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  3. 290 demonstration speech topics

Demonstration speech topics

290 'how to' demonstration speech ideas 

By: Susan Dugdale 

What are good topics for demonstration speeches? 

The answer is simple, but frustratingly inconclusive. It depends. These are 'how to', 'show and teach' or process speeches with literally squillions of topic possibilities.

You could spend hours, or even days, considering this 'how to' speech idea against that one, or that one, or that one. However, you don't need to.

The easiest way is to use the guidelines below to help you pick a good demo speech idea relatively painlessly and quickly.

What's on this page

If you already know how to prepare a good demonstrative speech skip the guidelines and either click the link to go to ALL 290 demonstration speech topics or click on a heading to go a themed list.

Images- 3 in a row - cats and dogs, antique buttons, 4 female mannequins in a pond. Text: How to choose a pet, How to make jewelry from antique buttons, how to interpret modern art.

Choosing a good demonstration speech topic

What makes a demonstration speech topic a good choice depends on 6 essential elements. You'll want to consider each of them carefully. 

1. Your interests

Your choice of demonstrative speech topic needs to be something you are genuinely interested in, and know about or, want to know about.

Without enthusiasm or knowledge, it's incredibly hard to inspire and persuade others that they want to find out more about a subject. And that's your goal!

Ideally when you finish your speech, you'll find yourself on the receiving end of question after question from eager listeners. 

2. Who the speech is for

You need to think about your audience before making your final choice.

  • What demonstration speech topics would truly interest them?
  • If you're considering a 'how to' topic you know they already know well, is there something new you could teach them about it?
  • What would be of value, and appropriate, for them to know?

3. The setting of the speech

Where is the speech to be given? In a classroom? In a public hall? In a living room? In the open air?

Does what you're planning to do fit the venue?

4. The time you've got to prepare the speech

Does the topic you're considering need a long time to prepare thoroughly? Are there visual aids you need to make to accompany it? How much research do you need to do before you can begin to prepare the speech?

5. The time you've got to give the speech

There is no point in choosing something complex with a large number of steps to show and teach if you don't have the time to cover them. What you select needs to fit easily into the allotted time limit. 

If you really want to tackle a big topic, and it's a good fit with your audience, if it's possible, break it down into smaller, manageable pieces. Then choose one or two aspects (sub-topics) you know you can cover well in the time you have available.

For instance, how to knit has many elements: how to hold the needles, how to cast stitches on, how to choose the right wool, how to read a knitting pattern, how to do a specific stitch... Any one of those could become a speech.  

6. The guidelines for assessment ...

... if the speech is part of a public speaking course.

You may find there are restrictions on using varying forms of visual aids: video or power-point presentations for example. Check before you make a final decision.

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How to use these demonstration speech ideas

Use the 'how to' topics below to kick-start your own creativity. Think of them as beginnings or starting points.

Rather than pick the first idea that jumps out, build up a short list. Then go through it assessing the positive as well as negative aspects of each idea, keeping the audience members, your interest, setting, time and assessment needs in mind.

290 good demonstration speech topics


Image: clouds over a hay field. Text: Demonstration speech topic - how to read clouds.

How to:

  1. read the clouds
  2. read the stars
  3. read the tides
  4. read tree rings
  5. recognize differing types of rock
  6. find fossils
  7. read and navigate a landscape without a map
  8. use a topographic map
  9. water divine
  10. recognize stars in the night sky
  11. use the phases of the moon for hunting, fishing, or planting crops
  12. forage for food safely
  13. collect wild honey
  14. take wood for fuel sustainably
  15. build a fire safely
  16. recognize the common birds or animals in your area
  17. identify different types of woods
  18. ensure water is safe to drink
  19. use the position of the sun to tell time
  20. tell if a storm is coming
  21. track an animal in the wild
  22. choose a good campsite
  23. forecast weather
  24. cross a river safely
  25. protect yourself from attack by wild animals
  26. tell if ice is safe to walk on
  27. tell which way the wind is blowing
  28. recognize poisonous plants or insects
  29. survive in the wild without an emergency kit
  30. prepare a survival kit

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Image: cats, dogs and butterflies. Text: Demonstrations speech topic possibilities - how to choose a pet.

