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75 Persuasive Speech Topics and Ideas
October 04, 2018 - gini beqiri.
To write a captivating and persuasive speech you must first decide on a topic that will engage, inform and also persuade the audience. We have discussed how to choose a topic and we have provided a list of speech ideas covering a wide range of categories.
What is persuasive speech?
The aim of a persuasive speech is to inform, educate and convince or motivate an audience to do something. You are essentially trying to sway the audience to adopt your own viewpoint.
The best persuasive speech topics are thought-provoking, daring and have a clear opinion. You should speak about something you are knowledgeable about and can argue your opinion for, as well as objectively discuss counter-arguments.
How to choose a topic for your speech
It's not easy picking a topic for your speech as there are many options so consider the following factors when deciding.
Topics that you're familiar with will make it easier to prepare for the speech.
It's best if you decide on a topic in which you have a genuine interest in because you'll be doing lots of research on it and if it's something you enjoy the process will be significantly easier and more enjoyable. The audience will also see this enthusiasm when you're presenting which will make the speech more persuasive.
The audience's interest
The audience must care about the topic. You don't want to lose their attention so choose something you think they'll be interested in hearing about.
Consider choosing a topic that allows you to be more descriptive because this allows the audience to visualize which consequently helps persuade them.
When people have heard about a topic repeatedly they're less likely to listen to you as it doesn't interest them anymore. Avoid cliché or overdone topics as it's difficult to maintain your audience's attention because they feel like they've heard it all before.
An exception to this would be if you had new viewpoints or new facts to share. If this is the case then ensure you clarify early in your speech that you have unique views or information on the topic.
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Emotions are motivators so the audience is more likely to be persuaded and act on your requests if you present an emotional topic.
People like hearing about issues that affect them or their community, country etc. They find these topics more relatable which means they find them more interesting. Look at local issues and news to discover these topics.
What do you want your audience to do as a result of your speech? Use this as a guide to choosing your topic, for example, maybe you want people to recycle more so you present a speech on the effect of microplastics in the ocean.
Persuasive speech topics
Lots of timely persuasive topics can be found using social media, the radio, TV and newspapers. We have compiled a list of 75 persuasive speech topic ideas covering a wide range of categories.
Some of the topics also fall into other categories and we have posed the topics as questions so they can be easily adapted into statements to suit your own viewpoint.
- Should pets be adopted rather than bought from a breeder?
- Should wild animals be tamed?
- Should people be allowed to own exotic animals like monkeys?
- Should all zoos and aquariums be closed?
- Should art and music therapy be covered by health insurance?
- Should graffiti be considered art?
- Should all students be required to learn an instrument in school?
- Should automobile drivers be required to take a test every three years?
- Are sports cars dangerous?
- Should bicycles share the roads with cars?
- Should bicycle riders be required by law to always wear helmets?
Business and economy
- Do introverts make great leaders?
- Does owning a business leave you feeling isolated?
- What is to blame for the rise in energy prices?
- Does hiring cheaper foreign employees hurt the economy?
- Should interns be paid for their work?
- Should employees receive bonuses for walking or biking to work?
- Should tipping in restaurants be mandatory?
- Should boys and girls should be taught in separate classrooms?
- Should schools include meditation breaks during the day?
- Should students be allowed to have their mobile phones with them during school?
- Should teachers have to pass a test every decade to renew their certifications?
- Should online teaching be given equal importance as the regular form of teaching?
- Is higher education over-rated?
- What are the best ways to stop bullying?
- Should people with more than one DUI lose their drivers' licenses?
- Should prostitution be legalised?
- Should guns be illegal in the US?
- Should cannabis be legalised for medical reasons?
- Is equality a myth?
- Does what is "right" and "wrong" change from generation to generation?
- Is there never a good enough reason to declare war?
- Should governments tax sugary drinks and use the revenue for public health?
- Has cosmetic surgery risen to a level that exceeds good sense?
