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Course & Subject Guides

Public Speaking - Johnstown Campus

This guide is for the COMMRC 0052 Public Speaking course.

Deciding on a topic can be one of the toughest parts of preparing a speech. The resources on this page can help you start brainstorming. You can also search for and browse background information on potential topics in PittCat and the library databases mentioned in this guide on the "Finding Articles" and "Finding Books" tabs.

Ask Yourself ...

Ask yourself the following questions about your topic to make sure you've picked a topic that will keep both yourself and your audience engaged. If you can answer yes to all the questions, you're ready to start gathering sources.

  • Am I interested in the topic?
  • Will I enjoy researching this topic?
  • Will I enjoy talking about this topic and sharing my information with my audience?
  • Will my audience be interested in my topic?
  • Am I passionate about this topic?

Source: University of Hawai'i Maui Community College Speech Department. (2002, January 16). Selecting a speech topic

Suggestions for Topics

Opposing Viewpoints & Taking Sides

The University Library System has a number of books from the Opposing Viewpoints and Taking Sides series that can assist you in determining topics for a persuasive or informative speech. Search "opposing viewpoints" or "taking sides" in PittCat. We have quite a few at Owen Library, but it's easy to get books from other campus libraries too using the Get It! request service.