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60 Persuasive Essay and Speech Topics
Whether you’re in high school or in college, there will be some point in time where you will be asked to write a persuasive speech. Knowing how to write a persuasive speech may come in handy during the course of your career, depending on which career you choose.
Writing a persuasive speech isn’t always easy. You’ll need to find a topic that will interest you as well as your audience, and sometimes that can be difficult to do.
There are so many options for you to choose when you’re trying to decide what to write about. So how do you choose the right topic?
Pick a topic that you have a genuine interest in; you’ll be doing a lot of research on that topic. If it’s a topic that you have an interest in, you’ll have more fun writing about that topic and writing may seem a bit easier. Your audience will also see that you are interested in the topic and you’ll have more enthusiasm when writing the speech and presenting it. You’ll also want to make sure to pick a topic that the audience will have an interest in, otherwise, you may lose their attention.
Choose a topic that you’re familiar with. This will make it easier for you to research and write about.
Also, make sure that you choose a topic that is relatable to your audience. People like to hear about solutions to issues within their community and country. It’s easier for your audience to connect with you when you’re speaking about an issue that they care about.
Ready to pick a topic?
We put together a list of persuasive speech topics covering a wide range of categories to help you write that perfect persuasive speech.
- Are paper books better than e-books?
- Should all students be required to learn an instrument in school?
- Should all national museums be free to citizens?
- Should art and music therapy be covered by health insurance?
- Why public schools need art classes more than ever.
- Should offensive language be removed from works of classic literature?
- Should the federal minimum wage be increased?
- Should tipping in restaurants be mandatory?
- Should all interns be paid for the work?
- Reasons to buy products manufactured in your country.
- Why the American retirement and pensions systems need to change.
- Why you should buy goods and produce from local producers and small sellers.
- How outsourcing work to foreign countries hurts our economy.
- Should all schools require students to wear uniforms?
- Why students who bully others should be expelled.
- What are the best ways for schools to stop bullying?
- Why cell phones should be prohibited on school grounds.
- Ways to increase student interest in learning.
- Should students be required to complete community service hours before graduating?
- Why the arts and music programs are just as important as math and science.
- Should people with more than one DUI lose their driver’s license?
- Should assisted suicide be legal for people who suffer from terminal illness?
- Should assault weapons be illegal or legal?
- Should the death penalty be abolished?
- Reasons why cannabis should be legalized or illegal?
- Reasons to go or not to go to war.
- Should product testing on animals be allowed?
- Should voting be made mandatory?
- Should the President be allowed to serve more than two terms?
- Should there be term limits for Congress?
- How to nation’s justice system needs to be improved.
- Should people who receive state aid such as food stamps be required to have a drug test?
- Should convicted drug users be sent to a recovery program instead of prison?
- Why a wall should or should not be built between the United States and Mexico.
- Should assisted suicide be legal?
- How eating fast food can do as much harm to your health as smoking or doing drugs.
- How going to the gym alone will not help combat obesity.
- Why insulin should be made free to anyone dependent on it.
- Should female minors be allowed to get birth control without telling their parents?
- Should stem cell research be allowed to help cure diseases?
- How regular exercise can improve your health.
- Should the US have a universal health care system?
- Should public prayer be allowed in schools?
- Does religion have a place in the government?
- Should animal testing be illegal?
- Why we should use reusable bags
- Should recycling be made mandatory?
- Should Pluto be considered a planet?
- Reasons why not or why you should donate your body to science.
- Should genetically modified foods be sold in stores?
- Should human and animal cloning be allowed?
- Should professional athletes be required to pass regular drug tests?
- Should college athletes be paid?
- Should self-driving cars be legal?
- Does technology make kids lazy?
- How technology has changed the way we communicate with our friends and family.
- Is telemedicine a good or bad thing?
- Would you let your small child use a tablet or smartphone? Why or why not?
- Do you think video games help children learn and develop thinking skills?
- Do video games make people more violent?
Extra Tips to Create Your Persuasive Speech
1.Know your position When you begin writing your speech, you need to state your position on the subject from the start, whether you agree with the subject or you don’t agree. Use a strong and clearly worded statement in your opening paragraph stating why you agree or why you don’t agree with the subject
2. Know your audience. It’s important to know who you will be presenting your speech to so you’ll know who you need to persuade. When you’re writing your speech, think about what your audience may already know about the topic and what areas of that topic they may care about the most.
3. Research your topic. A strong argument requires solid evidence. Without evidence, your speech may not be very persuasive. Being able to give hard facts will make your speech more convincing and strong. Also, be sure to give facts from more than one source.
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Free Persuasive Speech Essays and Papers
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Persuasive Speech: Don't Be Persuaded by Subliminal Advertising
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110 Interesting Persuasive Speech Topics to Impress Your Audience
Learn how to give an impressive persuasive speech and explore our comprehensive list of persuasive speech ideas .
What makes a good persuasive speech topic, how to create and deliver a compelling persuasive speech, 110 interesting persuasive speech topics, introduction .
Are you having a hard time coming up with the right persuasive speech topic? One that isn’t boring or cliche? Are you looking for a persuasive speech topic that will both interest you and captivate your audience? It’s easier said than done, right?
