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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 .

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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
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  • 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
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How to Write an Introduction for a Persuasive Speech

Last Updated: June 27, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Gale McCreary and by wikiHow staff writer, Kyle Hall . Gale McCreary is the Founder and Chief Coordinator of SpeechStory, a nonprofit organization focused on improving communication skills in youth. She was previously a Silicon Valley CEO and President of a Toastmasters International chapter. She has been recognized as Santa Barbara Entrepreneurial Woman of the Year and received Congressional recognition for providing a Family-Friendly work environment. She has a BS in Biology from Stanford University. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. 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 154,818 times.

A persuasive speech is meant to convince an audience to agree with your point of view or argument relating to a specific topic. While the body of your persuasive speech is where the bulk of your argument will go, it’s important that you don’t overlook the introduction. A good introduction will capture your audience’s attention, which is crucial if you want to persuade them. Fortunately, there are some simple rules you can follow that will make the introduction to your persuasive essay more engaging and memorable.

Organizing Your Introduction

Step 1 Start off with a hook to grab the audience’s attention.

  • For example, if your speech is about sleep deprivation in the workplace, you could start with something like “Workplace accidents and mistakes related to sleep deprivation cost companies $31 billion every single year.”
  • Or, if your speech is about animal rights, you could open with a quote like “The English philosopher Jeremy Bentham once said, ‘The question is not, Can they reason? Nor, Can they talk? But, Can they suffer?’”
  • For a speech about unpaid internships, you could start with a relevant anecdote like “In 2018, Tiffany Green got her dream internship, unpaid, working for a rental company. Unfortunately, a few months later Tiffany returned home from work to find an eviction notice on the door of her apartment, owned by that same rental company, because she was unable to pay her rent.

Step 2 Introduce your thesis statement.

  • For example, your thesis statement could look something like “Today, I’m going to talk to you about why medical marijuana should be legalized in all 50 states, and I’ll explain why that would improve the lives of average Americans and boost the economy.”

Step 3 Demonstrate to the audience that your argument is credible.

  • For example, if you’re a marine biologist who’s writing a persuasive speech about ocean acidification, you could write something like “I’ve studied the effects of ocean acidification on local marine ecosystems for over a decade now, and what I’ve found is staggering.”
  • Or, if you’re not an expert on your topic, you could include something like “Earlier this year, renowned marine biologist Ayana Elizabeth Johnson published a decade-long study on the acidification of our oceans, and what she found is deeply concerning.”

Step 4 Conclude your introduction by briefly previewing the main points you’ll cover.

  • For example, you could sum up your conclusion by writing something like, “To show you that a shorter work week would benefit not only employees but also their employers, first I will touch on the history of the modern average work week. Then, I’ll discuss the mental and physical toll that a long work week can take on a person. Finally, I’ll wrap up by going over fairer, better systems that we as a society could implement.”

Step 5 Limit your introduction to 10-15% of the total length of your speech.

  • For example, if you time yourself giving your speech (introduction included) and it takes you 5 minutes, your introduction should only take up about 45 seconds of your speech.
  • However, if you were giving a speech that’s 20 minutes long, your introduction should be around 3 minutes.
  • On average, you’ll want about 150 words for every 1 minute you need to speak for. For example, if your introduction should be 2 minutes, you’d want to write around 300 words.

Tip: If you know how long your speech is going to be before you write it, make the first draft of your introduction the right length so you don’t have to add or delete a lot later.

Polishing Your Writing

Step 1 Write in a conversational tone.

  • To make your writing more conversational, try to use brief sentences, and avoid including jargon unless you need it to make your point.
  • Using contractions, like “I’ll” instead of “I will,” “wouldn’t” instead of “would not,” and “they’re” instead of “they are,” can help make your writing sound more conversational.

Step 2 Be concise when you’re writing your introduction.

Tip: An easy way to make your writing more concise is to start your sentences with the subject. Also, try to limit the number of adverbs and adjectives you use.

Step 3 Tailor your writing to your audience.

  • For example, if your audience will be made up of the other students in your college class, including a pop culture reference in your introduction might be an effective way to grab their attention and help them relate to your topic. However, if you’re giving your speech in a more formal setting, a pop culture reference might fall flat.

Step 4 Connect with your audience.

  • For example, you could write something like, “I know a lot of you may strongly disagree with me on this. However, I think if you give me a chance and hear me out, we might end up finding some common ground.”
  • Or, you could include a question like “How many of you here tonight have ever come across plastic that's washed up on the beach?” Then, you can have audience members raise their hands.

Step 5 Practice reading your introduction out loud.

  • You can even record yourself reading your introduction to get a sense of how you'll look delivering the opening of your speech.

Example Introduction for a Persuasive Speech

how do you start a persuasive speech example

Community Q&A

Community Answer

You Might Also Like

Be Persuasive

  • ↑ https://open.lib.umn.edu/communication/chapter/11-2-persuasive-speaking/
  • ↑ https://2012books.lardbucket.org/books/public-speaking-practice-and-ethics/s12-introductions-matter-how-to-be.html
  • ↑ https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/ace/downloads/tipsheets/persvsargu.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.speechanddebate.org/wp-content/uploads/Tips-for-Writing-a-Persuasive-Speech.pdf
  • ↑ https://open.lib.umn.edu/publicspeaking/chapter/14-1-four-methods-of-delivery/
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/essay_writing/argumentative_essays.html
  • ↑ https://www.gvsu.edu/speechlab/connecting-with-the-audience-26.htm
  • ↑ https://www.gvsu.edu/speechlab/practicing-presentations-33.htm

About This Article

Gale McCreary

To write an introduction for a persuasive speech, start with a hook that will grab your audience's attention, like a surprising statistic or meaningful quote. Then, introduce your thesis statement, which should explain what you are arguing for and why. From here, you'll need to demonstrate the credibility of your argument if you want your audience to believe what you're saying. Depending on if you are an expert or not, you should either share your personal credentials or reference papers and studies by experts in the field that legitimize your argument. Finally, conclude with a brief preview of the main points you'll cover in your speech, so your audience knows what to expect and can follow along more easily. For more tips from our co-author, including how to polish your introduction, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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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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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:

Introduction

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?”

How To Write A Persuasive Speech: 7 Steps

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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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how do you start a persuasive speech example

Enunciate

How to Write a Persuasive Speech: A Step-by-Step Guide

Speech has the power to transform. In contexts ranging from executive offices to news broadcasts to court hearings to family dinners, language moves beyond mere conveyance of data to persuasion and influence. Each presentation and discussion presents openings to mold the environment around us. With endless information flooding society today, the worth of concepts hinges on aptitude to convince.

To create a lasting impact on your audience, you need to prepare your speech with due diligence. A persuasive speech, like food, requires a balanced mix of rhythm, engaging flavors, and thoughtful preparation.

From selecting an engaging theme to polishing your delivery, this guide covers building a convincing speech from start to finish. Step-by-step, it will equip you with techniques and insights to master the art of persuasion. By the end, you will have a comprehensive toolkit on how to write persuasive speeches that captivate audiences and motivate change. Whether you are a novice or experienced speaker, prepare to level up your skills and learn how to bring ideas to life through the power of the spoken word.

How to Write a Persuasive Speech

Writing a persuasive speech that truly captures an audience is an art form that requires practice. Follow these proven steps to develop a speech that persuades listeners to accept your viewpoint.

Step 1 Choose your topic

how do you start a persuasive speech example

  • Select a subject that is timely, controversial, and relevant to your audience. This keeps them engaged.
  • Make sure it’s narrow enough to cover in depth within time limits.
  • Pick an issue you have credibility on and can back with evidence.

Example : Topic – legalizing marijuana. This focuses specifically on legalization for recreational use by adults rather than medical marijuana. Legalizing recreational marijuana is a hotly debated, complex issue that engages audiences. It’s quite narrow – focused just on adult recreational policies rather than medical use.

Step 2 Determine your position

how do you start a persuasive speech example

  • Research both sides first if needed to decide your viewpoint.
  • Your position should be clear – are you advocating, opposing, proposing a solution?
  • Don’t assume audience agrees with you. You may need to sway established opinions.

Example : Your position – argue to legalize recreational marijuana. You are clearly advocating for policy change rather than a neutral or opposing view. Requires changing minds.

Step 3 Identify your audience

how do you start a persuasive speech example

  • Consider demographics like age, background, political affiliations.
  • Determine their attitudes, assumptions, beliefs about the topic.
  • This allows you to address concerns, knowledge gaps, objections etc.

Example : Your audience – state lawmakers. A state legislative committee has the power to directly change laws. They likely have established views and require practical rationale more than moral appeals.

Step 4 Research extensively

how do you start a persuasive speech example

  • Collect convincing facts and statistics from reliable published sources.
  • Seek out real-life examples that illustrate key points.
  • Interview credible experts if possible for quotes or testimony.

Example : Your research – tax projections, usage rate statistics, and crime data make a financially and socially pragmatic case – appropriate for an audience of lawmakers.

Step 5 Craft a clear, arguable thesis statement

how do you start a persuasive speech example

  • State exactly what you want audience to think, do or believe by end.
  • Phrase as a logical proposition that requires evidence to support.
  • Remind the audience of this central statement throughout speech.

Example : Your thesis – states should legalize marijuana due to potential tax revenue and low public safety risk.

Frames the debate in pragmatic terms of benefits outweighing potential downsides based on state’s circumstances.

Step 6 Outline key arguments

how do you start a persuasive speech example

  • Organize 5-6 main reasons why your argument is valid.
  • Each major point should directly link back to proving your thesis.
  • Arrange points strategically – save emotional appeals for last.

Example : Your main points – taxes, usage rates suggest low risk, less incarceration.

Choose points that directly serve the thesis of fiscal and social gains relative to drawbacks.

Step 7 Grab attention upfront

how do you start a persuasive speech example

  • Start with an anecdote, analogy, vivid image or statistic on the issue.
  • Ask a rhetorical question that provokes interest in your stance.
  • Get listeners invested in topic right away.

Example : Your attention grabber – US lost $7 billion in taxes from prohibition. Hard statistic spotlights financial opportunity costs to capture fiscally-minded politicians.

Step 8 Close memorably

how do you start a persuasive speech example

  • Circle back to opening hook or story.
  • Summarize key arguments and restate your central thesis.
  • End with a call-to-action for listeners to adopt your position.

Example : Your conclusion – summarize financial gains and social benefits from legalizing. Bookend speech by reiterating the tangible positive impacts covered.

Step 9 Include vivid language

how do you start a persuasive speech example

  • Use rhetorical devices strategically for greatest emotional punch.
  • Visual words, metaphors and phrase repetition increase persuasive power.

Example : Your language – alliteration, metaphor about legalization. Creative language makes key arguments more memorable and appealing.

Step 10 Practice extensively

how do you start a persuasive speech example

  • Refine logic, organization, wording through repeated rehearsals.
  • Strive for smooth delivery, conversational tone, eye contact.

Example : Your practice – time sections to meet timeframe limits. Precise rehearsal allows tailoring content to fit venue’s schedule.

Choosing the Perfect Topic

You should choose a topic that interests you, or you’re passionate about. This way, your passion and authenticity will be evident from your speech and your work behind it. Your enthusiasm will spread like wildfire, influencing the entire audience and persuading them of the distinct value and relevance of your chosen topic.

You can also opt for a controversial topic. They tend to grab the attention of the audiences due to the sheer number of varying opinions they create. Of course, the topic should not be inflammatory but openly challenge a viewpoint while supporting another. 

It’s much easier to be convincing if you care about your topic. Figure out what’s important to you about your message and speak from the heart. Nicholas Boothman

The key here is to present a clear and focused argument while using persuasive techniques to strengthen your message. Some tips for choosing a controversial topic include:

  • Research trending topics and keep an eye on new developments
  • Always consider your audience and their interests
  • Topics that are multifaceted work best, i.e. they have multiple opinions
  • Your interests and passions are of supreme importance, so choose accordingly

By opting for a disputing topic, you divert the audience’s attention toward the discussion and compel them to engage in a conversation.

Why Persuasion Falls Flat

Failed organizational changes, lost sales, and unmotivated teams often stem from focusing more on your message than your audience’s mindset. Effective persuasion requires first understanding your listeners’ viewpoint.

Not Understanding the Audience

Step into your audience’s shoes by asking:

  • Who are they and what matters to them?
  • What hopes and pain points do they have?
  • How will your ideas benefit them?
  • What existing opinions do they hold?

Gauging their outlook allows customizing content for maximum resonance and preparing to address potential resistance.

Not Enough Evidence

Speeches flounder without substantiating facts and statistics to reinforce emotional appeals. Research and metrics lend credibility essential for persuasiveness.

Poor Communication of Data

Conversely, an overload of logical but dry data sans narrative proves equally ineffective for swaying minds. To put it in simpler terms, imagine being served a dish that’s all seasoning and no substance. It might initially catch your attention, but it will quickly become overwhelming and unappetizing.

Similarly, when a speech is overloaded with data but lacks a compelling narrative to tie it all together, it fails to engage the audience and motivate action. It’s not enough to simply present facts and figures. You need to weave them into a story that connects with your audience on a deeper level, making the data more meaningful and memorable.

Conducting Thorough Research

A persuasive speech needs three things: facts, figures, and extensive knowledge of the topic. 

When you research the topic extensively, it gives you a deeper understanding of the topic and its surrounding areas. It aids in forming persuasive arguments and later tackling any counterarguments down the line. 

Utilizing Rhetorical Devices

A rhetorical device is a tool that speakers use to convey their message more effectively. These tools can be used to enhance the persuasiveness of a speech, make it more memorable, or make complex ideas easier to understand. They are the spices in the soup of your speech, giving it flavor and making it more appealing to your audience. Some common rhetorical devices include metaphors, similes, alliteration, hyperbole, and repetition. Understanding how to use these tools effectively can greatly enhance your ability to deliver a powerful, persuasive speech.

Clever use of rhetorical devices can make or break your speech. It can help present a logical argument that sounds more credible and believable. For example, you can employ metaphors, smilies, or analogies to simplify complex ideas. These devices help paint vivid pictures and reinforce your message. Some other devices include alliteration, hyperbole,  onomatopoeia,  oxymoron, and satire.

If you want your words to stick and leave a lasting impression, rhetorical devices are your best friends. They can transform your speech from a simple presentation of facts into a compelling narrative that engages and persuades your audience. So, don’t be afraid to experiment with different rhetorical devices and see how they can enhance your speech.

