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Demonstration Speech Topics

100+ demonstrative speech ideas for 'how to' presentations

By: Susan Dugdale  | Last modified: 08-21-2019 | First published: 04-01-2007

'What are the best demonstration speech topics?'

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.

The answer is simple but frustratingly inconclusive: 'It depends.'

These are the 'how to' or 'show and teach' speeches of which there are squillions of possibilities.

Potentially you could waste hours considering this demonstrative speech topic against that one.

The good news is that you don't have to. Instead you can bypass falling into that time sink by stepping efficiently through the guidelines below to reach an informed decision relatively quickly.

Page quick links

If you know what you're doing, skip the guidelines & go to ALL Demonstration Speech Topics

Or click a heading for a themed list.

Choosing a demonstration speech topic

An ideal demonstration speech topic depends on 5 essential elements and you need to think about each of them. 

1. Your interests

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

Without enthusiasm or knowledge it's hard to inspire others to want to know 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 wanting to know more.

2. Who the speech is for

You need to consider your audience before making your final choice.

- What demonstration speech topics would interest them?
- What would teach them something new?
- 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?

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

There is no point in choosing something complex to show and teach if you have very limited time. What you select needs to fit easily into the allotted time allowance.

5. 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 for example. Check before you make a final decision.

Using these demonstration speech ideas

Use the demonstration speech ideas 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 assessing the positive as well as negative aspects, keeping the audience, your interest, setting, time and assessment needs in mind.

Demonstration Speech Topics


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

How to:

  • read the clouds
  • read the stars
  • read the tides
  • read tree rings
  • recognize differing types of rock
  • read a landscape without a map
  • water divine
  • track animals in the wild
  • forecast weather
  • recognize poisonous plants or insects
  • survive in the wild
  • 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:

  • train a puppy
  • wash a dog
  • care for a kitten
  • saddle a horse
  • feed a dog, horse, cat,...correctly
  • interpret animal behavior
  • soothe a frightened dog, cat...
  • keep a pet dog or cat in an apartment
  • give medicines to your dog, cat...
  • care for an injured or sick pet
  • set up a fish bowl
  • choose a pet
  • 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:

  • companion plant to protect vegetables from insect pests
  • prepare basic landscaping plans
  • lay bricks or paving stones
  • build a fence
  • make a swing
  • make a children's play area
  • build a compost bin
  • make a greenhouse
  • make a windbreak
  • plant a tree
  • grow from seed
  • graft a plant
  • prepare and plant a tub of flowers or vegetables
  • plant a window box of herbs
  • prune a rose bush
  • care for garden tools
  • make a bird feeder
  • choose the right plants for the right situations
  • plant spring bulbs
  • recognize poisonous plants or insects
  • make a no-dig garden
  • encourage birds or bees into the garden
  • 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:

  • how to design & make a greeting card
  • knit
  • crochet
  • embroider
  • quilt
  • felt
  • make a perfect posy of flowers
  • learn to draw, sketch
  • learn to paint in water colors
  • make papier mache
  • work puppets
  • decoupage
  • use stencils
  • make natural dyes
  • spin or weave
  • create a seasonal center piece for the table
  • make a Christmas wreath
  • paint eggs
  • press flowers
  • scrapbook
  • make your own jewelry from antique buttons
  • sew your own clothes
  • design your own clothes
  • bonsai
  • arrange flowers
  • make your own soft furnishings
  • take a brass rubbing
  • batik
  • tie-dye a garment
  • 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:

  • learn to skate board
  • learn to surf
  • wax a surfboard
  • choose the right piece of sporting equipment (bike, surf or skate board, shoes, protective gear...)
  • score a game of tennis
  • catch a fish
  • prepare and set a fishing net
  • smoke a fish
  • play chess, checkers, dominoes, cards...
  • train for a marathon
  • use a snorkel correctly
  • hold a softball bat
  • care for a set of golf clubs
  • oil a bike
  • fix a puncture
  • prevent sporting injuries
  • fly a kite
  • be a team player
  • shoot a goal
  • ride a bike

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Food & More

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

How to:

  • make a perfect cup of coffee, tea...
  • use chop sticks
  • prepare green tea and serve it correctly
  • make chocolate
  • plan a party
  • store frozen food
  • sharpen a knife
  • prepare chicken safely
  • make your own relish, jam, pastry...
  • write a shopping list
  • plan a menu
  • organize your pantry
  • bake bread, bagels...
  • use seasonal vegetables
  • dry fruits and vegetables
  • make your own wedding cake
  • ice a cake
  • make desserts
  • cook economically
  • make healthy meals
  • carve vegetables
  • fold table napkins

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

How to:

  • read to a child
  • set a dinner table
  • talk to a deaf person
  • buy online safely
  • read body language
  • understand cultural differences in body language
  • travel safely in a foreign country
  • play with a small child
  • take a telephone message
  • eat politely
  • defend yourself (basic self defence)
  • do basic first aid
  • take a pulse
  • teach a child to read the time
  • prepare a baby's bottle
  • write a thank-you letter
  • read braille
  • alter your own clothes...take up a hem etc.
  • iron a shirt properly
  • take a good photograph
  • lift without damaging your back
  • apply make-up correctly
  • learn French, German, Italian...
  • plait or braid hair
  • make an effective complaint
  • save gas
  • waltz (foxtrot, line dance ...)
  • organise a coffee morning
  • run a meeting
  • make a presentation
  • do a cheap style make-over
  • shop at thrift stores
  • choose colors that suit you
  • choose clothes that suit you
  • knot a tie
  • walk in high heels
  • make your own cosmetics, creams etc
  • start your own business
  • take control of your personal finances
  • buy a house
  • choose a college
  • decide what career you want
  • keep fit
  • select the right make-up for you
  • whistle

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And then there's...

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:

  • fix a blocked sink
  • fix a leaking faucet
  • replace a cracked tile
  • polish wooden furniture
  • restore a piece of furniture
  • change a car tire
  • interpret a modern painting
  • read a palm
  • burglar proof your home
  • save money
  • recycle
  • break old habits
  • use a cell phone
  • how to make and upload a video to You-tube
  • text
  • read braille

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More demonstration topic ideas & help

How to put a good demonstration speech together

If 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 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 demonstration speech topics focus on teaching vital soft skills like 'how to apologize sincerely' or 'how to accept personal criticism positively'.

Give your speech structure

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.