Creating and delivering an interesting persuasive speech is a major endeavor. The last thing you want is to get stuck on the first step—selecting a persuasive speech topic. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. To help you identify the perfect persuasive speech topic for you, we’ve compiled a list of 110 compelling persuasive speech ideas. Every single one of these ideas has the potential to be an outstanding persuasive speech.
In addition, we’ll peel back the curtain to teach you what makes a good persuasive speech topic and give you expert tips on delivering a successful persuasive speech that will convince and astound your audience.
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There are three questions you can use to determine which persuasive speech topics will lead to enthusiastic applause and standing ovations.
Does the persuasive speech topic interest you?
A major part of writing a persuasive speech is doing ample research on the subject you choose. So one of the first things you should ask yourself when considering a potential persuasive speech topic is, “Would I enjoy learning about this subject extensively?” If you can’t answer that question with an emphatic, “Yes!” you might want to continue your topic search. You don’t want to spend hours diving into a subject you don’t enjoy.
Plus, an audience can easily pick up on boredom or lack of interest in a persuasive speech, and you clearly don’t want that. On the other hand, if you’re explaining a subject you’re passionate about, your audience will get caught up in your excitement—resulting in a much more compelling and persuasive speech.
Here’s another word of advice. Some people will tell you to pick a persuasive speech topic you’re already an expert in, and that’s certainly one way to go about it. While we won’t tell you being an expert in the subject should be your top deciding factor, this approach has its advantages—you’re already familiar with the lingo and the basics of the subject are. This helps you significantly speed up your research process. But if you have the time and willingness to tackle an entirely unfamiliar subject that utterly fascinates you, we say go for it!
Will the persuasive speech topic interest your audience?
So you’ve found a few persuasive speech topics that interest you. But what about your audience? Do they share your interest? Even if you argue your points with enthusiasm, will they be bored by your subject?
To answer these questions, you have to understand your audience well. Study them to learn what grabs their attention. What do they care about? What topics are relatable to their lives or their communities? What subjects will they be more likely to get emotionally invested in?
When you find persuasive speech topics that equally interest you and your audience, you’re setting yourself up for success.
Has the persuasive speech topic been covered too many times?
This is the last question you should ask yourself before committing to your persuasive speech topic. Has this topic been overdone? Even if your audience is invested in the subject, they’ll be quickly bored if they’ve listened to ten similar speeches prior to hearing yours. You won’t be persuasive if your listeners can predict each of your arguments before you give them.
Instead, search for persuasive speech topics that are unique and fresh—something your audience hasn’t heard a hundred times before. The one exception to this is if you can approach an overworked topic with a completely fresh and unusual perspective. For example, maybe you can approach the gun control debate as someone whose friend died from an accidental shooting, but your family still owns guns and enjoys hunting as a pastime.
Once you’ve chosen your persuasive speech topic (our list of 110 riveting persuasive speech ideas is coming next!) and completed your research on the subject, you’ll begin the writing process. Use this step-by-step approach to produce an outstanding speech that easily persuades your audience to adopt your viewpoint.
Determine your thesis. What opinion or belief are you convincing your audience to embrace? Are you asking them to take a specific action after listening to your speech? Just as you do when writing a college essay , make sure your thesis or call-to-action is crystal clear before you start writing.
Organize your main arguments. Create an outline of the evidence or points you’ve collected to support your thesis. Make sure your ideas flow logically into each other and build your case.
Support your arguments with facts and examples. You’ll want to use multiple sources for your evidence, with a preference for well-known or reputable sources. (Please don’t cite Wikipedia!) You can also get personal by using anecdotes from your own life or the lives of someone close to you. This will increase your persuasive speech’s impact.
Add emotional connections with your audience. Make your argument more powerful by appealing to your audience’s sense of nostalgia and common beliefs. Another tactic (which marketers use all the time) is to appeal to your listeners’ fears and rely on their instincts for self-preservation.
Address counterarguments. Rather than waiting for your audience to think up objections to the points you make, do it yourself. Then dispute those objections with additional facts, examples, and anecdotes.
Wrap up your persuasive speech with a strong conclusion. In your closing, restate your thesis, tug on your audience’s heartstrings one last time with an emotional connection, and deliver your decisive call to action.
Now that you have a strongly written persuasive speech, your final task is this: practice, practice, and practice some more! We guarantee your delivery won’t be perfect on your first attempt. But on your tenth or fifteenth, it just might be.
Record yourself delivering your persuasive speech so you can play it back and analyze your areas needing improvement. Are your pauses too long or not long enough? Did you sufficiently emphasize your emotional points? Are your anecdotes coming out naturally? How is your body language? What about your hand movements and eye contact?
When you’re feeling more comfortable, deliver your speech to a friend or family member and ask for feedback. This will put your public speaking skills to the test. Ensure they understood your main points, connected emotionally, and had all their objections answered. Once you’ve fine tuned your persuasive speech based on your warm-up audience’s feedback, you’ll be ready for the real thing.
Now for the fun part! We’ve compiled a list of 110 persuasive speech topics—broken down by category—for you to choose from or use as inspiration. Use the set of three questions we shared above to determine which of these interesting persuasive speech topics is right for you.
Art, Media, and Culture
Should tattoos still be considered “unprofessional”?
Do romantic movies and books glorify an unrealistic idea of love and lead to heartbreak?
Should offensive and inappropriate language be removed from classic literature?
Does watching TV shows or movies about teenage suicide encourage it or prevent it?
Is creating films and documentaries about criminals glorifying them and inspiring some to become criminals themselves?
Should art and music therapy be prioritized over traditional talk therapy?
College and Career
Should the cost of college be reduced?
Are income-share agreements better for students than taking out student loans?
Should college athletes be paid like professional athletes are?
Are same-sex colleges beneficial or antiquated?
Should everyone go to college?
What are the benefits of taking a gap year before starting college?
Would removing tenure and job-protection from professors improve or reduce the quality of higher education?
Has the traditional college model become outdated in the age of the Internet?
Should you pursue a career based on your passions or a career based on earning potential?
Economy and Work
Should the federal minimum wage be increased?
Is the boom of e-commerce harmful or beneficial to small communities?
Should everyone receive paid maternity and paternity leave?
Is capitalism a harmful or beneficial economic system?
Should manufacturing and outsourced work be moved back to the United States?
Would three-day weekends increase work productivity?
Should working from home be the new standard?
Why should we pay more to support small businesses and services instead of going to large companies and retailers?
Should the US establish mandatory military service for all its young people, such as the countries of Israel and South Korea do?
Should there be a mandatory retirement age?
Should classes about mental health and wellness be added to school curriculum?
At what age or grade should sex education be taught in schools?
How can sex education be taught more effectively?
Should school funding be dependent on taxes of district residents or should all schools receive an equal amount of funding from the state?
What are the benefits of year-round schools?
Are charter schools hurting or helping low-income communities?
Is homeschooling beneficial or harmful to children?
Should students on the Autism spectrum be integrated into regular classrooms?
What should be the qualifications for books to be banned from schools?
Should advanced math classes in high school be replaced with more practical courses on financial literacy and understanding taxes?
Are grades an accurate representation of learning?
Should we switch to the metric system?
What is the most important book every high school student in America should read?
What are the benefits of teaching art and music classes in high school?
Should independent learning be offered as a larger option in high school?
What are the benefits of making preschool free to all families?
Environment and Conservation
Should fuel-run vehicles be banned?
How does it benefit nature to reduce human paper consumption?
Should it be okay to own exotic animals as pets?
Should hunting be made illegal?
What is the biggest current threat to the environment and how would you suggest we remedy it?
Should disposable diapers be banned?
Should zoos and animal theme parks (such as Sea World) be closed?
Family and Religion
Should children have the right to virtual and physical privacy from their parents?
“It takes a village to raise a child.” How important is a community in raising children?
Is it better for a young child to attend daycare or stay home with a parent?
Should children be told to believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy?
Nature vs. nurture—which is the most powerful influence on a person’s character?
Should parents have to give approval in order for their minor children to receive birth control?
How does learning about family ancestors impact you in the present and future?
Should parents teach their kids about sex or is it the responsibility of the school system?
What is the most beneficial parenting style and why?
Should cults receive protection under freedom of religion?
What are the benefits of belonging to a religious community?
Should parents force their children to go to church or let them decide for themselves?
Government and International Relations
Should states have the ability to secede from the U.S.?
Should Puerto Rico be added as a state to the U.S.?
How long should judges serve on the Supreme Court?
Should the U.S. have open borders?
Should the U.S. get involved when leaders of other countries commit human rights violations against their own people?
Is the U.S. overly dependent on manufactured goods and imports from other countries?
Should the government focus on increasing revenue or reducing spending?
Health and Medicine
Should universal health care be freely given to everyone?
Should soda and candy be banned from school campuses?
Should tobacco products be completely banned in America?
Is a plant-based diet better than a meat-based diet?
Should addiction counseling and treatment be covered by health insurance?
Would taxing fast food help combat obesity?
Should we ban all genetically modified foods?
What would be the benefits of making all birth control methods (e.g. condoms, the pill) free of charge?
Should homeopathic and alternative medical treatments be covered by health insurance?
Politics and Society
Should voting become mandatory?
What could politicians do to appeal to younger generations of voters?
Should prisoners have the right to vote?
Would it be better in the U.S. if elected politicians were younger?
Should the police use rubber bullets instead of real bullets?
Are private, for-profit prisons a threat to prisoners’ rights?
Should U.S. military funding be increased or decreased?
Should there be stricter or looser restrictions to qualify for welfare assistance?
Is our current two-party political system good enough or in need of replacing?
Should major corporations be eligible for tax breaks?
How can the current policy on undocumented immigrants in America be improved?
Should it be illegal for politicians to receive donations from large corporations?
Science and Technology
Should animal testing be banned?
Should organ donation be optional or mandated for all?
Is artificial intelligence a threat?
Should parents be allowed to scientifically alter their children’s genes?
What is the best option for renewable energy?
Should military forces be allowed to use drones in warfare?
Should self-driving cars be illegal?
Do the benefits of the internet outweigh the loss of privacy?
Should it be illegal for companies to sell their consumers’ information?
Should the government more strictly regulate the Internet?
How much screen time is too much?
Should everyone receive free internet?
Should we build a colony on the moon?
At what age should children be allowed to be on social media?
Should schools be responsible for teaching safe social media education?
When should children be allowed to have a cell phone?
What should the punishment be for cyberbullying?
Do online friendships have the same benefits as in-person friendships?