Addressing Counter Arguments

The first step should be acknowledging the opposing point of view from the audience. Understanding counterarguments is important as it helps you counter them and refute them. Suppose you’re talking about social media and how it provides a platform for self-expression and connectivity; you can also mention its drawbacks. 

You can emphasize the potential adverse effects of excessive social media use, like promoting unrealistic standards, cyberbullying, or contributing to anxiety and depression. 

When addressed properly, counterarguments can strengthen your argument. It can also help clear any doubts or potential questions in the rest of the listeners’ minds. 

Crafting a Compelling Speech Structure

Writing a speech is like constructing a building; you need a firm foundation so the rest of the building can stand on top of it. The topic, your research, delivery, and introduction should be flawless so that the rest of your arguments and topics can stand on a solid base. 

Next, we will see how you can achieve an engaging introduction that can grab the attention of the audience from the get-go. 

Engaging Introduction

An introduction is like the foundation of your speech. It’s the first impression you make on your audience, and it sets the tone for the rest of your presentation. Create a welcoming atmosphere and proceed logically and strategically, stating your agenda. You can also actively engage the audience in the speech by handing them a question, a riddle, or something to think about.

This engagement is crucial as it not only piques their interest but also encourages them to actively participate in the discourse, making the entire experience more interactive and dynamic. You can do this by asking them to imagine a given scenario or asking them questions they can all think about objectively. For example, ask them what they think about world peace and how to achieve it. This not only gets them thinking but also gives them a sense of involvement in the speech, making it more personal and impactful.

Next, let’s look at how effective persuasive speeches artfully blend three key elements: credibility, emotion, and logic. Integrating aspects of all three makes for compelling rationales.

Establish Trustworthiness

Audiences are more receptive to speakers they deem knowledgeable, ethical and reliable. Just as you wouldn’t accept medical advice from someone without proper credentials, listeners want to know the speaker has relevant expertise.

Exude confidence in your material, highlight pertinent experience, and share insights judiciously to come across as a trusted authority.

Tap Emotion

Savvy advertisers understand that selling a feeling makes products more tantalizing. Similarly, persuasive speeches can harness emotional pull through vivid stories, metaphors and sensory details that resonate. Illustrate your ideas’ personal impacts to generate excitement and investment.

Think about the last commercial that really made an impact on you. It probably wasn’t just listing off product features or statistics. More likely, it was telling a story or painting a picture that made you feel something. That’s because emotions are a powerful tool in persuasion. They can make your audience care about your topic on a deeper level, and make your message more memorable.

When you’re crafting your speech, don’t just focus on the facts. Try to incorporate elements that will appeal to your audience’s emotions. This could be a personal story that illustrates the impact of your topic, or a metaphor that helps your audience visualize your ideas. You could also use sensory details to help your audience imagine what it would be like to experience what you’re talking about.

For example, if you’re giving a speech about the importance of clean water, you could tell a story about a community that didn’t have access to clean water and the struggles they faced. Or you could use a metaphor, comparing clean water to a lifeline, necessary for survival.

By tapping into your audience’s emotions, you can make your speech more engaging and persuasive. You can make your audience not just understand your ideas, but feel them. And when your audience feels something, they’re more likely to be motivated to take action.

Provide Proof

For full persuasiveness, combine passion with substantive proof. Back claims with ample factual data like statistics, expert support and customer evidence to satisfy the logical mind. Bolster rational appeals through outside validation.

Incorporating aspects of credibility, emotion and reason creates a well-rounded speech that speaks to hearts and minds. Cover all three bases for maximum influence.

Delivering Your Persuasive Speech with Confidence

Now, equipped with a well-structured speech, you need to execute it with confidence and a compelling voice. You need to breathe life into static words and give them the power to shape narratives. Your voice along with your body language, can be the perfect combo in delivering a cogent speech. 

Eye Contact and Posture

The way you hold yourself and engage with your audience during a speech tells its own story. Maintaining a good posture, which can be achieved by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and avoiding unnecessary movements, is crucial. Good posture can be maintained by planting feet shoulder-width apart avoiding side-to-side shifts. Pacing while speaking also helps keep a steady posture.

To enhance eye contact , actively engage with individuals in the audience. Adjust your body and feet’ positions and try to involve all audience members in the interaction. Sustain an eye contact with individuals for 3 to 5 seconds.

Using Visual Aids

Visual aids enhance the engagement of the audience with their vibrant appearance and textual presence. You can utilize visual aids such as PowerPoint presentations, charts, graphs, images, or videos to emphasize your message. 

Keep visuals simple, uncluttered, and directly related to your key points. A well-chosen visual aid not only reinforces your argument but also adds an extra layer of professionalism to your persuasive speech.

Persuasive speech requires careful planning and execution. It requires you to choose the right topic, define your objective, conduct thorough research, craft a compelling speech structure, and deliver it confidently. 

A logical flow of value-adding information will engage your audience throughout the speech. It’ll also help convey your message in a better way. You can utilize rhetorical devices like metaphors, alliteration, oxymorons, or satire to add a punch to your speech. Maintain eye contact and correct posture to further build an emotional connection.

Q & A How to Write a Persuasive Speech

The content of this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis, or treatment. You should always contact your doctor or other qualified healthcare professional before starting, changing, or stopping any kind of health treatment.

How do you start a persuasive speech?

Starting your speech with a solid, attention-grabbing hook is the perfect foundation for a persuasive speech. You can start with a fun fact, personal anecdote, or interesting statistics to spark interest in your audience. By starting off with something that piques the audience’s curiosity, you engage them from the get-go, increasing the likelihood that they will stay tuned for the rest of your speech. This could be a surprising statistic that challenges their preconceived notions, a provocative question that stimulates their thinking, or a compelling story that resonates with their experiences or values. Remember, the first few seconds of your speech can make or break the audience’s interest, so invest time in crafting a powerful and engaging start.

How do you structure a persuasive speech?

Formatting is integral in keeping a flow and your audience hooked. Start with a captivating hook to spark curiosity. Then, focus on curating a main body with all your topics elaborated. Here, you can employ various rhetorical devices to make your speech compelling. Lastly, add a comprehensive conclusion that summarizes the case and includes a persuasive CTA. 

How many key arguments should be included in a persuasive speech?

There’s no fixed number of arguments to include in a speech. Add two to four key ideas in a persuasive speech to effectively communicate your message. The main aim should be a concise and impactful delivery.

What are examples of persuasive speech?

Some examples of persuasive speeches include Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream”. It was able to change the narrative of many when it was first delivered. Even today, it serves as an example of a persuasive speech due to its effective use of rhetorical devices, emotional appeal, strategic structure, and the sincerity and credibility of the speaker.

Another classic example is Winston Churchill’s “We Shall Fight on the Beaches” speech. Delivered during World War II, it served to rally the British people during one of the most challenging times in their history. Churchill’s masterful use of language, his unyielding resolve, and the stirring emotion he evoked in his listeners made this speech a powerful tool of persuasion.

On a different note, Susan B. Anthony’s “On Women’s Right to Vote” is a compelling example of a persuasive speech on social issues. Her impassioned plea for women’s suffrage, backed by logical arguments and a deep understanding of the topic, made her speech a cornerstone in the fight for women’s rights.

These examples underline the power of persuasive speech in effecting change, influencing opinions, and inspiring action.

How to write a persuasive speech?

Hook your audience from the start with an intriguing opening like a captivating anecdote or eye-opening statistic that challenges assumptions. This grabs attention and draws listeners into the speech’s narrative.

Research thoroughly to grasp all facets of the issue, including counterpositions. This comprehension enables preemptively addressing opposing views within the speech itself, lending more persuasiveness through tackling critiques head-on.

Keep the audience front of mind when researching to understand motivations and values. Customizing talking points to what matters most to listeners makes the speech more relatable and compelling.

Anticipating doubts allows airing out listener concerns. Deftly dispelling these reservations builds credibility by signaling having seriously weighed perspectives.

Finally, embed credible evidence like statistics and expert opinions to substantiate claims. Packed with validating facts and figures, speeches become more convincing, so robustly support each point.

What is a Call to Action Speech?

If your persuasive speech fails to stir your audience, you may as well have emailed your ideas. Effective call-to-action talks, like all persuasive addresses, compel listeners to change through skillful appeal.

A call-to-action specifies what you want the audience to do to further your ultimate goal. What concrete outcomes do you hope to achieve and how can your listeners help make them happen?

Perhaps you seek supporters to champion your brand, trainees to complete a course, or customers to schedule sales meetings. Beyond tangible acts, target transforming mindsets or adopting new perspectives. Rather than prompting action, reframe beliefs around a person, product or policy.

Before crafting your appeal, consider: “What ideas and assumptions do they hold now and what ideas do I want them to hold when they leave?” Outlining these shifts in outlook lays the foundation for an impactful call-to-action.

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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

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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 you start a persuasive speech example

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 you start a persuasive speech example

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Persuasive Speech Examples: Taking A Stand In Speech

Persuasive speech examples - use words vs. social ills

Persuasive speeches have been used throughout history to shape public opinion and shape behavior, and examples abound. Persuasive speech examples include virtually any topic – voting, racism, school uniforms, safety, organ donation, recycling, and so on.

From a teenager asking his parents to go out with friends to an aspiring politician convincing voters to choose him, many people use a persuasive speech to convince their audience members to do something. A successful persuasive speech entails getting someone to take action and be swayed to the speaker’s side.

Table of Contents

What Is A Persuasive Speech?

While an informative speech aims to enlighten the audience about a particular subject, a persuasive speech aims to influence the audience — and convince them to accept a particular point of view. 

The central idea is to persuade, whether discussing a persuasive essay or ‌public speaking. This form of communication is a call to action for people to believe in and take action upon something.

Throughout history, persuasive speech ideas and their communicators have played a vital role in driving change, whether on a personal, community, societal, national, or even global level. 

We’ve seen leaders and important figures sway public opinions and spark movements. Persuasive speech has been there to raise awareness about a specific issue (e.g., labor rights, gender equality). People have been using such speeches to establish authority, negotiate, and, ultimately, urge the audience to join their side.

Persusaisve speech example as speaker passes enthusiasm to audience

What Are Some Examples Of A Persuasive Speech Topic?

There’s a wide range of good persuasive speech topics . To give you an idea, here’s a list of persuasive speech topics:

  • Social media is taking a toll on young people’s mental health
  • Cell phones and too much screen time are making people lazier
  • Violent video games make people more aggressive
  • Why authorities must ban fast food for children
  • Schools and workplaces should take more action to curb obesity rates
  • Why public schools are better than private ones
  • College athletes should undergo steroid tests
  • There’s more to high school and college students than their GPAs
  • Should award-giving bodies rely on the popular vote or the judges’ vote?
  • There’s a need to regulate the use of painkillers more heavily
  • Cloning must not be legalized
  • More government budget should be allocated to health care
  • Why businesses must invest in renewable energy
  • Should military units be allowed to use drones in warfare?
  • How freedom of religion is affecting society
  • Libraries are becoming obsolete: A step-by-step guide on keeping them alive
  • Should euthanasia be allowed in hospitals, clinical settings, and zoos?
  • Developing countries must increase their minimum wage
  • Global warming is getting more intense
  • The death penalty must be abolished

What Is An Example Of How Start Of A Persuasive Speech?

Persuasion is an art. And when you’re given the chance to make a persuasive speech, one of the first things you must do is to settle down with a thesis statement. Then, you must identify at least two main points, pre-empt counterarguments, and organize your thoughts with a ‌persuasive speech outline.

Remember that your opening (and closing) statements should be strong. Right at the start, you must captivate your audience’s attention. You can give an impactful factual statement or pose a question that challenges conventional views. 

The success of a speech doesn’t only end with writing a persuasive one. You must also deliver it with impact. This means maintaining eye contact, keeping your posture open, and using a clear voice and an appropriate facial expression.

What Are The 3 Points To Persuasive Speech?

There are three pillars of a persuasive speech. First is ethos, which taps into the audience’s ethical beliefs. To convince them and establish your credibility, you must resonate with the morals they uphold. 

The second one is pathos, which refers to the emotional appeal of your narrative. One approach is to share an anecdote that your audience can relate to. To effectively appeal to your audience’s emotions, you must also use language, tone, diction, and images to paint a better picture of your main point.

On other other hand, logos appeals to logic. This is why it’s important to pepper your speech with facts.

How Are Persuasive Speeches Used?

You may know persuasive speeches as those stirring speeches delivered by politicians and civil rights and business leaders. In reality, you yourself could be using it in everyday life.

There are different types of persuasive speeches. While some mobilize bigger movements, others only persuade a smaller audience or even just one person.

You can use it in a personal context . For example, you’re convincing your parent to extend your curfew or eat at a certain restaurant. In grander ways, you can also use it to advocate for social and political movements. If you’re in business, marketing, or sales, you can use persuasive speech to promote your brand and convince others to buy your product or service. 

For example, a teen might try to persuade a parent to let them stay out beyond curfew, while a civil rights leader might use persuasion to encourage listeners to fight racism.

No matter the context of your speech, an effective persuasive speech can compel someone or a group of people to adopt a viewpoint, take a particular action, and change a behavior or belief.

Persuasive speech examples - persuade elderly parent

What Are Persuasive Speech Examples?

This AI-created speech about walking shows how a persuasive speech is laid out, using Monroe’s Motivated Sequence (i.e., attention, need, satisfaction, visualization, and call to action) to convey the message that walking can overcome the risks of modern life

The introduction sets up the speech:

“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… We live in a time-saving, energy-saving, convenient society. It’s a wonderful life. Or is it?”

Unfortunately, lack of exercise leads to health problems. Walking can overcome the effects of lack of exercise, lethargy, and poor diet. The body of the speech delves into this concept in detail and then concludes with a call to the audience to walk more.

AI pick up the pattern that many living persons have perfected over the year.

Maya Angelou, an American poet and civil rights activist, delivered this compelling poem as a persuasive speech . The performance concludes with this inspiring message about overcoming hardship and discrimination: “Leaving behind nights of terror and fear, I rise/ Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear, I rise/ Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave/ I am the dream and the hope of the slave/ I rise, I rise, I rise.” 

Maya Angelou inspired this sign

What Are Some Historical Examples Of Persuasive Speech?

