Doing the Dishes
  • Where to find your missing sock?
  • How do you win in life?
  • Why being a millionaire is overrated?
  • How to bathe a dog?
  • How to order at the subway?
  • How to ask for directions?
  • Top pick-up lines ever used in history

Level up your public speaking in 15 minutes!

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Finding the right 5-minute speech topic can be a task, but ensuring the audience’s preferences, your own interests, and knowledge areas can help in narrowing down the range of topics to a large extent.

If you do not have enough time to research and narrow down on one topic, you can pick out one topic from a plethora of topics available online.

Hrideep Barot

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how to make a 5 minute speech

  • Games, topic printables & more
  • The 4 main speech types
  • Example speeches
  • Commemorative
  • Declamation
  • Demonstration
  • Informative
  • Introduction
  • Student Council
  • Speech topics
  • Poems to read aloud
  • How to write a speech
  • Using props/visual aids
  • Acute anxiety help
  • Breathing exercises
  • Letting go - free e-course
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  • Delivery overview
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  • How to read a speech
  • 9 vocal aspects
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How to write a good speech in 7 steps

By:  Susan Dugdale  

- an easily followed format for writing a great speech

Did you know writing a speech doesn't have be an anxious, nail biting experience?

Unsure? Don't be.

You may have lived with the idea you were never good with words for a long time. Or perhaps giving speeches at school brought you out in cold sweats.

However learning how to write a speech is relatively straight forward when you learn to write out loud.

And that's the journey I am offering to take you on: step by step.

To learn quickly, go slow

Take all the time you need. This speech format has 7 steps, each building on the next.

Walk, rather than run, your way through all of them. Don't be tempted to rush. Familiarize yourself with the ideas. Try them out.

I know there are well-advertised short cuts and promises of 'write a speech in 5 minutes'. However in reality they only truly work for somebody who already has the basic foundations of speech writing in place.

The foundation of good speech writing 

These steps are the backbone of sound speech preparation. Learn and follow them well at the outset and yes, given more experience and practice you could probably flick something together quickly. Like any skill, the more it's used, the easier it gets.

In the meantime...

Step 1: Begin with a speech overview or outline

Are you in a hurry? Without time to read a whole page? Grab ... The Quick How to Write a Speech Checklist And come back to get the details later.

  • WHO you are writing your speech for (your target audience)
  • WHY you are preparing this speech. What's the main purpose of your speech? Is it to inform or tell your audience about something? To teach them a new skill or demonstrate something? To persuade or to entertain? (See 4 types of speeches: informative, demonstrative, persuasive and special occasion or entertaining for more.) What do you want them to think, feel or do as a result of listening the speech?
  • WHAT your speech is going to be about (its topic) - You'll want to have thought through your main points and have ranked them in order of importance. And have sorted the supporting research you need to make those points effectively.
  • HOW much time you have for your speech eg. 3 minutes, 5 minutes... The amount of time you've been allocated dictates how much content you need. If you're unsure check this page: how many words per minute in a speech: a quick reference guide . You'll find estimates of the number of words required for 1 - 10 minute speeches by slow, medium and fast talkers.

Use an outline

The best way to make sure you deliver a perfect speech is to start by carefully completing a speech outline covering the essentials: WHO, WHY, WHAT and HOW.

Beginning to write without thinking your speech through is a bit like heading off on a journey not knowing why you're traveling or where you're going to end up. You can find yourself lost in a deep, dark, murky muddle of ideas very quickly!

Pulling together a speech overview or outline is a much safer option. It's the map you'll follow to get where you want to go.

Get a blank speech outline template to complete

Click the link to find out a whole lot more about preparing a speech outline . ☺ You'll also find a free printable blank speech outline template.  I recommend using it!

Understanding speech construction

Before you begin to write, using your completed outline as a guide, let's briefly look at what you're aiming to prepare.

  • an opening or introduction
  • the body where the bulk of the information is given
  • and an ending (or summary).

Imagine your speech as a sandwich

Image: gourmet sandwich with labels on the top (opening) and bottom (conclusion) slices of bread and filling, (body). Text: Key ingredients for a superb speech sandwich.

If you think of a speech as a sandwich you'll get the idea.

The opening and ending are the slices of bread holding the filling (the major points or the body of your speech) together.

You can build yourself a simple sandwich with one filling (one big idea) or you could go gourmet and add up to three or, even five. The choice is yours.

But whatever you choose to serve, as a good cook, you need to consider who is going to eat it! And that's your audience.

So let's find out who they are before we do anything else. 

Step 2: Know who you are talking to

Understanding your audience.

Did you know a  good speech is never written from the speaker's point of view?  ( If you need to know more about why check out this page on  building rapport .)

Begin with the most important idea/point on your outline.

Consider HOW you can explain (show, tell) that to your audience in the most effective way for them to easily understand it.   

Writing from the audience's point of view

how to make a 5 minute speech

To help you write from an audience point of view, it's a good idea to identify either a real person or the type of person who is most likely to be listening to you.

Make sure you select someone who represents the "majority" of the people who will be in your audience. That is they are neither struggling to comprehend you at the bottom of your scale or light-years ahead at the top.

Now imagine they are sitting next to you eagerly waiting to hear what you're going to say. Give them a name, for example, Joe, to help make them real.

Ask yourself

  • How do I need to tailor my information to meet Joe's needs? For example, do you tell personal stories to illustrate your main points? Absolutely! Yes. This is a very powerful technique. (Click storytelling in speeches to find out more.)
  • What type or level of language is right for Joe as well as my topic? For example if I use jargon (activity, industry or profession specific vocabulary) will it be understood?

Step 3: Writing as you speak

Writing oral language.

Write down what you want to say about your first main point as if you were talking directly to Joe.

If it helps, say it all out loud before you write it down and/or record it.

Use the information below as a guide

Infographic: The Characteristics of Spoken Language - 7 points of difference with examples.

(Click to download The Characteristics of Spoken Language  as a pdf.) 

You do not have to write absolutely everything you're going to say down * but you do need to write down, or outline, the sequence of ideas to ensure they are logical and easily followed.

Remember too, to explain or illustrate your point with examples from your research. 

( * Tip: If this is your first speech the safety net of having everything written down could be just what you need. It's easier to recover from a patch of jitters when you have a word by word manuscript than if you have either none, or a bare outline. Your call!)

Step 4: Checking tone and language

The focus of this step is re-working what you've done in Step 2 and 3.

You identified who you were talking to (Step 2) and in Step 3, wrote up your first main point.  Is it right? Have you made yourself clear?  Check it.

Graphic:cartoon drawing of a woman sitting in front of a laptop. Text:How to write a speech: checking tone and language.

How well you complete this step depends on how well you understand the needs of the people who are going to listen to your speech.

Please do not assume because you know what you're talking about the person (Joe) you've chosen to represent your audience will too. Joe is not a mind-reader!

How to check what you've prepared

  • Check the "tone" of your language . Is it right for the occasion, subject matter and your audience?
  • Check the length of your sentences. You need short sentences. If they're too long or complicated you risk losing your listeners.

Check for jargon too. These are industry, activity or group exclusive words.

For instance take the phrase: authentic learning . This comes from teaching and refers to connecting lessons to the daily life of students. Authentic learning is learning that is relevant and meaningful for students. If you're not a teacher you may not understand the phrase.

The use of any vocabulary requiring insider knowledge needs to be thought through from the audience perspective. Jargon can close people out.

  • Read what you've written out loud. If it flows naturally, in a logical manner, continue the process with your next main idea. If it doesn't, rework.

We use whole sentences and part ones, and we mix them up with asides or appeals e.g. "Did you get that? Of course you did. Right...Let's move it along. I was saying ..."

Click for more about the differences between spoken and written language .

And now repeat the process

Repeat this process for the remainder of your main ideas.

Because you've done the first one carefully, the rest should follow fairly easily.

Step 5: Use transitions

Providing links or transitions between main ideas.

Between each of your main ideas you need to provide a bridge or pathway for your audience. The clearer the pathway or bridge, the easier it is for them to make the transition from one idea to the next.

Graphic - girl walking across a bridge. Text - Using transitions to link ideas.

If your speech contains more than three main ideas and each is building on the last, then consider using a "catch-up" or summary as part of your transitions.

Is your speech being evaluated? Find out exactly what aspects you're being assessed on using this standard speech evaluation form

Link/transition examples

A link can be as simple as:

"We've explored one scenario for the ending of Block Buster 111, but let's consider another. This time..."

What follows this transition is the introduction of Main Idea Two.

Here's a summarizing link/transition example:

"We've ended Blockbuster 111 four ways so far. In the first, everybody died. In the second, everybody died BUT their ghosts remained to haunt the area. In the third, one villain died. His partner reformed and after a fight-out with the hero, they both strode off into the sunset, friends forever. In the fourth, the hero dies in a major battle but is reborn sometime in the future.

And now what about one more? What if nobody died? The fifth possibility..."

Go back through your main ideas checking the links. Remember Joe as you go. Try each transition or link out loud and really listen to yourself. Is it obvious? Easily followed?

Keep them if they are clear and concise.

For more about transitions (with examples) see Andrew Dlugan's excellent article, Speech Transitions: Magical words and Phrases .

Step 6: The end of your speech

The ideal ending is highly memorable . You want it to live on in the minds of your listeners long after your speech is finished. Often it combines a call to action with a summary of major points.

Comic Graphic: End with a bang

Example speech endings

Example 1: The desired outcome of a speech persuading people to vote for you in an upcoming election is that they get out there on voting day and do so. You can help that outcome along by calling them to register their support by signing a prepared pledge statement as they leave.

"We're agreed we want change. You can help us give it to you by signing this pledge statement as you leave. Be part of the change you want to see!

Example 2: The desired outcome is increased sales figures. The call to action is made urgent with the introduction of time specific incentives.

"You have three weeks from the time you leave this hall to make that dream family holiday in New Zealand yours. Can you do it? Will you do it? The kids will love it. Your wife will love it. Do it now!"

How to figure out the right call to action

A clue for working out what the most appropriate call to action might be, is to go back to your original purpose for giving the speech.

  • Was it to motivate or inspire?
  • Was it to persuade to a particular point of view?
  • Was it to share specialist information?
  • Was it to celebrate a person, a place, time or event?

Ask yourself what you want people to do as a result of having listened to your speech.

For more about ending speeches

Visit this page for more about how to end a speech effectively . You'll find two additional types of speech endings with examples.

Write and test

Write your ending and test it out loud. Try it out on a friend, or two. Is it good? Does it work?

Step 7: The introduction

Once you've got the filling (main ideas) the linking and the ending in place, it's time to focus on the introduction.

The introduction comes last as it's the most important part of your speech. This is the bit that either has people sitting up alert or slumped and waiting for you to end. It's the tone setter!

What makes a great speech opening?

Ideally you want an opening that makes listening to you the only thing the 'Joes' in the audience want to do.

You want them to forget they're hungry or that their chair is hard or that their bills need paying.

The way to do that is to capture their interest straight away. You do this with a "hook".

Hooks to catch your audience's attention

Hooks come in as many forms as there are speeches and audiences. Your task is work out what specific hook is needed to catch your audience.

Graphic: shoal of fish and two hooked fishing lines. Text: Hooking and holding attention

Go back to the purpose. Why are you giving this speech?

Once you have your answer, consider your call to action. What do you want the audience to do, and, or take away, as a result of listening to you?

Next think about the imaginary or real person you wrote for when you were focusing on your main ideas.

Choosing the best hook

  • Is it humor?
  • Would shock tactics work?
  • Is it a rhetorical question?
  • Is it formality or informality?
  • Is it an outline or overview of what you're going to cover, including the call to action?
  • Or is it a mix of all these elements?

A hook example

Here's an example from a fictional political speech. The speaker is lobbying for votes. His audience are predominately workers whose future's are not secure.

"How's your imagination this morning? Good? (Pause for response from audience) Great, I'm glad. Because we're going to put it to work starting right now.

I want you to see your future. What does it look like? Are you happy? Is everything as you want it to be? No? Let's change that. We could do it. And we could do it today.

At the end of this speech you're going to be given the opportunity to change your world, for a better one ...

No, I'm not a magician. Or a simpleton with big ideas and precious little commonsense. I'm an ordinary man, just like you. And I have a plan to share!"

And then our speaker is off into his main points supported by examples. The end, which he has already foreshadowed in his opening, is the call to vote for him.

Prepare several hooks

Experiment with several openings until you've found the one that serves your audience, your subject matter and your purpose best.

For many more examples of speech openings go to: how to write a speech introduction . You'll find 12 of the very best ways to start a speech.

how to make a 5 minute speech

That completes the initial seven steps towards writing your speech. If you've followed them all the way through, congratulations, you now have the text of your speech!

Although you might have the words, you're still a couple of steps away from being ready to deliver them. Both of them are essential if you want the very best outcome possible. They are below. Please take them.

Step 8: Checking content and timing

This step pulls everything together.

Check once, check twice, check three times & then once more!

Go through your speech really carefully.

On the first read through check you've got your main points in their correct order with supporting material, plus an effective introduction and ending.

On the second read through check the linking passages or transitions making sure they are clear and easily followed.

On the third reading check your sentence structure, language use and tone.

Double, triple check the timing

Now go though once more.

This time read it aloud slowly and time yourself.

If it's too long for the time allowance you've been given make the necessary cuts.

Start by looking at your examples rather than the main ideas themselves. If you've used several examples to illustrate one principal idea, cut the least important out.

Also look to see if you've repeated yourself unnecessarily or, gone off track. If it's not relevant, cut it.

Repeat the process, condensing until your speech fits the required length, preferably coming in just under your time limit.

You can also find out how approximately long it will take you to say the words you have by using this very handy words to minutes converter . It's an excellent tool, one I frequently use. While it can't give you a precise time, it does provide a reasonable estimate.

Graphic: Click to read example speeches of all sorts.

Step 9: Rehearsing your speech

And NOW you are finished with writing the speech, and are ready for REHEARSAL .

how to make a 5 minute speech

Please don't be tempted to skip this step. It is not an extra thrown in for good measure. It's essential.

The "not-so-secret" secret of successful speeches combines good writing with practice, practice and then, practicing some more.

Go to how to practice public speaking and you'll find rehearsal techniques and suggestions to boost your speech delivery from ordinary to extraordinary.

The Quick How to Write a Speech Checklist

Before you begin writing you need:.

  • Your speech OUTLINE with your main ideas ranked in the order you're going to present them. (If you haven't done one complete this 4 step sample speech outline . It will make the writing process much easier.)
  • You also need to know WHO you're speaking to, the PURPOSE of the speech and HOW long you're speaking for

The basic format

  • the body where you present your main ideas

Split your time allowance so that you spend approximately 70% on the body and 15% each on the introduction and ending.

How to write the speech

  • Write your main ideas out incorporating your examples and research
  • Link them together making sure each flows in a smooth, logical progression
  • Write your ending, summarizing your main ideas briefly and end with a call for action
  • Write your introduction considering the 'hook' you're going to use to get your audience listening
  • An often quoted saying to explain the process is: Tell them what you're going to tell them (Introduction) Tell them (Body of your speech - the main ideas plus examples) Tell them what you told them (The ending)

TEST before presenting. Read aloud several times to check the flow of material, the suitability of language and the timing.

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Inspirational Guide to Writing a 5-Minute Speech

Table of Contents

How to write a five minute speech  is a task that involves precise delivery, detailed planning, and intelligent drafting.

Preparing to deliver a powerful speech in only a few minutes might seem impossible, but it is possible. Writing a compelling and memorable five-minute speech is easy if you understand what makes one work.

Here, we discuss tips and tricks professionals use to write an effective and engaging five-minute speech. With these simple steps and guidelines, you can craft a captivating speech quickly and easily.

Why You Might Need to Give a Five-Minute Speech

A five-minute speech might be necessary for specific situations. Where you’re limited by time, you’ll still need to effectively communicate your points and accomplish your objectives within your allotted time.

Here are some reasons why you might need to give a five-minute speech.

Time Constraints

Giving a five-minute speech allows you to convey your message within the allotted time frame effectively . One reason to give a five-minute speech is that you may be required to do so due to time constraints. You may be given a specific time slot if you are asked to speak at a conference or event where multiple speakers are scheduled. 

Limited Attention Span

Another reason to give a five-minute speech is that it allows you to capture and maintain your audience’s attention . Studies have shown that the average attention span of an adult is around eight seconds. This means making your message clear and concise to keep your audience engaged is important. A five-minute speech lets you do just that by presenting your ideas concisely and straightforwardly. 

Practice and Improvement

Giving a five-minute speech can help you improve your communication skills. It is also an excellent opportunity to practice and improve your public speaking skills. Focus on delivering a clear and compelling message within a shorter period, so you can build confidence and improve your speech. 

Impact and Persuasion

Finally, giving a five-minute speech can be an effective way to make an impact and persuade your audience. By presenting your ideas clearly and concisely, you can more easily convey your message and persuade your audience to take action. It’s possible to win your colleagues’ hearts and minds by giving a short speech.

How to Write a Five Minute Speech

man speaking in front of crowd

Writing an effective five-minute speech can be a daunting task. After all, you want your audience to stay engaged and not become bored or disengaged. It’s crucial to organize your speech as well as possible to make sure that your message gets across to your audience.

The following tips will help you create a five-minute speech that will leave your audience wanting more!

Choose an Interesting Topic

The first step in writing a successful five-minute speech is choosing an interesting and relevant topic. Try to think of something timely or engaging that your audience would find helpful or entertaining. You could also research popular topics from other speakers or news outlets to get ideas. Once you have chosen a subject for your speech, make sure to narrow its scope to fit within the time limit. 

Research Your Topic

Become knowledgeable about the subject by reading related articles, watching videos, and listening to podcasts. Once you’ve identified your topic, start researching it in depth. This research process should help inform your opinion and give you new perspectives on the issue. Additionally, try to pick out key points that may bolster or strengthen your argument. 

Gather Supporting Evidence

When crafting a persuasive five-minute speech, having compelling evidence is essential. Just make sure that any evidence you use is reliable and accurate.

Include examples and facts to back up your statements whenever possible. This will make your arguments more convincing and give your audience a stronger impression. 

