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How to Write a Persuasive Speech

Last Updated: December 10, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Patrick Muñoz . Patrick is an internationally recognized Voice & Speech Coach, focusing on public speaking, vocal power, accent and dialects, accent reduction, voiceover, acting and speech therapy. He has worked with clients such as Penelope Cruz, Eva Longoria, and Roselyn Sanchez. He was voted LA's Favorite Voice and Dialect Coach by BACKSTAGE, is the voice and speech coach for Disney and Turner Classic Movies, and is a member of Voice and Speech Trainers Association. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 1,531,092 times.

A persuasive speech is a speech intended to convince the audience to do something. Whether you want to get people to vote, stop littering, or change their minds about an important issue, persuasive speeches are an effective way to sway an audience. There are many elements that go into a successful persuasive speech. But, with some preparation and practice, you can deliver a powerful speech.

Preparing to Write

Step 1 Learn about your topic.

  • Especially if your topic is a controversial one, it's a good idea to know the arguments on all sides of the issue. [1] X Research source Whatever argument you are making, you'll be more persuasive if you can address the views of the opposing side.
  • Spend some time reading books or articles about your topic. You can go to the library and ask a librarian for help finding books, or just go online and find some articles. Make sure to use reliable sources, like major news organizations, or academic books or articles.
  • Opinion-oriented sources, like editorials, talk radio, or partisan cable news, can be valuable for finding out what other people think about your topic. But, don't rely on them as your only source of information. They can be very biased. If you use them at all, make sure to read a variety of viewpoints on the matter, not just one side.

Step 2 Know your goal.

  • For example, if your topic is recycling, it's important to know a lot about recycling. But, your speech will need to reflect exactly what you hope the audience will do. Are you trying to get people to vote in favor of a citywide recycling program? Or are you trying to convince them to sort out their glass and cans and put them in a separate bin? These will be different speeches, so having the goal spelled out early will help you craft your message.

Step 3 Understand your audience.

  • An audience that knows little about your topic will need more background information and simpler language. An audience made up of experts on the topic would likely find such a simple speech boring.
  • Likewise, an audience that already supports your view on a topic will be easier to persuade to take some action. You won't need to convince them you are right, but only that they need to do something. By contrast, an audience that does not agree with you will need persuasion to even consider your point of view.
  • For example, imagine you want to convince your audience to support a city-wide recycling program. If they already think recycling is important, you only need to convince them of the value of this specific program. But, if they don't care about recycling or oppose it, you will need to first convince them that recycling is worthwhile.

Step 4 Choose the right persuasive approach.

  • Ethos. These are appeals to the audience's ethics or morals. For example: "Recycling is the right thing to do. Wasting our limited resources steals from future generations, which is immoral."
  • Pathos. These are appeals to the audience's emotions. For example: "Think of the animals that lose their homes every day because of trees being chopped down. If we recycled more, we could save these beautiful forests."
  • Logos. These are appeals to the audiences logic or intellect. For example: "We know that there is a limited supply of natural resources. We can make this supply last longer by recycling."
  • You can rely on any one or some combination.

Step 5 Outline your main points.

  • The number of points you can make to support your position will be determined by how much time you have to speak.
  • As a rule of thumb, three to four supporting points is usually a good number. [2] X Research source
  • For example, in the speech about recycling, your three main points might be: 1. Recycling saves resources, 2. Recycling reduces the amount of garbage, and 3. Recycling is cost-effective.

Writing your Speech

Step 1 Write a strong opening.

  • An attention grabber. This could be a statement (or sometimes a visual) that gets your audience's attention. It can be a good idea to be a little startling or dramatic at the opening of your speech. For example, you might start with information (or pictures) showing how a nearby landfill is nearly full to capacity.
  • A link to the audience. This is a means of showing that you have something in common with the audience. Show that you have a similar background or share an emotional connection of some kind. This will really depend on knowing your audience. For example, if you are a parent, speaking to other parents, you might emphasize the concern for your own children's future. If you share a common interest or ideological position with your audience, you can emphasize that.
  • Your credentials. This is a means of showing that you are knowledgeable or an authority on the topic of the speech. Highlight the research you've done on your topic. If you have any personal or professional experience with the topic, be sure to emphasize that, too. In the recycling example, you might say "I've invested many hours studying the recycling issue and the types of programs available in other cities."
  • Your goal. Explain to the audience what you hope the speech will accomplish. For example: "I hope by the end of my talk that you will agree that we need a city wide recycling program."
  • A road map. Finally, tell the audience what the main points of the speech will be. For example, "I believe we must start a recycling program for these three reasons...."

Step 2 Offer persuasive evidence.

  • Arrange these points logically. Don't jump from one point to the next, and then back again. Instead, complete an argument, then move on to another that flows logically from it. [4] X Research source
  • Use credible sources from your research to back the points you are making. Even if your point is more emotional (pathos), introducing some factual information will make your argument stronger. For example "Each year, 40,000 acres of beautiful forests are destroyed to make paper, according to a study from the American Recycling Institute."
  • Use real life examples that the audience can relate to. Even an argument based on facts and logic (logos) should relate to the audience's lives and interests. For example: "In these hard economic times, I know many of you are afraid that a recycling program will mean a costly increase in taxes. But, the city of Springfield started a program like this one three years ago. So far they've seen an increase in revenue as a result of the program. Many residents have seen a decrease in their taxes as a result."

Step 3 Address the counter-argument.

  • Make sure that you describe opposing views fairly and objectively. Consider whether someone who actually holds that view would approve of the way you are describing their position. If you aren't sure, find someone who thinks that way and ask!
  • For example, you would not want to say: "opponents of recycling just don't care if we waste our precious resources, or our money." That's not a fair description of their opinion.
  • Instead, you might say: "opponents of recycling are concerned that the cost might be much higher than just using new materials," and then go on to offer an argument about why recycling might be the more cost-effective option.

Step 4 Conclude with a call to action.

  • Don't just restate, verbatim, what you've already said. Instead, use this as an opportunity to reinforce the way your main points support your call to action. For example: "To sum up, I've shown you (points a, b, and c). These three undeniable facts point to a city-wide recycling program as the most sensible and ethical step we can take in helping create a more sustainable future. Please, join me in voting 'yes' on this program in November."

Delivering your Speech

Step 1 Practice your speech.

  • Try practicing in front of a mirror, so that you can see how you are delivering the speech. This can help you notice your facial expressions and body language. These can help or hinder your ability to get your message across.
  • For example, you might notice you are slouching, or that that you fidget with your collar. These actions suggest to an audience that you aren't confident.
  • Better still, record yourself with a video camera and watch the tape afterwards. This can help you see (and hear) where your delivery needs improvement. [5] X Research source It has the benefit of providing audio, and also won't distract you as much as a mirror when you're speaking.
  • Once you've practiced on your own a few times, try giving the speech to a small group of friends or family members. Ask for their feedback on your message and delivery.

Step 2 Dress appropriately.

  • Generally speaking, this will mean dressing professionally. But, the degree of formality will vary. A speech to a film club to convince them to show your film won't require the same degree of formality as speaking to the executives of a movie distribution company. For the executives, you would want to wear a suit. For the film club, that might be overdoing it.

Step 3 Relax.

  • Be friendly and make eye contact with the audience.
  • Move around, where appropriate, but don't fidget or pick at your clothes or hair.
  • Don't read the speech. It's okay to use a few notes to keep yourself on track, but your speech should be mostly memorized.
  • Roll with the punches. If you make a mistake, don't let it derail your whole speech. This might be an opportunity to use a little humor. Then, move on.

Step 4 Involve your audience.

  • For example, if you want them to contact the mayor, demanding a recycling program, don't just ask them to do it. Give them stamped, addressed envelopes to send a letter, or cards with the mayor's phone number and email address. If you do this, many more people are likely to follow through.

Patrick Muñoz

Patrick Muñoz

Speak from your heart and connect with your audience. Look them in the eyes and really talk to them. Make sure you're comfortable delivering your speech and that you use a warm, confident tone.

Sample Template

how do u start a persuasive speech

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Look around at the audience, making eye contact, especially during pauses in your speech. If you're feeling nervous about this, pick out a single person in the audience and pretend you are speaking only to them. After a little while, pick someone else, and repeat. [6] X Research source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Speak forward, projecting your voice toward the audience with confidence. Do not speak down toward the floor. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Try to cite sources for statistics and use credible, non-biased sources. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

Tips from our Readers

  • If you have a nervous laugh, be careful to control it during your speech. Otherwise, your audience will likely think what you have to say isn't important.

how do u start a persuasive speech

  • Avoid being confrontational, when possible. Don't be sarcastic or mocking when discussing viewpoints other than your own. This can be alienating to your audience, even those who may agree with you. Thanks Helpful 55 Not Helpful 17
  • Don't be pompous or arrogant during your speech. Be humble, and be open to questions, suggestions, and feedback. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 1

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  • ↑ http://grammar.yourdictionary.com/style-and-usage/steps-for-writing-a-persuasive-speech.html
  • ↑ http://www.best-speech-topics.com/writing-a-persuasive-speech.html
  • ↑ https://www.speechanddebate.org/wp-content/uploads/Tips-for-Writing-a-Persuasive-Speech.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.comm.pitt.edu/structuring-speech
  • ↑ https://www.leonardoenglish.com/blog/recording-yourself-in-english
  • ↑ https://www.zenbusiness.com/blog/eyecontact/

About This Article

Patrick Muñoz

To write a persuasive speech, start with a strong opening that will make your reader want to pay attention, including an attention grabber, your credentials, the essay's goal, and a road map for the essay. Next, offer persuasive evidence or reasons why the reader should support your viewpoint. Arrange these points logically, use credible sources, and employ some real life examples. Additionally, address counter-arguments to show that you’re looking at the topic from all sides. Finally, conclude by clearly letting the audience know how to put your ideas into action. To learn how to involve your audience when you deliver your speech, keep reading. Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Write and Structure a Persuasive Speech

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The purpose of a persuasive speech is to convince your audience to agree with an idea or opinion that you present. First, you'll need to choose a side on a controversial topic, then you will write a speech to explain your position, and convince the audience to agree with you.

You can produce an effective persuasive speech if you structure your argument as a solution to a problem. Your first job as a speaker is to convince your audience that a particular problem is important to them, and then you must convince them that you have the solution to make things better.

Note: You don't have to address a real problem. Any need can work as the problem. For example, you could consider the lack of a pet, the need to wash one's hands, or the need to pick a particular sport to play as the "problem."

As an example, let's imagine that you have chosen "Getting Up Early" as your persuasion topic. Your goal will be to persuade classmates to get themselves out of bed an hour earlier every morning. In this instance, the problem could be summed up as "morning chaos."

A standard speech format has an introduction with a great hook statement, three main points, and a summary. Your persuasive speech will be a tailored version of this format.

Before you write the text of your speech, you should sketch an outline that includes your hook statement and three main points.

Writing the Text

The introduction of your speech must be compelling because your audience will make up their minds within a few minutes whether or not they are interested in your topic.

Before you write the full body you should come up with a greeting. Your greeting can be as simple as "Good morning everyone. My name is Frank."

After your greeting, you will offer a hook to capture attention. A hook sentence for the "morning chaos" speech could be a question:

  • How many times have you been late for school?
  • Does your day begin with shouts and arguments?
  • Have you ever missed the bus?

Or your hook could be a statistic or surprising statement:

  • More than 50 percent of high school students skip breakfast because they just don't have time to eat.
  • Tardy kids drop out of school more often than punctual kids.

Once you have the attention of your audience, follow through to define the topic/problem and introduce your solution. Here's an example of what you might have so far:

Good afternoon, class. Some of you know me, but some of you may not. My name is Frank Godfrey, and I have a question for you. Does your day begin with shouts and arguments? Do you go to school in a bad mood because you've been yelled at, or because you argued with your parent? The chaos you experience in the morning can bring you down and affect your performance at school.

Add the solution:

You can improve your mood and your school performance by adding more time to your morning schedule. You can accomplish this by setting your alarm clock to go off one hour earlier.

Your next task will be to write the body, which will contain the three main points you've come up with to argue your position. Each point will be followed by supporting evidence or anecdotes, and each body paragraph will need to end with a transition statement that leads to the next segment. Here is a sample of three main statements:

  • Bad moods caused by morning chaos will affect your workday performance.
  • If you skip breakfast to buy time, you're making a harmful health decision.
  • (Ending on a cheerful note) You'll enjoy a boost to your self-esteem when you reduce the morning chaos.

After you write three body paragraphs with strong transition statements that make your speech flow, you are ready to work on your summary.

Your summary will re-emphasize your argument and restate your points in slightly different language. This can be a little tricky. You don't want to sound repetitive but will need to repeat what you have said. Find a way to reword the same main points.

Finally, you must make sure to write a clear final sentence or passage to keep yourself from stammering at the end or fading off in an awkward moment. A few examples of graceful exits:

  • We all like to sleep. It's hard to get up some mornings, but rest assured that the reward is well worth the effort.
  • If you follow these guidelines and make the effort to get up a little bit earlier every day, you'll reap rewards in your home life and on your report card.

Tips for Writing Your Speech

  • Don't be confrontational in your argument. You don't need to put down the other side; just convince your audience that your position is correct by using positive assertions.
  • Use simple statistics. Don't overwhelm your audience with confusing numbers.
  • Don't complicate your speech by going outside the standard "three points" format. While it might seem simplistic, it is a tried and true method for presenting to an audience who is listening as opposed to reading.
  • 100 Persuasive Speech Topics for Students
  • 100 Persuasive Essay Topics
  • What Is a Rhetorical Device? Definition, List, Examples
  • 50 Argumentative Essay Topics
  • Examples of Great Introductory Paragraphs
  • How to Write a Persuasive Essay
  • 5 Tips on How to Write a Speech Essay
  • Tips on How to Write an Argumentative Essay
  • Writing an Opinion Essay
  • How To Write an Essay
  • 5 Steps to Writing a Position Paper
  • How to Structure an Essay
  • Ethos, Logos, Pathos for Persuasion
  • What Is Expository Writing?
  • Audience Analysis in Speech and Composition
  • Definition and Examples of Analysis in Composition

how do u start a persuasive speech

How to Write a Persuasive Speech: 7 Tips for Success

  • The Speaker Lab
  • June 12, 2024

Table of Contents

Mastering the art of a persuasive speech is about more than just making an argument. It’s about engaging your audience, tapping into their emotions, and guiding them to your point of view with precision.

In our dive into persuasive speaking, we’ll look at how selecting enthralling topics can captivate listeners from the get-go and ensure they hang on every word. By structuring your thoughts clearly, you’ll convey messages that not only resonate but also inspire action. And as we venture further, expect practical insights on delivering these ideas with confidence.

This guide will equip you for impact whether you’re eyeing higher education debates or business pitches. So—ready to persuade? Let’s start building those skills!

Crafting the Essentials of Persuasive Speech

What makes a persuasive speech not just good, but great? It’s all about nailing the essentials. Let’s talk shop and get into what constitutes a persuasive speech.

Defining Persuasive Speech and Its Significance

A powerful tool in any speaker’s arsenal, a persuasive speech aims to convince your audience to adopt your point of view or take action. But why is this skill so crucial? In various contexts—from boardrooms to auditoriums—mastering persuasion can be the key that unlocks doors, whether you’re advocating for human rights or pitching an innovative product. It’s not just about having facts at your fingertips; it’s also about striking chords with audience members on both logical and emotional levels.

In essence, successful persuasion hinges on blending ethos , pathos , and logos —three rhetorical arguments that make different appeals in order to sway people without crossing ethical lines. Imagine stirring up the kind of passion Martin Luther King, Jr. did with his “I Have A Dream” speech—that’s what we’re aiming for.

The Anatomy of Persuasive Speech

Diving deeper into crafting effective messages requires understanding key elements like thesis statements—a concise summary of your argument. Your speech should also have main points bolstered by supporting evidence. An intriguing thesis acts as a magnet drawing listeners in while logically laid out arguments keep them hooked.

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Selecting Captivating Topics for Persuasive Speeches

Choosing the right topic is like picking the perfect outfit for an interview. It’s your first chance to impress and persuade. A good persuasive speech topic isn’t just interesting—it should also resonate with you personally, offer fresh insights, and be relevant to your audience. Your chosen topic should spark curiosity.

Criteria for Choosing Your Topic

Picking out a topic that resonates with you and hooks your audience starts with introspection. Think about what gets you fired up: Is it human rights or health insurance debates? Does discussing violent video games or tobacco products prohibition spark that inner debater in you? Now blend this passion with issues relevant to high school curriculums or hot topics from social media chatter—this fusion ensures relevance and personal engagement.

Next, ensure alignment between your chosen subject matter and specific purpose—a mission statement of sorts for your talk. It should clarify why this issue matters here, now, to these listeners. For example, if organ donation rates are low locally yet awareness is high—an effective persuasive speech could pivot towards addressing myths rather than general advocacy.

Brainstorming Ideas That Spark Interest

To uncover gems among standard persuasive speech ideas requires creativity. Begin by listing down all potential subjects that fascinate you—music therapy’s role in mental health recovery perhaps, or how genetically modified foods affect nutrition security.

Dive deeper into each idea by considering its counter arguments, as well as how you might answer such counterarguments.

Structuring Your Persuasive Speech Outline

A persuasive speech outline is your battle plan. It’s where you lay out the strategies to sway your audience and anchor them to every word.

Main Points in a Persuasive Speech

Your outline should map the journey from opening gambit to final plea, with main points acting as guideposts. Your main points aren’t just there for show but also to convince and convert. These points should be clear, concise, and crafted to push the envelope on what your listeners consider possible.

As most successful persuaders will tell you, a well-structured outline doesn’t simply support an argument; it elevates it. That’s why every point must be backed by evidence support strong enough to withstand counter arguments while remaining ethical—no room for manipulation here.

The Blueprint of Your Argument

An effective persuasive speech starts with a thesis statement bold enough yet plausible enough that even skeptics pause for thought. You then need to connect each section back to this central claim.

The body of your argument should alternate between serving up hard-hitting facts (logos) and plucking at the audience’s heartstrings (pathos). And let’s not forget ethos—audiences should be able to trust what you say because you know this topic inside and out due its personal resonance or professional relevance.

To hammer home your main points, make sure you reiterate them in your conclusion, along with your thesis. This method ensures that audiences don’t lose track of your argument in between points.

Mastering Persuasive Speaking Techniques

To effectively deliver a persuasive speech, it’s all about the blend of strategy and sincerity. Think of your speech as a three-course meal served to engage every sense; you need just the right ingredients mixed with skillful preparation.

The secret sauce? Ethos, pathos, logos—your credibility, their emotions, and logic neatly tied together. Present facts illustrated with tales that tug at heartstrings while showcasing your expertise on the topic. These approaches have been used by great leaders throughout history.

Engaging the Audience’s Emotions in Your Persuasive Speech

A dash of emotion can transform your talk from mundane to memorable. When you speak, aim for the heart to build an emotional connection that lasts beyond those final applause. Tell a personal story or paint scenarios that resonate on an individual level. It makes audience members feel like they’re part of something larger than themselves—a surefire way to keep them listening and ready to adopt your viewpoint.

Using Persuasive Speaking Techniques Effectively

An unforgettable opening ensures you grab attention immediately but remember: this is no time for fluff. Get straight into what matters with clear main points outlined upfront because if there’s one thing we know—it’s that nobody likes being lost in translation (or speeches). Counter arguments proactively so when doubts arise, they’re already addressed head-on.

Your thesis statement isn’t just another sentence; it’s the rudder on your ship of an argument. As such it needs to be strong so that everyone knows why they should care about exotic animals or health insurance debates.

Crafting Messages That Resonate

Persuasion isn’t merely about changing minds temporarily—it’s making ideas stick long after curtains close. So layer stories atop statistics until suddenly—the world views genetically modified foods differently because you’ve shown them both sides using evidence support wrapped in narratives too compelling to ignore.

Overcoming Public Speaking Challenges

Stage fright and nervousness can turn a spotlight into a glaring interrogation lamp. It’s common, but you don’t have to let it derail your speech . Deep breathing exercises before taking the stage can help steady those jitters. Remember, even the pros feel butterflies; they’ve just learned how to make them fly in formation.

Dealing with Stage Fright and Nervousness

Facing an audience can intimidating unless you’re prepared. Preparation is your armor against fear. Know your material inside out, because when you do, confidence isn’t far behind. And if that doesn’t cut it? Picture success: visualize yourself crushing it on stage, leaving audiences hanging onto every word.

If sweaty palms still persist, focus on making connections rather than impressing people—that shift in perspective might just be what keeps nerves from taking center stage.

Handling Difficult Audience Members During Your Speech

Sometimes audience members throw curveballs harder than a major league pitcher, but with tact and grace under pressure, you’ll turn that curveball into a homerun. If someone challenges or interrupts you mid-speech, stay calm. Thank them for their input and transition back to your main points swiftly yet respectfully.

A difficult question? Embrace it as an opportunity to showcase depth of knowledge or gracefully defer it until after the presentation so everyone stays engaged without going off track.

Remember: Persuasion begins where discomfort ends—and overcoming these hurdles will leave listeners remembering not just what was said but who said it with conviction.

Ethical Considerations in Persuasion

When you step onto the stage to deliver a persuasive speech, you’re not just sharing an opinion; you’re asking your audience to trust and follow your guidance. Balancing persuasion with honesty is no small feat, but it’s essential for maintaining credibility. You might be tempted to stretch the truth or hide inconvenient facts, but avoiding manipulation in speaking is crucial.

A successful persuasive speaker knows that ethical concerns in persuasive speaking form the bedrock of genuine connection with your audience members. It’s easy to get lost in crafting arguments so compelling they border on coercive. But ask yourself if what you’re doing serves as a bridge between differing viewpoints or simply bulldozes over counter arguments without regard for their validity.

Steering Clear of Manipulative Tactics

Persuasive speeches should light fires under topics like human rights or health insurance—not ignite controversy through deceitful tactics. Ethos, pathos, and logos can become tools for trickery when used improperly. As a responsible communicator aiming at engaging the audience’s emotions ethically, steer clear from creating emotional whirlwinds devoid of factual basis.

To stay true to ethical persuasion principles means ensuring every fact presented has been verified twice over—no exaggeration, deceit, or rumormongering allowed. Stick firmly within reality’s bounds while discussing controversial subjects such as tobacco products regulation or organ donation processes; this helps maintain an atmosphere where constructive debate thrives.

Maintaining Honesty Throughout Your Speech

Your thesis statement isn’t just there for show—it’s your pledge of integrity throughout your address on music therapy benefits or violent video games’ effects on youth behavior patterns. Weaving personal experience into narratives may bolster relatability yet must never wander off into fabrication territory even if spinning tales better suited for your argument seems tempting.

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Leveraging Online Platforms t0 Develop Your Skills

The savvy speakers among us know that to stay ahead of the game, sharpening your speaking chops online is not just smart; it’s essential. With an array of top-notch courses, you can fast-track your way to becoming a more persuasive and effective speaker.

Building Public Speaking Skills Online

The journey to mastering public speaking starts with one click. The internet bursts at the seams with resources like Toastmasters International tailored to help you build public speaking skills online. Whether it’s refining thesis statements or practicing eye contact through video feedback, their tools are designed for real-world success without leaving your desk.

In addition to Toastmasters International, the National Speakers Association and SpeakerHub also have a myriad of resources for speakers of all levels. And of course, there are our own resources here at The Speaker Lab , where we offer you speaker training that will get you booked and paid to speak.

Top-Notch Courses for Developing Your Skills

No need to spend hours in traditional classrooms when you can speed up learning on-the-go or from the comfort of home. Top-notch programs, such as this course from the University of Colorado Boulder, turn theory into action faster than ever before. Interactive classes like these engage learners like no other. Just remember though—these resources aren’t magic wands; commitment still tops necessity lists if real growth is what you’re after.

FAQs on Persuasive Speeches

What is a persuasive speech example.

Persuasive speech aims to sway the crowd. Think MLK’s “I Have a Dream” pushing for civil rights.

What are the 5 elements of persuasive speech?

The five key slices: a solid intro, clear message, credible evidence, emotional appeal, and a killer conclusion.

How do I start a persuasive speech?

Kick off with an attention grabber—quote, question or startling stat—to hook your listeners right away.

What is a persuasive way of speaking?

Surefire persuasion speaks directly to interests while mixing logic and emotion to shift opinions.

Mastering a persuasive speech is about connection, clarity, and conviction. Remember the essentials: a well-structured argument supports your message and engaging topics capture attention.

Outline each argument with care, making it easy for listeners to follow, then balance facts with stories that stir emotions.

Hone your delivery like great leaders do. Practice making eye contact; refine those public speaking skills online or in person—it’s how you keep an audience listening.

Ethics matter as much as eloquence does. Persuade honestly without manipulating minds or exploiting fears—that’s true success in persuasion.

In every good persuasive speech lies the power to change views, inspire action, even alter history itself. So take these insights and go forth—persuade ethically, speak confidently!

  • Last Updated: June 4, 2024

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Persuasive Speech: How to Write an Effective Persuasive Speech

Persuasive Speech How to Write a Persuasive Speech

Most often, it actually causes the other person to want to play “Devil’s advocate” and argue with you. In this article, we are going to show you a simple way to win people to your way of thinking without raising resentment. If you use this technique, your audience will actually WANT to agree with you! The process starts with putting yourself in the shoes of your listener and looking at things from their point of view.

Background About How to Write a Persuasive Speech. Facts Aren’t Very Persuasive.

In a Persuasive Presentation Facts Aren't Very Persuasive

Most people think that a single fact is good, additional facts are better, and too many facts are just right. So, the more facts you can use to prove your point, the better chance you have of convincing the other person that you are right. The HUGE error in this logic, though, is that if you prove that you are right, you are also proving that the other person is wrong. People don’t like it when someone proves that they are wrong. So, we prove our point, the other person is likely to feel resentment. When resentment builds, it leads to anger. Once anger enters the equation, logic goes right out the window.

In addition, when people use a “fact” or “Statistic” to prove a point, the audience has a natural reaction to take a contrary side of the argument. For instance, if I started a statement with, “I can prove to you beyond a doubt that…” before I even finish the statement, there is a good chance that you are already trying to think of a single instance where the statement is NOT true. This is a natural response. As a result, the thing that we need to realize about being persuasive is that the best way to persuade another person is to make the person want to agree with us. We do this by showing the audience how they can get what they want if they do what we want.

You may also like How to Design and Deliver a Memorable Speech .

A Simple 3-Step Process to Create a Persuasive Presentation

Persuasion Comes from both Logic and Emotion

The process below is a good way to do both.

Step One: Start Your Persuasive Speech with an Example or Story

When you write an effective persuasive speech, stories are vital. Stories and examples have a powerful way to capture an audience’s attention and set them at ease. They get the audience interested in the presentation. Stories also help your audience see the concepts you are trying to explain in a visual way and make an emotional connection. The more details that you put into your story, the more vivid the images being created in the minds of your audience members.

This concept isn’t mystical or anything. It is science. When we communicate effectively with another person, the purpose is to help the listener picture a concept in his/her mind that is similar to the concept in the speaker’s mind. The old adage is that a “picture is worth 1000 words.” Well, an example or a story is a series of moving pictures. So, a well-told story is worth thousands of words (facts).

By the way, there are a few additional benefits of telling a story. Stories help you reduce nervousness, make better eye contact, and make for a strong opening. For additional details, see Storytelling in Speeches .

I’ll give you an example.

Factual Argument: Seatbelts Save Lives

Factual Arguments Leave Out the Emotion

  • 53% of all motor vehicle fatalities from last years were people who weren’t wearing seatbelts.
  • People not wearing seatbelts are 30 times more likely to be ejected from the vehicle.
  • In a single year, crash deaths and injuries cost us over $70 billion dollars.

These are actual statistics. However, when you read each bullet point, you are likely to be a little skeptical. For instance, when you see the 53% statistic, you might have had the same reaction that I did. You might be thinking something like, “Isn’t that right at half? Doesn’t that mean that the other half WERE wearing seatbelts?” When you see the “30 times more likely” statistic, you might be thinking, “That sounds a little exaggerated. What are the actual numbers?” Looking at the last statistic, we’d likely want to know exactly how the reporter came to that conclusion.

As you can see, if you are a believer that seatbelts save lives, you will likely take the numbers at face value. If you don’t like seatbelts, you will likely nitpick the finer points of each statistic. The facts will not likely persuade you.

Example Argument: Seatbelts Save Lives

A Story or Example is More Persuasive Because It Offers Facts and Emotion

When I came to, I tried to open my door. The accident sealed it shut. The windshield was gone. So I took my seatbelt off and scrambled out the hole. The driver of the truck was a bloody mess. His leg was pinned under the steering wheel.

The firefighters came a few minutes later, and it took them over 30 minutes to cut the metal from around his body to free him.

A Sheriff’s Deputy saw a cut on my face and asked if I had been in the accident. I pointed to my truck. His eyes became like saucers. “You were in that vehicle?”

I nodded. He rushed me to an ambulance. I had actually ruptured my colon, and I had to have surgery. I was down for a month or so, but I survived. In fact, I survived with very few long-term challenges from the accident.

The guy who hit me wasn’t so lucky. He wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. The initial impact of the accident was his head on the steering wheel and then the windshield. He had to have a number of facial surgeries. The only reason he remained in the truck was his pinned leg. For me, the accident was a temporary trauma. For him, it was a life-long tragedy.

The Emotional Difference is the Key

As you can see, there are major differences between the two techniques. The story gives lots of memorable details along with an emotion that captures the audience. If you read both examples, let me ask you a couple of questions. Without looking back up higher on the page, how long did it take the firefighters to cut the other driver from the car? How many CDs did I have? There is a good chance that these two pieces of data came to you really quickly. You likely remembered this data, even though, the data wasn’t exactly important to the story.

However, if I asked you how much money was lost last year as a result of traffic accidents, you might struggle to remember that statistic. The CDs and the firefighters were a part of a compelling story that made you pay attention. The money lost to accidents was just a statistic thrown at you to try to prove that a point was true.

The main benefit of using a story, though, is that when we give statistics (without a story to back them up,) the audience becomes argumentative. However, when we tell a story, the audience can’t argue with us. The audience can’t come to me after I told that story and say, “It didn’t take 30 minutes to cut the guy out of the car. He didn’t have to have a bunch of reconstructive surgeries. The Deputy didn’t say those things to you! The audience can’t argue with the details of the story, because they weren’t there.

Step 2: After the Story, Now, Give Your Advice

When most people write a persuasive presentation, they start with their opinion. Again, this makes the listener want to play Devil’s advocate. By starting with the example, we give the listener a simple way to agree with us. They can agree that the story that we told was true. So, now, finish the story with your point or your opinion. “So, in my opinion, if you wear a seatbelt, you’re more likely to avoid serious injury in a severe crash.”

By the way, this technique is not new. It has been around for thousands of years. Aesop was a Greek slave over 500 years before Christ. His stories were passed down verbally for hundreds of years before anyone ever wrote them down in a collection. Today, when you read an Aesop fable, you will get 30 seconds to two minutes of the story first. Then, at the conclusion, almost as a post-script, you will get the advice. Most often, this advice comes in the form of, “The moral of the story is…” You want to do the same in your persuasive presentations. Spend most of the time on the details of the story. Then, spend just a few seconds in the end with your morale.

Step 3: End with the Benefit to the Audience

3 Step Process to Write an Effective Persuasive Speech

So, the moral of the story is to wear your seatbelt. If you do that, you will avoid being cut out of your car and endless reconstructive surgeries .

Now, instead of leaving your audience wanting to argue with you, they are more likely to be thinking, “Man, I don’t want to be cut out of my car or have a bunch of facial surgeries.”

The process is very simple. However, it is also very powerful.

How to Write a Successful Persuasive Speech Using the “Breadcrumb” Approach

Once you understand the concept above, you can create very powerful persuasive speeches by linking a series of these persuasive stories together. I call this the breadcrumb strategy. Basically, you use each story as a way to move the audience closer to the ultimate conclusion that you want them to draw. Each story gains a little more agreement.

So, first, just give a simple story about an easy to agree with concept. You will gain agreement fairly easily and begin to also create an emotional appeal. Next, use an additional story to gain additional agreement. If you use this process three to five times, you are more likely to get the audience to agree with your final conclusion. If this is a formal presentation, just make your main points into the persuasive statements and use stories to reinforce the points.

Here are a few persuasive speech examples using this approach.

An Example of a Persuasive Public Speaking Using Breadcrumbs

Marijuana Legalization is Causing Huge Problems in Our Biggest Cities Homelessness is Out of Control in First States to Legalize Marijuana Last year, my family and I took a mini-vacation to Colorado Springs. I had spent a summer in Colorado when I was in college, so I wanted my family to experience the great time that I had had there as a youth. We were only there for four days, but we noticed something dramatic had happened. There were homeless people everywhere. Keep in mind, this wasn’t Denver, this was Colorado City. The picturesque landscape was clouded by ripped sleeping bags on street corners, and trash spread everywhere. We were downtown, and my wife and daughter wanted to do some shopping. My son and I found a comic book store across the street to browse in. As we came out, we almost bumped into a dirty man in torn close. He smiled at us, walked a few feet away from the door, and lit up a joint. He sat on the corner smoking it. As my son and I walked the 1/4 mile back to the store where we left my wife and daughter, we stepped over and walked around over a dozen homeless people camped out right in the middle of the town. This was not the Colorado that I remembered. From what I’ve heard, it has gotten even worse in the last year. So, if you don’t want to dramatically increase your homelessness population, don’t make marijuana legal in your state. DUI Instances and Traffic Accidents Have Increased in Marijuana States I was at the airport waiting for a flight last week, and the guy next to me offered me his newspaper. I haven’t read a newspaper in years, but he seemed so nice that I accepted. It was a copy of the USA Today, and it was open to an article about the rise in unintended consequences from legalizing marijuana. Safety officials and police in Colorado, Nevada, Washington, and Oregon, the first four state to legalize recreational marijuana, have reported a 6% increase in traffic accidents in the last few years. Although the increase (6%) doesn’t seem very dramatic, it was notable because the rate of accidents had been decreasing in each of the states for decades prior to the law change. Assuming that only one of the two parties involved in these new accidents was under the influence, that means that people who aren’t smoking marijuana are being negatively affected by the legalization. So, if you don’t want to increase your chances of being involved in a DUI incident, don’t legalize marijuana. (Notice how I just used an article as my evidence, but to make it more memorable, I told the story about how I came across the article. It is also easier to deliver this type of data because you are just relating what you remember about the data, not trying to be an expert on the data itself.) Marijuana is Still Largely Unregulated Just before my dad went into hospice care, he was in a lot of pain. He would take a prescription painkiller before bed to sleep. One night, my mom called frantically. Dad was in a catatonic state and wasn’t responsive. I rushed over. The hospital found that Dad had an unusually high amount of painkillers in his bloodstream. His regular doctor had been on vacation, and the fill-in doctor had prescribed a much higher dosage of the painkiller by accident. His original prescription was 2.5 mg, and the new prescription was 10 mg. Since dad was in a lot of pain most nights, he almost always took two tablets. He was also on dialysis, so his kidneys weren’t filtering out the excess narcotic each day. He had actually taken 20 MG (instead of 5 MG) on Friday night and another 20 mg on Saturday. Ordinarily, he would have had, at max, 15 mg of the narcotic in his system. Because of the mistake, though, he had 60 MGs. My point is that the narcotics that my dad was prescribed were highly regulated medicines under a doctor’s care, and a mistake was still made that almost killed him. With marijuana, there is really no way of knowing how much narcotic is in each dosage. So, mistakes like this are much more likely. So, in conclusion, legalizing marijuana can increase homelessness, increase the number of impaired drivers, and cause accidental overdoses.

If you use this breadcrumb approach, you are more likely to get at least some agreement. Even if the person disagrees with your conclusion, they are still likely to at least see your side. So, the person may say something like, I still disagree with you, but I totally see your point. That is still a step in the right direction.

For Real-World Practice in How to Design Persuasive Presentations Join Us for a Class

Our instructors are experts at helping presenters design persuasive speeches. We offer the Fearless Presentations ® classes in cities all over the world about every three to four months. In addition to helping you reduce nervousness, your instructor will also show you secrets to creating a great speech. For details about any of the classes, go to our Presentation Skills Class web page.

