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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!
Related CollegeVine Blog Posts
Persuasive Speeches — Types, Topics, and Examples
What is a persuasive speech?
In a persuasive speech, the speaker aims to convince the audience to accept a particular perspective on a person, place, object, idea, etc. The speaker strives to cause the audience to accept the point of view presented in the speech.
The success of a persuasive speech often relies on the speaker’s use of ethos, pathos, and logos.
Ethos is the speaker’s credibility. Audiences are more likely to accept an argument if they find the speaker trustworthy. To establish credibility during a persuasive speech, speakers can do the following:
Use familiar language.
Select examples that connect to the specific audience.
Utilize credible and well-known sources.
Logically structure the speech in an audience-friendly way.
Use appropriate eye contact, volume, pacing, and inflection.
Pathos appeals to the audience’s emotions. Speakers who create an emotional bond with their audience are typically more convincing. Tapping into the audience’s emotions can be accomplished through the following:
Select evidence that can elicit an emotional response.
Use emotionally-charged words. (The city has a problem … vs. The city has a disease …)
Incorporate analogies and metaphors that connect to a specific emotion to draw a parallel between the reference and topic.
Utilize vivid imagery and sensory words, allowing the audience to visualize the information.
Employ an appropriate tone, inflection, and pace to reflect the emotion.
Logos appeals to the audience’s logic by offering supporting evidence. Speakers can improve their logical appeal in the following ways:
Use comprehensive evidence the audience can understand.
Confirm the evidence logically supports the argument’s claims and stems from credible sources.
Ensure that evidence is specific and avoid any vague or questionable information.
Types of persuasive speeches
The three main types of persuasive speeches are factual, value, and policy.
A factual persuasive speech focuses solely on factual information to prove the existence or absence of something through substantial proof. This is the only type of persuasive speech that exclusively uses objective information rather than subjective. As such, the argument does not rely on the speaker’s interpretation of the information. Essentially, a factual persuasive speech includes historical controversy, a question of current existence, or a prediction:
Historical controversy concerns whether an event happened or whether an object actually existed.
Questions of current existence involve the knowledge that something is currently happening.
Predictions incorporate the analysis of patterns to convince the audience that an event will happen again.
A value persuasive speech concerns the morality of a certain topic. Speakers incorporate facts within these speeches; however, the speaker’s interpretation of those facts creates the argument. These speeches are highly subjective, so the argument cannot be proven to be absolutely true or false.
A policy persuasive speech centers around the speaker’s support or rejection of a public policy, rule, or law. Much like a value speech, speakers provide evidence supporting their viewpoint; however, they provide subjective conclusions based on the facts they provide.
How to write a persuasive speech
Incorporate the following steps when writing a persuasive speech:
Step 1 – Identify the type of persuasive speech (factual, value, or policy) that will help accomplish the goal of the presentation.
Step 2 – Select a good persuasive speech topic to accomplish the goal and choose a position .
Step 3 – Locate credible and reliable sources and identify evidence in support of the topic/position. Revisit Step 2 if there is a lack of relevant resources.
Step 4 – Identify the audience and understand their baseline attitude about the topic.
Step 5 – When constructing an introduction , keep the following questions in mind:
What’s the topic of the speech?
What’s the occasion?
Who’s the audience?
What’s the purpose of the speech?
Step 6 – Utilize the evidence within the previously identified sources to construct the body of the speech. Keeping the audience in mind, determine which pieces of evidence can best help develop the argument. Discuss each point in detail, allowing the audience to understand how the facts support the perspective.
Step 7 – Addressing counterarguments can help speakers build their credibility, as it highlights their breadth of knowledge.
Step 8 – Conclude the speech with an overview of the central purpose and how the main ideas identified in the body support the overall argument.
Persuasive speech outline
One of the best ways to prepare a great persuasive speech is by using an outline. When structuring an outline, include an introduction, body, and conclusion:
Ask a question that allows the audience to respond in a non-verbal way; ask a rhetorical question that makes the audience think of the topic without requiring a response.
Incorporate a well-known quote that introduces the topic. Using the words of a celebrated individual gives credibility and authority to the information in the speech.
Offer a startling statement or information about the topic, typically done using data or statistics.
Provide a brief anecdote or story that relates to the topic.
Starting a speech with a humorous statement often makes the audience more comfortable with the speaker.
Provide information on how the selected topic may impact the audience .
Include any background information pertinent to the topic that the audience needs to know to understand the speech in its entirety.
Give the thesis statement in connection to the main topic and identify the main ideas that will help accomplish the central purpose.
Summarize its meaning
Explain how it helps prove the support/main claim
Evidence 3 (Continue as needed)
Support 3 (Continue as needed)
Review main supports
Give the audience a call to action to do something specific.
Identify the overall importan ce of the topic and position.
Persuasive speech topics
The following table identifies some common or interesting persuasive speech topics for high school and college students:
Persuasive speech examples
The following list identifies some of history’s most famous persuasive speeches:
John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address: “Ask Not What Your Country Can Do for You”
Lyndon B. Johnson: “We Shall Overcome”
Marc Antony: “Friends, Romans, Countrymen…” in William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
Ronald Reagan: “Tear Down this Wall”
Sojourner Truth: “Ain’t I a Woman?”
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Persuasive Speech Outline, with Examples
Updated march 17, 2021 - gini beqiri.
A persuasive speech is a speech that is given with the intention of convincing the audience to believe or do something. This could be virtually anything - voting, organ donation, recycling, and so on.
A successful persuasive speech effectively convinces the audience to your point of view, providing you come across as trustworthy and knowledgeable about the topic you’re discussing.
So, how do you start convincing a group of strangers to share your opinion? And how do you connect with them enough to earn their trust?
Topics for your persuasive speech
We've made a list of persuasive speech topics you could use next time you’re asked to give one. The topics are thought-provoking and things which many people have an opinion on.
When using any of our persuasive speech ideas, make sure you have a solid knowledge about the topic you're speaking about - and make sure you discuss counter arguments too.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- All school children should wear a uniform
- Facebook is making people more socially anxious
- It should be illegal to drive over the age of 80
- Lying isn’t always wrong
- The case for organ donation
Read our full list of 75 persuasive speech topics and ideas .
Preparation: Consider your audience
As with any speech, preparation is crucial. Before you put pen to paper, think about what you want to achieve with your speech. This will help organise your thoughts as you realistically can only cover 2-4 main points before your audience get bored .
It’s also useful to think about who your audience are at this point. If they are unlikely to know much about your topic then you’ll need to factor in context of your topic when planning the structure and length of your speech. You should also consider their:
- Cultural or religious backgrounds
- Shared concerns, attitudes and problems
- Shared interests, beliefs and hopes
- Baseline attitude - are they hostile, neutral, or open to change?
The factors above will all determine the approach you take to writing your speech. For example, if your topic is about childhood obesity, you could begin with a story about your own children or a shared concern every parent has. This would suit an audience who are more likely to be parents than young professionals who have only just left college.
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Remember the 3 main approaches to persuade others
There are three main approaches used to persuade others:
The ethos approach appeals to the audience’s ethics and morals, such as what is the ‘right thing’ to do for humanity, saving the environment, etc.
Pathos persuasion is when you appeal to the audience’s emotions, such as when you tell a story that makes them the main character in a difficult situation.
The logos approach to giving a persuasive speech is when you appeal to the audience’s logic - ie. your speech is essentially more driven by facts and logic. The benefit of this technique is that your point of view becomes virtually indisputable because you make the audience feel that only your view is the logical one.
- Ethos, Pathos, Logos: 3 Pillars of Public Speaking and Persuasion
Ideas for your persuasive speech outline
1. structure of your persuasive speech.
The opening and closing of speech are the most important. Consider these carefully when thinking about your persuasive speech outline. A strong opening ensures you have the audience’s attention from the start and gives them a positive first impression of you.
You’ll want to start with a strong opening such as an attention grabbing statement, statistic of fact. These are usually dramatic or shocking, such as:
Sadly, in the next 18 minutes when I do our chat, four Americans that are alive will be dead from the food that they eat - Jamie Oliver
Another good way of starting a persuasive speech is to include your audience in the picture you’re trying to paint. By making them part of the story, you’re embedding an emotional connection between them and your speech.
You could do this in a more toned-down way by talking about something you know that your audience has in common with you. It’s also helpful at this point to include your credentials in a persuasive speech to gain your audience’s trust.
Obama would spend hours with his team working on the opening and closing statements of his speech.
2. Stating your argument
You should pick between 2 and 4 themes to discuss during your speech so that you have enough time to explain your viewpoint and convince your audience to the same way of thinking.
It’s important that each of your points transitions seamlessly into the next one so that your speech has a logical flow. Work on your connecting sentences between each of your themes so that your speech is easy to listen to.
Your argument should be backed up by objective research and not purely your subjective opinion. Use examples, analogies, and stories so that the audience can relate more easily to your topic, and therefore are more likely to be persuaded to your point of view.
3. Addressing counter-arguments
Any balanced theory or thought addresses and disputes counter-arguments made against it. By addressing these, you’ll strengthen your persuasive speech by refuting your audience’s objections and you’ll show that you are knowledgeable to other thoughts on the topic.
When describing an opposing point of view, don’t explain it in a bias way - explain it in the same way someone who holds that view would describe it. That way, you won’t irritate members of your audience who disagree with you and you’ll show that you’ve reached your point of view through reasoned judgement. Simply identify any counter-argument and pose explanations against them.
- Complete Guide to Debating
4. Closing your speech
Your closing line of your speech is your last chance to convince your audience about what you’re saying. It’s also most likely to be the sentence they remember most about your entire speech so make sure it’s a good one!
The most effective persuasive speeches end with a call to action . For example, if you’ve been speaking about organ donation, your call to action might be asking the audience to register as donors.
Practice answering AI questions on your speech and get feedback on your performance .
