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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.
The most effective persuasive speeches end with a call to action.
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.
Persuasive Speech Examples
13 Best Persuasive Speech Examples for Students
Published on: Dec 12, 2018
Last updated on: Jan 23, 2023
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Persuasive speech is a type of speech in which the speaker tries to persuade the audience with his point of view. To persuade your audience to agree with what you are saying, you need to structure your speech properly. For that, you need to choose a topic, craft an outline, and write a good speech.
Persuasive speech writing might seem difficult for you, but if you have a writing guide and examples with you, you can easily write a good speech.
In this blog, you can find some amazing examples that guide you on how to write a great persuasive speech. You can also easily download these examples for future reference and keep it with you whenever you are writing your persuasive speech.
Good Persuasive Speech Examples
Picking a topic for a persuasive speech and then creating a great speech is crucial. But if you have some good persuasive speech examples, you can easily get through the persuasive speech writing process.
Below you can find several examples that will help you in the persuasive speech writing process. Get help from these examples and save yourself time.
Famous Persuasive Speech Examples (PDF)
Policy Persuasive Speech Examples (PDF)
How to Start a Persuasive Speech Examples
After hours of writing and practicing, here comes a time for delivering the speech. As soon as you start your speech, you notice that people are talking to each other, checking their phones, changing seats, and doing everything but paying attention to you.
Why is that?
That might be because of your boring and mundane start to the speech. The beginning of your speech decides how long the audience will tune into your speech. If you don’t get them interested in your speech right from the start, there are few chances that they will pay attention to your message.
Here are five effective ways to kick start your speech:
Opening with a famous and relevant quote helps you make a good impression on the audience’s mind. It helps you set the tone for the rest of your speech.
For example: “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” – Patrick Henry
Asking a rhetorical question at the beginning of your speech arouses the audience's curiosity. Whenever someone is posed with a question, whether asked for an answer or not, that person intuitively answers.
For example: “Do you want to be a failure for the rest of your life?”
You can start with a shocking statement by keeping the audience guessing what you are about to say next. A shocking or interesting statement gets people immediately involved and listening to your every word.
For example: “A scream comes across the sky.” – Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow.
This method is quite more effective than other methods. Asking a ‘what if’ question makes the audience follow your thought process. They immediately start thinking about what could be the answer to your ‘what if’ scenario.
For example: “What if we don’t wake up tomorrow? How different are we today?”
A personalized and surprising statistic that resonates with your audience helps you get your message across right away. Real shocking statistics have the potential to trigger the audience’s emotional appeal.
For example: “The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.” – William Gibson, Neuromancer.
By following any of these tricks, you can easily grab the audience’s attention every time.
How to Write a Persuasive Speech - Examples
Persuasive speech writing is an interesting task if you know how to do it. This sample guide will help you write an amazing speech that persuades the audience with your ideas.
How to Write a Persuasive Speech - Examples (PDF)
Persuasive Speech Outline Examples
The standard persuasive speech outline is just like the basic persuasive essay outline. It consists of an introduction, body, and conclusion. A persuasive speech outline will help you in writing a great persuasive speech.
Here is a persuasive speech outline example to help you craft a perfect outline.
Persuasive Speech Examples Outline (PDF)
Persuasive Speech Examples for College Students
If you are a college student looking for some help with your persuasive essay then here is an example to help you with it.
Persuasive Speech Examples College (PDF)
Persuasive Speech Examples About Social Media (PDF)
Persuasive Speech Examples for Middle School Students
Speech writing and speech competition are very common in public schools. It helps teachers to check the student’s creative writing and public speaking skills. Check out the persuasive speech examples given below.
Persuasive Speech Examples for Middle School
Persuasive Speech Examples for Middle School (PDF)
Persuasive Speech Examples for Students
Persuasive Speech Examples for Students (PDF)
Short Persuasive Speech Examples for Students
5-minute or 3-minute persuasive speech examples are very helpful for learning short speeches. The following short persuasive speech example will let you know how you can completely cover your information in a few minutes.
3 Minute Persuasive Speech Examples (PDF)
2 Minute Persuasive Speech Examples (PDF)
Short Persuasive Speech Examples About Life (PDF)
Funny Persuasive Speech Examples
Persuasive speeches are thought to be serious and boring, but they can be funny as well. Here is an example of a funny persuasive speech for your convenience.
Funny Persuasive Speech Examples (PDF)
Motivational Persuasive Speech Examples
A motivational speech is a type of persuasive speech where the speaker intended to motivate the audience.
Below is a motivational persuasive speech example that helps you understand how you can motivate your audience through a persuasive speech.
Motivational Persuasive Speech Examples (PDF)
Persuasive Speech Topics
Choosing a strong persuasive speech idea is as important as writing a good speech. Here are some amazing persuasive speech topics for your convenience.
- Bunnies make the best pets.
- Traffic police should not chase a car.
- Do college athletes be paid enough?
- Medical drugs should not be tested on animals.
- Women should be paid equal to men.
- A persuasive essay is difficult to write.
- Girls cheat more than boys.
- Why do youngsters need to avoid fast food?
- Tourism should be free.
- Parents should be allowed to choose the sex of their unborn child.
These topics make a great persuasive speech, choose one idea, and write a great speech.
If persuasive speech writing seems daunting to you, buy speeches from expert writers. You can hire an expert persuasive speech writer from the top essay writer service . Professional writers at MyPerfectWords.com write amazing speeches within your given deadline.
Our professional essay writing service know how to craft a perfect speech in a short period of time. Save your time and place your order now .
Cathy A. (Literature, Marketing)
Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.
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Easy persuasive speech topics: examples
90 persuasive topic suggestions + resources for writing persuasive speeches
By: Susan Dugdale | Last modified: 08-05-2022
Let's be right up front about this.
'Easy' and 'persuasive' are seldom paired when it comes to speech topics! Therefore examples of easy persuasive speech topics are a bit of a rarity, and finding them can be tricky.
However all is not completely lost. They can, and do, come together, but only if you work at it. Let me show you how.
What's on this page
90 potentially easy persuasive speech topics.
- the myth of 'easy' and an 'easy speech'
- what makes a successful persuasive speech
- how a persuasive speech topic can become easy
- additional persuasive speech resources
The myth of 'easy' and an 'easy' speech
That word 'easy' is very tempting. It seductively implies something you can fling together, without a lot of effort, at short notice.
An 'easy' speech is not going to take a lot of work to plan, research, to write, or to practice. Everything needed to prepare it will be done without hassle, because it's, 'easy'. The entire process will flow smoothly from start to finish without fuss.
When you present the speech the audience will be spell-bound, riveted by your outstanding choice of subject and its treatment. In short, they will be amazed.
Return to Top
What a successful persuasive speech usually takes
To give a successful persuasive speech means being able to use a compelling mix of reasoning and emotional appeal to convince whoever you are talking to that your point of view is right. Generally doing that well takes thought and effort.
You have to have chosen a subject your audience will be genuinely interested in and use just the right combination of logical reasoning and emotional appeal to engage and hold them from the first words you say till your last. That in turn means thinking your speech through carefully, step by step, and then doing whatever is needed to make it work.
Those things include:
- deciding on a specific speech purpose, (what you want people to do as a result of listening to your speech)
- research to pull facts together to ground your speech, to give you a solid platform to stand on
- understanding your audience so you know how best to shape your material to address their concerns
- sorting out any additional resources you may want to use (eg. images, graphs, hand outs ...)
- practice, and then more practice.
You see? Easy and persuasive don't seem to have a lot in common.
However, there is a way through.
How a persuasive speech topic becomes easy
You'll be glad to know there are exceptions.
A persuasive topic becomes 'easy' if:
- it fits with the criteria you've been given,
- you already know a lot about it,
- there's a readily accessible, and credible body of knowledge covering it,
- you're passionate about it, and
- you genuinely want to do what is required to cover it well.
Difficulties miraculously melt away when you are totally engrossed!
Below are 90 possible persuasive topics chosen for their broad appeal, and because they are subjects people generally feel strongly about.
Read them through, making a note of any that jump out and that you think you may be able to use. These will be the ones you'll find much 'easier' than the others because you're already interested!
Easy persuasive speech topics 1-10
- Having a pet makes their owner a better person.
- The future has already been decided.
- We need to understand and learn from our history.
- The death penalty is never acceptable.
- Life was better before the influence of online social media took over.
- Adversity makes a person stronger.
