How do I figure out a topic to speak on?

BY TJ Walker

Start by figuring out what your area of expertise is and where your passions lie. Next, you must find something that is currently being talked about in the news. You need a news hook if you want a chance of having people find your videos.

For example, if I record a video that is filled with useful information on how business people can make more effective presentations, but there is no news hook, I might only have 50 people watch that video in the next week. It’s not that it’s an awful video; it’s just that no one is searching for it.

However, if Apple CEO Steve Jobs is giving a speech today unveiling a new high tech product and I shoot a video on “speaking secrets of Steve Jobs” then I am likely to get 500o or more views of my video because that is a hot topic that people are actively searching for.

How do you know what people are actively searching for at any one moment? I look at Twitter and you can see what topics are trending. Yahoo also lists hot topics. Plus I look at the Drudge Report—this will tell you what is hot on talk radio and cable TV at any one moment. Plus I also go to the New York Times, Slate’s Slatest and the Daily Beast’s Cheat Sheet. That’s usually all I need to find 1-3 topics that are in the news that also interest me and where I feel I have some genuine insights and tips that could be of interest to mother people and possibly help them.


You need to establish multiple screens before you do a video on a subject:

  1. 1.            It is a hot topic in the news right now?
  2. 2.            Is it a topic that also generates conversation and debate?
  3. 3.            Do you have a strong interest in the topic?
  4. 4.            Is it a topic where you have expertise and insight?
  5. 5.            Is it a topic where you have strong opinions?
  6. 6.            Do you have some historical proof that other people value your opinions on this topic or topics relocated to this?
  7. 7.            Can your ideas/opinions on the topic help/entertain/edify other people in some way?
  8. 8.            Can you create a simple video, upload it and do a little promotion, all in the next hour?

If you can say yes to all eight of those questions, then you have found a good topic and you should start recording immediately.


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