Are social media influencers beneficial or harmful to society?
Has the popularity of “selfies” increased self-confidence or self-centeredness?
Is cancel culture a positive or a negative thing?
What are the most reliable, unbiased sources to receive news and information?
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Difference Between Persuasive Speech And Persuasive Essay
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- Author Sandra W.
What Are The Differences Between Speeches And Essays?
The process of writing a speech and writing an essay are two different experiences. While both the speechwriter and the essay writer communicate information to a live audience or reading audience, the steps the writers go through to create the final version require varying methods, such as the choice of diction and dramatic effect. We at iwriteessays.com differentiate speeches from essays on several bases.
Is the structure of an essay different from that of a speech?
- Speech format
A speech format includes an introduction, examples, and a conclusion, but the speechwriter will often restate a point at the end of each section of the speech to ensure the audience is "with" him or her.
- Each essay format
Expository, Narrative, or personal essays follow a basic structure. Normally, includes an introduction with a thesis statement, body paragraphs, and a conclusion that synthesizes the information. An essay's structure relies on smooth transitions to the next theme.
An essay does rely on tone for dramatic effect, the essay writer has less of a demand to please all members of her audience than the speechwriter does. For example, in writing an essay, the interest lays in making a point. In general, an essay communicates with a general audience.
Writing a speech requires that a writer communicate a specific theme or topic to an audience. It uses a tone that produces an emotional effect on the audience. A presidential speech, for example, often uses a particular diction, full of patriotic, hopeful, grave, or uplifting tones.
A politician connects with an audience with gestures, words, and eye contact.
- The speechwriter ‘performs’ or delivers his speech in a way that gives his concepts, or themes, a particular meaning.
- In essay writing, a writer connects with her audience, whether live or on the page, without trying to win them over with her delivery.
Reading an Essay
- During the process of reading an essay, there is an impassioned and enthusiastic or a sad and grave tone, plus the audience. Generally, there is more interest in hearing the quality of writing and information rather than delivery, just as it is in a speech.
- An individual presenting an essay only need to research his paper every few minutes, and a person delivering a speech must conduct it through memorization whilst occasionally glancing at the page or screen.
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100 Persuasive Speech Topics for Students
- Homework Tips
- Learning Styles & Skills
- Study Methods
- Time Management
- Private School
- College Admissions
- College Life
- Graduate School
- Business School
- Distance Learning
- M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
- B.A., History, Armstrong State University
There is a small but important difference between planning a persuasive speech and writing a persuasive essay. First, if you are planning a persuasive speech, you should think about a topic that can engage your audience. For this reason, you may want to consider a few topics before settling on the one that allows you to be more descriptive and entertaining.
Another important factor when picking a persuasive speech topic is to choose one that can provoke your audience. If you stir up a little emotion in your audience members, you'll keep their attention. The list below is provided to help you brainstorm. Choose a topic from this list or use the list to generate an idea of your own.
- Studying martial arts is good for mind and health.
- Competitive sports can teach us about life.
- Reality shows are exploiting people.
- Community service should be a graduation requirement for all high school students.
- The characteristics that make a person a hero.
- It's important to grow things in a garden.
- Violent video games are dangerous.
- Lyrics in a song can impact our lives.
- Traveling and studying abroad are positive experiences.
- Journal writing is therapeutic.
- You should spend time with your grandparents.
- A laptop is better than a tablet.
- Religion and science can go hand in hand.
- School uniforms are good.
- All-female colleges and all-male colleges are bad.
- Multiple choice tests are better than essay tests .
- We should not spend money on space exploration.
- Open-book tests are as effective as closed-book tests.
- Security cameras keep us safer.
- Parents should have access to students' grades.
- Small classes are better than big classes.
- You need to start saving for retirement now.
- Credit cards are harmful to college students.
- We should have a royal family.
- We should protect endangered animals.
- Texting while driving is dangerous.
- You can write a novel.
- Recycling should be required in the U.S.
- State colleges are better than private colleges.
- Private colleges are better than state colleges.
- We should do away with penny coins.
- Fast food containers hurt the environment.
- Plastic straws are harmful to the environment.
- You can eat and enjoy healthy snacks.
- You can become a millionaire.
- Dogs are better pets than cats.
- You should own a bird.
- It's unethical to keep birds in cages.
- Liberal arts degrees prepare graduates to be better workers than other degrees.
- Hunting animals should be banned.
- Football is a dangerous sport.
- School days should start later.
- Night school is better than day school.
- Technical training is better than a college degree.
- Immigration laws should be more lenient.
- Students should be able to choose their schools.
- Everyone should learn to play a musical instrument.
- Grass lawns should be prohibited.
- Sharks should be protected.
- We should do away with cars and go back to horse and carriage for transportation.
- We should use more wind power.
- We should pay more taxes.
- We should do away with taxes.
- Teachers should be tested like students.
- We should not interfere in the affairs of other countries.
- Every student should join a club.
- Homeschooling is better than traditional schooling.
- People should stay married for life.
- Smoking in public should be illegal.
- College students should live on campus .
- Parents should let students fail.
- Giving to charity is good.
- Education makes us happier people.
- The death penalty should be outlawed.
- Bigfoot is real.
- We should increase train travel to save the environment.
- We should read more classic books.
