This page is a collection of over 1000 persuasive speech topic ideas for college students. Use this list as a last resort: you are much more likely to be successful when you choose a topic that genuinely interests you, rather than merely picking one from a list. Talking about something you know well makes it much easier and fun!
Our list is huge! It is by far the best list you will find online – both in terms of quantity and quality. We add and remove ideas weekly to keep the list up-to-date. Some persuasive speech ideas have been done to death. They are tired and stale, and are not likely to excite you or your audience (think abortion, gun control, smoking, same-sex marriage). If you can’t find one on our persuasive speech topic list or persuasive essay list that grabs you, consider a newer and fresher topic, something unique and original.
Many timely persuasive speech topics can be found on radio, TV, your local newspaper, or your Facebook and Twitter feeds. We also have Argumentative (which is a persuasive topic as well, just on a controversial issue) and Policy topics. If you know of a cool topic, please send it to us and we will publish it on a page with fresh topics.
For persuasive essay topic ideas have a look at our list of Interesting Research Paper topics: these can be easily adapted for persuasive speeches.
List of Persuasive Speech Topics
Crafting a persuasive speech or writing a persuasive essay begins with picking the right topic. A good persuasive speech topic is one that you can use to grab the audience’s attention, inform and persuade, and provide a strong persuasive argument for adopting your point of view.
How to narrow down this list of ideas?
First, make a rough inventory:
- Which of the speech topics are you interested in?
- What amuses you, makes you move right the way, happy or sad?
- Which topics do you know something about?
- Which topics would you like to research?
Review your inventory list and narrow your choices by answering these questions:
- Do you know global, national, state, community, job or school-related problems and solutions, issues or controversies, related to the persuasive speech ideas?
- Are you excited about any historical or current events, places, processes, organizations or interesting people?
- Do you have certain concerns, opinions, or beliefs?
- Do you think something has to change in the human attitude or social values?
- Did you see or hear something in the news or read about in library books on any of these topics?
- Is there a link with personal experiences, professional or personal goals?
All the answers on the questions above help you to find your angle of approach for a conclusive speech. So, select a few specific angles. Those can serve as the basic main points.
- Constitutional Issues
- Easy and Simple
- Food and Drink
- Funny and Humorous
- College Students
- International Relations
- National Security
- Practical Knowledge
- Should more pets be adopted than bought from a breeder?
- Are pitbulls a vicious breed?
- Should a dog that has bitten somebody be executed?
- Should we tame wild animals like lions and sharks.
- Should battery farming still be legal?
- Should ‘factory farming’ be banned?
- Adopting pets is the best choice.
- How do puppy mills affect us?
- The benefits of having pets.
- Why cats make the perfect pet.
See this page for a full list of Speech Topics About Animals.
- Should the public first learn how to drive a manual transmission before obtaining their license?
- Drivers should have to take three courses before getting a license.
- Should young children use booster seats in vehicles?
- Hands-free cell phone use in cars should be promoted.
- Should the driving age be 14?
- The danger of texting and driving.
- Watch out for animals when driving.
- Why police should not chase a car.
- Why you should buy a Japanese car.
- Why sports cars are dangerous.
- Driving tests should be free.
- Share the road with bikes.
The world of business has so many aspects to it, but at the end of the day they are all about customer relations, about making money and about the relationship between employers and employees.
Below are topics that can be used to persuade your audience on a variety of business topics.
A tongue in cheek topic that can be used is “Hiring a lazy person isn’t always a bad thing”, this could be used to persuade an audience that often lazy people find the quickest solution to get something done, resulting in quickly completed work because they just want to get it over and done with.
- Advertising has tons of mind games.
- Advertising standards should be higher.
- The importance of understanding niche marketing.
- Why introverts make good leaders.
- Owning a business means you will lose your friends.
- Business will harden you.
- You should never go into business with family members.
- Just because someone knows you it doesn’t mean you owe them any discounts.
- To be a business owner you must learn to be well organized.
- It’s important that a business should have personality.
See this page for a full list of Persuasive Speech Topics for Business.
