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Impromptu public speaking topics

-200 first-rate impromptu speech topics 

By: Susan Dugdale 

There are 200 impromptu public speaking topics here split into four random (un-themed) lists of fifty:

  1. 50 impromptu topics
  2. Yet another 50 random speech topics
  3. Then 50 more good impromptu speech topics
  4. And finally, 50 funny impromptu speech topics.
  5. Plus links to more impromptu speech topics and activities.

The topics cover a broad cross section of subject matter. Use them for table topics at your Toastmaster's Club, with your high school public speaking class as practice for debate competitions or, by yourself.

Some of them are quirky and funny.

Many are deliberately provocative to stimulate a response from both you, the speaker and, your audience!

Others are open-ended or neutral to allow whatever occurs in your mind to fit the topic. You could use those ones to tell a true story; a personal experience, share your personal bloopers, or talk about the meaning of life!

Any one of the 200 will make a good subject for an excellent impromptu speech.

These types of speeches, off the cuff and without much time to prepare, are a great way to polish communication skills. And, most importantly, they're fun!

Are you in a hurry & needing impromptu speech topics ready for use now?

Solve your problem in 5 minutes. Get the first list of 50 impromptu speech topics on this page plus 48 more in an instantly available print-and-go pdf.

50 + 48 = 98 impromptu speech topics!

Quick tips for practicing by yourself:

  • Choose a good topic, one that appeals to you from any one of the lists below.

  • Give yourself a strictly monitored preparation time of no more than one minute in which to note an opening, a couple of main points with examples and, a conclusion.

  • Deliver your speech while timing and, if possible, recording it. Aim to speak for a couple of minutes.

  • When you play the recording back, listen for speech structure, (Is there one?), content and fluency. Each of these combine to create the overall impact of your speech.

If you're using these impromptu speaking topics with a friend or in front of an audience in a classroom, use the same method but skip the recording.

Be sure though to allow enough time to give and receive feedback. Along with regular practice, it's a vital part of improving!

The goal

Ideally once you or your class has become more confident, you'll allow less preparation time.

The ultimate goal is to be given a speech topic, do some quick thinking and to begin speaking on the subject coherently and easily, almost immediately.

Traffic light on green -start your impromptu speech now!There's the green light! Open your mouth and go!

Literally, you get given the topic, the green light, timer or stop watch is flicked on, you open your mouth and go!

Get help with impromptu speaking formats

If you've arrived at this page on impromptu public speaking topics without having seen my impromptu speaking tips page, pay a visit there too.

You'll get really useful information on structural patterns as well as delivery tips.

If you're new to making this kind of short duration speech, both will help a great deal.

The 7 patterns, in particular, are invaluable. They'll stop you from blundering aimlessly around blurting whatever occurs to you first! Something I remember doing quite frequently before I found them. ☺

Image: Opening screen of video 7 templates for impromptu speaking. Organize your speech quickly, easily and effectively.

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50 impromptu public speaking topics

  1. My biggest concern for the future is...
  2. Real wealth is never measured in money or possessions.
  3. Conservation is survival.
  4. Real love is not the stuff of pop songs.
  5. If I were an animal I'd be a...
  6. Plants have feelings too.
  7. Junk food's popularity relies on marketing.
  8. To err is human. To forgive is divine. Discuss.
  9. The world is a smaller place these days.
  10. The more we communicate, the less we really say.
  11. When I grow up...
  12. The best letter of the alphabet is...
  13. Goals are good for you.
  14. The most important lesson of my life so far...
  15. Intelligence is not enough.
  16. If I ruled the world...
  17. Color affects the way people feel.
  18. Ill health begins in the mind.
  19. Team sports build strong individuals.
  20. Laughter is the best medicine.
  21. Fools and their money are easily parted.
  22. Discipline is not a dirty word.
  23. Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder.
  24. Children learn what they live with.
  25. My favorite day of the year is...
  26. What characteristics make an ideal hero and why?
  27. What and who is an average person?
  28. Being young is over-rated.
  29. In what situation is lying a good idea?
  30. Does money make the world go round?
  31. What human quality do we need more of and why?
  32. Who has been the most influential person in your life and why?
  33. How we look is unimportant. It's who we are on the inside that counts.
  34. Fashion victims I have known.
  35. Pets are for people who don't have children.
  36. Summer is the best and worst of times. Why?
  37. The media controls how and what we think.
  38. Advertising targeting children is immoral.
  39. Talking to someone and talking with someone are two different activities.
  40. Real learning doesn't occur in a classroom.
  41. What would you rather be - wise or intelligent?
  42. True wisdom comes from experience.
  43. A sense of humor is essential.
  44. Uniforms stifle individuality.
  45. What is normal is decided by the society we live in.
  46. Manners matter.
  47. Children should not watch television.
  48. Art is essential to life.
  49. Cities are for people not cars.
  50. Peace is possible.   

