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100 Motivational Speech Topics & How to Structure Speeches

17 May 2019

A motivational speech is a type intended to deliver a convincing and inspiring message – this oftentimes messages listeners are expected to act upon/ implement in their own lives/ communities to improve themselves or their immediate environment.

Knowing how to deliver a brief or long motivational speech is especially important for students from a professional perspective given that they might obtain managing positions and might need to inspire or guide people from time to time. This article comprises wide selection of motivational speech topics as well as set of guidelines for structuring an effective motivational speech.

Motivational Essay Topics

Motivational Speech Importance & Structure

Motivational speech is important because it helps focus human attention on reaching consensus on a problem or for guiding and synchronizing individual or collective efforts towards performing an action, searching for or implementing solutions to a given problem.

Regardless of what motivational speech ideas they originate from, such speeches usually share some common structural elements – they start with highly interesting, shocking remarks or with highly relevant information for public whose attention needs to be captured.

After that, either a problem is stated or an argument/ position is presented – for both cases, this is explained, supported with evidence, reasoning, or real-life examples. A fairly common ending for motivational speeches is a call to action, be it a change in behavior, worldview, or something else.

If you a “write my speech for me” request, Edubirdie can take care of all aspects related to structure, style, formatting, grammar, content, sources, and even helping with selecting some inspirational speech topics. In case deadlines are particularly tough or budget limited, you might also consider requesting prewritten speeches from our experts.

Monroe’s Motivated Sequence

Monroe's motivated sequence is a technique of persuading an audience or interlocutor, which is applicable to a wide variety of motivational topics that have persuasive component. This sequence consists of five key elements/ steps:

  • Capture attention – do this through storytelling, by using humor, shocking statistics, inspiring quotations, rhetorical questions, etc. You could do this through 1 minute to 5 minute intervention depending on how much you want to say here and depending on how much time you have allocated for entire speech.
  • Illustrate the need – you should illustrate/ convince audience that it has a psychological or other kind of need that is not going to disappear by itself and which requires action for achieving desired result. It means that you should demonstrate (using arguments, persuasion, evidence) that there is a serious problem, that negatively affects audience, and that addressing it would bring significant benefits while not doing so would have negative consequences. The main point is to make audience eager to embrace proposed solution to this problem.
  • Satisfy the need – present solutions that address specific problems. Solutions and your position should be well-explained, viable, based on convincing examples or statistics, on high-quality and trustworthy data/ sources. At this stage, presenters should be also ready to convincingly refute counterarguments.
  • Visualize the future. This could be done for one or both of following scenarios: if solution is adopted and in case it is not. You should be as detailed as possible in depicting each scenario – current deficient status-quo disadvantages should be presented clearly, just like benefits of a brighter future resulting from adopting mentioned solution. To ensure credibility, it is important that these visions are realistic and not exaggerated/ inflated.
  • Encourage action – inform audience about specific actions they take for addressing/ solving problem. This could be done through a short 2 minute to 3 minute intervention but much more time should be dedicated depending on the topic and on what role action has an overall story. Don’t set exaggerated and numerous expectations but rather encourage involvement and step by step solutions, you might actively participate in or organize follow-up events.

100 Motivational Speech Topics for Students

Below is an original and comprehensive list of motivational speech topics intended for college students, for youth in general, for anyone else interested and which could be used directly or could serve as inspiration source for related topics:

Business & Management Topics

  1. Starting your own business in the US - key lessons about persistence
  2. Art of recovering from failures
  3. Most epic failures in my specialization field after which people recovered gloriously
  4. Key features successful startups have in common
  5. Teamwork importance in an emerging business
  6. How nowadays, innovative ideas lead to corporations in record terms
  7. Smart contracts enabled by blockchain technology - a huge transformative potential.
  8. What would world look like when cryptocurrency is fully adopted & integrated?
  9. Key innovative technologies from last five years analyzed as investment opportunities
  10. Using customer feedback by businesses for self-improvement
  11. Corporate responsibility as a valuable tool in humanizing face of businesses
  12. Inspiring corporate responsibility stories (projects implemented in developing communities, environmentally targeted campaigns, etc.)
  13. Benefits for resilience associated with bigger businesses
  14. Success in enforcing transparent and fair financial operations internationally
  15. Spaced repetition role in mastering study material, its direct reliance on discipline
  16. Current generations will bring that radical change needed for addressing global warming & pollution problems
  17. Getting ready for a very rapidly evolving job market - what skills should US students focus on?

Educational Topics

  1. Studying or working in a multicultural environment benefits
  2. Reflecting on privilege of benefiting from a high-quality education
  3. Lifelong learning importance & constant professional self-improvement
  4. Benefits resulting from being the first to master emerging technologies
  5. Underestimated competence of being able to efficiently & rapidly find very specific information on Internet (using search formulas, scripts, etc.)
  6. Professional success key determinants according to statistical studies
  7. Education beyond professional attainment
  8. School curriculum as unifying/ binding force
  9. Schools without homework - potential benefits associated with such paradigm shift
  10. Successful stories the US learns from - Finland educational system
  11. Free college/ university education should be a universal right in USA

