Persuasive Speech format, tips, ideas, and topics

When making a speech, choosing an appropriate topic is obviously the first and most vital step of the process. This is never more true than when a persuasive speech must be constructed. It is important for the speaker to realize that the audience may already have an opinion on the topic, or may form an instant opinion during the opening lines of the presentation. This puts the speaker at somewhat of an instant disadvantage if he or she wishes to persuade those listening to alter their own viewpoints.

When choosing a persuasive speech topic, the speaker should choose a subject area about which they are passionate. This passion will come through in the delivery of the speech and will aid the audience in identifying with the speaker. On the other hand, if the speaker feels apathetic about their chosen topic, that will show as well. It will be difficult for the audience to care about the topic if the speaker obviously does not.

In order to hold the attention of the audience, the speaker should remember several things.

  1. using descriptive language to create vivid mental pictures will keep the audience entertained.
  2. stirring emotion in the audience will provoke them to care about the subject. After all, if listeners don’t care about a topic they’re unlikely to stay focused or form an opinion on it.
  3. it’s important to find an angle for the chosen topic which has not been overdone in the past. For example, most people agree that smoking cigarettes is bad for their health, and will most likely be bored by a speech on this topic. If the speaker wishes to address a tobacco topic, perhaps they should narrow the focus of the speech to controversial laws, higher taxes, or methods to prevent smoking in youth. Choosing a fresh, new angle on a familiar topic will help the speaker to create a captive audience.

Speakers should always remember that the point of a persuasive speech is to convince the audience to consider a particular point of view. Therefore, it is vitally important that the speaker diligently research their topic, because a fully informed speaker will come across as much more convincing. A question-and-answer session at the end of the speech is the perfect way for the speaker to close his argument. This will demonstrate to the audience that the speaker genuinely cares about their concerns, and it gives the speaker a chance to clarify any lingering misconceptions that may exist within the minds of the audience. When choosing a topic for a persuasive speech, speakers should keep this in mind and select a subject area with which they feel comfortable and knowledgeable.

Writing the text for Persuasive Speech

There are three main components of persuasive speech structure:

  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion

You can also include

  • Questions and answers session at the end of your speech but this is optional.

Introduction

  • Grab attention. Do or say something shocking, intriguing, or dramatic to get attention of the audience from the very first minutes.
  • State your topic. Announce what your speech is about, and your position.
  • Preview statement. Introduce main points of your speech.

Further information on writing the introduction.

Body

    • Introduce your topic. You need to explain your topic to those people who do not know about it. Do not go into the details, simple definition is enough. This speech element is required.
    • Explain your point. This is where you explain your view in detail.
      1. State your point
      2. State a Reason
      3. Give an Example
      4. Restate the Point

      Not to confuse the audience, you want to keep the number of points low. Best is to limit your speech to three main points.

Further information on writing the speech body.

Conclusion

  • Summary. Restate thesis and main points.
  • Call to action.

Further information on writing the speech conclusion.

Persuasive Speech ideas

For many people coming up with a good topic idea is a very difficult task. If you can’t come up with any topics, simply scan our list of topic ideas and find one you are passionate about.