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Grab 'n go for busy people - Printable Speech Topics

Impromptu Speech Topics on the RUN

Image: label with parchment paper background. Text: 98 Serendipity Selection Printable Speech Topic Cards

Get the first 50 topics on this page PLUS 48 more.

It's a Serendipity (little-bit-of everything) Selection in an instantly available printable format: 14 topics per A4 page.

Preview an extract. See the 14 topics on page 5 of 7.

Image: Preview button

98 printable impromptu speech topics

Select, print, cut-and-GO!

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50 excellent random impromptu speech topics

Here's the second list of 50. If a topic ends with an ellipsis, (...), replace it with a word or phrase of your choice.

E.g. 'I wish I was...' might become 'I wish I was sitting on a beach with my best friend.', or 'I wish I was more courageous.'

  1. What has more impact? Being beautiful or being kind?
  2. I wish I was...
  3. The color yellow reminds of...
  4. Swear words are satisfying to say.
  5. Share one important memory.
  6. What have you said that you immediately regretted?
  7. Explain how to withstand peer group pressure.
  8. The only certainties in life are death and taxes.
  9. Nationalism fuels wars.
  10. Doing what you want, when you want, does not build character.
  11. Every woman needs a husband.
  12. Love is exploited by manufacturers and shopkeepers.
  13. The Christmas season has been hijacked for profit.
  14. Vital medicines should be free.
  15. Social service should be compulsory.
  16. Being poor is not a crime.
  17. Love is not always the answer.
  18. What does it mean to be in a black mood?
  19. We should have Thanksgiving every day.
  20. When is stealing necessary?
  21. What is unforgivable?
  22. Being wrong is good for us.
  23. Who is the enemy? Why?
  24. Ignorance is a root cause of violence.
  25. What I loved doing most as a kid.
  26. A saying I’ll never forget is...
  27. The most important lesson I learned from my mother.
  28. What foreign language should we learn.
  29. If you could be a famous person for a day who would you be?
  30. The silliest thing I ever saw.
  31. An idea is never original.
  32. Copying other people is not bad. It’s the way we learn.
  33. Social media is both good and bad.
  34. The item I value most.
  35. We procrastinate because we are fearful of being wrong.
  36. Learning not to pre-judge a person is very difficult.
  37. The last book I read.
  38. My favorite time of the day.
  39. If I changed my name I’d change it to...
  40. People in my family never...
  41. Something I want to believe in but can’t.
  42. Becoming educated is a life-long mission.
  43. Learning to be grateful for what we have makes us happier.
  44. Sexual predation is never acceptable.
  45. Real friends love us, despite our faults.
  46. How to tell the difference between real and fake news.
  47. Describe an everyday miracle.
  48. Being different makes the world a richer place.
  49. Green washing is a modern crime.
  50. The contents of my bathroom cupboard.

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Another 50 good impromptu speech topics

And here's the third list!