Outline Your Speech

Before starting to write, take some time to plan out what you are going to say. Writing an outline helps break down the information into smaller chunks, making it easier to organize when composing the actual speech.

The outline should include the main ideas you plan to discuss as well as any other supporting points during your presentation. Plus, creating an outline beforehand will also save you time in the long run. 

Craft Your Introduction

Your speech’s start should draw the audience in and establish the general tone for the remainder of it. Keep it short, sweet, and memorable. What you say in the introduction will resonate with your audience. Your introduction serves as a good bargaining chip for great content.

Write the Rest of the Speech

Since you have already conceptualized your structure and created a rough outline, it’s time to start filling in the blanks with real content. Make sure the introduction flows seamlessly from your introduction to your conclusions. 

Five-Minutes Speech Example

Good morning, everyone! Today I’m here to talk about the importance of cultivating a collaborative work environment in our office. As we all know, teamwork is integral to any successful business venture. We must foster cooperation and mutual respect to reaching our desired objectives.

I have plenty of professional experience working collaboratively. From facilitating negotiations between stakeholders to encouraging colleagues to unite under common goals, I understand how important it is to nurture cooperation within teams. Furthermore, while working in high-pressure situations, I’ve seen firsthand how camaraderie can help alleviate stress and bring out the best in people.

So let’s start by discussing ways we can increase collaboration amongst ourselves:

First, we must actively listen to each other instead of rushing to judgment or being overly critical. This will ensure that everyone feels comfortable speaking up and sharing their ideas without fear of judgment.

Second, we must always strive to be open-minded and welcoming towards new perspectives as they often present solutions that would otherwise not be considered.

And finally, we should practice respecting one another’s time and workloads. This way, we can ensure that everyone gets their tasks done on schedule without impeding others.

These simple actions can create a workplace culture characterized by harmony and synergy rather than competition and antagonism. So let’s commit to making this happen together – thank you very much for your time!

Learn how to write a five minute speech that captivates your audience. Careful preparation and practice are essential.

Choose a relevant and exciting topic, organize your thoughts, use supporting materials, and rehearse your delivery. Improving your public speaking skills and making an impact are great reasons to give a five-minute speech. 

With the proper preparation, you can deliver a powerful message that achieves your goals. The key is writing with emotion, ensuring each sentence contains at least one uncommon word. This will add interest and uniqueness to your presentation.

Inspirational Guide to Writing a 5-Minute Speech

Abir Ghenaiet

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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Public Speaking Tips & Speech Topics

169 Five-Minute Topics for a Killer Speech or Presentation

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Jim Peterson has over 20 years experience on speech writing. He wrote over 300 free speech topic ideas and how-to guides for any kind of public speaking and speech writing assignments at My Speech Class.

There are pros and cons to giving a 5-minute presentation. One good thing is the length. Long presentations can easily become boring, and you have a much better chance of keeping your audience engaged from beginning to end than with a 5-minute speech.

In this article:

Food & Drink

Relationships, social media, supernatural, list of topics for a 5-minute speech or presentation.

5 minute speech topics

Choosing a topic is extremely important. To help you getting started, here is a list of some killer topics for 5-minute speech or presentation.

  • Why it’s better to adopt a pet from a shelter
  • Choosing the perfect leash for your dog
  • What is the best food for your pet?
  • How much exercise does your pet need?
  • The horror of puppy mills
  • Bringing back endangered species
  • How long are giraffes in labor
  • Domestication of horses
  • Picking the right vet
  • Sleeping with your dog
  • Why should you get goats in pairs
  • Ethics of zoos
  • The domestication of dogs
  • How to keep a goldfish alive for a long time
  • How to choose the right pet
  • Why cats are so independent
  • When to get a dog
  • What kind of dog is best for a household with children
  • Why therapy animals work
  • How to find the money to go to college
  • How much control should the federal government have over curriculum design?
  • How to choose a college
  • Ideas for narrowing down a career choice
  • When to declare a major
  • Benefits of charter schools
  • Why charter schools are bad
  • Negative effects of school vouchers
  • Attracting the right people to the teaching profession
  • Discipline in the classroom
  • Memory tricks that work
  • Why homework is bad
  • Should students still have to use the books in the library?
  • Why cursive should still be taught in schools
  • Textbooks vs. tablets
  • Benefits of going to a trade school
  • Are there positives to taking a gap year?
  • The problem with low teacher pay
  • Social media in the classroom
  • Benefits of integrating apps into the classroom
  • The importance of attachment
  • How to compromise on names for your kids
  • What is the ideal age to start a family
  • How important are grandparents
  • Traveling with children
  • Strategies for potty training
  • How to help a child with nightmares
  • Middle child syndrome
  • How many kids should you have?
  • How to recognize a gifted child
  • When your child doesn’t like to eat
  • How to encourage good eating habits
  • When to intervene with a bully
  • Being active in your child’s school
  • The benefits of aunts and uncles
  • When family falls apart
  • The first days with a new baby
  • When to call the doctor
  • Caring for an ailing parent
  • Balancing home and career
  • When to start saving for retirement
  • IRA vs. Roth IRA
  • When should you start saving for your children’s college education?
  • Crowdfunded loans vs. the bank
  • How Kickstarter changed everything
  • Using your HSA
  • How to apply for a mortgage
  • Improving your credit score
  • How to negotiate a raise
  • Renting vs. buying
  • How does compound interest work?
  • How to ask for a promotion
  • When is it time to get a new job?
  • What to do when you find out a coworker makes more than you
  • How much of a down payment on a house do you really need?
  • Living on minimum wage
  • Is it better to lease or buy a new car?
  • How to budget for a new car
  • What to do when you lose your job
  • Using credit cards responsibly
  • Is rare meat safe?
  • Vegan vs. vegetarian
  • Microbrews vs. standard brewing
  • How to make your own wine
  • What are hops?
  • Best plants for a backyard garden
  • When to transplant sprouts
  • Bananas and plantains
  • How to make a brine for pickling
  • Where did brunch begin?
  • Why pineapple belongs on a pizza
  • When to order in
  • Planning a menu
  • Meal planning and grocery lists
  • Is free range really better?
  • The perfect macaroni and cheese
  • Growing your own herbs
  • How to make your own pasta
  • How to make cookies that are softer
  • Benefits of drinking black coffee
  • Benefits of a gluten-free diet
  • Is the paleo diet accurate?
  • Effects of not getting enough sleep
  • Are meal subscription services worth it?
  • Downsides to Crossfit
  • Benefits of yoga
  • How to meditate
  • Can therapy change the way your mind works?
  • Are GMOs really dangerous?
  • The truth about diet soda
  • Importance of hydration
  • Why cleanses don’t work
  • Best juice diet
  • Most effective exercise for burning calories
  • Do essential oils really work?
  • The history of television
  • When the railway was king
  • Thwarted assassination attempts
  • The first Olympics
  • Media during World War II
  • Military advancements between World War I and World War II
  • War photographers
  • Things you didn’t learn in history class
  • Historical lies
  • The early Internet
  • Why podcasts are great
  • Most unbiased news channel
  • When do people tune into the news most
  • How relevant are women’s magazines?
  • Cable vs. Netflix
  • How worried should you be about your browsing history?
  • How to limit screen time
  • Why it’s bad to use your smartphone right before bed
  • Apple vs. Android
  • The best age to get married
  • How to get an amicable divorce
  • Finding a roommate
  • Splitting financial responsibilities evenly among the household
  • How to have a happy marriage
  • Choosing your family
  • How to fight effectively
  • Signs of an abusive relationship
  • What to look for in a spouse
  • When to let it go
  • How to overcome self-doubt
  • Faking confidence
  • Becoming comfortable with yourself
  • How to say no
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Controlling anxiety
  • Qualities of a leader
  • The importance of self-care
  • Identifying triggers
  • How to eliminate negativity
  • Making new habits
  • Ethics of posting pictures of your children on social media
  • How Internet ads are tailored to you
  • How to advertise your business on Facebook
  • Privacy and social media
  • How to protect your personal information
  • When to allow your kids to get their own social media accounts
  • Why you shouldn’t post your location on social media
  • How to use a hashtag
  • Uncovering Twitter Bots
  • Snapchat etiquette
  • Proof that aliens exist
  • Debunking crop circles
  • Is Bigfoot real?
  • Proof that ghosts exist

Good 2-Minute Speech Topics for Students

13 All-Time Best TED Talks

23 thoughts on “169 Five-Minute Topics for a Killer Speech or Presentation”

Ideal Teacher

is life really a blessing?

This has helped me so much for my English class thank you!

Why personal (private) rules are helpful

I got an A!!!!!

Risks of abortion Wage gap How social media impacts education/mental health Why it’s important to have a good stable mental health Do teenagers really spend all their time on their phones Gsce requirements unfair or reasonable

Here is a kind of a dense topic, domestic abuse. Why does it happen? What are some ways to identify a abusive relationship? How does it affect families? Why is the abuser abusive?

We have presentation next week. I can’t think about the topic. Please help me!

i want a topic that involves supernatural: HELP

Is water wet?

death, what if the earth loses air entirely for five minutes, what is the most common death.

