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112 Persuasive Speech Topics That Are Actually Engaging

What’s covered:, how to pick an awesome persuasive speech topic, 112 engaging persuasive speech topics, tips for preparing your persuasive speech.

Writing a stellar persuasive speech requires a carefully crafted argument that will resonate with your audience to sway them to your side. This feat can be challenging to accomplish, but an engaging, thought-provoking speech topic is an excellent place to start.

When it comes time to select a topic for your persuasive speech, you may feel overwhelmed by all the options to choose from—or your brain may be drawing a completely blank slate. If you’re having trouble thinking of the perfect topic, don’t worry. We’re here to help!

In this post, we’re sharing how to choose the perfect persuasive speech topic and tips to prepare for your speech. Plus, you’ll find 112 persuasive speech topics that you can take directly from us or use as creative inspiration for your own ideas!

Choose Something You’re Passionate About

It’s much easier to write, research, and deliver a speech about a cause you care about. Even if it’s challenging to find a topic that completely sparks your interest, try to choose a topic that aligns with your passions.

However, keep in mind that not everyone has the same interests as you. Try to choose a general topic to grab the attention of the majority of your audience, but one that’s specific enough to keep them engaged.

For example, suppose you’re giving a persuasive speech about book censorship. In that case, it’s probably too niche to talk about why “To Kill a Mockingbird” shouldn’t be censored (even if it’s your favorite book), and it’s too broad to talk about media censorship in general.

Steer Clear of Cliches

Have you already heard a persuasive speech topic presented dozens of times? If so, it’s probably not an excellent choice for your speech—even if it’s an issue you’re incredibly passionate about.

Although polarizing topics like abortion and climate control are important to discuss, they aren’t great persuasive speech topics. Most people have already formed an opinion on these topics, which will either cause them to tune out or have a negative impression of your speech.

Instead, choose topics that are fresh, unique, and new. If your audience has never heard your idea presented before, they will be more open to your argument and engaged in your speech.

Have a Clear Side of Opposition

For a persuasive speech to be engaging, there must be a clear side of opposition. To help determine the arguability of your topic, ask yourself: “If I presented my viewpoint on this topic to a group of peers, would someone disagree with me?” If the answer is yes, then you’ve chosen a great topic!

Now that we’ve laid the groundwork for what it takes to choose a great persuasive speech topic, here are over one hundred options for you to choose from.

  • Should high school athletes get tested for steroids?
  • Should schools be required to have physical education courses?
  • Should sports grades in school depend on things like athletic ability?
  • What sport should be added to or removed from the Olympics?
  • Should college athletes be able to make money off of their merchandise?
  • Should sports teams be able to recruit young athletes without a college degree?
  • Should we consider video gamers as professional athletes?
  • Is cheerleading considered a sport?
  • Should parents allow their kids to play contact sports?
  • Should professional female athletes be paid the same as professional male athletes?
  • Should college be free at the undergraduate level?
  • Is the traditional college experience obsolete?
  • Should you choose a major based on your interests or your potential salary?
  • Should high school students have to meet a required number of service hours before graduating?
  • Should teachers earn more or less based on how their students perform on standardized tests?
  • Are private high schools more effective than public high schools?
  • Should there be a minimum number of attendance days required to graduate?
  • Are GPAs harmful or helpful?
  • Should schools be required to teach about standardized testing?
  • Should Greek Life be banned in the United States?
  • Should schools offer science classes explicitly about mental health?
  • Should students be able to bring their cell phones to school?
  • Should all public restrooms be all-gender?
  • Should undocumented immigrants have the same employment and education opportunities as citizens?
  • Should everyone be paid a living wage regardless of their employment status?
  • Should supremacist groups be able to hold public events?
  • Should guns be allowed in public places?
  • Should the national drinking age be lowered?
  • Should prisoners be allowed to vote?
  • Should the government raise or lower the retirement age?
  • Should the government be able to control the population?
  • Is the death penalty ethical?

Environment

  • Should stores charge customers for plastic bags?
  • Should breeding animals (dogs, cats, etc.) be illegal?
  • Is it okay to have exotic animals as pets?
  • Should people be fined for not recycling?
  • Should compost bins become mandatory for restaurants?
  • Should electric vehicles have their own transportation infrastructure?
  • Would heavier fining policies reduce corporations’ emissions?
  • Should hunting be encouraged or illegal?
  • Should reusable diapers replace disposable diapers?

Science & Technology

  • Is paper media more reliable than digital news sources?
  • Should automated/self-driving cars be legalized?
  • Should schools be required to provide laptops to all students?
  • Should software companies be able to have pre-downloaded programs and applications on devices?
  • Should drones be allowed in military warfare?
  • Should scientists invest more or less money into cancer research?
  • Should cloning be illegal?
  • Should societies colonize other planets?
  • Should there be legal oversight over the development of technology?

Social Media

  • Should there be an age limit on social media?
  • Should cyberbullying have the same repercussions as in-person bullying?
  • Are online relationships as valuable as in-person relationships?
  • Does “cancel culture” have a positive or negative impact on societies?
  • Are social media platforms reliable information or news sources?
  • Should social media be censored?
  • Does social media create an unrealistic standard of beauty?
  • Is regular social media usage damaging to real-life interactions?
  • Is social media distorting democracy?
  • How many branches of government should there be?
  • Who is the best/worst president of all time?
  • How long should judges serve in the U.S. Supreme Court?
  • Should a more significant portion of the U.S. budget be contributed towards education?
  • Should the government invest in rapid transcontinental transportation infrastructure?
  • Should airport screening be more or less stringent?
  • Should the electoral college be dismantled?
  • Should the U.S. have open borders?
  • Should the government spend more or less money on space exploration?
  • Should students sing Christmas carols, say the pledge of allegiance, or perform other tangentially religious activities?
  • Should nuns and priests become genderless roles?
  • Should schools and other public buildings have prayer rooms?
  • Should animal sacrifice be legal if it occurs in a religious context?
  • Should countries be allowed to impose a national religion on their citizens?
  • Should the church be separated from the state?
  • Does freedom of religion positively or negatively affect societies?

Parenting & Family

  • Is it better to have children at a younger or older age?
  • Is it better for children to go to daycare or stay home with their parents?
  • Does birth order affect personality?
  • Should parents or the school system teach their kids about sex?
  • Are family traditions important?
  • Should parents smoke or drink around young children?
  • Should “spanking” children be illegal?
  • Should parents use swear words in front of their children?
  • Should parents allow their children to play violent video games?

Entertainment

  • Should all actors be paid the same regardless of gender or ethnicity?
  • Should all award shows be based on popular vote?
  • Who should be responsible for paying taxes on prize money, the game show staff or the contestants?
  • Should movies and television shows have ethnicity and gender quotas?
  • Should newspapers and magazines move to a completely online format?
  • Should streaming services like Netflix and Hulu be free for students?
  • Is the movie rating system still effective?
  • Should celebrities have more privacy rights?

Arts & Humanities

  • Are libraries becoming obsolete?
  • Should all schools have mandatory art or music courses in their curriculum?
  • Should offensive language be censored from classic literary works?
  • Is it ethical for museums to keep indigenous artifacts?
  • Should digital designs be considered an art form? 
  • Should abstract art be considered an art form?
  • Is music therapy effective?
  • Should tattoos be regarded as “professional dress” for work?
  • Should schools place greater emphasis on the arts programs?
  • Should euthanasia be allowed in hospitals and other clinical settings?
  • Should the government support and implement universal healthcare?
  • Would obesity rates lower if the government intervened to make healthy foods more affordable?
  • Should teenagers be given access to birth control pills without parental consent?
  • Should food allergies be considered a disease?
  • Should health insurance cover homeopathic medicine?
  • Is using painkillers healthy?
  • Should genetically modified foods be banned?
  • Should there be a tax on unhealthy foods?
  • Should tobacco products be banned from the country?
  • Should the birth control pill be free for everyone?

If you need more help brainstorming topics, especially those that are personalized to your interests, you can  use CollegeVine’s free AI tutor, Ivy . Ivy can help you come up with original persuasive speech ideas, and she can also help with the rest of your homework, from math to languages.

Do Your Research

A great persuasive speech is supported with plenty of well-researched facts and evidence. So before you begin the writing process, research both sides of the topic you’re presenting in-depth to gain a well-rounded perspective of the topic.

Understand Your Audience

It’s critical to understand your audience to deliver a great persuasive speech. After all, you are trying to convince them that your viewpoint is correct. Before writing your speech, consider the facts and information that your audience may already know, and think about the beliefs and concerns they may have about your topic. Then, address these concerns in your speech, and be mindful to include fresh, new information.

Have Someone Read Your Speech

Once you have finished writing your speech, have someone read it to check for areas of strength and improvement. You can use CollegeVine’s free essay review tool to get feedback on your speech from a peer!

Practice Makes Perfect

After completing your final draft, the key to success is to practice. Present your speech out loud in front of a mirror, your family, friends, and basically, anyone who will listen. Not only will the feedback of others help you to make your speech better, but you’ll become more confident in your presentation skills and may even be able to commit your speech to memory.

Hopefully, these ideas have inspired you to write a powerful, unique persuasive speech. With the perfect topic, plenty of practice, and a boost of self-confidence, we know you’ll impress your audience with a remarkable speech!

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50 Topics for a Persuasive Speech

50 Topics for a Persuasive Speech

  • 5-minute read
  • 13th January 2023

Some find writing a persuasive speech to be intimidating, but it’s an opportunity to share your position on a topic you care about and to invite listeners to support (or at least appreciate) your way of thinking. You’ll benefit from a clear position, credible evidence, and careful consideration of your audience.

Your first step is to pick a topic. Whether you’re a teacher creating an assignment or a student deciding what to speak about, our list of 50 suggested persuasive speech topics and tips are a good starting place.

Choosing a Topic

●  It’s more enjoyable to research and write a speech about a topic that genuinely holds your interest. It’ll make for better delivery, too. Passion is contagious! On the other hand, boredom and a lack of enthusiasm come through easily in vocal tone.

●  Avoid tired, overdone issues. If you’ve heard it all before, there’s a good chance your audience has, too. Pick something current and relevant to your listeners . If you go with a popular topic, try to approach it from a fresh angle.

●  Issues that contain multiple viewpoints are preferable to simplistic good/bad debates. Most reasonable people would agree that “bullying is bad.” But they might learn something new if you share recent research on bullying and offer different approaches to tackling it.

Let’s look at some interesting speech topics, categorized by subject.

Should free speech on the internet be restricted?

At what age should children have access to smartphones?

Does texting hinder interpersonal skills?

Should parents limit their children’s screen time?

Should laws prohibit using devices while driving?

Is there a link between device usage and decreased mental health?

Should the number of US Supreme Court Justices be increased?

Should voting be compulsory?

Should Election Day in the US change from Tuesday to the weekend?

Should the electoral college system be abolished?

Should election procedures be standardized in all states?

Should the Senate filibuster be abolished?

Should the death penalty be legal?

Should states be allowed to have different abortion laws?

Should the legal age to own an assault rifle be raised?

Should the US conduct a voluntary gun buyback program?

Are governments doing enough to address climate change?

Is student loan forgiveness fair?

Should the US invest in high-speed rail similar to those in Japan and Europe?

Should plastic bags be banned in grocery stores?

What is the greatest threat to international stability?

What can be done to prevent cyber threats?

Is the two-party political system of the US failing?

Should the US adopt a single-payer universal health care system?

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Should minimum wage be a factor in the cost of health care?

Is healthcare a human right?

Should access to abortion be required by healthcare providers?

Do school shooter drills damage students’ mental health?

Should vaccinations be required for students to attend public school?

Should employers offer incentives and bonuses to employees who bike or walk to work?

Do school uniforms offer any advantages?

Are school dress codes gender biased?

Are standardized test scores given too much importance in schools?

Do college entrance exams privilege those with higher socio-economic status?

Should teachers be allowed to keep firearms in their classrooms as protection against active shooters?

Should indigenous languages be taught in schools?

Should immigrants have access to free language classes?

Should books ever be banned in schools?

Should elementary schools be required to teach a foreign language?

Should schools be cellphone free?

Should volunteering before graduation be compulsory?

Should school cafeterias serve more plant-based foods?

Should parents let their children play tackle football?

Should college sports teams receive less money?

Should there be more female priests or pastors of churches?

Should churches and other religious organizations pay taxes?

Should all priests be allowed to marry?

Should prayer be permitted in public schools?

On balance, does religion create more conflict or foster peace?

Should there be exceptions to the freedom to practice any religion?

Persuasion Isn’t All or Nothing

People often think persuasion means getting others to agree with you, but persuasion is more nuanced than that. You might persuade someone to go beyond sympathy and act. You might highlight the gray areas of a typically black and white debate.

When total agreement is out of reach, you can settle for agreement in part. Consider your audience thoughtfully when you decide on your goals and remember that you have options.

Step Up with Confidence

We hope these suggested persuasive speech topics have the wheels of your mind turning. Whether it’s for a speech or an argumentative essay , getting your ideas on paper and editing them is a necessary part of the process. Our editors are here to help you confidently put out your best work. Submit a free sample today .

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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.

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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.

Arts/Culture

  • 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?

Government/Politics

  • 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?

Science/Environment

  • 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?

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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

What's Next?

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 .

Want a great GPA? Check out our step-by-step guide to getting good grades in high school so you can have a stellar transcript.

Interested in learning about other great extracurricular opportunities? Learn more about job shadowing , community service , and volunteer abroad programs.

Still trying to figure out your courses? Check out our expert guide on which classes you should take in high school.

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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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237 Easy Persuasive Speech Topics and Guide

A persuasive speech is a speech written and delivered to convince people of the speaker’s viewpoint. It uses words to make the audience ‘see’ the speaker’s point of view and to ‘sway’ them into agreeing with it.

It is not a simple matter of presenting gathered facts and evidence. More than just seeing why the speaker thinks that way, a persuasive speech tries to persuade the audience in accepting that line of thought and make it the way they, too, think.

To jump to the persuasive speech topic section, click here .

This is where it differs from an argument. The difference between an argumentative and persuasive speech is that one tries to prove a point while the other tries to affect the listener’s perspective.

  • Informative Speech Topics and Ideas
  • Toastmasters Project 9: Persuade With Power

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Visualization, writing introduction for persuasive speech, persuasive speech videos, persuasive speech topics, persuasive speech topics about animals and pets, persuasive speech topics about automobiles, persuasive speech topics about education, persuasive speech topics about environment, persuasive speech topics about ethical issues, persuasive speech topics about food, persuasive speech topics about health.

Some examples of a persuasive speech are sales pitch, the speech of politicians, the speech of environmentalists, the speech of feminists, the speech of animal activists, etc.

In the above examples, you must have noticed that all these kind of speech has a goal. A sales pitch is to get you to buy something, politicians give speeches to get you to vote for them, and environmentalists, feminists, and animal activists have a cause to advocate. They all want you to ‘do’ something.

Action is a persuasive speech’s end goal. Ultimately, the speaker wants to persuade you to do something. And why would you do that?

Say, an environmentalist wants people to re-cycle because they think or know that it is good for the environment. Now, it is the people who need to know and think recycling is good for the environment. Only then they would recycle.

Therefore, a more complete definition of a persuasive speech would be “Speech that convinces the audience of a certain idea to inspire them into the desired action.”

Art of Persuasion

Persuasive speech is an art form.

Take an example of a man who was begging in the street. He had a hat in front of him and a sign that said “I am blind, please help” He got a few coins. Then, a lady came along, turned the sign around, and wrote something. A lot more people started to give the man money. His hat was filled with coins. What did that lady write? What persuaded people to give?

“Today is a beautiful day and I cannot see it.”

The second line got him more money because it ‘affected’ people, it appealed to their emotions more than the straightforward “I am blind, please help.” This is called pathos.

According to Aristotle, there are three components of or modes to affect people. They are Ethos, Pathos, and Logos.

Ethos in layman’s terms is credibility or authority. The dictionary defines it as “the character or disposition of a community, group, person, etc.” So, you need to have that disposition that makes you a reliable or trustable person.

For example, a woman talking about women’s problems is more likely to have an effect on the audience than a male speaker. The principal comes into the class and tells you ‘Tomorrow is a holiday and no questions will be asked. But if your teacher says so, you will investigate first. You will be more eager to listen to a popular person in the field than to a newbie.

It is having an effect on people by your person so that they would be more receiving of you.

Pathos in Greek means ‘suffering’ or ‘experience’. It is generally defined as an appeal to people’s emotions. Like in the story of the blind boy above, Pathos is to tap into people’s experience of suffering in order to move them towards a certain action.

Of course, those people have not experienced blindness but they can imagine losing the privilege of sight that they now possess. In simple words, it is to evoke feelings of pity, fear, anger, and such.

Logos is the logical appeal. This is to persuade by the means of reasoning. If the speaker makes a claim such as ‘polythene bags should be banned, then he should give a reason as to ‘why’ like ‘polythene bags do not biodegrade and continue to pollute the environment or facts like ‘Thousands of bags are produced every week and are dumped somewhere after use’ or ‘every bag produced since 19_ still exists somewhere on earth today.’

Presentation- Monroe’s motivated sequence

Presentation is very important. It is the backbone. How you perform your speech, how you deliver the words have the maximum effect on people. Therefore, a speech needs to be organized.

Monroe’s motivated sequence is a technique for organizing persuasive speech. It consists of the following steps.

Grab their attention. Start with a startling statement, an intriguing story, a dramatic action, anything that will make the audience take notice of you. This is also the introduction part. Hook them. Build their interest.