If audience members ask you questions, make sure you listen carefully and respectfully to the full question. Don’t interject in the middle of a question or become defensive.
You should show that you have carefully considered their viewpoint and refute it in an objective way (if you have opposing opinions). Ensure you remain patient, friendly and polite at all times.
Example 1: Persuasive speech outline
This example is from the Kentucky Community and Technical College.
To persuade my audience to start walking in order to improve their health.
Regular walking can improve both your mental and physical health.
Let's be honest, we lead an easy life: automatic dishwashers, riding lawnmowers, T.V. remote controls, automatic garage door openers, power screwdrivers, bread machines, electric pencil sharpeners, etc., etc. etc. We live in a time-saving, energy-saving, convenient society. It's a wonderful life. Or is it?
Example 2: Persuasive speech
Tips for delivering your persuasive speech
- Practice, practice, and practice some more . Record yourself speaking and listen for any nervous habits you have such as a nervous laugh, excessive use of filler words, or speaking too quickly.
- Show confident body language . Stand with your legs hip width apart with your shoulders centrally aligned. Ground your feet to the floor and place your hands beside your body so that hand gestures come freely. Your audience won’t be convinced about your argument if you don’t sound confident in it. Find out more about confident body language here .
- Don’t memorise your speech word-for-word or read off a script. If you memorise your persuasive speech, you’ll sound less authentic and panic if you lose your place. Similarly, if you read off a script you won’t sound genuine and you won’t be able to connect with the audience by making eye contact . In turn, you’ll come across as less trustworthy and knowledgeable. You could simply remember your key points instead, or learn your opening and closing sentences.
- Remember to use facial expressions when storytelling - they make you more relatable. By sharing a personal story you’ll more likely be speaking your truth which will help you build a connection with the audience too. Facial expressions help bring your story to life and transport the audience into your situation.
- Keep your speech as concise as possible . When practicing the delivery, see if you can edit it to have the same meaning but in a more succinct way. This will keep the audience engaged.
The best persuasive speech ideas are those that spark a level of controversy. However, a public speech is not the time to express an opinion that is considered outside the norm. If in doubt, play it safe and stick to topics that divide opinions about 50-50.
Bear in mind who your audience are and plan your persuasive speech outline accordingly, with researched evidence to support your argument. It’s important to consider counter-arguments to show that you are knowledgeable about the topic as a whole and not bias towards your own line of thought.
6 Tips for Writing a Persuasive Speech (On Any Topic)
B y far, the best way to learn how to write speeches is to read the great ones, from Pericles’ Funeral Oration, to Dr. King’s Mountaintop speech, to Faulkner’s Nobel acceptance address. But if you’re looking for some quick tips, here are a few things to bear in mind next time you’re asked to give a speech:
1. Write like you talk. There is no First Law of Speechwriting, but if there were, it would probably be something like this: a speech is meant to be spoken, not read. That simple (and obvious) fact has a few important (and less obvious) implications. Use short words. Write short sentences. Avoid awkward constructions that might cause a speaker to stumble. Tip: Read the speech aloud as you’re writing. If you do it enough, you’ll start hearing the words when you type them.
2. Tell a story . I once wrote speeches for a governor whose aide told me: speechwriting is about slinging soundbites together. That approach is a recipe for writing neither good speeches nor good soundbites. Whenever we sat down to discuss a speech for the first time, President Obama would ask us: What’s the story we’re trying to tell? Like any good story, a speech has its own narrative arc. For the President, it’s usually a slow warm-up, a substantive middle, and an inspirational end. That’s his style. Tell your story in whatever way feels natural. Tip: A good story can be a lot more powerful than the most compelling facts and statistics.
3. Structure matters . It’s usually harder to figure out the right structure for a speech – the order of the points to make – than the words themselves. The order of those points matters because an argument that’s clear and logical is more likely to be persuasive. There is a reason that some of America’s greatest speechwriters – from Lincoln to JFK’s speechwriter Ted Sorensen to President Obama himself – studied the law, a profession that values the ability to make a logical argument. Tip: Lists (like this one) are one way to impose a structure on a speech.
4. Be concise. It is said that Woodrow Wilson once gave the following reply to a speaking request: “If you’d like me to speak for five minutes, I’ll need a month to prepare. If you’d like me to speak for 20 minutes, I’ll need two weeks. But if you’d like me to speak for an hour, I’m ready right now.” As Wilson knew, it’s harder to be concise than verbose. But the best way to make a point is concisely, as Churchill did when he announced during a wartime address: “The news from France is very bad.” Next time you think you can’t afford to cut that paragraph you love, remember: the Gettysburg Address, perhaps the greatest speech in American history, is fewer than 300 words. Tip: Challenge yourself to cut as many words as possible from each sentence without losing the line’s meaning.
5. Be authentic. If you’ve ever given a speech, you’ve probably been told, “Just speak from the heart.” It’s not very helpful writing advice, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Once, when we were writing President Obama’s 2008 Democratic Convention address, we got stuck on a certain section of the speech. The President advised us: Think about the moment we’re in, think about what the country is going through, and write something that feels true. It was a helpful reminder to stop focusing on polls and soundbites and simply say something we believed in as simply as we could. Tip: Sharing a personal story can help you find your voice and build a connection with the audience.
6. Don’t just speak – say something. When Michelangelo was tasked with painting the Sistine Chapel, he considered it a thankless job. He would have much rather spent his time sculpting than painting. But he used the occasion to paint perhaps the most revered fresco in history. So, the next time you’re asked to speak, don’t just write a speech, write a great one. A speech’s greatness has as much to do with its values as anything else. No one remembers the speeches of segregationists, though there were no doubt eloquent preachers spewing hate in the days of Jim Crow. No one remembers Hitler’s speeches, though few would dispute his oratorical prowess. Of course, Hitler, like the segregationists, lost. But it’s also because hope will always be more compelling than hate. It’s no accident that the best-known, best-loved speech in history – the Sermon on the Mount – is an articulation of humanity’s highest ideals. Tip: Before sitting down to write, get inspired by reading great speeches from collections like William Safire’s “Lend Me Your Ears.”
Adam Frankel is VP, External Affairs at Andela . Previously, he was Special Assistant and Senior Speechwriter to President Barack Obama.
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Get Others to Take Action: Why and How to Write a Persuasive Speech
Has someone ever persuaded you to do something?
Maybe a commercial on TV convinced you that you had to have this certain type of shampoo. Perhaps a guidance counselor talked you into pursuing a certain degree path in college.
Or maybe you heard a speech that persuaded you to shift your viewpoint on an important subject.
We all have had moments where we’ve been persuaded to do something. But what would it look like if you flipped the script?
Imagine yourself in front of an audience. They’re hanging on your every word as you speak confidently and passionately about a key topic.
And by the time your speech is over, the majority of the audience has been persuaded to adopt your point of view.
Persuasive speaking is powerful. It gives you a way to achieve greater personal power and faster success — but only if you know how to do it correctly.
If you’ve ever wondered how to write persuasive speeches that will actually make people come over to your point of view, this blog post will walk you through the steps needed to create and deliver a powerful persuasive speech .
The Power of Persuasive Speaking
Persuasive speaking has a variety of applications. Persuasive speech is used in the workplace to help you accomplish a goal or prove your point.
It’s used in your personal life with family or your kids — you might make a persuasive speech before dinner if you’re trying to convince your partner to go to the restaurant you’re craving.
And it’s used in relationships to help you see eye-to-eye with another person.
Chances are, you’re probably already doing a lot of persuasive speaking in your everyday life, even if you don’t realize it. And honing your persuasive speaking skills can go a long way in helping you be successful.
If you can persuade and influence people , you will be able to achieve greater personal power. You’ll become more successful, at a faster rate. And you will be an important person in your community.
How to Write A Persuasive Speech in Seven Steps
Sometimes, persuasive speaking is used in your everyday life and the natural interactions you have throughout the day.
Other times, you may need to give a more formal persuasive speech. In these cases, you might feel at a loss when it comes to how to write a persuasive speech.
As you begin working on your persuasive speech outline and the speech itself, think about what you want to persuade others to do and why you want them to do this. This is the best place to start. Don’t try to cram your “why” in later — your speech should naturally grow out of your end goal.
You can also work on your presentation skills , helping you come across more confidently. Practice using visual aids to help get your message across.
Remember to speak slowly and to keep a glass of water nearby in case your throat dries up. You should also tailor your presentation to your target audience, being personable and relatable to keep them engaged.
Finally, using an outline as you craft your talk is a great way to stay organized. If you’re going to persuade someone to do something, you need to sound like you know what you’re talking about. Writing your speech based on an outline will help you follow a logical sequence of thoughts and arrive at an impactful conclusion.
After you graft your persuasive speech outline, follow these other persuasive speech tips to start getting your audience to see your side!
#1. Identify the Motivation
The key to becoming a master of persuasion ? Motivation.
If you want to persuade someone to do something, or even to simply believe what you’re saying, you need to find out what would motivate them to take that action or adopt that belief. Every human action is motivated by something.
Your job is to find out what motivates other people and then to provide that motivation.
People have two major motivations: the desire for gain, and the fear of loss. The desire for gain motivates people to want more of the things they value in life.
They want more money, more success, more health, more influence, more respect, more love, and more happiness. The fear of loss is often even stronger than the desire for gain as people are afraid of change, risk, and uncertainty.
You can take these underlying motivations and define them more specifically for your target audience. For example, maybe you’re trying to convince someone to sign up for your diet program.
To accomplish this goal, you need to think about their motivations. Why does your target audience want to go on a diet? Do they want to feel healthier, lose weight, or build muscle?
If you’re speaking to an audience of moms, talk about how your diet would give them more energy to play with their active kids. For an audience of athletes, you might focus on the results they’ll see on the field or on the court by following your diet.
If your goal is to write a successful persuasive speech, make sure you know your target audience well enough to identify their motivations. Then use those motivations as much as possible in your speech, thinking about what your audience wants and telling them how you can help them get it.
