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Selecting Speaking Topics

In the dynamic world of aspiring women speakers, the art of choosing compelling and relevant topics is paramount. In this blog post, we will delve into the strategies employed by accomplished speakers, Alex, Lauren, Sarah E., and Sarah G., to identify and select their speaking topics. By exploring their approaches, we gain valuable insights into how these inspiring women determine the relevance and value of each topic.

Alex Radu, VP Product Adoption & Marketing at JPMorgan Chase & Co., focuses on recent learning, domains of knowledge, and core skills development. According to Alex, "I focus on things I've recently learned, my domains of knowledge, or topics I'm passionate about, or core skills I've been developing." By leveraging their personal growth and expertise, speakers like Alex offer fresh perspectives and practical advice to captivate their audiences.

Lauren Schaefer, Staff Developer Advocate at Grammarly, adopts a systematic approach to generating topic ideas. Lauren explains, "Every several months, I'll do a fresh ideation of topic ideas. I write down anything I can think of". Lauren goes on to say that she will then create a list of her favourite ideas and "run it by a few people to see what resonates with them". As a byproduct of the process, Lauren comments that she can then "browse conference schedules" so she can see what topics are trending at the time. By seeking feedback and staying attuned to industry trends, Lauren ensures that her chosen topics remain relevant and appealing.

Sarah Eggleston, Tech founder at, specifically focuses on technical talks. She selects topics based on the challenges she has personally encountered. Sarah E. states, "I'm a software developer, and for technical talks, I pick things that I found difficult or fiddly, for example, things I couldn't easily find answers to on Stack Overflow." Sarah E.'s approach addresses the pressing needs of fellow developers, offering practical insights and solutions.

Sarah Gruneisen, Director of Engineering at Novoda, utilises her diverse background when selecting topics. She shares, "I have such an array of experience; I usually can talk about most topics around certain pillars of interest I have... so I will share my pillars of interest, and allow you your questions around that, and then I can form what I talk about." Sarah G.'s flexibility enables her to tailor her talks based on the audience's interests and needs, fostering engaging discussions.

Selecting compelling topics is a vital aspect of becoming a successful speaker.

By focusing on aspects such as recent learning, domains of knowledge, and passion, as well as core skills development, speakers can provide relevant and valuable insights to their audiences.

Systematic ideation, seeking feedback and monitoring industry trends ensure that the chosen topics remain current and appealing.

Addressing challenging issues and offering practical solutions caters to the specific needs of the audience, fostering knowledge sharing and community support.

By embracing audience interaction and tailoring presentations accordingly, these inspiring women speakers create impactful and memorable experiences.

With these strategies to hand, speakers can confidently navigate the topic selection process, captivate their audiences, and leave a lasting impression with their chosen topics.


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