Environmental Topics

  1. Avoiding polarization with regard to environmental issues among current students
  2. Tips on avoiding the most common problems faced by US students after graduation
  3. Balanced social life importance & recreation for academic achievement
  4. Inspiring stories and strategies of coping with psychological challenges and stress when having a medical or nursing job
  5. Patient gratitude felt towards medical & nursing personnel as an important motivation for working in this field
  6. Supportive teams and environments as an important benefit of nursing jobs
  7. Nursing jobs are rewarding for social people due to opportunities for social interaction
  8. A long average lifespan worldwide as an important merit of current advanced medicine
  9. Emergency injections with oxygen-containing lipid microvesicles as an innovative way to save lives
  10. Injections with expandable beads into open wounds as a means to stop severe bleeding from accidents and save lives
  11. Using low temperatures in surgery (to prevent brain damage)
  12. Benefits for the US society resulting from more investments in preventive medicine measures
  13. How some psychedelic substances can help in treating depression according to science
  14. Growing your kids in closer contact with nature - a way to avoid asthma
  15. Educating behavior that encourages charitable acts in your children

Nature vs Nurture Topics

  1. Women empowerment -  a view on the last 3 generations (with examples from real life)
  2. What it means to be a man in the 21st century (focus on values, worldview)
  3. How families should deal with the challenges of contemporary life
  4. Being a model for your children from different perspectives: professional, personal development, role played in the community, family, etc.
  5. Importance of exposing children and adolescents to models of successful and honorable people
  6. Importance of communicating honestly with your children throughout their lives
  7. Underrated art of patience & silent observation

Sound mind, sound body

  1. Learning basic meditation tricks for better self-control
  2. Meditation types & what we learn from each
  3. Scientific evidence that meditation significantly affects our gene expression
  4. Certain types of meditation make possible empathy “training”
  5. Meditating brains under Magnetic Resonance Imaging - inspiring lessons and conclusions
  6. How to be open-minded & adaptive - the challenges of self-improvement in an increasingly dynamic world
  7. Why you should always strive to be better but be realistic about your expectations
  8. Self-improvement - why changing our actions is the shortcut to changing who we are
  9. Stories dealing with character change - the holy grail of self-improvement
  10. Hunting for the elusive formula of originality in contemporary art
  11. Examples of heroic deeds performed by scientists throughout history

Topics about Technology

  1. The revolution in efficiency brought by AI and machine learning
  2. Going for the green future - what key actions are expected from us?
  3. How individuals changing their lifestyles could reshape entire cities - the example of cycling in Copenhagen & Amsterdam
  4. Ways in which cities may encourage environmentally friendly lifestyles
  5. Electric cars mean the air in future megalopolises would be breathable
  6. Fast transition to solar energy will address many health problems created by air pollution
  7. Shift in profitability - solar energy is becoming cheaper than thermoelectric energy in many countries
  8. Will transitioning to Tesla cars be as fast as transitioning from horses to cars
  9. How heavy investments in renewable energy sources lead to very cheap or free electricity
  10. The economic boost made possible by free electricity generated from renewable sources
  11. Irrigating deserts with desalinated water powered by renewable energy
  12. Harnessing wave and tidal energy
  13. Research on nuclear fusion devices (stellarators, tokamaks) able to deliver virtually unlimited energy
  14. Mastering nuclear fusion would have a profound civilization-wide impact
  15. Cities as a means to save on infrastructure costs while delivering high standards of life for its inhabitants
  16. Strategies for implementing stronger relationships between city inhabitants and nature
  17. Diets that help reduce environmental impact and animal suffering
  18. Why even non-vegetarians change their diets in environmentally impactful ways
  19. Easy tips any household could follow to change impact on environment
  20. Changing our shopping habits and philosophy to minimize environmental impact
  21. The positive impact that electric container barges introduced by Tesla could have on maritime transport and environment

Science Topics

  1. What opportunities are opened by drones for package delivery
  2. Sharing self-driving electro-cars for passenger transport - will this be the future taxi service?
  3. How would Hyperloop change the world in terms of transportation speed and reliable schedules
  4. Impactful cost cuts for space exploration allowed by recovery and reuse of first stages (rocket boosters)
  5. Curiosity Rover - the miracle of viewing Martian sunsets
  6. Why computer scripts are totally indispensable for successful drone landing on Mars
  7. Prospects of establishing self-sufficient colonies on Mars
  8. Opportunities opened by an extensive array of satellites that could monitor every square inch on Earth in real time (early warnings about tsunamis, earthquakes, improved farming, solving traffic congestion, better weather prediction, etc.)
  9. Prospects for addressing the false information epidemics on Internet
  10. Individuals undermine empires - success stories of individuals who brought change to entire nations/ regions
  11. Revisiting the role of church in a modern society
  12. Positive thinking - training yourself in mastering this art

Effective Motivational Speech Topics

  1. Humans - creatures on two legs and ungrateful (F. Dostoevsky)
  2. Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education. (Franklin D. Roosevelt)
  3. "There is no secret of life. Life's aim, if it has one, is simply to be always looking for temptations.” (Oscar Wilde)
  4. “If there must be trouble let it be in my day that my child may have peace.” (Tom Paine)
  5. “Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.” (Mahatma Gandhi)
  6. “Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” (Lou Holtz)

You’ll also find more topics for motivational speeches on our website, such as our commemorative speech ideas rubric or our demonstration speech topics rubric. Many funny motivational topics can be found in our comprehensive lists of funny topics (for instance, among our lists of funny persuasive speech topics).

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We hope that the selection provided above helped you identify at least a few good motivational speech topics for further pursuit. As stated, our professional writers help you both with topic selection and with writing up your entire speech. Our policies allow you to select your preferred writer based on performance scores and to communicate with him/her throughout the project by providing additional guidance and feedback and by reviewing speech outlines and drafts.

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