#2. Establish Credibility
If you want to persuade somebody to do something, you need to convince them that you know what you’re talking about and that you won’t lead them astray.
Demonstrate to your audience that you have their best interests at heart — and show them your knowledge and evidence to prove your point.
One way to establish credibility is to explain your education, your experience, or anything else that proves why you’re qualified to hold your viewpoint. Talk about your personal experience or any relevant research you’ve done.
You should also work on establishing common ground with your audience. Show them that you can identify and relate with them. At the end of the day, you and your audience want the same thing.
Finally, speaking with confidence is another way to help you seem more authoritative. People will automatically perceive you as successful and knowledgeable if you speak about your topic with confidence.
Sharing these things will help establish your authority. And that will help you persuade others to think or do what you want them to do.
#3. Explain Your Stance
Make your stance extremely clear from the beginning of your speech.
Whether you work it into your thesis statement or the opening paragraphs, when you’re trying to convince people to believe in what you believe, you need to be strong in your stance.
And this also means you need to believe in yourself first.
If you’re struggling to feel self-confident, focus on changing your mindset. Believing in yourself starts with thinking positively and vocalizing positive statements to yourself to build your self-esteem.
Each morning in the mirror, look at yourself and confidently say, “I believe in myself.” Over time, this will help you feel more and more confident in yourself and in the stance you’re going to present on stage.
People can sense when a speaker is being fake or doesn’t seem authentic. If you want your audience members to believe in you, let your genuine passion come through.
#4. Address Objections
One of the biggest things to know and prepare for when writing a persuasive speech is that there will always be objections or reasons why your audience members don’t believe you. If people are skeptical of what you’re trying to share, don’t dance around their potential questions your entire speech— the best approach is to go ahead and address these issues.
Get ahead of the game and preempt those objections by addressing them before they ever come up. Don’t give your audience a chance to start wondering.
State the most common objections you hear and address them head-on, explaining why they’re untrue or irrelevant. This frees up your audience to focus on the remainder of your speech.
#5. Understand the Other Side
When it comes to any persuasive conversation, there will always be more than one side to address. Don’t dismiss, ignore, or speak poorly of something that would be your counter-argument. Instead of being combative, embrace the opposition. This will ensure you don’t accidentally hurt your audience’s emotions, will make them feel heard, and will help them feel better about trusting and believing in you. Then craft creative points in your favor.
Begin by addressing any opposing viewpoints. Don’t bash the other side — be respectful, simply stating the facts of what others believe. Next, use words such as “although” or “however” to transition into your counterargument, showing listeners why your side is more correct. In practice, this might sound like:
“Many people think getting a master’s degree is essential to achieve success in this field. However, I have successfully scaled my business although I only have a bachelor’s degree.”
Being empathetic instead of combative will go a long way in winning your audience over to your side.
#6. Connect With the Audience
When you give a speech, it’s essential to get your audience’s attention from the get-go and connect with them however you can. A persuasive speech is no different.
Use examples and stories your audience would understand. If you’re a manager speaking to an audience of other managers, share stories from the workplace that only a manager would truly “get.”
Storytelling is a tried-and-true way to make sure people are listening. Using personal stories your audience can relate to will keep them more engaged. They’ll be able to see their own lives and stories in the points you’re trying to make.
Other ways to connect with your audience might include using visual aids; making a joke, if appropriate; or mentioning something about the setting around you.
#7. Speak With Confidence
If you’re new to public speaking, you may not feel as if you know how to speak with confidence. But believing in yourself and your points is absolutely essential to help you persuade your audience over the hump.
If you aren’t feeling very confident, it’s okay to fake it until you make it. Speak more confidently by visualizing your speech before getting in front of your audience. Walk through your speech in your head, and imagine your audience giving you a round of applause.
Some people aren’t sure where to look once they get on stage. For a larger crowd, look over the crowd’s eye line. If your audience is smaller, you can make direct eye contact with people. Use positive body language and dress appropriately to boost your confidence.
Finally, the best way to speak with confidence is to practice. Give your speech in the mirror, ask a friend to listen, or video yourself speaking so you can watch it back. Over time, you will become more confident and be better able to persuade an audience.
Write an Effective Persuasive Speech
The idea of getting up in front of an audience and winning them over to your point of view may seem stressful. But by following these seven steps, you’ll be able to write and deliver a speech that will successfully persuade your audience to do whatever you want them to do.
And after you’ve done it once, you’ll be able to create and give a strong persuasive speech again and again and again.
Looking for more ways to become a better public speaker? Use my list of 44 ways to improve your public speaking skills to help.
You’ll find nine techniques to help overcome your fear of public speaking; tips to create a speech that will captivate and inspire your audience; and information on how you can transform your public speaking into a profitable career.
Click here to download my Ultimate List of Public Speaking Tips and get started today!
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How to Write an Introduction for a Persuasive Speech
Last Updated: March 7, 2023 References Approved
This article was co-authored by Gale McCreary and by wikiHow staff writer, Kyle Hall . Gale McCreary is the Founder and Chief Coordinator of SpeechStory, a nonprofit organization focused on improving communication skills in youth. She was previously a Silicon Valley CEO and President of a Toastmasters International chapter. She has been recognized as Santa Barbara Entrepreneurial Woman of the Year and received Congressional recognition for providing a Family-Friendly work environment. She has a BS in Biology from Stanford University. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 82% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 137,760 times.
A persuasive speech is meant to convince an audience to agree with your point of view or argument relating to a specific topic. While the body of your persuasive speech is where the bulk of your argument will go, it’s important that you don’t overlook the introduction. A good introduction will capture your audience’s attention, which is crucial if you want to persuade them. Fortunately, there are some simple rules you can follow that will make the introduction to your persuasive essay more engaging and memorable.
Organizing Your Introduction
- For example, if your speech is about sleep deprivation in the workplace, you could start with something like “Workplace accidents and mistakes related to sleep deprivation cost companies $31 billion every single year.”
- Or, if your speech is about animal rights, you could open with a quote like “The English philosopher Jeremy Bentham once said, ‘The question is not, Can they reason? Nor, Can they talk? But, Can they suffer?’”
- For a speech about unpaid internships, you could start with a relevant anecdote like “In 2018, Tiffany Green got her dream internship, unpaid, working for a rental company. Unfortunately, a few months later Tiffany returned home from work to find an eviction notice on the door of her apartment, owned by that same rental company, because she was unable to pay her rent.
- For example, your thesis statement could look something like “Today, I’m going to talk to you about why medical marijuana should be legalized in all 50 states, and I’ll explain why that would improve the lives of average Americans and boost the economy.”
- For example, if you’re a marine biologist who’s writing a persuasive speech about ocean acidification, you could write something like “I’ve studied the effects of ocean acidification on local marine ecosystems for over a decade now, and what I’ve found is staggering.”
- Or, if you’re not an expert on your topic, you could include something like “Earlier this year, renowned marine biologist Ayana Elizabeth Johnson published a decade-long study on the acidification of our oceans, and what she found is deeply concerning.”
- For example, you could sum up your conclusion by writing something like, “To show you that a shorter work week would benefit not only employees but also their employers, first I will touch on the history of the modern average work week. Then, I’ll discuss the mental and physical toll that a long work week can take on a person. Finally, I’ll wrap up by going over fairer, better systems that we as a society could implement.”
- For example, if you time yourself giving your speech (introduction included) and it takes you 5 minutes, your introduction should only take up about 45 seconds of your speech.
- However, if you were giving a speech that’s 20 minutes long, your introduction should be around 3 minutes.
- On average, you’ll want about 150 words for every 1 minute you need to speak for. For example, if your introduction should be 2 minutes, you’d want to write around 300 words.
Tip: If you know how long your speech is going to be before you write it, make the first draft of your introduction the right length so you don’t have to add or delete a lot later.
Polishing Your Writing
- To make your writing more conversational, try to use brief sentences, and avoid including jargon unless you need it to make your point.
- Using contractions, like “I’ll” instead of “I will,” “wouldn’t” instead of “would not,” and “they’re” instead of “they are,” can help make your writing sound more conversational.
Tip: An easy way to make your writing more concise is to start your sentences with the subject. Also, try to limit the number of adverbs and adjectives you use.
- For example, if your audience will be made up of the other students in your college class, including a pop culture reference in your introduction might be an effective way to grab their attention and help them relate to your topic. However, if you’re giving your speech in a more formal setting, a pop culture reference might fall flat.
- For example, you could write something like, “I know a lot of you may strongly disagree with me on this. However, I think if you give me a chance and hear me out, we might end up finding some common ground.”
- Or, you could include a question like “How many of you here tonight have ever come across plastic that's washed up on the beach?” Then, you can have audience members raise their hands.
- You can even record yourself reading your introduction to get a sense of how you'll look delivering the opening of your speech.
Example Introduction for a Persuasive Speech
You Might Also Like
- ↑ https://open.lib.umn.edu/communication/chapter/11-2-persuasive-speaking/
- ↑ https://2012books.lardbucket.org/books/public-speaking-practice-and-ethics/s12-introductions-matter-how-to-be.html
- ↑ https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/ace/downloads/tipsheets/persvsargu.pdf
- ↑ https://www.speechanddebate.org/wp-content/uploads/Tips-for-Writing-a-Persuasive-Speech.pdf
- ↑ https://open.lib.umn.edu/publicspeaking/chapter/14-1-four-methods-of-delivery/
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/essay_writing/argumentative_essays.html
- ↑ https://www.gvsu.edu/speechlab/connecting-with-the-audience-26.htm
- ↑ https://www.gvsu.edu/speechlab/practicing-presentations-33.htm
About This Article
To write an introduction for a persuasive speech, start with a hook that will grab your audience's attention, like a surprising statistic or meaningful quote. Then, introduce your thesis statement, which should explain what you are arguing for and why. From here, you'll need to demonstrate the credibility of your argument if you want your audience to believe what you're saying. Depending on if you are an expert or not, you should either share your personal credentials or reference papers and studies by experts in the field that legitimize your argument. Finally, conclude with a brief preview of the main points you'll cover in your speech, so your audience knows what to expect and can follow along more easily. For more tips from our co-author, including how to polish your introduction, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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About this Strategy Guide
This strategy guide focuses on persuasive writing and offers specific methods on how you can help your students use it to improve their critical writing and thinking skills.
