Persuasive speech is a form of art, and only a few would deny that. The word has always had great power that can motivate, influence, and inspire. But it all starts with the right topic, which sets the general mood of the whole performance. A poorly chosen subject can bog you down and ruin you as an orator. Yet, well-selected persuasive speech topics are the key to your success.
Therefore, you should pay extra attention to picking the main idea of your speech because it will be a driving power, allowing you to achieve great results. To make it easier for you, we have prepared a step-by-step guide with several suggestions on how to master your public speaking and always choose the best persuasive speech topics. You are just one blog away from successful experiences and interested listeners.
What Is a Persuasive Speech?
A well-chosen topic is the key to success with any presentation. But how should you select a subject for a persuasive speech?
Components of the Persuasive Speech
Persuasive speaking aims to convince others to agree with your message. Through words and visuals, the speaker can influence the audience’s thoughts and actions. Yet, this can only happen when the listeners agree with the orator. That’s why, before anything, you should focus on learning more about those who will attend your talk.
Persuasion comes down to ethos (credibility), logos (logic), and pathos (emotion):
- Ethos means proving you’re reliable and credible to build a connection from the start.
- Logos uses intelligence and evidence to prove your argument and make it trustworthy.
- Pathos taps into emotions, aiming to make the audience feel you, which can create a strong bond as a result.
These are the foundational aspects any public speaker has to be aware of. By mastering them, you can significantly boost your outcomes.
Importance of the Persuasive Speech Topic
Selecting a good persuasive speech topic is vital. What makes it a good one? It should be relevant, engaging, and objective. Besides, a perfect subject should resonate with the audience to evoke emotions. It seems like those are little details, but they are the ones that enhance the effectiveness of your communication.
Why Should You Master Persuasive Speech?
Public speaking is an important skill, but it demands regular practice for mastery. Learning persuasion enhances the ability to prove your point to others. Even if you are far from performing on stage, this skill can be handy at school, work, or even for personal communication. While giving speeches isn’t a requirement for college admissions, you will need to talk in front of the classroom or maybe even at an event hall later on.
4 Steps to Choosing a Good Persuasive Speech Topic
Let’s figure out how to choose a good topic for your persuasive speech. To make it easier, we prepared this 4-step guide that you could follow.
Step 1: Identify What Interests You and Your Audience
It is essential to talk about what you understand well and what is relevant to you. It is doubly important to focus on things that matter to your listeners. Your first step should be analyzing your target audience. Without this, you run the risk of not being heard at all. Assuming the same general topic will interest most people is the wrong path. Any audience will have some attentive listeners and some that will simply turn a deaf ear. Still, without understanding your target, you can end up having a hall full of bored faces.
So, your listeners, who are these people? How old are they? What do they dedicate their lives to? What are their interests and beliefs? The more answers you find, the easier it will be for you to find the right subject. Yet, remember that there is no magic universal elixir. The most you can do is define a proper topic for a particular audience at a given moment. Conducting an online survey of your target listeners is a great place to start. Talk to them to understand what they care about. This way, you maximize your chances of choosing a matter that will hit the spot.
Step 2: Do Your Research
Once you’ve grasped your audience, delve into research and try to utilize all available media. Sometimes, you might need help, whether from your teachers, tutors, or any other expert in the field. This phase resembles being a detective, gathering abundant and relevant information. Often, the topic for a persuasive speech sounds like a question. This is necessary to attract more attention from the audience. Frequently, these subjects are on the controversial side or include two contradictory ideas (e.g., ‘Social Media Influence: Beneficial Networking or Detrimental Distraction?’)
Now, let’s see the essential aspects of every research:
- Find suitable examples. Start by simply googling the topic and looking at similar searches. Then, make a compilation of facts and browse through examples of persuasive speeches. It will be great if you can find them on YouTube.