Maya Angelou is just one of the important figures who have delivered powerful speeches etched in history. These individuals have risen and relayed impactful messages, championing advocacies that would resonate with people during their time — and beyond.

Below are more moving examples of a persuasive speech:

The Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln

Context: In November 1863, during the American Civil War, US President Abraham Lincoln delivered this speech in commemoration of the dedication of the Gettysburg National Ceremony (also known as the Soldiers’ National Ceremony).

Snippet: “Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We come to dedicate a portion of it as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety, do. 

“ But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow, this ground, The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here. 

“ It is rather for us, the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us that, from these honored dead, we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here, gave the last full measure of devotion that we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

The Finest Hour by Winston Churchill

Context: In his nearly 40-minute long speech in June 1940, over a month since Winston Churchill became the British Prime Minister, he sparked hope that they could win the impending Battle of Britain during the Second World War. 

Snippet: “What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. 

If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free, and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us, therefore, brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their finest hour.’”

I Have a Dream by Mary Wollstonecraft

Context: In her 1792 speech, the British writer and women’s rights advocate shared her dream — that a day will come when women will be treated as rational human beings.

Snippet: “These may be termed utopian dreams. – Thanks to that Being who impressed them on my soul, and gave me sufficient strength of mind to dare to exert my own reason, till, becoming dependent only on him for the support of my virtue, I view, with indignation, the mistaken notions that enslave my sex. 

“ I love man as my fellow; but his scepter, real or usurped, extends not to me unless the reason of an individual demands my homage; and even then, the submission is to reason and not to man. In fact, the conduct of an accountable being must be regulated by the operations of its own reason; or on what foundation rests the throne of God?”

These snippets of their persuasive speech capture the very essence of this form of communication: to convince the audience through compelling and valid reasoning, evoking their feelings and moral principles, and motivating them to act and join a movement, big or small. 

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Tips on How to Write a Persuasive Speech

Persuasive speeches have the power to not only make a powerful point but create moments in time that define eras. From Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech to King George VI’s radio speech, persuasive speeches have the ability to live and inspire indefinitely.

Politicians, in particular, rely on the power of persuasive speeches when campaigning and after being elected. There are professional speech writers that make a very lucrative living writing persuasive speeches for political and corporate leaders.

Persuasive speeches are not only for politicians and corporate leaders. Everyone is using or trying to use the art of persuasion each and every day as a call to action. You may find yourself needing to deliver a speech in a sales meeting to close a big client. You might find yourself in front of a local board in your community using the art of persuasion for a cause you strongly believe in. Whatever the situation, having an understanding of how to write a persuasive speech then deliver it is like having a superpower.

The great thing about learning how to write a persuasive speech is that anyone can do it. You don’t need to have any special talent for writing or speaking. There are creative elements, but those emerge as a result of mastering the fundamentals, which anyone can do.

In this article, you’re going to learn how to write a persuasive speech, so you can add that superpower to your talent stack and start getting more of what you want out of life. The most successful people in the business world and life, in general, all understand the power of persuasion to some degree, and now you can, too.

Define the Goal of Your Persuasive Speech

persuasive public speaker

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Analyze Your Audience

Analyze Your Audience

Understanding who your audience is and what level of awareness they’re at is critical to a successful persuasive speech. For example, if you’re talking about an issue your audience knows very little about, you’ll need to spend some time educating them about the history and background. On the other hand, if your audience is coming with a high level of awareness, educating them on what they already know will weaken your speech, and your audience will quickly disengage, or worse, take a position against you before even hearing the heart of your argument.

Understanding the perspective of your audience is important any time you are writing a speech. This is especially true with a persuasive speech because not only are you seeking to get them to listen to you, but you’re also hoping they’ll take a particular action after listening to your presentation.

Things to Consider About Your Audience

Aristotle and Quintilian are the most famous ancient scholars to give public speaking definitive rules. Aristotle defined rhetoric as a means to persuade on any subject. Quintilian published a twelve-volume textbook on rhetoric, and many of his references are still used today by politicians.

Cicero is considered perhaps the most significant rhetorician that ever lived. He is famous in the field of public speaking for creating the five canons of rhetoric—a five-step process for developing a persuasive speech that is still used to this very day.

Who is in Your Audience?

To properly analyze your audience, you first must understand who they are. Depending on your topic, knowing about your audience member’s age, income, ethnicity, race, gender, religion, profession, political beliefs, membership, and hobbies can influence the way you frame your topic and overall approach.

Who are You to Your Audience?

Does your audience have a predetermined opinion about you, your organization, or your profession? If so, it’s important to call it out and recognize it. Your audience will view this as you seeing and understanding them, and a bridge of common ground will have been built from the outset.

What Does the Audience Value?

Having clarity on what matters most to your audience allows you to align your speech topic with their most deeply-held values. For example, if you’re speaking to a veterans group that values community service, you can place more emphasis on your organization’s local charitable endeavors.

How Relevant is Your Topic?

Is your audience already invested in your topic? If it is, then you don’t need to spend a lot of time explaining why they should care about it. On the other hand, if the audience has a low level of awareness, it’s important to draw a connection between your topic and their interests early on in the speech.

Put Emphasis on Your Audience

Your objective is not to merely get through your speech, you’re trying to persuade your audience to take action or think about a topic with a new perspective. You need to make your audience feel like you genuinely recognize and care about their opinions and beliefs. A persuasive speech is not about you, it’s about the people you’re trying to persuade. Talk to your audience, not at them. When writing a speech, you need to keep in mind these are words to be spoken, so reading aloud after you write and during the editing process can be extremely helpful.

How to tell your story so the audience feels it’s their story.

​​​​​​​Organize Your Points with a Strong Outline

Public speaking can be categorized into four main types: ceremonial, demonstrative, informative, and persuasive.

Open Strong

Most of us will give a ceremonial speech during our lifetime. These are the speeches that mark special occasions. We’ve seen them at weddings, graduations, birthdays, office parties, and funerals. Often a ceremonial speech involves a toast and is delivered with intimacy and an emotional connection to the audience.

Attention Grabber

This can be a statement or even a visual that gets your audience’s attention. Often coming out of the gates with some drama works. This can be the most important line of your entire speech. If the audience does not engage from the start, it can be very difficult to get them back. Often this line comes in the form of a question that forces the audience to actively engage or think. It could be a riddle or unique question. The point is you want to grab attention and then do your best to hold on to it.

Link to the Audience

Showing that you have something in common with the audience builds trust. If possible, show that you have a similar background or share an emotional connection. This relies on you knowing your audience. For example, if you’re a parent, you can emphasize the common concern for your child’s future. If you share an ideological position with your audience, you may emphasize that.

Demonstrate Your Authority

Demonstrate to your audience that you’re a reliable source. Highlight the research you’ve done on the topic. If you have personal or professional experience with the topic, make sure to share that. If you’re speaking about teen drug addiction, and one of your teens had an addiction problem, it would be important to mention that experience.

Tell Them Your Goal

Be transparent about what you hope to accomplish. The more honest and upfront you are, the more that builds trust. This part can tie into your thesis statement.

Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is where you tell your audience your position on the topic you’ll be discussing. Your goal is to have the audience agree with your thesis by the conclusion of your speech. The thesis statement should be short and clearly state your views.

After the introductory portion of the speech is over, the speaker starts presenting reasons to the audience. These reasons are various statements that provide support for the thesis statement. After each reason, the speaker lists examples as evidence to try and provide a factual argument to sway listeners’ opinions to agree with their own.

After you finish writing the speech introduction, you’ll start writing down the reasons you take the position you take. The reasons are a combination of statements that provide support for your thesis statement. After each reason, you want to persuade by giving examples that support your reasoning.

The same format can be followed throughout the speech.

Conclusion/Final Appeal

The conclusion is considered the most important part of a persuasive speech, besides the introduction and thesis statement. This is where you must sum up and tie in all of your arguments into one final powerful point. From a persuasion standpoint, it’s usually best to make it an appeal to emotion, supported by the appeals to logic you made throughout your speech.

COMMUNICATION WITH PURPOSE

Use the Power of Storytelling

public speaker giving a persuasive speech

The Key Elements of Storytelling in Your Persuasive Speech

  • The story should build trust with your audience
  • Every story has a conflict, hero, and solution
  • Effective stories are simple and easy to understand

How Stories Build Trust

Good stories find common ground between you and your audience. The story should include both yourself and your audience. But your audience is the most important character in your story. Knowing who your audience is will help you craft your story. What is their history? What obstacles do they face? What is their experience? When your audience sees themselves in your story, you’ve gone a long way to build an enormous amount of trust.

Basic Story Structure

Just like your persuasive speech must have structure, so will the story you tell within the speech. All good stories have a conflict or problem. They all have a hero – usually the person telling the story or, even better, the audience. The third element of a basic story is a villain or enemy. In the context of your persuasive speech, you’ll need to shape the story around the topic. The story brings the topic to life in a way the audience can visualize. Your story may be an anecdotal story, but even that needs to obey the rules of story structure in order to draw the audience in.

Keep the Story Simple

The story is just a small part of your speech. It needs to be economical, impactful, and easy to follow. When you’re writing your story, you need to keep the time it will take to tell the story in mind. Make the story as simple as possible without sacrificing the impact. Stand Up comedians are some of the best short storytellers you can study. Many of their jokes are, in fact, stories. And the best ones make you laugh and persuade you at the same time. If you can do that, you’ll be way ahead of the game.

ONE METHODOLOGY, MULTIPLE APPLICATIONS

Persuasive Speech Writing FAQs

If you spend any time researching how to write a persuasive speech, you’ll quickly find that people have a lot of questions about the topic. We’ve gathered some of the most frequently asked questions and answered them here in one place.

What are the Top 5 Persuasive Techniques?

1. repetition.

Anyone who has studied psychology understands the power of repetition. Your audience will never agree with you if they don’t truly get what you’re saying. Good repetition involves making your point in several different ways. Make it directly, use examples, tell a story, use quotes, and revisit it in your summary.

2. Give Reasons Why

Never forget the power of the word because. Psychological studies show that people are much more likely to comply with a request no matter how absurd if you give them a reason why.

3. Be Consistent

Consistency in our thoughts and actions is a valued social trait. When we view someone as inconsistent, we lose trust. Use this in your writing by getting the audience to agree with something up front that most people would have a hard time disagreeing with. Then make your case with supporting evidence while relating your thesis back to the opening scenario your audience already accepted as true.

4. Social Proof

We’re always looking to others for implicit or explicit advice on what to accept. Social proof is so powerful it can determine whether we give help to a person in need. For a persuasive speech giving statistics that support your thesis can be a powerful way to use social proof.

5. Storytelling

Stories have the power to get people to persuade themselves. Storytelling lies at the heart of persuasion. Do everything you can to tell better stories, you’ll soon find yourself to be a powerfully persuasive person.

What is Persuasive Writing?

Persuasive writing is basically a written form of an oral debate. Persuasive Writing is used to convince or persuade a reader that the writer’s opinion of a topic or cause is correct. When writing persuasive speeches, you need to be well versed in word selection, framing logical arguments, and creating a strong, cohesive closing argument.

What are the Three Types of Persuasive Speeches?

There are three kinds of persuasive speeches most often used in the area of beliefs and attitudes. These are speeches of fact, value, and policy. You can argue about what is, what should be, or how it should be.

What is a Good Persuasive Speech Topic?

The best topic for a persuasive speech is a topic you’re interested in. There are endless types of topics one can persuade on. It’s good to use a somewhat relevant and current topic so your audience will be familiar, but most important is your interest. If you’re not passionate about your position on a topic, your audience will notice quickly and lose interest.

What Persuasive Technique is the Most Effective?

If you can use storytelling to its maximum effect, you’ll be a powerful storyteller. The beauty of storytelling is putting the audience in a position where they persuade themselves to your position. They aren’t agreeing with you, they’re agreeing with themselves, and that element of autonomy has the biggest impact when it comes to persuasion.

Writing a Persuasive Speech Conclusion

Writing a Persuasive Speech

Now you can see that persuasive speech writing is more skill than talent. These tips for writing hopefully have changed your point of view and given you the confidence you need to write a great persuasive speech.

Effective persuasion is about knowing the principles and using the right structure. Of course, when you deliver your speech, your body language and eye contact will influence the audience’s impression, but a properly written speech will give you the confidence you need for delivering a memorable, persuasive speech.

Suasive, Inc. is a Silicon Valley-based communication consulting company that offers tips on how to write a persuasive speech for organizations and individuals. To date, we’ve coached over 600 CEOs and helped individuals in some of the world’s largest companies including Netflix, eBay, Sonos, Lyft, and Freshworks.

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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

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How to Write a Persuasive Speech: from Attractive Outline to Effective Closing

Updated 13 Jun 2024

Persuasive speaking is a skill that can transform your ability to influence and persuade others. The point of such a speech format is to sway others to agree with your perspective or support your stance by using compelling arguments, evidence, and persuasive language.

Whether you're a student who needs to deliver a well-crafted self-introduction speech or a seasoned speaker, enhancing your speaking skills can be a game-changer in various aspects of your life.

In this blog post, we'll explore the ins and outs of persuasive speeches, including what they are, how to write them, and the key elements that make them impactful. You’ll learn how to write a persuasive speech and follow tips from renowned speakers to help you elevate your speaking game.

What is a persuasive speech: definition and key parts

At its core, it is a carefully crafted message designed to sway the audience's beliefs, attitudes, or actions. But you should understand that it's not just about sharing information. Otherwise, it's about stirring emotions, building credibility, and appealing to logic. Creating a winning persuasive speech involves mastering the three persuasion pillars: ethos, pathos, and logos.

  • Ethos is all about establishing your credibility as a speaker. You need to win the trust of your audience by showcasing your expertise, integrity, and authority on the topic. Share your qualifications, experiences, and credentials to build trust and credibility right from the start.
  • Pathos is about tapping into the emotions of your audience. Indeed, stories, anecdotes, and personal connections connect you with people. Share real-life examples, heartwarming stories, or powerful anecdotes that elicit emotions such as empathy, compassion, or passion ─ it will make your talk memorable and impactful.
  • Logos is about using logic and reasoning to support your argument. It is where facts, data, evidence, and logical reasoning come into play. Use statistics, research, case studies, and logical arguments to support your points and make your speech persuasive and compelling.