Strategy in practice, related resources.
Students often score poorly on persuasive writing assessments because they have no authentic audience or purpose; thus their counterarguments and rebuttals are weak. However, if they see writing as personally meaningful and a useful way to express their needs and desires, they will want to improve their skills in writing style, content, spelling, and other mechanics. Research shows that young children are capable of anticipating their readers’ beliefs and expectations when writing for familiar readers to get something they want and when prompted to think about their audience’s perspective while writing. 1 Teachers can also guide students to analyze examples of persuasive writing and understand the author’s purpose. Before writing a persuasive piece, students should understand how persuasion is used orally in everyday life by practicing making short, convincing speeches about something that’s important to them. 2 1 Wollman-Bonilla, J. (2000). Family message journals: Teaching writing through family involvement. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.
2 Wollman-Bonilla, J. (2000). Family message journals: Teaching writing through family involvement. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.
Here are some ways you can help your students master persuasive writing:
- Have students listen to and analyze various persuasive speeches and writings in the media (e.g., newspapers, magazines, television, and the Internet), looking for words, phrases, and techniques (e.g., reasons, repetition, counterarguments, comparisons) that are designed to persuade. This improves critical reading and thinking skills. The Persuasive Strategies PowerPoint offers some of the more common techniques.
- Break down the elements of a persuasive speech or piece of writing: an introduction that states the position clearly, at least three pieces of evidence to support the position, and a conclusion that restates the topic and summarizes the main points. The interactive Persuasion Map provides a framework to help students organize their ideas before writing.
- Challenge students to address what people currently believe about the issue so that they can convince them to change through counterarguments. Have them interview 5–10 people (with varying perspectives) about their current beliefs on an issue and create a graph to see patterns in people’s arguments. Students can mention these different beliefs toward the beginning of their writing piece before they make their own argument.
- Find authentic opportunities for students to write persuasive letters to family or community, speeches, classified advertisements, and other persuasive pieces. After a unit on recycling, for example, students could write a persuasive letter to their families to convince them to recycle more. Or students might write to their school librarian and try to convince him or her to purchase something in particular for the library. The Speechwriting Website offers a student tutorial, tips from the pros, and audio samples of other students’ writing.
- Incorporate peer review techniques so students analyze and improve each other’s persuasive arguments (oral or written). See Teaching Writing: Peer Review for further guidance. Use the Peer Review Guidelines for Persuasive Letters to guide students’ review of persuasive letters.
- Challenge students to differentiate fact and opinion from an article. Start by discussing short examples to see if students understand the difference. Use the Fact vs. Opinion handout from Education Oasis to reinforce this concept.
- Show students examples of how community discussion on an issue can lead to alternative positions that take different people’s needs into account, perhaps by looking in the editorial section of the local newspaper. Issues such as adding bike paths or improving parks might be interesting for the students to follow. You might encourage them to participate by having them write a letter to the editor.
- Encourage students to participate in online role-play, respond to YouTube videos or blogs, or create their own websites as ways for students to debate a real issue with a broader audience.
Vary the types of assignments you give to meet the different learning needs, styles, and interests of your students. If students sense that voicing their opinions may lead to change, it can motivate them to formulate effective arguments for their positions and propose possible solutions.
- Lesson Plans
- Student Interactives
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- Strategy Guides
Through a classroom game and resource handouts, students learn about the techniques used in persuasive oral arguments and apply them to independent persuasive writing activities.
Students analyze rhetorical strategies in online editorials, building knowledge of strategies and awareness of local and national issues. This lesson teaches students connections between subject, writer, and audience and how rhetorical strategies are used in everyday writing.
The Persuasion Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to map out their arguments for a persuasive essay or debate.
Students examine the different ways that they write and think about the role writing plays in life.
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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, 105 interesting persuasive speech topics for any project.
Are you struggling to find good persuasive speech topics? It can be hard to find a topic that interests both you and your audience, but in this guide we've done the hard work and created a list of 105 great persuasive speech ideas. They're organized into ten categories and cover a variety of topics, so you're sure to find one that interests you.
In addition to our list, we also go over which factors make good persuasive speech topics and three tips you should follow when researching and writing your persuasive speech.
What Makes a Good Persuasive Speech Topic?
What makes certain persuasive speech topics better than others? There are numerous reasons, but in this section we discuss three of the most important factors of great topics for a persuasive speech.
It's Something You Know About or Are Interested in Learning About
The most important factor in choosing and creating a great persuasive speech is picking a topic you care about and are interested in. You'll need to do a lot of research on this topic, and if it's something you like learning about, that'll make the process much easier and more enjoyable. It'll also help you sound passionate and informed when you talk, both important factors in giving an excellent persuasive speech.
It's a Topic People Care About
In fourth grade, after being told I could give a persuasive speech on any topic I wanted to , I chose to discuss why the Saguaro cactus should be the United State's national plant. Even though I gave an impassioned talk and drew a life-size Saguaro cactus on butcher paper to hang behind me, I doubt anyone enjoyed the speech much.
I'd recently returned from a family vacation to Arizona where I'd seen Saguaro cacti for the first time and decided they were the coolest thing ever. However, most people don't care that much about Saguaro cacti, and most people don't care what our national plant is or if we even have one (for the record, the US has a national flower, and it's the rose).
Spare yourself the smattering of bored applause my nine-old self got at the end of my speech and choose something you think people will be interested in hearing about. This also ties into knowing your audience, which we discuss more in the final section.
It Isn't Overdone
When I was in high school, nearly every persuasive speech my classmates and I were assigned was the exact same topic: should the drinking age be lowered to 18? I got this prompt in English class, on standardized tests, in speech and debate class, etc. I've written and presented about it so often I could probably still rattle off all the main points of my old speeches word-for-word.
You can imagine that everyone's eyes glazed over whenever classmates gave their speeches on this topic. We'd heard about it so many times that, even if it was a topic we cared about, speeches on it just didn't interest us anymore.
The are many potential topics for a persuasive speech. Be wary of choosing one that's cliche or overdone. Even if you give a great speech, it'll be harder to keep your audience interested if they feel like they already know what you're going to say.
An exception to this rule is that if you feel you have a new viewpoint or facts about the topic that currently aren't common knowledge. Including them can make an overdone topic interesting. If you do this, be sure to make it clear early on in your speech that you have unique info or opinions on the topic so your audience knows to expect something new.
105 Topics for a Persuasive Speech
Here's our list of 105 great persuasive speech ideas. We made sure to choose topics that aren't overdone, yet that many people will have an interest in, and we also made a point of choosing topics with multiple viewpoints rather than simplistic topics that have a more obvious right answer (i.e. Is bullying bad?). The topics are organized into ten categories.
- Should art and music therapy be covered by health insurance?
- Should all students be required to learn an instrument in school?
- Should all national museums be free to citizens?
- Should graffiti be considered art?
- Should offensive language be removed from works of classic literature?
- Are paper books better than e-books?
- Should all interns be paid for their work?
- Should employees receive bonuses for walking or biking to work?
- Will Brexit hurt or help the UK's economy?
- Should all people over the age of 65 be able to ride the bus for free?
- Should the federal minimum wage be increased?
- Should tipping in restaurants be mandatory?
- Should Black Friday sales be allowed to start on Thanksgiving?
- Should students who bully others be expelled?
- Should all schools require students wear uniforms?
- Should boys and girls be taught in separate classrooms?
- Should students be allowed to listen to music during study hall?
- Should all elementary schools be required to teach a foreign language?
- Should schools include meditation or relaxation breaks during the day?
- Should grades in gym class affect students' GPAs?
- Should teachers get a bonus when their students score well on standardized tests?
- Should children of undocumented immigrants be allowed to attend public schools?
- Should students get paid for getting a certain GPA?
- Should students be allowed to have their cell phones with them during school?
- Should high school students be allowed to leave school during lunch breaks?
- Should Greek life at colleges be abolished?
- Should high school students be required to volunteer a certain number of hours before they can graduate?
- Should schools still teach cursive handwriting?
- What are the best ways for schools to stop bullying?
- Should prostitution be legalized?
- Should people with more than one DUI lose their driver's license?
- Should people be required to shovel snow from the sidewalks in front of their house?
- Should minors be able to drink alcohol in their home if they have their parent's consent?
- Should guns be allowed on college campuses?
- Should flag burning as a form of protest be illegal?
- Should welfare recipients be required to pass a drug test?
- Should white supremacist groups be allowed to hold rallies in public places?
- Should assault weapons be illegal?
- Should the death penalty be abolished?
- Should beauty pageants for children be banned?
- Is it OK to refuse to serve same-sex couples based on religious beliefs?
- Should transgender people be allowed to serve in the military?
- Is it better to live together before marriage or to wait?
- Should affirmative action be allowed?
- Should prisoners be allowed to vote?
- Should Columbus Day be replaced with Indigenous Peoples' Day?
- Should the government spend more money on developing high-speed rail lines and less on building new roads?
- Should the government be allowed to censor internet content deemed inappropriate?
- Should Puerto Rico become the 51st state?
- Should Scotland declare independence from the United Kingdom?
- Whose face should be on the next new currency printed by the US?
- Should people convicted of drug possession be sent to recovery programs instead of jail?
- Should voting be made compulsory?
- Who was the best American president?
- Should the military budget be reduced?
- Should the President be allowed to serve more than two terms?
- Should a border fence be built between the United States and Mexico?