Now, convince the people that there is a problem. More than that, convince them that action needs to be taken against the problem, that it will not go away by itself. Tap into their imagination to show how this problem affects them. Use reasons and facts to support your claims and to impress upon them the need for change.

The audience should be looking forward to the ‘solution’ to the problem. They should want to know what they can do. In this step, introduce your solution. Demonstrate or give examples to make the audience understand how it works and how it solves the problem. Use testimonials or statistics to prove the effectiveness of that solution.

Paint a world where nothing was done and how it affected them. Also, paint a world where they did as you suggested and how it changed the situation for the better. Use vivid imagery to make them ‘feel’ the troubles and relief of not doing and doing as you said. Create a viable scenario. It should be relatable and believable.

Call to action. Strike when the iron is hot. It should be something that they can readily do and immediately. More the time passes less they are likely to follow with it as other things in life take precedence and the feeling of urgency is lost. Make it easy too. Do most of the handiwork so they have to put the least effort.

This is a classic technique developed by Alan Monroe in the mid-1930s. It is still the most effective basis for many persuasive speeches.

Some people are born with the skill of persuasion while others can build on it by applying such techniques and practicing. Here are some Persuasive Speech Topics that you can practice with.

Take a look at the video below. It explains how to write an introduction for a persuasive speech.

Below are 6 sample videos of persuasive speeches.

  • Why homeschooling is good and should be promoted. (School)

Some students do better in a group with a healthy competition to keep them motivated. Some children are better off studying on their own, continuing at their own fast or slow pace which is hindered when moving along with other children.

  • Students should get minimum of 45 minutes tiffin break. (School)

All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. Keeping children cooped up in a room for a long is not good. They need regular refreshing breaks to revitalize, to talk with their friends…

  • Is it racism to ban Marijuana when smoking tobacco is legal? (Funny)

Everybody knows cigarettes are harmful and addictive. Yet, there are big industries manufacturing these drugs on a large scale. Then there is Marijuana that is less harmful, less addictive, and has dozens of use; is it not racism to ban it?

  • Some juveniles needs to be prosecuted as adults. (School?)

More and more teenagers are committing heinous crimes. They know they will get off easy, that they will not face serious consequences. According to the level of savagery committed, juveniles should at times be prosecuted as adults.

  • Are pretty or handsome students really dumber? (School)

This is just a stereotype, just like saying women are less logical and others. Or. That appears to hold true in most cases. As time is limited, people who spend more time on appearance spend less time learning and those who spend time learning fails to look after their appearance.

  • Proficiency in academics is not the only measure of intelligence. (School)

Are grades everything? Different people possess different types of intelligence but grades measure only a few kinds. Is it not like judging a fish on its ability to climb a tree?

  • What is the right age to start owing a mobile phone? (Parenting)

Most parents believe that the right age to own mobile is when children can pay for it so that they can be aware of their expenditure. Else, they might engage in long, unnecessary conversation and…

  • Should children be bought a mobile phone for emergencies? (Parenting)

Mobiles or cell phones are the fastest means of communication. Should children, therefore, be allowed to owe mobiles so that they can contact their guardians in case of emergency?

  • Homework should be banned. (School)

Children spend most of their waking hours in school. They have only a few hours at the home to do things other than academics. But homework is the tag along with that…

  • Should men pay child support even if pregnancy was a one sided decision? (Feminism)

If a woman decides to bear a child despite her partner’s protest, is he still obligated to provide monetary support upon divorce for the same reason?

  • Laws should not be based on religion.

There are many religions. Their ideas vary. But the law should be uniform. Basing laws on certain religions is like forcing the ideas of that religion on every citizen.

  • Birth controls should be free and easily available. (Feminism?)

If teen pregnancy is to be avoided, birth controls should be free and easily available with no parental permission required. Imagine asking your parents if you can have sex or parents permitting it. It is the same as unavailability of the contraceptives which takes us back to square one.

  • Honking unnecessarily should be punishable.

Honking during a traffic jam is not going to clear it up. It only disturbs and aggravates everyone else. Honking at girls is offensive. Honking to bully is wrong. Honking unnecessarily like this should be considered criminal and punished.

  • Divorced and happy parents is better for the children than living in a conflicted home.

Some parents stay together for the sake of their children but fail to get along. This creates a very tense environment and that is not how a home should be.

  • Hiding your HIV status in a relationship should be punishable by law.

HIV is a serious disease with no cure available. If a person is aware of his/her HIV positivity, withholding the information and therefore transmitting it to the unsuspecting partner in the process is criminal.

  • Legalization of prostitution has more positive effects than negative.

Stopping prostitution is impossible. They will continue to operate underground where they face many problems. Girls get trafficked, tricked, or forced into it. Making it legal will at least ensure safety and justice to the sex workers and will also help control forced labor.

  • Schools should take bullying more seriously. / Why bullying is a serious offense. (School)

Bullying is very damaging to the victim and can take a very dangerous turn. But it is dismissed as children’s play in most cases. We don’t realize its seriousness until it is too late…

  • Partial Birth Abortion is a sin.

In this method of abortion, a living baby is pulled out from the womb feet first. The base of the skull is punctured and the brain is removed with a powerful suction machine. This is no different from murder. It is usually allowed by law only in order to save the mother’s life but many healthy mothers’ babies are aborted this way every year…

  • All institutions like schools, colleges and offices should start only after 10.

When such institutions start early, people need to wake up earlier for preparation. Waking up feeling unrested can make a person inactive, irritable, and unproductive. Scientists say that a person’s mind is not fully awake until 10 in the morning…

  • Sexual relationship before marriage is not a crime.

Sex is a biological need and a healthy sex life has a lot of mental and physical benefits. If the partners involved are adults and there is mutual consent…

  • School and teachers should stay away from student’s personal life. (School?)

Every institution has some rule. This rule should govern the members within the institution. But some schools like to take this beyond the school grounds and have control over what students do and do not in their personal time.

  • Energy drinks should be considered borderline medicines. (Health)

Energy drinks provide added energy. So, it should only be consumed when your body lacks energy, in a weakened state, like medicine. Plus, it contains a lot of caffeine that does more harm than good…

  • Parents should properly answer their children’s curiosities. (Parenting)

‘How does a baby come?’ children ask and parents tell them about gods and storks. This raises more questions and does nothing but confuse the child. Try to give an anatomically correct answer without being graphic. Never try to dismiss any of their questions or scold them…

  • Euthanasia, is it ethical?

A person should get to choose whether they want to live or die in dire conditions. Or. Euthanasia is no different from suicide. Supporting euthanasia is like supporting suicide.

  • Prospective parent(s) should get a psychiatric approval before adoption. (Parenting)

We want to find a home for every orphaned child but we want a happy home. There are many sick people out there who want to adopt a child only to abuse them or for some other kind of personal gain…

  • Cigarettes should be illegal.

Cigarettes are like drugs and they should be illegal just like drugs are. It has adverse health effects on the smoker as well as people around him…

  • Smoking in public places should be fined.

Cigarettes are very harmful and their harmful smoke does not affect the smoker alone. It affects the surrounding people as well. Not all people are suicidal that way. Why should they suffer? When one’s action harms the other, it is an offense.

  • Are uniforms necessary?

Uniform brings uniformity. It eliminates frivolous fashion competition which is not what school is for… Or. Clothes are a form of expression. Students spend most of their time in school. They should be comfortable with what they wear…

  • Number of children one can have should be limited and children with previous partner(s) counts.

Four from two, eight from four; population multiplies that way. Already, the earth has become so crowded. If this is to continue, we will rid this world of ourselves.

  • Would it be ethical to genetically design babies? (Technology?)

Yes. Why not use science to cure diseases and eradicate the possibility of a child’s suffering? Or. This method can be misused to alter more than just a threat of diseases and that will disturb the diversity in the gene pool…

  • ‘Living together’ relationships, good or bad?

Marriage cannot keep together those who want to go their separate ways and those who want to together do not need such a constitution.

  • ‘Early to sleep, early to rise’ benefits.

They say ‘Early to sleep and early to rise makes a man healthy and wise.’ This was not said without a reason. Going to bed early and waking up early the next day have many benefits, for both our mind and body.

  • Every property should compulsorily have trees. (Environment)

Trees produce oxygen and filters air. We need more trees. But the population is increasing. We are cutting down trees to erect concrete buildings instead…

  • Fast foods are overpriced.

Fast foods like French fries, burgers, pizza, etc. cost way more than they actually should. The restaurants are ripping us off. Take fries for example…

  • Using animals as test subjects is cruel and unfair. (Animal rights)

For you, it is one animal among many. But for that particular animal, one life is all it has and you have no right to play with it.

  • Why Gay Marriage should be legalized. (Gay rights)

Homosexuality is not a disease. It is how people are. They want to marry their partner for the same reasons heterosexual couples do. Not legalizing gay marriage is discrimination…

  • Marriage is not about procreation. (Gay rights)

One, almost logical, reason people give against gay marriage is that they cannot bear kids because of which it is definitely not natural/ biological or ‘how god intended’. But marriage is not about procreation. It is about you and your comfort or happiness, about who you want to spend the rest of your life with.

  • Electronics are stealing childhood.

These days, children spend a lot of time on mobile phones, computers, or other electronic devices instead of running around, going out, and playing as a child should.

  • Teens cannot be good parents. (School/ Parenting)

Some teens decide to start a family when the female partner gets pregnant. While this is seen as an admirable option against abortion, are teen parents really good for the kid?

  • Ads should be tested for sexist messages before being aired. (Feminism)

Not only children but everyone learns from what they see and hear. The subliminal sexist messages in ads impart gender roles on their minds, undoing a lot of feminists’ efforts. But mostly, it brainwashes the coming generation and we should not allow that.

  • Protection and breeding of white tigers is illogical; why hinder natural selection? (Environment/ Animal rights)

White tigers do not fare well in the wild due to their color. It was a case of mutation that would have naturally been eliminated if humans had not interfered. I am not saying all living white tigers must be killed but why are people breeding it in captivity instead of letting it die out? Just because they’re pretty and we like pretty?

  • Exotic pets are not pets. (Animal rights)

Exotic animals belong in the wild. They need to be with their own kind, living in their natural habitat. They should not be isolated in people’s homes where their mobility is limited.

  • Feminism should be made a compulsory subject in high school and college. (Feminism)

Feminism is an eye-opener. It is something every man and woman should know of. Thus, it should be a compulsory and common subject instead of being exclusive to Arts or few other faculty.

  • Age 16 is not juvenile. (School?)

Are 16-year-olds really kids? Can they not be expected to know the difference between right and wrong? Maybe they do not know it is a crime to download songs and movies but what about rape and murder? If 16 is old enough to drive in most countries, it is old enough to be tried as an adult.

  • Playing Video games for few hours does good. (School/ parenting?)

It has been found out that playing a few hours of video game help improve people’s hand-eye coordination and enhances cognitive power. Also, games based on real history or science can impart knowledge…

  • Read before agreeing to sites and applications.

We download apps and software and signup on different sites. Each of these requires us to click ‘I agree’. We click this ‘I agree’ without actually reading the agreement. This can later cause problems…

  • Is death penalty ethical?

It is not ethical to eliminate people like we try to eliminate diseases. What about human rights? Or. What kind of rights for the person who does not respect others’ rights and freedom? It is a befitting punishment.

  • Send drug dealers to prison but addicts for rehabilitation.

Drug Addicts are victims too. They need rehabilitation, not prison. Dealers are the real criminals.

  • Parents should cook tastier option instead of making children eat the healthy foods they don’t want.

If not meat then milk and pulses. There is a range of choices for the required nutrition. So why should children have to eat something they don’t like? Just give them a tastier option.

  • If girls can wear pants, boys can wear skirts. (Funny?)

Is all equality fighting for girls only? What about boys’ rights? When girls can wear boys’ clothes why can boys not wear that of girls?

  • Being slim is not just about looks but health too. (Health?)

Beauties were those who were plum. Now, skinny is the fashion. But to those who want to be ‘comfortable’ in their size, know that a slim body is more than just looks.

  • There should be one holiday in the middle of workdays.

Saturday and Sunday’s rest do not keep us charged up to Friday. This makes people less productive by Thursday and Friday. A break in the middle would be wonderfully refreshing…

  • Considering the real meaning behind Nursery Rhymes, should they be taught to children? (School)

The fun nursery rhyme “Ring around the Rosie” is actually about the bubonic plague that killed nearly 15% of the country. This is only an example among many. Consider the lyrics of “Three blind mice” that goes “… Who cut off their tails, With a carving knife.” Is it okay to teach these to the children?

  • Countries should provide free Wi-Fi in tourist destinations.

Doing this will help tourists as they will be able to contact their people without wandering around confused in a foreign land. This will definitely increase the flow of both national and international tourists. It will be most helpful to students from abroad.

  • Know the woes of genetically modified Chickens.

To meet the demand of the growing population, chickens are fed hormones and other drugs to make them grow faster and fat, especially the meat in the breast area. Because of this, the chickens cripple under their own weight. They suffer terribly…

  • Children should be allowed to use electronics like mobile, notebooks etc. during breaks. (Students)

Using electronics during class is certainly bad and for a number of reasons. But break times belong to the students. Breaks are for recreation. If students choose to enjoy electronics, what is wrong with that?

  • Teachers, too, should keep their mobiles in silent during class.

Class time is for teaching and learning. Students should keep their mobile in silence so as to not disturb the class. But, so should the teacher. They shouldn’t pick up their call during class.

  • Humans are consuming way more salt than necessary. (Health)

Sodium is important. But the larger amount of sodium intake has often been associated with an increase in blood pressure that leads to strokes. 1500 to 2300mg is the maximum amount per day.

  • Benefits of donating blood.

Donating blood is the right thing to do. It saves lives. There are a few moral reasons as such to donate blood but do you know that you are not losing anything either? Donating blood is good for your own health too…

  • Why become an organ donor?

Perfectly healthy people die when trying to donate their organs to their loved ones. Even if they survive, they may have to face complications and they are now, somehow, deficient. If an organ could be got…

  • Original organic fruits taste better than the hybrids.

Hybrid fruits are larger and juicer but it lacks in terms of taste. The taste tastes diluted…

  • Why people who have should give.

Many people suffer from poverty. They have a hard time meeting basic needs like food, shelter, and clothes.

  • Why suicide over ‘love troubles’ is stupid. (Students)

Life moves on. Time heals. Things will happen if you continue to live. But the exaggerated fictional idea of love that the movies market has…

  • Why women should earn irrespective of their husband’s economic status. (Feminism)

Be independent. Money is power. Do not let anyone have an upper hand and be vulnerable to possible abuse…

  • Recycle e-waste. (Environment)

E-waste contains many recoverable materials such as aluminum, copper, gold, silver etc. Reusing this will take a load off of natural resources. E-waste also contains toxins like mercury, lead, beryllium, and others that will inevitably infuse into soil and water.

  • Do not tolerate abuse, speak out. (Feminism)

Certainly, nobody enjoys abuse? Then why do women continue to stay in abusive relationship despite being educated and holding a good job? Why do they tolerate other kinds of abuse as well? There are many reasons for this…

  • Every citizen should be required to, at least, pass high school. (School)

Up to high school, the education is basic. Imagine needing to stop ocean pollution. An educated person would be more easily persuaded or would know why ocean pollution is bad. Or. There are good and bad people. Education will teach the good how to be good and may persuade the bad…

  • Hostels, is it good or bad for children? (Parenting)

Hostels teach children independence. They learn to do a lot in their own. Or. No one can take better care of children than their parents. Children need parents’ love and support. Away in the hostel, surrounded by children no wiser than themselves…

  • Teachers should discuss among themselves to avoid giving too much homework. (School)

After studying for hours in school, spending all the hours in-home doing homework will mentally tire the student. Homework should be very light. But light homework of all the teachers added will take up all of the students’ time. So…

  • Importance of clubs in school or colleges. (School)

School and college clubs are the best way to learn different valuable skills in. In school and college-level clubs, the eligibility for membership is less strict and one gets to learn from the more skilled seniors.

  • Should plastic surgery be so commercial?

Everyone wants to look good. When accidents or attacks disfigure us, we can turn to plastic surgery to try and gain back our lost selves. But intentionally altering ourselves to…

  • Online piracy should be monitored more strictly.

People have a right to their intellectual property. It is so easy to find and download pirated materials that it seems non-criminal…

  • Are single-sex schools better than coed? (School)

According to research done in Korea, students from single-sex schools scored better than those from coed and had more chances of pursuing college-level education. However, this is from a general viewpoint. When considering students at an individual level, it really depends on what kind of environment that particular student does better in.

  • Spaying or neutering pets is good or bad? (Animal right)

Some say that neutering or spaying pets have a lot of benefits, both for the animal and the owner. Others say that neutering or spaying does not change much but only invites diseases upon the poor animal.

  • Are master’s degree or doctorate really necessary? (Students)

High School teaches us the basics and a bachelor is more career-oriented. We can get a good job after bachelor and hone our skills for a better position. Is a master’s and higher degree really important when we can learn more in the field?

  • Who is more responsible for poaching? Poachers or buyers? (Animal right)

This may be an ‘egg first or chicken question. Scientists have now found out that chickens come first but the question ‘Poacher or buyers’ remains.

  • What kind of food should school or college canteen offer? (Student)

From unhealthy commercial food items to unappetizing bland gibberish; can school or college canteens not offer an in-between option? What would be best for the students?