- Do you think it would be fair for the government to detain suspected terrorists without proper trial?
- Should flag burning as a form of protest be prohibited?
- Should every day begin with a silent prayer at school?
- Why alcohol should be illegal.
- Prayer in schools should not be mandatory.
Easy and Simple
Below follow topics that should be easy enough to persuade your audience without going into too much research. There are some which can be used as ‘tongue in cheek’ topics such as ‘The paparazzi are the real stalkers’ and ‘People need to visit the dentist more often’.
- People should not text while driving.
- Celebrities who break the law should receive stiffer penalties.
- Teachers should pass a basic exam every few years to renew their certification.
- Cities should offer free bike-sharing programs.
- People should eat less junk food.
- We should do more to end poverty and world hunger.
- We should value the elders in our society and learn from their wisdom.
- Money can’t buy love or happiness.
- Children should be offered incentives for doing right, rather than punishment for wrongdoing.
- More recycling should be encouraged.
See this page for a full list of Easy and Simple Persuasive Speech Topics.
- Should products manufactured outside the U.S. come with an additional tax?
- Buy products that are made in the USA.
- Free trade agreements are bad for workers.
- The trade deficit with China is dangerous.
- The minimum wage should be increased.
- Daylight savings time has many advantages for our economy.
- The oil companies are to blame for the rising energy prices.
- In most countries the economy is in the mighty hands of just a few multinational corporations.
- Hiring cheaper foreign employees hurts our economy.
- Teachers should have to pass a test of basic skills every decade to renew their certifications.
- Should free college tuition be offered to poor children?
- Would it be better to introduce a set of skills tests for students, before they graduate high school?
- Do you believe that students who are responsible for cyberbullying should be expelled from school?
- Would it be better if high school students completed community service hours to graduate?
- Do you think elementary and high school students should be allowed to use cell phones at school?
- Should students have to be on the honor roll in order to play sports?
- Art and music programs in public schools are an essential part of education.
- Schools should have the right to search students’ personal property (backpacks, lockers, pockets) to fight drugs in schools.
- Do you think students should be allowed to listen to music during study hall?
See this page for a full list of Education Persuasive Speech Topics.
- Should there be stricter laws for protecting endangered species?
- Should only native plants be grown in gardens?
- More people should carpool or use public transportation.
- Should the U.S. limit the use of natural resources?
- How pollution is negatively affecting humanity.
- We should use algae to make oil instead of drilling.
- Why hydraulic fracturing should be banned.
- Why we shouldn’t use disposable diapers.
- Hybrid cars are good for the environment.
- We should keep our community clean.
See this page for a full list of Environmental Persuasive Speech Topics.
- Do you think female construction workers should have the same salary as male construction workers?
- Should assisted suicide be legal for people who suffer from terminal illnesses?
- Do you think the death penalty is the best punishment for dangerous criminals?
- Should you base your perspective of people on stereotypes you have heard?
- Should product testing on animals or humans be allowed?
- Why you should not choose your child’s genetics.
- Are people morally obligated to help the poor?
- Female genital mutilation should be stopped.
- Is it ethical to eat meat?
- Wearing fur is unethical.
- Should underaged people be allowed to consume alcohol at home, with parental permission?
- Should children 13 or younger be allowed to watch music videos or music channels like MTV?
- Do you think those older than 13 should be allowed into R-rated movies?
- Should teenagers be allowed to purchase violent video games?
- Is it appropriate for children to watch horror movies?
- Those under 16 should not be allowed to date.
- Parental pressure on child actors and athletes is harmful.
- Why parents should not hit their children.
- Fairy tales are good for young children.
- Why kids should not play R rated games.
- Men should wear pink.
- Choose an Eco-Fashion Fabrics Wardrobe!
- Are Sustainable Clothes Really Sustainable?
- Jewelry: Less Is More.
- Fashion Reveals Your True Identity.
- Fashion Is An Expression Of The Character
- Why banks should ban hats and sunglasses to avoid robberies.
- Student loans should be forgiven.
- Reservation casinos are only beneficial if managed correctly.
Food and Drink
- Genetically modified foods should be labeled.
