Persuasive Speech Topic

How to select the best persuasive speech topic for you every time.

If you want to be persuasive then to me it makes sense to choose a topic that you can easily be persuasive about. Before I explain my simple method for developing a persuasive speech topic let's look at some ancient wisdom (often the best kind in my humble opinion :)

First let's have a look at what the old master Aristotle has to say about persuasion.

Of the modes of persuasion furnished by the spoken word there are three kinds. The first kind depends on the personal character of the speaker; the second on putting the audience into a certain frame of mind; the third on the proof, or apparent proof, provided by the words of the speech itself. Persuasion is achieved by the speaker's personal character when the speech is so spoken as to make us think him credible. We believe good men more fully and more readily than others: this is true generally whatever the question is, and absolutely true where exact certainty is impossible and opinions are divided. This kind of persuasion, like the others, should be achieved by what the speaker says, not by what people think of his character before he begins to speak. It is not true, as some writers assume in their treatises on rhetoric, that the personal goodness revealed by the speaker contributes nothing to his power of persuasion; on the contrary, his character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion he possesses. Secondly, persuasion may come through the hearers, when the speech stirs their emotions. Our judgements when we are pleased and friendly are not the same as when we are pained and hostile. It is towards producing these effects, as we maintain, that present-day writers on rhetoric direct the whole of their efforts. This subject shall be treated in detail when we come to speak of the emotions. Thirdly, persuasion is effected through the speech itself when we have proved a truth or an apparent truth by means of the persuasive arguments suitable to the case in question.

As you can see from the highlighted sentence Aristotle thought that "character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion he possesses".

So it makes sense to choose topics that allow you to be seen by the audience as a person of good character. And what does that mean exactly? Again good old Aristotle supplies the answers.

Character in persuasive speaking is much more specific than its normal meaning.

To be most persuasive concentrate on these three things:

  • Virtue - the audience thinks you share their values.
  • Practical Wisdom - street smarts. The audience thinks you've been there, done that.
  • Disinterest - The audience thinks you have their interests at heart above all else, including your own interests.

So pick a persuasive speech topic that allows you to speak the same language as your audience; demonstrates that you know what you're talking about (as opposed to just read about it); and shows that you genuinely care about what's best for them.

Do these tree things and you're off to a great start before you even begin writing your script.

If you're still stuck you can click on the link below for even more inspiration.

Speech Topics To Motivate You

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