Your message should flow seamlessly from ethos to pathos to logos when you are building an irresistible persuasive speech. Start by establishing your credibility through ethos, then connect with your audience emotionally through pathos, and finally, back up your points with logical reasoning through logos. If you're thinking, "Help me write me a speech ," you can consider seeking professional speech writing services. These services can provide expert assistance in crafting a persuasive speech that seamlessly transitions from ethos to pathos, and finally logos.

Persuasive speech types: useful examples

Speeches come in different flavors, each with a unique focus and purpose. Let's learn about three main types: factual, value, and policy.

Factual persuasive speeches

If you craft a factual type of speech, you want to persuade the audience by presenting information and evidence backed up by facts. The focus is on providing credible data, research findings, and expert opinions to support the speaker's argument. Factual persuasive speeches are often used in informative settings, where the goal is to present information compellingly that influences the audience's perception or understanding of a topic.

Example : Advocating for the importance of regular exercise by citing scientific research on the health benefits and providing statistical data on the risks of sedentary lifestyles.

Value persuasive speeches

These speeches aim to persuade the audience by appealing to their moral or ethical values. The focus is on presenting arguments that align with the audience's beliefs, values, or moral code. Value persuasive speeches often involve discussing subjective or abstract topics, such as social issues, morality, or personal values, and aim to sway the audience's opinions or attitudes based on their values and emotions.

Example : Arguing for promoting diversity and inclusivity in the workplace by appealing to shared values of fairness, equality, and respect for individuals of all backgrounds.

Policy persuasive speeches

The focus here lies in presenting arguments that advocate for a specific policy change or action to be taken. Policy persuasive speeches are often used in political or advocacy settings, where the speaker seeks to influence the audience's actions or decisions on a particular issue or policy.

Example : Proposing a ban on single-use plastics to reduce environmental pollution and promote sustainable practices. 

Writing a persuasive speech: step-by-step guide

The key to a successful persuasive speech is clearly communicating your message, supporting your arguments with credible evidence, and engaging your audience emotionally and logically. With careful preparation, practice, and confidence, you can deliver a compelling speech that inspires and motivates your audience. 

Step 0: Understand your audience.

Understand who you will be talking to, their values, and interests. It helps you tailor your speech to resonate with them and make your arguments more compelling.

Step 1: Choose a topic that inspires you and do the research.  

You should be passionate about your topic ─ find what resonates with your audience and yourself. If you are unsure what to discuss, gather topics for a persuasive speech first. Use peer-reviewed journals, websites you can trust, and expert opinions to strengthen your speech.

Step 2: Understand your purpose.

You want your readers to stay engaged throughout the entire speech, which is why you need to state what you will be discussing from the beginning. Understanding your purpose is essential because it guides your message and the strategies you use to persuade your audience. Without one, your speech can lack direction, coherence, and impact. A well-defined purpose helps you to tailor your argument, select the most effective evidence, and use persuasive techniques that are appropriate for your audience. 

Step 3: Keep a persuasive speech structure.

A speech typically includes an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. The opening should grab your audience's attention: people should see why you are worth listening to and which point you will be supporting. After, you should uncover your point of view and back it up with arguments and examples. In the very end, make a strong call to action. 

Step 4: Add persuasive language and techniques.

Choose powerful words and phrases that evoke emotions and create a sense of urgency. Use rhetorical devices such as repetition, rhetorical questions, and anecdotes to make your speech more engaging and memorable. Use persuasive techniques such as ethos (appeal to credibility and authority), pathos (appeal to emotions), and logos (appeal to logic and reason) to strengthen your arguments.

Step 5: Practice and refine your speech.

Rehearse your speech multiple times to become familiar with the content and delivery. Practice speaking slowly, clearly, and with appropriate gestures and facial expressions. Time yourself to ensure that your speech fits within the allocated time. Solicit feedback from others and make necessary revisions to improve your speech's clarity, coherence, and persuasiveness.

You can also consider enlisting the help of professional speech writer . They can assist you in creating a compelling and well-structured speech that effectively communicates your message.

A path to a powerful persuasive speech outline 

An outline for your speech may come in handy when you want to ease the stress and pressure of public speaking ─ it helps to organize key arguments, ideals, evidence, and supporting details. You may look at it as a skeleton for the speech that helps you to structure your thoughts and ensure you effectively convey them to your audience. We will look at how to create an outline, taking an example of the mental health issue. 

1. Think of a compelling introduction.

Start with a hook that captures your audience's attention and sets the tone for your persuasive message. 

"Did you know that mental health affects every aspect of our lives, from physical health to relationships and overall well-being?"

2. Smoothly immerse into the topic.

Provide background information on the topic of mental health to establish its significance. 

"Mental health is a critical but often overlooked aspect of our overall health and well-being. It encompasses our emotional, psychological, and social well-being and is crucial in our daily lives."

3. Clearly state your point of view.

Outline the main points or arguments to support your persuasive message about mental health. For example:

Importance of destigmatizing mental illness: Share stories or testimonials from individuals who have experienced stigma related to mental health and highlight the need for a more compassionate and understanding society.

4. Present a solid foundation of facts.

Support your thesis statement with credible facts, statistics, anecdotes, or examples reinforcing your persuasive message. For example:

"As someone who has personally witnessed the impact of mental health challenges in my family, I know firsthand the importance of raising awareness and promoting support for mental health initiatives."

5. Anticipate counterarguments.

Acknowledge potential counterarguments and provide rebuttals to address them. This way, your message will look more reputable. 

"Mental health issues are not real illnesses, and people should just 'snap out of it' or 'toughen up.'" Then, offer evidence why it does not work like that. 

6. Conclude with a powerful call to action.

Summarize your main points and conclude your speech with a compelling call to action, urging your audience to take specific steps to support your persuasive message.

"Destigmatizing mental illness, promoting mental health awareness, and offering support to those in need are crucial steps towards creating a more compassionate and inclusive society. Let us all take action today to support mental health and make a positive difference in the lives of individuals and communities."

Tips for Writing Persuasive Speech 

Don't be confrontational in your argument. People are more likely to change their beliefs or behavior when they feel respected and heard, rather than attacked or belittled. That’s why 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. Simple statistics are much more useful because it helps the audience to understand and remember the numbers. By using statistics that are relevant, accurate, and easy to digest, you will only enhance your credibility. 

Don't complicate your speech.  Going outside the standard "three points" format may complicate your speech. You may want to get creative but do not go overboard by changing the format. The human brain is wired to process information in chunks, and breaking your message down into three main points makes it easier for your audience to absorb and retain. 

Master your self-introduction speech.  By practicing and creating a solid self-introduction speech, you will establish a connection and create a favorable impression for the audience from the very first minutes. 

Learn from famous speakers.  Study talks from famous persuasive speakers, such as Martin Luther King Jr., Winston Churchill, or Barack Obama, and learn from their techniques, style, and delivery.

Use storytelling.  Tell compelling stories that relate to your topic and resonate with your audience. Stories are powerful tools for conveying emotions, illustrating concepts, and making your speech more engaging and relatable.

Authenticity is a key.  When writing a speech, be genuine, sincere, and passionate about your topic. Avoid overly scripted or robotic language, and be yourself throughout your speech.

What is the key to a good persuasive speech? 

A persuasion is a set of ethos (credibility), logos (logic), and pathos (emotion) ─ use all three elements in your speech to sound persuasive. 

Which opening should I use for a persuasive speech? 

It should start with an opening that grabs readers’ attention: it can be a powerful quote, a compelling anecdote, a surprising fact or statistic, a rhetorical question, or a bold statement. Utilizing a commemorative speech is an effective way to engage the audience (check our tips for choosing topics for commemorative speeches ). Once you catch the attention of your audience, make sure to clearly explain your topic idea.

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Written by Meredith Anderson

Meredith, a dedicated editor at EduBirdie, specializes in academic writing. Her keen eye for grammar and structure ensures flawless papers, while her insightful feedback helps students improve their writing skills and achieve higher grades.

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Persuasive Speech

Persuasive Speech Examples

Cathy A.

16 Best Persuasive Speech Examples for Students

10 min read

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Persuasive Speech Outline - Samples, Format, and Writing Tips

3 Basic Types of Persuasive Speeches

Persuasive speech is a type of speech where the speaker tries to convince the audience of his point of view. 

For most of the people, persuasive speech writing can seem difficult. However, with the help of examples and some good tips, you can write an effective persuasive speech.

In this blog, you can find some amazing examples that you can use to follow and take inspiration. You can easily download and read these examples whenever you need help with writing your persuasive speech. 

So, let’s read on!

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  • 1. Persuasive Speech Examples Outline
  • 2. Persuasive Speech Samples for Different Academic Levels
  • 3. Persuasive Speech Examples Situation
  • 4. Tips to Start a Persuasive Speech 
  • 5. Persuasive Speech Topics Ideas 

Persuasive Speech Examples Outline

So, you might be wondering;  How do I structure my persuasive speech that resonates with people who may not initially share my perspective? 

The standard persuasive speech outline consists of an introduction, body, and conclusion. Here we have examples of outlines that you can check out for ideas and inspiration.

Start with a shocking statistic or touching anecdote. Define organ donation and its significance. : Advocate for organ donation and its life-saving impact.

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Begin with a startling fact or alarming statistic about waste. Define recycling and its importance. Advocate for recycling and its environmental benefits.

Body ( )


Persuasive Speech Samples for Different Academic Levels

Speech writing and speech competitions are a common activity in schools. It helps students learn and enhance their public speaking skills and critical thinking. 

In this section, we'll look at some example speeches suitable for students in school and college.

Persuasive Speech Examples for High School Students

Speech writing and speech competition are common activities in schools. It helps students learn and enhance their public speaking skills and critical thinking. 

Here are some persuasive speech examples for high school-level students.

Persuasive Speech Examples About Education

Persuasive Speech Example for Highschool Students

Persuasive Speech Examples for College Students

If you are a college student looking for an example to help with your persuasive speech, look no further. Check out these examples below. 

Persuasive Speech Examples College

Persuasive Speech Examples About Social Media

Short Persuasive Speech Examples for Students

In most cases, the speaker has limited time to deliver their speech. The following short persuasive examples show speeches that are written with specific time limits in mind. These will help you understand how long your speech should be for an allotted time. 

3 Minute Persuasive Speech Example PDF

2 Minute Persuasive Speech Example

Short Persuasive Speech Examples About Life (PDF)

5 Minute Persuasive Speech Example

Motivational Persuasive Speech Examples

A motivational speech is a  type of persuasive speech  where the speaker intended to motivate the audience.

Below are motivational persuasive speech examples pdf available for free download:

Motivational Speech Example

Call to Action Persuasive Speech

Finally, here’s a persuasive speech example from real life. You can watch this persuasive TED talk that aims to convince the audience to quit social media:

Persuasive Speech Examples Situation

Here are two examples of persuasive speech situations, each designed to persuade an audience on different topics:

Good afternoon, esteemed peers,

Today, I implore you to consider the transformative power of embracing a vibrant, nourishing plant-based diet. It's not just about forsaking meat and dairy; it's about embracing a lifestyle teeming with vitality and compassion.

Firstly, let's delve into the realm of health. Scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports the notion that plant-based diets nurture our bodies with essential nutrients, warding off ailments and invigorating our vitality.

Moreover, ponder upon the ecological impact. By shifting towards plant-based fare, we become stewards of a greener, more verdant Earth, sowing seeds of sustainability for future generations.

Lastly, let us not forget the ethical imperative. With each plant-based meal, we sow seeds of empathy, refusing to turn a blind eye to the suffering of sentient beings.

In conclusion, let us embark on this journey of wellness and conscientious living together, forging a path towards a brighter, more benevolent future.

Thank you for your mindful consideration.


Esteemed council members,

I stand before you today, a passionate advocate for the creation of expansive, interconnected bike lanes within our city. This endeavor transcends mere infrastructure; it embodies a vision of safety, health, and communal connectivity.

Firstly, envision a city where cyclists and motorists harmoniously coexist, navigating thoroughfares brimming with dedicated bike lanes—a sanctuary of safety and serenity.

Furthermore, contemplate the profound impact on public health. With every pedal stroke, we propel ourselves towards a healthier, more invigorated populace, fostering a culture of well-being and vitality.

Additionally, let us acknowledge the environmental imperative. By promoting cycling as a viable mode of transportation, we take strides towards a greener, more sustainable future, safeguarding our planet for generations to come.

In conclusion, I beseech you to seize this opportunity to cultivate a city that embraces the ethos of progress, unity, and well-being—a city where every street beckons with the promise of adventure and community.

Thank you for your enlightened consideration.

Tips to Start a Persuasive Speech 

Here are some expert tips to kick-start your speech:

  • Start With a Famous Quote

Opening with a famous and relevant quote helps you make a good impression on the audience’s mind. It helps you set the tone for the rest of your speech.

For example: “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” – Patrick Henry

  • Ask a Rhetorical Question

Asking a rhetorical question at the beginning of your speech arouses the audience's curiosity. It is an effective way of engaging and understanding your audience.

For example: “Do you want to be a failure for the rest of your life?”

  • Make a Shocking Statement

You can start with a shocking statement by keeping the audience guessing what you are about to say next. A shocking or interesting statement gets people immediately involved and listening to your every word. 

For example: "Imagine a world where the air we breathe is more expensive than the food we eat."

  • Create a ‘what If’ Scenario

Asking a ‘what if’ question makes the audience follow your thought process. They immediately start thinking about what could be the answer to your ‘what if’ scenario.

For example: “What if we don’t wake up tomorrow? How different are we today?”

  • Use a Surprising Statistic

A surprising statistic that resonates with your audience helps you get your message across right away. Real shocking statistics have the potential to trigger the audience’s emotional appeal.

For example: "Did you know that 7.5 million plastic bottles are discarded every hour in the United States?"

By following any of these tips, you can easily grab the audience’s attention every time. 

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Persuasive Speech Topics Ideas 

Now that you’ve checked out some examples, you are ready to start writing your own persuasive speech. But what should you write about? Here are some interesting persuasive speech topics for you. 