- Should countries pay ransom to terrorist groups in order to free hostages?
- Should minors be able to purchase birth control without their parent's consent?
- Should hiding or lying about your HIV status with someone you're sleeping with be illegal?
- Should governments tax soda and other sugary drinks and use the revenue for public health?
- Should high schools provide free condoms to students?
- Should the US switch to single-payer health care?
- Should healthy people be required to regularly donate blood?
- Should assisted suicide be legal?
- Should religious organizations be required to pay taxes?
- Should priests be allowed to get married?
- Should the religious slaughter of animals be banned?
- Should the Church of Scientology be exempt from paying taxes?
- Should women be allowed to be priests?
- Should countries be allowed to only accept refugees with certain religious beliefs?
- Should public prayer be allowed in schools?
- Should human cloning be allowed?
- Should people be allowed to own exotic animals like tigers and monkeys?
- Should "animal selfies" in tourist locations with well-known animal species (like koalas and tigers) be allowed?
- Should genetically modified foods be sold in grocery stores?
- Should people be allowed to own pit bulls?
- Should parents be allowed to choose the sex of their unborn children?
- Should vaccinations be required for students to attend public school?
- What is the best type of renewable energy?
- Should plastic bags be banned in grocery stores?
- Should the United States rejoin the Paris Agreement?
- Should puppy mills be banned?
- Should fracking be legal?
- Should animal testing be illegal?
- Should offshore drilling be allowed in protected marine areas?
- Should the US government increase NASA's budget?
- Should Pluto still be considered a planet?
- Should college athletes be paid for being on a sports team?
- Should all athletes be required to pass regular drug tests?
- Should professional female athletes be paid the same as male athletes in the same sport?
- Are there any cases when athletes should be allowed to use steroids?
- Should college sports teams receive less funding?
- Should boxing be illegal?
- Should schools be required to teach all students how to swim?
- Should cheerleading be considered a sport?
- Should parents let their children play tackle football?
- Will robots reduce or increase human employment opportunities?
- What age should children be allowed to have a cell phone?
- Should libraries be replaced with unlimited access to e-books?
- Overall, has technology helped connect people or isolate them?
- Should self-driving cars be legal?
- Should all new buildings be energy efficient?
- Is Net Neutrality a good thing or a bad thing?
- Do violent video games encourage players to become violent in real life?
3 Bonus Tips for Crafting Your Persuasive Speech
Of course, giving a great persuasive speech requires more than just choosing a good topic. Follow the three tips below to create an outstanding speech that'll interest and impress your audience.
Do Your Research
For a persuasive speech, there's nothing worse than getting an audience question that shows you misunderstood the issue or left an important piece out. It makes your entire speech look weak and unconvincing.
Before you start writing a single word of your speech, be sure to do lots of research on all sides of the topic. Look at different sources and points of view to be sure you're getting the full picture, and if you know any experts on the topic, be sure to ask their opinion too.
Consider All the Angles
Persuasive speech topics are rarely black and white, which means there will be multiple sides and viewpoints on the topic. For example, for the topic "Should people be allowed to own pit bulls?" there are two obvious viewpoints: everyone should be allowed to own a pit bull if they want to, and no one should be allowed to own a pit bull. But there are other options you should also consider: people should only own a pit bull if they pass a dog training class, people should be able to own pit bulls, but only if it's the only dog they own, people should be able to own pi tbulls but only if they live a certain distance from schools, people should be able to own pit bulls only if the dog passes an obedience class, etc.
Thinking about all these angles and including them in your speech will make you seem well-informed on the topic, and it'll increase the quality of your speech by looking at difference nuances of the issue.
Know Your Audience
Whenever you give a speech, it's important to consider your audience, and this is especially true for persuasive speeches when you're trying to convince people to believe a certain viewpoint. When writing your speech, think about what your audience likely already knows about the topic, what they probably need explained, and what aspects of the topic they care about most. Also consider what the audience will be most concerned about for a certain topic, and be sure to address those concerns.
For example, if you're giving a speech to a Catholic organization on why you think priests should be allowed to marry, you don't need to go over the history of Catholicism or its core beliefs (which they probably already know), but you should mention any research or prominent opinions that support your view (which they likely don't know about). They may be concerned that priests who marry won't be as committed to God or their congregations, so be sure to address those concerns and why they shouldn't worry about them as much as they may think. Discussing your topic with people (ideally those with viewpoints similar to those of your future audience) before you give your speech is a good way to get a better understanding of how your audience thinks.
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More Resources for Writing Persuasive Speeches
If you need more guidance or just want to check out some examples of great persuasive writing, consider checking out the following books:
- Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches in History by William Safire—This collection of great speeches throughout history will help you decide how to style your own argument.
- The Essentials of Persuasive Public Speaking by Sims Wyeth—For quick direct tips on public speaking, try this all-purpose guide.
- Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World's Top Minds by Carmine Gallo—This popular book breaks down what makes TED talks work and how you can employ those skills in your own presentations.
- We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Make Good Art by Neil Gaiman—These two recent speeches by contemporary writers offer stellar examples of how to craft a compelling (and engaging) argument.
Conclusion: Persuasive Speech Ideas
Good persuasive speech topics can be difficult to think of, but in this guide we've compiled a list of 105 interesting persuasive speech topics for you to look through.
The best persuasive speech ideas will be on a topic you're interested in, aren't overdone, and will be about something your audience cares about.
After you've chosen your topic, keep these three tips in mind when writing your persuasive speech:
- Do your research
- Consider all the angles
- Know your audience
Now that you have persuasive speech topics, it's time to hone your persuasive speech techniques. Find out what ethos, pathos, logos, and kairos are and how to use them here .
Looking to take your persuasive technique from speech to sheets (of paper)? Get our three key tips on how to write an argumentative essay , or learn by reading through our thorough breakdown of how to build an essay, step by step .
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Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.
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Tips on How to Write a Persuasive Speech
Persuasive speeches have the power to not only make a powerful point but create moments in time that define eras. From Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech to King George VI’s radio speech, persuasive speeches have the ability to live and inspire indefinitely.
Politicians, in particular, rely on the power of persuasive speeches when campaigning and after being elected. There are professional speech writers that make a very lucrative living writing persuasive speeches for political and corporate leaders.
Persuasive speeches are not only for politicians and corporate leaders. Everyone is using or trying to use the art of persuasion each and every day as a call to action. You may find yourself needing to deliver a speech in a sales meeting to close a big client. You might find yourself in front of a local board in your community using the art of persuasion for a cause you strongly believe in. Whatever the situation, having an understanding of how to write a persuasive speech then deliver it is like having a superpower.
The great thing about learning how to write a persuasive speech is that anyone can do it. You don’t need to have any special talent for writing or speaking. There are creative elements, but those emerge as a result of mastering the fundamentals, which anyone can do.
In this article, you’re going to learn how to write a persuasive speech, so you can add that superpower to your talent stack and start getting more of what you want out of life. The most successful people in the business world and life, in general, all understand the power of persuasion to some degree, and now you can, too.
Define the Goal of Your Persuasive Speech
BE AN EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATOR Suasive Presentation Coaching
Analyze Your Audience
Understanding who your audience is and what level of awareness they’re at is critical to a successful persuasive speech. For example, if you’re talking about an issue your audience knows very little about, you’ll need to spend some time educating them about the history and background. On the other hand, if your audience is coming with a high level of awareness, educating them on what they already know will weaken your speech, and your audience will quickly disengage, or worse, take a position against you before even hearing the heart of your argument.
Understanding the perspective of your audience is important any time you are writing a speech. This is especially true with a persuasive speech because not only are you seeking to get them to listen to you, but you’re also hoping they’ll take a particular action after listening to your presentation.
Things to Consider About Your Audience
Aristotle and Quintilian are the most famous ancient scholars to give public speaking definitive rules. Aristotle defined rhetoric as a means to persuade on any subject. Quintilian published a twelve-volume textbook on rhetoric, and many of his references are still used today by politicians.
Cicero is considered perhaps the most significant rhetorician that ever lived. He is famous in the field of public speaking for creating the five canons of rhetoric—a five-step process for developing a persuasive speech that is still used to this very day.
Who is in Your Audience?
To properly analyze your audience, you first must understand who they are. Depending on your topic, knowing about your audience member’s age, income, ethnicity, race, gender, religion, profession, political beliefs, membership, and hobbies can influence the way you frame your topic and overall approach.
Who are You to Your Audience?
Does your audience have a predetermined opinion about you, your organization, or your profession? If so, it’s important to call it out and recognize it. Your audience will view this as you seeing and understanding them, and a bridge of common ground will have been built from the outset.
What Does the Audience Value?
Having clarity on what matters most to your audience allows you to align your speech topic with their most deeply-held values. For example, if you’re speaking to a veterans group that values community service, you can place more emphasis on your organization’s local charitable endeavors.
How Relevant is Your Topic?
Is your audience already invested in your topic? If it is, then you don’t need to spend a lot of time explaining why they should care about it. On the other hand, if the audience has a low level of awareness, it’s important to draw a connection between your topic and their interests early on in the speech.
Put Emphasis on Your Audience
Your objective is not to merely get through your speech, you’re trying to persuade your audience to take action or think about a topic with a new perspective. You need to make your audience feel like you genuinely recognize and care about their opinions and beliefs. A persuasive speech is not about you, it’s about the people you’re trying to persuade. Talk to your audience, not at them. When writing a speech, you need to keep in mind these are words to be spoken, so reading aloud after you write and during the editing process can be extremely helpful.
How to tell your story so the audience feels it’s their story.
Organize Your Points with a Strong Outline
Public speaking can be categorized into four main types: ceremonial, demonstrative, informative, and persuasive.
Most of us will give a ceremonial speech during our lifetime. These are the speeches that mark special occasions. We’ve seen them at weddings, graduations, birthdays, office parties, and funerals. Often a ceremonial speech involves a toast and is delivered with intimacy and an emotional connection to the audience.