How to:

  1. train a puppy
  2. wash a dog
  3. care for a kitten
  4. walk a dog on a leash properly
  5. saddle a horse
  6. hand milk a cow
  7. teach a cat to use a litter tray
  8. tell if your pet dog, cat, rabbit... is happy
  9. feed a dog, horse, cat...correctly
  10. carry a dog or cat correctly
  11. interpret a pet dog's or cat's aggressive behavior
  12. soothe a frightened dog, cat...
  13. keep a pet dog or cat in an apartment
  14. give medicines to your dog, cat...
  15. care for an injured or sick pet
  16. name a pet
  17. teach a child how to care for a pet
  18. make a cat gym
  19. dropper feed a fledging that's fallen out of the nest or an injured bird
  20. groom a cat, dog, cow... for a show
  21. care for baby chickens
  22. set up a fish bowl or an aquarium
  23. choose a pet
  24. clean an animal's teeth
  25. pet-proof your home
  26. re-home a dog safely
  27. care for an orphaned lamb or calf
  28. transport a cat, dog, rabbit..., safely
  29. make healthy treats for dogs
  30. teach a parrot to talk

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Image: companion plants in vegetable garden. Text- Demonstration speech topic- how to companion plant.

How to:

  1. companion plant to protect vegetables from insect pests
  2. prepare basic landscaping plans
  3. lay bricks or paving stones
  4. build a fence
  5. make a swing
  6. make a children's play area
  7. build a compost bin
  8. make a greenhouse
  9. make a windbreak
  10. plant a tree
  11. build a garden seat
  12. grow from seed
  13. graft a plant
  14. prepare and plant a tub of flowers or vegetables
  15. plant a window box of herbs
  16. control garden pests
  17. mulch a garden
  18. trim a hedge
  19. prune a rose bush
  20. care for garden tools
  21. choose garden art
  22. make an ornamental pond
  23. make a bird feeder
  24. choose the right plants for the right situations
  25. plant spring bulbs
  26. mow a lawn
  27. recognize poisonous plants or insects
  28. make a no-dig garden
  29. encourage birds or bees into the garden
  30. make a patio or deck garden

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Image: antique buttons with old Milo tin. Text- How to make your own jewelry from antique buttons.

How to:

  1. design & make a greeting card
  2. knit
  3. crochet
  4. embroider
  5. quilt
  6. felt
  7. make a scented candle
  8. make a perfect posy of flowers
  9. learn to draw, sketch
  10. learn to paint in water colors
  11. make paper mache
  12. work hand or string puppets
  13. decoupage
  14. use stencils
  15. make soap
  16. make and use natural dyes
  17. spin or weave
  18. create a seasonal center piece for the dining table
  19. make a Christmas wreath
  20. paint eggs
  21. press flowers
  22. design and a friendship bracelet
  23. up-cycle a piece of clothing
  24. make attractive face masks
  25. scrapbook
  26. make your own jewelry from antique buttons
  27. sew your own clothes
  28. design your own clothes
  29. bonsai a plant
  30. make resin and polymer clay jewelry
  31. arrange flowers for different uses: for the table, as a corsage...
  32. make your own soft furnishings
  33. take a brass rubbing
  34. batik
  35. make paper flowers
  36. make and use pom-poms creatively
  37. make a hand coiled pottery mug
  38. make a tufted rug or mat
  39. tie-dye a garment
  40. carve or whittle wood

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Image: three multi-colored kites against blue sky. Text-Demonstration speech topic-  How to fly a kite.