I have presentation next two day concerning with my classroom. I must choose five topics but i can’t think how to choose these topics. Please! help me

Tanks for giving me an A in drama

so helpful thank you

thanks this helped with my speach at school

i need a best topic to present on that is educational to consumer science and food nutrition students. can i please be assisted

what if the earth stopped spinning pros and cons of being an artist how Gen Z affected slang why people are afraid of the dark why knowing how to play an instrument is beneficial/not needed

Here’s a controversial one: are trans, intersex and non-binary people getting the same right as every else?

I have a presentation this week I don’t understand how to find a good title please help me I’m a diploma student the speech must have more than 10 minutes

How do create presentation for famous place in Sri Lanka

i need something for my oral communication class. it must be attention grabbing and not an argument. please help

I need ideas on a slide show presentation, a kid appropiate topic.

Pls I need more ideas on self help

hi lol i like these topics but i need a trendy one like something new or like a natural phenomene or someth like that… 🙂

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How to Give a Great Impromptu Speech

Last Updated: March 19, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Lynn Kirkham . Lynn Kirkham is a Professional Public Speaker and Founder of Yes You Can Speak, a San Francisco Bay Area-based public speaking educational business empowering thousands of professionals to take command of whatever stage they've been given - from job interviews, boardroom talks to TEDx and large conference platforms. Lynn was chosen as the official TEDx Berkeley speaker coach for the last four years and has worked with executives at Google, Facebook, Intuit, Genentech, Intel, VMware, and others. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 407,548 times.

Most speeches are the result of careful planning, revision and practice. There may be times, however, when a situation demands that you give an impromptu speech with little or no time to prepare. When you find yourself in an unexpected public speaking scenario, you’ll be improvising what you say, which means you’ll have to be able to think on your feet. Following a basic structure, pacing yourself and staying composed will help you deliver an oration you can be proud of, or at least survive with minimal embarrassment.

Setting Up an Unexpected Speech

A speech outline, showing the components of an introduction, body paragraph and conclusion.

  • Most of the time when you’re giving an impromptu speech, you’ll be singled out to say a few words on the spot. Since you’ll only have a few moments, preparing yourself is more about getting yourself in the right state of mind than it is knowing exactly what you’re going to say.
  • If you really need to milk it, you can buy yourself some extra time by shaking hands, exchanging pleasantries or adjusting the microphone stand before speaking.

Step 2 Calm your nerves.

  • Assume that everyone around you wants to see you succeed. This will help put you at ease. Expecting yourself to fail will only destroy your composure and make you more fearful of your audience.
  • Confront the reality of your situation to avoid being blindsided by panic. Accept that you have to give a speech and then focus all your resources on giving a good one.

Step 3 Project a confident aura.

  • Oftentimes, the more confident you make yourself appear, the more confident you’ll feel.
  • Relax! Speaking in front of a crowd is not that big a deal. Even if you make a mistake, it’s not the end of the world.

Step 4 Make a short introduction.

  • Don’t just jump right into the main idea of your speech. Test the waters by getting used to speaking and sharing a little about yourself first.

Delivering an Effective Speech

Step 1 Speak fluidly and naturally.

  • Use simple sentences that follow a logical progression and enunciate your words carefully to keep yourself from getting tongue-tied.
  • Slowing yourself down a little will give your mind time to catch up and formulate new ideas.

Step 2 Keep it brief.

  • Two minutes will fly by once you start speaking. Despite your reservations about being put on the spot, you may actually find it harder to give a short speech than a long one.

Step 3 Tell a story.

  • A good way to give your speech a solid beginning, middle and end is to present details chronologically. For example start with “when I first became friends with John, he…”, follow that up with “now that we’re coworkers, we have more fun than ever…” and conclude with “I have no doubt that the future of our friendship will be just as entertaining.”
  • When describing personal experiences, avoid sharing opinions on irrelevant controversial subjects.

Step 4 Get your audience laughing.

  • Humor is a great icebreaker and also makes it easier to hold your audience’s attention.
  • Be sure any jokes you make are suitable for the age and demographic of your audience, as well as the occasion itself.

Ending on a High Note

Step 1 Have an endpoint in mind.

  • As with the rest of your speech, keep your conclusion brief. It’s alright to sign off with a simple “thank you for your time” or “let’s hear it for the newlyweds.”

Step 2 Make your conclusion memorable.

  • If you’re planning on making a specific request or appeal, as for a business conference, the end of your speech is the proper time to do it.
  • The conclusion is the perfect occasion to come out with something especially heartfelt. Emotions will run high and the crowd will be moved by your sentiments.

Step 3 Thank your listeners.

  • You don’t have to thank every important figure at the event individually. A general expression of gratitude is all that’s needed.
  • Be clear who you’re supposed to hand the microphone or floor off to so that you don’t end your speech by looking around in confusion. [11] X Research source

Step 4 Go easy on yourself.

  • Impromptu speeches are mostly appraised by the willingness of the speaker to rise to the occasion. There’s no sense in being too critical of your performance since you’ll have had no time to work on it beforehand.

Expert Q&A

Lynn Kirkham

  • Practice for unexpected speaking scenarios by volunteering to give impromptu speeches at casual events. Thanks Helpful 16 Not Helpful 2
  • If you're using a microphone, stay within optimal range for your voice to be amplified. Don't move the microphone too close or too far away from your mouth. Thanks Helpful 14 Not Helpful 2
  • While brainstorming, quickly come up with three or four main points to cover. Thanks Helpful 18 Not Helpful 4

how to make a 5 minute speech

  • Steer clear of subjects you don't know much about. Thanks Helpful 13 Not Helpful 2
  • Be careful not to offend your audience. Not only is it bad form and will make your speech be perceived as a failure, it could actually harm your standing among your acquaintances. Thanks Helpful 12 Not Helpful 3
  • Take a moment to get your appearance in order before presenting yourself. Steal a quick glance in the mirror or have a trusted friend tell you if your hair is a mess, your shirt is untucked, you have food stuck in your teeth, etc. Thanks Helpful 10 Not Helpful 3
  • Don't use generic, pre-written speeches pulled from the internet or oration guidebooks. These can easily come off as stilted and inorganic. Your audience will be able to tell if you're simply going through the motions. Thanks Helpful 9 Not Helpful 4

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How to Prepare a 7-Minute Speech in 5 Minutes or Less

  • Think of your audience. If you have just 5 minutes to prepare, chances are you’re in the room with them already. Look around.
  • Decide what you want to tell them.
  • Add 3 stories relevant to your audience and to what you want to tell them. You’ll have about 90 seconds for each of them.
  • For each story, add what it means to the audience in the context of what you want to tell them.
  • Add a call to action to the end.
  • Add an opening statement (yes, this does belong to the end).
  • Time’s up. Go give the speech!

The quality of your speech will depend mainly on the following two factors:

a) The relevance of your stories and

b) How well you’ll be able to tell them

To improve a): Collect your stories. Keep adding to your storybook.

To improve b): Refine your stories. Keep telling them, improving them and telling them again.

There’s a lot of preparation behind impromptu speaking.

Start working on your stories now.

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Speech Length: How Many Words Is A 5 Minute Speech

  • October 21, 2023

Table of Contents:

Word count metrics for memorable speeches, a comprehensive guide to writing and delivering impactful 5 minute speeches, 1- dynamics of speech length, 2- the importance of timing in speeches, 3- engagement and audience attention, 4- timing tips for keeping audience engagement, 5- decoding the 5 minute speech, 6- word count guide for a 5 minute speech, 7- factors influencing speech speed, 8- examples of 5-minute speeches, 9- how to write a 5 minute speech, 10- planning and structuring your speech, 11- speech writing tips and techniques, 12- perfecting your 5 minute speech delivery, 13- practice makes perfect, 14- speech delivery techniques, use a conversational tone, maintain eye contact with your audience., modulate your voice, faqs about 5 minute speech, how many pages is a 5 minute speech, how many words per minute in a speech, how much does it cost to write a five minute speech, conclusion:.

Experience the whole article by listening!

When it comes to public speaking or presentations, understanding the concept of speech length is critical. The common question is, “How many words in a 5 minute speech?” It’s an interesting query, pointing towards the essence of timing and pace in speeches. 

In this article, we’ll delve into the intricacies of length, including factors that influence it and how to gauge the ideal number of words for a five-minute discourse. Whether preparing for a business presentation, a school debate, or a toast at a wedding, knowing how to manage your length effectively can be a game-changer.

Speech length isn’t just about counting words but also understanding the speech rate. According to various studies, the average speaking speed ranges from 125 to 150 words per minute (wpm). But this isn’t a hard and fast rule. Several factors can influence the speed at which a person speaks, including their natural speaking style, comfort level, and type of communication. For instance, a nervous speaker might rush through their points, while an experienced speaker might take their time, utilizing pauses for effect.

One might wonder why we stress timing in speeches. The answer lies in engaging and keeping the audience’s attention. We live in an era of short attention spans, where every second counts. A speech that drags on can lose its impact, leaving listeners bored or disinterested. In contrast, a speech that’s too rushed might leave the audience confused and unable to keep up. Therefore, balancing the timing and pacing of your speech is essential in delivering an effective presentation. The optimal length allows for a comfortable pace that aligns with the listeners’ attention span.