- It is better to earn your own living rather than to be financially provided for by someone else.
- The amount of money a person has is not a meaningful measure of success.
- All tobacco products should be banned
- Good health care should be available to all people.
Easy persuasive speech topic examples 11- 20
- Subliminal advertising should be banned.
- Men and women should receive the same work place benefits.
- No child should be denied an education on the grounds of gender, race or poverty.
- A school uniform helps make everyone equal.
- All children should be welcome in the world, regardless of the circumstances of their birth.
- Poor nutritional health in first world countries is the result of poor food choices.
- Sugar should be banned.
- Child care should be free.
- Parents should be equally responsible for child care.
- The family who eats together stays together.
Persuasive speech topic ideas 21- 30
- War is never right.
- Censorship is sensible on the internet.
- Children should have their use of social media and the internet monitored.
- Abortion on demand should be a right.
- Hate is not natural. It is a learned behavior.
- Immigrants should be welcomed and helped rather than banned.
- Violence breeds violence.
- Adults wanting children should be required to hold a parenting license.
- The same adoption laws should apply to whoever wants to adopt a child.
- Fear fuels violence.
Topic suggestions for persuasive speeches 31- 40
- Race crime is the result of ignorance.
- Food waste is criminal.
- Money never solves problems.
- Satire keeps us sane, and honest.
- Art/music/dance is necessary for survival.
- Graffiti is art too.
- People who are suffering from mental ill-health should be treated similarly to those suffering from physical ill-health.
- To be a little bit crazy is a good thing.
- We need to move to keep fit, functioning and balanced.
- The elderly should be cared for in their own homes.
Ideas for easy persuasive speeches 41- 50
- Those who want to die should be allowed to with dignity.
- The real reason a bully bullies is never the person who is getting bullied.
- Love makes the world go around.
- People should never be cloned.
- Genetic engineering should be banned.
- Using a mobile phone while driving should be illegal.
- Keeping animals in zoos is inhumane.
- A driver’s license test should be taken every 3 years.
- A vegan diet is not natural.
- Fossil fuels should be phased out.
Examples of easy persuasive speech topics 51 - 60
- Unmonitored use of facial recognition technology is a violation of individual rights.
- The use of any form of corporal punishment should be banned.
- Everyone should spend several months per year working for the betterment of others in a non-profit social service organization.
- Thanks and gratitude should be regularly expressed for everything good in our lives.
- Everyone deserves to be loved.
- Discipline is good for us.
- To be vulnerable is to be strong.
- Children should come with a user manual.
- The arts are equally as valuable as the sciences.
- Laughter heals.
Speech topics for easy persuasive speeches 61 - 70
- Real life is stranger than fiction.
- Recycling should be compulsory.
- A greener world is necessary for our survival.
- Welfare should start at home.
- Financial education is essential.
- True equality is a fantasy.
- Everyone deserves a living wage.
- The fast food industry is responsible for many of the Western World’s health problems.
- A sugar tax would help control the consumption of foods with high sugar content.
- Homework should be banned.
Persuasive speech topic suggestions 71 - 80
- Everybody should learn to cook and clean for themselves.
- Everybody’s screen time should be monitored.
- Tithing helps us take care of those who can’t help themselves.
- Expressing oneself freely is more important than getting the grammar, punctuation and spelling right.
- Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me is a lie.
- Vacations are essential.
- Team sports build good character traits.
- All forms of gender bias should be illegal.
- Being outdoors in nature heals.
- Cosmetic and reconstructive surgery should only be for those who genuinely need it.
Easy topics for persuasive speeches 81 - 90
- The ability to sustain a real time face to face conversation is being lost due to our high use of smart phones.
- Cheating on a test or in an examination is understandable.
- We must never tell lies to children except about Father Christmas, the tooth fairy and the Easter Rabbit.
- Single sex schools are better for girls.
- Getting top marks in an examination is not the only way to prove a person’s intelligence.
- Everybody is entitled to privacy, including children and teenagers.
- Table manners are important.
- Clothes speak louder than words.
- Poverty is a state of mind.
- Education is the passport to a better life.
More persuasive speech resources
Persuasive speech topics.
- 105 fun persuasive speech topics : ideal for light-hearted, informal speeches
- 100 non-boring persuasive speech ideas - a 'tired' topic is not for you. Choose something fresh and original.
- 50 good persuasive speech topics with treatment examples to show you how the same topic is treated differently for different audiences.
- 310 persuasive speech topics for college : mental health, society, family & friends, animals, education
- 108 feminist persuasive speech topics : the top current women's rights & feminist issues
For assistance with planning and writing
- Writing a persuasive speech - a 7 step action plan that includes how to choose a topic, analyze your audience, set a good speech purpose, decide on a structural pattern (with examples) and, more.
- A persuasive speech outline example using the 5 step structural pattern: Monroe's Motivated Sequence. (With a free printable outline)
- A persuasive speech example using Monroe's Motivated Sequence
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6 Steps for Writing a Persuasive Speech
- DESCRIPTION persuasive speech by businesswoman
- SOURCE Hill Street Studios / DigitalVision / Getty Images
Writing a persuasive speech doesn’t have to be difficult, as long as you select your topic wisely and properly prepare. If you’re ready to learn how to write a persuasive speech, follow these key steps and you’ll be on your way.
Step 1: Select a Topic and Angle
Come up with a controversial topic, one that will spawn heated debates regardless of your position. This could be just about anything, from abortion to human trafficking or even animal rights. Assuming you are able to select your topic, choose one that you are passionate about.
- If you’re a teen, explore persuasive speech topics for high school for topic ideas.
- Adult speech writers can browse unique persuasive speech topics for inspiration.
To ensure your topic isn’t too broad, select a particular angle you will focus on. Research the topic thoroughly, focusing on background, key facts and arguments for and against your angle.
Step 2: Define Your Persuasive Goal
Once you have chosen a topic, the next step is to decide exactly what your goal is with regards to persuading the audience.
- Are you trying to persuade them in favor of a certain position on an issue?
- Are you hoping they’ll change a behavior or an opinion as a result of listening to your speech?
- Do you want them to make a decision to purchase something or donate money to a cause?
Knowing what your goal is will help you make wise decisions about how to approach writing and presenting your speech. Explore persuasive writing examples to see different goals in action.
Step 3: Analyze the Audience
Understanding the perspective of your audience is critical 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.
- Consider who is in the audience (age, sex, other demographic characteristics, and why they are there).
- Consider how audience members are likely to perceive the topic you are speaking on so you can better relate to them on the subject.
- Grasp the obstacles audience members face or have with regards to the topic so you can build appropriate persuasive arguments to eradicate the obstacles.
Step 4: Build an Effective Persuasive Argument
Once you have a clear goal, are knowledgeable about the topic and have insights regarding your audience, you’ll be ready to build an effective persuasive argument to deliver in the form of a speech. Follow the best practices for writing a memorable speech .
Start by deciding what persuasive techniques are most likely to help you accomplish your goal.
- Would an emotional appeal help win attendees over to your way of thinking?
- Should you use a rhetorical question to get audience members to reflect on possibilities?
- Is there a good way to sway the audience with logic and appeals to reason ?
- Is it possible that a bandwagon appeal might be effective?
Step 5: Outline Your Speech
Once you know which persuasive strategies are most likely to be effective, your next step will be to create a keyword outline to organize your main points and structure your persuasive speech for maximum impact.
- Start strong, letting your audience know what your topic is, why it matters and what you hope to convince them to do as a result of your presentation.
- List your main points, thoroughly covering each, being sure to build the argument for your position and overcome opposing perspectives.
- Conclude by appealing to audience members to act in a way that will indicate that you have successfully persuaded them.
Since motivation is a big part of persuasion, the steps for writing a motivational speech can be very helpful as you organize your speech.
Step 6: Deliver a Winning Speech
Of course, what you say is important, but how you say it is also critical. This includes your overall presentation style and visual aids.
- Select appropriate visual aids to share with your audience, such as charts, graphs, photos, or illustrations that will help engage and persuade your audience.
- Practice until you can deliver your speech confidently. Maintain eye contact, project your voice and avoid ums, uhs and other forms of vocal interference.
- Let your passion about your subject shine through, as your enthusiasm may be just what it takes to motivate audience members to see things your way.
Follow these tips for giving a great speech and you’ll be on your way to delivering a powerful persuasive speech that’s sure to have winning results.
