How to Prepare a Persuasive Speech
Public Speaking Tips for College Students
Aug 19, 2009 Carol Rzadkiewicz
When it comes time for students to deliver a persuasive speech, if they follow certain guidelines, they can deliver a speech that is both powerful and effective.
Students are required to take public speaking in college as part of any undergraduate program of study; and of all the speeches students will be called upon to deliver, the most difficult and challenging will probably be the persuasive speech. There are steps, however, that students can take to help them prepare an effective, perhaps even outstanding, persuasive speech.
Choose a Speech Topic
The first step is ...view middle of the document...
• Are science fiction movies merely post-modern westerns?
• Is a high-protein diet safe or unsafe?
• Is global warming a myth or reality?
• Should both evolution and creationism be taught in public schools?
Determine the Speech Category
There are three categories of persuasive speeches, each dealing with a different type of question, so once students have selected a topic, they should then determine which category best fits their chosen topic:
Questions of Fact – Questions about events, people, objects, and ideas; however, there are two types of questions of fact:
• Questions that have definite answers since the questions can be answered through research, for example: Is a high-protein diet safe or unsafe?
• Questions that do not have definite answers; for example: Does intelligent life exist on other planets?
Questions of Value – Questions that involve fact but require value judgments based upon what one believes is right or wrong, moral or immoral, ethical or unethical, for example: Should capital punishment be abolished?
Questions of Policy – Questions that involve fact but deal with specific courses of action and ask whether or not those courses should be followed; for example: Should the United States provide national healthcare for all citizens? (Questions of policy often involve questions of value as well since policies can affect many lives.)
Determine the Goal of the Speech
Determine the objective one hopes to attain in delivering the speech. For example, for questions of fact, the goal might be to convince an audience to accept one’s viewpoint as being the correct viewpoint. For questions of value, it might be to get audience members to accept some action as morally or legally right or wrong. For questions of policy, it might be to encourage audience members to take action by contacting their congressperson or signing a petition.