Understanding your audience’s attention span is paramount when it comes to speeches. It is reported that the human attention span is about 10-20 minutes long, depending on interest, distractions, and individual variations. Therefore, a 5-minute speech is an excellent duration to maintain audience engagement. If you’re looking for techniques on how to memorize a speech fast , we have resources that can help. It is short enough to keep the audience from losing interest and long enough to allow the speaker to deliver a compelling argument or tell a captivating story. 

Crafting an engaging speech isn’t just about the content; it’s also about managing your speech length. Breaking your speech down into digestible segments can help maintain audience engagement. Instead of providing an information overload, deliver your points concisely, and take regular pauses. This gives your audience time to process and absorb the information. Furthermore, using a conversational tone can make your speech more relatable, helping to keep your audience engaged throughout.

A 5-minute speech, given the average speech speed, can fit approximately 625 to 750 words. But remember, this is just an approximation. Each speaker is unique, and so is their rate of speech. Some people naturally speak faster, while others prefer a slower pace. Your comfort level, the complexity of your topic, and your audience can all impact your speaking speed.

An effective way to plan your 5-minute speech is to estimate the number of words it should contain. Here’s a rough guide:

  • Slow speakers: 100 wpm, approximately 500 words in 5 minutes.
  • Average speakers: 125-150 wpm, about 625-750 words in 5 minutes.
  • Fast speakers: 200 wpm, nearly 1000 words in 5 minutes. Remember that these numbers are approximate and can vary based on several factors.

Speech speed can vary significantly from person to person due to language fluency, nervousness, and the nature of the communication. A speaker might talk faster due to nervousness or excitement, or they might speak slowly to emphasize points or create suspense. Moreover, a speaker might adjust their pace based on audience reactions. Knowing these factors can help you manage your length and deliver a successful presentation.

Examples of impactful 5-minute speeches abound in history. For instance, Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic ‘I Have a Dream’ speech lasted just over 5 minutes, as did Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. These speeches show you can deliver powerful messages within a brief period, provided you manage your speech length effectively.

Writing a 5-minute speech might seem challenging, but it’s a skill you can master with some practice and guidance. If you’ve ever considered taking your skills to a professional level and want to become a speech writer , there are steps you can take to make it a reality. Begin with a clear objective for your speech, and make sure every word you pen down serves that goal. 

Be concise and straight to the point. Also, consider your audience when crafting your speech. A complex topic might require simpler language to ensure comprehension, while an educated audience might appreciate the use of technical terms or industry jargon. Moreover, you can always have the option of speech writers for hire and get help from them.

Structuring your speech correctly is critical to effectively managing length. If you’re intrigued by the art of speech and its potential career paths, learn about how to become a speech therapist . Start with a strong and engaging opening, followed by your main points, and conclude with a powerful ending reinforcing your message. A well-structured speech keeps the audience engaged and helps you stay within your time limit. Remember, every word counts in a 5-minute speech, so avoid unnecessary fluff and focus on the message you wish to convey.

  • Keep your sentences short and clear.

Short sentences are easier to speak and understand. They keep your speech crisp and to the point.

  • Use bullet points to organize your thoughts.

Bullet points can help you break down complex ideas into digestible pieces, making it easier for your audience to understand and for you to speak.

  • Avoid jargon or complex language.

Unless it’s necessary for your topic or audience, avoid complex language. Simple, everyday language makes your speech more relatable and easily understood.

Creating an impactful 5-minute speech isn’t just about the words you write – it’s also about how you deliver them. If you need assistance in creating impactful written pieces, you can always hire a book writer or explore our professional ghostwriting services . Speech delivery can make or break your presentation, regardless of how well-written your speech might be.  Therefore, understanding and perfecting the art of speech delivery is crucial.

The key to perfecting your 5-minute speech? Practice. And lots of it. Rehearsing your speech multiple times helps you get comfortable with the words and also helps you understand how to manage your speech length effectively. By practicing, you can gauge whether you need to slow down or speed up, take more pauses, or emphasize certain points more.

Here are some tips to improve your speech delivery:

This makes your speech sound natural and engaging. It also helps manage your speech length, as you’re less likely to rush or slow down too much.

This helps keep the audience engaged and gives you feedback on how well your speech is being received.

This helps keep your audience interested and makes your speech more dynamic. Changing your pitch, tone, and volume can emphasize certain points and manage the overall speech length.

The number of pages in a 5-minute speech depends on your speaking pace and formatting choices. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Average speaking pace: 100-120 words per minute
  • 5-minute speech word count: 500-650 words
  • Pages at 12pt font, single-spaced:  1-1.5 pages

Remember, this is just an estimate. Consider these factors for more precise results:

  • Your actual speaking speed:  Time yourself delivering your speech to gauge your pace.
  • Font size and spacing:  Larger fonts or double spacing will increase page count.
  • Visual elements:  If you include slides or images, they won’t add to page count but affect delivery timing.

The average English speaker utters approximately 130 words per minute. A brisk speaker may reach up to 160 words per minute, while a more deliberate speaker might use around 100 words. Understanding your natural pace is key to delivering a well-timed and engaging speech.

A five minute speech would be around 500 words to 650 words.” Writing a 5 minute speech typically ranges from $250 to $300, influenced by factors such as complexity, writer experience, and customization

Understanding speech length and managing it is a valuable skill in public speaking. If you need to have your skills or achievements documented, Wikipedia writers for hire can help. Keeping your speech within the optimal length can maintain audience engagement and effectively convey your message. 

Whether you’re a fast speaker or slow, a seasoned orator, or a novice speaker, mastering the art of the 5-minute speech is a skill that can be honed with practice and understanding. Remember, it’s not just about the number of words but how you use them that counts.

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Careers beyond academia, tips for a memorable 5-minute research presentation.

microphone with empty chairs

“If you get the first 5 minutes down, you are going to be golden for the rest of your presentation.” These were the words Susi Varvayanis, Executive Director of Careers Beyond Academia, stated at the start of Tips for a Memorable 5-Minute Research Presentation.

To help alleviate the stress and worries of making a good presentation, please review a summary of some amazing tips. There are three parts of a presentation that can influence the outcome of the presentation.

  • You, the speaker
  • Your presentation slides
  • The audience

How do you as the speaker prepare yourself for the best presentation?

  • Be aware of your body language – gestures are important, and they underscore the importance of the message we pass across. Add a smile! Be enthusiastic and make eye contact with the audience. These contribute to the appearance of confidence as you present.
  • Practice voice modulations – the way you speak can convey a lot about the information you are passing. Avoid going too fast. Add pauses as you speak, slow your speech, and emphasize key words.
  • Avoid jargon and acronyms – According to the dictionary, jargon is defined as special words or expressions that are used by a particular profession or groups and is difficult for others to understand. So, avoid them! Especially since some words can convey different connotations for different audiences. So, if I don’t use jargon, what should I use? How do I still convey my point? Try a different word, or use an analogy.

What makes for good presentation slides?

  • Good illustrations – make use of simplified images that pass across the information that you are presenting. Simple cartoon illustrations make it easy for the audience, regardless of background, to understand and follow the meanings.
  • Data presentation – avoid using excel defaults. Replace topics and labels with easier to understand headings that communicate your main point. Also, simplify images by removing unnecessary sections that do not apply to your audience. Most importantly, lead the audience through your work with all its ups and downs.

How does the audience affect your presentation?

The audience that you have dictates how you present your information. To prepare for your presentation, evaluate your audience. Understand the hook and make them care. Find unifying interests or commonality among the audience. Understand the goals and issues that challenge the audience. Do your images intrigue the audience?

Here is what makes your 5-minute pitch memorable:

  • It is passionate – This comes with understanding what inspires your work. Passion for research leads you to excel, even when you suffer setbacks.
  • It tells a good story – when you have a flow with compelling images, it helps tell a story, saves explanation, and hooks the audience.
  • It gives a ‘why’ – from your presentation, the audience should know why they should care about your work, the implications of your results and how they can apply this information.

Here are some resources that you can explore to help you with a great presentation:

  • Tool to check for jargon: De-Jargonizer (
  • The difference between ‘what’ and your ‘why’: Know Your Why | Michael Jr. – YouTube
  • Practice your skills: join ComSciCon-NY – in early June; Three-Minute Thesis or business case competitions
  • A guide with many exercises to improve your research communication – Finding Your Research Voice – Cornell University Library Catalog

We would love to hear your own opinions and tips on what you feel gives a good presentation!

200 Topics for 5-Minute Presentations

200 topics for 5-Minute Presentations

As a presenter, having a variety of brief yet captivating topics is key to engaging your audience effectively. Explore these 200 topics for 5-Minute Presentations to ensure your next speaking engagement is both dynamic and memorable!