How to:

  1. choose the right sport for yourself
  2. choose the right piece of sporting equipment (bike, surf or skate board, shoes, protective gear...)
  3. learn to skate board
  4. learn to surf
  5. wax a surfboard
  6. put on, and get off, a wet suit
  7. score a game of tennis
  8. serve in tennis
  9. catch a fish
  10. make a fishing fly
  11. cast a fishing line
  12. prepare and set a fishing net
  13. tickle a trout
  14. smoke a fish
  15. play chess, checkers, dominoes, cards...
  16. train for a marathon
  17. use a snorkel correctly
  18. avoid injury playing football
  19. learn football skills: pass, block or kick
  20. improve your golf swing
  21. care for a set of golf clubs
  22. set up a pair of ice skates well
  23. eat well to keep in shape for your sport
  24. prevent sporting injuries
  25. fly a kite
  26. stick to a training schedule
  27. warm up before a game
  28. do yoga stretches
  29. be a team player
  30. hold a baseball bat correctly
  31. pitch (different types of baseball pitches)
  32. shoot a basketball goal
  33. practice basketball skills at home: dribble...
  34. water ski
  35. cross country ski
  36. ski downhill
  37. oil a bike
  38. set a bike up for yourself: adjust seat height, handle bars...
  39. fix a flat tire
  40. learn to ride a bike

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Food and More

Image: fine porcelain tea cup and saucer. Text: Demonstration speech topic possibilities-How to make a cup of tea.

How to:

  1. make a perfect cup of coffee, tea...
  2. use chop sticks
  3. prepare green tea and serve it correctly
  4. make chocolate
  5. plan a dinner party
  6. make a fast summer salad
  7. store frozen food
  8. sharpen a knife
  9. prepare chicken safely
  10. make your own relish, jam, pastry...
  11. write a weekly food shopping list
  12. plan a menu
  13. organize your pantry
  14. bake bread, bagels...
  15. use seasonal vegetables
  16. dry fruits and vegetables
  17. make your own wedding cake
  18. ice a cake
  19. make desserts
  20. cook economically
  21. make healthy meals
  22. carve vegetables
  23. fold table napkins
  24. match wine with food
  25. set a table for a formal dinner
  26. store fresh fruit and vegetables
  27. make your own cottage cheese or yoghurt
  28. make food for a picnic
  29. make your own baby foods
  30. use a pressure cooker well
  31. use an air fryer well
  32. use a barbecue well
  33. store and use left over foods safely
  34. use an oven safely
  35. select the best fresh fruit and vegetables to buy
  36. get children to eat vegetables
  37. train children to try new foods
  38. serve tasty low calorie meals
  39. use cutlery (a knife, fork, or spoon) properly
  40. follow a recipe properly

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Image: row of men's neckties. Text: Demonstration speech topic possibilities-How to knot a tie.

How to:

  1. read to a child
  2. use a 24 hour clock
  3. plan a surprise party
  4. talk to a deaf person
  5. buy online safely
  6. read body language accurately
  7. understand cultural differences in body language
  8. travel safely in a foreign country
  9. play with a small child
  10. leave a good telephone message
  11. eat politely
  12. defend yourself (basic self defense)
  13. do basic first aid
  14. take a pulse
  15. teach a child to read the time
  16. prepare a baby's bottle
  17. write a thank you letter
  18. write a business letter
  19. read braille
  20. alter your own clothes...take up a hem etc.
  21. iron a shirt properly
  22. take a good photograph
  23. make a baby sitter's kit
  24. lift without damaging your back
  25. apply make-up correctly
  26. learn French, German, Italian...
  27. plait or braid hair
  28. make an effective complaint
  29. save gas
  30. waltz (foxtrot, line dance, dance on point...)
  31. put on a dancing show
  32. organize a coffee morning
  33. run a meeting
  34. make a presentation
  35. do a cheap style make-over
  36. shop at thrift stores
  37. choose colors that suit you
  38. choose clothes that suit you
  39. knot a tie
  40. walk in high heels
  41. make your own cosmetics, creams, etc.
  42. start your own business
  43. recognize sound business deals
  44. take control of your personal finances
  45. buy a house
  46. negotiate a deal
  47. choose a college
  48. decide what career you want
  49. keep mentally alert and fit
  50. select the right make-up for yourself
  51. be a good friend
  52. agree to disagree to maintain a relationship
  53. say no politely
  54. whistle
  55. do a magic trick
  56. apologize sincerely
  57. maintain motivation through difficult times
  58. use the Heimlich maneuver
  59. handle and store firearms safely
  60. keep your sense of humor

