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'How to' speech ideas:

- 50 'how to' public speaking topics for demonstration speeches

These how to speech ideas focus on soft skills often learned the hard way.

We know they are a vital part of acquiring and sustaining good interpersonal relationships but their importance is frequently overlooked.

 mural I am strong

In an ideal world we're supposed to get them unconsciously, naturally, without effort.

We simply absorb 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.

But life isn't ideal. We don't all learn useful interpersonal or soft skills without applied effort.

What are soft skills? Check the Wikipedia definition

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 ...

There are 5 groups of 10 below.

1. Soft skills 'how to' speech ideas

parts of the brain marked on ceramic model of a woman's heade

  1. How to motivate others
  2. How to say 'no' politely
  3. How to think creatively
  4. How to make a 'good' complaint - one that is taken seriously
  5. How to listen effectively
  6. How to apologize sincerely
  7. How to say thank you graciously
  8. How to acknowledge someone who has just been bereaved or suffered a major set back
  9. How to show appreciation or that you care
  10. How to work in a small group


  1. How to think before you speak
  2. How to handle a temper tantrum from
    an adult, a child, a colleague ...
  3. How to respond to bullying toward yourself, or another
  4. How to handle rudeness - being ignored, spoken to disrespectfully ...
  5. How to think on your feet or spontaneously
  6. How to be patient
  7. How to ask for a raise
  8. How to judge timing for opening a sensitive or difficult conversation
  9. How to settle a dispute
  10. How to respond to those who gossip or whine


  • 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

4. 'How to' speech ideas

  1. How to get, practice and keep a new skill
  2. How to use humor well
  3. How to keep your home life from impacting on your work life
  4. How to be grateful
  5. How to set and achieve new goals
  6. How to organize your time
  7. How to accept criticism positively
  8. How to be gracious in defeat and learn from it
  9. How to acknowledge your shortcomings without debasing yourself
  10. How to put yourself in another's shoes


woman's brain marked on model head

  1. How to read and use body language effectively
  2. How to problem solve effectively
  3. How to be 'up-beat' and open to new ideas
  4. How to encourage and support others to step outside the known
  5. How to welcome a new person into your work place
  6. How to break the ice with someone you don't know but want to
  7. How to talk to your manager, (boss), naturally and easily
  8. How to teach a new skill well
  9. How to disagree with someone's idea without offending or putting them down
  10. How to evaluate ideas and events

Working these speech ideas

Choosing one as a demonstrative speech topic 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.

mural - I am strong

With a light touch and a dash of self-deprecating humor, the speech will be fun to give and enjoyable to receive.

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