  • The shift to sustainable transportation is long overdue.
  • Adopting a plant-based diet is the best way to ensure personal and environmental well-being.
  • Promoting financial literacy education is the key to economic empowerment.
  • Raising the minimum wage is a necessity for livable incomes.
  • Opt-out organ donation can save more lives.
  • Food deserts must be confronted to ensure equal access to healthy nutrition.
  • Individual responsibility plays a crucial role in fighting climate change.
  • Social media's negative impact on mental health is widespread.
  • Stricter gun control measures are vital for balancing Second Amendment rights with public safety.
  • Shifting to sustainable energy sources is an urgent matter.

Need more ideas? Check out 250+ persuasive speech topics to find the best topic for your speech.

To Conclude,

With the help of these examples, you can deliver a captivating address to persuade the audience listening to your speech. 

However, remember that only having a great topic and structured outline is not enough. You should establish an emotional connection, maintain proper body language, and support your arguments with facts to make a successful speech.

Moreover, if you need help from experts, we’ve got you covered. Our essay writing service is experienced in providing perfect speeches within your deadline.

Also, we craft unique essays for every ' write essay for me ' request you place with us.

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Persuasive Speech

Persuasive Speech Examples

Last updated on: Apr 26, 2024

15+ Persuasive Speech Examples to Engage and Persuade

By: Caleb S.

19 min read

Reviewed By: Barbara P.

Published on: Jun 12, 2023

Persuasive speech examples

Struggling to convince others in speeches? Weak arguments not getting the desired results?

Mastering persuasive speech can be quite challenging.

Imagine having the ability to captivate your audience, leaving a lasting impression with every word. The good news is that mastering the power of persuasion is within your reach.

In this blog, we will explore persuasive speech examples that inspire action and conviction. Learn from real-life speech examples and discover effective techniques to enhance your convincing skills.

Let’s dive into persuasive speech examples and examine why these examples always work to persuade the audience. 

So without further ado, let’s begin! 

Persuasive speech examples

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What Do We Mean By A Persuasive Speech?

When we talk about a persuasive speech , we refer to a form of communication that seeks to influence the audience's beliefs or actions. 

It is a powerful tool used by speakers to present compelling arguments, backed by evidence and persuasive techniques. The goal is to convince listeners to embrace a specific viewpoint or take a particular course of action.

How Can Reading Persuasive Speech Examples Help You? 

Reading persuasive speech examples can provide numerous benefits in enhancing your persuasive skills and overall communication abilities. Here's how:

  • Provide learning opportunities: Learn successful techniques, argument structure, and evidence usage.
  • Inspire creativity: Spark ideas for unique and impactful persuasive speeches.
  • Understand audience engagement: Learn to capture attention, evoke emotions, and address counterarguments effectively.
  • Build confidence: Witness real-world persuasive success, boosting your own confidence.
  • Sharpen critical thinking: Evaluate arguments and develop a discerning mindset.

Persuasive Speech Outline - Free Template 

Creating an effective persuasive speech requires a well-structured outline that connects the main points seamlessly. 

Here is a persuasive speech outline that can guide you in delivering a compelling and influential presentation:










Persuasive Speech Examples Outline

Short Persuasive Speech Examples for Middle School

Read the following example to get inspired! 



Persuasive Speech For Middle School Students

Persuasive Speech Examples for College

Find inspiration in the provided example!











5-Minute Persuasive Speech Examples

Let the example inspire your innovative ideas!


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3-Minute Persuasive Speech Examples

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Funny Persuasive Speech Examples

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Funny Persuasive Speech

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Value Persuasive Speech Examples

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Persuasive Speech Examples on Value

Policy Persuasive Speech Examples

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Persuasive Speech Examples on Policy

Persuasive Speech Examples About Life 

Read this example to learn more about giving persuasive speeches on this topic! 

Persuasive speech about life

Persuasive Speech Topic Examples 

Need to come up with a good persuasive speech topic that will captivate your audience and inspire meaningful discussions? Here are some thought-provoking persuasive speech ideas to help you out.

  • The importance of recycling: Encouraging sustainable habits to protect the environment.
  • Promoting mental health awareness: Breaking the stigma and fostering a supportive society.
  • The benefits of volunteering: Making a difference in your community and beyond.
  • Exploring renewable energy sources: Urging for a shift towards a sustainable energy future.
  • Addressing food waste: Taking action to reduce waste and alleviate hunger.
  • The impact of social media: Navigating the digital world responsibly and promoting online safety.
  • Legalizing medicinal marijuana: Exploring the potential benefits for patients in need.
  • Promoting gender equality: Advocating for equal opportunities and dismantling gender stereotypes.
  • Implementing stricter gun control laws: Enhancing public safety and preventing gun violence.
  • The importance of financial literacy: Equipping individuals with essential skills for economic success.

Head over to our topics blog and find over 200+ interesting persuasive speech topics to get inspired!

Wrapping it Up ,

Crafting a persuasive speech that captures your audience's attention and compels them to take action is no easy task. However, by implementing the tips mentioned in this blog, you can significantly enhance the impact of your persuasive speech. 

Remember, if you find yourself in need of support with your persuasive speech, consider reaching out to MyPerfectPaper.net. 

MyPerfectPaper.net is the answer to the ' help me with my paper ' requests. We are trusted by thousands of students around the world with their essays and other writing requests.

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40 Strong Persuasive Writing Examples (Essays, Speeches, Ads, and More)

Learn from the experts.

The American Crisis historical article, as an instance of persuasive essay examples

The more we read, the better writers we become. Teaching students to write strong persuasive essays should always start with reading some top-notch models. This round-up of persuasive writing examples includes famous speeches, influential ad campaigns, contemporary reviews of famous books, and more. Use them to inspire your students to write their own essays. (Need persuasive essay topics? Check out our list of interesting persuasive essay ideas here! )

  • Persuasive Essays
  • Persuasive Speeches
  • Advertising Campaigns

Persuasive Essay Writing Examples

First paragraph of Thomas Paine's The American Crisis

From the earliest days of print, authors have used persuasive essays to try to sway others to their own point of view. Check out these top persuasive essay writing examples.

Professions for Women by Virginia Woolf

Sample lines: “Outwardly, what is simpler than to write books? Outwardly, what obstacles are there for a woman rather than for a man? Inwardly, I think, the case is very different; she has still many ghosts to fight, many prejudices to overcome. Indeed it will be a long time still, I think, before a woman can sit down to write a book without finding a phantom to be slain, a rock to be dashed against. And if this is so in literature, the freest of all professions for women, how is it in the new professions which you are now for the first time entering?”

The Crisis by Thomas Paine

Sample lines: “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.”

Politics and the English Language by George Orwell

Sample lines: “As I have tried to show, modern writing at its worst does not consist in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer. It consists in gumming together long strips of words which have already been set in order by someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug.”

Letter From a Birmingham Jail by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sample lines: “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was ‘well timed’ in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word ‘Wait!’ It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This ‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.’ We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that ‘justice too long delayed is justice denied.'”

Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

Sample lines: “Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men.”

Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Roger Ebert

Sample lines: “‘Kindness’ covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime.”

The Way to Wealth by Benjamin Franklin

Sample lines: “Methinks I hear some of you say, must a man afford himself no leisure? I will tell thee, my friend, what Poor Richard says, employ thy time well if thou meanest to gain leisure; and, since thou art not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour. Leisure is time for doing something useful; this leisure the diligent man will obtain, but the lazy man never; so that, as Poor Richard says, a life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things.”

The Crack-Up by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Sample lines: “Of course all life is a process of breaking down, but the blows that do the dramatic side of the work—the big sudden blows that come, or seem to come, from outside—the ones you remember and blame things on and, in moments of weakness, tell your friends about, don’t show their effect all at once.”

Open Letter to the Kansas School Board by Bobby Henderson

Sample lines: “I am writing you with much concern after having read of your hearing to decide whether the alternative theory of Intelligent Design should be taught along with the theory of Evolution. … Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. … We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him. It is for this reason that I’m writing you today, to formally request that this alternative theory be taught in your schools, along with the other two theories.”

Open Letter to the United Nations by Niels Bohr

Sample lines: “Humanity will, therefore, be confronted with dangers of unprecedented character unless, in due time, measures can be taken to forestall a disastrous competition in such formidable armaments and to establish an international control of the manufacture and use of the powerful materials.”

Persuasive Speech Writing Examples

Many persuasive speeches are political in nature, often addressing subjects like human rights. Here are some of history’s most well-known persuasive writing examples in the form of speeches.

I Have a Dream by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sample lines: “And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

Woodrow Wilson’s War Message to Congress, 1917

Sample lines: “There are, it may be, many months of fiery trial and sacrifice ahead of us. It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war, into the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself seeming to be in the balance. But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts—for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own governments, for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free.”

Chief Seattle’s 1854 Oration

Sample lines: “I here and now make this condition that we will not be denied the privilege without molestation of visiting at any time the tombs of our ancestors, friends, and children. Every part of this soil is sacred in the estimation of my people. Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove, has been hallowed by some sad or happy event in days long vanished. Even the rocks, which seem to be dumb and dead as they swelter in the sun along the silent shore, thrill with memories of stirring events connected with the lives of my people, and the very dust upon which you now stand responds more lovingly to their footsteps than yours, because it is rich with the blood of our ancestors, and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch.”

Women’s Rights Are Human Rights, Hillary Rodham Clinton

Sample lines: “What we are learning around the world is that if women are healthy and educated, their families will flourish. If women are free from violence, their families will flourish. If women have a chance to work and earn as full and equal partners in society, their families will flourish. And when families flourish, communities and nations do as well. … If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights once and for all.”

I Am Prepared to Die, Nelson Mandela

Sample lines: “Above all, My Lord, we want equal political rights, because without them our disabilities will be permanent. I know this sounds revolutionary to the whites in this country, because the majority of voters will be Africans. This makes the white man fear democracy. But this fear cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the only solution which will guarantee racial harmony and freedom for all. It is not true that the enfranchisement of all will result in racial domination. Political division, based on color, is entirely artificial and, when it disappears, so will the domination of one color group by another. … This then is what the ANC is fighting. Our struggle is a truly national one. It is a struggle of the African people, inspired by our own suffering and our own experience. It is a struggle for the right to live.”

The Struggle for Human Rights by Eleanor Roosevelt

Sample lines: “It is my belief, and I am sure it is also yours, that the struggle for democracy and freedom is a critical struggle, for their preservation is essential to the great objective of the United Nations to maintain international peace and security. Among free men the end cannot justify the means. We know the patterns of totalitarianism—the single political party, the control of schools, press, radio, the arts, the sciences, and the church to support autocratic authority; these are the age-old patterns against which men have struggled for 3,000 years. These are the signs of reaction, retreat, and retrogression. The United Nations must hold fast to the heritage of freedom won by the struggle of its people; it must help us to pass it on to generations to come.”

Freedom From Fear by Aung San Suu Kyi

Sample lines: “Saints, it has been said, are the sinners who go on trying. So free men are the oppressed who go on trying and who in the process make themselves fit to bear the responsibilities and to uphold the disciplines which will maintain a free society. Among the basic freedoms to which men aspire that their lives might be full and uncramped, freedom from fear stands out as both a means and an end. A people who would build a nation in which strong, democratic institutions are firmly established as a guarantee against state-induced power must first learn to liberate their own minds from apathy and fear.”

Harvey Milk’s “The Hope” Speech

Sample lines: “Some people are satisfied. And some people are not. You see there is a major difference—and it remains a vital difference—between a friend and a gay person, a friend in office and a gay person in office. Gay people have been slandered nationwide. We’ve been tarred and we’ve been brushed with the picture of pornography. In Dade County, we were accused of child molestation. It is not enough anymore just to have friends represent us, no matter how good that friend may be.”

The Union and the Strike, Cesar Chavez

Sample lines: “We are showing our unity in our strike. Our strike is stopping the work in the fields; our strike is stopping ships that would carry grapes; our strike is stopping the trucks that would carry the grapes. Our strike will stop every way the grower makes money until we have a union contract that guarantees us a fair share of the money he makes from our work! We are a union and we are strong and we are striking to force the growers to respect our strength!”

Nobel Lecture by Malala Yousafzai

Sample lines: “The world can no longer accept that basic education is enough. Why do leaders accept that for children in developing countries, only basic literacy is sufficient, when their own children do homework in algebra, mathematics, science, and physics? Leaders must seize this opportunity to guarantee a free, quality, primary and secondary education for every child. Some will say this is impractical, or too expensive, or too hard. Or maybe even impossible. But it is time the world thinks bigger.”   

Persuasive Writing Examples in Advertising Campaigns

Ads are prime persuasive writing examples. You can flip open any magazine or watch TV for an hour or two to see sample after sample of persuasive language. Here are some of the most popular ad campaigns of all time, with links to articles explaining why they were so successful.

Nike: Just Do It

Nike

The iconic swoosh with the simple tagline has persuaded millions to buy their kicks from Nike and Nike alone. Teamed with pro sports-star endorsements, this campaign is one for the ages. Blinkist offers an opinion on what made it work.

Dove: Real Beauty

Beauty brand Dove changed the game by choosing “real” women to tell their stories instead of models. They used relatable images and language to make connections, and inspired other brands to try the same concept. Learn why Global Brands considers this one a true success story.

Wendy’s: Where’s the Beef?

Today’s kids are too young to remember the cranky old woman demanding to know where the beef was on her fast-food hamburger. But in the 1980s, it was a catchphrase that sold millions of Wendy’s burgers. Learn from Better Marketing how this ad campaign even found its way into the 1984 presidential debate.

De Beers: A Diamond Is Forever

Diamond engagement ring on black velvet. Text reads "How do you make two months' salary last forever? The Diamond Engagement Ring."

A diamond engagement ring has become a standard these days, but the tradition isn’t as old as you might think. In fact, it was De Beers jewelry company’s 1948 campaign that created the modern engagement ring trend. The Drum has the whole story of this sparkling campaign.

Volkswagen: Think Small

Americans have always loved big cars. So in the 1960s, when Volkswagen wanted to introduce their small cars to a bigger market, they had a problem. The clever “Think Small” campaign gave buyers clever reasons to consider these models, like “If you run out of gas, it’s easy to push.” Learn how advertisers interested American buyers in little cars at Visual Rhetoric.

American Express: Don’t Leave Home Without It

AmEx was once better known for traveler’s checks than credit cards, and the original slogan was “Don’t leave home without them.” A simple word change convinced travelers that American Express was the credit card they needed when they headed out on adventures. Discover more about this persuasive campaign from Medium.

Skittles: Taste the Rainbow

Bag of Skittles candy against a blue background. Text reads

These candy ads are weird and intriguing and probably not for everyone. But they definitely get you thinking, and that often leads to buying. Learn more about why these wacky ads are successful from The Drum.

Maybelline: Maybe She’s Born With It

Smart wordplay made this ad campaign slogan an instant hit. The ads teased, “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.” (So many literary devices all in one phrase!) Fashionista has more on this beauty campaign.

Coca-Cola: Share a Coke

Seeing their own name on a bottle made teens more likely to want to buy a Coke. What can that teach us about persuasive writing in general? It’s an interesting question to consider. Learn more about the “Share a Coke” campaign from Digital Vidya.

Always: #LikeaGirl

Always ad showing a young girl holding a softball. Text reads

Talk about the power of words! This Always campaign turned the derogatory phrase “like a girl” on its head, and the world embraced it. Storytelling is an important part of persuasive writing, and these ads really do it well. Medium has more on this stereotype-bashing campaign.   

Editorial Persuasive Writing Examples

Original newspaper editorial

Newspaper editors or publishers use editorials to share their personal opinions. Noted politicians, experts, or pundits may also offer their opinions on behalf of the editors or publishers. Here are a couple of older well-known editorials, along with a selection from current newspapers.

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus (1897)

Sample lines: “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias.”

What’s the Matter With Kansas? (1896)

Sample lines: “Oh, this IS a state to be proud of! We are a people who can hold up our heads! What we need is not more money, but less capital, fewer white shirts and brains, fewer men with business judgment, and more of those fellows who boast that they are ‘just ordinary clodhoppers, but they know more in a minute about finance than John Sherman,’ we need more men … who hate prosperity, and who think, because a man believes in national honor, he is a tool of Wall Street.”

America Can Have Democracy or Political Violence. Not Both. (The New York Times)

Sample lines: “The nation is not powerless to stop a slide toward deadly chaos. If institutions and individuals do more to make it unacceptable in American public life, organized violence in the service of political objectives can still be pushed to the fringes. When a faction of one of the country’s two main political parties embraces extremism, that makes thwarting it both more difficult and more necessary. A well-functioning democracy demands it.”

The Booster Isn’t Perfect, But Still Can Help Against COVID (The Washington Post)

Sample lines: “The booster shots are still free, readily available and work better than the previous boosters even as the virus evolves. Much still needs to be done to build better vaccines that protect longer and against more variants, including those that might emerge in the future. But it is worth grabbing the booster that exists today, the jab being a small price for any measure that can help keep COVID at bay.”

If We Want Wildlife To Thrive in L.A., We Have To Share Our Neighborhoods With Them (Los Angeles Times)

Sample lines: “If there are no corridors for wildlife movement and if excessive excavation of dirt to build bigger, taller houses erodes the slope of a hillside, then we are slowly destroying wildlife habitat. For those people fretting about what this will do to their property values—isn’t open space, trees, and wildlife an amenity in these communities?”   

Persuasive Review Writing Examples

Image of first published New York Times Book Review

Book or movie reviews are more great persuasive writing examples. Look for those written by professionals for the strongest arguments and writing styles. Here are reviews of some popular books and movies by well-known critics to use as samples.

The Great Gatsby (The Chicago Tribune, 1925)

Sample lines: “What ails it, fundamentally, is the plain fact that it is simply a story—that Fitzgerald seems to be far more interested in maintaining its suspense than in getting under the skins of its people. It is not that they are false: It is that they are taken too much for granted. Only Gatsby himself genuinely lives and breathes. The rest are mere marionettes—often astonishingly lifelike, but nevertheless not quite alive.”

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (The Washington Post, 1999)

Sample lines: “Obviously, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone should make any modern 11-year-old a very happy reader. The novel moves quickly, packs in everything from a boa constrictor that winks to a melancholy Zen-spouting centaur to an owl postal system, and ends with a scary surprise. Yet it is, essentially, a light-hearted thriller, interrupted by occasional seriousness (the implications of Harry’s miserable childhood, a moral about the power of love).”

Twilight (The Telegraph, 2009)

Sample lines: “No secret, of course, at whom this book is aimed, and no doubt, either, that it has hit its mark. The four Twilight novels are not so much enjoyed, as devoured, by legions of young female fans worldwide. That’s not to say boys can’t enjoy these books; it’s just that the pages of heart-searching dialogue between Edward and Bella may prove too long on chat and too short on action for the average male reader.”

To Kill a Mockingbird (Time, 1960)

Sample lines: “Author Lee, 34, an Alabaman, has written her first novel with all of the tactile brilliance and none of the preciosity generally supposed to be standard swamp-warfare issue for Southern writers. The novel is an account of an awakening to good and evil, and a faint catechistic flavor may have been inevitable. But it is faint indeed; novelist Lee’s prose has an edge that cuts through cant, and she teaches the reader an astonishing number of useful truths about little girls and about Southern life.”

The Diary of Anne Frank (The New York Times, 1952)

Sample lines: “And this quality brings it home to any family in the world today. Just as the Franks lived in momentary fear of the Gestapo’s knock on their hidden door, so every family today lives in fear of the knock of war. Anne’s diary is a great affirmative answer to the life-question of today, for she shows how ordinary people, within this ordeal, consistently hold to the greater human values.”   

What are your favorite persuasive writing examples to use with students? Come share your ideas in the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook .

Plus, the big list of essay topics for high school (120+ ideas) ..

Find strong persuasive writing examples to use for inspiration, including essays, speeches, advertisements, reviews, and more.

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Here’s a dilemma: you work so hard on your persuasive essay, do in-depth research, develop strong arguments, but in the end, you get a low grade. And all this happens because your introduction isn’t convincing enough. As you can see, understanding how to start a persuasive essay in an effective manner is crucial. Fortunately, you are in the right place. Keep reading our guide to find useful tips on beginning a persuasive essay. From crafting an irresistible hook to formulating your main statement, you will find plenty of helpful suggestions. By the way, we’ve got some good examples to share. So let’s get started.  

Importance of Knowing How to Start a Persuasive Essay

Before discussing how to start off a persuasive essay, you should keep in mind that you must hook your audience from the very beginning. Your reader should understand what you are going to say and why it is important. Still, you shouldn’t lay all your cards on the table and reveal your arguments. Your main thesis statement should be presented after some context. An introduction is used to convince the reader not just of your opinion, but of the entire paper being worth reading. Therefore, one should take an especially reasonable approach. Further, we will share some helpful tips on drawing up a good introduction and give real examples.  But first, be sure to prepare a persuasive essay outline template .

How to Start a Good Persuasive Essay: Main Elements

Before starting a persuasive essay, you should think about its structure in detail. An introduction will be effective if you compile it based on our scheme. When drawing up an introductory part, you should include such elements:

  • Background information (context)
  • Main definitions (if there are any)
  • Topic-related thesis.

This structure makes it possible to convey any idea in a concise way. Remember: An opening paragraph should be short while writing a persuasive essay . All you need is to present a clear idea which will potentially hook the reader. Giving some hint on the gist of writing will be enough.

Starting a Persuasive Essay with a Hook

One idea that always works is starting a persuasive essay with a hook. You should make it clear about your topic in advance. Thus, you will attract reader’s attention. You should choose a strong sentence that will hook your addressee and may give them a particular idea. You can start persuasive essays with any question related to your topic or with an interesting fact. Quite often students use statistical data or quotes of some experts in their field of knowledge. This is the first step towards persuasion. It demonstrates that the subsequent text won’t be inferior. But just having an effective hook won’t be sufficient, so you should gradually prepare your reader. And we will learn more about this in the next section. In the meantime, have you already considered hiring a persuasive essay writer ? Our writers are academic-savvy and can create a great persuasive essay quickly and efficiently. 

Background Information in Persuasive Essay

In an introductory paragraph of a persuasive essay after the hook, we recommend outlining some topic’s context. Focus reader’s attention on background information. Here’s what you can include to develop your topic further:

  • Historical or geographical facts
  • Key characteristics.

This section should not only familiarize your readers with some background facts that you have researched. You also should smoothly lead to a thesis statement.

How to Write a Persuasive Essay Thesis

Your writing should begin with a strong persuasive essay thesis statement. Your thesis should introduce the topic and offer your viewpoint on some matter. Besides, it should list several arguments you are going to discuss in the main body. This statement will complete an introduction. Then, you will proceed to presenting the gist of an essay. Keep in mind several things that make a persuasive essay thesis stronger. First of all, a claim that you make should be debatable. This means that other people may have an opposing viewpoint. Secondly, your thesis statement should have a reasonable scope. Don’t make it too narrow, and, yet, this statement should be focused. Now that you know what elements should be included in your persuasive essay introduction, let’s discuss some writing tips.  

How to Start a Strong Persuasive Essay: Main Tips

While working on your text, you will surely need tips on how to start a persuasive essay. By following our hacks, you will be able to convey important information to readers. Based on our experience in preparing academic texts, we have developed some recommendations. Our writing tips will make your persuasive essay introduction as informative and attractive as possible. Meanwhile, some of these suggestions may be applied to other types of academic writing.  

Tip 1: Brainstorm Your Topic Before Starting a Persuasive Essay

Don’t rush to start writing right away – you should think about some good persuasive essay topics to begin your essay. The most effective way is to work on any topic in line with the purpose that you have set for yourself. Focus on any subject that you are genuinely interested in and do preliminary research. Make sure you have enough supporting facts that prove your opinion. Follow these steps to make your persuasive essay topic irresistible:  

  • Summarize well-known facts on your topic.
  • Highlight controversial points.
  • Prepare points for further argumentation.

This way, you will know whether you should conduct any additional research. Besides, you will know if there is enough information that can convince readers of your point of view.

Tip 2: Provide a Hook for Your Persuasive Essay Introduction

An introduction of persuasive essay won’t be complete without a hook. If you fail to include it, such paper will unlikely captivate reader’s attention. A catchy hook helps to break the ice between your writing and readers. In turn, an increased attention ensures that your audience understands your topic well. Here are several things you may include in your hook to make it more effective:  

  • Quotes It’s a good idea if they relate to the topic and bring readers to the main subject.
  • Joke It is a great opportunity to dilute this formal environment and create some positive vibe.
  • Question It is good when it’s rhetorical and makes readers think. In fact, this will help you involve readers in an action or some kind of dialogue.
  • Statistics It works, if numbers are related to your research. Choose the most relevant data.
  • Counterargument Starting with an opposite opinion is a great way to refute this counterargument from the very beginning. This technique helps you intrigue readers at an early stage.

These recommendations may help you create a good hook that will attract readers, so use them wisely.

Tip 3: Create a Context for Your Persuasive Essay

When working on your persuasive essay introduction, be sure that you provide some background on the topic. Put readers in some context. You are more than welcome to use any statistical facts, numbers or in-depth definition. Historical or biographical details will work as well. Your task is to set an exact direction of thoughts. But don’t reveal any arguments and proofs in this section – you will do that later. Mention why this problem should be investigated, with more precise explanations being provided in body paragraphs. With the clear context, it will be much easier to perceive any idea. On top of that, given the proper background, there should be no doubts about your argument. Consider our best college essay writing services to speed the process up.

Tip 4: Write a Thesis Statement for Your Persuasive Essay Intro

How to start a persuasive essay thesis? It is easy: just write 1-2 sentences that clearly describe your main claim. Remember that your whole essay will be based on this statement. So, when crafting the thesis statement, make sure that you will be able to prove it. Make it sound logical – your statement shouldn’t be based on some blind guesses. Readers should understand your point and what they will find in the following paragraphs. Feel free to list your arguments, but don’t overdo it with extra details. Save more room for in-depth thoughts that will be covered in body paragraphs.  

Tip 5: Start Persuasive Essay Briefly

Start a persuasive essay with some brief information on what one will learn from the text. Choose the main theses, provide them in a concise way, so as not to overload the reader’s mind. Mention the importance of your topic – your reader should be convinced that this essay is worth reading. Although your opinion should be arguable, this doesn’t mean that you can write vague sentences. Refer to those facts that resonate with your central statement. Long story short, be concise and stay on point. Buy essay online  that may be of help to you if anything seems too vague right now.  

Tip 6: Be Convincing in Your Persuasive Essay Introduction

When you try to start a persuasive essay, chances are that you will come across advice to use credible references. While this is all good and well, we suggest focusing more on the convincing arguments – your personal opinion. Indicate that your paper has been written based on personal experience and resulted from your own research. With this approach, the fact that it includes your thoughts won’t surprise anyone. You shouldn’t write about the truths known to everyone interested in this topic. You should better provide your ideas on why your thesis is correct. Explain why you have decided on this position. This is a polemical style that will trigger a number of debates.  

Persuasive Essay Introduction Examples

If you don’t know how to start a persuasive essay, examples will surely be useful for you. After all, this is a good opportunity to get acquainted with successful patterns and include the best of them in your text. For instance, you can see ways of structuring arguments in an actual example and use it as the basis for your own essay. Still, you should choose your own arguments related to the topic. It all may sound complicated. For this reason, we will introduce an example of what a convincing introduction structure may be like.  

How to Start a Persuasive Essay About a Book: Example

Before finding out how to start a persuasive essay about a book, decide on the literature. However, regardless of any genre and author, your topic will be dedicated to providing your opinion. Focus on your position and provide 3 arguments that you will discuss further. Our example will help you make it clear.

Example of essay introduction about a book

Persuasive Essay Introduction on Gun Control: Example

Your opinion on such an important topic as gun control should sound convincing. Before deciding on how to start a persuasive essay on gun control, make readers believe you have chosen some weighty thesis to develop further. Let’s look at an example.  

Example of persuasive essay introduction on gun control

How to Start Off a Persuasive Essay About Debates: Example

It is not difficult to work out the topic of debates. But before you find out how to start off a persuasive essay about debates, highlight the thesis that you support. You should specify the purpose of an essay in an introduction and avoid unsupported value judgments.  

Example of persuasive essay introduction about debates

Starting a Persuasive Essay on Too Much Homework: Example

Before deciding on how to  write a persuasive essay  on too much homework, you should keep in mind that this topic is quite unusual. To define your position, you should prepare strong arguments; statistics will make an especially good hook.  

Example of persuasive essay introduction about too much homework

Writing a Persuasive Essay on Starting a Colony: Template

To write an introduction of a persuasive essay on starting a colony, you should take on a strong stance on this matter. Be clear and convey the need for this action. Give general arguments, referring to historical practice – this will convince an audience to accept your point.

Example of introduction of a persuasive essay on starting a colony

Final Thoughts

An introduction of a persuasive essay should be effective. After all, it’s the first thing that the readers will see. So, to make a persuasive essay introduction informative and convincing, you should make arguments clear and prepare your arguments. Include such elements in your introduction:

  • Hook to attract the readers’ attention
  • Personal opinion and proprietary research
  • Thesis statement.

By using the above-listed recommendations, you will create a really high-quality introduction for an essay, where you will specify your position and convince readers of the topic's importance. BTW, a free essay maker might help you generate a persuasive essay. Use it to simplify the process.

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If you are struggling with your persuasive essay, entrust this task to our academic writers. Share your requirements and our experts will work miracles in a timely manner.

FAQ About Persuasive Essay Introductions

1. what comes first in a persuasive essay.

When writing a persuasive essay introduction, you should indicate the problem you are going to cover. Specify some types and characters that are important to readers. Don’t forget about presenting your personal achievements and opinions. But make sure that you don’t dilute your first paragraph. An introduction should be to the point, just like the rest of writing.

2. How to start a persuasive essay about littering?

Before deciding on how to start a persuasive essay about littering, you should  outline  the issue. In our case, this is litter that pollutes our planet, with its influence having already been proven by hundreds of studies. Highlight the fact that litter doesn’t only harm our planet in general, but also does affect us directly. Prove it by an argument that it accumulates in the environment. These can be the places we work, live and have fun in, which is harmful to our health.  

3. How can I create a hook for an essay about refugees?

Many people ask how to start a persuasive essay with a hook when it comes to writing a paper about refugees. We recommend describing some feelings and loneliness that this category of people experiences. Make an emotional hook to evoke the readers’ moral side. This will work, and you will get readers interested. After all, this is the most important aspect of any type of writing.

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Daniel Howard is an Essay Writing guru. He helps students create essays that will strike a chord with the readers.

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how do you start a persuasive speech example

12+ Speech Examples That Worked — And What We Can Learn From Them

  • The Speaker Lab
  • July 5, 2024

Table of Contents

Delving into speech examples can unlock the power of your voice and ideas. You’ll learn reasons for crafting speeches, ranging from persuasion to education. Plus, we’ll show you how to make yours hit home with structure, storytelling, and rhetorical tricks. Explore iconic historical speeches for inspiration and break down modern ones to see what works today. Plus, learn strategies to present confidently to different audiences and situations. From leveraging visual aids effectively to tailoring your message just right, this piece covers it all.

Understanding the Purpose of Speeches

At its core, every speech serves a purpose. This might be to persuade, inform, entertain, or inspire. But why does this matter? Knowing your speech’s goal shapes everything, from the words you choose to how you deliver them.

Crafting Your Speech for Impact

To create a memorable speech, start with structure. A solid framework guides your audience through your message without losing them along the way. Next up is storytelling—our brains are wired to love stories because they help us understand complex ideas easily. And don’t forget about rhetorical devices; tools like repetition and metaphor can make your message stick.

An effective speech isn’t just about what you say but also how you say it. Varying your tone keeps listeners engaged while making eye contact helps build trust and connection.

Famous Speech Examples

The power of speeches in shaping history cannot be overstated. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech is a masterclass in using vivid imagery and anaphora to appeal emotionally and intellectually. Meanwhile, Winston Churchill’s “We Shall Fight on the Beaches” showcases how determination and resilience can rally nations during tough times.

These examples teach us that great speeches combine substance with style, making their messages unforgettable long after they’re delivered.

Analyzing Modern Speech Examples

In today’s digital age, speeches still have significant impact. Take Malala Yousafzai’s impassioned pleas for education rights or Steve Jobs’ commencement address at Stanford University urging graduates to stay hungry for knowledge.

Analyzing these modern classics reveals key ingredients: authenticity resonates deeply with audiences; simplicity makes even complex topics accessible; and personal anecdotes ensure relatability. This trio is worth remembering when crafting your next presentation.

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Every speech is a journey where you’re the captain, and your audience are the explorers. To make sure it’s a trip worth remembering, focus on structuring your content effectively, weaving engaging stories into your narrative, and employing rhetorical devices that stick.

Structuring Your Content for Clarity

The backbone of any impactful speech lies in its structure . Think of it as constructing a building; without a solid foundation and framework, everything else crumbles. Start with an attention-grabbing opening to hook your listeners right off the bat. Next comes the body of your speech. This is where you delve deep into your main points, supporting them with evidence or fleshing them our with anecdotes. Lastly, end with a powerful conclusion that not only summarizes key takeaways but also leaves your audience pondering long after they’ve left the room.

A well-structured speech ensures clarity and makes it easier for audiences to follow along without getting lost in jargon or complex ideas. For more insights on crafting clear messages, check out our guide on structuring speeches here .

Engaging Storytelling That Resonates

We’re hardwired to love stories—they evoke emotions and create connections better than any other form of communication. Incorporating personal experiences or relevant anecdotes within your speech can transform abstract concepts into tangible realities for your listeners. This doesn’t just help them understand but also remember what you’ve said long after the applause dies down.

To master storytelling techniques that captivate, check out this podcast episode here .

Using Rhetorical Devices Effectively

Rhetorical devices are like spices—they can turn bland content into something flavorful that sticks. For example, repetition reinforces important points in your speech; analogies help explain complex topics simply by comparing them to familiar things; and questions engage audiences directly, making them active participants rather than passive listeners. So don’t shy away from sprinkling these elements throughout your presentation.

Famous Speech Examples Throughout History

When we talk about speeches that have left a mark, it’s like diving into a treasure trove of history’s most pivotal moments. These aren’t just words; they’re the voice of change, courage, and inspiration.

Speech Examples with Powerful Purpose

Some speeches have enough power behind them to move mountains. Take Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech, for example. It wasn’t just about sharing an idea; it was about rallying a nation towards equality and justice. Or consider Winston Churchill’s “We Shall Fight on the Beaches” speech urging resilience during World War II’s darkest hours. Each word chosen had purpose, shaping content to stir hearts and minds.

Speech Examples with Compelling Structure

Crafting something memorable starts with knowing your core message inside out, then supporting that message with facts and anecdotes to illustrate your point. Structure is key; opening strong grabs attention while closing on an thoughtful note leaves your audience thinking long after you’ve stepped down from the podium.

Rhetorical devices aren’t old school tricks but rather essential tools in your arsenal. Imagine delivering lines as compelling as those found in John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address , where rhythmic patterns and strategic repetition emphasize his vision for America—truly captivating.

When we think about speeches that have grabbed headlines and hearts in recent years, a few key examples spring to mind. These modern orations offer rich lessons for anyone looking to make an impact through public speaking.

Speech Examples with a Target Audience

Today’s memorable speeches don’t just happen by accident. They’re meticulously crafted with the audience in mind. Take for example Malala Yousafzai’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech . She used her personal story as a powerful tool to engage and inspire her audience. By sharing her experiences, she made abstract issues like education rights tangible and urgent.

To craft your speech for impact, start by identifying the core message you want to convey. Then think about how you can connect this message with your audience on an emotional level. Use stories from your own life or others’ lives as Yousafzai did; doing so lets people see themselves in your narrative.

Delivering Your Speech Confidently

The best content can fall flat without confident delivery. Watching Susan Cain’s TED talk on the power of introverts, we see how calm presence combined with passionate storytelling captures attention even if you’re not naturally extroverted.

Practice is key here but so is believing in what you’re saying. Find that driving belief before stepping onto any stage or platform because confidence comes from conviction first and foremost.

Adapting Your Speech to Different Audiences

Imagine stepping up to the podium, your heart racing. You’ve prepared a killer speech, but as you scan the room, you realize not everyone will receive it in the same way. This is where adapting your speech to different audiences becomes crucial.

Crafting Content That Resonates

To make sure your message hits home, tailor it to who’s listening. For example, if you’re speaking at a tech conference, dive deep into specifics and latest trends that excite a tech-savvy crowd. But if it’s a community event with people from all walks of life, keep technical jargon at bay and focus on more universal themes.

The key is knowing what matters most to your audience. A great place for insights is through forums or social media groups related to your topic or industry. Engaging directly with these communities can give you an edge by understanding their interests and concerns better.

The Art of Style Flexibility

Your delivery style should shift as much as your content does depending on whom you’re addressing. For corporate executives? Be concise and authoritative; they appreciate getting straight to the point because time is money for them. Here are some top presentation tips that might help sharpen those skills.

When engaging younger audiences or speaking in less formal settings like workshops or meetups, your approach is going to be different. In cases like these, focus on storytelling techniques instead of brevity. Using anecdotes and analogies can be incredibly effective in making complex ideas relatable and memorable for these audiences.

Making Adjustments on the Fly

Sometimes despite all preparations things don’t go according plan. Maybe jokes fall flat or technical details lose people’s interest. That’s why being observant of audience body language and facial expressions is so important. Depending on the cues you’re getting, you should be ready to adjust course mid-presentation.

This adaptability not only saves potentially sinking speeches but also endears speakers to their listeners, showing they care about the experience of receiving the message. Remember, no two audiences are alike. Every group brings its unique set of challenges and opportunities. By fine-tuning your approach in each setting, you’ll be able to connect deeply across a broad spectrum of situations, leaving a lasting impression every time.

Utilizing Visual Aids in Speeches

Visual aids have the power to make your speech more memorable. However, poorly used visual aids might mean you’re remembered for the wrong reason. Let’s talk about how to make your speeches stand out with some well-placed visuals.

The Importance of Visual Aids

Visual aids do more than just break up the monotony; they can help drive your point home. For instance, when you present data or statistics, showing a graph can make those numbers stick better in your audience’s mind than simply hearing them could ever do. This is because our brains process visuals faster than text or speech.

If you’re interested in adding visual aids to your speech, other examples include props, slides, maps, and videos, just to name a few. Consider what will work best in light of your presentation and your resources.

Tips for Effective Use of Visual Aids

To get started on the right foot, keep these pointers in mind:

  • KISS (Keep It Simple, Speaker): A cluttered slide distracts more than it informs. Stick to one main idea per visual aid.
  • Cohesion Is Key: Your visuals—think fonts, colors, pictures, and themes—should match your message style and tone. For instance, you wouldn’t choose silly pictures for a formal presentation.
  • Audience Engagement: Polls or interactive elements not only hold attention but also provide instant feedback from your listeners. Poll Everywhere offers an easy way to incorporate live polls into presentations.

Incorporating effective visual aids isn’t just throwing pictures onto slides. It requires thoughtfulness and strategy to enhance understanding and retention among audiences. This is where theory meets practice. Now go turn that next presentation into something spectacularly vivid!

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FAQs on Speech Examples

What are the 3 main types of speeches.

The three big ones are informative, persuasive, and special occasion. Each serves its own unique goal.

How do you start a speech example?

Kick off with a hook: ask a question, share an interesting fact, or tell a quick story to grab attention.

How do you create a speech?

Pick your main idea, outline key points, add stories or stats for support, and wrap it up neatly at the end.

How do you make a speech sample?

Draft it around one clear message. Mix in personal anecdotes or relevant quotes to spice things up and connect better.

Diving into speech examples shines a light on the art of communication. From crafting speeches with purpose to using storytelling and rhetorical devices, these techniques let you connect more deeply with your audience. To see effective techniques at work, simply analyze historic and modern speeches that resonate.

Before the big day, practice your delivery to boost your confidence. Adapting to different audiences ensures your message lands right. And don’t forget, visual aids can truly enhance understanding.

So start shaping your ideas with clarity and conviction today! Let these insights guide you in making every word count.

  • Last Updated: July 3, 2024

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Examples

Persuasive Speech

Persuasive speeches generator.

how do you start a persuasive speech example

June 4, 1940; the day when Prime Minister Winston Churchill spoke before the House of Commons, and gave a report that celebrated the safe rescue of their troops that were stranded on the beach of Dunkirk while also seeking to raise a point on Britain not negotiating peace terms with the monster Adolf Hitler.

  • Narrative Speech Examples
  • Short Speech Examples

“Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans…” Churchill

Introduction Persuasive Speech

Introduction Persuasive Speech

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Persuasive Speech Outline

Persuasive Speech Outline

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August 8, 1942. India was under the direct rule of Britain for almost a century and, many of the locals had enough. Mahatma Gandhi, who was the founder of non-violent civil disobedience tactics, together with the National Indian Congress, in his speech “Quit India” demanded complete independence from British rule as they pushed for a completely non-violent movement .

“But it is my conviction that in as much as these struggles were fought with the weapon of violence, they failed to realize the democratic ideal. In the democracy which I have envisaged, a democracy established by non-violence, there will be equal freedom for all.” Gandhi

August 28, 1963; after the concept of black men being slaves ended only a century after 1863, African-Americans were promised full equality. But instead, they were denied of their human rights as human beings by turned away in restaurants, black children were hosed down, people looked at them with contempt, black children were being bused to separate schools. Dr. Martin Luther King, a avid believer of Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent civil disobedience tactics had enough of this and took to the streets and then and there, delivered his address at Washington D.C Civil Rights March, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

“I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification – one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.” Dr. King

how do you start a persuasive speech example

What do these three speakers have in common other than the fact they are all males? They are not only known as the greatest persuasive speakers of all time, but they are also activists who stand up for something that they would want their convictions and beliefs to be heard by the audience. Unlike argumentative speeches, persuasive speeches have the goal of convincing the audiences to what they stand for in order to bring about a change the way in their thinking and the way they live.

Purpose of a Good Persuasion Speech

A persuasive speech is meant to influence to change the perception of the audience in terms of their perception, belief, opinions, regarding a certain issue or topic that seems timely. The author of the said speech has the objective to challenge the audience’s way of thinking, conceptions as well as misconceptions, and to draw their attention into conceding with the beliefs of the one delivering the speech.

One purpose of the persuasive speech is to enhance the belief of the listeners in a particular issue. During the 2016 US Elections, Presidential Candidate Donald Trump promised to make America great again in attempt to deliver the following promises during his term: repeal Obamacare, build a wall and make Mexico pay for it, suspend immigration from terror-prone places, cut taxes for everyone, and lower the business tax rate.

Despite the fact that the millennial generation had placed their bets for Democrat Secretary Hillary Clinton’s victory over that of the Republican, Donald Trump eventually won and took his seat in office as the 45th President of the United States of America (POTUS). Listed below is a sample outline of a persuasive speech written by Tom Wingard:

Simple Persuasive Speech Example

Simple Persuasive Speech Example

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Writers Persuasive Speech

Writers Persuasive Speech

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Process of Writing a Good Persuasive Speech

Once you start writing a persuasive speech, you need to be careful as it demands careful planning and fact-based presentation to convince your audience. Without those, it would just be another blabbermouth running his mouth, not knowing what he is trying to do. Like all speeches, it must be backed by research, statistical figures, data, quotes, figures, tables, real-life events, or anything that has happened that might convince the audience to believe you.

It is important that you learn to organize your files and your data cohesively and coherently to provide a smooth transition so that the audience may keep track of the pointers that you have delivered to them over the course of the speech. It is important that you prepare a draft ahead of time as well as an outline that acts as a guide to assist you throughout your speech.

Writing your Persuasive Speech Outline

Shall we begin? Writing speeches have numerous challenges. Writing speeches are one thing, but it is another when you deliver it in front off the crowd. To help you with that, here a few guidelines that can help you when drafting your speech outline for the first time.

  • Choose your topic.  Find a topic that suits best to your many interests and likes. However, if the topic is just going to be assigned to you, you will have to exert extra effort in making the selected topic worthwhile to the listeners.
  • Implement guidelines.  The takeaway for the audience. If you have nothing to give the audience whatsoever, then there is absolutely no point in giving the speech in the first place if the audience learns nothing from it. It would only be a waste of time for both the speaker and crowd.
  • Grab the listener’s attention.  First impressions matter. Start strong and end strong. If you give a very weak impression, where does that leave your audience? Today’s audience have very high expectations among the speakers. If you bore them out the first few minutes of your talk, then they would likely fall asleep all throughout your speech, even if you are getting to the interesting and fun part.
  • Establish credibility.  Do not make a fool out of yourself by saying nonsense. make sure that you manage to research everything beforehand. After your research, learn to verify. In this age of fake news, there is also the tendency of fake information. Get your information from reliable sources.
  • Make a thesis statement.  This thesis statement serves as the summary of the argument you are trying to make in a sentence.
  • Recap your points.  Try to convince the crowd on why the issue is considered critical and important in today’s society. In doing so, tell the crowd of the little things they can do to help become a part of the solution, instead of increasing the problem about the said issue. Point out the cause and effect of a solution done correctly and a solution done incorrectly. At the end of the day, let the audience leave with a takeaway that they can remember..
  • Summarize your points again.  Go back to the main points that you have made in your speech, but keep it short and simple to help refresh the memory of the audience.
  • Add transitions.  After finishing with point A, how would you then proceed to point B and still make sense of point A? You add transitions so that the flow of the speech will become smooth.
  • Be aware of who you are speaking to.  Know your target audience. The more you know them, the more you can adjust the content of your speech for the audience to relate to it better. And in the understanding of who your target audience is, you might be able to insert some jokes. But make it a point that they are not too informal.

After completing your outline, you begin to start plotting out the speech itself. You may refer to persuasive speech examples . There are numerous topics that you can choose from, it all depends on the timeliness and the relevance of that said issue in society. In light of the recent Florida shootings, both students and parents alike have had enough of seeing their dead child or dead classmate because of a monster that was able to get an assault rifle at the age of eighteen.

The students, faculty, and parents of Stoneman Douglas High School took part in a debate that was organized by Cable News Network (CNN) with representatives of the state and the National Rifle Association (NRA) in helping resolve this issue. Their pleas and their cries have reached the ears of Senator Mark Rubio and promised that change would be coming to the nation.

Remember, persuasion is a gift. If you are able to convince someone naturally to support your cause, then consider yourself lucky. If not, then practice, practice, practice!

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Text prompt

  • Instructive
  • Professional

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126 Good Informative Speech Topics – 2024

June 23, 2024

What is an informative speech? You may be asking this question if you find yourself needing to give one for a class or extracurricular. Unlike a persuasive speech , which is designed to convince an audience of something, or a debate , which can be polemic by nature, an informative speech is meant to educate its listeners on a topic, elucidate an unclear idea, or simply help an audience delve more deeply into a subject. In other words, while informative speeches can persuade or argue, they don’t have to. In this article, we’ll highlight a few tips on how to choose good informative speech topics, and then provide a list of 126 informative speech ideas to get you brainstorming for your next big speech!

How to Choose Informative Speech Topics

Your choice of informative speech topic will depend greatly upon the task at hand: is this speech for a class? A passion project ? A campus rally? A professional development conference? Recruiting for a particular major, club, or community service organization? A high school speech competition? Once you know the purpose and parameters of your speech, it will be easier to select an informative speech topic that is an appropriate subject and size. Additionally, it’s important to consider your audience, expertise, scope, research, and tone before you delve into your writing.

Knowing your target audience is key to creating reciprocity, or the necessary give and take between speaker and listener that creates communication and understanding. Speakers who know their audiences are better able to shape their speeches to be well-received. [i] Imagine, for example, you’re giving an informative speech on “Jane Austen’s narrators.” You must ask yourself: are you giving your speech to a panel of scholars, to educated adult non-experts, or to grade school-aged children? If your audience will be comprised of literature professors, your speech should provide fairly advanced and in-depth knowledge and should be filled with the latest developments in professional literary criticism. If your audience is made up of grade school-aged children, you’ll want to start with the basics, like who was Jane Austen? And what, exactly, is a narrator?

As you give your informative speech, you’ll want to think about not only your audience’s level of expertise in your speech topic, but also your own (and it’s okay if you’re a novice in the subject!). [ii] An informative speech often includes or takes into consideration a synthesis of preexisting scholarship in a field or information around a topic. While you don’t need to apprise your audience of an entire body of research before you begin delivering your speech, you do want to have a working knowledge of the preexisting conversation around your informative speech topic. [iii] This will inform the level of research you’ll need to perform before you begin writing your speech.

In terms of selecting research sources, it’s good to remember the three P’s: peer-reviewed , published , and prestigious . A peer-reviewed source is one that has been evaluated by a group of experts in the field of the writer. It has undergone the most stringent editing and fact-checking and, when first published, is the most up-to-date information in a field. A published source is one that has also usually undergone some editing before publication – though you’ll want to be wary of self-published sources and online publications (these usually don’t receive the same kind of scrutiny as printed texts).

Finally, it’s certainly okay to use online sources, but you want to make sure they are coming from a prestigious or at least well-known source like a national newspaper or even an established commercial website. A good tip for assessing a source’s quality is to check: does this source cite any outside resources in a works cited or in footnotes?

You want to be sure that you are able to cover a topic thoroughly, given the time and resources allotted. For example, if you have five minutes to give an informative speech to your psychology 101 classmates, you could choose a general topic like, “Why was Sigmund Freud important to psychology?” If you have an hour to give an informative speech at a professional psychology conference, you might provide a detailed account of Sigmund Freud’s most important contributions to a particular branch of modern psychology and explain its current significance to the field, including recent developments in research and clinical practice.

Finally, something crucial to consider is the emotional register of your speech. Is the subject matter something serious like an illness or climate change? Or is it a politically charged topic like immigration or gun control? Is it light, like “how to make pizza dough” or “the invention of the roller coaster?” Or is it merely intriguing or educating like, “personality typing and psychology,” “owning a poodle,” or “Ben Franklin’s top five aphorisms?” Gauging the emotional involvement of your audience will help you choose an appropriate informative speech topic for the project at hand and will ultimately let you craft a more effective speech.

The 126 informative speech ideas below run the gamut from broad to very specific and can all serve as starting points as you brainstorm what you’d like to give a speech on. Good luck!

Health & Medicine Informative Speech Topics

1) Ideas on curbing the spread of future global pandemics.

2) What is the endocrine system?

3) What is a physician’s assistant?

4) The importance of blood donation.

5) Disparities in healthcare between different demographic groups.

6) How did Marie Curie contribute to the medical field?

7) What is the role of nurses in primary care settings?

8) What subspecialties are there in women’s health?

9) What recent developments have been made in knee replacement surgery techniques?

Good Informative Speech Topics/Informative Speech Ideas (Continued)

10) What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

11) Telehealth and patient outcomes in recent years.

12) How to MRI machines work?

13) Comparing healthcare systems in different countries.

14) The five most important cancer research innovations in the past five years.

15) What is a plague?

16) How does social media affect mental health?

17) What is the World Health Organization?

18) What are the differences between a midwife and an obstetrician?

STEM Informative Speech Topics

19) What are some important differences between commercial and government-sponsored space flight programs?

20) How do rollercoasters work?

21) The relationship between AI and defense.

22) How are robots used in surgeries?

23) How do you solve a quadratic equation?

24) Why are information systems an important part of modern marketing?

25) What recent innovations have been made in the field of machine learning algorithms?

26) How has cloud computing changed in the past five years?

27) What is the role of engineers in mining and extraction?

28) What is a black hole?

29) What is internal combustion?

30) How self-driving cars work.

31) What are some differences between aeronautical and aerospace engineers?

32) What is Euclidian geometry?

33) How is probability be used in sport management?

34) Why are we running out of helium?

35) What is the relationship between cybersecurity and national politics?

36) The most important uses of 3D printing?

Arts & Humanities Informative Speech Topics

37) What are the most likely interpretations of Hamlet’s “To be or not to be?” speech ?

38) What was the Dadaism movement?

39) Why is the Mona Lisa so popular?

40) The differences between highbrow, lowbrow, and commercial cultural production.

41) What are the major tenets of postmodernism?

42) The influences of Alfred Hitchcock on modern cinema.

43) What is the difference between “performance” and “performativity?”

44) What are the differences between an early novel and a romance?

45) Recent developments in literature and ecocriticism.

46) What is the debate on the Elgin Marbles?

47) In what ways was fashion an important element of the Belle Epoch era?

48) The top five most influential texts in speculative fiction.

49) What is pop art?

50) Who was Andy Warhol?

51) What is The Iliad ?

52) Postcolonial studies as an academic field.

53) The history of the Louvre museum.

54) Jane Austen’s narrators and free indirect discourse.

Psychology and Sociology Informative Speech Topics

55) What is the Enneagram and how is it used in therapeutic settings?

56) How did Pierre Bourdieu define “fields?”

57) What is the Panopticon?

58) What is intersectionality?

59) The role of psychologists in school settings.

60) How is behavior psychology related to consumerism and marketing?

61) What is gentrification?

62) The role of the pharmaceutical industry in psychiatric treatment.

63) Who was Sigmund Freud and why is he important?

64) What is the difference between clinical and research psychology?

65) What is the relationship between social media and mental health?

66) What is neuropsychology?

67) What is an ethnographic study?

68) How did Habermas define the public sphere?

69) What is multiple personality disorder?

70) What is are the “gaze” and the “mirror stage,” according to Lacan?

71) Describe the prisoner’s dilemma.

72) What is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs?

Nature and Environment Informative Speech Topics

73) What are some pros and cons of wind farming?

74) Why are microbiomes important for health?

75) What is an axolotl?

76) Death Valley: the hottest place on Earth

77) What threats do spotted lanternflies pose?

78) What are the most significant climate change “points of no return?”

79) Water conservation strategies in the American West.

80) What is biodiversity?

81) How do dolphins communicate?

82) Why was Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring significant for the environmentalist movement?

83) How was the Santorini caldera created?

84) What are plate tectonics?

85) How and why tornadoes happen.

86) What is the El Niño phenomenon and why is it important?

87) Fungus and blue spruce disease in Northeast Ohio.

88) What measures are being taken to curb deforestation in the Amazon?

89) How is the Galapagos ecosystem preserved today?

90) Floridian ecosystems and the Red Tide.

Business, Marketing, Finance and Economy

91) The role of sports merchandising in U.S. women’s Olympic events.

92) Subprime mortgages and the housing market crash of 2008.

93) What are the eight best steps you can take to better your personal finances?

94) Which social media platforms are most lucrative for marketing to each current online generation?

95) What is inflation?

96) What is the relationship between politics and the unemployment rate?

97) What is market saturation?

98) How do we measure the GDP of emergent nations?

99) What developments to we expect to see in the industry competition between EVs and regular automobiles?

100) What is an index fund? What is a mutual fund?

101) Bond holdings late in retirement.

102) The role of social justice in branding.

103) How does search engine optimization work for marketing?

104) Is the influencer economy a bubble?

105) Describe the differences between a CFA and a CPA.

106) What developments have we seen in start-up economies in the past five years?

107) What is embezzlement?

108) What is the history of human resource departments?

History and Travel

109) The religious persuasions of each of Henry VIII’s wives .

110) How the aqueduct system worked in ancient Rome

111) What are the tallest buildings in the world?

112) What was the Black Death?

113) The Watergate Scandal.

114) In what ways was the printing press an important invention?

115) What is the Chernobyl site like today?

116) What was the relationship between Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla?

117) Why was the Great Wall of China built?

118) Who were medieval anchorites?

119) The political significance of whistle-stop train tours.

120) What was the significance of the Second Boer War?

121) The Tennis Court Oath .

122) What are the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World?

123) Witch hunting in 1600s New England.

124) What was the Space Race?

125) Why are the bodies of Pompeiians preserved?

126) What is Machu Picchu?

Good Informative Speech Topics – Works Cited

[i] Lloyd-Hughes, Sarah. How to Be Brilliant at Public Speaking: Any Audience, Any Situation . Pearson Educated Limited, Edinburgh 2011.

[ii] Downs, Douglas and Elizabeth Wardle. “What Can a Novice Contribute? Undergraduate Researchers in First-Year Composition,” Undergraduate Research in English Studies (2010) pp. 173-90).

[iii] Graff, Gerard, and Cathy Birkenstein. They Say / I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing . W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 2006.

Informative Speech Ideas – Additional Reading

  • 149 Capstone Project Ideas and Examples
  • 100 Best Political Science Research Topics
  • 64 Social Issues Topics 
  • High School Success

Jamie Smith

For the past decade, Jamie has taught writing and English literature at several universities, including Boston College, the University of Pittsburgh, and Carnegie Mellon University. She earned a Ph.D. in English from Carnegie Mellon, where she currently teaches courses and conducts research on composition, public writing, and British literature.

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