- Do you believe companies who manufacture alcohol should be allowed to advertise on TV?
- Every child should learn to cook.
- Cooking should be taught in schools.
- Should we donate unused food from supermarkets?
- The history of added sugar in our food.
- We should all grow our own vegetables.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables.
- The promise of genetically engineered food.
- Why peanuts are amazing.
- Drink more orange juice.
- Why people should cook.
- Farmers’ markets should be increased.
- Eating organic is good for your health.
- Get artificial hormones out of food.
See this page for a full list of Speech Topic Ideas On Food, Drink, and Cooking.
Fun topics are a great way to get people to listen to what you have to say, because when they are entertained they listen more carefully. Fun topics also help the speaker be more at ease, because the topics are more relaxed. Below follow 100 topics that you can have fun with while persuading your audience. .
- Ghosts are not real.
- We all need to be childish.
- Smokers have more acquaintances.
- Music has the power to heal.
- Diamonds are a girls best friends.
- Couples need to live together before getting married.
- Allow kids to believe in Santa.
- Pick up lines do work.
- Cake is not cake if it is dry.
- Parents must be prepared for the ‘birds and bees’ talk.
See this page for a full list of Fun Persuasive Speech Topics.
Funny and Humorous
Humour is a fabulous way to get people’s attention. Below are questions and statement topics that can be used to get your points across on a variety of topics.
It is important to remember that there can be a fine line between funny and insulting. So use wit and make it fun without insulting your audience. This would be important to remember with a title like ‘The most dangerous animal out there is a silent woman’.
- Blondes are not as dumb as they look.
- Why funny pick-up lines work.
- Guys gossip more than girls do.
- You should not be Facebook friends with your mom.
- If things go wrong, your horoscope is to blame.
- Students should not have to do a persuasive speech in front of a large audience.
- Millennials should stop wearing spandex yoga pants all the time.
- Dads are more fun than moms.
- Argumentative essays are pointless.
- Shoes that don’t fit right are hazardous to your health.
See this page for a full list of Funny Persuasive Speech Topics.
- Do you believe there should be stricter federal restrictions regarding content on the internet?
- Should employers be required to post job opportunities on a government-run website?
- The government should provide shelter for the homeless.
- Should the state fund schools run by religions?
- Whose face should be printed on the newest bank note?
- Do you believe Puerto Rico should become a state?
- Our nation’s justice system needs to be improved.
- Should the government have a say in our diets?
- The military budget must be decreased.
- Should people get drug tested for state aid?
- How policy works in local government.
- The government should increase funding of Amtrak.
- Fixing potholes should be a priority of local government.
- Eminent domain should be used rarely.
- The war on drugs is a failure.
- Zoning laws should be common sense.
- Female minors should be allowed to get birth control without telling their parents.
- Should stem cell researchers be able to use cells from aborted babies to help cure diseases?
- Should doctors be allowed to prescribe contraception for girls under 16?
- Do you think it would be better if the USA had a universal health care system?
- Do you believe free condoms should be distributed in schools?
- Regular exercise will improve your health.
- Restaurants should post all ingredients to prevent allergic reactions.
- Do you believe fast food should come with a warning label?
- The use of animals in medical research is a necessary evil.
- Seat belts ensure all passengers a safer ride.
School is a whole new world, where students discover more about themselves and life around them. These are topics that students will most likely have to deal with at some point during their elementary, middle, and high school careers.
- High school students should be allowed to have cell phones in school.
- High school students should not have to wear school uniforms.
- All high school students should learn a foreign language.
- Girls should be allowed to play on the boys’ sports teams.
- High school students should be required to do community service.
- Extracurricular activities are important for your future.
- Students should be able to stay up late, even on school nights.
- Peer pressure helps students grow as individuals.
- Students should have healthy food options.
- Students should be paid for getting good grades.
See this page for a full list of Persuasive Speech Topics for School Students.
The following topics are for college students and about the many different aspects that they will deal with during their time in college.
- College textbooks should be replaced by iPads.
- Mobile phones should be switched off during a lecture.
- College students shouldn’t skip classes.