For additional details, see Persuasive Speech Outline Example .

how do u start a persuasive speech

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How To Write A Persuasive Speech: 7 Steps


Table of contents

  • 1 Guidance on Selecting an Effective and Relevant Topic
  • 2 Strategies for Connecting With Different Types of Audiences
  • 3 Developing Your Thesis Statement
  • 4.1 Writing the Introduction
  • 4.2 Body of Your Speech
  • 4.3 Concluding Effectively
  • 5 Techniques for Creating a Coherent Flow of Ideas
  • 6 Importance of Transitions Between Points
  • 7 Importance of Tone and Style Adjustments Based on the Audience
  • 8 Prepare for Rebuttals
  • 9 Use Simple Statistics
  • 10 Practicing Your Speech
  • 11 Additional Resources to Master Your Speech
  • 12 Master the Art of Persuasion With PapersOwl

Are you about to perform a persuasive speech and have no idea how to do it? No need to worry; PapersOwl is here to guide you through this journey!

What is persuasive speaking? Persuasive speaking is a form of communication where the speaker aims to influence or convince the audience to adopt a particular viewpoint or belief or take specific actions. The goal is to sway the listeners’ opinions, attitudes, or behaviors by presenting compelling arguments and supporting evidence while appealing to their emotions.

Today, we prepared a guide to help you write a persuasive speech and succeed in your performance, which will surprise your audience. We will:

  • Understand how to connect with your audience.
  • Give you persuasive speech tips.
  • Provide you with the best structure for a persuasive speech outline.
  • Prepare yourself for rebuttals!
  • Talk about the importance of flow in your speech.
  • Discover additional resources for continuous improvement.

Let’s begin this journey together!

Guidance on Selecting an Effective and Relevant Topic

The most important thing in convincing speeches is the topic. Indeed, you must understand the purpose of your speech to succeed. Before preparing for your performance, you should understand what you want to discuss! To do that, you can:

  • Choose a compelling speech topic relevant to your audience’s interests and concerns.
  • Find common interests or problems to form a genuine relationship.
  • Remember that a persuasive speech format should be adapted to your audience’s needs and ideals. Make your content relevant and appealing.

And if you are struggling on this step, PapersOwl is already here to help you! Opt to choose persuasive speech topics and find the one that feels perfect for you.

Strategies for Connecting With Different Types of Audiences

A successful persuasive speech connects you with your audience. To do that, you should really know how to connect yourself to people.

Thus, the speaker connects with and persuades the audience by using emotions such as sympathy or fear. Therefore, you can successfully connect with different types of audiences through different emotions. You can do it by showing that you have something in common with the audience. For example, demonstrate that you have a comparable history or an emotional connection. Additionally, include personal stories or even make a part of a speech about yourself to allow your audience to relate to your story.

Developing Your Thesis Statement

When you give a persuasive speech, there should be a thesis statement demonstrating that your goal is to enlighten the audience rather than convince them.

A thesis statement in persuasive speaking serves as the central argument or main point, guiding the entire presentation. A successful thesis anchors your speech and briefly expresses your position on the subject, giving a road map for both you and your audience.

For instance, in pushing for renewable energy, a thesis may be: “Transitioning to renewable sources is imperative for a sustainable future, mitigating environmental impact and fostering energy independence.” This statement summarizes the argument and foreshadows the supporting points.

Overview of speech structure (introduction, body, conclusion)

The key elements of a persuasive speech are:

  • introduction (hook, thesis, preview);
  • body (main points with supporting details and transitions);
  • conclusion (summary, restated thesis, closing statement).

Let’s look closer at how to structure them to write a good persuasive speech.

Writing the Introduction

The introduction to persuasive speech is crucial. The very beginning of your discourse determines your whole performance, drawing in your audience and creating a foundation for trust and engagement. Remember, it’s your opportunity to make a memorable first impression, ensuring your listeners are intrigued and receptive to your message.

Start off a persuasive speech with an enticing quotation, image, video, or engaging tale; it can entice people to listen. As we mentioned before, you may connect your speech to the audience and what they are interested in. Establish credibility by showcasing your expertise or connecting with shared values. Ultimately, ensure your thesis is clear and outline which specific purpose statement is most important in your persuasive speech.

Body of Your Speech

After choosing the topic and writing an intro, it’s time to concentrate on one of the most critical parts of a persuasive speech: the body.

The main body of your speech should provide the audience with several convincing reasons to support your viewpoint. In this part of your speech, create engaging primary points by offering strong supporting evidence — use statistics, illustrations, or expert quotations to strengthen each argument. Also, don’t forget to include storytelling for an emotional connection with your audience. If you follow this combination, it will for sure make a speech persuasive!

Concluding Effectively

After succeeding in writing the main points, it is time to end a persuasive speech! Indeed, a call to action in persuasive speech is vital, so we recommend you end your performance with it. After listening to your argument and proof, you want the audience to make a move. Restate your purpose statement, summarize the topic, and reinforce your points by restating the logical evidence you’ve provided.

Techniques for Creating a Coherent Flow of Ideas

Your ideas should flow smoothly and naturally connect to strengthen the persuasive speech structure . You can do this by employing transitional words and organizing your thoughts methodically, ensuring that each point flows effortlessly into the next.

Importance of Transitions Between Points

No one can underestimate the importance of transition. They are important persuasive speech elements. Thus, each idea must flow smoothly into the following one with linking phrases so your speech has a logical flow. Effective transitions signal shifts, aiding audience comprehension and improving the overall structure of the speech.

Importance of Tone and Style Adjustments Based on the Audience

To be persuasive in a speech, don’t forget to analyze your audience in advance, if possible. Customizing your approach to specific listeners encourages their engagement. A thorough awareness of your target audience’s tastes, expectations, and cultural subtleties ensures that your message connects, making it more approachable and appealing to the people you seek to reach.

Prepare for Rebuttals

Still, be aware that there may be different people in the audience. The main point of persuasive speaking is to convince people of your ideas. Be prepared for rebuttals and that they might attack you. Extensively research opposing points of view to prove yours. You may manage any objections with elegance by being prepared and polite, reaffirming the strength of your argument.

Use Simple Statistics

We’ve already discussed that different techniques may reach different audiences. You could also incorporate simple data to lend credibility to your persuasive talk. Balance emotional appeal with plain numerical statistics to create a captivating blend that will appeal to a wide audience.

Practicing Your Speech

We all have heard Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote, “Practice makes perfect.” Even though he said it hundreds of years ago, it still works for everything, including persuasive public speaking! Consequently, you can improve your text with these pieces of advice:

  • Go through and edit your persuasive speech sample.
  • Practice your speech with body language and voice variation to find the perfect way to perform it.
  • Reduce anxiety by practicing in front of a mirror or telling it to someone ready to provide you with valuable feedback.
  • Embrace pauses for emphasis, and work on regulating your pace.

It will help you to know your content well, increase confidence, and promote a polished delivery, resulting in a dynamic and engaging speech to persuade your audience.

Additional Resources to Master Your Speech

PapersOwl wants you to ace your speech! We recommend using additional sources to help master your persuasive speech presentation!

  • For inspiration, study any example of persuasive speech from a famous speaker, such as Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” or Steve Jobs’ Stanford commencement address. Analyzing these speeches can provide valuable insights into effective communication techniques.
  • Explore Coursera’s course “Speaking to Persuade: Motivating Audiences With Solid Arguments and Moving Language” by the University of Washington.
  • Go through different persuasive speech examples for students around the internet, for instance, “Talk Like TED” by Carmine Gallo.

Make your persuasive speech successful by continuously learning and drawing inspiration from accomplished speakers!

Master the Art of Persuasion With PapersOwl

In conclusion, speaking to persuade is an art that helps convince with words . You can craft it by following our tips: include a well-structured persuasive speech introduction, a compelling body, and memorable conclusion. To ace your speech, practice it in advance, be ready for rebuttals, and confidently state your message. The secret lies in blending both for a nuanced and compelling communication style, ensuring your message resonates with diverse audiences in various contexts.

Nevertheless, writing a persuasive speech that can hold your audience’s attention might be difficult. You do not need to step on this path alone. You may quickly construct a persuasive speech that is both successful and well-organized by working with PapersOwl.com . We’ll be there for you every step, from developing a convincing argument to confidently giving the speech. Just send us a message, “ write a speech for me ,” and enjoy the results!

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Writing a persuasive speech

By:  Susan Dugdale   | Last modified: 04-24-2023

Getting started with a 7 point action plan

To help you through the process of writing a persuasive speech from beginning to end, here's a 7 step checklist.

To get the most from it move through it sequentially - point by point.  You'll find links to topic suggestion pages, explanations about how to structure your speech and the importance of audience analysis with examples and more.

In my experience, a successful persuasive speech can't be flicked out in five minutes! There may be brilliantly competent speakers who can do it if they know their subject, and their audience inside out. However the rest of us, me included, have to put the time in to achieve what we want to. ☺

Quick links to get around this page easily

Checklist for writing a persuasive speech

1. Selecting a persuasive speech topic

If you've already got a speech topic move on to setting a goal . For those who don't, read on.

A major part of the challenge of writing a persuasive speech can be choosing what to speak about.

If you're preparing the speech as part of a class exercise or for a public speaking club like Toastmasters you have seemingly unlimited choice. And that can be bewildering! The possibilities are vast. How do you narrow them down?

The answer is to choose something that you genuinely care about, fits the occasion AND that you know your audience will be interested in.

Speech topic suggestions to explore

Label - 1032 persuasive speech topics

  • 100  Persuasive speech ideas
  • 50  Good persuasive speech topics
  • 105  Fun persuasive speech topics
  • 309  'Easy' persuasive speech topics
  • 310 Persuasive speech topics for college
  • 108 Feminist persuasive speech topics

Return to Top

2. Setting a goal

The goal of writing a persuasive speech is to change or move the audience toward accepting your position on the topic.  An essential part of that is knowing exactly what it is you want to achieve.

There are degrees of change. Do you want a little, or a lot?

Most wanted response or MWR

What you decide is called your  most wanted response  or MWR.

A realistic MWR is reached through analysis of your audience in relation to your topic.

Example: My topic is "obesity in children".

Audience - who are they.

I am speaking to mothers whose children all attend the same kindergarten.

The staff are concerned about the number of children who are over weight for their age.

The children mostly come from homes where both parents work.

Cartoon strip of children playing

Current food habits as reported by kindergarten staff

Food is bought already made up for a variety of reasons including time saving, convenience, and a lack of knowledge about how to prepare it any other way.

'Treat' food (sweets, cake etc.) is also used to pacify and/or to reinforce good behavior.

Fussy or picky eating is allowed principally because the effort and time required to change already established patterns is difficult to find.

The problem is compounded by lack of exercise.

Most Wanted Response (MWR) options

In setting the goal (MWR) for the speech I need to decide what approach will achieve the best results.

Do I want to influence the mothers to open their minds to the idea that allowing a child to establish habitual unhealthy eating patterns is detrimental to their children's growth and development?

Or do I want them to stop using treat and pre-prepared foods immediately and only offer home cooked healthy options instead?

The first approach is softly-softly. The second is direct or hard hitting.

3. Audience analysis

Who is your audience.

How you persuade, and your MWR (goal) is most effectively established when you understand who you are talking to.

In relation to the topic you're going to speak about are they:

  • Hostile - actively don't want to hear what you have to say for many reasons which may include prejudice, fear, ignorance, inertia, cultural difference, differing values/beliefs ...
  • Neutral - no decided opinion or beliefs and therefore no investment toward maintaining the current state or moving toward a new one. This is the middle ground.
  • Motivated - actively seeking to change. These people are already aware of the 'problem' and are looking for solutions. They want to hear what you have to tell them and are likely to be ready to be convinced of the rightness of your solution.

What else do you need to know?

Aside from their anticipated baseline attitude, (hostile, neutral, motivated), toward your speech topic, what else would be useful to know about your audience?

Find out their:

  • General Age
  • Shared fears, concerns or problems
  • Cultural background(s)
  • Shared interests, beliefs, values, goals, hopes, desires
  • What obstacles there are to adopting the change you desire

The more you can find out, the more you can tailor writing a persuasive speech (including tone and language choice), and your MWR to fit.

For instance, going back to the obesity in children example above, we could decide,  given what we've found out about the audience, the hard-hitting approach would generate too many obstacles to overcome.

Therefore we will be writing a persuasive speech with a non-threatening MWR that has mothers accepting a pamphlet on children's healthy snack choices to take home.

4. Keep it local

Where possible draw your examples from local material. The reason is we are more likely to care or respond when we actively know who or what is involved firsthand. We identify, and the more we identify, the more invested we are in finding a solution. The situation becomes real to us and we care.

5. Evidence and empathy

An essential part of putting together a good persuasive speech is finding credible evidence to support your argument.

Seek out reputable, reliable, quotable sources to back the points you make. Without them your speech will fail its purpose.

Persuasion is a synthesis of emotional as well as intellectual appeal.

Emotional content will be dismissed unless it is properly backed. Conversely purely intellectual content will be dismissed if it lacks empathy or feeling. You need both - in equal measure.

6. Balance and obstacles

Seek out and address the opposition's arguments, or obstacles in the path of adopting your course of action, fairly and respectfully. Find the elements you share. Openly acknowledge and be clear about them. This builds credibility and trust and as a result your points of departure are more likely to be listened to.

7. Choosing a structural pattern

Once you've decided your topic and its angle, done your audience analysis, fixed what you want to achieve (MWR), researched for evidence, and addressed the obstacles, you're finally ready to begin writing.

What pattern or model will you use?

Image - diagram naming 4 structural patterns for persuasive speeches

There is more than one.

Have a look at each of the four below to see which best suits your topic, speech purpose and audience.

1) Monroe's Motivated Sequence

Alan H Monroe

This is a tried and tested model developed in the 1930's by Allan H Monroe. Monroe's Motivated Sequence follows the normal mind-flow or thought sequence someone goes through when someone else is persuading them to do something.

It's a pattern used over and over again by the professional persuaders:  marketers, advertisers, politicians ...

Monroe's Motivated Sequence in action

You can find out more about the five steps involved in writing a persuasive speech using  Monroe's Motivated Sequence  here. There's an explanation with examples of each step, and a printable blank outline template to download.

There's also an  example persuasive speech  to read that uses the method.

2) Problem/Solution

This is a two step pattern. The first part outlines/explains the problem and the second provides the solution which includes meeting the obstacles and giving evidence.

3) Comparison

In this pattern the method is to compare an item/object/idea/action against another similar item/object/idea/action and establish why the item/object/idea/action you are supporting is superior.

Example: Why a SBI website is better than a Wordpress site if you want to build an online business

  • Reason One Wordpress primarily is a blogging platform and blogging is not a business model
  • Reason Two Wordpress does not supply fully integrated step-by-step instructions to build a sustainable e-business
  • Reason Three Wordpress does not provide its users with constant and fully tested upgrades/updating

With each comparison point compelling, relevant evidence is provided and obstacles are met.

(If you're curious check out the SBI v Wordpress comparison. There are many more than three reasons why SBI is the preferred online business platform! Wordpress or SBI? And these days you can actually have both through SBI.)

4) Using the negative to persuade

In this model the reasons why you are against the opposition of your chosen topic are highlighted.

Example: The topic is Teenage Binge Drinking and the angle is to persuade parents to take more control

  • Leads to anti-social behavior - for example, mindless vandalism, drunk-driving, and unprotected sex 
  • Impacts on growing brains - an overview of current research
  • Has implications for developing addictions - alcoholism, nicotine ...

Each negative reason is backed with evidence. One piles on top the other creating an urgency to solve the problem. Your positive solution coming at the end of the speech clinches the argument.

how do u start a persuasive speech

More speech resources

For more about the processes involved in writing a successful speech check these pages:

  • Using storytelling effectively

Quote: The universe is made of stories, not atoms. Muriel Rukeyser - The Speed of Darkness.

For more about delivering your persuasive speech persuasively please don't overlook these pages. They are gold! Writing is a only part of the process. How you deliver completes it.

  • How to rehearse
  • Using vocal variety
  • Return to the top of the page  

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how do u start a persuasive speech

Module 10: Persuasive Speaking

Structure of a persuasive speech, learning objectives.

Identify characteristic structures of a persuasive speech.

In many ways, a persuasive speech is structured like an informative speech. It has an introduction with an attention-getter and a clear thesis statement. It also has a body where the speaker presents their main points and it ends with a conclusion that sums up the main point of the speech.

The biggest difference is that the primary purpose of an informative speech is to explain whereas the primary purpose of a persuasive speech is to advocate the audience adopt a point of view or take a course of action. A persuasive speech, in other words, is an argument  supported by well-thought-out reasons and relevant, appropriate, and credible supporting evidence.

We can classify persuasive speeches into three broad categories:

  • The widely used pesticide Atrazine is extremely harmful to amphibians.
  • All house-cats should  be kept indoors to protect the songbird population.
  • Offshore tax havens, while legal, are immoral and unpatriotic .

The organizational pattern we select and the type of supporting material we use should support the overall argument we are making.

The informative speech organizational patterns we covered earlier can work for a persuasive speech as well. In addition, the following organization patterns are especially suited to persuasive speeches (these are covered in more detail in Module 6: Organizing and Outlining Your Speech):

  • Causal : Also known as cause-effect, the causal pattern describes some cause and then identifies what effects resulted from the cause. This can be a useful pattern to use when you are speaking about the positive or negative consequences of taking a particular action.
  • Problem-solution : With this organizational pattern, you provide two main points. The first main point focuses on a problem that exists and the second details your proposed solution to the problem. This is an especially good organization pattern for speeches arguing for policy changes.
  • Problem-cause-solution: This is a variation of the problem-solution organizational pattern. A three-step organizational pattern where the speaker starts by explaining the problem, then explains the causes of the problem, and lastly proposes a solution to the problem.
  • Comparative advantage : A speaker compares two or more things or ideas and explains why one of the things or ideas has more advantages or is better than the other.
  • Monroe’s motivated sequence : An organizational pattern that is a more elaborate variation of the problem-cause-solution pattern.  We’ll go into more depth on Monroe’s motivated sequence on the next page.
  • Structure of a Persuasive Speech. Authored by : Mike Randolph with Lumen Learning. License : CC BY: Attribution

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Persuasive Speech Outline, with Examples

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 .

Ideas for a persuasive speech

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.

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.

Speech structure and speech argument for a persuasive speech outline.

Obama would spend hours with his team working on the opening and closing statements of his speech.

2. Stating your argument

You should  pick between 2 and 4 themes  to discuss during your speech so that you have enough time to explain your viewpoint and convince your audience to the same way of thinking.

It’s important that each of your points transitions seamlessly into the next one so that your speech has a logical flow. Work on your  connecting sentences  between each of your themes so that your speech is easy to listen to.

Your argument should be backed up by objective research and not purely your subjective opinion. Use examples, analogies, and stories so that the audience can relate more easily to your topic, and therefore are more likely to be persuaded to your point of view.

3. Addressing counter-arguments

Any balanced theory or thought  addresses and disputes counter-arguments  made against it. By addressing these, you’ll strengthen your persuasive speech by refuting your audience’s objections and you’ll show that you are knowledgeable to other thoughts on the topic.

When describing an opposing point of view, don’t explain it in a bias way – explain it in the same way someone who holds that view would describe it. That way, you won’t irritate members of your audience who disagree with you and you’ll show that you’ve reached your point of view through reasoned judgement. Simply identify any counter-argument and pose explanations against them.

  • Complete Guide to Debating

4. Closing your speech

Your closing line of your speech is your last chance to convince your audience about what you’re saying. It’s also most likely to be the sentence they remember most about your entire speech so make sure it’s a good one!

The most effective persuasive speeches end  with a  call to action . For example, if you’ve been speaking about organ donation, your call to action might be asking the audience to register as donors.

Practice answering AI questions on your speech and get  feedback on your performance .

If audience members ask you questions, make sure you listen carefully and respectfully to the full question. Don’t interject in the middle of a question or become defensive.

You should show that you have carefully considered their viewpoint and refute it in an objective way (if you have opposing opinions). Ensure you remain patient, friendly and polite at all times.

Example 1: Persuasive speech outline

This example is from the Kentucky Community and Technical College.

Specific purpose

To persuade my audience to start walking in order to improve their health.

Central idea

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?

Continue reading

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.

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How to write a persuasive speech

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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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Persuasive Speeches — Types, Topics, and Examples

What is a persuasive speech.

In a persuasive speech, the speaker aims to convince the audience to accept a particular perspective on a person, place, object, idea, etc. The speaker strives to cause the audience to accept the point of view presented in the speech.

The success of a persuasive speech often relies on the speaker’s use of ethos, pathos, and logos.

Success of a persuasive speech

Ethos is the speaker’s credibility. Audiences are more likely to accept an argument if they find the speaker trustworthy. To establish credibility during a persuasive speech, speakers can do the following:

Use familiar language.

Select examples that connect to the specific audience.

Utilize credible and well-known sources.

Logically structure the speech in an audience-friendly way.

Use appropriate eye contact, volume, pacing, and inflection.

Pathos appeals to the audience’s emotions. Speakers who create an emotional bond with their audience are typically more convincing. Tapping into the audience’s emotions can be accomplished through the following:

Select evidence that can elicit an emotional response.

Use emotionally-charged words. (The city has a problem … vs. The city has a disease …)

Incorporate analogies and metaphors that connect to a specific emotion to draw a parallel between the reference and topic.

Utilize vivid imagery and sensory words, allowing the audience to visualize the information.

Employ an appropriate tone, inflection, and pace to reflect the emotion.

Logos appeals to the audience’s logic by offering supporting evidence. Speakers can improve their logical appeal in the following ways:

Use comprehensive evidence the audience can understand.

Confirm the evidence logically supports the argument’s claims and stems from credible sources.

Ensure that evidence is specific and avoid any vague or questionable information.

Types of persuasive speeches

The three main types of persuasive speeches are factual, value, and policy.

Types of persuasive speeches

A factual persuasive speech focuses solely on factual information to prove the existence or absence of something through substantial proof. This is the only type of persuasive speech that exclusively uses objective information rather than subjective. As such, the argument does not rely on the speaker’s interpretation of the information. Essentially, a factual persuasive speech includes historical controversy, a question of current existence, or a prediction:

Historical controversy concerns whether an event happened or whether an object actually existed.

Questions of current existence involve the knowledge that something is currently happening.

Predictions incorporate the analysis of patterns to convince the audience that an event will happen again.

A value persuasive speech concerns the morality of a certain topic. Speakers incorporate facts within these speeches; however, the speaker’s interpretation of those facts creates the argument. These speeches are highly subjective, so the argument cannot be proven to be absolutely true or false.

A policy persuasive speech centers around the speaker’s support or rejection of a public policy, rule, or law. Much like a value speech, speakers provide evidence supporting their viewpoint; however, they provide subjective conclusions based on the facts they provide.

How to write a persuasive speech

Incorporate the following steps when writing a persuasive speech:

Step 1 – Identify the type of persuasive speech (factual, value, or policy) that will help accomplish the goal of the presentation.

Step 2 – Select a good persuasive speech topic to accomplish the goal and choose a position .

How to write a persuasive speech

Step 3 – Locate credible and reliable sources and identify evidence in support of the topic/position. Revisit Step 2 if there is a lack of relevant resources.

Step 4 – Identify the audience and understand their baseline attitude about the topic.

Step 5 – When constructing an introduction , keep the following questions in mind:

What’s the topic of the speech?

What’s the occasion?

Who’s the audience?

What’s the purpose of the speech?

Step 6 – Utilize the evidence within the previously identified sources to construct the body of the speech. Keeping the audience in mind, determine which pieces of evidence can best help develop the argument. Discuss each point in detail, allowing the audience to understand how the facts support the perspective.

Step 7 – Addressing counterarguments can help speakers build their credibility, as it highlights their breadth of knowledge.

Step 8 – Conclude the speech with an overview of the central purpose and how the main ideas identified in the body support the overall argument.

How to write a persuasive speech

Persuasive speech outline

One of the best ways to prepare a great persuasive speech is by using an outline. When structuring an outline, include an introduction, body, and conclusion:


Attention Grabbers

Ask a question that allows the audience to respond in a non-verbal way; ask a rhetorical question that makes the audience think of the topic without requiring a response.

Incorporate a well-known quote that introduces the topic. Using the words of a celebrated individual gives credibility and authority to the information in the speech.

Offer a startling statement or information about the topic, typically done using data or statistics.

Provide a brief anecdote or story that relates to the topic.

Starting a speech with a humorous statement often makes the audience more comfortable with the speaker.

Provide information on how the selected topic may impact the audience .

Include any background information pertinent to the topic that the audience needs to know to understand the speech in its entirety.

Give the thesis statement in connection to the main topic and identify the main ideas that will help accomplish the central purpose.

Identify evidence

Summarize its meaning

Explain how it helps prove the support/main claim

Evidence 3 (Continue as needed)

Support 3 (Continue as needed)

Restate thesis

Review main supports

Concluding statement

Give the audience a call to action to do something specific.

Identify the overall importan ce of the topic and position.

Persuasive speech topics

The following table identifies some common or interesting persuasive speech topics for high school and college students:

Persuasive speech topics
Benefits of healthy foods Animal testing Affirmative action
Cell phone use while driving Arts in education Credit cards
Climate change Capital punishment/death penalty Fossil fuels
Extinction of the dinosaurs Community service Fracking
Extraterrestrial life Fast food & obesity Global warming
Gun violence Human cloning Gun control
Increase in poverty Influence of social media Mental health/health care
Moon landing Paying college athletes Minimum wage
Pandemics Screen time for young children Renewable energy
Voting rights Violent video games School choice/private vs. public schools vs. homeschooling
World hunger Zoos & exotic animals School uniforms

Persuasive speech examples

The following list identifies some of history’s most famous persuasive speeches:

John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address: “Ask Not What Your Country Can Do for You”

Lyndon B. Johnson: “We Shall Overcome”

Marc Antony: “Friends, Romans, Countrymen…” in William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

Ronald Reagan: “Tear Down this Wall”

Sojourner Truth: “Ain’t I a Woman?”

National Speech & Debate Association

Tips for Writing a Persuasive Speech

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How to Write an Outline for a Persuasive Speech, with Examples

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Jim Peterson has over 20 years experience on speech writing. He wrote over 300 free speech topic ideas and how-to guides for any kind of public speaking and speech writing assignments at My Speech Class.

How to Write an Outline for a Persuasive Speech, with Examples intro image

Persuasive speeches are one of the three most used speeches in our daily lives. Persuasive speech is used when presenters decide to convince their presentation or ideas to their listeners. A compelling speech aims to persuade the listener to believe in a particular point of view. One of the most iconic examples is Martin Luther King’s ‘I had a dream’ speech on the 28th of August 1963.

In this article:

What is Persuasive Speech?

Here are some steps to follow:, persuasive speech outline, final thoughts.

Man Touches the Word Persuasion on Screen

Persuasive speech is a written and delivered essay to convince people of the speaker’s viewpoint or ideas. Persuasive speaking is the type of speaking people engage in the most. This type of speech has a broad spectrum, from arguing about politics to talking about what to have for dinner. Persuasive speaking is highly connected to the audience, as in a sense, the speaker has to meet the audience halfway.

Persuasive Speech Preparation

Persuasive speech preparation doesn’t have to be difficult, as long as you select your topic wisely and prepare thoroughly.

1. Select a Topic and Angle

Come up with a controversial topic that will spark a heated debate, regardless of your position. This could be about anything. Choose a topic that you are passionate about. Select a particular angle to focus on to ensure that your topic isn’t too broad. Research the topic thoroughly, focussing on key facts, arguments for and against your angle, and background.

2. Define Your Persuasive Goal

Once you have chosen your topic, it’s time to decide what your goal is to persuade the audience. Are you trying to persuade them in favor of a certain position or issue? Are you hoping that they change their behavior or an opinion due to your speech? Do you want them to decide to purchase something or donate money to a cause? Knowing your goal will help you make wise decisions about approaching writing and presenting your speech.

3. Analyze the Audience

Understanding your audience’s perspective is critical anytime that you are writing a speech. This is even more important when it comes to a persuasive speech because not only are you wanting to get the audience to listen to you, but you are also hoping for them to take a particular action in response to your speech. First, consider who is in the audience. Consider how the audience members are likely to perceive the topic you are speaking on to better relate to them on the subject. Grasp the obstacles audience members face or have regarding the topic so you can build appropriate persuasive arguments to overcome these obstacles.

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4. Build an Effective Persuasive Argument

Once you have a clear goal, you are knowledgeable about the topic and, have insights regarding your audience, you will be ready to build an effective persuasive argument to deliver in the form of a persuasive speech. 

Start by deciding what persuasive techniques are likely to help you persuade your audience. Would an emotional and psychological appeal to your audience help persuade them? Is there a good way to sway the audience with logic and reason? Is it possible that a bandwagon appeal might be effective?

5. Outline Your Speech

Once you know which persuasive strategies are most likely to be effective, your next step is to create a keyword outline to organize your main points and structure your persuasive speech for maximum impact on the audience.

Start strong, letting your audience know what your topic is, why it matters and, what you hope to achieve at the end of your speech. List your main points, thoroughly covering each point, being sure to build the argument for your position and overcome opposing perspectives. Conclude your speech by appealing to your audience to act in a way that will prove that you persuaded them successfully. Motivation is a big part of persuasion.

6. Deliver a Winning Speech

Select appropriate visual aids to share with your audiences, such as graphs, photos, or illustrations. Practice until you can deliver your speech confidently. Maintain eye contact, project your voice and, avoid using filler words or any form of vocal interference. Let your passion for the subject shine through. Your enthusiasm may be what sways the audience. 

Close-Up of Mans Hands Persuading Someone

Topic: What topic are you trying to persuade your audience on?

Specific Purpose:  

Central idea:

  • Attention grabber – This is potentially the most crucial line. If the audience doesn’t like the opening line, they might be less inclined to listen to the rest of your speech.
  • Thesis – This statement is used to inform the audience of the speaker’s mindset and try to get the audience to see the issue their way.
  • Qualifications – Tell the audience why you are qualified to speak about the topic to persuade them.

After the introductory portion of the speech is over, the speaker starts presenting reasons to the audience to provide support for the statement. After each reason, the speaker will list examples to provide a factual argument to sway listeners’ opinions.

  • Example 1 – Support for the reason given above.
  • Example 2 – Support for the reason given above.

The most important part of a persuasive speech is the conclusion, second to the introduction and thesis statement. This is where the speaker must sum up and tie all of their arguments into an organized and solid point.

  • Summary: Briefly remind the listeners why they should agree with your position.
  • Memorable ending/ Audience challenge: End your speech with a powerful closing thought or recommend a course of action.
  • Thank the audience for listening.

Persuasive Speech Outline Examples

Male and Female Whispering into the Ear of Another Female

Topic: Walking frequently can improve both your mental and physical health.

Specific Purpose: To persuade the audience to start walking to improve their health.

Central idea: Regular walking can improve your mental and physical health.

Life has become all about convenience and ease lately. We have dishwashers, so we don’t have to wash dishes by hand with electric scooters, so we don’t have to paddle while riding. I mean, isn’t it ridiculous?

Today’s luxuries have been welcomed by the masses. They have also been accused of turning us into passive, lethargic sloths. As a reformed sloth, I know how easy it can be to slip into the convenience of things and not want to move off the couch. I want to persuade you to start walking.

Americans lead a passive lifestyle at the expense of their own health.

  • This means that we spend approximately 40% of our leisure time in front of the TV.
  • Ironically, it is also reported that Americans don’t like many of the shows that they watch.
  • Today’s studies indicate that people were experiencing higher bouts of depression than in the 18th and 19th centuries, when work and life were considered problematic.
  • The article reports that 12.6% of Americans suffer from anxiety, and 9.5% suffer from severe depression.
  • Present the opposition’s claim and refute an argument.
  • Nutritionist Phyllis Hall stated that we tend to eat foods high in fat, which produces high levels of cholesterol in our blood, which leads to plaque build-up in our arteries.
  • While modifying our diet can help us decrease our risk for heart disease, studies have indicated that people who don’t exercise are at an even greater risk.

In closing, I urge you to start walking more. Walking is a simple, easy activity. Park further away from stores and walk. Walk instead of driving to your nearest convenience store. Take 20 minutes and enjoy a walk around your neighborhood. Hide the TV remote, move off the couch and, walk. Do it for your heart.

Thank you for listening!

Topic: Less screen time can improve your sleep.

Specific Purpose: To persuade the audience to stop using their screens two hours before bed.

Central idea: Ceasing electronics before bed will help you achieve better sleep.

Who doesn’t love to sleep? I don’t think I have ever met anyone who doesn’t like getting a good night’s sleep. Sleep is essential for our bodies to rest and repair themselves.

I love sleeping and, there is no way that I would be able to miss out on a good night’s sleep.

As someone who has had trouble sleeping due to taking my phone into bed with me and laying in bed while entertaining myself on my phone till I fall asleep, I can say that it’s not the healthiest habit, and we should do whatever we can to change it.

  • Our natural blue light source is the sun.
  • Bluelight is designed to keep us awake.
  • Bluelight makes our brain waves more active.
  • We find it harder to sleep when our brain waves are more active.
  • Having a good night’s rest will improve your mood.
  • Being fully rested will increase your productivity.

Using electronics before bed will stimulate your brainwaves and make it more difficult for you to sleep. Bluelight tricks our brains into a false sense of daytime and, in turn, makes it more difficult for us to sleep. So, put down those screens if you love your sleep!

Thank the audience for listening

A persuasive speech is used to convince the audience of the speaker standing on a certain subject. To have a successful persuasive speech, doing the proper planning and executing your speech with confidence will help persuade the audience of your standing on the topic you chose. Persuasive speeches are used every day in the world around us, from planning what’s for dinner to arguing about politics. It is one of the most widely used forms of speech and, with proper planning and execution, you can sway any audience.

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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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22 Ways On How To Start A Persuasive Speech

Learn 22 proven ways on how to start a persuasive speech / presentation

If you want to convince your audience to take action, you better know how to start a persuasive speech, or else you will loose right at the start. The first 10 to 20 seconds of your presentation is the time when you have the most attention. Use this time wisely with awesome presentation openers.

Time to Overthink your Presentation Openers

If you don’t capture your audience’s attention right away you’ve probably lost it forever. Chances are that after the first 60 seconds (at the latest) people’s thoughts will drift off to thoughts like: “What am I gonna have for lunch today?”, “Has my daughter done her homework?”, “Where did I put my phone?”

You get the point: you need to hook up your audience from the moment you enter the stage or stand up to give a short talk. Time to think about a presentation opener that will blow them away.

Start before you say the first word

Don’t think of your presentation opener only as the actual words you’re gonna say. Your opener starts before you even open your mouth: it’s the way you enter the stage, the way you smile at the audience, the way you’re dressed, your voice and body language. So prepare yourself, stand tall, smile, be enthusiastic!

Don’t start by introducing yourself

In case you’re asking yourself whether you should introduce yourself first: the answer is no . At least not in the traditional way. Chances are your audience already knows who you are; either they are working with you, they read your name on the speakers list or heard you being introduced by a moderator. Remember that your presentation should always be about the audience – not about you. Don’t waste the critical first seconds introducing yourself.

Hi, my name is Bob, I have 22 years working experience in the field of Presentation Coachings and am currently writing a book on Powerpoint and today I will talk about the history of stuttering. I have worked with many people in this field and I have learnt that (…) blablablabla

Wanna know a guaranteed way of boring your audience to death the moment you open your mouth? This is it. Have you ever heard Steve Jobs open his presentation with “Hi my name is Steve”? Chances are you haven’t. Not only because the world knew who he is anyways – also, because it’s just a bad opener. Why? People wanna know what’s in for them. They are far less interested in you as you might think.

You are not as interesting as you think

Your presentation should be about your audience and what they can take away from it. So if you have to introduce yourself: do it in the context of your presentation and do it only after you’ve hooked the audience up.

How to start a persuasive speech or presentation? Hook them up!

So coming to the point: You need to capture your audience’s attention right away. How can you do this? Here are our favorite tactics:

Surprise/ Shock: Shocking or surprising your audience with statistics or facts is a great way of getting their attention. As said before: give them the most interesting piece of information right away. You can still explain it later.

$3 Mio (Pause) This is the value of sales we have forgone last year ” is a much better opener than “Today we’re going to discuss last year’s sales figures”. “ The world’s richest 1 percent is now wealthier than the rest of humanity combined ” will shock people rather than “Today we’re gonna talk about income inequality.

Story: We all love stories and engaging people with a surprising or funny anecdote is one of the best ways to get your point across. Take Steve Job’s famous commencement speech at Stanford as an example:

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories. The first story is about connecting the dots. (…)

It’s surprising, confusing and it makes people curious. He’s taking his audience on a journey.

Humor: Make the audience laugh and they’ll love you. Humor is one of the best presentation openers ever (if used correctly). There are few things that make us connect to another person as easily as by laughing together. But be careful: make sure your joke fits the context.

Rhetorical Question

Engage your audience right away by asking them questions. Look at the first paragraph of   Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk :

How do you explain when things don’t go as we assume? Or better, how do you explain when others are able to achieve things that seem to defy all of the assumptions? For example: Why is Apple so innovative? Year after year, after year, they’re more innovative than all their competition. And yet, they’re just a computer company. They’re just like everyone else. They have the same access to the same talent,the same agencies, the same consultants, the same media . Then why is it that they seem to have something different? Why is it that Martin Luther King led the Civil Rights Movement? He wasn’t the only man who suffered in pre-civil rights America, and he certainly wasn’t the only great orator of the day. Why him?

It’s a 20 second introduction just consisting of questions and one of the presentation openers that grab your attention right away.

Video/ Graphics: If it’s a product presentation why don’t you simply show them the product? This is what they came for. Or show them a short video. This is a great way if you’re battling stage fright. It hooks up the audience for you while you get the chance to concentrate on your next steps.

There are countless ways of opening your presentation. Choose a presentation opener that makes sense for your topic and practice it a few times. Try it next time you’re addressing your audience and you’ll see the results.

Download a list of 22 ingenious presentation openers NOW

how do u start a persuasive speech

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112 Persuasive Speech Topics That Are Actually Engaging

What’s covered:, how to pick an awesome persuasive speech topic, 112 engaging persuasive speech topics, tips for preparing your persuasive speech.

Writing a stellar persuasive speech requires a carefully crafted argument that will resonate with your audience to sway them to your side. This feat can be challenging to accomplish, but an engaging, thought-provoking speech topic is an excellent place to start.

When it comes time to select a topic for your persuasive speech, you may feel overwhelmed by all the options to choose from—or your brain may be drawing a completely blank slate. If you’re having trouble thinking of the perfect topic, don’t worry. We’re here to help!

In this post, we’re sharing how to choose the perfect persuasive speech topic and tips to prepare for your speech. Plus, you’ll find 112 persuasive speech topics that you can take directly from us or use as creative inspiration for your own ideas!

Choose Something You’re Passionate About

It’s much easier to write, research, and deliver a speech about a cause you care about. Even if it’s challenging to find a topic that completely sparks your interest, try to choose a topic that aligns with your passions.

However, keep in mind that not everyone has the same interests as you. Try to choose a general topic to grab the attention of the majority of your audience, but one that’s specific enough to keep them engaged.

For example, suppose you’re giving a persuasive speech about book censorship. In that case, it’s probably too niche to talk about why “To Kill a Mockingbird” shouldn’t be censored (even if it’s your favorite book), and it’s too broad to talk about media censorship in general.

Steer Clear of Cliches

Have you already heard a persuasive speech topic presented dozens of times? If so, it’s probably not an excellent choice for your speech—even if it’s an issue you’re incredibly passionate about.

Although polarizing topics like abortion and climate control are important to discuss, they aren’t great persuasive speech topics. Most people have already formed an opinion on these topics, which will either cause them to tune out or have a negative impression of your speech.

Instead, choose topics that are fresh, unique, and new. If your audience has never heard your idea presented before, they will be more open to your argument and engaged in your speech.

Have a Clear Side of Opposition

For a persuasive speech to be engaging, there must be a clear side of opposition. To help determine the arguability of your topic, ask yourself: “If I presented my viewpoint on this topic to a group of peers, would someone disagree with me?” If the answer is yes, then you’ve chosen a great topic!

Now that we’ve laid the groundwork for what it takes to choose a great persuasive speech topic, here are over one hundred options for you to choose from.

  • Should high school athletes get tested for steroids?
  • Should schools be required to have physical education courses?
  • Should sports grades in school depend on things like athletic ability?
  • What sport should be added to or removed from the Olympics?
  • Should college athletes be able to make money off of their merchandise?
  • Should sports teams be able to recruit young athletes without a college degree?
  • Should we consider video gamers as professional athletes?
  • Is cheerleading considered a sport?
  • Should parents allow their kids to play contact sports?
  • Should professional female athletes be paid the same as professional male athletes?
  • Should college be free at the undergraduate level?
  • Is the traditional college experience obsolete?
  • Should you choose a major based on your interests or your potential salary?
  • Should high school students have to meet a required number of service hours before graduating?
  • Should teachers earn more or less based on how their students perform on standardized tests?
  • Are private high schools more effective than public high schools?
  • Should there be a minimum number of attendance days required to graduate?
  • Are GPAs harmful or helpful?
  • Should schools be required to teach about standardized testing?
  • Should Greek Life be banned in the United States?
  • Should schools offer science classes explicitly about mental health?
  • Should students be able to bring their cell phones to school?
  • Should all public restrooms be all-gender?
  • Should undocumented immigrants have the same employment and education opportunities as citizens?
  • Should everyone be paid a living wage regardless of their employment status?
  • Should supremacist groups be able to hold public events?
  • Should guns be allowed in public places?
  • Should the national drinking age be lowered?
  • Should prisoners be allowed to vote?
  • Should the government raise or lower the retirement age?
  • Should the government be able to control the population?
  • Is the death penalty ethical?


  • Should stores charge customers for plastic bags?
  • Should breeding animals (dogs, cats, etc.) be illegal?
  • Is it okay to have exotic animals as pets?
  • Should people be fined for not recycling?
  • Should compost bins become mandatory for restaurants?
  • Should electric vehicles have their own transportation infrastructure?
  • Would heavier fining policies reduce corporations’ emissions?
  • Should hunting be encouraged or illegal?
  • Should reusable diapers replace disposable diapers?

Science & Technology

  • Is paper media more reliable than digital news sources?
  • Should automated/self-driving cars be legalized?
  • Should schools be required to provide laptops to all students?
  • Should software companies be able to have pre-downloaded programs and applications on devices?
  • Should drones be allowed in military warfare?
  • Should scientists invest more or less money into cancer research?
  • Should cloning be illegal?
  • Should societies colonize other planets?
  • Should there be legal oversight over the development of technology?

Social Media

  • Should there be an age limit on social media?
  • Should cyberbullying have the same repercussions as in-person bullying?
  • Are online relationships as valuable as in-person relationships?
  • Does “cancel culture” have a positive or negative impact on societies?
  • Are social media platforms reliable information or news sources?
  • Should social media be censored?
  • Does social media create an unrealistic standard of beauty?
  • Is regular social media usage damaging to real-life interactions?
  • Is social media distorting democracy?
  • How many branches of government should there be?
  • Who is the best/worst president of all time?
  • How long should judges serve in the U.S. Supreme Court?
  • Should a more significant portion of the U.S. budget be contributed towards education?
  • Should the government invest in rapid transcontinental transportation infrastructure?
  • Should airport screening be more or less stringent?
  • Should the electoral college be dismantled?
  • Should the U.S. have open borders?
  • Should the government spend more or less money on space exploration?
  • Should students sing Christmas carols, say the pledge of allegiance, or perform other tangentially religious activities?
  • Should nuns and priests become genderless roles?
  • Should schools and other public buildings have prayer rooms?
  • Should animal sacrifice be legal if it occurs in a religious context?
  • Should countries be allowed to impose a national religion on their citizens?
  • Should the church be separated from the state?
  • Does freedom of religion positively or negatively affect societies?

Parenting & Family

  • Is it better to have children at a younger or older age?
  • Is it better for children to go to daycare or stay home with their parents?
  • Does birth order affect personality?
  • Should parents or the school system teach their kids about sex?
  • Are family traditions important?
  • Should parents smoke or drink around young children?
  • Should “spanking” children be illegal?
  • Should parents use swear words in front of their children?
  • Should parents allow their children to play violent video games?


  • Should all actors be paid the same regardless of gender or ethnicity?
  • Should all award shows be based on popular vote?
  • Who should be responsible for paying taxes on prize money, the game show staff or the contestants?
  • Should movies and television shows have ethnicity and gender quotas?
  • Should newspapers and magazines move to a completely online format?
  • Should streaming services like Netflix and Hulu be free for students?
  • Is the movie rating system still effective?
  • Should celebrities have more privacy rights?

Arts & Humanities

  • Are libraries becoming obsolete?
  • Should all schools have mandatory art or music courses in their curriculum?
  • Should offensive language be censored from classic literary works?
  • Is it ethical for museums to keep indigenous artifacts?
  • Should digital designs be considered an art form? 
  • Should abstract art be considered an art form?
  • Is music therapy effective?
  • Should tattoos be regarded as “professional dress” for work?
  • Should schools place greater emphasis on the arts programs?
  • Should euthanasia be allowed in hospitals and other clinical settings?
  • Should the government support and implement universal healthcare?
  • Would obesity rates lower if the government intervened to make healthy foods more affordable?
  • Should teenagers be given access to birth control pills without parental consent?
  • Should food allergies be considered a disease?
  • Should health insurance cover homeopathic medicine?
  • Is using painkillers healthy?
  • Should genetically modified foods be banned?
  • Should there be a tax on unhealthy foods?
  • Should tobacco products be banned from the country?
  • Should the birth control pill be free for everyone?

If you need more help brainstorming topics, especially those that are personalized to your interests, you can  use CollegeVine’s free AI tutor, Ivy . Ivy can help you come up with original persuasive speech ideas, and she can also help with the rest of your homework, from math to languages.

Do Your Research

A great persuasive speech is supported with plenty of well-researched facts and evidence. So before you begin the writing process, research both sides of the topic you’re presenting in-depth to gain a well-rounded perspective of the topic.

Understand Your Audience

It’s critical to understand your audience to deliver a great persuasive speech. After all, you are trying to convince them that your viewpoint is correct. Before writing your speech, consider the facts and information that your audience may already know, and think about the beliefs and concerns they may have about your topic. Then, address these concerns in your speech, and be mindful to include fresh, new information.

Have Someone Read Your Speech

Once you have finished writing your speech, have someone read it to check for areas of strength and improvement. You can use CollegeVine’s free essay review tool to get feedback on your speech from a peer!

Practice Makes Perfect

After completing your final draft, the key to success is to practice. Present your speech out loud in front of a mirror, your family, friends, and basically, anyone who will listen. Not only will the feedback of others help you to make your speech better, but you’ll become more confident in your presentation skills and may even be able to commit your speech to memory.

Hopefully, these ideas have inspired you to write a powerful, unique persuasive speech. With the perfect topic, plenty of practice, and a boost of self-confidence, we know you’ll impress your audience with a remarkable speech!

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7 Best Short Persuasive Speech Examples to Drive Change

Leah Nguyen • 08 April, 2024 • 7 min read

Are you looking for persuasive speches? Persuasion is power, and within a mere three minutes, you can move mountains - or at least change some minds.

But with brevity comes pressure to pack a maximum punch.

So how do you deliver impact concisely and command attention from the get-go? Let us show you some short persuasive speech examples that convince the audience in less than the time to microwave a pizza.

Table of Contents

1-minute short persuasive speech examples, 3-minute short persuasive speech examples, 5-minute short persuasive speech examples, bottom line, frequently asked questions.

Short persuasive speech examples

Tips for Audience Engagement

  • A Persuasive Speech Outline
  • How Do You Express Yourself?
  • Use live word clouds or live Q&A to survey your audience easier!
  • Use brainstorming tool effectively by AhaSlides idea board

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Start in seconds.

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The 1-minute persuasive speeches are similar to a 30-second elevator pitch which constrain what you can do due to their limited time. Here are some examples that stick to a single, compelling call to action for a 1-minute window.

Short persuasive speech examples

#1. Title: Go Meatless on Mondays

Good afternoon everyone. I'm asking you to join me in adopting a simple change that can positively impact both our health and the planet - going meatless one day a week. On Mondays, commit to leaving meat off your plate and choosing vegetarian options instead. Research shows cutting back on red meat just a bit provides significant benefits. You'll reduce your risk of chronic diseases while lessening your environmental footprint. Meatless Mondays are easy to incorporate into any lifestyle. So starting next week, I hope you'll help raise awareness around sustainable eating by participating. Every small choice matters - will you make this one with me?

#2. Title: Volunteer at the Library

Hello, my name is X and I'm here today to tell you about an exciting opportunity to give back to the community. Our public library is seeking more volunteers to assist patrons and help keep its services running strong. As little as two hours per month of your time would be hugely appreciated. Tasks can include shelving books, reading to children, and assisting seniors with technology. Volunteering is a great way to build skills while feeling fulfilled through serving others. Please consider signing up at the front desk. Our library brings people together - help keep it open for all by offering your time and talents. Thank you for listening!

#3. "Invest in Your Career with Continued Education"

Friends, to stay competitive in today's world we must commit to lifelong learning. A degree alone won't cut it anymore. That's why I'm encouraging you all to consider pursuing additional certifications or classes part-time. It's a great way to boost your skills and open new doors. Just a few hours a week can make a big difference. Companies also love seeing employees who take the initiative to grow. So let's support each other along the way. Who wants to further their career together starting this fall?

These persuasive speech examples clearly state the position and main information within 3 minutes. You can have a tad bit more freedom to express your points compared to the 1-minute speeches.

Short persuasive speech examples

#1. "Spring Clean Your Social Media"

Hey everyone, social media can be fun but it also eats up a lot of our time if we’re not careful. I know from experience - I was constantly scrolling instead of doing things I enjoy. But I had an epiphany last week - it’s time for a digital detox! So I did some spring cleaning and unfollowed accounts that didn’t spark joy. Now my feed is full of inspiring folks instead of distractions. I feel less pulled to mindlessly browse and more present. Who’s with me in lightening your online load so you can spend more high-quality time in real life? It takes just a few minutes to unsubscribe and you won’t miss the stuff that doesn’t serve you.

#2. "Visit Your Local Farmers Market"

Guys, have you been to the downtown farmers market on Saturdays? It's one of my favourite ways to spend the morning. The fresh veggies and local goods are amazing, and you get to chat with friendly farmers growing their own stuff. I always walk away with breakfast and lunch sorted for days. Even better, shopping directly from farmers means more money goes back into our community. It's a fun outing too - I see lots of neighbours there every weekend. So this Saturday, let's go check it out. Who wants to join me on a trip to support locals? I promise you'll leave full and happy.

#3. "Reduce Food Waste through Composting"

How can we help the planet while saving money? By composting our food scraps, that's how. Did you know food rotting in landfills is a major source of methane gas? But if we compost it naturally, those scraps turn into nutrient-rich soil instead. It's easy to get started with a backyard bin too. Just 30 minutes a week breaks down apple cores, banana peels, coffee grounds - you name it. I promise your garden or community garden will thank you. Who wants to do their part and compost with me from now on?

Covering your information in a few minutes is possible if you have a well-established persuasive speech outline .

Let's look at this 5-minute example on life:

Short persuasive speech examples

We've all heard the saying "You only live once". But how many of us truly understand this motto and appreciate each day to its maximum? I'm here to persuade you that carpe diem should be our mantra. Life is too precious to take for granted.

Too often we get caught up in daily routines and trivial worries, neglecting to fully experience each moment. We scroll mindlessly through phones instead of engaging with real people and surroundings. Or we work excessive hours without dedicating quality time to relationships and hobbies that feed our souls. What's the point of any of this if not to genuinely live and find joy each day?

The truth is, we really don't know how much time we have. An unforeseen accident or illness could end even the healthiest life in an instant. Yet we trudge through life on autopilot instead of embracing opportunities as they arise. Why not commit to living consciously in the present rather than the hypothetical future? We must make a habit of saying yes to new adventures, meaningful connections, and simple pleasures that spark life within us.

To wrap it up, let this be the era where we stop waiting to truly live. Each sunrise is a gift, so let's open our eyes to experience this wonderful ride called life to its absolute fullest. You never know when it might end, so make each moment count from today forward.

👩‍💻 How to Make a 5 Minute Presentation with 30 Topic Ideas in 2024

We hope these exemplary short speech examples have inspired and equipped you to craft impactful persuasive openers of your own.

Remember, in just a minute or two, you have the potential to spark real change. So keep messages concise yet vivid, paint compelling pictures through well-chosen words, and above all, leave audiences eager to hear more.

Which is an example of a persuasive speech?

Persuasive speeches present a clear position and utilise arguments, facts and reasoning to convince an audience to accept that particular viewpoint. For example, a speech which is written to convince voters to approve local funding for park upgrades and maintenance.

How do you write a 5-minute persuasive speech?

Choose a specific topic that you are passionate and knowledgeable about. Write an attention-grabbing introduction and develop 2 to 3 main arguments or points to support your thesis/position. Time your practice runs and cut content to fit within 5 minutes, accounting for natural speech pacing

Leah Nguyen

Leah Nguyen

Words that convert, stories that stick. I turn complex ideas into engaging narratives - helping audiences learn, remember, and take action.

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How to Write a Persuasive Speech | Tips for Crafting an Effective One in 2024

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2,500 Years Ago, the Ancient Greeks Believed Every Great Speech Must Contain 3 Elements. It's Still True Today

The ancient greeks' approach to public speaking has withstood the test of time and is still the secret of persuasion today..

If you're looking for advice on how to become a great public speaker, there are plenty of people you can go to. Speaking coaches , VCs , Hollywood directors , jazz musicians , and MIT professors have all offered worthy tips and suggestions.

But perhaps the most compelling advice of all comes from the most unlikely source -- ancient Greek philosophers. Before you groan and click away, hear me out.

Much has changed in the 2,500 or so years since Aristotle and Plato were walking around an agora discussing their ideas. Our lifestyles, tech, and understanding of the world are wildly different. But human beings themselves haven't changed much.

Evolution is slow. Our brains are basically wired the same way then as now. And what worked in ancient Athens -- before speakers had the advantage of fancy slides and eye-catching graphics -- will almost certainly work now. Plus, these ideas have withstood millennia . They must be pretty worthwhile.

You could, of course, take whole college courses on what the Greeks had to say about what they called rhetoric and what most modern entrepreneurs would call delivering a great speech or presentation. But for time-pressed professionals, let's start with the fundamentals. Ancient Greek thinkers taught that every convincing speech should contain three essential elements.

Ethos is the ancient Greek word for character. Aristotle taught that speakers must establish their ethos -- their character, credibility, or authority to speak on a subject -- for their words to persuade anyone. Without this essential first ingredient, even the most clever and well-worded arguments will fall flat.

"Your audience needs to know (or to believe, which in rhetoric adds up to the same thing) that you are trustworthy, that you have a locus standi to talk on the subject, and that you speak in good faith. You need your audience to believe that you are, in the well-known words, 'A pretty straight kind of guy,' " journalist Sam Leith explained in his book on great rhetoric through the ages, Words Like Loaded Pistols .

How do you establish this good standing with the audience? "No one likes a bragger or a name-dropper. But underselling yourself can be just as damaging to your chances of making an impact with your presentation," warns Big Think's Kris Flegg . "Often, the right balance can be struck with case studies and examples."

You might mention people or companies you've worked with to use social proof to establish your credentials. Academics might mention their university or affiliations. Hard numbers help too. "It's much easier to tell an audience that you've been coaching for 15 years than it is to tell them that you're the best coach around," Flegg points out.

The idea isn't to toot your horn to enjoy the sweet sound of self-praise. It's to foster your audience's basic trust that you have the knowledge and character to talk about whatever it is you're going to talk about.

OK, now your audience trusts you. What are you going to tell them? Logos is the content of your speech -- the actual ideas you're trying to get across and the way you link them together. And when it came to how to do this, Aristotle agreed with contemporary writing teachers: " Show, don't tell ."

"Aristotle had a tip here: He found that the most effective use of logos is to encourage your audience to reach the conclusion to your argument on their own, just moments before your big reveal. They will relish in the fact that they were clever enough to figure it out, and the reveal will be that much more satisfying," explains the Farnam Street blog .

By using evidence, anecdotes, and solid logic to lead your audience to the conclusions you want them to draw, you enlist them in your speech. That's both more entertaining and more persuasive than just flat out telling them what they should think.

So far, so logical. But as you may have observed, humans are not 100 percent logical creatures. Far from it. So according to Aristotle and other ancient Greek thinkers, a truly great speech must not just have a credible speaker making logically sound arguments. It must also have pathos , or emotion.

Offering statistics about your topic is one thing. Sharing a moving story about how your product or idea impacted an individual is an appeal to pathos . So is invoking the audience's feelings of empathy, anger, frustration, or even patriotism or duty. You might even display a little well-timed emotion yourself.

The idea is to make your audience feel, not just think. But you don't want to overdo it.

"In order to work, pathos needs to be used sparingly, where it has the strongest impact, and in a way that feels natural. If forced, pathos can have the opposite effect, making people distance themselves to avoid the awkwardness of your emotional outpouring," warns neuroscientist and Ness Labs founder Anne-Laure Le Cunff in her own deep-dive post on the ancient Greek approach to persuasion .

Put these three elements together, and you had a recipe for true persuasion 2,500 years ago -- and you have the recipe for it now.

A refreshed look at leadership from the desk of CEO and chief content officer Stephanie Mehta

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An old photograph of Russell Lee Maze with his son on a beige background.

He Was Sent to Prison for Killing His Baby. What if He Didn’t Do It?

Flawed science helped convict Russell Maze more than 20 years ago. The D.A.’s office now says it got it wrong. Why is he still behind bars?

Russell Lee Maze with his son, Alex, in 1999. Credit... Jamie Chung for The New York Times. Source photograph: Kaye Maze.

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By Pamela Colloff

Pamela Colloff is a staff writer at the magazine and a reporter at ProPublica, covering criminal justice. She frequently writes about the factors that lead to wrongful convictions, including junk forensic science.

  • July 11, 2024 Updated 10:04 a.m. ET

Sunny Eaton never imagined herself working at the district attorney’s office. A former public defender, she once represented Nashville’s least powerful people, and she liked being the only person in a room willing to stand by someone when no one else would. She spent a decade building her own private practice, but in 2020, she took an unusual job as the director of the conviction-review unit in the Nashville D.A.’s office. Her assignment was to investigate past cases her office had prosecuted and identify convictions for which there was new evidence of innocence.

The enormousness of the task struck her on her first day on the job, when she stood in the unit’s storage room and took in the view: Three-ring binders, each holding a case flagged for evaluation, stretched from floor to ceiling. The sheer number of cases reflected how much the world had changed over the previous 30 years. DNA analysis and scientific research had exposed the deficiencies of evidence that had, for decades, helped prosecutors win convictions. Many forensic disciplines — from hair and fiber comparison to the analysis of blood spatter, bite marks, burn patterns, shoe and tire impressions and handwriting — were revealed to lack a strong scientific foundation, with some amounting to quackery. Eyewitness identification turned out to be unreliable. Confessions could be elicited from innocent people.

Puzzling out which cases to pursue was not easy, but Eaton did her best work when she treaded into uncertain territory. Early in her career, as she learned her way around the courthouse, she felt, she says, like “an outsider in every way — a queer Puerto Rican woman with no name and no connections.” That outsider sensibility never completely left her, and it served her well at the D.A.’s office, where she was armed with a mandate that required her to be independent of any institutional loyalties. She saw her job as a chance to change the system from within. Beneath the water-stained ceiling of her new office, she hung a framed Toni Morrison quote on the wall: “The function of freedom is to free someone else.”

If Eaton concluded that a conviction was no longer supported by the evidence, she was expected to go back to court and try to undo that conviction. The advent of DNA analysis, and the revelations that followed, did not automatically free people who were convicted on debunked evidence or discredited forensics. Many remain locked up, stuck in a system that gives them limited grounds for appeal. In the absence of any broad, national effort to rectify these convictions, the work of unwinding them has fallen to a patchwork of law-school clinics, innocence projects and, increasingly, conviction-review units in reform-minded offices like Nashville’s. Working with only one other full-time attorney, Anna Hamilton, Eaton proceeded at a ferocious pace, recruiting law students and cajoling a rotating cast of colleagues to help her.

By early 2023, her team had persuaded local judges to overturn five murder convictions. Still, each case they took on was a gamble; a full reinvestigation of a single innocence claim could span years, with no guarantee of clarity at the end — or any certainty, even if she found exculpatory evidence, that she could spur the courts to act. One afternoon, as she weighed the risks of delving into a case she had spent months poring over, State of Tennessee v. Russell Lee Maze, she reached for a document that Hamilton wanted her to read: a copy of the journal that the defendant’s wife, Kaye Maze, wrote about the events at the heart of the case.

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