  • What age is proper to talk about the birds and the bees? (Parenting)

From the time a child starts asking about sex is the time from when to start talking about the birds and the bees. Children as young as 4-5 years old are curious about where a baby comes from. Answer them truthfully but avoid being graphic. Also, answer only what they ask.

  • Fee for facilities aside, the tuition fee should be fixed by the government. (Student)

Schools and colleges take a ridiculous amount of tuition fees. It is understandable that according to the facilities provided, the fee may be less or more but the tuition fee, at least, should be a fixed amount that greedy schools cannot increase as they wish.

  • How long should a drunk driver lose his license for?

Drinking and driving can be fatal to both the driver and an innocent passerby. But people do not take it seriously. They think they can handle their liquor and end up causing accidents. This is absolute carelessness.

  • The amount of water one should drink per day. (Health)

About 60% of the human body is water. We continually lose this water through skin and urine. This causes dehydration…

  • Aliens exist. (Paranormal)

There have been many UFO sightings and stories of alien abduction. Even in the old age paintings, cave paintings, Sanskrit scrolls, the extraterrestrial life form is evident. Scientists have found other habitable planets. An intelligent life form somewhere other than Earth is no longer an idea of a fantasist…

  • White meat over red meat or the other way around? (Health)

White meat is less fatty but red meat contains more vitamins like zinc, iron, and B vitamins…

  • Why religion and science should go hand in hand. / Why religion should evolve with scientific discoveries. (Philosophy)

Science explores the universe for answers while religion makes claims about it. Science is open to change, it acknowledges that it can err and backs its claims with evidence. Religion on the other hand is a ‘belief’ system

  • Should astrologers, mediums and the likes be arrested for fraud? (Paranormal)

Do heavenly bodies really affect our personality or future? Do dead ones really become spirits and can be contacted through mediums? Or are these all just a big hoax?

  • Cats or dogs?

Are you a cat person or a dog person? Say why a dog is better than a cat as a pet or that cat makes a better pet.

  • Benefits of eating fruit over drinking its juice. (Health)

There is a whole fruit and we throw away more than half of the substance when choosing to drink its juice even though eating the fruit itself is healthier because of the fiber it contains.

  • Women shouldn’t have to change their last name after marriage. (Feminism)

Having to change our last name after marriage is sexist. It confirms the power males hold over the women in our patriarchal society.

  • Internet promotes communication, not kill it.

Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, messenger, and others keep us in contact with many friends that we would otherwise have forgotten. It is an easy means of communication…

  • Does pressure build or break a person?

Pressure is healthy. It drives us. Or. Yes. Pressure drives us. It drives us nuts.

  • Hiring volunteers on zero pay is cruel.

Volunteers are those who want to donate labor. They need not be paid for their work but what about their expenses like transportation and others? These kinds of expenses, at least, should be covered.

  • Learning multiple language widens our perception of the world.

There are always those words that cannot be exactly translated to another language. This is because that way of thinking does not exist in that other language. It is like the egg of Cristopher. We discover a new way of expressing ourselves, one we couldn’t think of in the limitation of our own language.

  • Oceans are not trash bins. (Environment)

Tons of human waste are thrown into the ocean. This is creating a big problem in the ocean ecosystem…

  • Killing for fun is inhuman, hunting is inhuman. (Animal rights)

How to have fun with animals? By playing with them, baby talking to them, watching them in their weird but fun action. Not by chasing them down and killing them.

  • Cigarette, alcohol or drugs are not the answer for stress or other problems in life.

People tend to depend on harmful substances like cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs when faced with a problem or when under stress. These substances do not cure stress but could be a self-harming method of coping with problems. People under stress tend to show more unhealthy behaviors such as these…

  • Music heals.

On hearing good music, the brain releases dopamine. Dopamine is an essential chemical that plays a number of important roles in the brain and body. Music has also proven effective against stress…

  • Why breakfast is the important meal of the day. (Health)

Breakfast is the first meal after a long gap during the night. It provides us with vital nutrients like calcium, vitamins, minerals, and energy…

  • Fairytales should be re-written for the next generation children.

Fairytales often star a damsel in distress who not only ‘waits’ for a handsome rescuer but also possesses subjugating qualities like obedience, daintiness, etc. It imparts sexist values in young minds…

  • How a time table can help manage our daily lives.

People do not realize how time table can make our day-to-day lives much more manageable and therefore fruitful or efficient. Some find it tedious and some pretentious…

  • Everyone should learn swimming.

Swimming is not just for fun like cycling. It could save someone’s life. It is an important survival skill that everyone should know of.

  • Good thoughts lead to good actions.

Our actions result from our thoughts. Action is a mind’s reflection…

  • Benefits of meditation. (Health)

Meditation has a lot of benefits, both on body and mind. It reduces stress, improves concentration, reduces irritability, increases perseverance, etc…

  • Zoos are not big enough for wild animals. (Animal rights)

How large can you make a zoo? And how can it mimic nature when different animals are confined separately. Wild animals belong in the wild.

Some more Persuasive Speech Topics:

  • Why is adopting a pet better than buying one?
  • How does having a pet better your everyday life?
  • Having a snake as a pet is as cool as it sounds
  • Should you get rid of a pet that harms another person?
  • Is breeding pets for sale unethical?
  • Selfies with animals in tourist locations should be made equal
  • A dog is the perfect pet
  • Why a pet is essential for a growing child
  • Owning a pet makes you healthier
  • Slaughterhouses are unethical
  • Animals are facing extinction, we should do something about it
  • Why wild animals should be left in the wild
  • Petting exotic animals should be made illegal
  • Why dolphin farming is horrific
  • The Yulin Dog festival displays one of the worst sides of humans
  • Why neutering your pets is wrong
  • Advantages of owning a horse(besides looking fantastic)
  • People need to stop fueling pug markets.
  • Is animal slaughter for religious purposes ethical?
  • Manual drivers are unnecessarily aggressive about their cars
  • Why you should not drive without a kid seat
  • Why sports cars are not worth it
  • If you can’t call while driving, then why is there a hands-free mode?
  • New ideas for lessons drivers have to take before getting a license
  • Should you charge people for driving tests?
  • Why cycling is cooler than driving
  • Why traffic rules are designed against bike rides
  • Driving licenses should need a renewal every 5 years
  • Why co-ed education is the best way to teach
  • GPA isn’t everything
  • 9.30 is too early
  • Why teachers need to be recertified
  • Listening to music during exams should be allowed
  • Should sports and arts be mandatory?
  • Does our school curriculum need obligatory life skill classes?
  • Phones in classes are beneficial and convenient
  • Every student should be encouraged to take a gap year
  • Cyber-bullying should be punished the same as bullying
  • Why art classes are just as important as science
  • School canteens need to serve healthier alternatives
  • More institutes should promote nternational exchange programs
  • Curriculums should be designed with the job market in mind
  • Textbooks are overpriced and should be replaced with digital alternatives
  • Should religion be taught in schools?
  • Is repeating classes beneficial for underperforming students?
  • Students should not have to ask to use the restroom
  • Is having a handwriting class beneficial?
  • Is there a point to giving homework?
  • Education needs to be available in prisons
  • We are being overcharged for education
  • Online learning should be held to equal importance as schools
  • Are teachers paid enough?
  • Is there room for commercial advertisement in schools?
  • Are study halls still relevant?
  • Are our children safe at school?
  • School trips are a waste of money
  • Educational institutes should be more welcoming to technological changes
  • Schools should teach multiple languages
  • Public schools are better than private schools
  • Why meditation should be included in the daily curriculum
  • Are scholarships reaching the right people?
  • Current environmental laws are insufficient
  • Green energy is the future
  • The environmental impact of palm oil
  • The environmental impact of single-use bags
  • Fishing restrictions need to be stricter
  • Oil spills are deadly to marine life
  • Leaving fossil fuels behind
  • Pollution has reached alarming levels
  • Garden owners should be allowed to grow exotic plants
  • Switch to hybrid cars to help the environment
  • Rainforests are going extinct at an alarming rate
  • Why natural resources are quickly going extinct
  • Alternative energy sources should be pushed by governments
  • Euthanasia should be legalized
  • Why eating meat does not make me a bad person
  • Can true equality ever really be achieved?
  • Is messing with unborn children’s genetics ethical?
  • Stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason
  • Animal testing is a necessary part of production
  • Why we need to stop producing and buying fur
  • Prostitution should be legalized
  • Doping and it’s place in sports 
  • Why workplace relationships should be avoided
  • Is religion a cult?
  • Should prayers be included in schools?
  • Parents should not be able to choose the sex of their unborn child
  • Donating to charities is a scam
  • Aborting fetuses with birth defects is not immoral
  • Wars have positive consequences as well
  • Why genital mutilation in infants needs to be stopped
  • Conventional beauty standards are misleading
  • China’s One-child policy was a good idea for population control
  • Animal testing and why it is immoral
  • Why banning cigarettes and alcohol from advertisements is not effective
  • Sugar is added to everything we eat
  • Children should be taught to cook
  • Why growing your own food will help both you and the environment
  • Peanuts: The secret superfood
  • We should be more open to genetically engineered food products
  • The proper way to dispose your food waste
  • The loopholes in labelling laws
  • Keto goes against the natural human evolution
  • Artificial chemicals in our food products is harming us
  • The legal age for contraceptive treatment should be lowered
  • Fast food is slowly killing you
  • How positive thinking can change your life
  • Breakfast isn’t the most important meal of the day
  • Stomach stapling should not be normalized
  • If you don’t wear a seat belt, you are putting yourself at great risk
  • How diabetes can affect your work
  • How daily exercise can change your life
  • Stress as the leading cause of teen suicide
  • Diet pills are a scam
  • Body shaming is putting lives at risk
  • Contraceptive education is an effective solution for teen pregnancy
  • There is such a thing as too much soda
  • Free condom distribution at schools is better than teaching about abstinence
  • The toothpick you pick matters
  • Surrogacy should be more widely accepted
  • Why insomnia should be taken as a more serious health concern
  • Helmets and seatbeat save lives
  • Restaurants need to be more vigilant about handling allergies
  • How Big Pharma is controlling your life
  • The medical field is criminally underfunded
  • We are eating too much salt
  • Organ donation should be an opt-out system
  • The dangers of an anti-vaxxers movement
  • Why fire drills are ineffective
  • Why you need to take that vacation
  • Good sleep is underrated
  • Why vaping is not a better alternative
  • Your stress is killing you
  • It is not healthy for children to be vegetarians
  • Parents don’t need to be informed about underage abortions
  • Donating blood should be encouraged early
  • How much do you know about what’s in your food

I hope you find the tips for persuasive speech and persuasive speech topics useful. Let me what you think of them by commenting below.

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125+ persuasive speech topics to amaze your audience.

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Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 12/15/23

This article provides a comprehensive list of persuasive speech topics and answers to some of your frequently asked questions about speech topics. 

Persuasive writing is hard, and it’s even harder to try to come up with an engaging topic that interests you and your audience. 

Not only do you have to convince your audience to take your side on subjects that are often pretty divisive, you also have to persuade them to take your side of the argument. The first step to making a successful persuasive speech that will amaze your audience is having a strong topic.  

Keep reading for 125+ persuasive speech topics. 

125+ Topics for a Persuasive Speech

Persuasive speech ideas are harder to come up with than you may think. There is a fine balance between interesting your audience, interesting to you, unique and fresh, all while being thought-provoking without being outright offensive. 

Here is a breakdown of various topics for persuasive speeches, organized by categories, to inspire you. 

1. Arts & Culture

Art and culture are always hot topics amongst individuals and groups. There are many interesting arguments and stances on both topics, and many people have strong opinions when it comes to the subject matter. 

See below for prompts for persuasive speeches about art and culture: 

  • Is graffiti art? 
  • Should art classes be mandatory for all students?
  • Should we keep reading classic literature that is offensive? 
  • Should there be a distinction between ‘high’ and ‘low’ literature?
  • Are romcoms and erotica series like Fifty Shades of Grey empowering for women?
  • Is reading actually more beneficial than watching TV or playing video games?
  • Is there any benefit or relevance to teaching high school students Shakespeare?
  • Should video games be considered a high form of entertainment?
  • Are biographical movies of deceased musicians and artists ethical?
  • Is modern music really worse than older music?
  • Should paparazzi be banned and unable to sell their photos?

Topics in arts and culture are always fun to debate and discuss because you have the opportunity to talk about your favorite pieces of media!

2. Economics

100 dollar bills

Economics is a hotly debated topic. There is no shortage of compelling, engaging arguments involving economics. 

Here are some good persuasive speech ideas on the topic of economics: 

  • Is capitalism a functional, ethical economic system? 
  • Should everyone, despite their income, be taxed at the same rate?
  • Can we introduce another economic system to our society? 
  • Should each state, the federal government, or individual companies be responsible for setting a living wage?
  • Should minimum wage be doubled?
  • Should everyone adapt to the four-day work week?
  • Should people who make under a certain amount per year not be taxed at all?
  • Should governments encourage and reward people for shopping locally? 
  • Should advertisements be banned during TV and media programming aimed at kids?
  • Has modern consumerism gone too far?

Economics is a great topic for a persuasive speech because it affects our everyday lives in so many ways. There are tons of research and perspectives to help support your argument. 

3. Education

empty classroom

Many people feel strongly about education and there are many sides and perspectives that come into play: teachers, parents, students, student athletes, and more. 

Here is a list of some engaging topics to write a persuasive speech on:

  • Should post-secondary education be free?
  • Should taking a year off between high school and college be mandatory?
  • Is it fair to take cell phones away from kids in middle/high school while they are in class?
  • Should school uniforms be mandatory in all high schools?
  • Should cursive writing still be taught in schools?
  • Do frats and sororities actually serve their purpose? 
  • Should programming and coding be introduced to young students?
  • Should school lunches be free?
  • Is college/university necessary anymore?
  • Does the education system prepare students for adult life?
  • Should gyms be mandatory for all students?
  • Do schools need to do a better job at teaching students a second language?
  • Should schools teach sign language?
  • What age should students be taught sex ed?
  • Should distant learning be encouraged, or avoided at all costs?

Education is another great topic to write a speech about because it intersects with economics, culture , and politics . These topics will guarantee an engaged audience. This is a popular topic for high school students who are learning about tuition and scholarships at their top colleges! 

4. Environment

air pollution

Since the release of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and Greta Thunberg’s unapologetic activism, climate change has been at the forefront of many political, economic, and cultural conversations. 

If environmental issues spark your interest, consider writing on one of the topics below:

  • Can we ever live in a truly ‘green’ and environmentally friendly society?
  • Should water bottles be banned?
  • Are businesses responsible for implementing environmentally friendly production and products?
  • Should there be a carbon tax?
  • Should electric cars be mandatory in the near future?
  • Should we switch over to entirely renewable energy?
  • Do low-income families have the same duties to be eco-conscious as high-income families do? Should plastic bags and single use plastic be completely banned?
  • Should car racing be banned?
  • Should fast fashion be banned?

The environment and climate change are becoming, if not already, some of the most pressing issues of our day. 

lab rat in gloved hand

Ethics may be one of the most difficult topics to write a persuasive speech about because the topics tend to cover sensitive subject matter. However, ethics are also some of the most compelling and complex topics to explore. 

Here are some potential topics for a persuasive speech about ethics:

  • Is animal testing ethical?
  • Is drinking coffee unethical?
  • Are animal shelters that allow euthanization ethical?
  • Should more people try to adopt a vegetarian/vegan diet?
  • Is the death penalty ethical? 
  • Can racism ever truly be eliminated?
  • Can the prison system genuinely contribute to the improvement and rehabilitation of individuals?
  • Should justice systems and incarceration facilities focus on rehabilitation over punishment? 
  • Should cosmetic plastic surgery be covered by insurance?
  • Are morals objective or subjective?
  • Should zoos and circuses be banned?
  • Should fur coats be illegal?
  • Are censorship laws ethical?
  • Is it ethical to genetically modify an embryo? 
  • How should we, and who is responsible, for addressing the homelessness crisis? 
  • Should minors who commit violent crimes be charged and tried as adults?

Tackling a persuasive speech on ethics is a challenge, as many of these topics are complex and sensitive. It can also be difficult to wrap up a speech on such huge ethical debates. 

However, these topics also provide some of the most riveting and energizing debates - if you’re up to the challenge, you should definitely try to tackle one of these topics. 

pills spilling out of bottle

From fitness to food prices to economic privilege, there are tons of debatable topics regarding health. Here are just some of the potential topics you can write a speech on:

  • Are individuals solely responsible for their own health?
  • Should prescription medications be free?
  • Should sugary drinks like pop be taxed at higher rates?
  • Should Starbucks be allowed to advertise their high-calories and high sugar drinks?
  • Should the government regulate the prices of fruits and vegetables?
  • Should fast food restaurants regulate and reduce their portions?
  • Should gym memberships be free?
  • Should the government change and restructure the work week to reduce stress?
  • Should nurses be paid more?
  • Should smoking be banned?
  • Should insurance companies fully cover rehabilitation stays for health issues like eating disorders?

People have varying opinions and understanding of health, which makes these topics very engaging and interesting to write about.

7. Politics

woman holding sign at protest

It goes without saying that almost every political issue is debatable. 

  • Do we actually live in a truly democratic society?
  • Should there be a minimum wage or a living wage?
  • Should the legal voting age be decreased?
  • Does the pay gap exist?
  • Are younger politicians more effective?
  • Should there be stricter gun laws?
  • Should Presidents be able to serve more than two terms?
  • Should everyone get the day off work to go vote?
  • Should political party funding be regulated?
  • Should political smear campaigns be banned?
  • Is there a political bias in mainstream media?
  • Should you date someone with opposing political views? 
  • Is the government spending too much on the military sector?

