How to Write a Persuasive Speech

What is a persuasive speech? Have you ever tried to convince someone to see your side of an issue? If so, how successful were you? A good persuasive speech is a type of speech where the goal is to convince your audience of your point of view.

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Whether you’re a professional at attracting people to your side of an argument or can’t seem to win a debate to save your life, we could all use some more training and public speaking skills to become a more successful persuader. This is especially true if you’re pursuing a career in public speaking and are learning how to become a public speaker.

If you’re looking to take your persuasive speeches to the next level, we have you covered with a full guide on how to write a persuasive speech.

Consider Your Audience

The most important thing you need to do before you even think about sitting down to write your persuasive speech is who it is that you’re trying to persuade.

This consideration can completely change the way that you present your logical argument. How old is your audience? Are they on the opposing side when it comes to your argument? 

To know how to persuade someone, you have to be able to know exactly where they are coming from and what they need to hear. Then you can begin to form your logical argument.

Define Your Clear Objective

After identifying your audience, you need to make it crystal clear what your objective with the persuasive argument is. What are you trying to sell your audience on? Is it a specific product or service? Is it something bigger, more of a concept, like recycling or water conservation?

At the end of your persuasive speech, what do you want your audience to do with the information you’ve given them?

Without knowing what you’re working towards, it’s impossible to begin the work. Envision the outcome that you want and then make it happen.

Do Your Research (Lots of It)

If you take nothing else away from this, take one of the essential public speaking tips: always do your research. It’s important that you know what you’re talking about in any good speech but it’s absolutely essential when presenting a persuasive speech.

You should spend a good amount of time learning everything that there is to know about the topic you’ll be speaking on. Know the intricacies and important facts of the persuasive argument you’re presenting. Ultimately, you need to be an expert on what you’re speaking on if you aren’t one already.

Understand Both Sides of the Issue and Address Them

Part of doing your research is spending some time looking into the other side’s argument.

What are the main concerns that people have against the argument you’ll be presenting? Why do people feel that way about the issue present and what evidence do they have to back it up? How can you acknowledge those issues and then dispel them respectively?

If you don’t know what you’re up against, you don’t know what argument you’re trying to make. Take a close look at the issue from a different point of view so that you can approach the topic expertly.

Pick One or More of These Classic Persuasive Approaches

After you have done the research on your audience, your argument, and created a clear objective, it’s time to begin formulating how you want to present your argument to your audience.

When it comes to persuasion, there are three main approaches that have proven effective with all audiences for hundreds of years. Let’s look at how you can use them to form your best argument.

Pathos

Pathos is an appeal to your audience’s emotions. This is most effective when you’re trying to get your target audience to connect with you and the cause on a personal level since it shows your humanity and tugs at their heartstrings.

Ethos

Ethos is an emotional appeal to your audience’s ethics and morals. This impresses upon them that the issue at hand is a matter of a moral right and wrong argument, striking at the core of the audience’s values and moral compass. 

It often makes your persuasive speech appear as a part of a bigger picture and can create a sense of personal obligation to get involved and make a change.

Logos

Logos is an appeal to the audience’s sense of logic. This one is full of the undeniable facts, the numbers, and the statistics of your argument.

This is where you can pull in the audience members that follow the facts. Though it doesn’t personally involve them, it provides solid, concrete evidence to support your claims. This is also a good approach to use to negate the opposite side’s arguments.

Make Sure to Create a Solid Outline for Your Speech

After doing all of the initial work, it’s time to sit down and learn how to write a speech outline

Begin by just jotting down only the most important pieces of information. Next, you need to craft a good persuasive speech outline for how you would like to present that information.

Remember the important aspects of telling any story: a beginning, a middle, and an end. When it comes to writing your a great persuasive speech, the beginning and the end are what will really seal the deal.

Start Strong

First and foremost, you have to ensure that you know how to start a presentation with something that grabs the audience’s attention and pulls them in.

This can be in the form of a quick story, an interesting fact, or a bold statement of intent. 

Then you need to create a relationship between you and the target audience. Give them something that you have in common that makes you someone that they want to listen to. At this point, you will also want to take them through your credentials to show your expertise on the subject.

End With a Call to Action

So how to end a speech with a bang? Once you’ve performed your prepared persuasive speech, you need to end your speech with a call to action.

Tell them directly what they now need to do. Make sure they understand that the information is now theirs and it’s their job to make the change that they want to see. Your audience wants to feel encouraged and empowered to make a difference, so give that to them.

Keep Your Public Speaking Career Rolling

Once you begin to pick up steam giving persuasive speeches, you need to get some help on the less glamorous business side of things. Maui Mastermind has professionals to help you keep things rolling with your public speaking career.

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How to Write a Persuasive Speech
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How to Write a Persuasive Speech
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Maui Mastermind Business Coaching
Business David is a Wall Street Journal and Business Week bestselling author of 11 business and financial books. A syndicated columnist for Inc.com and HuffingtonPost.com, David’s articles have appeared in over 6,500 publications. As the founder and CEO of Maui Mastermind®, David has worked with 100,000+ business coaching clients and community members to buy, build, and sell over $5 billion of businesses.