Cooking is easy. The puzzle is figuring out what to eat. As soon as you know that, you can get started. The same holds for presentations. The sooner you can whip up a good, informative, and catchy topic, the easier the rest of the process becomes.
Pick a good topic that resonates with you and your audience to set a strong foundation. But select the wrong topic, and it becomes difficult to connect with your audience, find mutual interests, or hold their attention.
So, let’s learn how to develop thought-provoking and relevant topics for your presentations. You’ll also find some best practices to make your presentation memorable.
Table of Contents
How to Choose a Great Presentation Topic in 5 Steps
We’ve broken down the painstakingly long process of choosing a topic into five simple and easy steps. Let’s walk through it.
Step 1: Begin with the end in mind.
Identify the goal of your presentation by asking yourself:
What do I hope to achieve from the presentation?
How do I want to come across?
What do I want my audience to take away from the presentation?
By keeping the end goal in mind, you’ll know exactly how to title your presentation.
Step 2: Know your audience.
Your audience is the star of the show. Get to know them by figuring out the who, what, and why.
Who is your audience? Profile your audience. Know their demographics, beliefs, knowledge level, and cultural backgrounds.
What are the problems that your audience is facing? Think about their pain points. Consider what they are going through and what situations they face daily. Maybe they’re already looking for a solution, or they need additional information to decide.
Why should they listen to you? Identify one or more clear benefits for your audience they will take home.
Pro tip: Always consider your audience’s knowledge level on the topic before drafting your presentation. For example, a presentation on social media targeted at Gen Z will differ from that targeted at Millennials.
Step 3: Be novel.
Make sure you either select a new topic or bring an entirely new and unique perspective to an already covered issue.
For instance, don’t make a presentation on the “best lead generation strategies.” Your audience has probably heard those dozens of times already. Corny.
Instead, discuss “How companies are using AI technology to implement lead generation strategies without lifting a finger.” Or add your own perspective, “How to seal a 1M deal: Our five best lead generation strategies.” Open a new window and let your audience see a fresh view.
Step 4: Be precise.
Once you have completed the first three steps, you probably have a few topic ideas ready. Now, cut out all the excess and select a niche topic with a very specific goal.
The broader your topic, the more difficult it will be for your audience to take away key ideas and actionable tips. Also, it’d be more difficult to gather an audience.
Discuss one problem and solve that problem only. By the end, your audience should have a clear idea of what they’ve gained from the presentation and what one (several at max) problems you helped solve.
For instance, the first topic in the image is generic, sounds vague, and doesn’t specify any clear benefits.
In turn, the second topic mentions the target audience, tells them what to expect, and provides a clear, actionable plan. The audience knows exactly what they will take away from the presentation.
Step 5: Leverage your expertise.
The most important element that can make or break your presentation is you. The level of expertise you bring in, your interest, knowledge, and comfort with the topic determine the credibility of your presentation.
Pick a topic you’ve got first-hand experience with. Bring in a unique opinion or learnings/findings to add value to your words.
Let the audience view the topic from your perspective. In doing so, you can hook your audience and make your presentation original and memorable.
Also, choose a topic that you’re passionate about. The more enthusiastic you are about the topic, the more value and credibility you’ll bring to the presentation.
The audience will feel it and invigorate. And so will the lack thereof, which can be a big turn-off for your listeners.
Ever noticed how some people talk about sports? Their body language oozes energy and excitement.
Pro tip: Think about what excites you about the topic. Then narrow it down to 2 to 5 driving factors to focus on in your presentation.
120 Presentation Topic Ideas
Find an extensive list of topic ideas from personal experiences to digital marketing and AI. So, the next time you’re planning a presentation, you won’t have to start from scratch.
Presentation Topic Ideas for Personal Experiences
The failures that made “Me”
My journey from having a full-time job to freelance work
How has social media lowered my self-esteem?
How I turned my weakness into a strength
5 ways to avoid procrastination
Making money during holidays
My battle with Covid-19
Coping with anxiety and depression
Leveraging my special skills
Working remotely: pros and cons for companies and employees
What I wanted to be and what I became
How I rediscovered myself after the tragedy
Presentation Topic Ideas for Controversial Issues
Future of genetically modified food and preservatives
Privacy in the age of AI: Ethical issues
The power of social media in politics
Freedom of expression or harmful content
Navigating the line between cultural appropriation and appreciation
What can we do to prevent climate change?
