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A persuasive speech is usually delivered to a live audience by a person. However, in today's world of electronic media, such speeches are also recorded and circulated via video clips and/or the television. Most importantly, they reach out to a specific demographic, creating awareness and urging them to take action, beware or just adapt to certain behaviours in life. There are some basic tips to be kept in mind while preparing and delivering a persuasive speech:

Researching the topic

There can be many topics for persuasive speech. Be it persuasive speech topics for college

or a public gathering, one always needs to know what exactly is required to say and topics for persuasive speeches need to be selected with care.  Before preparing the speech, one needs to understand the persuasive speech topic well and establish an emotional bond with it. It is only after this, can he be well-equipped to get across to the audience what he has to say. A speech should always be substantiated with real-life examples and famous peoples' take on the subject. This always plays an important role in reaching out to the public.

Preparing the speech

The ideas for persuasive speeches can be assigned or based on an issue which has been talked about before. Persuasive speech topics for college students need special attention since young adults are most impressionable. Though plagiarism cannot be really detected while delivering a live speech, it is advisable to keep it as original as possible. One must always research about the anti-thesis and counter them to prove his point well. For example, if the topic for a persuasive speech is against the use of drugs, one must first mention the widely-popular "good effects" of drugs, scientifically prove them wrong and then refute the use of drugs with examples of results of over-use of drugs. Simply repeating that drugs are bad for health shall get the speaker nowhere with the audience. All obstacles should be productively overcome within the speech. For this it is always necessary to prepare a rough draft with key points and then finally writing out the fair draft.  

Practising the speech

For those who have stage-fright or are uncomfortable in front of the camera, it is a pre-requisite to practise the speech in front of the mirror. This helps in improving the body language, facial expressions and decrease stuttering. One can also gather close friends or family to practise the speech before them to get an idea of a live audience or get a friend to video-tape the speech. Then he can work on his mistakes without being embarrassed. The weaknesses need to be passed. Some people tend to use "um" or "er" a lot, use their hands too much or too less. Much practise is needed to try to be perfect. For those who are comfortable delivering a public speech, can be content with few practises. The entire speech may not be memorised for then it becomes monotonous to the audience. While delivering a memorised speech, the speaker tends to fix his gaze upon an inanimate object far away and blindly recite. This should be avoided at all costs. It suffices to remember the content, some key points and examples. The rest should come with the flow spontaneously.

Introduction and conclusion

It helps if the speech begins with a short story or anecdote which catches the attention of the audience and immediately establishes a rapport with the speaker. The speech should contain humour and not too many statistical figures for it gets boring. The conclusion should be thought-provoking so it lingers on in the mind of the audience well after the end of the speech.

Giving the speech

Punctuality matters a lot and reaching on time is a big factor. Also, the speaker should be dressed according to the occasion. If the speech is in an institute, formals are suggested and if it is an informal gathering, casuals are the best option. One does not want to intimidate the audience by appearing too high-and -mighty, neither does he want to make a fool of himself by dressing like a complete clown! Use of slangs is a strict no-no as it is not polite. One should respect the audience if he wants to command respect himself. Knowing the audience is also an important thing to be kept in mind.

Persuasive speech ideas:

  • Should or should not sex education be a compulsory subject from the eighth standard
  • Should or should not same-sex marriages be legalized all over the world
  • The positive effects of refraining from cigarettes
  • Prevalence or banishment of capital punishment in schools
  • Introducing a graduate degree as an academic qualification as an eligibility criteria for all politicians


Family planning

A hundred years ago you probably wouldn't have caught anyone delivering a speech on safe-sex for the simple reason that it was unheard of and people were in a mad rush to reproduce heirs who shall carry on the family name. And look where it has got us. We are living in a world which houses minimum 7 billion people while an appropriate number would have been about 4 million, as Dan Brown wrote in his book 'Inferno'. He does have a point, you know. The unbalance created in an urge to populate the earth has resulted in some pockets being over-populated while vast areas relatively empty. Different national laws prevent free movement of people around the world. Would it be feasible if a million Indians suddenly migrated and settled in North Dakota, US? As an Indian, I would say, of course but the Americans would have jumped at my throat. So, what can be done at this juncture? Should we just stop having children? No, but we can plan our family. Imagine if every family (and the number is on the increase daily) have three kids, who grow up, get married and have three of their own each and this process goes on. Mars shall seem a better option then. Do any of us really want that our future generations will suffer in such a way? Is it not better to just have one child, shower him/her with all the love, watch him/her grow and live in an environment which we have helped in sustaining? Traditionally, most religions forbade the use of contraceptive measures while copulation because producing children was considered holy. However, in recent times it is no secret that couples engage in coitus even for pleasure and the safest way to do so without the fear of unplanned pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases is to use contraceptive measures, the safest of which are condoms. Though they are not 100% accurate, they decrease chances of getting pregnant to a great extent. I would request my audience to have a great and pleasurable life ahead with the constant reminder that whatever you do now, keep in mind your child may be doing it too. Remove taboos, educate them but not before educating your own selves.