- Fame is bad for young children.
- Athletes should stay loyal to teams.
- We should reform our prisons.
- Juvenile offenders should not go to boot camps.
- Abraham Lincoln was the best president.
- Abraham Lincoln gets too much credit.
- Students should be allowed to have cell phones in elementary, middle, and high school.
- College student-athletes should be paid for playing.
- Elderly citizens on fixed income should receive free public transportation.
- Colleges and universities should be free to attend.
- All American citizens should complete one year of community service.
- Students should be required to take Spanish classes.
- Every student should be required to learn at least one foreign language .
- Marijuana should be legal for recreational use nationwide.
- Commercial testing of products on animals should no longer be allowed.
- High school students should be required to participate in at least one team sport.
- The drinking age in the U.S. should be 25.
- Replacing fossil fuels with cheaper alternative energy options should be mandated.
- Churches need to contribute their share of taxes.
- The Cuba embargo should be maintained by the U.S.
- America should replace income taxes with a nationwide flat tax.
- Once they reach the age of 18, all U.S. citizens should be automatically registered to vote .
- Doctor-assisted suicide should be legal.
- Spammers—people who bombard the internet with unsolicited email—should be banned from sending junk mail.
- Every automobile driver should be required to take a new driver's test every three years.
- Electroshock treatment is not a humane form of therapy.
- Global warming is not real.
- Single-parent adoption should be encouraged and promoted.
- Gun companies should be held accountable for gun crimes.
- Human cloning is not moral.
- Religion does not belong in public education.
- Juveniles should not be tried as adults.
- American workers should be guaranteed a three-day weekend by law.
Watch Now: 12 Ideas for Great Persuasive Essay Topics
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Persuasive Speech Outline, with Examples
Updated march 17, 2021 - gini beqiri.
A persuasive speech is a speech that is given with the intention of convincing the audience to believe or do something. This could be virtually anything - voting, organ donation, recycling, and so on.
A successful persuasive speech effectively convinces the audience to your point of view, providing you come across as trustworthy and knowledgeable about the topic you’re discussing.
So, how do you start convincing a group of strangers to share your opinion? And how do you connect with them enough to earn their trust?
Topics for your persuasive speech
We've made a list of persuasive speech topics you could use next time you’re asked to give one. The topics are thought-provoking and things which many people have an opinion on.
When using any of our persuasive speech ideas, make sure you have a solid knowledge about the topic you're speaking about - and make sure you discuss counter arguments too.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- All school children should wear a uniform
- Facebook is making people more socially anxious
- It should be illegal to drive over the age of 80
- Lying isn’t always wrong
- The case for organ donation
Read our full list of 75 persuasive speech topics and ideas .
Preparation: Consider your audience
As with any speech, preparation is crucial. Before you put pen to paper, think about what you want to achieve with your speech. This will help organise your thoughts as you realistically can only cover 2-4 main points before your audience get bored .
It’s also useful to think about who your audience are at this point. If they are unlikely to know much about your topic then you’ll need to factor in context of your topic when planning the structure and length of your speech. You should also consider their:
- Cultural or religious backgrounds
- Shared concerns, attitudes and problems
- Shared interests, beliefs and hopes
- Baseline attitude - are they hostile, neutral, or open to change?
The factors above will all determine the approach you take to writing your speech. For example, if your topic is about childhood obesity, you could begin with a story about your own children or a shared concern every parent has. This would suit an audience who are more likely to be parents than young professionals who have only just left college.
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Remember the 3 main approaches to persuade others
There are three main approaches used to persuade others:
The ethos approach appeals to the audience’s ethics and morals, such as what is the ‘right thing’ to do for humanity, saving the environment, etc.
Pathos persuasion is when you appeal to the audience’s emotions, such as when you tell a story that makes them the main character in a difficult situation.
The logos approach to giving a persuasive speech is when you appeal to the audience’s logic - ie. your speech is essentially more driven by facts and logic. The benefit of this technique is that your point of view becomes virtually indisputable because you make the audience feel that only your view is the logical one.
- Ethos, Pathos, Logos: 3 Pillars of Public Speaking and Persuasion
Ideas for your persuasive speech outline
1. structure of your persuasive speech.
The opening and closing of speech are the most important. Consider these carefully when thinking about your persuasive speech outline. A strong opening ensures you have the audience’s attention from the start and gives them a positive first impression of you.
You’ll want to start with a strong opening such as an attention grabbing statement, statistic of fact. These are usually dramatic or shocking, such as:
Sadly, in the next 18 minutes when I do our chat, four Americans that are alive will be dead from the food that they eat - Jamie Oliver
Another good way of starting a persuasive speech is to include your audience in the picture you’re trying to paint. By making them part of the story, you’re embedding an emotional connection between them and your speech.
You could do this in a more toned-down way by talking about something you know that your audience has in common with you. It’s also helpful at this point to include your credentials in a persuasive speech to gain your audience’s trust.
Obama would spend hours with his team working on the opening and closing statements of his speech.
2. Stating your argument
You should pick between 2 and 4 themes to discuss during your speech so that you have enough time to explain your viewpoint and convince your audience to the same way of thinking.
It’s important that each of your points transitions seamlessly into the next one so that your speech has a logical flow. Work on your connecting sentences between each of your themes so that your speech is easy to listen to.