Politics are all about persuading people to take a side, which makes it a strategic topic for delivering a moving persuasive speech. 

football player about to throw football

Sports is another big topic that people care a lot about. There are sports related matters that are questioned everywhere: sports on TV, the Olympics, college sports and athletics, and athletic sponsorships . 

Below is a list of captivating sports topics for a persuasive speech: 

  • Should the pay for professional teams be based on audience viewership? 
  • Are professional sports getting too violent? 
  • Are athletes overpaid?
  • Is cheerleading empowering or exploitative? 
  • Should children be allowed to compete in competitive sports?
  • Should we continue spending millions of dollars on the Olympic Games?
  • Do people put too much importance on high school and college football?
  • Should alcohol and tobacco ads be banned during sports?
  • Is betting on sports teams ethical?
  • Should high school and college athletes be paid?

Sports is a topic that people don’t often think of as controversial. However, your audience is bound to be engaged and contemplating your argument as you present your speech. 

9. Technology

digitialized globe

As the world increasingly moves to online spaces, and technology advances faster than ever before, technology is another hot topic that people have a lot of thoughts and opinions on. 

  • Should all workplaces offer hybrid/remote work?
  • Should we pursue Artificial Intelligence?
  • Do we need to put resources into travelling to space?
  • Should parents monitor their children’s online activity?
  • Is it okay for phones to use facial recognition and fingerprint technology?
  • Is technology actually addicting?
  • Can we blame technology for increased stress and anxiety?
  • Are security cameras and body cameras an invasion of privacy? 
  • Should the internet be surveilled or managed?
  • Should video game chats be surveilled or even banned?
  • Are machines replacing human labor? 
  • Should cloning be outlawed/banned?

As technology continues to advance and expand into our personal lives, it is a great topic to write a unique persuasive speech on. 

alien inside barn

Having a unique and creative speech topic discussing one of your interests can make it stand out more! Think about extracurriculars you participate in, podcasts you enjoy, or fascinating facts you’ve learned. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. 

  • What makes a hero?
  • Are we headed towards World War 3?
  • Did humans really land on the moon?
  • Are serial killers born or made?
  • Can good and evil be separated neatly?
  • Is cancel culture a positive or negative thing?
  • Can money buy happiness?
  • How to become a millionaire
  • How to become more confident
  • How to live to be 100
  • How to survive an apocalypse
  • Do extraterrestrial beings exist?
  • Why students should start investing at 16
  • The true history of… (event of your choice, such as the Chernobyl disaster, the Black Plague, Salem Witch Trials, etc.)

Exploring these kinds of diverse and intriguing topics will not only capture your audience's attention but will also allow you to share your passions with your peers! 

What Makes a Good Persuasive Speech Topic?

The best persuasive speech topics are topics that are not overdone, and topics that the speaker is genuinely passionate and knowledgeable about. 

Persuasive speech topics should also be a bit controversial (this does not mean offensive) because the topic and speech itself should be thought-provoking. The more people are emotionally invested in the topic, the better. 

For example, while you can try to persuade your audience that strawberry ice cream is better than chocolate ice cream, it’s unlikely that many people have a strong emotional investment in that topic. Without an emotional investment, audiences will be sitting listening to your speech thinking: “so what?” 

On the other hand, a topic like “Should government’s set limits on how many children a family can have in overpopulated countries?” is emotionally charged and truly matters to people. 

FAQs: Persuasive Speech Topics

After reading through all the possible topics you can write a persuasive speech on, you may still have some questions before you get going. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about persuasive speech topics. 

1. What Are Some Easy Persuasive Topics?

Any persuasive topic can be easy to write about if you are passionate about your stance. The more passionate and knowledgeable you are about your topic, the easier it will be to research and write. 

There are also easy persuasive topics that are more lighthearted than controversial, which some people may find easier to debate and write about. Some easy persuasive topics include: 

  • Should everyone have a three-day weekend?
  • Should every public place have free Wi-Fi?
  • Does social media do more harm than good?
  • Should kids get paid for getting high grades?
  • Do we need more holidays?

These topics are all fun to debate, which makes it easy to write a persuasive speech or essay. Whereas some persuasive topics can be complex and sensitive, the topics listed above are pretty straightforward, which makes them easier to discuss than more complex topics. 

2. What Is a Good Persuasive Speech Topic For School?

A good start to finding a good speech topic for school is looking for a topic that involves something related to school. For example, you can look into talking about school uniforms, class sizes, tuition and scholarships, and school sports, just to name a few. 

Having a speech topic related to school is a good idea for school because your audience (teachers and peers) are directly in that environment as well. This means they will likely be more engaged as the topic, whether they agree or disagree, is relevant to their everyday lives. 

3. What are Three Examples of a Persuasive Speech Topic?

Any of the above topics listed in this article are examples of persuasive speech topics. Three specific examples that have not been listed are:

  • Is social media to blame for the rates of depression and anxiety amongst youth?
  • Do young adult romance novels encourage harmful and toxic relationships to their target audience?
  • Should children under 18 have total control over medical decisions made about their bodies?

These topics are examples of persuasive speech topics because you need to take a clear stance in order to answer the question. The point of a persuasive speech is to convince or persuade the audience that your side of the argument is valid and should be considered, so the topic needs the individual to take a specific stance. 

As briefly touched upon before, your topic needs to interest your audience for a successful persuasive speech. While you should make sure your topic isn’t overdone, you don’t want to go with something too ‘safe’ as that will most likely bore your audience. 

Final Thoughts

Coming up with a topic for a persuasive speech may be the most difficult part of the writing process. 

Read over our list of topics and pick out a few topics that genuinely interest you. From there, do some preliminary research on each topic and see which one has the strongest evidence to support your argument. Then, you’ll be good to start writing your persuasive speech that will amaze your audience!

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99 Easy Persuasive Speech Topics

persuasive speech topics forgiveness

Persuasive speech topics are vast and varied. Whether you’re looking for a light-hearted topic to entertain an audience or something more serious to inspire action, there are plenty of easy persuasive speech topics to choose from. 

Take a look at this list of easy persuasive speech topics and see if any of them pique your interest!

  • Importance of Wearing Sunscreen
  • Benefits of Meditation and Mindfulness
  • The Power of Connection: Why Strong Social Support Is Essential for Well-Being
  • Dangers of Social Media Addiction
  • The Need for Renewable Energy Sources
  • The Benefits of Self-Care: Why It’s Essential for Your Health and Happiness
  • The Benefits of Adopting a Plant-Based Diet
  • The Importance of Financial Literacy and Budgeting
  • Benefits of Learning to Code
  • The Need for Stricter Animal Cruelty Laws
  • Dangers of Fast Fashion and the Importance of Sustainable Fashion
  • Living Life: Traveling and Experiencing Different Cultures
  • The Importance of Mental Health Awareness and Seeking Help When Needed
  • Benefits of Having a Diverse and Inclusive Society
  • Mindfulness and Meditation: Simple Practices for Reducing Stress and Improving Mental Clarity
  • The Need for Equal Pay for Equal Work
  • Benefits of Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
  • Dangers of Substance Abuse
  • The Power of Exercise: How Regular Physical Activity Can Improve Your Physical and Mental Health
  • Benefits of Using Public Transportation
  • The Importance of Water Conservation
  • Self-Reflection and Introspection: The Path to Personal Growth
  • Learning a Musical Instrument is Beneficial
  • Sleep: The Importance of Getting Enough Rest for Your Health and Productivity
  • The Need for Better Gun Control Laws
  • Dangers of Texting While Driving
  • Setting Boundaries and Taking Care of Your Needs
  •  Benefits of Reading for Pleasure
  • The Importance of Protecting Civil Liberties
  • Benefits of Spending Time in Nature
  • Nourish Your Body: The Benefits of a Healthy Diet
  • The Need for More Affordable Housing Options
  • Dangers of Cyberbullying
  • Supporting Small Businesses
  • Taking Breaks and Giving Yourself Permission to Relax
  • The Importance of Protecting Endangered Species
  • Benefits of Reducing Screen Time
  • The Need for Universal Healthcare Access
  • The Importance of Engaging in Things That Bring Fulfillment
  • The Benefits of Scheduling and Planning: How to Get More Done in Less Time
  • The Power of Time Management for Achieving Work-Life Balance
  • The Power of Saying No
  • Benefits of Delegating and Asking for Help
  • The Importance of Setting Priorities and Managing Time Effectively
  • Maximizing Productivity Through Time Management Strategies
  • The Benefits of Scheduling and Planning for Success
  • The Power of Setting and Achieving Goals
  • Benefits of Time Blocking and Focus Time
  • Importance of Being Organized and Streamlining Processes
  • Equal Education for All: The Importance of Providing Opportunities for Every Student
  • The Importance of Homework and Its Impact on Student Learning
  • The Benefits of a Later Start Time for High School Students
  • Benefits of a Dress Code or Uniform Policy in Schools
  • The Importance of Physical Education and Recess in Schools
  • Benefits of Offering a Wider Variety of Elective Courses in Schools
  • The Importance of Financial Literacy Education in Schools
  • The Benefits of Incorporating More Hands-On, Experiential Learning Opportunities in Schools
  • Importance of Mental Health Resources and Support in Schools
  • Benefits of Implementing Restorative Justice Practices in Schools
  • Importance of Providing Equal Educational Opportunities for All Students, Regardless of Their Socio-Economic Background.
  • Importance of Spending Quality Time With Family
  • Benefits of Regular Family Dinners
  • The Benefits of Family Vacations
  • Importance of Open and Honest Communication Within Families
  • The Benefits of Teaching Children About Financial Responsibility and Budgeting
  • The Benefits of Having a Strong Support System Within the Family
  • Importance of Setting Boundaries and Establishing Rules Within Families
  • The Benefits of Forgiveness and Reconciling Relationships Within Families
  • The Importance of Showing Gratitude and Appreciation Towards Family Members
  • Benefits of Implementing a “Digital Detox” and Disconnecting From Technology Within the Family
  • The Importance of Reading Food Labels and Understanding Ingredients
  • Dangers of Excessive Sugar Intake and Strategies for Reducing Sugar Consumption
  • Benefits of Home Cooking and Meal Planning
  • Environmental Impact of Food Waste and Strategies for Reducing Waste
  • The Benefits of Incorporating More Whole Grains, Fruits, and Vegetables Into Your Diet
  • Dangers of Fast Food and the Benefits of Eating More Home-Cooked Meals
  • The Benefits of Eating Locally-Grown, Seasonal Produce
  • Importance of Breakfast for Maintaining a Healthy Weight and Improving Cognitive Function
  • Dangers of Dieting and the Importance of Maintaining a Healthy Relationship With Food
  • The Importance of Being Punctual and the Consequences of Being Late
  • The Importance of Being Honest and the Consequences of Lying
  • Benefits of Volunteering and Giving Back to the Community
  • The Importance of Being Respectful Towards Others and the Consequences of Being Disrespectful
  • Benefits of Taking Responsibility for One’s Actions and the Dangers of Avoiding Responsibility
  • Importance of Being Prepared and the Consequences of Being Unprepared
  • Benefits of Being Organized and the Consequences of Being Disorganized
  • Importance of Maintaining a Healthy Work-Life Balance and the Consequences of Neglecting Personal Relationships
  • Importance of Communication in a Healthy Relationship
  • Benefits of Forgiveness in a Relationship
  • Dangers of Codependency and the Importance of Maintaining a Sense of Self in a Relationship
  • The Benefits of Setting Boundaries in a Relationship
  • The Importance of Trust in a Relationship and the Consequences of Betrayal
  • Benefits of Compromise in a Relationship
  • The Importance of Respecting Each Other’s Differences in a Relationship
  • Benefits of Regular Date Nights and Keeping the Romance Alive in a Long-Term Relationship
  • Importance of Maintaining a Healthy Romantic Life in a Relationship
  • Benefits of Seeking Therapy or Counseling to Improve a Struggling Relationship
  • Dangers of Smoking and the Need for Stricter Laws on Tobacco Advertising
  • Importance of Voting and Civic Engagement

Final Thoughts

Remember, when choosing a topic for a persuasive speech, it’s important to choose something that you are passionate about and that you can argue convincingly. You should also consider your audience and whether the topic will be of interest to them.

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Transizion

The Admissions Strategist

191 best persuasive speech topics: give an amazing speech.

Does the thought of public speaking make you cringe?

While almost everyone experiences some stage fright speaking in front of an audience, there are ways to tame this debilitating fear.

Half the battle of giving a speech is selecting a topic that engages your audience.

For any speech, whether informative or persuasive, your speech idea should meet these criteria:

  • Well-researched with solid examples and evidence
  • Broad enough to be universal, narrow enough to be original
  • Meaningful and customized to your audience

Additionally, you should possess a measure of expertise on your topic.

Understanding the nuances of what you are speaking about is a sure way to ease those jitters. This is how you come up with the best speech idea.

When choosing a persuasive speech topic, all of the above criteria apply, along with a few additional requirements.

191 Best Persuasive Speech Topics

Click above to watch a video on Speech Topics.

What Makes a Good Persuasive Speech Topic?

While an informative speech merely presents factual information, a good informative speech topic goes a step further.

  • The goal of a persuasive speech is to convince the audience that your perspective is valid.

This does not mean that the audience will agree with every opinion you present, but a good persuasive speech makes the audience think* .

A great persuasive speech makes an audience act.

As transcendentalist writer Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel.”

Therefore, a strong persuasive speaker will:

  • Present a clear and sincere perspective. The audience should not be questioning your stance on an issue.
  • Exhibit passion that inspires others to think or act.
  • Be confident in both your perspective and topic.

Not all persuasive speeches need to be deeply controversial, but there should be some gray area in your chosen topic.

Political , social and ethical issues make compelling persuasive speech topics for this reason.

The persuasive speech should address a burning question that incites intellectual debate:

  • Should strict gun control laws be implemented?
  • Is it possible to be an animal lover and a carnivore?
  • Is the government at fault for the increasing homeless population?

Such questions may seem divisive, but, in a civilized society, they are essential to ask.

Posing such questions directly to your audience during your speech engages a group in the Socratic Method of critical thinking.

Furthermore, if a topic isn’t inherently controversial, then it might not make the most powerful speech.

Your job as a persuasive speaker is to argue your point, which is not necessary to do on topics that most people agree on.

In that vein, here are a handful of topics that would not make for good persuasive speeches.

  • Learning a foreign language is important.
  • Fighting in overseas wars can be dangerous.
  • Social Security income is not sufficient for many retired Americans.
  • Technical skills are crucial in the 21st-century job market.
  • Cardiovascular fitness improves longevity.

…And you get the picture. So, what does make a good persuasive speech topic? Well, there are at least 191 answers to that question.

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191 best persuasive speech topics.

Before we reveal the 191 best persuasive speech topics, let’s preview each of the categories:

  • Politics and law : This topic revolves around pressing issues including voting, Supreme Court decisions, political leadership, and criminal justice.
  • Environmental activism : Climate change, offshore oil drilling, and green technology are just a few of the hot-button issues you’ll discover in this category.
  • Social justice : Covering all issues of equality, social justice topics invite debate – and demand solid supporting facts or powerhouse emotional appeals .
  • Ethics : Comprising our basic morals and values that drive our behaviors, the ethics category examines how to deal with issues like animal abuse, abortion, and stem cell research.
  • Health : Regarding important issues like our food supply, how should we best protect and promote human health in the 21 st century?
  • Potpourri : And now we come to the miscellaneous category of “everything else.” You’ll find engaging or even entertaining ideas related to music, movies, curriculum, and more.

Take a deep breath and read on!