This can be a statement or even a visual that gets your audience’s attention. Often coming out of the gates with some drama works. This can be the most important line of your entire speech. If the audience does not engage from the start, it can be very difficult to get them back. Often this line comes in the form of a question that forces the audience to actively engage or think. It could be a riddle or unique question. The point is you want to grab attention and then do your best to hold on to it.
Link to the Audience
Showing that you have something in common with the audience builds trust. If possible, show that you have a similar background or share an emotional connection. This relies on you knowing your audience. For example, if you’re a parent, you can emphasize the common concern for your child’s future. If you share an ideological position with your audience, you may emphasize that.
Demonstrate Your Authority
Demonstrate to your audience that you’re a reliable source. Highlight the research you’ve done on the topic. If you have personal or professional experience with the topic, make sure to share that. If you’re speaking about teen drug addiction, and one of your teens had an addiction problem, it would be important to mention that experience.
Tell Them Your Goal
Be transparent about what you hope to accomplish. The more honest and upfront you are, the more that builds trust. This part can tie into your thesis statement.
The thesis statement is where you tell your audience your position on the topic you’ll be discussing. Your goal is to have the audience agree with your thesis by the conclusion of your speech. The thesis statement should be short and clearly state your views.
After the introductory portion of the speech is over, the speaker starts presenting reasons to the audience. These reasons are various statements that provide support for the thesis statement. After each reason, the speaker lists examples as evidence to try and provide a factual argument to sway listeners’ opinions to agree with their own.
After you finish writing the speech introduction, you’ll start writing down the reasons you take the position you take. The reasons are a combination of statements that provide support for your thesis statement. After each reason, you want to persuade by giving examples that support your reasoning.
The same format can be followed throughout the speech.
The conclusion is considered the most important part of a persuasive speech, besides the introduction and thesis statement. This is where you must sum up and tie in all of your arguments into one final powerful point. From a persuasion standpoint, it’s usually best to make it an appeal to emotion, supported by the appeals to logic you made throughout your speech.
COMMUNICATION WITH PURPOSE
Use the Power of Storytelling
The Key Elements of Storytelling in Your Persuasive Speech
- The story should build trust with your audience
- Every story has a conflict, hero, and solution
- Effective stories are simple and easy to understand
How Stories Build Trust
Good stories find common ground between you and your audience. The story should include both yourself and your audience. But your audience is the most important character in your story. Knowing who your audience is will help you craft your story. What is their history? What obstacles do they face? What is their experience? When your audience sees themselves in your story, you’ve gone a long way to build an enormous amount of trust.
Basic Story Structure
Just like your persuasive speech must have structure, so will the story you tell within the speech. All good stories have a conflict or problem. They all have a hero – usually the person telling the story or, even better, the audience. The third element of a basic story is a villain or enemy. In the context of your persuasive speech, you’ll need to shape the story around the topic. The story brings the topic to life in a way the audience can visualize. Your story may be an anecdotal story, but even that needs to obey the rules of story structure in order to draw the audience in.
Keep the Story Simple
The story is just a small part of your speech. It needs to be economical, impactful, and easy to follow. When you’re writing your story, you need to keep the time it will take to tell the story in mind. Make the story as simple as possible without sacrificing the impact. Stand Up comedians are some of the best short storytellers you can study. Many of their jokes are, in fact, stories. And the best ones make you laugh and persuade you at the same time. If you can do that, you’ll be way ahead of the game.
ONE METHODOLOGY, MULTIPLE APPLICATIONS
Persuasive Speech Writing FAQs
If you spend any time researching how to write a persuasive speech, you’ll quickly find that people have a lot of questions about the topic. We’ve gathered some of the most frequently asked questions and answered them here in one place.
What are the Top 5 Persuasive Techniques?
Anyone who has studied psychology understands the power of repetition. Your audience will never agree with you if they don’t truly get what you’re saying. Good repetition involves making your point in several different ways. Make it directly, use examples, tell a story, use quotes, and revisit it in your summary.
2. Give Reasons Why
Never forget the power of the word because. Psychological studies show that people are much more likely to comply with a request no matter how absurd if you give them a reason why.
3. Be Consistent
Consistency in our thoughts and actions is a valued social trait. When we view someone as inconsistent, we lose trust. Use this in your writing by getting the audience to agree with something up front that most people would have a hard time disagreeing with. Then make your case with supporting evidence while relating your thesis back to the opening scenario your audience already accepted as true.
4. Social Proof
We’re always looking to others for implicit or explicit advice on what to accept. Social proof is so powerful it can determine whether we give help to a person in need. For a persuasive speech giving statistics that support your thesis can be a powerful way to use social proof.
Stories have the power to get people to persuade themselves. Storytelling lies at the heart of persuasion. Do everything you can to tell better stories, you’ll soon find yourself to be a powerfully persuasive person.
What is Persuasive Writing?
Persuasive writing is basically a written form of an oral debate. Persuasive Writing is used to convince or persuade a reader that the writer’s opinion of a topic or cause is correct. When writing persuasive speeches, you need to be well versed in word selection, framing logical arguments, and creating a strong, cohesive closing argument.
What are the Three Types of Persuasive Speeches?
There are three kinds of persuasive speeches most often used in the area of beliefs and attitudes. These are speeches of fact, value, and policy. You can argue about what is, what should be, or how it should be.
What is a Good Persuasive Speech Topic?
The best topic for a persuasive speech is a topic you’re interested in. There are endless types of topics one can persuade on. It’s good to use a somewhat relevant and current topic so your audience will be familiar, but most important is your interest. If you’re not passionate about your position on a topic, your audience will notice quickly and lose interest.
What Persuasive Technique is the Most Effective?
If you can use storytelling to its maximum effect, you’ll be a powerful storyteller. The beauty of storytelling is putting the audience in a position where they persuade themselves to your position. They aren’t agreeing with you, they’re agreeing with themselves, and that element of autonomy has the biggest impact when it comes to persuasion.
Writing a Persuasive Speech Conclusion
Now you can see that persuasive speech writing is more skill than talent. These tips for writing hopefully have changed your point of view and given you the confidence you need to write a great persuasive speech.
Effective persuasion is about knowing the principles and using the right structure. Of course, when you deliver your speech, your body language and eye contact will influence the audience’s impression, but a properly written speech will give you the confidence you need for delivering a memorable, persuasive speech.
Suasive, Inc. is a Silicon Valley-based communication consulting company that offers tips on how to write a persuasive speech for organizations and individuals. To date, we’ve coached over 600 CEOs and helped individuals in some of the world’s largest companies including Netflix, eBay, Sonos, Lyft, and Freshworks.
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How To Write A Persuasive Speech: 7 Steps
11 Aug 2021
What is a persuasive speech and the purpose of it.
7 Steps On How To Write A Good Persuasive Speech
Persuasive Speech Tips You Have To Remember
Are you wondering what a persuasive speech is? Have you ever questioned yourself on how to write a persuasive speech without any previous experience? In brief, it is a text containing crucial information on a topic to convince the audience (whether it is your classroom or a big scientific meeting) of your opinion. An effective persuasive speech should be clear, concise, and argumentative so that it is easy to see the statement you want to communicate. The sentences and words of it should be not academic, not complicated, or hard to understand.
Persuasive talks can be written on any subject or any social issue about which you have a certain opinion and want to share it with somebody. They are aimed at drawing people’s attention to the importance of understanding a social issue and one’s thoughts about it or even a call to action. It is not a problem to use the speech writing service to ease your life and have some spare time.
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As we have mentioned before, a persuasive speech is an appealing and inspiring talk you give to an audience that should comprehend the issues you talk about and the processes you criticize or praise. The structure of it is quite simple: there should be a thesis that reflects the main text thesis and confirms that the author’s purpose is to inform the audience, not only to persuade it.
In the main body, there is evidence and a probable solution to the problem the speaker offers. In the end, the need for an appropriate conclusion appears as well as a call to action.
What is the purpose of a convincing speech?
- Provide the audience with the basic data about the issue
- Get the listeners to understand why the topic is important and how it is related to a person’s everyday life (remember that when you write your speech, you need to make it practical)
- Make the audience accept some inferior intellectual thoughts, problems, solutions, and critique
- Get proper feedback from society as a whole to understand our world better.
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7 Steps On How To Write A Good Persuasive Speech
Writing an excellent, compelling speech is all about proper planning and knowing how to start a speech . Following a clear outline and format will help you finish an impressive persuasive speech that will move the crowd. Here are a few steps to follow if you want to write a persuasive speech that everyone will love.
Research is the most crucial part of writing a persuasive speech. Unless you’re well-informed, you won’t be able to compose your task properly. You’ll most probably write about a controversial topic, and this means a lot of reading and research is needed. You must sound like an educated expert who has enough knowledge that influences others. You must also learn about the audience and choose the right language and style to write a speech for me that provides real value.
Brainstorm for interesting ideas. Take notes and draw mind maps that help you stay focused while planning. Have all the information ready before you start working on your task.
- Find Relevant Sources
Picking the right sources is the key to successful writing. While there might be tons of information, students and professionals should always stick to relevant academic sources like journals, official documents, books, and studies. If you’re using an online source, make sure it’s academically adequate.
You can always hire a professional speech writing service to help you with picking sources and references. This way you can guarantee it will sound professional and be academically accurate.
- Know your Purpose
What’s the purpose of your persuasive speech? Your audience should identify the problem or issue from the very beginning. This way they will stay focused on listening till the end. It all starts with crafting an informative thesis statement that tells people what they’re about to hear.
- Start with a Strong Opening
After brainstorming for good ideas, it is time for writing. Following the right persuasive speech, the format is essential. Starting your introduction with an attention-grabbing quote, picture, video, or compelling story will certainly tempt people to listen. Link your speech to the audience and what interests them. Make sure that your thesis statement explains the purpose and cause of writing this persuasive speech, in addition to suggesting a solution to the problem. Some prefer writing the introduction at the end. It doesn’t matter as long as you follow the right rules.