Your argument should be backed up by objective research and not purely your subjective opinion. Use examples, analogies, and stories so that the audience can relate more easily to your topic, and therefore are more likely to be persuaded to your point of view.
3. Addressing counter-arguments
Any balanced theory or thought addresses and disputes counter-arguments made against it. By addressing these, you’ll strengthen your persuasive speech by refuting your audience’s objections and you’ll show that you are knowledgeable to other thoughts on the topic.
When describing an opposing point of view, don’t explain it in a bias way - explain it in the same way someone who holds that view would describe it. That way, you won’t irritate members of your audience who disagree with you and you’ll show that you’ve reached your point of view through reasoned judgement. Simply identify any counter-argument and pose explanations against them.
- Complete Guide to Debating
4. Closing your speech
Your closing line of your speech is your last chance to convince your audience about what you’re saying. It’s also most likely to be the sentence they remember most about your entire speech so make sure it’s a good one!
The most effective persuasive speeches end with a call to action . For example, if you’ve been speaking about organ donation, your call to action might be asking the audience to register as donors.
The most effective persuasive speeches end with a call to action.
If audience members ask you questions, make sure you listen carefully and respectfully to the full question. Don’t interject in the middle of a question or become defensive.
You should show that you have carefully considered their viewpoint and refute it in an objective way (if you have opposing opinions). Ensure you remain patient, friendly and polite at all times.
Example 1: Persuasive speech outline
This example is from the Kentucky Community and Technical College.
To persuade my audience to start walking in order to improve their health.
Regular walking can improve both your mental and physical health.
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, etc., etc. etc. We live in a time-saving, energy-saving, convenient society. It's a wonderful life. Or is it?
Example 2: Persuasive speech
Tips for delivering your persuasive speech
- Practice, practice, and practice some more . Record yourself speaking and listen for any nervous habits you have such as a nervous laugh, excessive use of filler words, or speaking too quickly.
- Show confident body language . Stand with your legs hip width apart with your shoulders centrally aligned. Ground your feet to the floor and place your hands beside your body so that hand gestures come freely. Your audience won’t be convinced about your argument if you don’t sound confident in it. Find out more about confident body language here .
- Don’t memorise your speech word-for-word or read off a script. If you memorise your persuasive speech, you’ll sound less authentic and panic if you lose your place. Similarly, if you read off a script you won’t sound genuine and you won’t be able to connect with the audience by making eye contact . In turn, you’ll come across as less trustworthy and knowledgeable. You could simply remember your key points instead, or learn your opening and closing sentences.
- Remember to use facial expressions when storytelling - they make you more relatable. By sharing a personal story you’ll more likely be speaking your truth which will help you build a connection with the audience too. Facial expressions help bring your story to life and transport the audience into your situation.
- Keep your speech as concise as possible . When practicing the delivery, see if you can edit it to have the same meaning but in a more succinct way. This will keep the audience engaged.
The best persuasive speech ideas are those that spark a level of controversy. However, a public speech is not the time to express an opinion that is considered outside the norm. If in doubt, play it safe and stick to topics that divide opinions about 50-50.
Bear in mind who your audience are and plan your persuasive speech outline accordingly, with researched evidence to support your argument. It’s important to consider counter-arguments to show that you are knowledgeable about the topic as a whole and not bias towards your own line of thought.
Ideas, Inspiration, and Giveaways for Teachers
We Are Teachers
35 Strong Persuasive Writing Examples (Speeches, Essays, Ads, and More)
Learn from the experts.
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 60 interesting ideas here! )
- Persuasive Speeches
- Advertising Campaigns
- Persuasive Essays
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 Strike and the Union, 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
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
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
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.
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
Source: New York Daily News
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
Source: The New York Times
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 (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.”
Persuasive Essay Writing Examples
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 examples.
The American 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.”
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 (100+ ideas) ..
Jill Staake is a Contributing Editor with WeAreTeachers. She has a degree in Secondary English Education and has taught in middle and high school classrooms. She's also done training and curriculum design for a financial institution and been a science museum educator. She currently lives in Tampa, Florida where she often works on her back porch while taking frequent breaks for bird-watching and gardening.
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Choose Your Test
Sat / act prep online guides and tips, 105 interesting persuasive speech topics for any project.
Are you struggling to find good persuasive speech topics? It can be hard to find a topic that interests both you and your audience, but in this guide we've done the hard work and created a list of 105 great persuasive speech ideas. They're organized into ten categories and cover a variety of topics, so you're sure to find one that interests you.
In addition to our list, we also go over which factors make good persuasive speech topics and three tips you should follow when researching and writing your persuasive speech.
What Makes a Good Persuasive Speech Topic?
What makes certain persuasive speech topics better than others? There are numerous reasons, but in this section we discuss three of the most important factors of great topics for a persuasive speech.
It's Something You Know About or Are Interested in Learning About
The most important factor in choosing and creating a great persuasive speech is picking a topic you care about and are interested in. You'll need to do a lot of research on this topic, and if it's something you like learning about, that'll make the process much easier and more enjoyable. It'll also help you sound passionate and informed when you talk, both important factors in giving an excellent persuasive speech.