Politics and Law

  • Alternative political parties (i.e., Green Party, Libertarian Party, etc.)
  • Declaring “Independent” or “No Party Affiliation” on voter registration.
  • Should voters with no party affiliation be allowed to vote in primary elections?
  • Are newly proposed voter registration laws discriminatory?
  • How many terms should politicians be allowed to serve?
  • Popular vote vs. Electoral College
  • Are women underrepresented in Congress?
  • Swing states (i.e., Florida and Ohio)
  • Do current proposed abortion laws violate Roe v. Wade?
  • Political correctness versus freedom of speech
  • Terrorist watch lists – safety precaution or blatant prejudice?
  • Corporate lobbyists and campaign contributions
  • Are laws too lenient on violent criminals?
  • Tax responsibility: income tax, property tax, sales tax.
  • Should the voting age be increased or decreased?
  • Capital punishment: right or wrong?
  • DNA evidence in criminal cases: is it enough?
  • Should criminal minors be prosecuted and sentenced as adults?
  • How to deal with the issue of illegal immigration
  • Should cigarettes be taken off the market and made illegal?
  • Legalization of Marijuana
  • Should health insurance be mandatory by law?
  • Is the death penalty obsolete?
  • Private vs. Public Prisons
  • Should politicians be allowed to use private donations to campaign?
  • Is it right for the government to fund partisan organizations?
  • Appointment of Supreme Court Justice
  • How can the mass shooting crisis be solved?
  • Minimum wage: should it exist or be forgotten?
  • Should citizens be required to serve in the military for a period of time?
  • Gun rights on school campuses: is it safe?
  • Military members and income tax

Environmental Activism

  • Hybrid and electric cars on the road
  • Oil spills and world wildlife
  • Saving rainforests and their indigenous species
  • Palm oil: should it be outlawed?
  • Make all bills and business correspondence paperless.
  • Dangers of drilling for oil
  • Replacing plastic with glass and cardboard
  • Trophy hunting: should the penalties be harsher?
  • Banning disposable diapers in favor of cloth diapers
  • Benefits of public transportation, biking, walking, or carpooling
  • Conserving water in our everyday lives
  • Wildfires on the rise in California
  • Greenhouse gas emissions in Asia
  • Global climate change and increased severity of storms
  • Growing food as a homesteader
  • Impact of big box stores on the environment
  • Impact of online retailers’ packaging and shipping on the environment
  • Turning the practice of recycling into a law punishable by hefty fines
  • Overfishing and dwindling populations of marine wildlife
  • Factory farms and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Controlling E. Coli and other food borne illnesses
  • Are is worth it to ban plastic straws?
  • Drones and the environment
  • Should hunting be outlawed in national parks to protect its wildlife?
  • Hair care and air quality
  • Better education for at home waste management
  • Should it be illegal to flush certain things into the sewage system?
  • Is it right to cut down a tree for the holidays?
  • How do marijuana farms affect the surrounding area’s environment?
  • Water contamination: What preventative measures can be taken?
  • How to reduce your carbon footprint
  • Should new homes support solar energy only?
  • Organic farming practices

Social Justice

  • Do you agree with the research on equal pay between men and women?
  • Should government employees go without pay during a shutdown?
  • Police brutality and shootings (in general or a specific case in the news such as Philando Castile in Minnesota)
  • Should all policemen wear body cameras?
  • Is racial discrimination on the rise? Why or why not?
  • Scholarship opportunities for minority students
  • The benefits (or challenges) of a multicultural society
  • Should bullies be expelled from school?
  • What can be done about anonymous online bullying?
  • Unrealistic beauty/body standards and self-image
  • How to create a strong community
  • Welfare, SNAP, and other social assistance programs
  • The 40-hour work week is too long.
  • Comparing the work week in Europe to the work week in the United States
  • Caring for an aging population: are Social Security and Medicare enough?
  • Civil lawsuits should not receive so much attention in the media.
  • Racial and ethnic profiling (including FBI criminal profiling)
  • Being a foster or adoptive parent
  • Buying local builds up the community.
  • Refusing to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance
  • Battling stereotypes and making them obsolete
  • Mandatory community service for all U.S. citizens
  • Is common law marriage outdated?
  • Should companies be allowed to deny service to anyone?
  • Changing gender on a driver’s license
  • Affirmative Action today
  • DACA DREAMers Movement
  • Legalization of gay marriage
  • Should individuals be allowed to adopt?
  • Re-sentencing for crimes involving marijuana in states where it is now legal
  • Unlimited Paid Time Off vs Accrued time off
  • License revoking for older drivers: is it against their rights?
  • Wearing fur or using fur for any profit
  • Mistreatment of farm animals: what is the solution?
  • How do we address the increasing problem of homelessness?
  • Tithing – how much should each person give?
  • Euthanasia for terminally ill individuals
  • Was it right for Dr. Kevorkian (assisted suicide physician) to be imprisoned?
  • Pet shops and breeders versus shelters
  • Returning or rehoming pets: is it right?
  • Preselecting the gender and other aspects of an unborn baby
  • Abortion: pro-choice or pro-life?
  • Product testing on animals in labs
  • Stem cell research
  • Protecting children from inappropriate websites
  • When should a child be allowed to have a smartphone?
  • Should children be allowed into an R-rated movie even with a guardian?
  • Should violent movies and video games be banned?
  • Do zoos and circuses abuse animals?
  • Arranged marriage: a cultural tradition or outdated practice?
  • Raising children without being married
  • How to impart ethical behavior to the next generation
  • Ethics as a mandatory high school class
  • Do parents deceive children by telling tales of Santa Claus?
  • Should pharmaceutical patents be removed so affordable generics can be made?
  • 13 Reasons Why: Did it glorify suicide?
  • Wrongful termination case study
  • Is the borrowing limit for student loans too high?
  • Pay for play in college athletics
  • Performance enhancing steroids in competitive sports
  • Is it right to own a gun for personal protection?
  • Mandated reporting (Mandated reporters are individuals who are required to report any information they receive about abuse, suicidal ideation, etc.)
  • Can an influencer be held responsible if they promote a harmful product unknowingly?
  • Conventional versus organic produce
  • Food additives, preservatives, and cancer rates
  • Meat consumption and its effects on life expectancy
  • Dangers of sitting at a desk all day
  • Fast food industry and obesity rates
  • Medical marijuana to treat chronic conditions
  • GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) in foods: to label or not to label?
  • Mandatory CPR and First Aid training for new parents
  • School cafeteria food and children’s health
  • Alternative uses of oral contraceptives
  • Restaurant responsibility with peanut, gluten, and other allergies
  • Everyday products that could be dangerous: deodorant, toothpaste, etc.
  • Teaching yoga and meditation in public schools
  • Moving from the “medical model” to holistic health
  • Massages as necessities rather than luxuries
  • Which vitamin supplements are worthless and should go off the market?
  • The mind-body connection and its influence on health
  • Social media and mental health
  • The cumulative effects of poor sleep (and how electronics impact our sleep)
  • IVF (Invitro fertilization): Should becoming a parent be covered?
  • Should there be more physical education in schools?
  • Is diabetes reversible?
  • Doctors and insurance: should they accept all insurance?
  • Do detox diets really work?
  • Is binge-watching Netflix bad for our health?
  • Keto vs Paleo vs Vegan: which is better?
  • Should a patient be allowed to deny medical care?
  • Pre-existing conditions and insurance rates
  • Employers should offer mental health days without question
  • Alternative sex education (not abstinence-only and inclusive of LGBT lifestyle)
  • Mind-body fitness versus traditional Western sports
  • Best genre and time period of music
  • Healthiest world cuisine
  • Uneven distribution of wealth: the top 1% versus everyone else
  • Cost of living versus average salaries
  • What to do about cults, gangs, and similar groups
  • How to get accepted into an Ivy League school
  • Religion versus spiritualism
  • Survival skills should be taught in school.
  • Benefits of forest schools for children
  • The best U.S. President in history
  • The most influential leader or figure in history
  • Most effective ways to manage stress
  • Obscure movies that people should watch
  • Multitasking: fact or fiction?
  • Buying a house versus renting an apartment
  • Most exciting travel destination
  • How to ace any test
  • Overcoming social anxiety
  • How our phones are hurting our eyes
  • Are multi-level marketing companies really pyramid schemes?
  • Protests: are they effective?
  • Is a wedding reception worth the price tag?
  • Should catfishing be a criminal offense?
  • Mandatory study abroad semester in college
  • Student loan borrowing: should it ever be forgiven?
  • Responsible credit card strategies
  • Living with parents to save money
  • Can someone find true love on The Bachelor?
  • Telemarketers and Harassment
  • Marvel vs DC

And there you have it – 100+ unique topics to stoke your imagination and help you identify your passion.

Feel free to go beyond these springboard ideas or customize them to your perspective.

Advice from Persuasive Speech Experts

To help you out even more, we asked the experts on the best tips for giving a persuasive speech.

From Melora Kordos, visiting assistant professor of theatre arts at Sweet Briar College:

When selecting a persuasive speech topic, a student should first look to her own interests and passions. If she chooses something that she cares deeply about or has great interest in, then she will be able to more easily identify the best three points that support her argument and focus on those in her speech. If she is not already engaged in the topic, it will be much harder to persuade others to agree with her point of view. She should use both logical and emotional appeals throughout her speech, giving her a better chance of resonating with a larger percentage of her audience.

From Dr. Allison Beltramini, associate professor of communications at Waubonsee Community College:

When doing a persuasive  speech , it’s helpful to choose a topic that you personally believe in or support. It’s much easier to speak on something that you have a connection to. The next tip is to do your homework. This includes exploring the opposite side of the issue. Your audience needs to know that you are well-versed in the topic. Incorporate this research to support the claims you are making. Curate your sources carefully. Know who/what organizations are behind the sources you are using. And please, verbally cite your sources. Using research without the verbal citations in your  speech  is plagiarism. Persuasion is incremental. You can’t just tell someone something and expect they will believe you. You have to set up the issue, show how the problem effect people, talk about what will help or fix the problem and show why the solutions will work. All of these steps are vital. Finally – practice is essential. Your  speech  should be prepared but conversational. Reading to an audience word for word is not a good idea.

From Nate Masterson, HR manager of Maple Holistics :

The key to giving a persuasive  speech  is to engage your audience, and there are several ways to do this. Firstly, make eye contact with different people in the audience, but make sure to scan the whole room and not just focus on one area. Also, research the group of people you will be addressing so that you better know their priorities, cultural norms, inside jokes, etc. To make sure that your speech is sufficiently compelling, stick to just a few main talking points or objectives. This will ensure that your speech stays focused and that you can spend adequate time and energy backing up these main points without boring your audience.

From Jeffrey Davis, executive speech coach at Speak Clear Communications :

First, the best speakers build their argument emotionally as well as logically. Every point has a complelling story attached to it. Second, they make arguments that are novel and innovative. The “how” of the argument is as important as the “why.” Lastly, great speakers do not hold back on hand gestures!  Gesturing is scientifically proven to enhance a speaker’s impression with the audience.

From Bridgett McGowen, CEO of BMcTALKS :

While it’s important your audience has a memorable experience during your presentation and that it learns something new or gains a new perspective on something it already knew, it is equally important to move the audience to actually do something with what you shared … something that will inspire or change their lives, professions, or communities … because you are there to persuade! Remember any time you present, consistently think to yourself “In what difference-making endeavor do I want my audience to join?” or “Now that everyone has heard this, now what?” Give them the answers to those questions to further your persuasive message.

From Martha Krejci, business coaching leader :

Don’t write everything out! The last thing you want to do is look like you’re reading a speech verbatim. You want to illuminate your authority in the field you are speaking about. Reading does not do that….at all. So, here’s what I do. I think about the end goal of what I’m trying to communicate. Then, reverse engineer the points that take us there. Write the points out on a notecard if you need it, or if you’re lucky enough to have a teleprompter, use that. And finally, above all…tell stories! Don’t just have a bunch of dry information that anyone with a wifi signal could google. Tell stories that bring your audience into your problem, but also your solution you propose. If you can master storytelling, you may just be surprised by how good you can get at public speaking.

From Neil Thompson, founder of Teach the Geek :

Telling an easy-to-follow story is crucial in being persuasive. If people have to think too hard to understand what you’re talking about, they’re less likely to listen. If they don’t listen, you won’t have a chance to persuade them. If there are studies, surveys, or other types of data that can vouch for what you’re saying, that’ll also go a long way to persuading others. Lastly, you have to believe what you’re talking about. If you truly believe your message, it’ll shine through and people will be inclined to believe you, too.

From Adam Cole, expert writer and author:

Number one is the invitation to listen. It ensures that the listener has a context in which to understand what you are presenting so that everyone is on the same page when the important information comes. The invitation may contain relevant humorous anecdotes to break the tension and present the speaker as appealing, and it must be accessible enough that the listener will at least know what the topic is and why they should care. Number two is the topic. Depending on the complexity of the topic, it should be structured for maximum clarity. While humor and anecdotes can be used to illustrate the point, they should not distract from it or become the focus (unless the task is to highlight the speaker, rather than the topic, which is ok). Number three is the follow-through. If the listener has learned something, a good summation will help them retain the most important points from the learning so that they can remember it and follow up with more learning (perhaps from the speaker’s books, videos, or other appearances!) Taking the topic and framing it in terms of an action step for the audience may be a powerful way for them to keep the presentation (and the speaker) in their heads.

Conclusion: Best Persuasive Speech Topics

Remember, your passion and expertise on the topic will translate to audience engagement – and hopefully a good grade!

  • Delivering a persuasive speech doesn’t have to be a nerve-wracking experience if you’re prepared and passionate.

In the words of Cicero: “A good orator is pointed and impassioned.”

To follow the advice of the great Roman orator, find your passion and then express it through your persuasive speech.

The skills you develop now in this area will benefit you throughout your professional and personal life.

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Persuasive Speech Topics: The Best 150 Ideas

Plus, a step-by-step guide for writing and delivering your speech.

Persuasive Speech Topics

Persuasive speech topics can inspire an audience and influence change in your community, town, or city. Whether you are giving a presentation at a large conference or converting a college essay into a speech to be given at your high school's auditorium, delivering a persuasive speech is not an easy task. We are here to guide you through this difficult process and provide you with 150 persuasive speech topics that can help you prepare your own inspirational presentation.

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Article Contents 13 min read

The art of persuasion.

The art of oratory is one of the oldest and most compelling persuasion tactics in human history. The power of speech has been used for centuries by men and women to negotiate peace, start revolutions, and inspire generations. At the source of change, we often witness a great speaker or speech that affected people’s worldviews. King Solomon, Socrates, Cicero, Elizabeth I, Napoleon, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, were all powerful speakers who changed the course of human history.  

Luckily, not every persuasive speech happens on such a grand scale. You do not have to become Napoleon to change the lives of people who hear what you have to say. You might have experienced this yourself – perhaps you have had a teacher who instilled in you a great passion for the study of physics during his lectures? Or you happened to attend a political, grassroots gathering where you heard a speech that changed your attitude towards homelessness or poverty. Or maybe your classmate's presentation revealed something about a novel you were reading in class that made you reflect on your own life and the people in it.

The power of a speech lies in your conviction and delivery of the topic you choose to discuss. A persuasive speech topic can be anything you are passionate about. Yes, it is true; whether you want to discuss the repercussions of the Cuban Revolution or analyze the power of K-pop in popular culture, it is up to you to enthrall the audience with your topic. The key to any successful speech is your confidence and enthusiasm. So, let’s start by examining what makes a speech persuasive.

To deliver a speech takes a lot of guts – not everybody is comfortable with public speaking. But to deliver a good speech takes conviction. Think of it like this: you must believe in the importance of your speech topic to discuss it. This must be something you care about and believe in; otherwise, your topic must be something that drives your curiosity, and you believe that it must be examined further.

Conviction stirs your desire to share this topic with others – you are convinced that other people will similarly find this topic fascinating! Whether it is the importance of recycling or bike lanes, the conviction is what will become the backbone of a successful and persuasive topic choice, as well as drive your desire to give a speech in the first place.

With conviction comes passion. These two elements of a successful speech are intimately intertwined. If you believe in the importance of something, you will be passionate about sharing it with the public.

If we look at some of the most famous speeches in human history, you will notice that conviction and passion are the driving force that makes these speeches legendary. Whether it's Cicero's defense of the Republic in the Roman Senate or Martin Luther King's speech in the defense of civil rights almost two millennia later, both these speakers believed in the importance of their convictions and were passionate about sharing their beliefs. In these cases, even despite the threats of death.

Unbiased Expertise

Conviction and passion should also drive your need to know everything there is to know about your topic. To give a persuasive speech, you must not only show confidence and excitement but demonstrate that you are an expert in the topic of your choice. Granted, if you are a high school student or an undergraduate who's been assigned to deliver a speech in less than 2 weeks, you are not going to become a world-renowned expert in your subject matter. However, as I pointed out, your speech topic should be something you are already passionate about, so you must have done some research and have some knowledge of your topic.

A persuasive speech should be based on facts. It should deliver arguments and counterarguments to show many sides of the issue you choose to discuss. For example, if you choose to discuss the importance of bike lanes, you can present several arguments in support of creating more bike lanes in your town or city, such as safety, decrease in traffic, environmental benefits, etc. However, make sure to include arguments that also show the other side of the issue, such as having to close down several major streets in your city to reconstruct the roads to fit in the new bike lanes and the side-effects of construction for businesses. Presenting both sides of the issue will show your comprehensive knowledge of the topic and demonstrate your professionalism.

Using the bike lanes topic as an example, I want to emphasize that showing unbiased research and knowledge of your topic can win the audience’s favor. You can, and should, still have your own opinion on the matter and defend your conviction in the speech but presenting the audience with both sides of the story is a tactic that will make them trust you.

Additionally, knowing both sides of the coin shows that you have come to your conviction after long and thorough research. You are not just presenting an uneducated opinion.

Taking care of the substance of your speech is the first step. While learning how to properly deliver your speech may seem less important, even the most well-researched and factually based speech will seem weak if the orator does not engage the public.

Though they certainly help your confidence, conviction and passion do not always result in strong delivery. This is understandable since public speaking is not everyone’s forte. While you may be animated and absorbing when you speak of your topic with friends, gripping an audience full of strangers is different.

There are three potential goals of any persuasive speech:

To familiarize your audience with a topic they have never considered before and inspire them to research it on their own. "}]" code="timeline1">

When you think about it, these objectives are pretty ambitious. Delivery plays a huge part in achieving these goals. It will be hard to move your audience to pursue any of these goals without clear articulation, professionalism, and charisma.

Strong delivery can be developed. Yes, there are those to whom oratory skills come more naturally, but this is rather an exception than the rule. Many successful orators were terrified of public speaking but worked hard to overcome their fears. A good example of this is King George VI of England. Before taking the throne in 1936, he was already an infamously bad speaker. The King trained to keep his speech impediment and nerves at bay once he was crowned and delivered one of the most inspiring speeches against Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich at the beginning of World War II.

Now that you know what makes a speech topic persuasive, let's go over a step-by-step formula that will help you choose the right topic for you. 