- Students shouldn’t study something that they are not passionate about.
- Gap years are actually a very good idea.
- Notes should always be taken in class.
- Student loans are expensive and students need to understand what they are getting themselves into.
- Students should get to know other students.
- It’s smart to get the harder classes out of the way first.
- Taking summer classes will help students get ahead of schedule.
See this page for a full list of Persuasive Speech Topics for College Students.
The following topics are aimed at teens and subjects which are important and matter to teens.
- Teenage girls should be on birth control.
- Teenage boys are lazier than girls.
- Teens should have weekend jobs.
- Homework should not be given.
- Being popular isn’t a good thing.
- Teens are obsessed with scary things.
- Chores shouldn’t be paid for.
- Sex education must be compulsory.
- Exchange student programs for all students.
- Free time gets teens into trouble.
See this page for a full list of Great Speech Topics for Teens.
- Did the U.S. Army provide their soldiers drugs during the Vietnam war?
- African- American achievements should be celebrated.
- Why Lincoln was the best President.
- Revisionist history is dangerous.
- The moon landing was a lie.
See this page for a full list of History Speech Topics.
Interesting topics will always have an audience glued to every word, even when they may disagree with your point of view. Ultimately it is your job to persuade them that your view is in fact correct.
These topics have a mix of simpler speeches such as “Pick up lines do work” here both humour and a few examples of pick up lines have worked will get you going in the right direction. For a speech with a bit more research put into it there are topics such as “Stem cell research in murder”.
- The standards of beauty are never the same.
- Princess Diana was killed.
- Energy drinks are dangerous.
- School day needs to involve less sitting and more exercise.
- No credit cards for under 25.
- Healthy relationships require conflicts.
- Everyone needs medical insurance.
- Tooth whitening is out of control.
- In future air planes won’t crash.
- Business should hire more apprentices.
See this page for a full list of Persuasive Interesting Speech Topics.
- Do you think it is time for the United States to suspend overseas military operations?
- The U.S. should cut off all foreign aid to dictatorships.
- Why you should volunteer in a developing country.
- Should Scotland be a country of its own?
- China will be the next superpower.
- Is any nation truly independent?
- Should women drive in Saudi Arabia?
- Foreign oil dependence is dangerous.
- Weapons disarmament should be increased.
- The war in Iraq was a mistake.
- The United Nations is important in defusing international crises.
- Human rights should be advanced all over the world.
- China will be the almighty economic superpower by 2025.
- Should those who are caught driving after consuming alcohol lose their driver’s license for one year?
- Should it be illegal to drive while talking on the phone?
- Should illegal music and movie downloads be prosecuted?
- Do you believe illegal immigrants should be allowed to apply for a driver’s license?
- Should motorcyclists have to wear a helmet?
- People over 65 should be required to take a bi-annual driver’s test.
- Should the driving age be raised to 21?
- Should assault weapons be legal?
- Should known gang members be prohibited from public parks?
- Do you think it should be illegal for people to curse on TV during daytime?
- Should it be legal for people to own exotic pets such as tigers or chimps?
- Is the fast food industry legally accountable for obesity?
- Should the U.S. government add an extra tax for fatty snacks and junk food?
- Should it be legal to smoke in parks and other similar outdoor locations?
- Would you support English being the official language of the USA?
- Do you think abortions should be legal?
- Should the government declare gambling and sports betting illegal?
- Do you believe the government should recognize same-sex marriage?
- Do you believe that not wearing a seatbelt should be illegal?
- Would it be better if the voting age was lowered to thirteen?
- Should minors who commit serious crimes be charged as adults?
- Should people who play music too loud face fines?
- Bullying should be taken seriously and be illegal.
- Should people who fail to recycle be obliged to pay a fine?
- Do you believe medicinal marijuana should be legalized?
- The age to be eligible for Social Security benefits should not exceed 62.
- Should abortions be considered illegal?
- Do you think immigration laws need to be revised?
- Why smoking should be illegal in public places.
- Why U.S. should have mandatory military service.
- Drunk driving laws don’t seem to be working.
