Writing a Persuasive Speech

Why are you writing a persuasive speech? Perhaps your Speech 101 class teacher has just assigned you a 5 minute presentation, where you have to persuade your listeners that more homework will benefit everyone!

Or, maybe you just got off the phone, and you are a nervous wreck. The company CEO has asked you to write and give a persuasive speech encouraging your employees to put in voluntary overtime.

Either way, your heart may be racing, your palms may be sweaty, and your throat may feel a little dry! What will you say to convince them?

Don't worry! Follow the steps below and you'll be on your way to presenting a great speech!

Writing a Persuasive Speech

Three steps to writing a persuasive speech that gets results

1. Make sure you believe in the cause you are promoting

John Henry Patterson, an American businessman, once said, "Before you try to convince anyone else, be sure you are convinced. If you cannot convince yourself, drop the subject."

Sometimes your body language and tone of voice speak louder than the actual words you say.

Before you start writing, take the time to see the benefits of what you are trying to persuade your listeners to do. Once you believe in your topic it will be much easier to convince others to act.

Don't worry about dissenting points of view. Stay focused on the one point you are trying to persuade your audience to take action on or believe in.

Your passion can be the deciding factor in whether your audience will be swayed around to your point of view. If you're wishy-washy, you'll have a hard time convincing anyone of anything.

2. Put yourself in the shoes of the audience.

How would you feel if you were in their position and you heard the speech you are about to give?

Try to anticipate how they will react to the topic of your speech. If you know they will have objections, try to address those concerns in your speech.

Having said this though, it is not your responsibility to address every objection. You need to know and believe and present your subject so passionately that EVERY concern the audience may have is blown away by your persuasive speaking.

But the more you can connect to your listeners and show empathy, the more receptive they will be to your topic.

Follow a basic writing outline of what you want to say.

When writing a persuasive speech, it sometimes helps to come up with an introduction and conclusion first.

The introduction should break the ice and make the audience feel comfortable with you and what you are going to say. It should also state the main thing you want them to do or believe after hearing your speech.

The conclusion is really similar to the introduction. You just wrap up the main points and call the audience to action.

The middle sections of your speech can usually be broken down into 3-4 main points. Sometimes these can be the benefits your listeners will receive if they follow your advice.

Here are some guidelines to help you prepare your outline

It's natural to feel nervous when someone asks you to go about writing a persuasive speech.

Try to relax and remember the three steps: Believe in your cause, put yourself in the listener's shoes, and follow a basic writing outline.

Good luck creating your presentations - and for more guidance, check out the links below.

More tips...

A Guide to Persuasive Speech Writing
More Tips for Writing Good Persuasive Speeches
Tips for Creating Your Outline (With Example)
Another Example Outline

Brainstorming techniques...

Coming up With Ideas
More Ways to Find the Perfect Topic

Topics to try...

Ideal for Teens

Example persuasive speeches for inspiration...

Gender Selection
Energy Medicine
The Role of Marriage in Society
Fun Speech about Luck
Second-Hand Smoke Using a Cell Phone Whilst Driving
School Uniform Policies
Become an Activist

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