  • Brainstorm where your convictions lie and what you are passionate about. You must reflect on what interests, hobbies, news, events, individuals, and activities of yours could be developed into a persuasive, strong narrative. 
  • Narrow these down to 2 or 3 topics that are particularly important or riveting to you. 
  • Now comes the practical side of the brainstorming process: take a moment to think whether preparing a comprehensive and compelling speech on this topic is feasible in the amount of time you have available. Consider the following questions: Are the topics of your choice well researched by you? Do you know these topics well? If you are not well-versed in the topic of your choice, do you have enough time to do research to present a comprehensive and complete narrative? Do you have enough time to form a well-developed stance about this topic? A thesis? Will you be able to cover several sides of this topic in the amount of time you have available?
  • If you have answered “No” to these questions regarding each of the topics you had in mind, you must go back to the drawing board. 
  • If you have come up with a topic that results in a positive response to all the questions mentioned in step 3, you might have found the winner.
  • Start by developing a thesis, i.e., the main message of your speech. Without a thesis, you will not have a strong speech. 
  • Develop arguments that endorse your thesis and support them with facts. Remember, a strong speech must be based on facts, rather than opinions and unsubstantiated statements.
  • Research counterarguments to your thesis. While you may not personally support these, you must present a well-rounded picture of the issue you are discussing. 
  • You can finish off your speech by responding to the counterarguments in a way that reinforces your thesis. Don't forget to re-emphasize your main message in the closing paragraphs of your speech.

Know your audience

It is always a good idea to know who your audience is. Whether you are giving a speech in your high school, or traveling to attend an undergraduate conference, reflect on who will be listening to your speech. Before you sit down to write it, consider whether you can give yourself the freedom to use technical language, jargon, or make inside jokes on the matter. In general, I would advise you to avoid overly technical or niche language. It is never a good tactic for making a persuasive speech – this might alienate a large part of your audience.

However, if you are delivering a speech to a like-minded audience, you may use "industry lingo". For example, if you are delivering a speech at a video game convention, it is likely that many, if not most, attendees will be familiar with the terms and vocabulary you use. You will be able to strengthen your speech by using language that unites you with your audience. In this case, you are encouraged to engage the public by making inside jokes, using niche terminology, and creating a relatable experience with your speech.

Knowing your audience will allow you to develop a language for your speech. It will also allow you to gauge how deep you can delve into the topic of your choice. For example, if you are a young physics aficionado who is giving a lecture on black holes to your sophomore classmates, you might want to consider the fact that many of them have never studied physics in depth. This may help you shape your speech into something accessible and interesting for others.

If you are unsure about who your audience might be, try researching it. It is always good practice to know whom you will be addressing. Not only will it help you prepare the speech, but it will also ease your anxiety about the day of your speech delivery.

Hook the audience

Your opening sentences can hook the audience and guarantee their attention. While it will be the substance of your speech that keeps them listening to you, the opening must be captivating for your speech to have a chance for success.

So, what do I mean by hooking the audience with your opening? For example, you can state a shocking statistic about your topic. It will be especially impactful if it is related to your audience’s experiences, geographical area, community, or hot-topic issue. Here’s an example for an opening sentence for a speech about the importance of bike lanes:

“Last year, the city of Toronto recorded 715 serious accidents involving cyclists, with over 5% of these accidents resulting in a fatality."

Now, if I was living in Toronto, I would be surprised to hear such information; especially, if I have never thought about this before. I am saddened by this statistic and would like to learn how we can help prevent these accidents.

Let’s examine another opening. This time, we will consider a speech topic involving a historical event. For example, if you are captivated by the mystery of Princess Anastasia of the Russian royal family, the House of Romanov, you might start your speech thusly:

“The question of whether the Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova survived the brutal execution of her entire family by the Bolsheviks is one of the greatest mysteries of the 20th century.”

This sentence performs several tasks:

The opening sentence is your chance to establish yourself as the expert! You will seem like the authority on this topic, especially if you can pronounce the Princess's name without mistakes. "}]" code="timeline2">

Coming up with a strong opening sentence is not easy, but very worthwhile for delivering a persuasive speech. If you are having trouble finding the right opening sentence, you do not need to wait to start writing your speech. If you are stuck, move on to the main body of your speech and return to creating a captivating opening later.

To be persuasive, your speech must have a thesis. A thesis is the main argument you are trying to convince your audience of, or simply put, the purpose of you giving the speech. Without a thesis, your speech will be aimless, chaotic, and most likely, unengaging.

And while you can write your introduction after the main body of your speech is ready, you cannot write your speech without a thesis. It will be the landmark, the leading light, of your speech. Everything you say and every fact and argument you include in your essay must support your thesis. Certainly, you will be able to bring up alternative points of view later in the speech, but as we already discussed, your objective is to persuade the audience that your thesis is the correct one.

Let’s return to our bike lanes example. If you are a proponent of bike lanes, your thesis should be more than “Bike lanes are good”. While this can be considered a thesis, it is pretty thin. Instead, find a way to make your thesis compelling, include a supporting statistic, or a benefit of having bike lanes. For example: 

“Having more bike lanes in our city will not only reduce traffic by X% but also allow our city to be at the forefront of the environmentally friendly initiatives happening all over our country.” 

This thesis is clear and introduces the audience to some of the main points of the speech. The listeners get a concise prelude to what the speech is about and what it stands for.

Research and Arguments

Research is always conducted before you sit down to write. While you may have some general knowledge about your topic, remember that you are trying to be as persuasive as you possibly can be. This means that you need the latest statistics, the most up-to-date information, and the strongest support from experts in the field. 

Tip: keep in mind your thesis as you are writing. All your arguments and facts must be in support of the main purpose of your essay. While you should present alternative points of view in your speech to make it well-rounded and unbiased, a strong speech must contain arguments that make it clear that your thesis is the correct one.

Concluding your speech has a twofold purpose. In addition to persuading the audience of your thesis, you must complete your narrative. Give the audience some closure about the topic. On the other hand, you must leave them even more interested in learning about your research. In other words, they must be compelled to explore on their own.

Tip: your conclusion cannot be a dry summary of your thesis and arguments. While you must restate your thesis in the conclusion, you are strongly encouraged to incite an emotional response from your audience. For example:

“More bike lanes will alleviate the heavy traffic and relieve our city from car fumes and soot. It is our responsibility to start making our city more eco-friendly. These small steps will inspire even more initiatives across our hometown and lead to a brighter, greener, future."

In this example, the audience is not only reminded of the main purpose of the speech but is also encouraged to think of other green initiatives that can help their town. The author does a good job of invoking responsibility for the future to encourage their audience to act. 

Want to learn how to choose persuasive speech topics? Check out our infographic:

Now, let’s go over 150 persuasive speech topics that can inspire your own essay and presentation! Note that these are questions that should help you form ideas, arguments, and most importantly, theses. Rather than giving you the thesis upfront, we are encouraging you to come up with your own opinion and answers to these questions.

Your speech should be between 15 to 20 minutes long. Anything longer may lose your audience's attention. If applicable, don't forget to factor in some time after your presentation for questions from the audience.

The best way to approach the choice of topic is to reflect on your convictions and passions. If you are truly interested in a topic, your excitement will be felt by the audience.

Of course, you must be interested in your topic, first and foremost. Secondly, your speech must demonstrate a level of expertise and knowledge that will allow the audience to believe that you know what you are talking about. Thirdly, your delivery will have a great effect on whether you succeed in persuading the audience. Even a well-researched speech will suffer from poor delivery.

Firstly, only practice can really help you improve. Once you have written your speech, read it over several times. Do not memorize it, but rather, remember the structure, the flow of your arguments, your main points. Then start practicing pronouncing your entire speech in front of the mirror. Do this until you are quite confident with the content of the essay. Then, you can start practicing with family members, your friends, and classmates. Ask for their feedback: can they hear you well? Are you being articulate? Does your speech have a logical flow? Did they understand your thesis? Their feedback can help you modify not only your content, but also your presentation.

Your speech should take the form of an academic essay: introduction, main body, and conclusion.

Your speech must have a thesis, otherwise it will be meandering and pointless. A thesis will guide you and keep your essay/presentation well-structured. A thesis is what you will be arguing for (or against, if it's a negatively stated thesis) throughout your speech. And while you can include some alternative points of view in your speech, your thesis will inform every argument you make in the speech.

Typically, you should avoid using overly technical language. Even if you are presenting at a professional conference in front of peers, there is a chance that some of your audience will be unfamiliar with the professional terminology. To be inclusive, you should avoid niche language.

To be frank, there is no such thing. You can make a great speech on any topic of your choosing! Your research, your delivery, and your passion will determine whether your speech is successful.

Acknowledging opposing views and presence of debate will demonstrate your thorough knowledge of the topic. Additionally, you will demonstrate that you came to your conclusion/thesis after researching the topic, rather than simply forming an uneducated opinion.

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persuasive speech topics forgiveness

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Speech on Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a powerful act of letting go. It’s about releasing the hurt and resentment you might hold against someone.

When you forgive, you make room for peace and happiness. It’s a brave step towards healing and growth.

1-minute Speech on Forgiveness

Hello, friends!

Today we’re going to talk about something special, something powerful. It’s called forgiveness. You might have heard of it, but do you know what it really means? Forgiveness is like taking off a heavy backpack that you’ve been carrying for miles. It’s about letting go of the hurt and pain someone has caused you.

Now, you might ask, “Why should I forgive someone who has hurt me?” That’s a good question. The thing is, when we forgive, we’re not doing it for the other person. We’re doing it for ourselves. It’s like taking out the trash that’s been stinking up your house. When you forgive, you clean up your heart and make room for happier, healthier feelings.

But let’s be clear. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting. You can remember what happened without letting it make you sad or angry. It’s like seeing a storm from inside your house. You know it’s there, but it can’t touch you.

At the same time, forgiveness is not always easy. Sometimes, it feels like climbing a big mountain. But remember, every journey starts with a single step. If you find it hard to forgive, try to understand why the other person did what they did. This doesn’t mean you agree with them. It just means you’re trying to see things from their point of view.

In the end, forgiveness is about love. It’s about loving yourself enough to let go of the pain. It’s about loving others enough to give them a second chance. And it’s about loving life enough to move forward, free from the weight of past hurts.

So, friends, let’s choose forgiveness. Let’s choose love, and let’s choose freedom. Because we all deserve to live with light hearts and open minds. Thank you.

Also check:

  • Essay on Forgiveness

2-minute Speech on Forgiveness

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, today we are going to talk about a magical word – forgiveness. Like a rainbow after a storm, forgiveness can bring color and light to our lives. It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it.

Let’s start by understanding forgiveness. When someone hurts us, our first reaction might be anger or sadness. We might want to hurt them back. But forgiveness is choosing not to do that. It’s like saying, “You hurt me, but I won’t hurt you back. I choose peace.”

Now, you might ask, why should we forgive? Why not just stay angry? Well, imagine carrying a heavy backpack everywhere you go. That’s what anger feels like. It’s heavy. It tires you out. But when you forgive, it’s like taking off that heavy backpack. You feel lighter and happier.

But remember, forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting. It doesn’t mean you have to be best friends with the person who hurt you. It just means you’re choosing not to let their actions control your happiness. You’re choosing to be free.

Now, let’s talk about how to forgive. Sometimes, it’s as simple as deciding to let go of your anger. Other times, you might need to talk to the person who hurt you, or write your feelings down in a letter. You might need to cry, or scream, or run until you can’t run anymore. That’s okay. Forgiveness is a journey, not a race.

But what if the person who hurt you doesn’t say sorry? What if they don’t even think they did anything wrong? Well, that’s where the real power of forgiveness comes in. Because forgiveness isn’t about them. It’s about you. It’s about choosing to be happy, no matter what they do or don’t do.

And lastly, let’s not forget to forgive ourselves. We all make mistakes. We all do things we wish we hadn’t. But holding onto guilt and regret only keeps us stuck in the past. By forgiving ourselves, we give ourselves permission to learn, to grow, and to move forward.

In conclusion, forgiveness is like a magic key that unlocks the door to peace and happiness. It’s not always easy to use, but it’s always worth it. So, let’s choose forgiveness. Let’s choose peace. Let’s choose happiness. Because we all deserve to live a life free from the heavy weight of anger and regret. Thank you.

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Persuasive speech ideas

100 good persuasive speech topics for high school students

By:  Susan Dugdale  | Updated: 02-15-2024

Potentially interesting persuasive speech topics are everywhere - billions of them! But how do you choose exactly the right topic for yourself?

My goal is to help you do that easily! ☺ 

What you'll find on this page:

  • 100+ persuasive speech ideas  grouped by theme: animals/birds, arts/culture, automotive, business/economy, social/community, environment, education, ethics, global/world, sports... 

Notes covering:

  • what makes a speech topic 'good'
  • why some topics are potentially boring for an audience to listen to and best left alone
  • local and 'happening now' (current) persuasive speech ideas
  • the best way to use this list of topics

Reading the notes  before trying to decide what you'll talk about will make the process of choosing the perfect persuasive speech topic simpler.    

How to pick the right persuasive speech topic

The trick to picking the best topic from the bewildering mass of possibilities begins with understanding what makes a speech topic idea 'good'.

What makes a speech topic good?

While there are many factors that combine to make a 'good' speech topic, the three main ones are:

  • the subject matter is something you are genuinely interested in. If you're enthusiastic about your subject, you'll enjoy doing the research required and you'll do it thoroughly. What's more, your interest will show in the way you give your speech. A passionate person is a great deal more persuasive than someone who is ambivalent about what they're talking about.
  • something your audience will be interested in hearing about. Before you make a final choice consider carefully who you are talking to. As a group what particular topic, subjects or issues will make them want to sit up and listen? You'll want to avoid topics that have limited or little appeal to your audience. For example, you may be fascinated by your Great-Grandmother's hand crocheted doily collection, but will your audience really share your opinion that everyone would benefit from learning to crochet? Unless they're all like you, I don't think so! Find out more about the  benefits of audience analysis  in effective persuasive speech preparation.
  • something that has not been covered a 'squillion' times, already. You want a fresh topic!

Image: colorful crochet doily. Text: 100+ good persuasive speech topics - Everyone will benefit from learning to crochet. Mmm. Perhaps not.

Return to Top

Beware! Some persuasive speech topics are tired

All the engaging 'wow, that's interesting' energy has been squeezed out of them because they have been covered over and over again.  Those topics are exhausted through overuse. They've become cliches.

Most people do not want to listen to another speech:

  • smoking/vaping should be banned,
  • the legal drinking age should be raised to 21,
  • wearing seat belts in vehicles should be compulsory, or
  • the voting age should be lowered.

Even if the issues they raise are unresolved choose something else rather than risk boring your audience.

Of course, there are exceptions!   If you have a genuinely fresh and interesting angle to bring, perhaps new information or research to share, then go ahead. However, make that clear from the outset, otherwise you'll risk losing your audience's interest before you've had a chance to get your speech underway.

Remember - local and topical is GOOD

Before settling on a  persuasive speech topic from my list  check what's going on right under your nose. 

Great persuasive speech topics can pop out of your local community newspaper, radio, TV, or even your Facebook page. These could genuinely interest your audience. 

After all it's where you all live and the issues in your community have an impact on everyone's wellbeing.

The 'Wellywood' sign saga

I've just flicked through a copy of the local community news I picked up at my supermarket.

There were articles about a huge sign Wellington airport is considering placing on a prominent hill alongside the runway. It will read "Wellywood".

Image -The hill above Miramar Wharf, Wellington, NZ with a sign saying Wellywood.

Airport authorities say it supports our thriving film industry, celebrating and building on the success of "The Lord of the Rings".

Those against it argue it's cheap copycatting of the famous Hollywood sign. They say the thousands of overseas visitors per day who see it will hoot and snort with derisive laughter.

There are two potential persuasive speech ideas right there: depending on your point of view, either for or against the sign.

Another piece was on the mixed success of a newly introduced recycling scheme.

Yet another was on depression alongside the story of a young man who suffered from it. What angles could be taken on either of those?

How to use this list of speech topic suggestions

Note down 3 possibilities as you go through the list of speech topics below.

As you read apply the three 'tests' for selecting a good persuasive speech topic I've already mentioned: your interest in the topic, its appeal to your audience and its freshness.

In addition to those there are a few other factors to bear in mind before committing yourself. 

Other important factors to consider

Any of these could also influence your choice.

  • the time you have to research the topic thoroughly If it's a complex topic and you have limited time to prepare you may want to reconsider.
  • your desired outcome A successful persuasive speech persuades!  It challenges and seeks to change the way people think, feel and behave. What do you want your audience to do as a result of hearing you speak? Sign a petition, make a donation, vote for you, volunteer ...? What you want to happen is often called a ' most wanted response ' or MWR. Being clear about that will help you choose your topic as well as shape your speech.
  • your credibility How qualified are you to speak on the topic you've chosen? Do you have personal experience on your side?  How long have you been interested in it?  Have you done your research? Have you found reliable resources from reputable sources covering all angles of your topic?

100+ good persuasive speech ideas

Image:- street art- two girls writing on wall - 'Please no more war. Love.' Text: 100 persuasive speech ideas - Graffiti is a justifiable form of social protest.

Animals/birds ...

  • Factory farming of animals (e.g. of cows, sheep, pigs or chickens) is inhumane.
  • Humane meat production is an oxymoron.
  • Exotic animals can make excellent pets.
  • Should rats, mice and birds be used in scientific experimentation?
  • Pit-bull dogs are dangerous.
  • There are significant advantages to animal testing.
  • Puppy mills should be illegal.
  • The domestic cat is a serious threat to endangered birds.
  • Pet therapy should receive more funding.
  • Birds should not be kept in cages.
  • Wild animals should be left in the wild.