- Should homosexuals have marriage rights?
- Should a hunting license be necessary?
- Why we should have capital punishment.
- Child labor should be banned.
- Assisted suicide should be legal.
- Why we should legalize drugs.
- Lower the drinking age.
- Drinking and driving needs tougher laws.
- Gay marriage should be protected.
- Why reading is more beneficial than watching television.
- Why it is a good idea to read Fifty Shades of Grey.
- Why people need to read more books.
- Why it’s wrong for the media to promote a certain beauty standard.
- Is the media responsible for the moral degradation of teens?
- Do magazines marketed to teenagers send the wrong message?
- Why Disney should not be making Star Wars movies.
- Why you should study photography.
- Should certain T.V. shows have age restrictions?
- Why the media is to blame for eating disorders.
- The media does not force us to worship false icons.
- Why the Russian should have beat Rocky.
- Television is harmful to children.
- Why comic books are good to read.
- Some TV shows are educational.
- Make TV more educational.
- We need more funding for public television and radio.
- Violence on television should be regulated.
- Cable TV monopolies destroy competition.
- Katniss Everdeen would alienate Harry Potter.
- School leaders must shape high-achieving learning curricula for students.
- Set a clear goal and devote all your positive energy toward reaching it.
- What to do for people who have no motivation to live a happy life.
- The art of moral imagination is the key to intellectual and spiritual development.
- Why it is hard to follow your dream.
- What keep most of us from following the voice of your heart when it comes to love or even discovery travelling?
- Overcome your stage fright and fear of public speaking.
- Begin with forming a moral tool set when children are young and build further when they are at least 18 years old.
- Aim straightforward in whatever project you undertake, and emphasize and evaluate what you want to achieve often in between the completed parts of the total planning.
- Prudence is an effort you can turn non-believers into believers in your plans.
See this page for a full list of Speech Topics For Motivational Speaking.
- Why the french horn should be played more.
- Should schools allow uncensored songs at school dances?
- How listening to music could improve your day.
- Why music is beneficial to society.
- MP3 music should be free.
- Rock music is better than Country & Western.
- Are intensive security screenings essential for those who travel in airplanes?
- Negotiating with terrorists is sometimes justifiable.
- Should police carry firearms?
- Homosexuals belong in the military.
- Women benefit the military in many ways.
- Should police carry toy guns?
- Should it be legal for politicians to accept campaign contributions from corporate lobbyists?
- Why you should vote.
- Ban abusive language in elections.
- Why you should know Bernie Sanders.
- Term limits need to be respected.
- Give Kurdistan back to the Kurds.
- Zimbabwe is the next drama in world politics.
- Central Asian states could become a threat.
- America is not the world’s policeman.
- Globalization pays off.
- Only democracy stimulates to life real in liberty and to pursuit happiness.
- Some democratic republics pretend they are democracies.
- Middle East peace efforts are worthless and media silence is the only way out.
- Political correctness kills freedom of speech and wheedles to oppression and no respect for human rights.
- A President should be able to serve for more than two terms if the people want her or him.
- Political funding committees should be more regulated.
- Basic survival skills are important to know.
- Basic camping skills everyone should know.
- Personal hygiene is important for professional success.
- Intelligence depends more on the environment than genetics.
- Human development depends primarily on environmental factors.
- Why we should not see psychologists.
- Why do we need to love and to be loved?
- Can money give you happiness?
- Why introverts make the best public speakers.
- Verbal abuse can be much more destructive than physical.
See this page for a full list of Psychology Speech Topics.
- Should young people have internet relationships?
- Men and women speak a different language of love.
- Long distance relationships are possible.
- Why it is important to live together before marriage.
- Teens should live with their friends once a week.
- Jealousy can be a disease.
- Most people say they will break up with a cheating partner, but in the end most people do not.
- Counseling is the solution for working through relationship problems.
- Intimacy is the key to a successful relationship.
- Women cheat more than men do.
- Should public schools teach world religions?
- Students should be allowed to pray in school.
- Women should be priests.
- Religious conflict must be avoided.
- Why Islam is a peaceful religion.
