2-minute Topic Talks

topic talk topicsBelow, find an on-going list of topics — many created by students — for your 2-minute Topic Talks.

For other random topics to talk and write about, try these:


Talk (or write) about…

Try it roulette wheel style! (beware of the volume…)

roulette wheel.png

Here’s a new one (June 2017):

Would you rather…?

Same questions on a different wheel

(These are taken from, or inspired by, the list on this site.)

Or choose from the lists:

The past

  • the most difficult travel experience of your life.
  • a risk you have taken.
  • the best decision you’ve made in your life.
  • the craziest thing you’ve done.
  • the most memorable moment from your high school days.
  • a move you made from one place to another.
  • an incident that had something to do with water.
  • an incident that had something to do with … a form of transportation (train, bike, car…).
  • a time you danced.
  • a time you attended a wedding.
  • a time you surprised someone.
  • a time you helped someone.
  • a great present you’ve given or gotten.
  • something a teacher or coach told you that really stuck with you.
  • a practical joke you played (or was played on you).
  • something you lost or forgot, or a time when you got lost.
  • one of your favorite childhood stories.
  • your first love.
  • the last time you laughed so hard you cried.
  • your earliest memory.
  • a time when you felt really, really lucky.

The future

  • who do you want to spend your next birthday with and what will you do?
  • where you think you’ll be 10 years from now.
  • what you think the world will be like 100 years from now.
  • your New Year’s resolutions.
  • when do you want to retire and what will you do?
  • something you’d like to pass on to the next generation.
  • something you’d put in a time capsule to be opened by a future generation.

Alternate realities

  • if you hadn’t entered this university, what you would be doing now.
  • if you could have been born at a different time in history, which you would choose.
  • if you could become a character in a movie or book, who you would be.
  • if you could have lunch with someone famous, who you’d choose and what you’d talk about.
  • what you wanted to be when you were a child, and if you think it’s likely to happen.
  • where you’d go if you had a free week/month and nothing else to do.
  • one modern convenience you wouldn’t want to do without.
  • if you could become a famous (dead) person for a day, who it would be and what you would do.
  • which person you would pick as a boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse from history.
  • if you could go back and relive one day (week, month, year) of your life, what you would do.
  • if you could be reborn, what you’d come back as.
  • if you were God (or a god), what you’d use your power for.
  • if you’d like to live forever.

Family & Friends & Other people

  • the best way to make new friends.
  • a family tradition.
  • something you like about one of your relatives or friends.
  • an unusual story about one of your relatives or friends.
  • an unusual occupation of a friend or relative.
  • some ways you are like (or not like) your parents and siblings.
  • something you’d like to ask a grandparent or great-grandparent.
  • when you become a parent, what rules you will make for your children.
  • someone you know who has a very different background.
  • a memorable vacation with family or friends.
  • your best friend when you were a child.
  • a friend you haven’t seen recently but would like to see again.
  • road trips! — what your family/friends do to pass the time on trains/planes or in cars.
  • what you usually do when you hang out with your friends or family.
  • what you usually talk about when you have dinner with your family.
  • the most courageous person you know.
  • the kindest person you know.
  • the most inspiring public figure you can think of.
  • the most important (but not so famous) person from Japan (or a country you’re studying).
  • describe your relatives’ or friends’  personalities.
  • how your parents met.
  • a question you’d like to ask your grandparents (great-grandparents).
  • a favorite saying or quotation (from a friend, family member or someone famous).
  • your genealogy — where did you come from?
  • how you’re very much like (or not like) your parents or siblings.
  • how your values differ from the values of your parents’ (or grandparents’) generation.
  • one of the best or worst teachers or coaches you’ve ever had.

Places & Moving

  • what you miss most about your hometown.
  • a place that inspires you.
  • a place you liked to play as a child.
  • something you really like about where you live now.
  • which place you have the most vivid memory of.
  • something unusual that happened in your neighborhood.
  • where your parents or grandparents are from.
  • an unusual form of transportation you’ve used.
  • a time when you slept outdoors.
  • the farthest place you’ve been from home.
  • if you’d like to travel to the moon, Mars, or anywhere else in outer space.

Language & Communication

  • your favorite/least favorite word or phrase in English, Japanese, or another language you’re studying.
  • if you could speak the language of one animal, which you would choose.
  • LINE or Twitter?
  • the most effective way you’ve found to learn a language.
  • which country you think will be (or should be) the next lingua franca in the world.
  • a time when you successfully communicated something important in another language.

Culture & Entertainment & Fashion

  • a fad from the decade you were born.
  • the most impressive or inspiring movie or book  you’ve seen/read.
  • the book you’re reading right now / the most recent movie you’ve seen.
  • a book or movie that made you laugh or cry out loud.
  • your top 5 smart phone apps.
  • what ads/commercials affect you.
  • a fashion trend you really liked or disliked.
  • a TV show that you think is/was educational.
  • how long you use your smart phone every day and for what.
  • what kind of art intrigues you.
  • your favorite anime, cartoon or comic.

Society & Community

  • what you’d change about your university.
  • why club activities are great (or not so great).
  • which local festivals you’d like to advertise.
  • how you read or watch the news.
  • a current event or issue that really concerns you.
  • why people should vote.
  • a way that you have served your community or would like to (charity, community service).
  • an experience that made you feel close to your community or to nature.
  • a way your lifestyle has changed to help the environment.

Health / Sports / Food

  • how your exercise patterns have changed throughout your life.
  • what you do to relax.
  • what you do when it’s incredibly hot/cold/wet outside.
  • your favorite food from another country.
  • how to cook something, step by step.
  • a restaurant you ate in recently / a restaurant where you’re a “regular”.
  • explain a Japanese food you think someone from another country has never eaten.
  • the most unusual food you’ve ever eaten.
  • dieting or health advice you’d give to a friend or family member.
  • an unusual home remedy for the cold or other common illness.
  • who influenced you to start the sports you’re involved in.
  • why you follow the professional sports teams you follow.

More about YOU

  • something we don’t already know about you.
  • the origin of your name or nickname.
  • if you could change your name, what you’d change it to, or what you’d like to name your kids.
  • your favorite sound or smell.
  • your favorite way to spend a free day.
  • your favorite time of day and your favorite time of year.
  • a special talent you have and how we can get good at it, too.
  • your greatest success.
  • your pet-peeve.
  • one of your habits (good or bad).
  • describe yourself when you were 14 years old.
  • a possession you would like to keep if you had to give up everything else.
  • a cause that’s very important to you.
  • how you wake up.
  • whether or not you’re a “plan for today” or “plan for tomorrow” person.
  • whether or not you’re a “live to eat” or “eat to live” person.
  • you’re an X or Y person (cat/dog, summer/winter, city/country, horror movies/comedies).
  • why you chose your current phone/PC wallpaper or background.

Advice / Reflecting on the year

  • the biggest change in your life in the past year.
  • what advice you’d give next year’s students / incoming freshmen.
  • something surprising you’ve learned this year.
  • something very satisfying about your work (job, school, club…).
  • if someone from another country asks you, “What’s so great about Japan?” how you would respond.
  • a part-time job you would (or wouldn’t) recommend.
  • advice about your school festival.

And finally, a very original topic:

  • “If bears are so scary, why are there so many bear toys?” (from a GLIP student a couple of years ago)

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