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Persuasive Speech Topics & Ideas

The speaker's goal with a persuasive speech is to convince their listeners to accept their point of view. The speech is organized in a way that will persuade the audience to accept part or all the argument being presented. A speaker will rarely be able to convince every member of an audience to accept their perspective. However, the goal is to persuade the largest number of attendees to appreciate the value of or accept the validity of the arguments being presented.

What Is an Example of a Persuasive Speech?

One example of a persuasive speech is a sales pitch. In a sales pitch the salesperson is set on convincing listeners to purchase the product or service they are attempting to sell. You will know if your speech is sufficiently persuasive if your listeners choose to purchase the product or service.

Even if some audience members do not purchase what you are selling after the first pitch, this does not indicate that the persuasive speech failed. It takes time for people to process what they have heard and then make decisions based on the information that was presented. In sales, it is not uncommon for customers to require multiple persuasive speeches or pitches before pulling the trigger. They may need to compare what they hear from you with the information they learn from outside sources.

Components of a Persuasive Speech

A persuasive speech combines logical information with emotional appeals. The analytical data and facts presented within the speech will lead listeners to accept a logical conclusion. This is what you see, for example, when you watch a lawyer argue a court case based on precedent and law. Their argument expands on the idea that if the law says A or B, the only acceptable outcome must be C.

Conversely, an emotional appeal is designed to make listeners feel something. A successful emotional appeal can move listeners to accept something that may not have any basis in facts. A perfect example of an emotional appeal designed to persuade is negative political ads. You will notice that these ads do not focus on facts. Instead, they juxtapose a candidate to negative emotions, such as hate, fear, or prejudice. An emotional appeal by itself can be considered a logical fallacy, whereby the debater attempts to win an argument by trying to get an emotional reaction out of their audience.

Together in a persuasive speech, the logical information blended with the emotional appeal will cause your audience to react based on emotions and then use logic to justify how they feel. Appealing to emotion is only effective if it furthers the argument. Some topics are already emotionally charged, therefore it is important to balance those emotions with concrete evidence and logic.

What Makes a Successful Persuasive Speech?

Convincing your audience, the proper incentive, and stimulation are three components for a successful persuasive speech. An external factor is the willingness of your listeners to accept what you are presenting. Your body language as a speaker and the environment in which the speech is delivered will impact how successful your persuasive speech will be.

While the primary goal of a persuasive speech is to get the audience to accept your viewpoint, smaller goals must be achieved if the primary goal is to be reached. If your speech is convincing, you will motivate your audience to believe and internalize your viewpoint. Therefore, the goal is not just to explain why you believe something to the audience, it is to get them to feel the same thing as you about the topic.

Incentive moves the audience to do something and this is easier to do if your audience shares at least some of your viewpoints. Returning to the realm of politics, you will often see a politician encourage their supporters to get out and vote. Their supporters believe in them, but the politician needs to motivate the listener to action if there is going to be any benefit.

Stimulation is designed to motivate an audience that already shares your viewpoint to a certain level to take that belief up to another level. These tactics are often seen at religious events. A preacher speaking to their congregation is not trying to convert people to the faith. The preacher understands that the congregation already believes. In this case, the goal is to enhance the degree of belief.

How Do You Choose an Engaging Persuasive Speech Topic?

Choosing the right topic for your speech is not easy. There are multiple factors to consider when making the choice.


You should be familiar with the topic you are going to discuss. It will make it easier for you to prepare the speech. You will also sound more convincing when talking about the subject to others. It will be more difficult to convince people of something you have little knowledge of. Nothing disconnects an audience from your argument quicker than you mispronouncing common terms or using them inaccurately because of a lack of familiarity on your part.


You must have an interest in the topic you are going to discuss. You will need to research thoroughly, which can’t be done in just a few minutes. Taking your time and finding good resources will help increase the credibility of your speech. If it is something that you love, the process will be enjoyable. If you are enthusiastic about something your audience will be motivated because they will see and be encouraged by your enthusiasm.

In addition to picking topics that you are interested in, you need to consider the audience's interest. However, interest does not mean agreement. An audience may fervently disagree with you at the outset of your discourse, but they may be passionate about the topic you are discussing.


Your audience wants to hear about issues that affect them personally, locally, or nationally. People find these topics more interesting.

What Are Good Persuasive Speech Topics?

There are numerous persuasive speech topics that you can use. Choose a topic that resonates with you. Accordingly, your audience will see you have established credibility and an emotional connection on said topic. They will understand your topic better if you understand and believe it yourself.

Persuasive Speech Topics on the Arts

The arts were a hot topic in 2021, and they will continue to be so moving into 2022. Some topics that could be discussed include:

Persuasive Speech Topics on the Economy

Persuasive Speech Topics on Entertainment

This is just a tiny sample of persuasive speech topics that would resonate with an audience. Other issues that will generate interest include academia, ethics, motivation, travel, technology, and the environment.

How Do You Build an Effective Persuasive Speech?

Once you have a clear goal, are knowledgeable about the topic and have insights regarding your audience, you’ll be ready to build an effective persuasive argument to deliver in the form of a speech.

Write an Outline

Your next step will be to create a keyword outline to organize your main points and structure your persuasive speech for maximum impact.

Be Natural

Write your speech as you talk since it is meant to be spoken to your audience. This means using short words and short sentences. Avoid constructing awkward sentences that can make you stumble over your words. As you are writing your speech, read it out loud. Make sure it also reflects your speech patterns and your mannerisms.

Tell a Story

As you write your persuasive speech, ask yourself, “What story am I trying to tell?” Your speech, like all good stories, should have a narrative arc. It may start slow, provide important information in the middle, and conclude by motivating people to act.

Be Concise

After you write your speech, go through it to cut out unnecessary parts. Is there a paragraph you love and feel you can’t live without? Remember, some of the most influential speeches in history were short. The Gettysburg Address was less than 300 words. Once you finish writing your speech, see how many words you can cut without changing the meaning.

In Conclusion

Your goal should be to make an impact on your listener. Before you sit down to write, get inspired. Think about how what you will say will inspire your listeners. Some of the best-remembered speeches in history persuaded people based on hope. Hope will always be more persuasive than fear or hate. It is no coincidence that one of the best love speeches in human history is the Sermon on the Mount. It articulates hopeful human ideals and inspires humans to think about what they could be. Your speech can have the same persuasive power to move people and produce positive results.

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