- Islamic fundamentalism is not true Islam.
- Religious cults are dangerous.
- Faith in God should be protected.
See this page for a full list of Topics on Religion and Spirituality.
- Do you think the United States government should spend more on space programs?
- Why should we be aware of what is happening in outer space?
- Why Pluto should still be considered a planet.
- Mars was the same as Earth in the past.
- Why you should donate your body to science.
- We need more scientific advancements.
- Qualitative research is more preferable than quantitative research.
- Religion and science do not mix. (Or: they do.)
- Scientists have the duty to translate their findings in normal language.
- Theories are useless if they can not be transformed into strategies.
See this page for a full list of Persuasive Science Speech Topics.
- Art is a stress reliever and can reduce depression.
- With hardwork and determination anyone can be successful.
- Why we should live life spontaneously.
- Improve your time management.
- Embarrassing moments make you stronger.
- Be true to yourself.
- Dress for success.
- How to continue your personal growth.
- The importance of self- confidence.
- If you don’t give up, you’ll make it.
- Talking to yourself can be beneficial.
- Should larger passengers be obliged to purchase two plane tickets, or two movie tickets?
- Should American families have no more than two children, in order to control population growth?
- Should property owners be obliged to clean the snow from sidewalks on their property?
- Should there be a cop in every bar to make sure people do not drink and drive?
- Do you believe that older people should receive free bus rides?
- Should all citizens of the USA complete one year of community service?
- Do you believe it is time for America to use the metric system?
- Why it should be mandatory for all students to stand for the pledge.
- Do you believe that cities should provide free wireless internet?
- Why living in the country is better than the city.
See this page for a full list of Persuasive Society Speech Topics.
Some sports topics can quickly turn into an argument between fans so keep in mind that special care should be taken with some of the suggested topics.
The term soccer was used to distinguished between soccer and American football, feel free to use the term football for those countries that do not use the term soccer.
- Should some musical groups, such as marching band and show choir, be considered a sport?
- Do you think cities should have a bike sharing system?
- Should college athletes be paid?
- Why baseball players should take drug tests before playing.
- High school football programs should receive less funding.
- Female sports should be given equal coverage by the media.
- Should drug tests be mandatory for professional athletes?
- Should athletes be paid less?
- Should drug tests be mandatory for school athletes?
- Winning is not as important as trying your best.
See this page for a full list of Persuasive Sports Speech Topics.
- Google and other search engines will be the death of libraries.
- Make sure to backup your computer files several times a day.
- What kind of influence will technology have on our future?
- Printing photos is better than keeping them on a computer.
- Do you believe internet censorship is inappropriate?
- Should nuclear power be used?
- How technology will change our lives.
- Should screen time also be limited for adults?
- Why the government should regulate technology.
- Technology is making people less creative.
- Technology has made life better.
- Why Microsoft Word products should be free.
- Why you should not buy an iPhone.
- We are addicted to the internet.
- Put down your phone and connect with people.
- Electronics are making kids lazy.
- How does a search engine work?
- Apple music should be free.
- The importance of the internet.
- Internet gambling needs more regulation.
- Computer literacy should be increased.
- The importance of internet fraud awareness.
- Why selfies are a thing of the past.
- People who say they do not need or want to use the world wide web are insane.
- Why you should go to Bermuda.
- Why airline tickets should be cheaper.
- Traveling makes you more open-minded.
- Always report travel complaints as soon as possible when back home.
- Backpacking means every day unexpected adventures if you are open for it
- If there was no tourism there would be much more poverty.
- Support eco-tourism.
- Tourism ruins historical sites and there should be placed warning signs to awake them.
- Extreme air turbulence can be fatal.
- Fly First Class at least once in your lifetime.
- The best way to travel is in a guided group.
- Should large corporations hire a number of minorities that are proportionate to the population?
- Do you think 14 year olds should be allowed to hold jobs?
- Why you should choose a high paying job over a fun job.
- Why everyone should work retail once in their life.
- Tipping should be mandatory in restaurants.
- Women make better managers than men.
- The importance of office parties.
- Labor unions should be protected.