I occasionally get the question of "How do I come up with a good topic for a presentation?" This is usually from people who have to give many different speeches for practice. For many professional speakers you can live off a couple good speeches but other want the practice. If you want to know a quick technique to generating lot of ideas, I have a post here.
It is called the Kaleidoscope method. It works great if you are stuck in a rut. However, I am not a huge fan of focusing on techniques. They can only get you so far, before you run out of steam.
What I do suggest before anything else is to consider this four-simple phase process. Meaning, Mission, Message, Moments.
Before you get geared up about me giving a motivational speech, let me be clear here. If you are looking for inspiration, it is best that you be the inspiration in yourself.
Many people are looking for the next interesting topic, perhaps because they don`t know anything interesting inside themselves. There is a way to remedy that. The first is to really look at what the life means to you. Really.
If you don`t consider why you do the things you do, then you will always be searching. You will always be dissatisfied. You will always be attracted to the next shiny object. Going rather aimless from one thing to the next.
So, take a few minutes and right down the answer. It doesn`t need to be perfect. Just good enough for now. You will have plenty of time to make it better.
The next thing to consider what you mission is. I do not mean the flower set of words that many company put up on their wall. I mean what is that you really want to accomplish. What are the major goals in your life. It could be something as big as eliminating poverty, sending humanity into space, or something as mundane as serving the best scoop of ice cream ever. Whatever. Just consider what is it that fuels you get up in the morning and move forward.
Again, you may not know yet. That is ok. Pick something. If that doesn`t sound right, then pick something else until you get to something that clicks. It may take awhile. You may have to try a few things out for awhile too. But, please start somewhere.
The next is your message. What is the ONE thing that you want to tell the world. This will be the base of any future presentation. It could be that "You are Enough" or "You are more Creative than you think you are." It could simply "Drink more coffee." I know that last one sounds a little absurd, but there are a couple of coffee shops and one fitness guru who is all about that.
In any case, once you got your one big message you can often cut it up. You can create smaller messages that make up your bigger message. You can match the big one or the smaller one to all kinds of stories, examples etc. You will not run out of things to say.
Once you have your big message, the next thing is to think of all the "magically" moments that you want to create with your audience. This could be the seeds of great presentation ideas. Sometimes it is not so much the content of your speech, but the emotional connection, the feelings that you generate inside your audience. If you focus on that, the rest can come naturally.
If you are stuck for ideas for a good speech topic, you could use my Kaleidoscope method. Or you could take a few minutes, think about Meaning, Mission, Message and Moments. If you do I truly feel that you will never run out of things to say.