Arts/Culture

  • Artists should be supported and funded by the state.
  • Cultural appropriation in any form is an insult.
  • No subject should be considered taboo in art.
  • Graffiti is art.
  • Indigenous artifacts should be returned to their rightful owners.
  • Famous artists are entitled to have their rights to privacy respected.
  • Music videos are an art form in their own right.
  • Art should be freely accessible to all.
  • Tattooing is a modern form of Fine Art.
  • Art appreciation and practice should be compulsory subjects.
  • Respecting cultural difference should be taught in all schools.
  • Everyone should know about the culture(s) they are born into.
  • Culture is essential, just like fresh air and food.
  • Hands-on defensive driving training should be compulsory.
  • Electric vehicles should be subsidized.
  • Internal combustion engine powered vehicles should be taxed to cover emissions.
  • Bicycles and cars should have separate roads.
  • Children under the age of 10 should not ride bicycles on public roads.
  • Everybody who holds a driving license should be regularly retested.
  • Driving while using a cell phone should be illegal.
  • Private vehicle ownership and use in cities should be restricted.
  • Public transport in cities should be readily available and affordable.

Business/Economy

  • Money is not the root of all evil.
  • Power does not necessarily corrupt.
  • All workers should at least receive the minimum wage.
  • All workers should be paid equitably for the same job regardless of differences in race, gender or sexuality. 
  • The minimum wage should be increased.
  • Local businesses deserve more support.
  • Using cheaper foreign labor for manufacturing is ruining our economy.

Social/Community

  • Homelessness is the result of choice.
  • Becoming a parent should be an earned privilege.
  • Same-sex marriage should be accepted in the same way that heterosexual marriage is.
  • Juvenile crime is a cry for help not punishment.
  • Guns should not be allowed in public places.
  • Helping those who need it in the community should be everyone's responsibility.
  • Food should never be wasted.
  • Community service projects create healthier communities.
  • All education should be free.
  • Higher education is over-rated.
  • Boys and girls should be educated separately.
  • Students should wear uniforms.
  • GPAs (Grade Point Averages) are more harmful than helpful.
  • The state colleges versus private colleges debate is meaningless.
  • Sex education is essential.
  • Mental health should be a mandatory subject in schools.
  • Private (fee-paying) schools achieve better results.
  • Everybody who wants to go to school should be able to.
  • Ranking student ability using traditional examinations should be stopped.
  • Assessment of a student's progress should be measured against themselves not their peers.
  • Class sizes should be smaller.
  • What is right? Choosing a major on the basis of personal interest or because of a potential salary? 
  • On-line teaching is as effective as classroom-based teaching.

Environment

  • Being 'green' is a fashionable fad.
  • Many current farming practices damage the environment and should be banned.
  • All plastic packaging must be banned.
  • Disposable diapers need to be biodegradable.
  • Should fracking be illegal?
  • Renewable energy schemes should be supported.
  • Climate change is a fact.
  • Mining in environmentally vulnerable areas should be stopped.
  • 'Green' spaces are good for mental health. There should be more parks. 
  • Lying is always wrong.
  • Truth is never debatable, or alternative. 
  • There is never an excuse or reason good enough to declare war.
  • Free speech should not be confused with hate speech.
  • What is 'right' and 'wrong' changes from generation to generation, from culture to culture.
  • Is it right to allow white supremacists to hold rallies?
  • Should drones be allowed in military warfare?
  • Ethical considerations should underpin stem-cell research.
  • Disabilities of any sort (mental, emotional, or physical) are an opportunity for personal growth.
  • Healthcare is the responsibility of the individual, not the state.
  • What we eat, we become.
  • What we think, we are.
  • Drug addicts are chronically sick. They have a disease.
  • Access to effective, safe birth control should be a right.
  • Plastic surgery should be only for those who really need it.
  • Assisted dying (suicide) should be legal.
  • Vaccinations in schools for common infectious diseases should be compulsory. 
  • A tax on sugar would help lessen the spread of diet related health problems.
  • Fast foods should not be blamed for health concerns.
  • Good affordable housing would solve many chronic health problems.
  • Therapies, like art or music, should be government funded. 

Global/World

  • Global warming is real.
  • The idea of peace on earth is naive.
  • Nationalism creates and sustains enemies.
  • Cultural difference should be celebrated.
  • First world countries should meaningfully and freely assist countries who need help.

Government/Law/Politics

  • Religion has no place in government.
  • State censorship or surveillance is never a right course of action.
  • That giant international companies should not be able to dodge paying tax.
  • Military service should be compulsory.
  • It should be illegal to own or have a semi-automatic or assault weapon.
  • Modern media is to blame for lowering moral standards/ reading levels/ escalating violence. (Select one!)
  • Online games can be good for you.
  • Internet chat rooms should be monitored.
  • Facebook (or any other form of social media) is replacing the need for face-to-face communication.
  • Cyberbullying controls should be more actively put in place.
  • Monitoring media of any sort should be banned.
  • Religious tolerance should be encouraged.
  • All religious institutions should be monitored by the state.
  • Animal sacrifices as part of religious practice need to be viewed in context.
  • Should students be allowed to follow their religious practices in public schools?

Science/Technology

  • Food engineering is the way of the future.
  • Cell phone use in public places should be controlled.
  • Should the government put restrictions on the development and use of AI?
  • Designer children - is this good for future generations?
  • Cloning is justifiable.
  • Self-driving cars should be legal.
  • Should schools teach the use of AI tools?
  • The use of robots should be limited.
  • All professional athletes should be required to take regular drug tests.
  • Professional male and female athletes in the same sport should be paid equally.
  • Children should not be allowed to play collision sports.
  • Is cheerleading a sport?
  • Competitive sports teach us valuable life lessons.
  • Physical education should be a compulsory subject.
  • No-one should be barred from a sport because of their gender.

persuasive speech topics forgiveness

Getting from compelling topic to persuasive speech

For help turning your chosen persuasive speech idea into a fully-fledged speech check these pages.

Resources for preparation 

  • Persuasive Speech Outline Find out more about structuring an effective persuasive speech using Monroe's Motivated Sequence, the classic 5 step pattern used by all professional persuaders: politicians, the advertising industry, and PR experts. There's a step-by-step example outline and a printable blank persuasive speech outline template for you to use too.

Alan H Monroe

Image per courtesy Purdue University

  • And here's a  persuasive speech example  that uses Monroe's Motivated Sequence.  Before you go to look I'd like you know its content is potentially controversial: suicide and the impact it has on close family and friends.
  • Sample Speech Outline This is the familiar 3 part speech outline - good for any type of speech. Read the step by step instructions then download a free blank speech outline to complete. Fill it in and you're ready to go!
  • How to Write a Speech Step by step easily followed instructions for shaping your material into an effective speech.

More persuasive speech topics to choose from

Image:-piece of half eaten chocolate cake on a plate. Text: Fun persuasive speech topics - Having you cake and eating it too is fair.

And if you're still in need of persuasive speech ideas check these pages:

  • 50   good persuasive speech topics  
  • 105 fun persuasive speech topics  
  • 309 'easy' persuasive speech topics
  • 108  feminist persuasive speech topics    
  • 310 persuasive speech topics for college . 

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Mind & Mood

The power of forgiveness

The reach method teaches how to overcome lingering bad feelings toward someone who did you wrong..

211c4500-ba96-4047-8604-314846a410c4

Almost everyone has experienced being wronged by someone. It could be a former co-worker, friend, or family member. But hanging on to those negative feelings can do great harm to your health.

"Forgiving a person who has wronged you is never easy, but dwelling on those events and reliving them over and over can fill your mind with negative thoughts and suppressed anger," says Dr. Tyler VanderWeele, co-director of the Initiative on Health, Religion, and Spirituality at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. "Yet, when you learn to forgive, you are no longer trapped by the past actions of others and can finally feel free."

Learning to let go

There are two sides to forgiveness: decisional and emotional. Decisional forgiveness involves a conscious choice to replace ill will with good will. "You no longer wish bad things to happen to that individual," says Dr. VanderWeele. "This is often quicker and easier to accomplish."

For emotional forgiveness, you move away from those negative feelings and no longer dwell on the wrongdoing. "Emotional forgiveness is much harder and takes longer, as it's common for those feelings to return on a regular basis," says Dr. VanderWeele. "This often happens when you think about the offender, or something triggers the memory, or you still suffer from the adverse consequences of the action."

Practicing forgiveness can have powerful health benefits. Observational studies, and even some randomized trials, suggest that forgiveness is associated with lower levels of depression, anxiety, and hostility; reduced substance abuse; higher self-esteem; and greater life satisfaction. Yet, forgiving people is not always easy.

"It's not that men can't forgive, but for some it's more of a struggle," says Dr. VanderWeele. It's not clear why, but perhaps these men have learned to suppress certain emotions. "It also can be difficult for men to admit to themselves that there was this great offense that still bothers them," says Dr. VanderWeele.

Reaching for a solution

One of the best ways is to practice forgiveness is with the REACH method. REACH stands for Recall, Emphasize, Altruistic gift, Commit, and Hold. Here is a look at each step.

Recall. The first step is to recall the wrongdoing in an objective way. The goal is not to think of the person in a negative light nor to wallow in self-pity, but to come to a clear understanding of the wrong that was done. Visualize the person and situation and all the feelings that come with it. Don't push aside anything, especially if it makes you feel angry or upset.

Empathize. Next, try to understand the other person's point of view regarding why he or she hurt you, but without minimizing or downplaying the wrong that was done. Sometimes the wrongdoing was not personal, but due to something the other person was dealing with. "People who attack others are sometimes themselves in a state of fear, worry, and hurt," says Dr. VanderWeele. "They often don't think when they hurt others, and they just lash out."

Altruistic gift. This step is about addressing your own shortcomings. Recall a time when you treated someone harshly and were forgiven. How did it make you feel? Recognizing this helps you realize that forgiveness is an altruistic gift that you can give to others.

Commit. Commit yourself to forgive. For instance, write about your forgiveness in a journal or a letter that you don't send or tell a friend. "This helps with the decisional side of forgiveness," says Dr. VanderWeele.

Hold. Finally, hold on to your forgiveness. This step is tough because memories of the event will often recur. "Forgiveness is not erasure," says Dr. VanderWeele. "Rather, it's about changing your reaction to those memories."

When the bad feelings arise, remind yourself that you have forgiven and ultimately you want good for the offender. If needed, revisit your commitment by reading your journal entries or letters, or recalling the shared conversation with a friend.

Image: © gustavofrazao/Getty Images

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103 Good Persuasive Speech Topics for Students in 2023

March 31, 2023

good persuasive speech topics

Do you know that moment in your favorite film, when the soundtrack begins to swell and the main character stands up and delivers a speech so rousing, so impassioned, it has the entire room either weeping or cheering by the time it concludes? What distinguishes the effectiveness of such a speech is not only the protagonist’s stellar delivery, but also the compelling nature of the subject matter at hand. Choosing an effective persuasive speech topic is essential for guaranteeing that your future speech or essay is as moving as these . If this sounds like a tall order, have no fear. Below you’ll find a list of some of the best and most interesting persuasive speech topics for high school students to tackle, from the playful (“Pets for President”) to the serious (“Should We Stop AI from Replacing Human Workers?”).

And if you’re craving more inspiration, feel free to check out this list of 85 Great Debate Topics , which can be used to generate further ideas.

What is a Persuasive Speech?

Before we get to the list, we must address the question on everyone’s minds: what is a persuasive speech, and what the heck makes for a great persuasive speech topic? A persuasive speech is a speech that aims to convince its listeners of a particular point of view . At the heart of each persuasive speech is a central conflict . Note: The persuasive speech stands in contrast to a simple informative speech, which is intended purely to convey information. (I.e., an informative speech topic might read: “The History of Making One’s Bed,” while a persuasive speech topic would be: “Why Making One’s Bed is a Waste of Time”—understand?)

And lest you think that persuasive speeches are simply assigned by your teachers as a particularly cruel form of torture, remember that practicing your oratory skills will benefit you in all areas of life—from job interviews, to business negotiations, to your future college career in public policy or international relations . Knowing how to use your voice to enact meaningful change is a valuable skill that can empower you to make a difference in the world.

Components of a Great Persuasive Speech Topic

The ideal persuasive speech topic will inspire the audience to action via both logical arguments and emotional appeals. As such, we can summarize the question “what makes a good persuasive speech topic?” by saying that the topic must possess the following qualities:

  • Timeliness and Relevance . Great persuasive speech topics grapple with a contemporary issue that is meaningful to the listener at hand. The topic might be a current news item, or it might be a long-standing social issue. In either case, the topic should be one with real-world implications.
  • Complexity . A fruitful persuasive speech topic will have many facets. Topics that are controversial, with some gray area, lend themselves to a high degree of critical thinking. They also offer the speaker an opportunity to consider and refute all counterarguments before making a compelling case for his or her own position.
  • Evidence . You want to be able to back up your argument with clear evidence from reputable sources (i.e., not your best friend or dog). The more evidence and data you can gather, the more sound your position will be, and the more your audience will be inclined to trust you.
  • Personal Connection. Do you feel passionately about the topic you’ve chosen? If not, it may be time to go back to the drawing board. This does not mean you have to support the side you choose; sometimes, arguing for the opposing side of what you personally believe can be an effective exercise in building empathy and perspective. Either way, though, the key is to select a topic that you care deeply about. Your passion will be infectious to the audience.

103 Persuasive Speech Topics

  • Should tech companies regulate the development of AI systems and automation to protect humans’ jobs?
  • Should we limit screen time for children?
  • Is it ethical for AI models like Dall-E to train themselves on artists’ work without the artists’ permission?
  • Should the government regulate the use of personal drones?
  • Is mass surveillance ethical? Does its threat to civil liberties outweigh its benefits?
  • Are virtual reality experiences a valuable educational tool?
  • Do the positive effects of powerful AI systems outweigh the risks?
  • Do voice assistants like Siri and Alexa invade individuals’ privacy?
  • Are cell phone bans in the classroom effective for improving student learning?
  • Does the use of facial recognition technology in public violate individuals’ privacy?

Business and Economy

  • Should we do away with the minimum wage? Why or why not?
  • Is it ethical for companies to use unpaid internships as a source of labor?
  • Does the gig economy benefit or harm workers?
  • Is capitalism the best economic system?
  • Is it ethical for companies to use sweatshops in developing countries?
  • Should the government provide free healthcare for all citizens?
  • Should the government regulate prices on pharmaceutical drugs?
  • Should the government enact a universal base income?
  • Should we legalize euthanasia?
  • Is it ethical to use animals for medical research?
  • Is it ethical to allow access to experimental treatments for terminally ill patients?
  • Should we allow genetic engineering in humans?
  • Is the death penalty obsolete?
  • Should we allow the cloning of humans?
  • Is it ethical to allow performance-enhancing drugs in sports?
  • Should the government limit how many children a couple can have?
  • Is spanking children an acceptable form of discipline?
  • Should we allow parents to choose their children’s physical attributes through genetic engineering?
  • Should we require parents to vaccinate their children?
  • Should we require companies to give mandatory paternal and maternal leave?

Social Media

  • Should social media platforms ban political ads?
  • Do the benefits of social media outweigh the downsides?
  • Should the government hold social media companies responsible for hate speech on their platforms?
  • Is social media making us more or less social?
  • Do platforms like TikTok exacerbate mental health issues in teens?
  • Should the government regulate social media to protect citizens’ privacy?
  • Is it right for parents to monitor their children’s social media accounts?
  • Should social media companies enact a minimum user age restriction?
  • Should we require social media companies to protect user data?
  • Should we hold social media companies responsible for cyberbullying?
  • Should schools ban the use of social media from their networks?

Education – Persuasive Speech Topics 

  • Would trade schools and other forms of vocational training benefit a greater number of students than traditional institutions of higher education?
  • Should colleges use standardized testing in their admissions processes?
  • Is forcing students to say the Pledge a violation of their right to freedom of speech?
  • Should school districts offer bilingual education programs for non-native speakers?
  • Should schools do away with their physical education requirements?
  • Should schools incorporate a remote learning option into their curriculum?
  • Should we allow school libraries to ban certain books?
  • Should we remove historical figures who owned slaves from school textbooks and other educational materials?
  • Should colleges pay student athletes?
  • Should we ban violent contact sports like boxing and MMA?
  • Should sports leagues require professional athletes to stand during the national anthem?
  • Should sports teams ban players like Kyrie Irving when they spread misinformation or hate speech?
  • Should high schools require their athletes to maintain a certain GPA?
  • Should the Olympic committee allow transgender athletes to compete?
  • Should high schools ban football due to its safety risks to players?
  • In which renewable energy option would the US do best to invest?
  • Should the US prioritize space exploration over domestic initiatives?
  • Should companies with a high carbon footprint be punished?
  • Should the FDA ban GMOs?
  • Would the world be a safer place without nuclear weapons?
  • Does AI pose a greater threat to humanity than it does the potential for advancement?

Social Issues – Persuasive Speech Topics

  • College education: should the government make it free for all?
  • Should we provide free healthcare for undocumented immigrants?
  • Is physician-assisted suicide morally justifiable?
  • Does social media have a negative impact on democracy?
  • Does cancel culture impede free speech?
  • Does affirmative action help or hinder minority groups in the workplace?
  • Should we hold public figures and celebrities to a higher standard of morality?