  • The Importance of Time Management Skills
  • The Impact of Social Media on Society
  • The Benefits of Reading Daily
  • How to Cultivate Healthy Eating Habits
  • The Significance of Renewable Energy
  • The Psychology behind Procrastination
  • The Role of Technology in Education
  • The Art of Public Speaking
  • The History of the Internet
  • The Effects of Globalization
  • The Power of Positive Thinking
  • Climate Change and Its Consequences
  • The Evolution of Artificial Intelligence
  • Overcoming the Fear of Failure
  • The Basics of Personal Finance
  • The Importance of Work-Life Balance
  • The Future of Telecommunication
  • The Rise of Veganism
  • The Significance of Cultural Diversity
  • Understanding Body Language
  • The Influence of Music on Mood
  • The Ethics of Genetic Engineering
  • The Growth of E-commerce
  • The Benefits of Yoga and Meditation
  • The Impact of Tourism on Local Communities
  • The Role of Women in History
  • The Dangers of Texting and Driving
  • The Process of Goal Setting
  • The Value of Teamwork
  • The Mystery of the Bermuda Triangle
  • The Science behind Sleep
  • The Truth about Multitasking
  • Self-Defense Basics Everyone Should Know
  • The Power of Gratitude
  • The Effects of Stress on Health
  • The Principles of Minimalism
  • The History of Olympic Games
  • The Importance of Conserving Water
  • The Theory of Multiple Intelligences
  • The Impact of Fast Fashion
  • The Role of Parents in Child Development
  • The Rising Trend of Digital Detox
  • The Significance of the Rosetta Stone
  • The Process of Making Coffee
  • The Intergenerational Gap in Technology Use
  • The Fascinating World of Bees
  • The Essentials of Cybersecurity
  • The Benefits of Learning a Second Language
  • The Mysteries of the Deep Sea
  • The Pros and Cons of Freelancing
  • The Contributions of Leonardo da Vinci
  • The Importance of Civic Engagement
  • The History of Comic Books
  • The Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
  • The Basics of Origami
  • The Psychological Effects of Social Isolation
  • The Influence of Cartoons on Children
  • The Basics of Investing in Stocks
  • The Beauty of Haiku Poetry
  • The Science of Happiness
  • The Environmental Impact of Plastic Bags
  • The Advantages of Remote Work
  • The Tradition of Afternoon Tea
  • The Potential of 3D Printing
  • The History of Morse Code
  • The Foundations of Democracy
  • The Cultural Significance of Tattoos
  • The Secrets of Ancient Egyptian Pyramids
  • The Impact of Drones on Privacy and Security
  • The Art of Japanese Garden Design
  • The Challenge of Antibiotic Resistance
  • The Wonders of the Aurora Borealis
  • The History of Chess
  • The Basics of Calligraphy
  • The Role of Antibodies in Immunity
  • The Phenomenon of Urban Exploration
  • The Value of Good Listening Skills
  • The Implications of Virtual Reality
  • The Benefits of Community Gardens
  • The Life and Legacy of Nelson Mandela
  • The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright
  • The History of the English Language
  • The Mystery of Dark Matter
  • The Significance of the Great Wall of China
  • The Rise of Subscription Box Services
  • The Future of Drones in Delivery Services
  • The Evolution of Video Games
  • The Ethical Dilemmas of Autonomous Vehicles
  • The Healing Power of Pets
  • The Origins of Common Superstitions
  • The Significance of the Human Genome Project
  • The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
  • The Controversy Surrounding Designer Babies
  • The Importance of Bees in Pollination
  • The Future of Space Exploration
  • The Role of Microbes in Human Health
  • The Art and Science of Photography
  • The Phenomenon of Tidal Waves and Tsunamis
  • The Importance of Coral Reefs
  • The History of Halloween
  • The Future of Smart Homes
  • The Legacy of Ancient Rome
  • The Science of Forensic Analysis
  • The Impact of Overfishing on Marine Life
  • The Benefits and Challenges of Solar Energy
  • The Key to Effective Communication
  • The Importance of Biodiversity
  • The Ethics of Animal Testing
  • The Influence of Advertising on Consumer Behavior
  • The Legacy of Steve Jobs and Apple
  • The Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners
  • The Relevance of the United Nations Today
  • The Rise of Augmented Reality
  • The Fascination with True Crime Stories
  • The Basics of Gardening
  • The Psychological Impact of Color
  • The Architecture of Antoni Gaudi
  • The Changing Landscape of News Media
  • The Value of Historical Fiction
  • The Potential of Hydroponic Farming
  • The Principles of Sustainable Living
  • The Role of Coding in Modern Education
  • The Benefits of Green Spaces in Urban Areas
  • The Significance of the Silk Road
  • The Art of Making Sourdough Bread
  • The Contributions of Sir Isaac Newton
  • The Rise of Influencer Marketing
  • The Impact of Noise Pollution
  • The Power of Mindfulness
  • The Secrets of Memory Champions
  • The History of Sudoku
  • The Cause and Effect of Urban Sprawl
  • The Ethics of Cloning
  • The Phenomenon of Bioluminescence
  • The Science Behind Fireworks
  • The Role of Blockchain in Cybersecurity
  • The Influence of Greek Mythology on Modern Culture
  • The Essentials of Conflict Resolution
  • The Importance of Voting in Democracies
  • The Decline of Bee Populations and Its Impact
  • The Basics of Sustainable Fashion
  • The Complications of Language Translation
  • The History of Jazz Music
  • The Use of Drones in Agriculture
  • The Debate Over Genetically Modified Foods
  • The Cultural Impact of Anime and Manga
  • The Science of Body Language
  • The Potential of Virtual Assistants
  • The Importance of Aquifers
  • The Practice of Mindful Eating
  • The Basics of Creating an App
  • The Significance of Dream Interpretation
  • The Rise of Plant-Based Diets
  • The Future of Nanotechnology
  • The Ethics of Deepfake Technology
  • The Legacy of the Wright Brothers
  • The Power of Journaling for Mental Health
  • The Hidden World of Caves
  • The Value of Internships for Students
  • The Beauty of Classical Music
  • The Importance of Sun Protection
  • The Science of Color Psychology
  • The Influence of Fairy Tales on Childhood
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10 Killer Demonstration Speech Ideas to Wow Your Audience

  • The Speaker Lab
  • May 15, 2024

Table of Contents

No matter whether you’re hitting the books, climbing the corporate ladder, or just keen on boosting your way with words, mastering a killer demonstration speech can really change the game. In this article, we’ll introduce you to 10 outstanding demonstration speech topics. Each one is designed not just to impress but also create moments your audience won’t forget anytime soon.

But what exactly is a demonstration speech? Simply put, it’s a type of informative speech that teaches your audience how to do something step by step. From mastering a new skill to understanding a complex process, demonstration speeches are all about breaking things down in an easy-to-follow manner. So, let’s dive in and discover how you can become a demonstration speech pro!

10 Great Demonstration Speech Ideas

If you’re looking for some engaging demonstration speech topics, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re a high school student or a seasoned public speaker, these ideas will get your creative juices flowing. Let’s take a look.

  • How to make a perfect cup of coffee
  • The art of folding origami
  • Mastering the perfect golf swing
  • Creating a delicious summer salad
  • Tips for taking better photos with your cell phone
  • The science behind paper airplanes
  • Protecting yourself from identity theft
  • Choosing the right running shoes for your feet
  • DIY hair dye techniques
  • How to complete some basic yoga exercises

Remember, the key to a great demonstration speech is to choose a topic that you’re passionate about and that will engage your audience. Whether you’re demonstrating a practical skill or sharing a fun hobby, your enthusiasm will shine through and make your speech a hit.

So go ahead and pick a topic that speaks to you. With a little creativity and preparation, you’ll be ready to wow your audience and deliver a demonstration speech that’s both informative and entertaining.

What Is a Demonstration Speech?

If you’ve ever watched a TED Talk or attended a conference, chances are you’ve seen a demonstration speech in action. A demonstration speech is a type of informative speech that walks the audience through a process or task, step by step.

The goal? To teach the audience how to do something new, whether it’s making a recipe, using a product, or mastering a skill. Demonstration speeches are all about breaking down complex ideas into easy-to-follow steps, using visual aids like props, charts, and videos to drive the message home.

Benefits of Giving a Demonstration Speech

So why give a demonstration speech? For starters, it’s a fantastic way to share your expertise and help others learn something valuable. But the benefits don’t stop there. Just imagine doing the following:

  • Showing the members of your team how to navigate new software
  • Teaching students how to perform a procedure, solve a problem or use a piece of equipment
  • Highlighting the benefits of using a product for your target audience
  • Proving the effectiveness of a procedure or product in comparison to another
  • Pitching a sellable good or service for production or investment to company leaders and other decision-makers

Whether you’re in sales, education, or leadership, being able to clearly explain and demonstrate ideas is a valuable skill that can open up new opportunities and help you make a real impact.

How to Give a Demonstration Speech

Ready to dive in? Here are a few tips for giving a killer demonstration speech:

  • Choose a topic you’re passionate about and know inside out. Your enthusiasm will be contagious.
  • Break the process down into clear, logical steps. Think about what your audience needs to know and in what order.
  • Use visual aids to clarify and reinforce your message. Props, images, and videos can make abstract ideas concrete.
  • Practice, practice, practice. The more comfortable you are with your material, the more engaging and natural your delivery will be.
  • Engage your audience by asking questions, encouraging participation, and leaving time for Q&A. Make it a conversation, not a lecture.

