4 Tips on How to Choose a Good Presentation Topic

09/30/2017 12:41 am ET

The topic that you choose for a presentation can make a big difference as to whether your audience stays alert or they are bored stiff. There are different factors to consider while choosing a topic that is interesting and avoids audience apathy.

1. According to the occasion

Considering the occasion is one of the most important items that you should consider. There is obviously a time and place for everything. You have to plan your presentation in light of the occasion. An occasion could be solemn, celebratory or a professional setting, so plan your presentation around the occasion.

The occasion could be of varying types:

  • Celebratory- A weeding falls into this category and you need to keep the speech light-hearted but with some nuggets of seriousness.
  • Solemn- If the occasion is a funeral, keep your presentation solemn and in the reflection of the seriousness of the event.
  • Joyous- A bachelor or bachelorette party is one such occasion, where you keep the speech fun. Share some funny anecdotes about the groom or bride to be that will make the audience laugh.
  • Professional- If the occasion is a professional one, keep the tone professional at all times. Select a topic that is relevant to the day’s events. If for example, your company is launching a new product, let your speech revolve around the product.

2. Depending on the presentation’s purpose

What is the exact purpose of your presentation? A presentation is not just for the sake of it. It has to have a purpose and a goal that you intend to achieve. There are various reasons why you might choose to do a presentation

  • Persuasion

One of the reasons you may opt to do a presentation, whether spoken, visual or both, is for persuasion. You may need to convince people to do something. Making a presentation plays a big role in helping you persuade them to make a decision.

  • Entertainment

When you need to keep your audience entertained, you may make a presentation that makes them laugh, while at the same time conveying a message. This is especially so, for topics that are considered drab and boring. Making a presentation while drawing of funny stories to support your facts will keep your audience enthralled.

  • Information

When you need to convey a message that presents facts and sometimes figures, you may use a presentation. It may be visual in forms of charts, slides or just a speech. People tend to remember presentations more than they remember things they have read.

  • Celebration

When a presentation is in honor or celebration of a person or event, consider this fact while choosing a topic. You have to make a presentation that shows your audience why that person or event is worth celebrating. Share funny incidents and generally win the audience over. If you can make the audience laugh, you have the upper hand and your presentation will be a success.

3. Topics to avoid

Depending on your audience and occasion purpose, you have to steer away from topics that might bore or offend your audience. There are a few things to consider before choosing good topics for presentation:

  • Pick easy subjects. Make sure your topic is not drawn out and complex. Break it down to make it easier to understand and to keep the audience’s attention. In the same breath, do not oversimplify it. If you have 5 minutes, utilize them without repetition. This means you have to learn to strike the perfect balance on subject complexity.
  • Avoid controversy like the plague. Unless you are specifically in a controversial forum, avoid anything that will raise emotions or make your audience uncomfortable
  • Read your audience’s mood and pick a topic that goes with the mood of the event. If the mood is celebratory, give an appropriate speech.

4. Give consideration to your audience

There are several things to consider on the consideration of the audience while choosing a good presentation topic:

  • You must consider your audience. How knowledgeable are they on the topic at hand? If you are talking to a group of experts on that particular subject, then you can speak on an equal footing. If not, your presentation has to reflect the level of knowledge of the audience.
  • The education level is important in the presentation. If you have to address college students, speak at their level. If you present the same topic, for example, drug abuse to middle school children, it must be broken down to their level of education.
  • What are the needs of your audience? What are their interests? Make your presentation topic revolve around these two aspects. If you are making your presentation to teenagers, you have to consider what interests them and weave those interests into your presentation. Letting them feel you identify with them keeps them interested.
  • Demographics: Consider the age, gender, and race of your audience. This will help you decide what your topic will revolve around. The interests of each demographic vary considerably.

Making a presentation has many dynamics that you have to put into consideration. Whether it is a speech or a slide presentation, you have to consider all these aspects to make the presentation a flying success.

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
CONVERSATIONS