Politics and Government

  • Is the Electoral College still an effective way to elect the President of the US?
  • Should we allow judges to serve on the Supreme Court indefinitely?
  • Should the US establish a national gun registry?
  • Countries like Israel and China require all citizens to serve in the army. Is this a good or bad policy?
  • Should the police force require all its officers to wear body cameras while on duty?
  • Should the US invest in the development of clean meat as a sustainable protein source?
  • Should the US adopt ranked-choice voting?
  • Should institutions that profited from slavery provide reparations?

Easy Persuasive Speech Topics

  • Should schools have uniforms?
  • Can video games improve problem-solving skills?
  • Are online classes as effective as in-person classes?
  • Should companies implement a four-day work week?
  • Co-ed learning versus single-sex: which is more effective?
  • Should the school day start later?
  • Is homework an effective teaching tool?
  • Are electric cars really better for the environment?
  • Should schools require all students to study a foreign language?

Funny Persuasive Speech Topics

  • Should we allow pets to run for public office?
  • Does pineapple belong on pizza?
  • Would students benefit from schools swapping out desks with more comfortable seating arrangements (i.e., bean bag chairs and couches)?
  • Is procrastination the key to success?
  • Should Americans adopt British accents to sound more intelligent?
  • The age-old dilemma: cats or dogs?
  • Should meme creators receive royalties when their memes go viral?

Interesting Persuasive Speech Topics

  • Is the movie ranking system an effective way to evaluate the appropriateness of films?
  • Should the government place a “health tax” on junk food?
  • Is it ethical to create artificial life forms that are capable of complex emotions?
  • Should parents let children choose their own names?
  • Creating clones of ourselves to serve as organ donors: ethical or not?
  • Is it ethical to engineer humans to be better and more optimized than nature intended?
  • Should we adopt a universal language to communicate with people from all countries?
  • Should there be a penalty for people who don’t vote?

I’ve Chosen My Topic, Now What?

Once you’ve selected your topic, it’s time to get to work crafting your argument. Preparation for a persuasive speech or essay involves some key steps, which we’ve outlined for you below.

Putting Together a Successful Persuasive Speech, Step by Step

  • Research your topic. Read widely and smartly. Stick to credible sources, such as peer-reviewed articles, published books, government reports, textbooks, and news articles. The right sources and data will be necessary in helping you establish your authority. Take notes as you go.
  • Create an Outline. Your outline should include an introduction with a thesis statement, a body that uses evidence to elaborate and support your position while refuting any counterarguments, and a conclusion. The conclusion will both summarize the points made earlier and serve as your final chance to persuade your audience.
  • Write Your Speech . Use your outline to help you, as well as the data you’ve collected. Remember: this is not dry writing; this writing has a point of view, and that point of view is yours . Use anecdotes and examples to back up your argument. The essential components of this speech are logos (logic), ethos (credibility), and pathos (emotion). The ideal speech will use all three of these functions to draw the audience in and engage them.
  • Practice ! As Yoda says: “ Mastery, you seek. Practice, you must .” It sounds cheesy, but it’s true: the more you practice, the more confident you’ll be when it’s time to get up there. Read your speech out loud several times. Be sure to speak slowly and enunciate, and don’t be afraid to make eye contact with your listeners to stay connected.

Good Persuasive Speech Topics—Final Thoughts

The art of persuasive speaking is a tricky one, but the tips and tricks laid out here will help you craft a compelling argument that will sway even the most dubious audience to your side. Mastering this art takes both time and practice, so don’t fret if it doesn’t come to you right away. Remember to draw upon your sources, speak with authority, and have fun. Once you have the skill of persuasive speaking down, go out there and use your voice to impact change!

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With a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from Columbia University and an MFA in Fiction from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin, Lauren has been a professional writer for over a decade. She is the author of the chapbook  A Great Dark House  (Poetry Society of America, 2023) and a forthcoming novel (Viking/Penguin).

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6 Tips for Writing a Persuasive Speech (On Any Topic)

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B y far, the best way to learn how to write speeches is to read the great ones, from Pericles’ Funeral Oration, to Dr. King’s Mountaintop speech, to Faulkner’s Nobel acceptance address. But if you’re looking for some quick tips, here are a few things to bear in mind next time you’re asked to give a speech:

1. Write like you talk. There is no First Law of Speechwriting, but if there were, it would probably be something like this: a speech is meant to be spoken, not read. That simple (and obvious) fact has a few important (and less obvious) implications. Use short words. Write short sentences. Avoid awkward constructions that might cause a speaker to stumble. Tip: Read the speech aloud as you’re writing. If you do it enough, you’ll start hearing the words when you type them.

2. Tell a story . I once wrote speeches for a governor whose aide told me: speechwriting is about slinging soundbites together. That approach is a recipe for writing neither good speeches nor good soundbites. Whenever we sat down to discuss a speech for the first time, President Obama would ask us: What’s the story we’re trying to tell? Like any good story, a speech has its own narrative arc. For the President, it’s usually a slow warm-up, a substantive middle, and an inspirational end. That’s his style. Tell your story in whatever way feels natural. Tip: A good story can be a lot more powerful than the most compelling facts and statistics.

3. Structure matters . It’s usually harder to figure out the right structure for a speech – the order of the points to make – than the words themselves. The order of those points matters because an argument that’s clear and logical is more likely to be persuasive. There is a reason that some of America’s greatest speechwriters – from Lincoln to JFK’s speechwriter Ted Sorensen to President Obama himself – studied the law, a profession that values the ability to make a logical argument. Tip: Lists (like this one) are one way to impose a structure on a speech.

4. Be concise. It is said that Woodrow Wilson once gave the following reply to a speaking request: “If you’d like me to speak for five minutes, I’ll need a month to prepare. If you’d like me to speak for 20 minutes, I’ll need two weeks. But if you’d like me to speak for an hour, I’m ready right now.” As Wilson knew, it’s harder to be concise than verbose. But the best way to make a point is concisely, as Churchill did when he announced during a wartime address: “The news from France is very bad.” Next time you think you can’t afford to cut that paragraph you love, remember: the Gettysburg Address, perhaps the greatest speech in American history, is fewer than 300 words. Tip: Challenge yourself to cut as many words as possible from each sentence without losing the line’s meaning.

5. Be authentic. If you’ve ever given a speech, you’ve probably been told, “Just speak from the heart.” It’s not very helpful writing advice, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Once, when we were writing President Obama’s 2008 Democratic Convention address, we got stuck on a certain section of the speech. The President advised us: Think about the moment we’re in, think about what the country is going through, and write something that feels true. It was a helpful reminder to stop focusing on polls and soundbites and simply say something we believed in as simply as we could. Tip: Sharing a personal story can help you find your voice and build a connection with the audience.

6. Don’t just speak – say something. When Michelangelo was tasked with painting the Sistine Chapel, he considered it a thankless job. He would have much rather spent his time sculpting than painting. But he used the occasion to paint perhaps the most revered fresco in history. So, the next time you’re asked to speak, don’t just write a speech, write a great one. A speech’s greatness has as much to do with its values as anything else. No one remembers the speeches of segregationists, though there were no doubt eloquent preachers spewing hate in the days of Jim Crow. No one remembers Hitler’s speeches, though few would dispute his oratorical prowess. Of course, Hitler, like the segregationists, lost. But it’s also because hope will always be more compelling than hate. It’s no accident that the best-known, best-loved speech in history – the Sermon on the Mount – is an articulation of humanity’s highest ideals. Tip: Before sitting down to write, get inspired by reading great speeches from collections like William Safire’s “Lend Me Your Ears.”

Adam Frankel is VP, External Affairs at Andela . Previously, he was Special Assistant and Senior Speechwriter to President Barack Obama.

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How to Write and Structure a Persuasive Speech

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The purpose of a persuasive speech is to convince your audience to agree with an idea or opinion that you present. First, you'll need to choose a side on a controversial topic, then you will write a speech to explain your position, and convince the audience to agree with you.

You can produce an effective persuasive speech if you structure your argument as a solution to a problem. Your first job as a speaker is to convince your audience that a particular problem is important to them, and then you must convince them that you have the solution to make things better.

Note: You don't have to address a real problem. Any need can work as the problem. For example, you could consider the lack of a pet, the need to wash one's hands, or the need to pick a particular sport to play as the "problem."

As an example, let's imagine that you have chosen "Getting Up Early" as your persuasion topic. Your goal will be to persuade classmates to get themselves out of bed an hour earlier every morning. In this instance, the problem could be summed up as "morning chaos."

A standard speech format has an introduction with a great hook statement, three main points, and a summary. Your persuasive speech will be a tailored version of this format.

Before you write the text of your speech, you should sketch an outline that includes your hook statement and three main points.

Writing the Text

The introduction of your speech must be compelling because your audience will make up their minds within a few minutes whether or not they are interested in your topic.

Before you write the full body you should come up with a greeting. Your greeting can be as simple as "Good morning everyone. My name is Frank."

After your greeting, you will offer a hook to capture attention. A hook sentence for the "morning chaos" speech could be a question:

  • How many times have you been late for school?
  • Does your day begin with shouts and arguments?
  • Have you ever missed the bus?

Or your hook could be a statistic or surprising statement:

  • More than 50 percent of high school students skip breakfast because they just don't have time to eat.
  • Tardy kids drop out of school more often than punctual kids.

Once you have the attention of your audience, follow through to define the topic/problem and introduce your solution. Here's an example of what you might have so far:

Good afternoon, class. Some of you know me, but some of you may not. My name is Frank Godfrey, and I have a question for you. Does your day begin with shouts and arguments? Do you go to school in a bad mood because you've been yelled at, or because you argued with your parent? The chaos you experience in the morning can bring you down and affect your performance at school.

Add the solution:

You can improve your mood and your school performance by adding more time to your morning schedule. You can accomplish this by setting your alarm clock to go off one hour earlier.

Your next task will be to write the body, which will contain the three main points you've come up with to argue your position. Each point will be followed by supporting evidence or anecdotes, and each body paragraph will need to end with a transition statement that leads to the next segment. Here is a sample of three main statements:

  • Bad moods caused by morning chaos will affect your workday performance.
  • If you skip breakfast to buy time, you're making a harmful health decision.
  • (Ending on a cheerful note) You'll enjoy a boost to your self-esteem when you reduce the morning chaos.

After you write three body paragraphs with strong transition statements that make your speech flow, you are ready to work on your summary.

Your summary will re-emphasize your argument and restate your points in slightly different language. This can be a little tricky. You don't want to sound repetitive but will need to repeat what you have said. Find a way to reword the same main points.

Finally, you must make sure to write a clear final sentence or passage to keep yourself from stammering at the end or fading off in an awkward moment. A few examples of graceful exits:

  • We all like to sleep. It's hard to get up some mornings, but rest assured that the reward is well worth the effort.
  • If you follow these guidelines and make the effort to get up a little bit earlier every day, you'll reap rewards in your home life and on your report card.

Tips for Writing Your Speech

  • Don't be confrontational in your argument. You don't need to put down the other side; just convince your audience that your position is correct by using positive assertions.
  • Use simple statistics. Don't overwhelm your audience with confusing numbers.
  • Don't complicate your speech by going outside the standard "three points" format. While it might seem simplistic, it is a tried and true method for presenting to an audience who is listening as opposed to reading.
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Persuasive Speech Outline, with Examples

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 .

Ideas for a persuasive speech

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.

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.

Speech structure and speech argument for a persuasive speech outline.

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.

Practice answering AI questions on your speech and get  feedback on your performance .

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.

Specific purpose

To persuade my audience to start walking in order to improve their health.

Central idea

Regular walking can improve both your mental and physical health.

Introduction

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?

Continue reading

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.

IMAGES

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  1. 110 Interesting Persuasive Speech Topics to Impress Your Audience

    ---- 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.

  2. 112 Persuasive Speech Topics That Are Actually Engaging

    112 Engaging Persuasive Speech Topics. Tips for Preparing Your Persuasive Speech. Writing a stellar persuasive speech requires a carefully crafted argument that will resonate with your audience to sway them to your side. This feat can be challenging to accomplish, but an engaging, thought-provoking speech topic is an excellent place to start.

  3. 50 Topics for a Persuasive Speech

    Whether you're a teacher creating an assignment or a student deciding what to speak about, our list of 50 suggested persuasive speech topics and tips are a good starting place. Choosing a Topic It's more enjoyable to research and write a speech about a topic that genuinely holds your interest. It'll make for better delivery, too.

  4. 105 Interesting Persuasive Speech Topics for Any Project

    Posted by Christine Sarikas General Education 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.

  5. 100 Persuasive Speech Topics for Students

    ThoughtCo. By Grace Fleming Updated on June 25, 2020 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.

  6. 49 Persuasive Speech Topics You'll Actually Want to Talk About

    49 Persuasive Speech Topics. I've divided this list of 49 topics into seven categories. I've also included links to sample persuasive speech outlines, persuasive essays, and argumentative essays to give you a few ideas of how you might develop ideas for your persuasive speech.

  7. 100 Good Persuasive Speech Topics & Ideas

    Maryn Liles Updated: Aug 22, 2023 Need a good persuasive speech topic for your public speaking class? It can be hard to find one that's good enough to captivate both you and your audience but...

  8. 'Easy' persuasive speech topics: 309 examples

    309 potentially easy persuasive speech topics. Below are 309 good persuasive topics chosen for their broad appeal, and because they are subjects people generally feel strongly about. 69 topics based on education. 135 based on aspects of health: mental health, the psychology of motivation, autism, natural medicine, the dangers of alternative ...

  9. Good persuasive speech topics

    310 persuasive speech topics for college. 108 feminist persuasive speech topics. And last but not least, read a sample persuasive speech that follows the persuasive speech outline referenced above. Please note though before you go to that page the subject is somber: the impact of suicide on families. Return to the top of the page.

  10. 100 Easy Persuasive Speech Topics: A Guide

    It is still the most effective basis for many persuasive speeches. Some people are born with the skill of persuasion while others can build on it by applying such techniques and practicing. Here are some Persuasive Speech Topics that you can practice with. Writing Introduction for Persuasive Speech. Take a look at the video below.

  11. 125+ Persuasive Speech Topics To Amaze Your Audience

    There is a fine balance between interesting your audience, interesting to you, unique and fresh, all while being thought-provoking without being outright offensive. Here is a breakdown of various topics for persuasive speeches, organized by categories, to inspire you. 1. Arts & Culture. Art and culture are always hot topics amongst individuals ...

  12. 99 Easy Persuasive Speech Topics

    December 19, 2022 by Jessica Scott Persuasive speech topics are vast and varied. Whether you're looking for a light-hearted topic to entertain an audience or something more serious to inspire action, there are plenty of easy persuasive speech topics to choose from.

  13. 191 Best Persuasive Speech Topics: Give an Amazing Speech!

    Does the thought of public speaking make you cringe? While almost everyone experiences some stage fright speaking in front of an audience, there are ways to tame this debilitating fear. Half the battle of giving a speech is selecting a topic that engages your audience.

  14. Persuasive Speech Topics: The Best 150 Ideas

    150 Persuasive Speech Topics. Now, let's go over 150 persuasive speech topics that can inspire your own essay and presentation! Note that these are questions that should help you form ideas, arguments, and most importantly, theses. Rather than giving you the thesis upfront, we are encouraging you to come up with your own opinion and answers ...

  15. 75 Persuasive Speech Topics and Ideas

    75 Persuasive Speech Topics and Ideas October 4, 2018 - Gini Beqiri To write a captivating and persuasive speech you must first decide on a topic that will engage, inform and also persuade the audience. We have discussed how to choose a topic and we have provided a list of speech ideas covering a wide range of categories. What is persuasive speech?

  16. Speech on Forgiveness

    Hello, friends! Today we're going to talk about something special, something powerful. It's called forgiveness. You might have heard of it, but do you know what it really means? Forgiveness is like taking off a heavy backpack that you've been carrying for miles. It's about letting go of the hurt and pain someone has caused you.

  17. Persuasive speech ideas

    What you'll find on this page: 100+ persuasive speech ideas grouped by theme: animals/birds, arts/culture, automotive, business/economy, social/community, environment, education, ethics, global/world, sports... Notes covering: what makes a speech topic 'good'. why some topics are potentially boring for an audience to listen to and best left alone.

  18. The power of forgiveness

    Mind & Mood The power of forgiveness February 12, 2021 The REACH method teaches how to overcome lingering bad feelings toward someone who did you wrong. Almost everyone has experienced being wronged by someone. It could be a former co-worker, friend, or family member. But hanging on to those negative feelings can do great harm to your health.

  19. How (and why) to forgive

    Forgiveness sounds so easy, and yet it's tough to muster in practice. These talks may help. Watch now Add to list 18:17 Joshua Prager In search of the man who broke my neck When Joshua Prager was 19, a devastating bus accident left him a hemiplegic. He returned to Israel twenty years later to find the driver who turned his world upside down.

  20. 103 Good Persuasive Speech Topics for Students in 2023

    Looking for good persuasive speech topics that are relevant to an audience in 2023? We present 103 persuasive speech topics for students.

  21. 6 Tips for Writing a Persuasive Speech (On Any Topic)

    Avoid awkward constructions that might cause a speaker to stumble. Tip: Read the speech aloud as you're writing. If you do it enough, you'll start hearing the words when you type them. 2. Tell ...

  22. How to Write and Structure a Persuasive Speech

    The purpose of a persuasive speech is to convince your audience to agree with an idea or opinion that you present. First, you'll need to choose a side on a controversial topic, then you will write a speech to explain your position, and convince the audience to agree with you. You can produce an effective persuasive speech if you structure your ...

  23. Persuasive Speech Outline, with Examples

    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.