Genetic engineering: Ethical concerns vs. benefits
LGBTQ: Balancing equality and tradition in a changing society
The ethics of animal testing
The implications of social media for future generations
How much screen time is too much?
Punishment vs. rehabilitation
Presentation Topic Ideas for Current Trends
Five small efforts to fight climate change
The emergence of digital assets in your daily life
What are blockchain and cryptocurrencies?
The latest fitness trends of 2023
Life on social media vs. real life: How to keep yourself sane
Water scarcity and conservation
Renewable and sustainable energy sources: Are we ready?
The benefits of mindfulness and meditation practices for new moms
Understanding and addressing mental health issues in young people
12 Techniques for practicing self-care and self-compassion
Adapting to remote and hybrid work models
How X marketers grow their personal brands (and their ROIs)
Presentation Topic Ideas for Industry Insights
How new AI technologies are changing the industry: 5 examples
Six key trends and industry forecasts for the future
How to overcome these 10 challenges to succeed?
Measuring and optimizing organizational marketing efforts using AI
Using predictive analytics to extract key marketing insights
13 strategies to increase customer loyalty and retention
Improve your online visibility and traffic: 15 tips from LinkedIn gurus
Seven ways to create engaging video content for your company
Five ways for businesses to create a strong social media presence
Which social media channels are best for your brand?
Is AI revolutionizing the retail industry?
Digital learning and the future of traditional learning systems
Presentation Topic Ideas for Digital Marketing
The next big thing in digital marketing unlocked
The art of storytelling in marketing: 23 businesses that kill it
Benefits of cross-channel marketing for software development companies
Voice search and its impact on digital marketing in 2024
Maximizing ROI for your startup marketing: 3 underestimated tactics
Changes in consumer behavior: Reasons and implications
Importance of personalization in digital marketing
10 Emerging marketing trends and technologies
Designing an effective mobile strategy for your business
Importance of infographics in content marketing: HubSpot’s case study
Creating effective marketing funnels for health products
The power of user-generated content for companies
Presentation Topic Ideas for AI
Six top stories about AI in 2023
Five weird, but true, facts about AI
What these three business experts are saying about AI
Three shocking ways AI can make you a better marketer
The dark side of AI
Why has Elon Musk called to pause new AI research?
Five AI tools every marketer needs
AI and Big Data: Changing the landscape of modern business
Which jobs will AI actually replace?
Why does Bill Gates love AI?
AI in human resources: Recruiting and talent management
The Ethics of AI: Balancing business interests and societal impacts
Presentation Topic Ideas for Sales
Cold calls: Unethical tactics and grey areas
Sales: Expectations vs. Reality
Sales prospecting made simpler with AI
Sales calls: Do’s, Don’ts, and Musts
Six sales strategies you need to throw out the window
Five skills every salesperson needs to develop
Building long-lasting relationships with customers using these three tried and tested methods
Dealing with rejections: Five ways and one bonus tip
Patient waiting and seven ways to deal with it
13 effective sales strategies for building relationships and closing deals
Developing effective sales training programs for new employees
20 effective sales communication strategies
Presentation Topic Ideas for Time Management
How to achieve an ideal work-life balance for remote workers
How much time should you ideally spend networking on LinkedIn?
How to effectively delegate tasks
Buy back your time: Ways and benefits
Six business principles of time management
How to effectively plan ahead? Three practices you can start today
15 ways to improve personal efficiency and productivity
The five steps of the Pomodoro Technique
Goal setting and prioritization: For IT start-ups
Nine best multitasking strategies of insanely successful businessmen
Time management for busy professionals: Where to start?
Eight ways to avoid procrastination you can start with tomorrow
Presentation Topic Ideas for IT
Advantages and risks of adopting cloud software
Open-source software: seven best practices
Machine learning: Pros and cons for marketing
How to create user-friendly interfaces for software and websites
The role of IT in digital transformation
The Internet of Things: five opportunities for businesses and consumers
Six ways to protect your digital assets
Seven benefits and three risks of moving to the cloud
How does Big Data work?
Best strategies to protect organizational data: five tried and tested techniques
Technology and its impact on society and culture
Mobile device management: Where to start?
Presentation Topics Ideas for Business
Optimizing collaborations to save time across all departments
Eight time management tools and apps for businesses
12 common skills of successful businessmen
10 tips and techniques for a successful marketing strategy
Harnessing the power of influencer marketing
Allocating a marketing budget to maximize ROI in five steps
Five manufacturing techniques to minimize costs
Understanding ethical issues in business and marketing
10 ways to minimize your company’s carbon footprint
Three old business models making a comeback
Seven ways Google developed a strong company culture
12 strategies for building a sustainable and responsible business in 2023
5 Presentation Tips
The best presentation topics always put their audience first, offer direct solutions, and fill in some knowledge gaps. But there’s more.
