Off-Topic Speech (OTS) refers to speech that may start with a particular topic but quickly becomes prolonged, unconstrained, and irrelevant to that topic. Key determinants of OTS are lack of focus and lack of coherence. Inhibitory deficits and pragmatic changes in communicative goals have been proposed as causes for age-linked OTS. The present study investigated whether OTS might be related to a difficulty in decoding emotional states from facial expressions and lexical stimuli. Participants were 69 younger (18-27 years; M = 21.75, 34 male & 35 female) and 68 older (63-86 years; M = 72.22, 33 male & 35 female) adults. Participants were asked to recognize emotions expressed either facially or lexically, then tell stories about 4 topics. They were also asked to test inhibition ability, crystallized intelligence, fluid intelligence, and social competence. The results showed that older adults were less accurate in recognizing facial and lexical emotion as compared to younger adults for all basic emotions, including happiness, fear, anger, disgust, sadness, and surprise. Older adults’ OTS levels were higher than those of younger adults. The facial recognition ability and age were related to OTS, and these variables were significant predictors of OTS among older adults. These findings suggest that declining emotion recognition ability along with inhibitory deficits may be another cognitive determinant of OTS.