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Writing a Persuasive Speech: definition, structure, outline, format, topics, examples,

The goal of a persuasive speech is to convince your audience to agree with an idea or opinion that you present. You must first choose a side on a contentious issue, and then write a persuasive speech to explain your position and influence your audience to agree with you.

If you frame your argument as a solution to a problem, you can create an effective persuasive speech. As a speaker, your first job is to persuade your audience that a specific issue is important to them, and then you must persuade them that you have the solution to make things better. We’ve written a professional article to help you persuade your professor and keep your audience engaged.

What is a Persuasive Speech?

Persuasive speech means attempts to persuade the audience to do something. Persuasive speeches effectively persuade an audience to vote, stop littering, or change their minds about an important issue. A successful persuasive speech contains many components. However, you can deliver an effective speech with some planning and practice.

Persuasive Speech Outline Examples

Definition of a persuasive speech is delivered to persuade the audience to believe or do something. This could be anything from voting to organ donation to recycling. A persuasive speech effectively persuades the audience to your point of view if you come across as trustworthy and knowledgeable about the topic you’re discussing. So, how do you persuade a group of strangers to agree with you? And how do you make enough of an impression on them to gain their trust?

Persuasive Speech Topics

We’ve compiled a list of persuasive speech topics for you to consider the next time you’re asked to deliver a persuasive speech essay. The topics are thought-provoking, and many people have strong feelings about them. When using any of our persuasive speech ideas, ensure you have a solid understanding of the topic you’re discussing and that you also discuss counterarguments.

1.     Study your subject

Learning everything you can about the topic you will be speaking about is critical if you aren’t already well-versed in the subject (for example, because it was assigned to you), research and learn everything you can about it.

Knowing the arguments on all sides of an issue is especially important if your topic is contentious. No matter your argument, you’ll be more persuasive if you can address the opposing viewpoint.

Invest some time in reading books or articles on your topic. You can go to the library and ask a librarian for assistance in finding books, or you can go online and look for some articles. Use reputable sources, such as major news organizations, academic books, and articles.

Opinion-oriented sources, such as editorials, talk radio, or partisan cable news can help you learn what others think about your topic. However, please don’t rely solely on them for information. They can be highly biased. If you use them, make sure to read a variety of perspectives on the subject, not just one.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • All school children should wear uniforms
  • Facebook is making people more socially anxious
  • Driving over the age of 80 should be illegal
  • Lying isn’t always wrong.

2.     Know your goal

Knowing precisely what you want to accomplish with your speech is critical. This allows you to tailor your content to your objectives:

  • For example, if your topic is recycling, you should be well-versed in the subject. However, your speech must reflect precisely what you want the audience to do. Are you attempting to sway public opinion in favor of a citywide recycling program? Or are you attempting to persuade them to separate their glass and cans and place them in a separate bin? Because these will be different speeches, having the goal in mind will help you craft your message.

3.     Consider your audience when preparing

Preparation is essential for any speech. Before putting pen to paper, consider what you want to accomplish with your speech. This will help you organize your thoughts because you can only cover 2-4 main points before your audience becomes bored.

It’s also a good idea to value persuasive speech for your target audience at this point. If they are unlikely to know much about your topic, you must consider the context when planning the structure and length of your speech. It would be best if you also thought about:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Cultural or religious backgrounds
  • Common concerns, attitudes, and problems
  • Common interests, beliefs, and hope

The factors listed above influence how you write your persuasive speech introduction. For example, if your topic is childhood obesity, you could start with a story about your children or a common concern shared by all parents. This would appeal to an audience more likely to be parents than young professionals who have recently graduated from college.

3 types of persuasive speech

  1. Ethos
  2. Pathos
  3. Logos

The ethos approach appeals to the audience’s ethics and morals, such as the “right thing” to do for humanity, environmental preservation, and so on. Pathos persuasion occurs when you appeal to the audience’s emotions, such as when you tell a story in which they are the main character in a difficult situation.

When you use the logos approach to giving a persuasive speech, you appeal to the audience’s logic, facts, and logic drive, i.e., your speech. This technique has the advantage of making your point of view virtually unarguable because you convince the audience that only your point of view is logical.

Persuasive Speech Outline Templates

1.      Persuasive Speech Format

The most important parts of a speech are the introduction and conclusion. When planning your persuasive speech outline, keep these points in mind. A strong opening grabs the audience’s attention immediately and creates a favorable first impression.