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And then there's these 'how to' ideas...

Image: a group of women mannequins in a pond wearing bathing caps, gambling!  Text: Demonstration speech topic possibilities-How to interpret modern art.

How to:

  1. fix a blocked sink
  2. fix a leaking faucet
  3. replace a cracked tile
  4. polish wooden furniture
  5. restore a piece of furniture
  6. change a car tire
  7. interpret a modern painting
  8. read a palm
  9. burglar proof your home
  10. use the color wheel
  11. upcycle old furniture
  12. break a habit
  13. build a model airplane
  14. make and upload a video to YouTube
  15. become an influencer
  16. get a baby to go to sleep
  17. impersonate someone famous
  18. choose a piece of art
  19. stack firewood
  20. to be a good listener

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More good demonstration speech ideas & help 

How to put an effective demonstration speech together

Once you've chosen your demonstration speech topic find out more about how good demonstration speeches are structured. This is an easily followed 'how to' prepare your speech guide.

More interesting 'how to' speech topics!

Image: cartoon - happy family - Father and son, Mother and daughter. Text:Share, Show and tell about soft skills. They're vital for healthy relationships.

If you're still looking, try this page of 50 how to speech ideas.
These are unique demonstration speech topics focusing on teaching the soft skills that are vital for communicating well, living fully and harmoniously in our world. Two examples are: 'how to apologize sincerely' and 'how to accept personal criticism positively'.

100+ 10-minute demonstration speech topics

If you're still looking for inspiration to strike, you may find your perfect topic here: 100+ 10-minute demonstration speech topics. The list has been carefully curated to make sure the suggestions can be covered efficiently and effectively in ten minutes or less. 

Here's a couple of examples: how to make a friendship bracelet, and, how to give medicine to your cat without being scratched to bits.

Image: very cute cat. Text: 100 plus 10 minute or less demonstration speech topics. How to give medicine to your cat without being scratched to bits.

And there is this collection of 188 funny how to speech topics.

Who said a demonstration speech needs to teach something practical and be serious? Many of these speech ideas are neither! Instead, they're pure, unadulterated silliness and fun. ☺

(I've included an example speech outline along with a free printable speech outline for your own use.)

Image: person dancing holding a bright blue umbrella in a black and white forest. Text: How to dance like no one's watching. 188 funny how to speech topics.

Give your speech structure - use an outline

Would using a printable blank demonstration speech outline help you with your speech?

Image: A row of colorful men's ties.
Text: Click to download a printable blank step by step demonstration speech outline

This outline will take you through an ordered sequence of steps to ensure your speech flows well from beginning to end.

Illustration: Wall paper background: blah, blah, blah. Text: Demonstration speech sample outline. How to leave a good voice mail message. Plus video.

If you'd like to see the outline in use, please check this page: demonstration speech sample outline.

You can follow the text of my speech, 'how to leave an effective voice mail message', through each of the sections in the outline. 

I also made a video (audio + slides) so that you can hear, as well as see, how the flow of information from one point to the next works.

I hope both the completed outline and the video help. ☺

How to get top marks!

And if your speech is being formally evaluated why not find out what the judge will be marking you on?
Click the link and you'll find a standard speech evaluation form explained and available to download.