- Show your Evidence
Remember the goal of persuasive speeches is to motivate and influence. But successful writing is not only based on what you feel and think. This means your central idea should be backed up by logical evidence that supports your claims. Make sure you discuss each point in detail and use facts that support your viewpoint.
- Discuss Counter-Arguments
Counter-arguments add value to your persuasive speeches because they show that you’ve done lots of research. This section provides answers that your audience will most probably ask.
- End your Speech with a Call to Action
The conclusion should end with a call to action. After listening to your argument and proof, you want the audience to make a move. Restate your purpose statement, summarize the topic and reinforce your points by restating the logical evidence you've provided.
If you want to learn how to write a persuasive speech but don't have the time or energy to do the research, why not have a paper written for you ? Persuasive speeches are an important part of many events and activities, and knowing how to write one will help you make a strong impression on your audience. Through careful research and thoughtful delivery, you can craft a persuasive speech that will captivate and reach your audience, whether you're trying to convince them of a point of view or persuade them to act.
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Now that you’ve written your task, you should check it for grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes. Moreover, you must practice delivering it in front of the audience. One of the best persuasive speech tips is to read it in front of some friends and family members. Listen to their honest feedback and highlight areas for improvement. You can also practice in front of a mirror, and watch out for the right body language that can have a significant effect on the success of your persuasive speech.
In this article, we have tried to persuade you that it is easy to persuade an audience while composing a text to have a great impact. You are able to write the text for a speech yourself or delegate your responsibilities to one of the best writing services. The advantages of the second option are obvious: free time, a text’s quality, flexible deadlines, and reasonable prices. Nonetheless, do not neglect your opportunity to become a writer yourself as it is a wonderful experience.
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Composing inspiring talks is not a simple task to do if you are a beginner in the writing sphere. Whether it is a college assignment or your personal business, it will not seem easy when it comes to the writing process - be prepared for that. This work is quite harder than doing homework or an essay as it requires brainstorming your main statement variants and possible arguments to support it. It is vital that you consider those seven steps for writing that our experts have given above. Or you can always speech writing services online at PapersOwl.
If you fail to follow our pieces of advice, you risk missing something important when composing your convincing talk. For example, if you have no passion for your topic or have no idea what your conclusion will be like, then more than likely your audience will not take you seriously. Know your weaknesses, strengths, and choose persuasive speech topics , follow your passion, and you will certainly come up with a great text.
Crafting a persuasive speech that will capture and retain the attention of your audience can be quite a challenge. But you don't have to do it alone. By working with PapersOwl.com , you can easily create a persuasive speech that's both effective and well-organized. We'll be with you every step of the way, from coming up with a compelling argument to delivering the speech with confidence.
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Persuasive Speech - Writing Tips and Topics
Published on: Nov 30, 2018
Last updated on: Jan 23, 2023
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The main purpose of a persuasive speech is to convince the audience with a certain point of view or idea. First, you choose a captivating topic and then write a compelling speech to explain your stance.
The best way to produce an effective speech is to structure your argument as a solution to a problem. Explain the significance of the problem to the audience. Convince your audience that you have a solution to that problem, and your solution can make things better.
In this guide, you will get some amazing topics that can turn into a great persuasive speech. And you will learn how to write a good speech that impresses and also convince the audience with your ideas.
What is Persuasive Speech?
A persuasive speech is a type of speech that is used to persuade the audience to believe in something or to act upon something. The speaker tries to convince the audience with his point of view.
The successful persuasive speeches are thought-provoking, informative, and provide a clear opinion. The main purpose of a persuasive speech is to convince the audience to accept a certain perspective, but not all perspectives can persuade the audience and not all the audience can be convinced by a single speech.
However, the success of a persuasive speech is often measured by the way the speaker has presented and communicated his point of view.
How to Write a Persuasive Speech?
Delivering a great speech is more than just choosing an interesting and thought-provoking topic. Of course, you need to pick a topic that grabs the reader’s attention. But to keep your audience interested in your speech, just grabbing the attention won’t work. If your speech is not written correctly, a strong topic won’t be able to serve the purpose.
You need to organize your information properly and provide some interesting facts and information; otherwise, the audience will lose interest soon. Here are the steps that you can follow to write a fantastic speech.
1. Choose a Good Topic
Out of all the other factors, choosing the right topic for a persuasive speech is the most important factor. Picking up a good persuasive speech topic can be tricky, and you definitely don’t want to choose a topic that is overdone or boring.
It is always a good idea to choose a topic that you have a genuine interest in so that you can do a lot of research for writing your speech.
2. Do the Research
Do thorough research and collect credible information about your topic. Consider all the angles of your topic and think about the different viewpoints. Collect several relevant examples to enhance the credibility of your speech.
3. Analyze Your Audience
Do the audience analysis and know who you are writing a speech for. It will help you write a good speech that persuades your audience.
4. Craft an Outline
Craft a persuasive speech outline , it will help you structure the content of the speech. The typical persuasive speech outline consists of:
5. Write the Introduction
Write a strong introduction to grab the audience’s attention. Include the following components in the introduction:
- Start with a captivating hook statement.
- Give your audience the reason why they should listen to you.
- Write a strong thesis statement that provides the complete message of your speech.
6. Craft the Body paragraphs
The body section is where you present the main points of your speech in detail. Here are the steps that you can follow to organize your body section of your speech:
- State the main idea of your speech.
- Provide examples that support your main idea and the thesis statement. You can also provide your personal experience examples; it will help you enforce your credibility of presenting the topic.
- Transit to the next section of the speech.
7. Write the Conclusion
Write a convincing conclusion to enforce the importance of your speech. Follow the basic elements to write the conclusion:
- Use rhetoric to get your point of view across.
- Summarize all the ideas.
- Provide a call to action.
8. Proofread and Revise your Draft
After writing your speech, read it out loud to check the flow of your information. Do the editing and check if you have followed a proper persuasive speech format. Check the following things while revising the rough draft:
- Add or remove the content, keeping in mind the time limit.
- Check the flow of your information.
- Check if paragraphs are logically connected.
- Correct the format and structure of the speech.
- Correct the sentence structure.
- Proofread your speech for spelling and grammatical mistakes.
Persuasive Speech Examples
Successful persuasive speech samples help a lot in writing a good speech. The speech examples are really helpful for public school and college students.
Here you can get some amazing persuasive speech examples that will make your speech writing process simple and easy.
Persuasive Speech Sample
Persuasive Speech Sample (PDF)
Persuasive Speech Example
Persuasive Speech Example (PDF)
Persuasive Speech Topics
Here are some amazing persuasive speech ideas that you can choose for any public speaking occasion.
- Boys and girls should be taught in separate institutes.
- Genetically modified foods should not be sold in supermarkets.
- Consuming a lot of fast food affects health badly.
- The United States government should ban all cigarette and tobacco products.
- Should interns be paid for their work?
- Exercise is the best way to lose weight.
- We need to take depression seriously.
- Youngsters should take part in community service more often.
- High school students should not be allowed to carry cell phones to school.
- Drug testing on animals needs to be banned.
These topics are perfect for all types of persuasive speeches . So feel free to choose any topic of your choice for any kind of speech.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are the two functions of persuasive speeches.
A persuasive speech can be used to stimulate thought, convince the audience of a position or idea and even call for action.
What are the three basic issues of persuasive speeches?
The three major issues that persuasive speeches on political questions need to address are necessity, plan, and practicability.
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Harvard University: Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking
Gain critical communication skills in writing and public speaking with this introduction to American political rhetoric.
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Rhetoric: the art of persuasive writing and public speaking, about this course.
We are living in a contentious time in history. Fundamental disagreements on critical policy, economic, and political issues make it essential to learn how to compose an effectiveargument and to analyze the arguments of others. This ability will help you engage in civil discourse and make needed changes in society. Conveying a convincing message can benefit your personal, public, and professional lives.
This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of rhetoric, the art of persuasive writing and speech. In it, you will learn to construct and defend compelling arguments, a crucial skill in many settings. We will be using selected speeches from prominent twentieth-century Americans -- including Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Margaret Chase Smith, Ronald Reagan, and more -- to explore and analyze rhetorical structure and style. Through this analysis, you will learn how speakers and writers persuade an audience to adopt their point of view.
Built around Harvard Professor James Engell's on-campus course, "Elements of Rhetoric," this course will help you analyze and apply rhetorical structure and style, appreciate the relevance of persuasive communication in your own life, and understand how to persuade and recognize when someone is trying to persuade you. You will be inspired to share your viewpoint and discover the most powerful ways to convince others to champion your cause. Join us to find your voice!
At a glance
- Institution: HarvardX
- Subject: Humanities
- Level: Introductory
- Prerequisites: None
- Language: English
- Video Transcript: English
- Professional Certificate in Leadership and Communication
- Associated skills: Persuasive Communication, Economics, Public Speaking, Writing, Communications, Persuasive Writing, Rhetoric
What you'll learn
- When and how to employ a variety of rhetorical devices in writing and speaking
- How to differentiate between argument and rhetorical technique
- How to write a persuasive opinion editorial and short speech
- How to evaluate the strength of an argument
- How to identify logical fallacies in arguments
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100 Persuasive Essay Topics
- M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
- B.A., History, Armstrong State University
Persuasive essays are a bit like argument essays and persuasive speeches , but they tend to be a little kinder and gentler. Argument essays require you to discuss and to attack an alternate view, while persuasive essays are attempts to convince the reader that you have a believable argument. In other words, you are an advocate, not an adversary.
A Persuasive Essay Has 3 Components
- Introduction : This is the opening paragraph of your essay. It contains the hook, which is used to grab the reader's attention, and the thesis, or argument, which you'll explain in the next section.