- Is the fast-food industry legally accountable for obesity?
- Should school cafeterias only offer healthy food options?
- Is acupuncture a valid medical technique?
- Should assisted suicide be legal?
- Does consuming meat affect health?
- Is dieting a good way to lose weight?
Law and politics
- Should voting be made compulsory?
- Should the President (or similar position) be allowed to serve more than two terms?
- Would poverty reduce by fixing housing?
- Should drug addicts be sent for treatment in hospitals instead of prisons?
- Would it be fair for the government to detain suspected terrorists without proper trial?
- Is torture acceptable when used for national security?
- Should celebrities who break the law receive stiffer penalties?
- Should the government completely ban all cigarettes and tobacco products
- Is it wrong for the media to promote a certain beauty standard?
- Is the media responsible for the moral degradation of teenagers?
- Should advertising be aimed at children?
- Has freedom of press gone too far?
- Should prayer be allowed in public schools?
- Does religion have a place in government?
- How do cults differ from religion?
Science and the environment
- Should recycling be mandatory?
- Should genetically modified foods be sold in supermarkets?
- Should parents be allowed to choose the sex of their unborn children?
- Should selling plastic bags be completely banned in shops?
- Should smoking in public places be banned?
- Should professional female athletes be paid the same as male athletes in the same sport?
- Should doping be allowed in professional sports?
- Should schools be required to teach all students how to swim?
- How does parental pressure affect young athletes?
- Will technology reduce or increase human employment opportunities?
- What age should children be allowed to have mobile phones?
- Should libraries be replaced with unlimited access to e-books?
- Should we recognize Bitcoin as a legal currency?
- Should bloggers and vloggers be treated as journalists and punished for indiscretions?
- Has technology helped connect people or isolate them?
- Should mobile phone use in public places be regulated?
- Do violent video games make people more violent?
- What is the safest country in the world?
- Is planetary nuclear disarmament possible?
- Is the idea of peace on earth naive?
These topics are just suggestions so you need to assess whether they would be suitable for your particular audience. You can easily adapt the topics to suit your interests and audience, for example, you could substitute "meat" in the topic "Does consuming meat affect health?" for many possibilities, such as "processed foods", "mainly vegan food", "dairy" and so on.
After choosing your topic
After you’ve chosen your topic it's important to do the following:
- Research thoroughly
- Think about all of the different viewpoints
- Tailor to your audience - discussing your topic with others is a helpful way to gain an understanding of your audience.
- How involved are you with this topic - are you a key character?
- Have you contributed to this area, perhaps through blogs, books, papers and products.
- How qualified are you to speak on this topic?
- Do you have personal experience in it? How many years?
- How long have you been interested in the area?
While it may be difficult to choose from such a variety of persuasive speech topics, think about which of the above you have the most knowledge of and can argue your opinion on.
For advice about how to deliver your persuasive speech, check out our blog Persuasive Speech Outline and Ideas .
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112 Persuasive Speech Topics That Are Actually Engaging
What’s covered:, how to pick an awesome persuasive speech topic, 112 engaging persuasive speech topics, tips for preparing your persuasive speech.
Writing a stellar persuasive speech requires a carefully crafted argument that will resonate with your audience to sway them to your side. This feat can be challenging to accomplish, but an engaging, thought-provoking speech topic is an excellent place to start.
When it comes time to select a topic for your persuasive speech, you may feel overwhelmed by all the options to choose from—or your brain may be drawing a completely blank slate. If you’re having trouble thinking of the perfect topic, don’t worry. We’re here to help!
In this post, we’re sharing how to choose the perfect persuasive speech topic and tips to prepare for your speech. Plus, you’ll find 112 persuasive speech topics that you can take directly from us or use as creative inspiration for your own ideas!
Choose Something You’re Passionate About
It’s much easier to write, research, and deliver a speech about a cause you care about. Even if it’s challenging to find a topic that completely sparks your interest, try to choose a topic that aligns with your passions.
However, keep in mind that not everyone has the same interests as you. Try to choose a general topic to grab the attention of the majority of your audience, but one that’s specific enough to keep them engaged.
For example, suppose you’re giving a persuasive speech about book censorship. In that case, it’s probably too niche to talk about why “To Kill a Mockingbird” shouldn’t be censored (even if it’s your favorite book), and it’s too broad to talk about media censorship in general.
Steer Clear of Cliches
Have you already heard a persuasive speech topic presented dozens of times? If so, it’s probably not an excellent choice for your speech—even if it’s an issue you’re incredibly passionate about.
Although polarizing topics like abortion and climate control are important to discuss, they aren’t great persuasive speech topics. Most people have already formed an opinion on these topics, which will either cause them to tune out or have a negative impression of your speech.
Instead, choose topics that are fresh, unique, and new. If your audience has never heard your idea presented before, they will be more open to your argument and engaged in your speech.
Have a Clear Side of Opposition
For a persuasive speech to be engaging, there must be a clear side of opposition. To help determine the arguability of your topic, ask yourself: “If I presented my viewpoint on this topic to a group of peers, would someone disagree with me?” If the answer is yes, then you’ve chosen a great topic!
Now that we’ve laid the groundwork for what it takes to choose a great persuasive speech topic, here are over one hundred options for you to choose from.
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- Should high school athletes get tested for steroids?
- Should schools be required to have physical education courses?
- Should sports grades in school depend on things like athletic ability?
- What sport should be added to or removed from the Olympics?
- Should college athletes be able to make money off of their merchandise?
- Should sports teams be able to recruit young athletes without a college degree?
- Should we consider video gamers as professional athletes?
- Is cheerleading considered a sport?
- Should parents allow their kids to play contact sports?
- Should professional female athletes be paid the same as professional male athletes?
- Should college be free at the undergraduate level?
- Is the traditional college experience obsolete?
- Should you choose a major based on your interests or your potential salary?
- Should high school students have to meet a required number of service hours before graduating?
- Should teachers earn more or less based on how their students perform on standardized tests?
- Are private high schools more effective than public high schools?
- Should there be a minimum number of attendance days required to graduate?
- Are GPAs harmful or helpful?
- Should schools be required to teach about standardized testing?
- Should Greek Life be banned in the United States?
- Should schools offer science classes explicitly about mental health?
- Should students be able to bring their cell phones to school?
- Should all public restrooms be all-gender?
- Should undocumented immigrants have the same employment and education opportunities as citizens?
- Should everyone be paid a living wage regardless of their employment status?
- Should supremacist groups be able to hold public events?
- Should guns be allowed in public places?
- Should the national drinking age be lowered?
- Should prisoners be allowed to vote?
- Should the government raise or lower the retirement age?
- Should the government be able to control the population?
- Is the death penalty ethical?
- Should stores charge customers for plastic bags?
- Should breeding animals (dogs, cats, etc.) be illegal?
- Is it okay to have exotic animals as pets?
- Should people be fined for not recycling?
- Should compost bins become mandatory for restaurants?
- Should electric vehicles have their own transportation infrastructure?
- Would heavier fining policies reduce corporations’ emissions?
- Should hunting be encouraged or illegal?
- Should reusable diapers replace disposable diapers?
Science & Technology
- Is paper media more reliable than digital news sources?
- Should automated/self-driving cars be legalized?
- Should schools be required to provide laptops to all students?
- Should software companies be able to have pre-downloaded programs and applications on devices?
- Should drones be allowed in military warfare?
- Should scientists invest more or less money into cancer research?
- Should cloning be illegal?
- Should societies colonize other planets?
- Should there be legal oversight over the development of technology?
- Should there be an age limit on social media?
- Should cyberbullying have the same repercussions as in-person bullying?
- Are online relationships as valuable as in-person relationships?
- Does “cancel culture” have a positive or negative impact on societies?
- Are social media platforms reliable information or news sources?