Remember, a great demonstration speech is all about empowering your audience with new knowledge and skills. So don’t just tell them—show them how it’s done.

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Choosing a Demonstration Speech Topic

Now that you know the power of a great demonstration speech, you might be wondering: what should I talk about? The possibilities are endless, but the key is to choose a topic that you’re passionate about and that will resonate with your audience.

Your Interests

First and foremost, your demonstration speech topic should be something you’re genuinely interested in and excited to share with others. After all, if you’re not passionate about the subject, how can you expect your audience to be?

Think about your hobbies, skills, and areas of expertise. What do you love to do in your free time? What are you known for among your friends and family? Chances are, there’s a demonstration speech topic hiding in there somewhere.

Time Constraint

Of course, passion alone isn’t enough. You also need to consider the practical constraints of your speech, like time. How much time do you have to prepare and deliver your demonstration? If you only have a few minutes, you’ll want to choose a topic that can be explained concisely, with a few key steps or takeaways. If you have more time, you can dive deeper into the details and nuances of your subject.

Audience Engagement

Finally, think about what will engage and benefit your audience. What problems are they trying to solve? What skills do they need to learn? In addition, what interests and values do they share?

The best demonstration speech topics are those that are both personally meaningful to you and relevant to your audience. So don’t be afraid to get creative and think outside the box. Whether you’re teaching your coworkers how to use a new software program or showing your friends how to make your famous chili recipe, the key is to choose a topic that you’re excited about and that will leave your audience feeling inspired and empowered.

How to Structure Your Demonstration Speech

You’ve chosen your demonstration speech topic, and you’re ready to start preparing. But how do you even plan a demonstration speech? The key is structure. Structuring your speech is key to delivering a clear, engaging presentation that your audience will remember. Consider the following steps as you outline your speech.

Begin with “Why”

Before you dive into the details of your demonstration, take a moment to explain why your topic matters. What problem does it solve? How will it benefit your audience? By starting with the “why,” you’ll capture your listeners’ attention and make them eager to learn more.

Outline the Process

Once you’ve established the importance of your topic, it’s time to outline the process you’ll be demonstrating. Break it down into clear, logical steps that your audience can follow along with. Use simple language and avoid jargon or technical terms that might confuse your listeners. Alternatively, choose just one or two terms that you can explain briefly without having to go too in-depth.

Progress Through Each Step

As you move through your demonstration, take your time and explain each step thoroughly. Use visual aids like props, diagrams, or slides to help illustrate your points. And don’t be afraid to pause and check in with your audience to make sure they’re following along.

Invite Questions

After you’ve completed your demonstration, open the floor for questions. This is a great opportunity to engage with your audience and clarify any points that may have been unclear. Be prepared to answer questions thoughtfully and provide additional resources if needed.

Summarize and Conclude

Finally, wrap up your speech by summarizing the key points you covered and reiterating the importance of your topic. Leave your audience with a clear call to action, whether it’s to try out the skill you demonstrated or to learn more about the subject.

By following this simple structure, you’ll be well on your way to delivering a polished, effective demonstration speech. Remember to practice, stay focused, and have fun, and your passion and enthusiasm are sure to shine through.

Tips for Delivering an Effective Demonstration Speech

You’ve picked your demonstration speech topic, outlined the key points, and practiced your delivery. However, there are still a few more things you can do to really make your speech shine. Engaging your audience, for instance, and delivering a memorable, impactful presentation are two great ways to really drive your speech home.

Use Visuals to Guide Your Speech

Visual aids are an essential element of any great demonstration speech. They help illustrate your points, break up the monotony of straight talking, and give your audience something to focus on. But don’t just throw together a bunch of random images and call it a day. Your visuals should be carefully chosen to support and enhance your message.

Start by considering what type of visual aid would work best for your topic. Are you demonstrating a step-by-step process? A series of photos or diagrams might be the way to go. Explaining a complex concept? An infographic or chart could help simplify things. Trying to evoke an emotional response? A short video clip might do the trick.

Whatever you choose, make sure your visuals are high-quality, easy to see and understand, and flow logically with your speech. Practice integrating them smoothly into your presentation so they feel like a natural part of your talk, not an awkward interruption.

Engage Your Audience

No one wants to sit through a dry, boring lecture. To keep your audience interested and invested, you need to actively engage them throughout your speech. One simple way to do this is by asking questions. Pose a thought-provoking query at the beginning to get them thinking, or ask for a show of hands to gauge their experience with your topic.

You can also use humor, storytelling, and real-life examples to make your speech more relatable and memorable. Share a funny anecdote about a time you struggled with the task you’re demonstrating, or explain how this skill helped you succeed in a challenging situation. The more your audience can see themselves in your speech, the more engaged they’ll be.

Provide Additional Resources

Your speech is just the beginning. To truly empower your audience to put your teachings into practice, provide them with additional resources they can refer to later. This might include a handout with key takeaways and step-by-step instructions, a list of recommended tools or products, or links to helpful articles or videos.

You can also invite your audience to connect with you after the speech if they have additional questions or want to learn more. Provide your contact information or social media handles, and encourage them to reach out. By offering ongoing support and resources, you show that you’re truly invested in their success.

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Demonstration Speech Topics for Specific Settings

Now that you know how to choose and deliver a great demonstration speech topic, let’s explore some specific ideas for different settings. Whether you’re speaking in a business meeting, a classroom, or a community event, there’s a perfect topic out there for you.

Business Topics

Demonstration speeches are a common fixture in many business settings, from team meetings to industry conferences. These talks tend to focus on practical skills and strategies that can help attendees do their jobs better or advance their careers. Some potential topics include:

  • How to use a new software program or tool
  • Tips for effective time management and productivity
  • Strategies for networking and building professional relationships
  • Techniques for delivering persuasive presentations or sales pitches
  • Best practices for remote teamwork and communication

When choosing a business-related demonstration speech topic, consider your audience’s needs and goals. What challenges are they facing in their work? What skills or knowledge would help them succeed? By addressing these questions, you can deliver a talk that’s truly valuable and relevant to your listeners.

Health and Fitness Topics

Health and fitness are popular subjects for demonstration speeches, as many people are eager to learn new ways to improve their physical and mental wellbeing. These talks can range from practical how-tos to more inspirational and motivational content. Some ideas to consider:

  • Demonstrating proper form for common exercises like squats or push-ups
  • Sharing healthy meal prep ideas and recipes
  • Teaching stress-reduction techniques like meditation or deep breathing
  • Offering tips for staying motivated and consistent with a fitness routine
  • Exploring the benefits of alternative therapies like acupuncture or massage

When giving a health or fitness-related speech, it’s important to remember that everyone’s needs and abilities are different. Avoid making blanket statements or promises, and always encourage your audience to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new regimen.

Student-Friendly Topics

Demonstration speeches are a great way for students to practice their public speaking skills while sharing knowledge with their peers. These talks can cover a wide range of subjects, from academic skills to personal hobbies and interests. Here are a few ideas:

  • How to create an effective study schedule and stick to it
  • Tips for researching and writing a great paper
  • Strategies for managing stress and anxiety during exams
  • Demonstrating a favorite art or craft project
  • Teaching a useful life skill like basic car maintenance or sewing

When choosing a topic for a student demonstration speech, consider what would be most useful and engaging for your classmates. What skills or knowledge do you have that others might benefit from? What topics are currently relevant or interesting to your peer group? By selecting a subject that resonates with your audience, you’ll be more likely to deliver an impactful and memorable speech.

FAQs on Demonstration Speeches

What is a demonstration speech.

A demo speech shows how to do something. It guides the audience through the steps, making complex tasks simple.

What does demonstrate speech mean?

Demonstrate speech means using words and visuals to teach or show how a process works from start to finish.

What can I demonstrate in 5 minutes?

In 5 minutes, you could teach someone basic origami, mix a cocktail, or even change a tire—quick skills work best.

Which of the following is an example of a demonstration speech?

An example would be showing how to prepare your favorite summer salad step by step in front of an audience.

Nailing an impressive demo speech means finding a subject that lights up your crowd, laying out each step in simple terms, and presenting everything with energy and confidence. By following the tips and ideas we’ve explored, you’ll be well on your way to creating a memorable and impactful demonstration speech.

If you’re still feeling nervous, just remember—sharpening your skills takes consistent effort. The more you hone your demonstration speech skills, the more natural and effective your delivery will become. So jump on in, the world’s waiting for what you’ve got to say.

  • Last Updated: May 9, 2024

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More From Forbes

5 chatgpt prompts to improve your public speaking (wow your audience).

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5 ChatGPT prompts to be a better public speaker (wow your audience)

If you find yourself on a stage or in the spotlight, you had better take it seriously. People are watching, so don’t let them down. Open with confidence, deliver with passion, and close with a bang. There is no other way. But if you’re not sure how to begin preparing, this might seem like a mammoth task. Luckily, there’s time to learn.

These five public speaking experts have you covered, along with a little help from ChatGPT. Copy, paste and edit the square brackets in ChatGPT, and keep the same chat window open so the context carries through.

Wow your audience with your words: ChatGPT prompts for public speaking

Get ideas for keynotes.