- Body : This is the heart of your essay, usually three to five paragraphs in length. Each paragraph examines one theme or issue used to support your thesis.
- Conclusion : This is the final paragraph of your essay. In it, you'll sum up the main points of the body and connect them to your thesis. Persuasive essays often use the conclusion as a last appeal to the audience.
Learning how to write a persuasive essay is an essential skill that people use every day in fields from business to law to media and entertainment. English students can begin writing a persuasive essay at any skill level. You're sure to find a sample topic or two from the list of 100 persuasive essays below, sorted by degree of difficulty.
Watch Now: 12 Ideas for Great Persuasive Essay Topics
- Kids should get paid for good grades.
- Students should have less homework.
- Snow days are great for family time.
- Penmanship is important.
- Short hair is better than long hair.
- We should all grow our own vegetables.
- We need more holidays.
- Aliens probably exist.
- Gym class is more important than music class.
- Kids should be able to vote.
- Kids should get paid for extra activities like sports.
- School should take place in the evenings.
- Country life is better than city life.
- City life is better than country life.
- We can change the world.
- Skateboard helmets should be mandatory.
- We should provide food for the poor.
- Children should be paid for doing chores.
- We should populate the moon .
- Dogs make better pets than cats.
- The government should impose household trash limits.
- Nuclear weapons are an effective deterrent against foreign attack.
- Teens should be required to take parenting classes.
- We should teach etiquette in schools.
- School uniform laws are unconstitutional.
- All students should wear uniforms.
- Too much money is a bad thing.
- High schools should offer specialized degrees in arts or sciences.
- Magazine advertisements send unhealthy signals to young women.
- Robocalling should be outlawed.
- Age 12 is too young to babysit.
- Children should be required to read more.
- All students should be given the opportunity to study abroad.
- Yearly driving tests should be mandatory past age 65.
- Cell phones should never be used while driving.
- All schools should implement bullying awareness programs.
- Bullies should be kicked out of school.
- Parents of bullies should have to pay a fine.
- The school year should be longer.
- School days should start later.
- Teens should be able to choose their bedtime.
- There should be a mandatory entrance exam for high school.
- Public transit should be privatized.
- We should allow pets in school.
- The voting age should be lowered to 16.
- Beauty contests are bad for body image.
- Every American should learn to speak Spanish.
- Every immigrant should learn to speak English.
- Video games can be educational.
- College athletes should be paid for their services.
- We need a military draft .
- Professional sports should eliminate cheerleaders.
- Teens should be able to start driving at 14 instead of 16.
- Year-round school is a bad idea.
- High school campuses should be guarded by police officers.
- The legal drinking age should be lowered to 19.
- Kids under 15 shouldn't have Facebook pages.
- Standardized testing should be eliminated.
- Teachers should be paid more.
- There should be one world currency.
- Domestic surveillance without a warrant should be legal.
- Letter grades should be replaced with a pass or fail.
- Every family should have a natural disaster survival plan.
- Parents should talk to kids about drugs at a young age.
- Racial slurs should be illegal.
- Gun ownership should be tightly regulated.
- Puerto Rico should be granted statehood.
- People should go to jail when they abandon their pets.
- Free speech should have limitations.
- Members of Congress should be subject to term limits.
- Recycling should be mandatory for everyone.
- High-speed internet access should be regulated like a public utility.
- Yearly driving tests should be mandatory for the first five years after getting a license.
- Recreational marijuana should be made legal nationwide.
- Legal marijuana should be taxed and regulated like tobacco or alcohol.
- Child support dodgers should go to jail.
- Students should be allowed to pray in school.
- All Americans have a constitutional right to health care.
- Internet access should be free for everyone.
- Social Security should be privatized.
- Pregnant couples should receive parenting lessons.
- We shouldn't use products made from animals.
- Celebrities should have more privacy rights.
- Professional football is too violent and should be banned.
- We need better sex education in schools.
- School testing is not effective.
- The United States should build a border wall with Mexico and with Canada.
- Life is better than it was 50 years ago.
- Eating meat is unethical.
- A vegan diet is the only diet people should follow.
- Medical testing on animals should be illegal.
- The Electoral College is outdated.
- Medical testing on animals is necessary.
- Public safety is more important than an individual's right to privacy.
- Single-sex colleges provide a better education.
- Books should never be banned.
- Violent video games can cause people to act violently in real life.
- Freedom of religion has limitations.
- Nuclear power should be illegal.
- Climate change should be the president's primary political concern.
- Arizona State University Writing Center staff. " Persuasive Essay Structure ." ASU.edu, June 2012.
- Collins, Jen, and Polak, Adam. " Persuasive Essays ." Hamilton.edu.
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How To Write A Good Persuasive Speech
Table of Contents
How to write a good persuasive speech
Persuasive speech is meant to convince the audience to adopt a particular point of view or influence them to take a particular action. There are many instances that might require you to write a persuasive speech, especially in academic programs. It is important to understand how to structure and present a persuasive speech to achieve its objective. This article contains indispensable information which is described details on how to write a persuasive speech.
Content of this article
- Other types
- Outline writing
- Introduction writing
- Body paragraphs writing
- Conclusion writing
Purpose of a persuasive speech.
Persuasive speech is focused on influencing the audience to change their perception, opinions, or understanding of a particular subject or topic . The author of the persuasive essay has to challenge the opinions and perceptions of his/her audience and draw their attention into accepting the way he/she perceives or understands that particular topic. The author has to challenge conceptions and misconceptions in a compelling manner to win the audience to his side. A persuasive speech can also be done to enhance the belief of the audience on a particular topic , issue, or subject. For example, when politicians convince the electorate, the more reason they provide they are the best the more they are suited to be elected. The person delivering a persuasive speech uses logic and facts to demonstrate that his/her idea is more legitimate than another or to enhance their belief in a certain phenomenon.
Other types of speeches
Informative speeches are meant to explain a subject or a topic in vivid detail using statistics, descriptions, demonstrations, and illustrations in a way that the audience fully understands and has full knowledge about it. The speaker imparts all knowledge about the subject to the audience or demystifies the subject into simpler parts that are easily comprehensible to the audience.
Special occasion speech
A special occasion speech is delivered by the speaker to a homogeneous audience convened for a particular event. Special occasion speech has to be relevant to the event, and its message should be directly germane. Special occasion speeches can be commemorative, ceremonial, or epideictic, and should be found for the purpose of the event.
Process of writing a persuasive speech?
Persuasive speech writing requires careful planning and fact-based presentation to convince your audience. A persuasive speech has to be backed by statistics, illustrations, or demonstrations to convince the audience. Therefore, serious research has to go into finding credible facts that can help persuade the audience. Persuasive speech writing necessitates the author to arrange the ideas to flow logically and coherently with a smooth transition to keep the reader glued to the essay to the end. When doing persuasive speech writing, prepare a draft to guide you through writing the rest of the essay. The introductory paragraph must hook the audience to the speech and sustain their attention to the end. To achieve this, here are some steps of how to come up with a great persuasive essay.
If you want to come up with a great persuasive speech, have an outline that acts as a guidebook throughout the speech writing. The outline coupled with a draft becomes a reference point throughout the writing the essay. Your instructor can guide you to write an outline for a persuasive speech, then handle the rest of the work on your own. Understanding how to write a persuasive speech outline reduces the chances of repetition and inclusion of irrelevant content in the speech.
How to start?
The start of a persuasive speech can lead to losing the audience before getting to the main content. It should, therefore, be carefully thought through and meant to impress and capture the attention of the audience. The most effective plan if you have to write a persuasive speech, is to start with a captivating introduction. Some effective tips for having an interesting introductory paragraph are the use of rhetorical questions that challenge a common misconception. The speaker can also use a compelling statistical fact to support his/her claims. Famous quotes can also hook the audience to your speech as they seek to understand the logic behind the quotes, statistics, or questions. Ensure you write a persuasive speech thesis statement in the introductory paragraph to hook the reader to read the rest of the essay. The introductory paragraph should create a smooth transition to the subsequent body paragraphs without losing the attention of the audience.
How to write a body paragraphs?
The body paragraphs in a persuasive essay carry the main content. The ideas and their descriptions should be arranged coherently and worded in clear, simple language to maintain the attention of the reader. They do not necessarily need to be too long but must convey their intended message clearly and accurately. The body paragraphs are derived from the outline, and they must harbor more details about each point the speaker is putting across. In some cases, the speaker can use illustrations, and they can be included in the body section. Facts and statistics make the content more credible and easier to believe and the speaker ought to take advantage of that. However, too many statistics may create disinterest in the topic to the audience. Therefore, the speaker has to minimize its usage. Body paragraphs also need to be interconnected with each other and smooth transition from one point to the other well-executed.
How to write a conclusion?
The conclusion has to be captivating and should wrap up the entire content of the speech. Restating the thesis statement followed by a few sentences summarizing the key points contained in the speech can create an effective conclusion. You can also conclude by using a quote to elicit a course of action from the audience regarding the topic.
Speech polishing entails going through the speech to ensure it is compelling and convincing to achieve its primary objective. Speech polishing needs to remove all grammatical errors since they can either distort the intended meaning or lead to confusion. Speech polishing also can be enhancing the vocabulary of the speech, especially for a technical audience to cement the credibility of the author.
Reread the speech to ensure all the information appears as you intended it to appear on the essay. The author of the speech can enlist help from his/her friends, professionals, colleagues, etc. to suggest more content for addition or correct some of the errors that could have escaped the eye of the author.
It is wise to seek help from others to impart their skills on how to write a persuasive speech. Presentation to friends can also help the author to uncover mistakes in the essay and help him/her gauge how convincing is the content to the audience. Friends help to streamline the content and point out any mistake before the speech is delivered to its intended audience.
Concisely, persuasive speeches/essays are instrumental in academic setup, and it is important for students to gain skills of writing/delivering an effective persuasive essay and sometimes it is easier to make an order at writing service .
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