- Should social media be censored?
- Does social media create an unrealistic standard of beauty?
- Is regular social media usage damaging to real-life interactions?
- Is social media distorting democracy?
- How many branches of government should there be?
- Who is the best/worst president of all time?
- How long should judges serve in the U.S. Supreme Court?
- Should a more significant portion of the U.S. budget be contributed towards education?
- Should the government invest in rapid transcontinental transportation infrastructure?
- Should airport screening be more or less stringent?
- Should the electoral college be dismantled?
- Should the U.S. have open borders?
- Should the government spend more or less money on space exploration?
- Should students sing Christmas carols, say the pledge of allegiance, or perform other tangentially religious activities?
- Should nuns and priests become genderless roles?
- Should schools and other public buildings have prayer rooms?
- Should animal sacrifice be legal if it occurs in a religious context?
- Should countries be allowed to impose a national religion on their citizens?
- Should the church be separated from the state?
- Does freedom of religion positively or negatively affect societies?
Parenting & Family
- Is it better to have children at a younger or older age?
- Is it better for children to go to daycare or stay home with their parents?
- Does birth order affect personality?
- Should parents or the school system teach their kids about sex?
- Are family traditions important?
- Should parents smoke or drink around young children?
- Should “spanking” children be illegal?
- Should parents use swear words in front of their children?
- Should parents allow their children to play violent video games?
- Should all actors be paid the same regardless of gender or ethnicity?
- Should all award shows be based on popular vote?
- Who should be responsible for paying taxes on prize money, the game show staff or the contestants?
- Should movies and television shows have ethnicity and gender quotas?
- Should newspapers and magazines move to a completely online format?
- Should streaming services like Netflix and Hulu be free for students?
- Is the movie rating system still effective?
- Should celebrities have more privacy rights?
Arts & Humanities
- Are libraries becoming obsolete?
- Should all schools have mandatory art or music courses in their curriculum?
- Should offensive language be censored from classic literary works?
- Is it ethical for museums to keep indigenous artifacts?
- Should digital designs be considered an art form?
- Should abstract art be considered an art form?
- Is music therapy effective?
- Should tattoos be regarded as “professional dress” for work?
- Should schools place greater emphasis on the arts programs?
- Should euthanasia be allowed in hospitals and other clinical settings?
- Should the government support and implement universal healthcare?
- Would obesity rates lower if the government intervened to make healthy foods more affordable?
- Should teenagers be given access to birth control pills without parental consent?
- Should food allergies be considered a disease?
- Should health insurance cover homeopathic medicine?
- Is using painkillers healthy?
- Should genetically modified foods be banned?
- Should there be a tax on unhealthy foods?
- Should tobacco products be banned from the country?
- Should the birth control pill be free for everyone?
Do Your Research
A great persuasive speech is supported with plenty of well-researched facts and evidence. So before you begin the writing process, research both sides of the topic you’re presenting in-depth to gain a well-rounded perspective of the topic.
Understand Your Audience
It’s critical to understand your audience to deliver a great persuasive speech. After all, you are trying to convince them that your viewpoint is correct. Before writing your speech, consider the facts and information that your audience may already know, and think about the beliefs and concerns they may have about your topic. Then, address these concerns in your speech, and be mindful to include fresh, new information.
Have Someone Read Your Speech
Once you have finished writing your speech, have someone read it to check for areas of strength and improvement. You can use CollegeVine’s free essay review tool to get feedback on your speech from a peer!
Practice Makes Perfect
After completing your final draft, the key to success is to practice. Present your speech out loud in front of a mirror, your family, friends, and basically, anyone who will listen. Not only will the feedback of others help you to make your speech better, but you’ll become more confident in your presentation skills and may even be able to commit your speech to memory.
Hopefully, these ideas have inspired you to write a powerful, unique persuasive speech. With the perfect topic, plenty of practice, and a boost of self-confidence, we know you’ll impress your audience with a remarkable speech!