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50 soft skill 'how to' speech ideas
'How to' speech ideas
- 50 'how to' public speaking topics for demonstration speeches
By: Susan Dugdale | Last modified: 05-01-2019 | First published: 07-01-2011
These how to speech ideas focus on soft skills often learned the hard way. They make a refreshing change from the usual topics chosen for demonstration or 'how to' speeches.
Let's talk about soft skills
We know soft skills are a vital part of acquiring and sustaining healthy interpersonal relationships. Despite that how we learn good and useful soft skills is frequently overlooked.
What are soft skills?
Soft skills is the name given to the complex bundle of behaviors that help us grow and maintain relationships. Eg. being courteous, accepting criticism well, learning to control our temper, knowing when and how to ask for help ...
Check this Wikipedia definition for more. It gives an excellent overview and provides links for further information.
Getting to grips with soft skills
They can be tricky to get a handle on because unlike hard skills (eg. cooking, learning to drive a car, mending a puncture in a bike tire, or skiing) there are no step by step instructions to follow in order to get them.
That makes using them as a subject for a speech even more valuable.
If you can put together a sincere, researched show and tell demonstrating how to use any of the soft skills listed in the topics below you'll be offering something of true worth to your audience. Because if we want to do the best we can for ourselves and each other we need competency in all the soft skills we can get!
The absorption method of learning can be unreliable
In an ideal world we would all get great soft skills unconsciously, naturally, without effort. We would simply absorb them from those around us and use them without question in the same way that we breathe without stopping to think whether we need to or not.
However life isn't ideal.
We are human. Our primary role models are not always perfect. Consequently what we learn through observation and experience is often deeply flawed.
Learning from experience
As we become more conscious we begin to understand how our behavior plays a significant role in shaping our lives. If we are open to it the impact of what we do will teach us what we have to learn.
For instance: when, and how to apologize sincerely, how to listen well, how to let go of anger safely and appropriately ...
Having these skills makes a vast difference
These 'how to topics' list personal skills that collectively make the difference between being hired or not hired, liked or not liked, noticed or ignored, leader or follower ...Using any one of them for your speech could quite literally change someone's life for the better.
There are 5 groups of 10 soft skill demonstration speech topics below to choose from.
10 soft skill 'how to' speech ideas
- How to motivate others
- How to say 'no' politely
- How to think creatively
- How to make a 'good' complaint - one that is taken seriously
- How to listen effectively
- How to apologize sincerely
- How to say thank you graciously
- How to acknowledge someone who has just been bereaved or suffered a major set back
- How to show appreciation or that you care
- How to work in a small group
Ten more vital soft skills topics
- How to think before you speak
- How to handle a temper tantrum from
an adult, a child, a colleague ...
- How to respond to bullying toward yourself, or another
- How to handle rudeness - being ignored, spoken to disrespectfully ...
- How to think on your feet or spontaneously
- How to be patient
- How to ask for a raise
- How to judge timing for opening a sensitive or difficult conversation
- How to settle a dispute
- How to respond to those who gossip or whine
Another 10 "how to" speech ideas
- How and when to give a compliment
- How to tell someone something you know will upset them hugely
- How to get your opinion valued and listened to
- How to stop unwanted thoughts
- How to let go of anger safely and appropriately
- How to stay calm in difficult situations
- How to genuinely feel pleased about someone else's good fortune
- How to focus or concentrate well
- How to promote cooperation and togetherness
- How to work harmoniously with someone you don't fully respect or like
Yet another ten topic possibilities
- How to get, practice and keep a new skill
- How to use humor well
- How to keep your home life from impacting on your work life
- How to be grateful
- How to set and achieve new goals
- How to organize your time
- How to accept criticism positively
- How to be gracious in defeat and learn from it
- How to acknowledge your shortcomings without debasing yourself
- How to put yourself in another's shoes
And the remaining ten suggestions!
- How to read and use body language effectively
- How to problem solve effectively
- How to be 'up-beat' and open to new ideas
- How to encourage and support others to step outside the known
- How to welcome a new person into your work place
- How to break the ice with someone you don't know but want to
- How to talk to your manager, (boss), naturally and easily
- How to teach a new skill well
- How to disagree with someone's idea without offending or putting them down
- How to evaluate ideas and events
Working these speech topics
Choosing one as the topic of your demonstration speech could give just the growth opportunity your audience would deeply appreciate.
Don't be afraid to experiment and adapt them to suit. Use role plays to model non-effective and effective interactions and try getting your audience involved with practice and feedback opportunities.
With a light touch and a dash of self-deprecating humor, the speech will be fun to give and enjoyable to receive.
Related pages of interest: