In anticipation of your This I Believe Speech, you need to think carefully about a topic. In this speech, your challenge is to develop a statement that reveals an aspect of your identity, conveys a helpful or inspirational theme to your audience, and can be supported through personal narrative. Addressing the considerations below can help you think through the complexities meeting these goals.
While the prompts below get fairly specific, remember that this is just a proposal. The goal is to help you think through important considerations early so that they don’t become problems later in the writing process. If an aspect of the proposal doesn’t hold up here, that’s okay – that’s the point of a proposal.
Before you write up this proposal, you should take a moment to skim the guidelines for the This I Believe Speech itself—especially the section on invention.
Invention Grading: Speech revolves around a carefully-chosen TIB topic with authenticity, relevance to lived experience, depth of insight, and human connection
For full credit on this proposal, provide details on each of the aspects of your topic addressed below (two points each). The full proposal should be between 1 and 2 double-spaced pages.
First, identify the This I Believe statement are you considering. If it’s not obvious from the belief itself, also share some themes that you want your speech to explore in greater detail. Make sure that your statement does not advance a persuasive argument (especially double-check that it doesn’t include the word “should”).
A primary goal for any TIB topic is to provide insight into your identity and personality. It therefore helps to be invested in the belief so that you can come across as authentic. Briefly explain what this belief reveals about you as a person and why it provides insight into “who you are.”
To support your TIB speech, you will recount personal experiences. Briefly what narratives you will draw upon to illustrate your belief. As you do, highlight important moments, scenes, or events that will allow you to bring in effective sensory imagery.
One challenge with a TIB topic is choosing a belief that provides a deep lesson within the time constraints of a 4 to 6 minute speech. Explain why your TIB topic can strike that balance.
5. Finally, effective TIB topics establish a relatable lesson for others. Even if they haven’t lived through the same life events you have, they should be able to find connections to their own lives. Explain how your topic (and the stories you’ll use to support it) taps into universal human emotions and experiences.
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