Don’t think of your presentation as a mere speech — it’s a ride you’ll take your audience on. There should be highs, lows, and revelations with a bang for an ending.
That being said, use these five tips to ace your presentation.
1. Design a clear layout.
Divvy up your presentation into four parts — introduction, body, conclusion, and follow-up — to construct a clear layout and attractive design. Let’s see what you should add to each.
Intro: Add a catchy title with a hook. Explain a clear thesis statement or the main idea behind your presentation. Give a preview to your audience by including a table of contents so they know what to expect. The best introductions are creative and original, so let your imagination run wild.
Body: Explain your topic and make your case. Sort the main idea into 3 to 5 key points. Arrange them in a logical order and make connections. Explain each point and use facts to bolster your claims.
Conclusion: Make it concise. Summarize the main points and takeaways. Tie all the parts of your presentation together. And it’s best to end your presentation with a catchy line to inspire vivid discussions.
Follow-up: Always leave some time for Q&A to dispel any doubts or to give any additional information the audience may require.
2. Use visual aids.
Use creative and attractive visual aids to stimulate emotions, simplify complex topics, and keep your audience captivated. Moreover, imagery helps your audience retain information longer.
Study shows that up to 60% of your audience is likely to remember visual content after three days. In turn, only 10% lives in memory when receiving information exclusively verbally.
So, include visuals like images, infographics, gifs, charts, and videos at the right time. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.
Explore more on the topic: Learn how neuromarketing can improve the visual flair of your products and boost sales.
3. Make it informative, clear, and relevant.
You know your presentation has valuable information for your audience, but does your audience know that? Explicitly communicate actionable takeaways and benefits they will gain from it.
Select the best method to get the message across to your audience. Use relevant stories and examples to help you explain. People love stories; they move your audience while getting the message across. Most importantly, do it in a fun way.
Here are several tricks on how to do that:
Have a great opening and closing line.
Add facts and statistics to back up your information.
Use emotionally triggering words to stimulate your audience and keep them attentive.
Add humor and anecdotes to keep boredom away.
Include intriguing and relevant examples to connect strongly with your audience.
Use a vibrant color palette that’s easy on the eyes.
Use slides more like a billboard. Make them easy to read and comprehend.
Use less text, more visuals, and a limited number of bullet points.
Watch “The secret structure of great talks” by Nancy Duarte, an expert in presentation design and principal of Duarte Design.
4. Choose an appropriate presentation style.
There are many ways to present a topic. Your personality, the topic at hand, and your audience’s personas will help you determine which style would best fit you and your audience.
Select a presentation style that will communicate the main idea clearly and have a lasting impact on your audience.
For instance, explore a freeform style presenter by Sir Ken Robinson.
5. Engage with your audience.
Work on your presentation skills to make a strong connection with your audience, get through to them and leave a mark.
Think of the presenter as the link between the topic and the audience. A strong or a weak presenter can make a difference between a presentation being a thriving success or a boring failure.
Hone your skills by engaging and interacting with your audience. Make them feel like a part of the presentation and not just spectators. 70% of marketers have found presentations with interactive content to be more effective than those without.
Here are a few ways you can make your presentation interactive:
Start your speech with uncommon questions to your audience. Involve them from the get-go, like ask to raise their hands if X.
Make eye contact to build credibility and show confidence. Don’t stare at your slides or notes. Smile occasionally and talk to the audience directly.
Have an active and confident body language. Don’t stand in the same place the entire time. Move around the stage.
Don’t be monotonous. Speak as you would to a colleague — with enthusiasm.
Ask close-ended questions in between to keep the audience engaged without losing time. Address them using their names to keep things interesting.
Share personal experiences and stories that your audience will find fascinating and relatable.
Practice thoroughly before you present so you’re fluent with the material and delivery.
Energy and excitement can be quite contagious. Make sure you exude enough to spread some to your audience.
Feeling Inspired Yet?
Now you have all the right ingredients for choosing amazing topics and a hundred ideas to drive inspiration from. So, go ahead and start cooking presentations that will blow your audience away.
Don’t forget to choose a super-relevant topic and add meaty information. Do it with excitement to make it enjoyable for you and your audience. Best of luck!