200 Controversial Speech Topics
Plus How To

Controversial speech topics tutorial in speech class including over two hundred hints to improve your verbal education skills and tips to find and research them for speechwriting. The basic public speaking rule is this: take a side and persuade your audience to accept your point of view.

An arguable speech usually is based on a claim of value - is something right or wrong, immoral, fair or unfair, valuable or worthless?

But there are ways to state a factual claim in a polemic: state that something is true or not. And even a claim of policy is possible - convince your listeners the have to agree with your point of view about a policy.

So, always estimate how your listeners could and should respond to your controversial speech topics. Keep in mind that the more disputed your topic, the more you have to convince your audience you're right.

  • They agree - Then reinforce their views and be inspiring above all.

  • Neutral reaction - Then convince them that the subject is important for them by appealing to the morality, and beliefs and concerns of your audience. If they are not immediately interested, then create interest in your controversial speech topic contents.

  • Opposing reactions - Deal with the oppositional arguments, list them. Show that your position is consistent with the beliefs your audience already holds, show the connection.

    Use examples to show that actualy you have much in common.

List Of 200+ Controversial Speech Topics

Scan the list of my speech ideas below and select a few topics you like. Focus on specific controversies within an issue.

Every combative theme has its own sub-divisions with different contentious speaking issues, questions and topics for class. Consider this just as a start:

ADDICTION AND DRUGS - Alcohol Abuse, Children of Alcoholics, Drugs and Sports, Medical Marijuana.

BUSINESS, FINANCE AND ECONOMICS - Bribery, Budget Deficits, Credit Card Fraud, Income Tax, Malpractice Insurance, Junk Bonds, Leadership, Direct Marketing, Minimum Wage, Wage Price Policy.

COMPUTING, INTERNET AND MEDIA - Chatrooms Internet, Computer Viruses, Spam, Cybercrime and Privacy, Harmful Media, Internet Hate Speech, Internet Pornography, Media Violence, Television And Children, Violent Computer Games.

EDUCATION AND SCIENCE IDEAS - Education Reform, Bilingual Education, Ethics In Life Sciences, Creationism versus Evolutionsm, Dating, Campus Issues, Home Schooling, Information Science, Intelligence Levels, Intercultural Education, School Prayer, School Choice, School Uniforms, School Violence, Condoms In Schools, Space Exploration.

ENVIRONMENTAL, NATURE AND ANIMAL - Acid Rain, Air Pollution, Animal Cloning, Animal Experimentation, Animal Rights, Antarctica Research, Biodiversity, Changing Weather Patterns, Ecology, Endangered Oceans, Endangered Species, Energy Conservation, Global Resources, Global Warming, Oil Spills, Littering, Marine Pollution, Noise Pollution, Pesticides, Rain Forests, Recycling, Vivisection, Water Pollution, Water Resources.

ETHICAL AND MORAL - Abortion, Assisted Suicide, Beginning Of Life Issues, Birth Control, Euthanasia, Gender Identity, Genetic Engineering, Human Cloning, Implanted GPS, Physician Assisted Suicide, Pro Choice Movement, Pro Life Movement, Reproductive Technologies, Separation of Church and State, Stem Cell Research.

FAMILY, MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE - Bigamy, Family Violence, Gay Marriage, Gay Parents, Polygamy, Single Parent Families, Surrogate Mothers, Teenage Fathers, Teenage Mothers.

Theologian Tryon Edwards philosophizing on controversies in society

FREEDOM AND CIVIL RIGHTS - Censorship, Contraception, Free Press, Privacy.

LAW AND ORDER CONTROVERSIAL SPEECH TOPICS - Airline Safety Rules, Alternative Imprisonment, Amnesty, Capital Punishment, Chain Gangs, Constitutional Issues, Corporal Punishment, Crimes Without Victims, Criminal Justice System, Drunk Driving, Gangs, Gun Control, Hate Crime, Homeland Security, Intellectual Property and Piracy, Legal System, Peer Pressure, Speed Limits, Urban Terrorism, Welfare Fraud, Wiretapping, Youth Violence, Zero Tolerance.

MEDICAL, HEALTH AND NUTRITION - Aids Testing, Alternative Medicine, Anorexia Treathment, Artificial Insemination, ADHD, Bulimia, Burn Out, Depression, Dieting, Food Labeling, Food Prices, Health Care System, Infectious Diseases, Medical Ethics, Medicine Abuse, Passive Smoking, Plastic Surgery, Tobacco Industry.


POLITICS AND GLOBAL POLICY - Afghanistan, Armed Conflicts, Arms Control, Asylum Policy, Ballot Initiatives, Biological And Chemical Weapons, Boycotts, Campaign Funding, Child Labor, Cold War Politics, Immigration Laws, Farm Susidies, Iraq, Islamic Fundamentalism, Militias, Nuclear Technology, Nuclear Weapons, Peace Movements, Political Correctness, Privatization Of Social Security, Slavery, Terrorism, United Nations, Voting Behavior, War Crime Trials, War on Drugs.

SOCIETY - Affirmative Action, Aging Population, Celibacy, City Curfews, Demographics, Dropouts, Homeless Persons, Flexible Hours Of Labor, Inner City Poverty, Integration, Moral Majority, Nonsmoking Areas.

WOMEN ISSUES - Breast Feeding in Public, Breast Implants, Feminism, Women in the Military, Women's Rights, Working Mothers.

The Speech Assignment

Determine the details and requirements of your debateable assignment. Ask yourself these important questions:
  • When, where, how long do I have to speak?

  • Do you have to argue with the audience or other speakers afterwards?

  • Who are your listeners?

  • What are their social, cultural and educational backgrounds?

  • How many?

  • What is there attitude towards your point of view? Positive? They are not sure what to think? Are they negative?

  • Which of the selected controversial speech topics are appropriate for the occassion?

  • Which ones interest me and could be of interest for my listeners?

How To Research By Now?

Find all possible sides, statements and answers of the selected controversial speech topics. Research and discover:
  • Background information, new aspects or new questions.
  • Disagreeing opinions, beliefs, arguments, values and policies.
To tickle your mind quickly: check out possible sub-topics or special angles of view of the list above.

Choose A Side

By now, pick out a contestable one and take a stand. Your choice has to deal with the assigment rules, the occassion, your personal interests and the reaction of your listeners. Ask yourself:
  • What is my opinion, concern, belief about this controversy?
  • And why do I think like this?

Develop Supporting Arguments

Research supporting arguments for your declarative phrase. Document your findings conscientiously. Quote them correctly in the citation format your instructor has required in her or his handout - mostly it is an APA-style reference of study sources.
  • Look for evidence - facts, examples, statistics and figures.
  • Use - when appropriate - visual aids to illustrate and prove your central message.
  • Also search for valuable quotations, definitions, and comparisons.

Study The Opposing Arguments

The next step to raise your public speaking education skills raise to a higher degree is looking for arguments that disagree with the conclusions of your controversial speech topics.

Study them carefully, summarize them. Understatement is the best way to reply or attack the opposition.

Write a Public Speaking Speech Thesis Statement

Formulate one single phrase; that's to say, a contentious speech idea in which you state the message very clearly.

Keep it simple and attractive. Arouse them with a powerful public speaking statement!

Examples of controversial speech topics statements are:
Global Warming Isn't A Threat
College Authorities Should Ban Hate Speech
Cameras In Courtrooms: Yes!

Or opposite sides of course if you like! By now you have learned how to create, write and develop such compelling titles: