Persuasion is the process of creating, reinforcing, or changing people’s beliefs or actions. When you speak to persuade, you act as an advocate. Your job to sell a program, to defend an idea, to refute an opponent, or to inspire to action. The ability to speak persuasively will benefit you in every part of your life, from personal relations to community activities to career aspirations.
Decide on the topic for your persuasive speech. Do not choose an informative topic.
Review the following sample Persuasive Speeches:
Persuasive Speech on Being a Hero
Persuasive Presentation – Blood Donation
Persuasive Speech – Texting While Driving
What you must submit:
Sample TopicsThese examples are just to give you ideas. If you really are not interested in these sample topics, then you really should select an original topic of your own that you yourself know a great deal about, and about which you are excited and enthusiastic about sharing with others.
Public Schools should/should not have a required school uniform as part of their dress codes.
Requiring public school students to pass a mandatory test each year before they can be passed to the next grade should/should not have been a feature of the No Child Left Behind law.
Marijuana should/should not be legalized.
Congress should/should not have failed to renew the Assault Weapons bill which restricted weapons such as AK-47’s, but placed no restrictions on hunters or families.
Hackers who damage computers with viruses they create should/should not be required to pay monetary compensation for the damage they cause.
The Ten Commandments from the Holy Bible should/should not be displayed in public buildings.
Stem cell research should/should not be expanded to improve the lives of many afflicted people, such as Michael J. Fox with Parkinson’s disease and Christopher Reeve with a spinal cord injury.
All police cars should/should not be equipped with video-cameras.
The Electoral College (which currently elects the U. S. President) should/should not be abolished.
Congress should/should not reinstate a military draft of 18-year-old men and women.
Congress should/should not pass greater penalties against those who engage in identity theft.
Public schools should/should not do more to prevent weapons from being brought to school.
Cell phone users should/should not be prohibited from using their phones while driving.
Airlines should/should not be allowed to install electronic taser stun guns in the cockpit of all its aircraft.
Congress should/should not restrict violent content of video games.
Time Limits: 4 to 7 minutes (These time limits are strictly enforced) For most people, the middle of the range (5 1/2 minutes) is a good choice because your speech can be a little longer or shorter than you planned, and you are still okay time-wise. If you talk very fast when you are nervous, then you may want a speech closer to seven minutes so your presentation will not be too short. If you are long-winded and add in NEW information that you didn’t plan to say when you practiced, then you may want your speech to be barely four minutes in practice.
Time your speech when you practice, using a stopwatch, an egg-timer, a clock with a sweep second hand, or even a microwave. If you wish, you may have someone in your audience signal you with time-cards as your speech progresses, just as we would on Central Campus. Please tell your time-keeper to not hold up the time-cards in such a position that they block your recording device’s view of the speaker and/or audience. I do not recommend that the speaker take a timer with him or her to the lectern or speaking area because doing so tends to distract the speaker from his/her speech.
There is a ten-point penalty for each minute your speech falls outside of the time range. (Thus, a speech that lasted 7:01 would lose ten points, and a speech that lasted 8:01 would lose twenty points, while a speech that lasted only 3:59 would lose ten points, and so on and so forth.)
Get your Professor’s Approval for your Informative Speech Topic:
Please send your choices (via Messages in the course menu) for three Informative topics to your professor by the deadline date. After receiving your message, I will respond by approving, disapproving, or by offering limitations on how you may narrow, implement, or apply your Informative topics.
It is imperative that you choose a topic for your Persuasive Speech that is not Informative or a Demonstration.
You SHOULD take a stand on a controversial issue or try to convince the audience to adopt your point-of-view. At the end of a Persuasive Speech, you want the audience to believe that your position on the issue could be the correct one because you have supported your position with relevant evidence.
Your speech should also NOT physically show the audience how to move yourself or objects through a series of steps. A “how to” speech is called a Demonstration Speech or a Process Speech and it too is different from a Persuasive Presentation.
You also should not give a Sales Speech because buying a product involves changing an attitude. Changing brands of laundry detergent is not a life-altering decision; however, changing religions or political party affiliation could be life-altering decisions involving strongly-held beliefs and values.
The topic you choose should not be a position that has already been debated ad nauseam, because such a topic would be boring. You should also try to find supporting information for your topic that is interesting, surprising, and relevant to most members of your audience. The audience members want to know: “Does this have a big effect on me? Why should I care?”
Attempt to adapt your information to the group you are addressing. For example, if all the members of your audience are eighteen years-of-age and fresh out of high school, then they really do not care a great deal about retirement homes and cemetery plots.
Prsuasive Speech Supporting MaterialThe Persuasive Speech gives relevant information that supports the claim that your view-of-the-world and solution to a problem is the correct one. To be effective, the supporting material should be incorporated in a way that it proves the contentions that you are making in an organized, understandable way while preventing the speech from becoming dull and boring. For your speech to be useful, the data that you share in your Persuasive Speech must be accurate. The student is not expected to be an expert in the topic selected for the speech. The student is expected to study and research the topic until he or she is sure the information that is included in the speech is accurate and comprehensive. Even if the student is an expert, for the purpose of this class, the student must support all assertions by citing reputable sources. Part of the learning objective for this speech and the grading criteria for the speech is the student’s use of research techniques. You may use both library and Internet sources to research your topic. A minimum of three sources- – and no more than five sources- – in MLA form must be listed in your “Works Cited.” You should orally refer to their sources during your speech. Sources should be cited each time information from a source is used in the speech. For example, when you offer a statistic you need to cite what group or agency conducted the study. Otherwise, we will assume that you performed the research yourself and you will have to have the data to prove it.
Speakers must employ at least two statistics in their speeches, and cite which of the sources provided those numbers.
If all the statistics come from the same source, then you may say something like, “All my statistics came from the National Bureau of Statistics as reported in the Jones book.” To clarify statistics, posters with pie, line, bar or picture graphs can be used to illustrate relationships and ratios clearly. Changes in time periods can also be illustrated with statistics. If you were giving a speech on schizophrenia, you might tell the audience what percentage of the U. S. population has the affliction, the percentage who receive help, the percentage who become violent, etc. Tell which agency conducted the study and how reputable they are. For example, “According to the National Bureau of Statistics, it has been shown that nine out of ten automobile accidents occur within two miles of home.” Statistics can show how widespread a problem is. If few people are affected, why would the average person be interested?
At least two quotations should be included in your speech
Quotations should be clearly identified as quotes, with a signal phrase such as, “and I quote” or “according to…” The qualifications of the person being quoted should be incorporated before the quote. For example, “According to Dr. John Doe, head of the Research Department at I. M. Smart University, in his book How To Sound Knowledgeable When You Aren’t, and I quote, ‘As college students use their brains, more neuron pathways are created in their brains and their capacity to learn increases’ Unquote.” Some speakers feel that the “quote. . .unquote” technique sounds stilted and unnatural. If so, there is another technique that you may employ instead. You may substitute distinct pauses for “quote. . .unquote” before and after the quote. So using the same supporting material, you would say: “According to Dr. John Doe, head of the research department at I. M. Smart University, in his book, How to Sound Knowledgeable When You Aren’t, [distinct pause], ‘As college students use their brains, more neuron pathways are created in their brains and their capacity to learn increases.’ [distinct pause] Next we move to . . .”
At least two specific examples (people, places, or objects) should be included in your speech
While Statistics have logical appeal, and Quotations have both logical and emotional appeal, Specific Examples often appeal to our emotions. For example, according to the January 1995 issue of Time magazine, one particular AIDS victim, John Doe, has been hit hard by the disease. His symptoms include…
Don’t forget to orally footnote (cite) your sources in your Credibility Step, and each time you incorporate information from those sources.
Also, don’t forget to list your sources in your bibliography. Orally refer to your sources during your speech. Not to do so is plagiarism. Usually, only partial notations are given orally (this is called an oral footnote). One might cite book & author, or magazine & month. At least three sources are required in the bibliography, which should employ the MLA bibliography form. The sources must also be referred to orally during the speech. Every source that you use in your speech (at least three are required) must be documented both orally in the speech and in “Works Cited”.
Persuasive Speech ChecklistAsk yourself the following questions as you are preparing your Persuasive Speech:
Are all of my claims supported by evidence?
Do I use sufficient evidence to convince my audience of my claims?
Is my evidence stated in specific rather than general terms?
Do I use evidence that is new to my audience?
Is my evidence from credible, unbiased sources?
Do I identify the sources of my evidence?
Is my evidence clearly linked to each point that it is meant to prove?
Do I provide evidence to answer possible objections the audience may have to my position?
Persuasive Speech – Submission LinkSelect the Persuasive Speech link above to submit your completed assignment.
Create an outline. You may use the Speech Preparation Outline to create your outline.
Write 3×5 Notecards. You may use the Note Card Template to create your note cards.
Submit one of the following options:
link to your Vimeo video
link to your YouTube video
alternate submission information (approved by your instructor)