Keynote speaker, leadership performance coach, and host of the Compete Every Day podcast Jake Thompson uses ChatGPT to get ideas for keynotes, “as a baseline to start and then adjust the copy and tune.” He said it’s helpful if you’re “stuck generating a strong starting point.” Don’t let the blank page intimidate you. Give ChatGPT information about your audience and their goals, to get brand new ideas you can roll with in minutes. Prompt like a winner from the very start, following Thompson’s lead.

“You are an expert marketing copywriter. Create a list of five ideas for keynote speech titles for my talk for [describe your audience, e.g. new managers and leaders], aspiring to be [describe their goal, e.g. high performance in their role].”

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Once you have options for ideas, choose your favorite and request a framework with examples tailored to your field of expertise.

“The talk will discuss the importance of [outline the key learning objectives, e.g. self-leadership, building rapport with team members, investing in your professional network]. Create a structure for the talk. Include titles and subtitles that incorporate examples and metaphors from [your signature topic, e.g. sports, business] to [outcome you want to achieve, e.g. inspire, motivate] the audience.”

Resonate with your audience

Keynote speaker, corporate facilitator and founder of Breakthrough Play , Gary Ware, has worked with some household name brands, including HP HP , Intuit Intuit and GoFundMe, to improve the public speaking skills of their outward-facing team members. Ware is all about the audience. Use these prompts to make a speech you have already written super relevant to the people in the room. Don’t miss the mark by taking them in turn.

“The audience of my next talk consists of [describe your audience including their profession, typical age, and any other characteristics] and the theme of the [event, e.g. conference] is [describe the theme, e.g. marketing]. Based on this information, outline the key interests or concerns my speech should address to be most relevant to them.”

When you have your answer, incorporate the learning into your speech, then check it aligns.

“Based on your recommendations given, review my attached talk to ensure my message is aligned with this audience’s expectations and needs. [Paste speech]”

Balance warmth and competence

Vanessa Van Edwards is founder of The Science of People and bestselling author of books Captivate, unpacking the science behind succeeding with people, and Cues, mastering the secret language of charismatic communication . She delivers 50 keynote speeches every year and knows how to make a great impression that lasts long after her talk is over.

“The best presenters have the perfect blend of warmth and competence,” Van Edwards explained. “But most of us have an imbalance between the two.” To redress the balance, Van Edwards pastes her script into ChatGPT and asks for recommendations. Here’s a prompt you can try for yourself.

“Review the script for an upcoming keynote I’m delivering. Identify three sections that lack warmth, and suggest the most appropriate way to improve that (for example, with a story, joke, case study, example or warm words) being specific about what to add or remove. Then, identify three sections with the potential to signal more competence, and suggest what to add (for example data, facts, analytics or competent words), being specific. [Paste script]”

Breathe more often

Founder of Best Speech Mike Pacchione, a keynote coach who has worked with renowned speakers such as James Clear , Donald Miller, Amy Porterfield and Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton, wants you to focus on breathing. Sounds simple? There’s much more to it. “Speakers can speak with more power when they breathe frequently,” he explained. “But they write notes in paragraphs and long sentences. That leads to being out of breath by the time you hit a full stop.”

Pacchionne recommends that speakers write their scripts as if they're song lyrics. In other words, format your keynote wording in such a way where you are reminded to take a breath. An ideal task for ChatGPT.

"Rewrite the following text with the exact same words, but add a line break every 7-10 words. The end product should resemble song lyrics instead of written paragraphs. [Paste your script]"

When you have your reworked speech, Pacchionne recommends you “go back and make sure the breathing breaks are in natural spots,” adding that “a speaker would be far better served with that format versus paragraphs.”

Make a backup plan

Entrepreneur, bestselling author, podcast host and keynote speaker Liz Bohannon is hired to give keynotes of different lengths, usually between 30 and 60 minutes. But the story is sometimes different on the day. “Often the event is running late, so I have less time than I'd planned for.” Bohannon uses ChatGPT to make a robust backup plan, so she’s prepared for any eventuality before she arrives.

"This speech is [duration]. I need to shorten it by [number] minutes but maintain [topic of speech, lesson or takeaway] as the main point. Make suggestions as to which parts I can cut while maintaining the powerful message: [Paste script]"

Stand out on stage: ChatGPT prompts to show up and wow

Give your audience everything they want and more when you prepare well using ChatGPT. Get ideas for talks with suitable examples, resonate with your audience whatever the event, and balance warmth and competence for charismatic delivery. Don’t forget to breathe by seeing your paragraphs as lyrics, and make a backup plan to fit in with questionable organizer timings.

Show up, stand tall, and say your words with pride. Secure raving fans and repeat bookings. The mic is yours, don’t let us down.

Jodie Cook

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how to make a 5 minute speech

Donald Trump Rally Video Shows Mass 'Walking Out' During Speech

A video filmed during Donald Trump 's New Jersey rally on Saturday shows "thousands" of people leaving while the former president was still talking.

Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, and his allies have claimed that more than 100,000 people attended the rally in Wildwood. But some on social media questioned that figure , and reporters shared videos of people departing while Trump was still addressing the crowd.

Walter Masterson wrote on X (formerly Twitter ): "Here is 35 unedited minutes showing thousands of MAGA walking out on Trump while he's still talking."

Trump, who is charged in four criminal cases as he seeks to reclaim the White House, took the stage in Wildwood at about 6:20 p.m. and spoke for roughly 90 minutes.

At one point just a few minutes into Masterson's video, a rally attendee is seen telling him that the time is 6:48 p.m. meaning many people were leaving before Trump was even halfway through his speech.

"You can clearly see that people are leaving while [Trump is] rambling incoherently," Masterson wrote in another post. "This happens at a lot of rallies, cultists show up thinking he will say something new and profound. Then they get bored and walkout."

Trump made a series of bizarre comments and gaffes at the rally in Wildwood, mixing up the names of several people and places. He also referred to the "late, great Hannibal Lecter," calling the fictional serial killer character "a wonderful man."

Many of Trump's allies had bragged about the size of the crowd at the rally, suggesting it showed that he would undoubtedly defeat President Joe Biden in November's election. "The American people are energized and ready to reelect President Trump in November," GOP Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene wrote on X.

Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung told Newsweek on Sunday that "over 100,000 people patriots" had shown up to hear Trump speak.

While it's not clear exactly how many attended the rally, Wildwood's Republican mayor, Ernie Troiano Jr., earlier said that the beach could accommodate only about 20,000 people and that about that many tickets had been requested for the rally.

Aliya Schneider, a reporter with The Philadelphia Inquirer , posted videos showing some attendees leaving the rally while Trump was still speaking. "Trump is still speaking, but the crowd has been thinning. People have been walking out back to the boardwalk," Schneider wrote in one post.

Alongside another video, Schneider wrote: "The back section of the crowd is noticeably smaller as people continue to leave while Trump is still speaking."

USA Today reporter Zac Anderson posted a video showing that much of the crowd had already left while Trump was still delivering his remarks.

"Trump is still speaking in Wildwood but much of the crowd has left. It's cold and he's been speaking 90 minutes. This whole area was full of people when Trump started," Anderson wrote.

Update 5/13/24, 9:46 a.m. ET: This story has been updated with additional comments.

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WILDWOOD, NEW JERSEY - MAY 11: Republican presidential candidate former U.S. President Donald Trump arrives for his campaign rally in Wildwood Beach on May 11, 2024 in Wildwood, New Jersey. The former President and presumptive Republican nominee held a campaign rally as his hush money trial takes a weekend break. Michael Cohen, Trump's former attorney, is expected to be called to testify on Monday when the trial resumes. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)


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    Take a few slow, deep breaths to collect yourself. [1] Let your mind settle so you can concentrate on the task at hand. Shut out all unnecessary distractions that might steal your attention and stifle anxious thoughts that might cause you to doubt yourself. Assume that everyone around you wants to see you succeed.

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    The 5-minute speech word count is roughly 750 words. This is based on the average talking speed of 150 words per minute (WPM). Of course, the timing of your speech will vary depending on how quickly you talk, as well as the words that you use. Monosyllabic words are shorter than multisyllabic words, so if your speech is filled with long-winded ...

  17. How to Prepare a 7-Minute Speech in 5 Minutes or Less

    You'll have about 90 seconds for each of them. For each story, add what it means to the audience in the context of what you want to tell them. Add a call to action to the end. Add an opening statement (yes, this does belong to the end). Time's up. Go give the speech! To improve a): Collect your stories.

  18. How Many Words In A 5 Minute Speech

    6- Word Count Guide for a 5 Minute Speech. An effective way to plan your 5-minute speech is to estimate the number of words it should contain. Here's a rough guide: Slow speakers: 100 wpm, approximately 500 words in 5 minutes. Average speakers: 125-150 wpm, about 625-750 words in 5 minutes. Fast speakers: 200 wpm, nearly 1000 words in 5 minutes.

  19. Tips for a Memorable 5-Minute Research Presentation

    Practice voice modulations - the way you speak can convey a lot about the information you are passing. Avoid going too fast. Add pauses as you speak, slow your speech, and emphasize key words. Avoid jargon and acronyms - According to the dictionary, jargon is defined as special words or expressions that are used by a particular profession ...

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  23. Free Speech Generator: Write A Speech for Me Online

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