Begin with a strong opening, such as an attention-grabbing statement, statistic, or fact.  Before you can begin persuading your audience, you must first make them want to pay attention. A strong opening contains five major components:

·         An attention-grabber

This could be a statement (or sometimes a visual) that catches the attention of your audience. Starting your speech with something unexpected or dramatic is a good idea. You could, for example, begin with information (or images) demonstrating how a nearby landfill is nearly finished.

·         A connection to the audience

This technique demonstrates that you share something in common with the audience. Demonstrate that you share a similar background or an emotional connection. Knowing your target audience is essential. For example, if you are a parent speaking to other parents, you may emphasize your concern for the future of your children. You can emphasize a shared interest or ideological position with your audience.

·         Your qualifications

This technique demonstrates that you are knowledgeable or an authority on the subject of the speech. Highlight your research on your chosen topic. If you have any personal or professional experience with the subject, mention it. In the case of recycling, you could say, “I’ve spent many hours researching the recycling issue and the various programs available in other cities.”

·         Your objective

Explain to the audience your expectations for the speech. “I hope that by the end of my talk, you will agree that we need a citywide recycling program,” for example.

·         Your purpose

Explain to the audience what you expect from the speech. For example, “I hope that by the end of my talk, you will agree that we need a citywide recycling program.”

2.     How to Start a Persuasive Speech?

You should choose between two and four themes to discuss during your speech so that you have enough time to explain your point of view and persuade your audience to agree.

Each of your points must flow smoothly into the next one, so your speech has a logical flow. Improve your connecting sentences between your themes, making your speech easy to follow.

3.     Addressing counterarguments

Any balanced theory or thought addresses and refutes counterarguments. By addressing these, you will strengthen your persuasive speech by refuting your audience’s objections and demonstrating your knowledge of other perspectives on the subject.

When describing an opposing point of view, explain it in the same way that someone who holds that view would describe it. You will not annoy members of your audience who disagree with you, and you will demonstrate that you arrived at your conclusion through sound reasoning. Identify any counterargument and provide explanations for it.

4.     Finishing your speech

Your closing line is your last chance to persuade your audience of what you’re saying. It’s also likely the sentence they’ll remember from your entire speech, so make it a good one!

The most powerful persuasive speech thesis statement concludes with a call to action. For example, if you’ve been discussing organ donation, your call to action could encourage the audience to register as donors. If audience members ask you questions, listen carefully and respectfully to the real question. Do not interject or become defensive in the middle of a question.

You should demonstrate that you have carefully considered their point of view and can objectively refute it (if you have opposing opinions). Maintain your patience, friendliness, and politeness at all times.

Example 1: Persuasive speech outline

The Kentucky Community and Technical College provided this example.

Specific goal

To persuade my audience to start walking for health reasons.

The main idea

Walking regularly can benefit both your mental and physical health.


Let’s be honest: we have it easy: automatic dishwashers, riding lawnmowers, television remote controls, automatic garage door openers, power screwdrivers, bread machines, electric pencil sharpeners, and so on. We live in a society that values time, energy, and convenience. It’s a beautiful life. Or is it?

How to Deliver a Persuasive Speech?

·        Practice, practice, and more practice

Record yourself speaking and listen for nervous habits like a nervous laugh, overuse of filler words, or speaking too quickly.

·         Exhibit assured body language

Stand with your legs hip-width apart and your shoulders aligned in the center. Place your feet on the floor and your hands beside your body so hand gestures can flow freely. Your audience will not be convinced if you don’t sound confident in your argument. Learn more about confident body language by clicking here.

·        Do not memorize or read from a script your speech

You will sound less authentic if you memorize your persuasive speech and panic if you lose your place. Similarly, if you read from a script, you will not sound genuine and will be unable to connect with the audience through eye contact. As a result, you’ll appear less trustworthy and knowledgeable. Instead, you could remember your key points or memorize your opening and closing sentences.

·        When telling a story, remember to use facial expressions

They make you more approachable. By sharing a personal story, you are more likely to speak your truth, which will also help you connect with the audience. Facial expressions can help bring your story to life and immerse the audience in your situation

·        Make your speech as brief as possible

When practicing the delivery, see if you can edit it to convey the same message more concisely. This will keep the audience’s attention.


The most effective persuasive speech rubrics are those that elicit some level of debate. However, a public speech is not the place to express an unconventional viewpoint. When in doubt, stick to topics that have a 50/50 split in opinion.

Consider your audience and plan your persuasive speech outline accordingly, using research evidence to support your argument. Consider counterarguments to demonstrate that you are knowledgeable about the topic and not biased towards your point of view on persuasive policy speech topics.

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