It's a Topic People Care About
In fourth grade, after being told I could give a persuasive speech on any topic I wanted to , I chose to discuss why the Saguaro cactus should be the United State's national plant. Even though I gave an impassioned talk and drew a life-size Saguaro cactus on butcher paper to hang behind me, I doubt anyone enjoyed the speech much.
I'd recently returned from a family vacation to Arizona where I'd seen Saguaro cacti for the first time and decided they were the coolest thing ever. However, most people don't care that much about Saguaro cacti, and most people don't care what our national plant is or if we even have one (for the record, the US has a national flower, and it's the rose).
Spare yourself the smattering of bored applause my nine-old self got at the end of my speech and choose something you think people will be interested in hearing about. This also ties into knowing your audience, which we discuss more in the final section.
It Isn't Overdone
When I was in high school, nearly every persuasive speech my classmates and I were assigned was the exact same topic: should the drinking age be lowered to 18? I got this prompt in English class, on standardized tests, in speech and debate class, etc. I've written and presented about it so often I could probably still rattle off all the main points of my old speeches word-for-word.
You can imagine that everyone's eyes glazed over whenever classmates gave their speeches on this topic. We'd heard about it so many times that, even if it was a topic we cared about, speeches on it just didn't interest us anymore.
The are many potential topics for a persuasive speech. Be wary of choosing one that's cliche or overdone. Even if you give a great speech, it'll be harder to keep your audience interested if they feel like they already know what you're going to say.
An exception to this rule is that if you feel you have a new viewpoint or facts about the topic that currently aren't common knowledge. Including them can make an overdone topic interesting. If you do this, be sure to make it clear early on in your speech that you have unique info or opinions on the topic so your audience knows to expect something new.
105 Topics for a Persuasive Speech
Here's our list of 105 great persuasive speech ideas. We made sure to choose topics that aren't overdone, yet that many people will have an interest in, and we also made a point of choosing topics with multiple viewpoints rather than simplistic topics that have a more obvious right answer (i.e. Is bullying bad?). The topics are organized into ten categories.
- Should art and music therapy be covered by health insurance?
- Should all students be required to learn an instrument in school?
- Should all national museums be free to citizens?
- Should graffiti be considered art?
- Should offensive language be removed from works of classic literature?
- Are paper books better than e-books?
- Should all interns be paid for their work?
- Should employees receive bonuses for walking or biking to work?
- Will Brexit hurt or help the UK's economy?
- Should all people over the age of 65 be able to ride the bus for free?
- Should the federal minimum wage be increased?
- Should tipping in restaurants be mandatory?
- Should Black Friday sales be allowed to start on Thanksgiving?
- Should students who bully others be expelled?
- Should all schools require students wear uniforms?
- Should boys and girls be taught in separate classrooms?
- Should students be allowed to listen to music during study hall?
- Should all elementary schools be required to teach a foreign language?
- Should schools include meditation or relaxation breaks during the day?
- Should grades in gym class affect students' GPAs?
- Should teachers get a bonus when their students score well on standardized tests?
- Should children of undocumented immigrants be allowed to attend public schools?
- Should students get paid for getting a certain GPA?
- Should students be allowed to have their cell phones with them during school?
- Should high school students be allowed to leave school during lunch breaks?
- Should Greek life at colleges be abolished?
- Should high school students be required to volunteer a certain number of hours before they can graduate?
- Should schools still teach cursive handwriting?
- What are the best ways for schools to stop bullying?
- Should prostitution be legalized?
- Should people with more than one DUI lose their driver's license?
- Should people be required to shovel snow from the sidewalks in front of their house?
- Should minors be able to drink alcohol in their home if they have their parent's consent?
- Should guns be allowed on college campuses?
- Should flag burning as a form of protest be illegal?
- Should welfare recipients be required to pass a drug test?
- Should white supremacist groups be allowed to hold rallies in public places?
- Should assault weapons be illegal?
- Should the death penalty be abolished?
- Should beauty pageants for children be banned?
- Is it OK to refuse to serve same-sex couples based on religious beliefs?
- Should transgender people be allowed to serve in the military?
- Is it better to live together before marriage or to wait?
- Should affirmative action be allowed?
- Should prisoners be allowed to vote?
- Should Columbus Day be replaced with Indigenous Peoples' Day?
- Should the government spend more money on developing high-speed rail lines and less on building new roads?
- Should the government be allowed to censor internet content deemed inappropriate?
- Should Puerto Rico become the 51st state?
- Should Scotland declare independence from the United Kingdom?
- Whose face should be on the next new currency printed by the US?
- Should people convicted of drug possession be sent to recovery programs instead of jail?
- Should voting be made compulsory?
- Who was the best American president?
- Should the military budget be reduced?
- Should the President be allowed to serve more than two terms?
- Should a border fence be built between the United States and Mexico?
- Should countries pay ransom to terrorist groups in order to free hostages?
- Should minors be able to purchase birth control without their parent's consent?
- Should hiding or lying about your HIV status with someone you're sleeping with be illegal?
- Should governments tax soda and other sugary drinks and use the revenue for public health?
- Should high schools provide free condoms to students?
- Should the US switch to single-payer health care?
- Should healthy people be required to regularly donate blood?
- Should assisted suicide be legal?
- Should religious organizations be required to pay taxes?
- Should priests be allowed to get married?
- Should the religious slaughter of animals be banned?
- Should the Church of Scientology be exempt from paying taxes?