- Focus on visuals. A visual part might be much more important than you think. In fact, MIT neuroscientists discovered that the human brain can process a whole image in just 13 milliseconds. Still, with the text, you can barely perceive a couple of words during the same period. That’s why pay attention to the visual part of your performance and focus on quality images or even videos that complement your speech instead of distracting from the main idea.
- Use the data-based approach. Statistics is another thing that always adds credibility, so try to establish your research on facts and data. When working with statistics, pay attention to the sample size to ensure it is representative enough.
- Find specialists who can help. You can ask a relevant expert for their opinions and real-life cases that coincide with your topic. This will significantly enhance the quality and engagement of your persuasive speech.
Step 3: Organize Your Content
When you have a bunch of data, facts, examples, and stories on your hands, it might be easy to get lost. That’s why you have to pay attention to how you structure your talk. Any good persuasive speech topic will have several sub-issues to raise. That’s why it is essential to organize your thoughts because being messy won’t help you convince anyone.
Whereas in an essay, you can use the inverted pyramid structure (arranging information from most to least important), when giving a speech, you can’t lose your audience’s attention until the end of your talk. Your presentation should form an emotional curve, creating a response from your listeners throughout the performance.
How do you achieve that?
- Main body. The golden rule of thumb is to start by crafting the main body of your speech first and leave the introduction and conclusion for later. They need to be especially catchy and memorable.
- Introduction. The introduction has to attract attention from the first seconds. That’s why it has to be impressive, but if you give too much information too soon, you risk overwhelming your audience. For this reason, you might want to have a separate thorough brainstorming session to create an introduction.
- Conclusion. The final part is no less significant for a successful persuasive speech. It leaves an aftertaste, and how it will be depends on you. A vague conclusion can bitter all the good impressions of your talk, while a potent ending will make people remember your words.
Step 4: Test Chosen Topic
Once you have chosen a topic and written your speech, you should practice performing. You can read it out loud to yourself in front of a mirror. Alternatively, you can ask some friends or relatives to listen to you or maybe even film you. Even if you’re shy, it’s great to practice with a few people you know. Ask them to be as critical as possible and gather their feedback to analyze and improve.
After that, you may need to adjust your text, intonation, timbre of voice, or non-verbal communication. Of course, speaking to a real audience will differ greatly from your rehearsals. Still, it’s better than nothing and will give you more confidence that will be very handy on your day X.
Best 20 Topics for Persuasive Speech
Getting some inspiration is always useful. That’s why we’ve prepared a couple of suggestions of great persuasive speech topics that might help you come up with your own unique subject.
1. Will your brain’s cognitive function improve when learning a foreign language?
2. Is fast food the main reason for obesity?
3. Is society doing enough to prioritize mental health and well-being?
4. How does embracing diverse points of view enrich our understanding of the world?
5. Is the death penalty an effective deterrent or a flawed system?
6. Industrialism and its consequences we face today
7. Are cell phones really connecting us?
8. Are genetically modified foods a solution for global food security?
9. Is sex education essential for empowering youth and reducing teenage pregnancy?
10. Does individual tailoring of the educational subject matter enhance student engagement?
11. Can shifting to renewable energy sources truly power a sustainable future?
12. Assisted suicide: A moral dilemma
13. Is the United States achieving its ideals?
14. Do high school students need more autonomy in shaping their education?
15. Can developing strong public speaking open doors to personal and professional success?
16. Is social media enhancing interpersonal connections or leading to isolation?
17. Minimum Wage: A Livable Income for All
18. Birth control access for high school students
19. Striving for unity in a diverse nation: Myth or reality?
20. What do we consume? Genetically modified foods and fast food problems
Knowing how to give an excellent persuasive speech is a beneficial skill that will serve you long after you graduate and open many doors and careers. Besides, while learning to be a good orator, you also become a better listener. Still, any truly great talk starts with a persuasive speech topic selection, so make your title stand out and spark that glimpse of curiosity in your audience.