Build on Your Persuasive Speaking Skills
Whether you’re delivering a persuasive speech for a class assignment, a work-related presentation or a social issue that you strongly support, following these steps can help you prepare. Now that you’re familiar with the steps for writing a persuasive speech, further build on your persuasive abilities by coming up with an elevator pitch about yourself. In essence, an elevator pitch is really just a 30 to 60 second persuasive speech that can help you introduce yourself quickly and effectively when you have an opportunity to build new connections.
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110 Interesting Persuasive Speech Topics to Impress Your Audience
Learn how to give an impressive persuasive speech and explore our comprehensive list of persuasive speech ideas .
What makes a good persuasive speech topic, how to create and deliver a compelling persuasive speech, 110 interesting persuasive speech topics, introduction .
Are you having a hard time coming up with the right persuasive speech topic? One that isn’t boring or cliche? Are you looking for a persuasive speech topic that will both interest you and captivate your audience? It’s easier said than done, right?
Creating and delivering an interesting persuasive speech is a major endeavor. The last thing you want is to get stuck on the first step—selecting a persuasive speech topic. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. To help you identify the perfect persuasive speech topic for you, we’ve compiled a list of 110 compelling persuasive speech ideas. Every single one of these ideas has the potential to be an outstanding persuasive speech.
In addition, we’ll peel back the curtain to teach you what makes a good persuasive speech topic and give you expert tips on delivering a successful persuasive speech that will convince and astound your audience.
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There are three questions you can use to determine which persuasive speech topics will lead to enthusiastic applause and standing ovations.
Does the persuasive speech topic interest you?
A major part of writing a persuasive speech is doing ample research on the subject you choose. So one of the first things you should ask yourself when considering a potential persuasive speech topic is, “Would I enjoy learning about this subject extensively?” If you can’t answer that question with an emphatic, “Yes!” you might want to continue your topic search. You don’t want to spend hours diving into a subject you don’t enjoy.
Plus, an audience can easily pick up on boredom or lack of interest in a persuasive speech, and you clearly don’t want that. On the other hand, if you’re explaining a subject you’re passionate about, your audience will get caught up in your excitement—resulting in a much more compelling and persuasive speech.
Here’s another word of advice. Some people will tell you to pick a persuasive speech topic you’re already an expert in, and that’s certainly one way to go about it. While we won’t tell you being an expert in the subject should be your top deciding factor, this approach has its advantages—you’re already familiar with the lingo and the basics of the subject are. This helps you significantly speed up your research process. But if you have the time and willingness to tackle an entirely unfamiliar subject that utterly fascinates you, we say go for it!
Will the persuasive speech topic interest your audience?
So you’ve found a few persuasive speech topics that interest you. But what about your audience? Do they share your interest? Even if you argue your points with enthusiasm, will they be bored by your subject?
To answer these questions, you have to understand your audience well. Study them to learn what grabs their attention. What do they care about? What topics are relatable to their lives or their communities? What subjects will they be more likely to get emotionally invested in?
When you find persuasive speech topics that equally interest you and your audience, you’re setting yourself up for success.
Has the persuasive speech topic been covered too many times?
This is the last question you should ask yourself before committing to your persuasive speech topic. Has this topic been overdone? Even if your audience is invested in the subject, they’ll be quickly bored if they’ve listened to ten similar speeches prior to hearing yours. You won’t be persuasive if your listeners can predict each of your arguments before you give them.
Instead, search for persuasive speech topics that are unique and fresh—something your audience hasn’t heard a hundred times before. The one exception to this is if you can approach an overworked topic with a completely fresh and unusual perspective. For example, maybe you can approach the gun control debate as someone whose friend died from an accidental shooting, but your family still owns guns and enjoys hunting as a pastime.
Once you’ve chosen your persuasive speech topic (our list of 110 riveting persuasive speech ideas is coming next!) and completed your research on the subject, you’ll begin the writing process. Use this step-by-step approach to produce an outstanding speech that easily persuades your audience to adopt your viewpoint.
Determine your thesis. What opinion or belief are you convincing your audience to embrace? Are you asking them to take a specific action after listening to your speech? Just as you do when writing a college essay , make sure your thesis or call-to-action is crystal clear before you start writing.
Organize your main arguments. Create an outline of the evidence or points you’ve collected to support your thesis. Make sure your ideas flow logically into each other and build your case.
Support your arguments with facts and examples. You’ll want to use multiple sources for your evidence, with a preference for well-known or reputable sources. (Please don’t cite Wikipedia!) You can also get personal by using anecdotes from your own life or the lives of someone close to you. This will increase your persuasive speech’s impact.
Add emotional connections with your audience. Make your argument more powerful by appealing to your audience’s sense of nostalgia and common beliefs. Another tactic (which marketers use all the time) is to appeal to your listeners’ fears and rely on their instincts for self-preservation.
Address counterarguments. Rather than waiting for your audience to think up objections to the points you make, do it yourself. Then dispute those objections with additional facts, examples, and anecdotes.
Wrap up your persuasive speech with a strong conclusion. In your closing, restate your thesis, tug on your audience’s heartstrings one last time with an emotional connection, and deliver your decisive call to action.
Now that you have a strongly written persuasive speech, your final task is this: practice, practice, and practice some more! We guarantee your delivery won’t be perfect on your first attempt. But on your tenth or fifteenth, it just might be.
Record yourself delivering your persuasive speech so you can play it back and analyze your areas needing improvement. Are your pauses too long or not long enough? Did you sufficiently emphasize your emotional points? Are your anecdotes coming out naturally? How is your body language? What about your hand movements and eye contact?
When you’re feeling more comfortable, deliver your speech to a friend or family member and ask for feedback. This will put your public speaking skills to the test. Ensure they understood your main points, connected emotionally, and had all their objections answered. Once you’ve fine tuned your persuasive speech based on your warm-up audience’s feedback, you’ll be ready for the real thing.
Now for the fun part! We’ve compiled a list of 110 persuasive speech topics—broken down by category—for you to choose from or use as inspiration. Use the set of three questions we shared above to determine which of these interesting persuasive speech topics is right for you.
Art, Media, and Culture
Should tattoos still be considered “unprofessional”?
Do romantic movies and books glorify an unrealistic idea of love and lead to heartbreak?
Should offensive and inappropriate language be removed from classic literature?
Does watching TV shows or movies about teenage suicide encourage it or prevent it?
Is creating films and documentaries about criminals glorifying them and inspiring some to become criminals themselves?
Should art and music therapy be prioritized over traditional talk therapy?
College and Career
Should the cost of college be reduced?
Are income-share agreements better for students than taking out student loans?
Should college athletes be paid like professional athletes are?
Are same-sex colleges beneficial or antiquated?
Should everyone go to college?
What are the benefits of taking a gap year before starting college?
Would removing tenure and job-protection from professors improve or reduce the quality of higher education?
Has the traditional college model become outdated in the age of the Internet?
Should you pursue a career based on your passions or a career based on earning potential?
Economy and Work
Should the federal minimum wage be increased?
Is the boom of e-commerce harmful or beneficial to small communities?
Should everyone receive paid maternity and paternity leave?
Is capitalism a harmful or beneficial economic system?
Should manufacturing and outsourced work be moved back to the United States?
Would three-day weekends increase work productivity?
Should working from home be the new standard?
Why should we pay more to support small businesses and services instead of going to large companies and retailers?
Should the US establish mandatory military service for all its young people, such as the countries of Israel and South Korea do?
Should there be a mandatory retirement age?
Should classes about mental health and wellness be added to school curriculum?
At what age or grade should sex education be taught in schools?
How can sex education be taught more effectively?
Should school funding be dependent on taxes of district residents or should all schools receive an equal amount of funding from the state?
What are the benefits of year-round schools?
Are charter schools hurting or helping low-income communities?
Is homeschooling beneficial or harmful to children?
Should students on the Autism spectrum be integrated into regular classrooms?
What should be the qualifications for books to be banned from schools?
Should advanced math classes in high school be replaced with more practical courses on financial literacy and understanding taxes?
Are grades an accurate representation of learning?
Should we switch to the metric system?
What is the most important book every high school student in America should read?
What are the benefits of teaching art and music classes in high school?
Should independent learning be offered as a larger option in high school?
What are the benefits of making preschool free to all families?
Environment and Conservation
Should fuel-run vehicles be banned?
How does it benefit nature to reduce human paper consumption?
Should it be okay to own exotic animals as pets?
Should hunting be made illegal?
What is the biggest current threat to the environment and how would you suggest we remedy it?
Should disposable diapers be banned?
Should zoos and animal theme parks (such as Sea World) be closed?
Family and Religion
Should children have the right to virtual and physical privacy from their parents?
“It takes a village to raise a child.” How important is a community in raising children?
Is it better for a young child to attend daycare or stay home with a parent?
Should children be told to believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy?
Nature vs. nurture—which is the most powerful influence on a person’s character?
Should parents have to give approval in order for their minor children to receive birth control?
How does learning about family ancestors impact you in the present and future?
Should parents teach their kids about sex or is it the responsibility of the school system?
What is the most beneficial parenting style and why?
Should cults receive protection under freedom of religion?
What are the benefits of belonging to a religious community?
Should parents force their children to go to church or let them decide for themselves?
Government and International Relations
Should states have the ability to secede from the U.S.?
Should Puerto Rico be added as a state to the U.S.?
How long should judges serve on the Supreme Court?
Should the U.S. have open borders?
Should the U.S. get involved when leaders of other countries commit human rights violations against their own people?
Is the U.S. overly dependent on manufactured goods and imports from other countries?
Should the government focus on increasing revenue or reducing spending?
Health and Medicine
Should universal health care be freely given to everyone?
Should soda and candy be banned from school campuses?
Should tobacco products be completely banned in America?
Is a plant-based diet better than a meat-based diet?
Should addiction counseling and treatment be covered by health insurance?
Would taxing fast food help combat obesity?
Should we ban all genetically modified foods?
What would be the benefits of making all birth control methods (e.g. condoms, the pill) free of charge?
Should homeopathic and alternative medical treatments be covered by health insurance?
Politics and Society
Should voting become mandatory?
What could politicians do to appeal to younger generations of voters?
Should prisoners have the right to vote?
Would it be better in the U.S. if elected politicians were younger?
Should the police use rubber bullets instead of real bullets?
Are private, for-profit prisons a threat to prisoners’ rights?
Should U.S. military funding be increased or decreased?
Should there be stricter or looser restrictions to qualify for welfare assistance?
Is our current two-party political system good enough or in need of replacing?
Should major corporations be eligible for tax breaks?
How can the current policy on undocumented immigrants in America be improved?
Should it be illegal for politicians to receive donations from large corporations?
Science and Technology
Should animal testing be banned?
Should organ donation be optional or mandated for all?
Is artificial intelligence a threat?
Should parents be allowed to scientifically alter their children’s genes?
What is the best option for renewable energy?
Should military forces be allowed to use drones in warfare?
Should self-driving cars be illegal?
Do the benefits of the internet outweigh the loss of privacy?
Should it be illegal for companies to sell their consumers’ information?
Should the government more strictly regulate the Internet?
How much screen time is too much?
Should everyone receive free internet?
Should we build a colony on the moon?
At what age should children be allowed to be on social media?
Should schools be responsible for teaching safe social media education?
When should children be allowed to have a cell phone?
What should the punishment be for cyberbullying?
Do online friendships have the same benefits as in-person friendships?
Are social media influencers beneficial or harmful to society?
Has the popularity of “selfies” increased self-confidence or self-centeredness?
Is cancel culture a positive or a negative thing?
What are the most reliable, unbiased sources to receive news and information?
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- Example of a Persuasive Speech
Here's an example of a persuasive speech on the subject of gender selection - a very hot topic these days! To have a chance of persuading your audience members to agree with your point of view, choosing good persuasive speech topics is essential. But, more importantly, choose a subject you are passionate about, as I did with this example of a persuasive speech! If you don't care about the issue you are discussing, neither will your audience.
Persuasive Speech Example on Gender Selection
Start of example of a persuasive speech, whatever happened to as long as it's healthy.
From today's home kits to the tedious fertility planning calendars of yesteryear, couples have tried for centuries to choose the genders of their children. Most couples, it seems, would pick the sex of their children if they had the option.
In countries like China, couples feel more pressure because of birth limits. One recent study has shown that more than forty percent of couples worldwide would choose the sex of their child if possible. Is the ability to select a child's gender a good thing, though?
Proponents of gender selection have a strong argument and quite a bit of support from many different places. Dr. Ronald Ericsson, called "Dr. Sperm" by many, has been marketing a home test kit to help couples choose the gender of their child. As a result, he's quite familiar with both sides of the issue and has been for the last thirty years. The critics, though, don't concern him. "It's none of their damn business" said Ericsson. "It's a human rights issue." Ericsson suggests that because the technology is available, people should be allowed to use it.
Seems strange to me, though, that after all the destructive things we've done with technology, someone would say that because it is available, we should use it.
Just because we can use a technology, does not mean we should.
Body of the Persuasive Speech
The thing most proponents of gender selection procedures don't want you to know is that the gender selection process is still in the beginning stages of development, so scientists don't get it right 100% of the time. As a result, couples can spend thousands of dollars trying to create a baby of their choice, only to be disappointed. These sunk costs can result of the termination of such pregnancies. Terminating a child's life because you wanted a different gender - is that acceptable?
Not only is gender selection dangerous, but it can create sex distortion ratios, particularly in countries where one sex is the preferred member of society.
Proponents of gender selection, though, have come up with an answer to this one as well. Dr. Suresh Nayak, an Indian Ob-Gyn, suggested that the fear that sex selection would change the natural ratios was unfounded because the practice is only used by a fraction of couples who can afford it. That fact, though, may soon change.
As the procedures get increasingly cheaper, more couples are taking advantage of them. Couples have swamped fertility clinics while trying to create designer babies. By the end of 2004, research reported more than 4000 cases of successful gender selected babies. Many schools are starting to study the procedure to make it more available to couples.
Houston's Baylor College of Medicine started a study of 200 couples in 2005 to examine the gender selection process, an examination which caused some controversy among those who found it morally repugnant.
Undoubtedly, this procedure will distort the natural gender ratios if enough people can afford it. If some doctors and scientists have their way, everyone will soon be able to afford the cost of the procedure.
There is some light at the end of this tunnel, however. Many countries on the continents of Europe and Asia have finally banned gender selection. Perhaps they realize that this practice is not only unethical and dangerous, but it will also eventually lead to couples wanting to create designer babies by choosing hair and eye color, levels of intelligence, and even height!
In any example of a persuasive speech, the conclusion should include a statement of the impact. Weighing the pros and cons or effects helps the audience determine reason for adopting the position advocated.
Persuasive Speech Conclusion
If we continue to allow gender selection, serious, dangerous problems could occur in our society. Gender selection is a powerful tool that science does not yet fully understand how to use. If we do not draw the line between wants and needs early, there will be no stopping wealthy parents in the future who want to choose all of the characteristics of their babies, which will undoubtedly create problems in the human race and promote intolerance towards others.
By discouraging parents to choose the genders of their babies, we are encouraging our children to have fewer prejudices and accept others, regardless of sex and gender preferences. The only acceptable way to choose the gender of a child is through adoption. There are so many children in need of loving families that if you're adamant about having either a boy or a girl, then all you need do is adopt one!
End of Example of a Persuasive Speech
Hopefully, this example of a persuasive speech will give you some ideas to structure the delivery of your assertions. Make sure that you write about something in which you firmly believe. Otherwise, you'll have difficulty convincing your audience members to come over to your way of thinking. If you cannot think of a topic or decide what exact position to take, consider brainstorming and mind-mapping. Freemind is a good open source option, or use a large sheet of paper or poster with a topic in the center. Then, start connecting ideas to the central topic. Let you mind roam free and create, anything goes. After a while, you may often see connections and central themes that will indicate a subject matter or passion to speak about.
I hope you enjoyed this example of a persuasive speech ! I certainly enjoyed researching it and writing it. I truly believe that gender selection is a slippery slope and NOT one we should be going down.
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2 Good Persuasive Speech Examples to Inspire You
If I asked you to tie an overhand knot, you might stumble a bit. Actually, if you’ve never been a scout, you might think it’s impossible for you to know how to tie such an obscure knot.
But what if I showed you an example?
It would certainly help, right? Check out the video below to learn how to tie an overhand knot.
I’m pretty sure that most of you have tied this knot more than once in your lifetime. But as the video states, you simply didn’t know the official name of the knot you were tying.
So. What does tying knots have to do with writing a persuasive speech?
Admittedly, not much. But it does illustrate that sometimes you have a pretty good sense of how to do something, even if you don’t realize it. You just need an example to remind you how it’s done and to get you moving in the right direction.
That’s exactly the goal of this post: to provide you with two persuasive speech examples that can inspire your own writing.
In the two speeches below, I’ve included comments on what makes these examples good . I’ve also made note of a few places where the speaker may improve.
TAKE NOTE: Both of these speeches cite sources . If you’re required to turn in your outline or a copy of your speech, check with your teacher (or assignment guidelines ) to see if you should include a Works Cited (MLA), a list of references (APA), or a bibliography (Chicago).
For both persuasive speeches, my commentary is marked with “Susan says” speech bubbles. The specific text that I’m discussing from each speech is notated with brackets and corresponding numbers— [#] . For commentary that applies to full paragraphs, you’ll see the following notation at the end of the paragraph(s): *[#] .
Persuasive Speech Example #1: A Persuasive Speech on Limiting the Production and Use of Plastic
A Persuasive Speech on Limiting the Production and Use of Plastic
 When you hear the term “polluted plastics” I can tell you the exact picture that just popped into about 10 of your heads. This one, right? You have all heard of how plastics are affecting our marine life and “oh, the poor sea turtle”. And that’s great! Really, it is. We have had the idea that “pollution is bad” drilled into our brains since we were about 7. But this little sea turtle is not necessarily the problem. It’s much bigger than him. Plastics are leaving lasting effects on our ecosystems due to the improper disposal. Plastic production also uses up many of our natural resources. It is up to us to make a change in order to maintain sustainability.  Today, I want to show you just how destructive these effects are, how big of a dent we are making in our natural resources, and what steps we should take next.
Susan says:  This opening uses an excellent hook to grab the attention of the audience . The speaker uses the common image of a sea turtle being affected by pollution to make a connection with the audience and get them thinking about how pollution affects the environment.
Susan says:  The speaker ends the opening with a clear thesis statement to let the audience know that the speech isn’t just about sea turtles. The speech will discuss the environmental impact of plastics and how to reduce the use of plastics. Remember, a thesis statement is like a roadmap to your entire speech, so make sure to include a focused thesis to let your audience know what to expect.
Let’s say you want to throw away one plastic water bottle. Okay, no big deal. It’s just one bottle right? Well, Charleston is a peninsula, meaning that we are entirely surrounded by the ocean. According to Hannah Ellsbury in her article “The Problem with Plastic”, for every six water bottles we use, only one makes it to the recycling bin. The rest are sent to landfills. Or, even worse, they end up as trash on the land and in rivers, lakes, and the ocean. That means that, on average, all of us in this room cumulatively throw away or litter 6,100 water bottles a year. Now, let’s say that about ¼ of these end up in our beautiful Charleston harbor. That’s about 1,525 bottles just floating around outside of Charleston in a year, and that’s strictly from our first year seminar class alone. Pollutants found in the plastic in disposable water bottles deteriorate and leach into the water leaving potential carcinogens in the water we drink daily. Now if all 1,525 water bottles in our harbor are deteriorating, that means your fresh seafood at Hyman’s might be slightly infested with pollutants. *
Susan says: * Most people use (or have used) plastic water bottles. The speaker knows this and thus uses this example to make another connection with the audience. The speaker even goes one step further by mentioning the effects of pollution on seafood at a local restaurant. Using these types of personal and localized examples are excellent ways to convince your audience because the audience can directly relate and see how pollution affects their daily lives. This section also cites statistics and other information from sources to provide evidence of the claim . Such information further convinces the audience because they realize that the speaker isn’t simply providing a personal opinion. Instead, statements are backed up by experts.
 Even worse, according to the Merriam Webster dictionary, the law of biomagnification states that pollutants “increases its concentration in the tissues of organisms as it travels up the food chain”. This means that all of you seafood lovers might have more pollutants in our bodies than we would imagine. Now, I bet you’re wondering what happens to the rest of the actual plastic pieces left in our oceans. Plastic pieces like these? Well, animals are ingesting them. In fact, plastic pieces are being found within birds in the Pacific, meaning that the plastic pieces are literally killing them from the inside out. The plastic found throughout the oceans is a result of improper disposal of our plastics.  Even worse, though, is how these plastics are made.
Susan says:  While many teachers frown upon the use of dictionary definitions in essays or speeches, in this case the definition works well because many people wouldn’t understand the phrase “law of biomagnification.” Susan says:  Notice the importance of the last line of this section. It provides a transition to link ideas together. Your audience needs a clear path to see the connection between ideas. Transitional words and phrases provide this connection.
You see how far this water bottle is filled? Imagine that it’s not water. Look at that and picture it as oil. That’s how much oil is used in the production of this bottle. According to Catherine Fox from National Geographic, Americans buy more water bottles than any other nation averaging at about 29 billion. In order to make all these bottles, manufacturers use 17 million barrels of crude oil. That’s enough oil to keep a million cars going for twelve months. By investing $10 in a reusable plastic water bottle, you are saving on average, $81.25 per year. You could potentially fill your car, which for us freshman is probably sitting back at home in our driveways, up three times with that money. *
Susan says: * You need to know your audience in order to effectively convince them. In this case, the speaker is keenly aware of the audience and knows that first-year college students are often strapped for cash. Showing the audience how they can save money while saving the planet is a win-win and certainly goes a long way in persuading listeners.
The Office of Sustainability offers these water bottles to all students. They are made out of tin and are much more durable than any other kind of water bottle.
These bottles were offered for free at our freshman convocation and continue to be offered to all students. Not to mention, Starbucks has an option to purchase a reusable cup for a cheap price. Dining Halls have already enforced a plastic-free environment to dine, however, students are still able to purchase plastic containers from vending machines in education buildings. I believe that the College of Charleston should maintain the same standards they have set for the dining halls throughout campus. Soda dispensers with compostable cups should replace the vending machines currently residing in our education buildings. The Starbucks on campus should charge a small fee for each plastic cup used when ordering cold drinks. There is no reason plastic cups should still be sold on campus, and I propose a small fee should be charged for every purchase involving plastic. *
Susan says: * The speaker begins to wrap up the speech by offering solutions . This strategy helps the audience become even more interested in the topic and shows them what even small steps can do to reduce the use of plastics.
Now I’m hoping that you’re interested in doing something to help cut down on the pollutants entering, not only your body, but millions of aquatic sea creatures as well. You know the harmful effects of plastic on our environment and you know the dent we put in our planet in the production of these goods. We should all make an effort to use reusable water bottles, however, if we must, to recycle our plastic waste. We must put an end to the era of plastic so this little guy can swim freely, but only our generation can do so. *
Susan says: * The final section again appeals to the audience as a call to action . It’s clear that the speaker is referencing a visual when stating “so this little guy can swim freely.” The image more than likely refers back to the opening point about sea turtles and pollution. Connecting the conclusion to a point made in the introduction is a nice way to tie ideas together . And although the final line is worded a bit awkwardly, the point is still clear.
Persuasive Speech Example #2: A Persuasive Speech on the Topic of Organ Donation
A Persuasive Speech on the Topic of Organ Donation
 First of all I would like to thank you the board for inviting me here today, allowing me to be a part of and contributing to this cause that personally means so much to me. When I first contacted your organization, the Executive Director informed me that the greatest need was for a campaign that was tailored toward people between the ages of 18 and 24. The focus was to be on encouraging organ donation and facilitating open communication of the donor’s decision with family members.  Overall the campaign was to inform them of our nation’s public health crisis regarding organ donation. *
Susan says:  Rather than speaking to a general audience (or classmates and a teacher), this speaker is directly addressing an audience already aware that they will be listening to a speech about organ donation. By speaking to a specific audience, this speaker can adjust the main ideas in order to directly appeal to listeners.
Susan says:  Here, the speaker directly mentions the purpose of this speech: to inform the audience of the nation’s health crisis regarding organ donation. Even though the audience likely knows the subject of the speech, in this thesis statement , the speaker lets the audience know that the focus is on the crisis of organ donation, not simply a general discussion of the topic. Further, the speech focuses on the idea that this is a crisis. Thus, the speaker is clearly attempting to persuade listeners into seeing just how important it is to increase organ donation. Susan says: * This opening paragraph is a solid start to the speech as it effectively presents the topic and appeals to the audience (which increases the likelihood that the speaker will persuade listeners).
That’s right: Organ Donation is a public health crisis.
- According to UNOS, the United Network for Organ Sharing as of this morning there are 90,350 American men, women, and children on the transplant waiting list.
- One person will die needlessly at the end of this hour waiting for organ donation and 10 more people are added to this list every day.
- There are over 250 billion people in our country. *
Susan says: * Here, the speaker cites powerful statistics to persuade the audience and illustrate just how many people need organ transplants and how many die because they don’t receive the life-saving help they need. Using startling statistics causes the audience to take notice. Plus, because the numbers are shocking, the audience is more likely to remember the argument made by the speaker and more likely to be convinced.
According to the Department of Health and Human Resources, in 2002, there were 2.5 million deaths, and 106,742 of them were due to accidents. In 2002, 6,190 donor heroes and their families made the decision to donate. When comparing these statistics less than a half percent, not even 1% of these accidental fatalities were used to save or improve the life of another human being. So when I say heroes that is exactly what I mean. *
Figures taken from The Oregon Donor Program website are disheartening. The Oregon population is at 3.5 million and last year only 84 donor heroes and their families chose to donate the gift of life in our state. *
You see the reality is it doesn’t take 90,000 donors to save or improve the lives of these people. For every one organ donor has the potential to help at least 50 individuals with their “Gift of Life”. You see I know this personally because two very special people to me were organ donors who died tragically and unexpectedly. Through my experiences I have gained a greater understanding of what the “Gift of Life” really means. *
Susan says: *[5– 7] In these paragraphs, the speaker again stresses the lack of donors and attempts to persuade the audience to donate by illustrating how many people they can help through organ donation.
This campaign was specifically tailored for the scholars of Southern Oregon University, its alumni and community members who are a truth seeking, compassionate, and educated group of individuals. The campaign goal is to share this information utilizing an information kiosk for SOU students and alumni in the student union. The kiosk would give SOU community members the opportunity to sign up as organ donors and would offer practical useful tools to share their decision with their loved ones. *
Susan says: * The speaker again appeals to the audience by complimenting them while explaining the campaign to increase organ donation. By appealing to the audience’s sense of compassion, the speaker increases the chances of listeners believing in the cause.
The two artifacts I have created specifically for this persuasion campaign are:
* A green hospital bracelet will be given to each new organ donor or individuals who can show a driver’s license indicating them as being an organ donor at the kiosk. *
The bracelet itself is an example of symbolic persuasion representing the many lives that have been touched by organ donation. The pictures and names on each bracelet are actual people that have either been the patient waiting, the patient who died waiting, the transplant survivor, or the donor heroes. *
The bracelet then is used as a reminder, and a reinforcing element of their commitment to organ donation. Because the bracelet is worn and not tucked away it encourages vital communication of the donor’s decision with family and peers. *
* My second artifact is a letter that was created to address and personalize the donor’s donation decision. A Gallup poll conducted for the Partnership for Organ Donation showed that 85% of Americans supported organ donation. According to the Organtransplants.org website each year nearly 50% of families decline the opportunity to save lives by donating organs and tissues of deceased loved ones. The truth is even if you have decided to be an organ donor and you yourself know the significance of your choice your family has the final say as to whether or not your commitment is carried out. *
The letter will serve as another reminder of the donor’s commitment to share his donation decision with his family, furthermore solidifying his decision and his intent. *
Susan says: *[9–13] At the end of the speech, the speaker explains what artifacts will be used to encourage participation in organ donation. The artifacts represent real people, not just abstract numbers. This not only allows the current audience to make a personal connection but also allows them to see how this campaign will impact others. By looking forward and illustrating how the artifacts will help the cause, the speaker has further convinced the audience to agree with the importance of both organ donation itself and participating in the campaign described in the speech.
[several paragraphs omitted]
In conclusion, the facts remain that:
- 90,350 people are waiting…for a life-saving transplant
- 19 people die every day because of the lack of organ donation.
- Last year 6,529 people died …waiting for a life saving transplant.
- In 2004 there were 7,151 donors and their families who chose to share the “gift of life”.
- According to the Department of Health and Human Resources in 2004, 27,036 people received a lifesaving organ transplant. *
Organ donation is based on altruism in our culture. That is according to Mr. Webster an unselfish concern for or dedication to the interests or welfare of others. My final plea to this audience of truth seeking, compassionate, educated individuals would be to take a look at the facts, take a look at the need then take a look at what you can and will do to help fill the gap for Alex, Christopher, Amy, Fletcher, Mike, Katy, Jim, Jonah, Kim, Crystal, Gloria, Darcy, Chuck, Nikolette, Caleb, Don, Zachary, Joshua, Isabella, Mark, Kennedy, Alicia, Jerry, Ashton, Gary and Nona. *
 Organ donation costs nothing, yet could mean everything!
Susan says: *[14–15] Though the speaker might choose a more effective phrase than “in conclusion,” the end of this speech provides a clear push to persuade the audience. By citing shocking statistics and again making the information personal by adding names (rather than only statistics), the speaker is more likely to persuade the audience. Susan says:  The final line is also a call to action. This strategy is effective because it asks listeners to personally get involved and make a difference.
Now That You’re Inspired
Now that you’re inspired by the two persuasive speech examples above, it’s time to get creative and write your own speech.
Before you do, take a look at these resources to help get your speech rolling:
- 49 Persuasive Speech Topics You’ll Actually Want to Talk About
- How to Write a Persuasive Speech (On Just About Anything)
- This Persuasive Speech Outline Will Help You Write Faster
After you’ve written your speech, don’t forget that Kibin editors are here to help. Our expertise isn’t limited to essays, either. We have oodles of experience editing speeches too, and we’re ready to help you with yours.
Psst... 98% of Kibin users report better grades! Get inspiration from over 500,000 example essays .
About the Author
Susan M. Inez is a professor of English and writing goddess based out of the Northeast. In addition to a BA in English Education, an MA in Composition, and an MS in Education, Susan has 20 years of experience teaching courses on composition, writing in the professions, literature, and more. She also served as co-director of a campus writing center for 2 years.
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Persuasive Speech Examples
A persuasive speech is given for the purpose of persuading the audience to feel a certain way, to take a certain action, or to support a specific view or cause. Notice that the purpose of a persuasive speech is similar to the purpose for writing an argumentative or persuasive essay . The organizational structure and type of information in a persuasive speech would be similar to that in an persuasive essay.
To write a persuasive speech , you choose a topic about which people disagree or can have differing opinions. Your persuasive argument will be made stronger if you can demonstrate that you are passionate about the topic and have a strong opinion one way or the other. Then, you outline and draft your persuasive speech by taking a position on the topic and outlining your support for your position. It is often helpful to also discuss why the "other side" is incorrect in their beliefs about the topic. Make sure you catch your audience's attention and that you summarize key points and "take-aways" as you go.
1. A teenager attempting to convince her parents that she needs to be able to stay out until 11pm instead of 10pm.
2. A student council president trying to convince school administrators to allow the students to have a dance after the final football game of the season.
3. A lawyer giving a closing argument in court, arguing about whether the defendant is innocent or guilty of the crime.
Examples of Persuasive Speeches in Literature or Popular Culture:
Excerpt from Mark Antony's speech in Julius Caesar :
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones; So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus Hath told you Caesar was ambitious: If it were so, it was a grievous fault, And grievously hath Caesar answer'd it. Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest– For Brutus is an honourable man; So are they all, all honourable men–
Martin Luther King, Jr.'s I Have a Dream speech is one of the most famous persuasive speeches of all time. Excerpt:
Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.
Winston Churchill also gave a famous persuasive speech during World War II as Britain faced invasion from Nazi Germany:
Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.
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35 Strong Persuasive Writing Examples (Speeches, Essays, Ads, and More)
Learn from the experts.
The more we read, the better writers we become. Teaching students to write strong persuasive essays should always start with reading some top-notch models. This round-up of persuasive writing examples includes famous speeches, influential ad campaigns, contemporary reviews of famous books, and more. Use them to inspire your students to write their own essays. (Need persuasive essay topics? Check out our list of 60 interesting ideas here! )
- Persuasive Speeches
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Persuasive Speech Writing Examples
Many persuasive speeches are political in nature, often addressing subjects like human rights. Here are some of history’s most well-known persuasive writing examples in the form of speeches.
I Have a Dream by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Sample lines: “And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
Woodrow Wilson’s War Message to Congress, 1917
Sample lines: “There are, it may be, many months of fiery trial and sacrifice ahead of us. It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war, into the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself seeming to be in the balance. But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts—for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own governments, for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free.”
Chief Seattle’s 1854 Oration
Sample lines: “I here and now make this condition that we will not be denied the privilege without molestation of visiting at any time the tombs of our ancestors, friends, and children. Every part of this soil is sacred in the estimation of my people. Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove, has been hallowed by some sad or happy event in days long vanished. Even the rocks, which seem to be dumb and dead as they swelter in the sun along the silent shore, thrill with memories of stirring events connected with the lives of my people, and the very dust upon which you now stand responds more lovingly to their footsteps than yours, because it is rich with the blood of our ancestors, and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch.”
Women’s Rights Are Human Rights, Hillary Rodham Clinton
Sample lines: “What we are learning around the world is that if women are healthy and educated, their families will flourish. If women are free from violence, their families will flourish. If women have a chance to work and earn as full and equal partners in society, their families will flourish. And when families flourish, communities and nations do as well. … If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights once and for all.”
I Am Prepared to Die, Nelson Mandela
Sample lines: “Above all, My Lord, we want equal political rights, because without them our disabilities will be permanent. I know this sounds revolutionary to the whites in this country, because the majority of voters will be Africans. This makes the white man fear democracy. But this fear cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the only solution which will guarantee racial harmony and freedom for all. It is not true that the enfranchisement of all will result in racial domination. Political division, based on color, is entirely artificial and, when it disappears, so will the domination of one color group by another. … This then is what the ANC is fighting. Our struggle is a truly national one. It is a struggle of the African people, inspired by our own suffering and our own experience. It is a struggle for the right to live.”
The Struggle for Human Rights by Eleanor Roosevelt
Sample lines: “It is my belief, and I am sure it is also yours, that the struggle for democracy and freedom is a critical struggle, for their preservation is essential to the great objective of the United Nations to maintain international peace and security. Among free men the end cannot justify the means. We know the patterns of totalitarianism—the single political party, the control of schools, press, radio, the arts, the sciences, and the church to support autocratic authority; these are the age-old patterns against which men have struggled for 3,000 years. These are the signs of reaction, retreat, and retrogression. The United Nations must hold fast to the heritage of freedom won by the struggle of its people; it must help us to pass it on to generations to come.”
Freedom From Fear by Aung San Suu Kyi
Sample lines: “Saints, it has been said, are the sinners who go on trying. So free men are the oppressed who go on trying and who in the process make themselves fit to bear the responsibilities and to uphold the disciplines which will maintain a free society. Among the basic freedoms to which men aspire that their lives might be full and uncramped, freedom from fear stands out as both a means and an end. A people who would build a nation in which strong, democratic institutions are firmly established as a guarantee against state-induced power must first learn to liberate their own minds from apathy and fear.”
Harvey Milk’s “The Hope” Speech
Sample lines: “Some people are satisfied. And some people are not. You see there is a major difference—and it remains a vital difference—between a friend and a gay person, a friend in office and a gay person in office. Gay people have been slandered nationwide. We’ve been tarred and we’ve been brushed with the picture of pornography. In Dade County, we were accused of child molestation. It is not enough anymore just to have friends represent us, no matter how good that friend may be.”
The Strike and the Union, Cesar Chavez
Sample lines: “We are showing our unity in our strike. Our strike is stopping the work in the fields; our strike is stopping ships that would carry grapes; our strike is stopping the trucks that would carry the grapes. Our strike will stop every way the grower makes money until we have a union contract that guarantees us a fair share of the money he makes from our work! We are a union and we are strong and we are striking to force the growers to respect our strength!”
Nobel Lecture by Malala Yousafzai
Sample lines: “The world can no longer accept that basic education is enough. Why do leaders accept that for children in developing countries, only basic literacy is sufficient, when their own children do homework in algebra, mathematics, science, and physics? Leaders must seize this opportunity to guarantee a free, quality, primary and secondary education for every child. Some will say this is impractical, or too expensive, or too hard. Or maybe even impossible. But it is time the world thinks bigger.”
Persuasive Writing Examples in Advertising Campaigns
Ads are prime persuasive writing examples. You can flip open any magazine or watch TV for an hour or two to see sample after sample of persuasive language. Here are some of the most popular ad campaigns of all time, with links to articles explaining why they were so successful.
Nike: Just Do It
The iconic swoosh with the simple tagline has persuaded millions to buy their kicks from Nike and Nike alone. Teamed with pro sports star endorsements, this campaign is one for the ages. Blinkist offers an opinion on what made it work.
Dove: Real Beauty
Beauty brand Dove changed the game by choosing “real” women to tell their stories instead of models. They used relatable images and language to make connections, and inspired other brands to try the same concept. Learn why Global Brands considers this one a true success story.
Wendy’s: Where’s the Beef?
Today’s kids are too young to remember the cranky old woman demanding to know where the beef was on her fast-food hamburger. But in the 1980s, it was a catchphrase that sold millions of Wendy’s burgers. Learn from Better Marketing how this ad campaign even found its way into the 1984 presidential debate.
De Beers: A Diamond Is Forever
A diamond engagement ring has become a standard these days, but the tradition isn’t as old as you might think. In fact, it was De Beers jewelry company’s 1948 campaign that created the modern engagement ring trend. The Drum has the whole story of this sparkling campaign.
Volkswagen: Think Small
Americans have always loved big cars. So in the 1960s, when Volkswagen wanted to introduce their small cars to a bigger market, they had a problem. The clever “Think Small” campaign gave buyers clever reasons to consider these models, like “If you run out of gas, it’s easy to push.” Learn how advertisers interested American buyers in little cars at Visual Rhetoric.
American Express: Don’t Leave Home Without It
AmEx was once better known for traveler’s checks than credit cards, and the original slogan was “Don’t leave home without them.” A simple word change convinced travelers that American Express was the credit card they needed when they headed out on adventures. Discover more about this persuasive campaign from Medium.
Skittles: Taste the Rainbow
These candy ads are weird and intriguing and probably not for everyone. But they definitely get you thinking, and that often leads to buying. Learn more about why these wacky ads are successful from The Drum.
Maybelline: Maybe She’s Born With It
Smart wordplay made this ad campaign slogan an instant hit. The ads teased, “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.” (So many literary devices all in one phrase!) Fashionista has more on this beauty campaign.
Coca-Cola: Share a Coke
Seeing their own name on a bottle made teens more likely to want to buy a Coke. What can that teach us about persuasive writing in general? It’s an interesting question to consider. Learn more about the “Share a Coke” campaign from Digital Vidya.
Talk about the power of words! This Always campaign turned the derogatory phrase “like a girl” on its head, and the world embraced it. Storytelling is an important part of persuasive writing, and these ads really do it well. Medium has more on this stereotype-bashing campaign.
Editorial Persuasive Writing Examples
Source: New York Daily News
Newspaper editors or publishers use editorials to share their personal opinions. Noted politicians, experts, or pundits may also offer their opinions on behalf of the editors or publishers. Here are a couple of older well-known editorials, along with a selection from current newspapers.
Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus (1897)
Sample lines: “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias.”
What’s the Matter With Kansas? (1896)
Sample lines: “Oh, this IS a state to be proud of! We are a people who can hold up our heads! What we need is not more money, but less capital, fewer white shirts and brains, fewer men with business judgment, and more of those fellows who boast that they are ‘just ordinary clodhoppers, but they know more in a minute about finance than John Sherman,’ we need more men … who hate prosperity, and who think, because a man believes in national honor, he is a tool of Wall Street.”
America Can Have Democracy or Political Violence. Not Both. (The New York Times)
Sample lines: “The nation is not powerless to stop a slide toward deadly chaos. If institutions and individuals do more to make it unacceptable in American public life, organized violence in the service of political objectives can still be pushed to the fringes. When a faction of one of the country’s two main political parties embraces extremism, that makes thwarting it both more difficult and more necessary. A well-functioning democracy demands it.”
The Booster Isn’t Perfect, But Still Can Help Against COVID (The Washington Post)
Sample lines: “The booster shots are still free, readily available and work better than the previous boosters even as the virus evolves. Much still needs to be done to build better vaccines that protect longer and against more variants, including those that might emerge in the future. But it is worth grabbing the booster that exists today, the jab being a small price for any measure that can help keep COVID at bay.”
If We Want Wildlife to Thrive in L.A., We Have To Share Our Neighborhoods With Them (Los Angeles Times)
Sample lines: “If there are no corridors for wildlife movement and if excessive excavation of dirt to build bigger, taller houses erodes the slope of a hillside, then we are slowly destroying wildlife habitat. For those people fretting about what this will do to their property values—isn’t open space, trees, and wildlife an amenity in these communities?”
Persuasive Review Writing Examples
Source: The New York Times
Book or movie reviews are more great persuasive writing examples. Look for those written by professionals for the strongest arguments and writing styles. Here are reviews of some popular books and movies by well-known critics to use as samples.
The Great Gatsby (The Chicago Tribune, 1925)
Sample lines: “What ails it, fundamentally, is the plain fact that it is simply a story—that Fitzgerald seems to be far more interested in maintaining its suspense than in getting under the skins of its people. It is not that they are false: It is that they are taken too much for granted. Only Gatsby himself genuinely lives and breathes. The rest are mere marionettes—often astonishingly lifelike, but nevertheless not quite alive.”
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Washington Post, 1999)
Sample lines: “Obviously, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone should make any modern 11-year-old a very happy reader. The novel moves quickly, packs in everything from a boa constrictor that winks to a melancholy Zen-spouting centaur to an owl postal system, and ends with a scary surprise. Yet it is, essentially, a light-hearted thriller, interrupted by occasional seriousness (the implications of Harry’s miserable childhood, a moral about the power of love).”
Twilight (The Telegraph, 2009)
Sample lines: “No secret, of course, at whom this book is aimed, and no doubt, either, that it has hit its mark. The four Twilight novels are not so much enjoyed, as devoured, by legions of young female fans worldwide. That’s not to say boys can’t enjoy these books; it’s just that the pages of heart-searching dialogue between Edward and Bella may prove too long on chat and too short on action for the average male reader.”
To Kill a Mockingbird (Time, 1960)
Sample lines: “Author Lee, 34, an Alabaman, has written her first novel with all of the tactile brilliance and none of the preciosity generally supposed to be standard swamp-warfare issue for Southern writers. The novel is an account of an awakening to good and evil, and a faint catechistic flavor may have been inevitable. But it is faint indeed; novelist Lee’s prose has an edge that cuts through cant, and she teaches the reader an astonishing number of useful truths about little girls and about Southern life.”
The Diary of Anne Frank (The New York Times, 1952)
Sample lines: “And this quality brings it home to any family in the world today. Just as the Franks lived in momentary fear of the Gestapo’s knock on their hidden door, so every family today lives in fear of the knock of war. Anne’s diary is a great affirmative answer to the life-question of today, for she shows how ordinary people, within this ordeal, consistently hold to the greater human values.”
Persuasive Essay Writing Examples
From the earliest days of print, authors have used persuasive essays to try to sway others to their own point of view. Check out these top examples.
The American Crisis by Thomas Paine
Sample lines: “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.”
Politics and the English Language by George Orwell
Sample lines: “As I have tried to show, modern writing at its worst does not consist in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer. It consists in gumming together long strips of words which have already been set in order by someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug.”
Letter From a Birmingham Jail by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Sample lines: “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was ‘well timed’ in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word ‘Wait!’ It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This ‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.’ We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that ‘justice too long delayed is justice denied.'”
Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau
Sample lines: “Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men.”
Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Roger Ebert
Sample lines: “‘Kindness’ covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime.”
What are your favorite persuasive writing examples to use with students? Come share your ideas in the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook .
Plus, the big list of essay topics for high school (100+ ideas) ..
Jill Staake is a Contributing Editor with WeAreTeachers. She has a degree in Secondary English Education and has taught in middle and high school classrooms. She's also done training and curriculum design for a financial institution and been a science museum educator. She currently lives in Tampa, Florida where she often works on her back porch while taking frequent breaks for bird-watching and gardening.
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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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How to write a persuasive speech
Being able to write and deliver a persuasive speech is not only a skill that will help you at university – but something that will help you in both your career and your personal life. Whether you’re giving a graded speech for a class, explaining something as part of your job, or defending something you’re passionate about, delivering a persuasive speech will only help you to succeed. Follow our tips for how to develop your skills in persuasive speech writing.
What is a persuasive speech?
To persuade someone is to change their point of view and have them agree with you. In a university setting, this may be for a graded presentation or a debate. Although given verbally, your first step will be to write the speech before you deliver it – this will ensure you are fully prepared, have time to think about what you want to say, and ensure everything is properly researched. You don’t want to get caught out saying something that is untrue.
Persuasive speech topics
The first thing you need to do when writing a persuasive speech is to choose your topic. If you’re giving a speech as part of your university degree, this may have been provided to you as part of the assignment. If one hasn’t been provided, but the speech is for a specific class , try to think about the topics covered in your previous lessons or suggested reading from the teacher. Use the knowledge you’ve already gained in the class and show your teacher just how much you’ve paid attention.
Passion is key
If there are no guidelines on choosing your persuasive speech topic, then you have more choice when making your decision. This is a great opportunity to talk about something you’re truly passionate about. If your audience sees you are genuinely interested in your topic, they will see your speech as more authentic and credible. How can you persuade someone to side with you if it doesn’t seem like you believe in what you’re saying yourself?
Persuasive speech examples
If you’re still struggling to think of a topic, here are some examples that might help. When choosing from the below examples, it is still important to select a topic that interests you. Some good examples of persuasive speech topics for university students include:
- Is eating meat unethical?
- Should the minimum wage be increased?
- Should cities offer free bike sharing programmes?
- Can money buy happiness?
- Should we abolish daylight savings time?
- Are art and music programmes an essential part of schooling?
- Should more people use public transportation?
- Should teenagers be allowed to purchase violent video games?
- Should we donate unused food from supermarkets?
- Should we keep animals in zoos?
Now that you’ve picked your topic, you can start writing your speech. The first thing you need to know is your opinion. Are you for or against your topic? Once you’ve decided which side of the argument you want to defend, you can begin writing your persuasive speech.
Research, research, research
All university assignments begin with research, and persuasive speeches are no different. You can research however suits you best, utilising library resources, books you own, and the internet. It may even help to research both sides of the argument, including the opposing opinion to your own, to get a better understanding of your chosen topic.
Persuasive speech structure
Start your persuasive speech with a strong introduction, grabbing the attention of your audience. This can be emotional, shocking, or funny – as long as it is powerful. After you have your audience’s attention, you should clearly introduce the topic of your speech.
You now need to distil your research into a few key arguments. These should be the most powerful and persuasive arguments from your research, the ones that you believe will convince your listeners to agree with your point of view. Choose between two to four key arguments to keep your audience interested.
When giving a persuasive speech, it is important to acknowledge and address any counter arguments from the opposition. Not only does this show that you have done your research, but it addresses any concerns or doubts your audience may have.
Lastly, you should finish your persuasive speech with a strong closing argument. You may choose to save your strongest argument for this point, or reinforce a previous point you made. Either way, your closing argument should be the thing your audience remembers the most.
Giving a persuasive speech as an international student
If you’re studying at a UK university and English isn’t your first language, you may worry about writing a persuasive speech as part of your degree programme. The best way to prepare in this scenario is to make sure you have a strong understanding of the English language. At Durham University International Study Centre, you can take a pathway programme designed to develop all the skills you need to succeed as an international students. These programmes include a core English module programme designed to develop your language skills to a university level.
You can also develop your English language skills outside of the classroom. Choosing to live in student accommodation gives you even more opportunities to speak English in a less formal setting. And who knows? You can even practise delivering a persuasive speech by convincing your flatmates what to cook for dinner tonight.
Frequently asked questions
What is an example of persuasive speech .
A persuasive speech is any time you are having to choose a side of an argument and present it to another person. Persuasive speeches are used in many different areas of life. This could be in a school or university setting, in a job, or in a social setting.
What are some good persuasive speech topics for university?
When choosing a persuasive speech topic for university, always choose a topic or cause you’re interested in and passionate about. If you want to convince other people to agree with your stance, you must be seen to believe in it yourself.
How do you start a persuasive speech?
The best persuasive speeches always start with an impactful opening that grabs the audience’s attention. If you hope to persuade someone to agree with you, they need to listen to your whole argument. A strong opening ensures the audience is listening to you from the very start.
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