- Should women be allowed to be priests?
- Should countries be allowed to only accept refugees with certain religious beliefs?
- Should public prayer be allowed in schools?
- Should human cloning be allowed?
- Should people be allowed to own exotic animals like tigers and monkeys?
- Should "animal selfies" in tourist locations with well-known animal species (like koalas and tigers) be allowed?
- Should genetically modified foods be sold in grocery stores?
- Should people be allowed to own pit bulls?
- Should parents be allowed to choose the sex of their unborn children?
- Should vaccinations be required for students to attend public school?
- What is the best type of renewable energy?
- Should plastic bags be banned in grocery stores?
- Should the United States rejoin the Paris Agreement?
- Should puppy mills be banned?
- Should fracking be legal?
- Should animal testing be illegal?
- Should offshore drilling be allowed in protected marine areas?
- Should the US government increase NASA's budget?
- Should Pluto still be considered a planet?
- Should college athletes be paid for being on a sports team?
- Should all athletes be required to pass regular drug tests?
- Should professional female athletes be paid the same as male athletes in the same sport?
- Are there any cases when athletes should be allowed to use steroids?
- Should college sports teams receive less funding?
- Should boxing be illegal?
- Should schools be required to teach all students how to swim?
- Should cheerleading be considered a sport?
- Should parents let their children play tackle football?
- Will robots reduce or increase human employment opportunities?
- What age should children be allowed to have a cell phone?
- Should libraries be replaced with unlimited access to e-books?
- Overall, has technology helped connect people or isolate them?
- Should self-driving cars be legal?
- Should all new buildings be energy efficient?
- Is Net Neutrality a good thing or a bad thing?
- Do violent video games encourage players to become violent in real life?
3 Bonus Tips for Crafting Your Persuasive Speech
Of course, giving a great persuasive speech requires more than just choosing a good topic. Follow the three tips below to create an outstanding speech that'll interest and impress your audience.
Do Your Research
For a persuasive speech, there's nothing worse than getting an audience question that shows you misunderstood the issue or left an important piece out. It makes your entire speech look weak and unconvincing.
Before you start writing a single word of your speech, be sure to do lots of research on all sides of the topic. Look at different sources and points of view to be sure you're getting the full picture, and if you know any experts on the topic, be sure to ask their opinion too.
Consider All the Angles
Persuasive speech topics are rarely black and white, which means there will be multiple sides and viewpoints on the topic. For example, for the topic "Should people be allowed to own pit bulls?" there are two obvious viewpoints: everyone should be allowed to own a pit bull if they want to, and no one should be allowed to own a pit bull. But there are other options you should also consider: people should only own a pit bull if they pass a dog training class, people should be able to own pit bulls, but only if it's the only dog they own, people should be able to own pi tbulls but only if they live a certain distance from schools, people should be able to own pit bulls only if the dog passes an obedience class, etc.
Thinking about all these angles and including them in your speech will make you seem well-informed on the topic, and it'll increase the quality of your speech by looking at difference nuances of the issue.
Know Your Audience
Whenever you give a speech, it's important to consider your audience, and this is especially true for persuasive speeches when you're trying to convince people to believe a certain viewpoint. When writing your speech, think about what your audience likely already knows about the topic, what they probably need explained, and what aspects of the topic they care about most. Also consider what the audience will be most concerned about for a certain topic, and be sure to address those concerns.
For example, if you're giving a speech to a Catholic organization on why you think priests should be allowed to marry, you don't need to go over the history of Catholicism or its core beliefs (which they probably already know), but you should mention any research or prominent opinions that support your view (which they likely don't know about). They may be concerned that priests who marry won't be as committed to God or their congregations, so be sure to address those concerns and why they shouldn't worry about them as much as they may think. Discussing your topic with people (ideally those with viewpoints similar to those of your future audience) before you give your speech is a good way to get a better understanding of how your audience thinks.
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More Resources for Writing Persuasive Speeches
If you need more guidance or just want to check out some examples of great persuasive writing, consider checking out the following books:
- Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches in History by William Safire—This collection of great speeches throughout history will help you decide how to style your own argument.
- The Essentials of Persuasive Public Speaking by Sims Wyeth—For quick direct tips on public speaking, try this all-purpose guide.
- Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World's Top Minds by Carmine Gallo—This popular book breaks down what makes TED talks work and how you can employ those skills in your own presentations.
- We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Make Good Art by Neil Gaiman—These two recent speeches by contemporary writers offer stellar examples of how to craft a compelling (and engaging) argument.
Conclusion: Persuasive Speech Ideas
Good persuasive speech topics can be difficult to think of, but in this guide we've compiled a list of 105 interesting persuasive speech topics for you to look through.
The best persuasive speech ideas will be on a topic you're interested in, aren't overdone, and will be about something your audience cares about.
After you've chosen your topic, keep these three tips in mind when writing your persuasive speech:
- Do your research
- Consider all the angles
- Know your audience
Now that you have persuasive speech topics, it's time to hone your persuasive speech techniques. Find out what ethos, pathos, logos, and kairos are and how to use them here .
Looking to take your persuasive technique from speech to sheets (of paper)? Get our three key tips on how to write an argumentative essay , or learn by reading through our thorough breakdown of how to build an essay, step by step .
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Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.
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