The ability to lead is a powerful one, as it gives you the chance to shape the future and control the actions of others. When selecting a speech topic, pick one that centers on the concept of leadership. By exploring this topic, and elaborating upon it in your speech, you can not only build your personal knowledge of what makes a great leader, but also share your findings with your listening audience.
The Power of Leadership
A strong leader can make or break an organization, country or group. In your speech, explain how one individual can be so powerful. Gather information on leadership styles, the psychology associated with leading and examples of leadership success and failure. Use the information you gathered to hypothesize a reason why leaders can be so influential, both for the good and the bad.
Great Leaders in History
Highlight some of the most effective leaders in history by selecting several great leaders upon which to focus in your speech. Research leaders both in American history and in world history. Choose two or three to feature, composing a speech in which you provide information about each, as well as compare and contrast them.
Qualities of a Great Leader
Discuss the qualities that make someone a great leader in your speech. Research the topic of leadership and, using your findings, devise a list of qualities that make someone a fantastic leader. Outline these qualities in your speech, dedicating a section to each. Give examples of leaders throughout history who have exhibited these qualities. Conclude your speech by explaining how individuals who lack one or more of these qualities may be able to develop the qualities necessary to effectively lead.
Leading with Compassion
While some choose to rule with an iron fist, many examples of great leadership have proven that this isn’t necessary. Explore ways in which leaders can guide their followers compassionately, using mutual respect instead of force to keep individuals following them. As you discuss methods of leading compassionately, provide examples of individuals who have lead in this manner to prove that what you are suggesting is quite possible.
Becoming a Leader
Becoming a leader is far from an easy thing to do. There are no leadership applications that you can complete or leadership positions into which you can easily step. In your speech, explain how someone could become a leader in the world of work, in government or in general society. In your speech, discuss the fact that leaders must gain the trust of those below them to ultimately be effective, and explain how would-be leaders may do this.
Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, Trails.com and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.