  1. Comfort food: what is the food that makes you feel good.
  2. How I got my name and what it means.
  3. What would happen if I had to be without my phone.
  4. An everyday hero.
  5. What qualities makes a person a leader?
  6. It’s OK to be wrong and it’s OK to fail.
  7. My favorite clothes: what are they, and why have you chosen them.
  8. My favorite song: what it is, and why is it your favorite.
  9. My favorite place: the place where I feel best.
  10. The worst food I’ve ever eaten.
  11. My favorite season of the year.
  12. How being locked down over Covid has changed how we learn.
  13. How the Covid pandemic changed my life.
  14. What country I want to visit and why.
  15. How to break a bad habit.
  16. The best trick I ever played.
  17. A skill I want to learn.
  18. The difference between liking and loving someone.
  19. Why keeping up with national and international news is important.
  20. The sport that seems strangest to me.
  21. Cars reflect their owners.
  22. The clouds in the sky sometimes remind me of...
  23. We need to take cyber-security seriously.
  24. How can you tell if someone is telling a lie.
  25. Trees communicate with each other.
  26. What I collect, and why.
  27. Curiosity underpins inventions.
  28. I wish someone would explain to me why...
  29. What I am most proud of about myself.
  30. If you could go back in time, what time and event would you return to?
  31. Three convincing reasons for not completing your homework.
  32. Tell two truths and one lie. Ask the audience to pick the lie.
  33. Why is it important to look someone in the eye?
  34. What is the absolutely best way to relax?
  35. Is there truth in the saying: “Clothes make the man”?
  36. In what ways can sport be seen as a religion?
  37. The three most annoying habits of people in my family.
  38. How to sound and act like an expert.
  39. Is it immoral for the immensely wealthy not to use their money to help people living in poverty?
  40. Is there any truth in the saying: “Fake it until you make it”?
  41. Why do some people behave as if they are superior to others?
  42. My secret ambition is to become...
  43. Name three words setting your peer group and generation apart from your parent’s generation? Eg. GOAT, dope, sick. What do they mean? How are they used?
  44. Why girls should be allowed to play contact sports.
  45. Why vaping should be banned along with cigarettes.
  46. Why is it important to vote?
  47. Who is the best person you have ever met? Why are they the best?
  48. What would you do if you could do anything?
  49. Explain these sayings: “take a chill pill” and “all that glitters is not gold”.
  50. In what major ways has the world changed in the last 20 years?

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Finally, 50 funny impromptu speech topics

  1. What I wish I'd said. Responses I would have given if I was quick enough.
  2. If you could choose a theme song, what would yours be and why?
  3. If my pet could talk, this is what they'd say about me.
  4. If you ran the news outlets, what would your top headlines for today be?
  5. Tell us about the worst hair cut you ever had.
  6. What clothing choices have you made in the past that you now regret?
  7. If you were a hero for the day, what would you do?
  8. Why does Murphy's Law (Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong) kick in when we're under pressure? 
  9. What kinds of things are you a secret snob about?
  10. Three reasons why I decided to take up extreme knitting.
  11. Why sports cars should only be driven by young beautiful people.
  12. What are the worst chores you've ever had to do around your home.
  13. What is the funniest personal habit you've witnessed in your friends or family?
  14. Three funny facts about your home country.
  15. What's wrong with saving the best for last?
  16. The best trick that's ever been played on me.
  17. The real reasons why I decided to become a pop star.
  18. Which celebrity would you invite to dinner?
  19. What 'funny story' gets told over and over again in your family?
  20. What food did you dislike the most as a child and why?
  21. What's the silliest situation you've even been in?
  22. Share an amusing situation where you read someone's body language wrongly.
  23. What eccentric habits are you going to adopt?
  24. If you could become someone else, who would you be and why?
  25. What three things bore you the most?
  26. What personal habit has caused you the most trouble?
  27. Why is your daily horoscope always right?
  28. What is the best day of the week, and why?
  29. How to become an expert procrastinator.
  30. Three things I wish my mother had told me.
  31. Fascinating trivia - the useless facts I know.
  32. How to recover from embarrassing yourself publicly. 
  33. What's the real story behind the saying: "to beat around the bush" or "to take the cake"?
  34. What would you invent if you could?
  35. If you could meet a person from the past, who would it be, and why? 
  36. What's your three top tips for living well?
  37. If you could only have the same food every day, what would you choose?
  38. What happened on your best 'worst' date?
  39. The top ways to make people like you. 
  40. The real reasons why people do not talk to each other on public transport.
  41. The reasons why I will bequeath my fortune to my cat.
  42. What item of clothing do you own that makes you feel good?
  43. If you had a personal logo, what would it be? 
  44. What words or phrases do people use that let us know who they mix with, and how old they are?
  45. What is the silliest or most trivial problem you currently have?
  46. If 'looks can kill', who would you most like to see in front of you and why? 
  47. What thing have you kept for sentimental reasons? Why?
  48. What words do people frequently use that annoy you immensely?
  49. What is something you've misplaced or lost that had inconvenient consequences?
  50. What online sites frequently cause you to lose track of time?   

10+ themed sets of fun impromptu speech topics fresh from the creative, wild and wacky department! 

If you're looking for inspiration for your public speaking class or you need table topics for Toastmasters, these are contagiously silly subjects:  lighthearted and nonsensical. (Like the bumper sticker wisdom quote illustrated below.)

Fun Impromptu Speech Topics to get them laughing - the best way to learn ☺

Image: graduates in blue gowns. Text: Always remember you are unique. Just like everyone else.

Here's four themed sets of 20 table topic questions: Christmas, music, life-lessons and thought-provoking topic ideas. There's a printable for each set, plus an overview of table topics: its benefits, how a Toastmasters table topics session is run, what makes a good topic, the value of feedback, and more. 

Image: graphic of 4 people with 4 speech bubbles. Text: Table topics Toastmasters What, how, why, who and 80 plus topic ideas.
green dividing line

Another option are these 150 1 minute speech topics. They are split into 3 groups of 50: those suitable for kids, 50 work/career themed suggestions and another 50 just for fun. You'll also find 3 sample speech outlines and example speeches: text and audio. Plus a free printable speech outline.                

Image: Cartoon style clock face. Text: From zero to hero in 60 seconds. 150 one minute speech topics.
Yellow banner. Text: You're most welcome to use this content in your online learning program. Please make it a do follow link.

See example impromptu speech outlines

Click for example impromptu speech outlines. See how to take a topic and develop it into an outline for a speech. You'll find examples of seven different structural patterns: PREP, Problem - Solution, Cause - Effect - Remedy, Before - The Event - The Result, Past - Present - Future, and two more.

Each comes with a printable outline for your own use, which seems like an oxymoron doesn't it? In the same league as 'lead balloon' and 'civil war'. When did war become civil, or balloons filled with lead actually fly? They didn't.

Impromptu speaking and completing an outline only makes sense if you regard the outline as tool to help you commit the pattern to memory. Once you've got it, you'll no longer need to write your key points and their transitions out.

Go to impromptu speech outline patterns.

Banner: 7 impromptu speech outline patterns, completed examples plus printable outlines

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Fun activities for practicing impromptu speaking

Image: a red cabbage - an unlikely candidate for an interview however in this public speaking game anything is possible.

For more impromptu speaking practice ideas visit this page of public speaking games

While some of these activities are drama based you'll find all 10 of them useful and FUN! They are especially good if you're a teacher looking for ideas to help you plan impromptu public speaking lessons for your class.

The One Minute Speeches activity featured below is included in the collection however it's minus the pdf of instructions, game variations and printable topics.

One minute speeches - 368 topics + instructions!

Image: Banner saying write-out-loud, One Minute Speeches

368 topics, instructions for introducing and running a session on One Minute Speeches, plus activity variations in an instantly available format. A great reusable impromptu speaking resource for busy teachers! Have a look: One Minute Speeches

Impromptu speech activities bundle

And for those of you who want more than one activity check out this comprehensive bundle of 17 proven fun and effective impromptu speech activities, complete with full guidelines and printables. 

Image: colorful label for ebook  Text: 17 fun effective impromptu speech activities

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