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What Is A Persuasive Speech: Guide To Writing Effective Speeches

    Girl in a multicolored sweater with her hand raised giving a persuasive speech in front of a PowerPoint screen and several other women in the audience.

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    A persuasive speech is a powerful tool that can inspire people to take action and make meaningful changes in their lives or in society as a whole. Whether you are trying to sell a product, persuade stakeholders to adopt a new strategy, or rally support for a political cause, a persuasive speech can help you connect with your audience, build rapport, and gain their trust.

    The key to a successful persuasive speech is to understand your audience’s needs, wants, and desires. By connecting with them on a personal level and addressing their concerns, you can create a sense of empathy and engagement that can help you win them over to your point of view.

    Persuasive Techniques in Speeches

    Persuasive speeches rely on a variety of techniques designed to capture the audience’s attention, build rapport and credibility, and ultimately persuade them to take action.

    These techniques range from the use of emotional appeals to logical arguments, from storytelling to statistical data, and from humor to fear. The most effective persuasive speeches are those that not only connect with the audience’s needs, wants, and desires but also address their fears, concerns, and doubts.

    Together we’ll explore some of the most powerful techniques used in persuasive speeches and provide tips for incorporating them into your own speeches. Whether you’re a seasoned speaker or just starting, these techniques can help you deliver a persuasive speech that resonates with your audience and motivates them to take action.

    Best Persuasive Techniques in Speeches

    These techniques are designed to capture the audience’s attention, engage them emotionally, and ultimately persuade them to take action. Whether you are giving a speech to sell a product, convince your team to adopt a new strategy, or rally support for a political campaign, these techniques can help you craft a compelling message that resonates with your audience.

    From using powerful language and storytelling to appealing to the audience’s emotions and values, these techniques can help you deliver a persuasive speech that inspires action. Here are some of the most effective persuasive techniques to consider incorporating into your next speech.

    How to Make a Persuasive Speech

    Writing a persuasive speech is a complex task that requires thorough planning and preparation to be effective. The first step is to identify the purpose of the speech and the intended audience. This will help you determine the tone, style, and content of your speech. Next, you should research the topic thoroughly to gain a deep understanding of the subject matter. This includes identifying both sides of the argument and evaluating their strengths and weaknesses.

    1. Start Your Persuasive Speech with a Strong Hook

    Start with something that grabs your audience’s attention and sets the tone for your speech. A hook is the opening statement or story that grabs your audience’s attention and encourages them to listen further. A strong hook can be a personal story, a surprising fact or statistic, a provocative statement or question, or a rhetorical question. The key is to make it relevant to your audience and set the tone for the rest of your speech.

    2. Use Simple Language in Your Speech

    Speak in a way that your audience can easily understand you. Avoid using jargon, technical terms, or language that might confuse or alienate your audience. Use concrete examples and metaphors to help explain your ideas. If your audience can’t understand what you’re saying, they won’t be able to connect with your message or take action. So, it’s important to use language that is simple, clear, and easy to understand.

    3. Connect with Your Audience’s Needs, Wants, and Desires

    Highlight how your message will help them achieve their goals, overcome challenges, or improve their lives in some way. The key to persuasive speaking is connecting with your audience’s emotions and values. People are more likely to take action if they feel that their needs, wants, and desires are being met. So, it’s important to tailor your message to your audience and show them how your message can benefit them.

    4. Confirm Their Suspicions or Beliefs

    Suspicions that your audience may have, even if they are unwarranted should be confirmed. This helps build rapport and trust with your audience, making them more receptive to your message. If your audience feels that you understand their concerns and share their values, they are more likely to trust you and take action. So, it’s important to validate your audience’s beliefs and concerns, even if you don’t necessarily agree with them.

    5. Identify a Common Enemy or Obstacle with Your Audience

    Find something that you and your audience share. Explain how your message or solution can help overcome this enemy or obstacle. This will help build credibility and win over your audience. When you identify a common enemy or obstacle, you’re able to position yourself as an ally or a problem-solver. By showing your audience how your message or solution can help them overcome this enemy or obstacle, you’re able to build credibility and win over their trust.

    6. Repeat Key Phrases or Concepts

    Help reinforce your message and make it more memorable. Repetition is a powerful tool for persuasion. By repeating key phrases or concepts throughout your speech, you’re able to reinforce your message and make it more memorable. This can help your audience remember your message and take action after your speech is over.

    7. Use Visual Aids to Enhance Your Persuasive Speech

    Slides, videos, or images to help reinforce your message and make it more engaging. Use them sparingly and ensure they are relevant, high-quality, and easy to understand. Visual aids can help bring your message to life and make it more engaging for your audience. However, it’s important to use them sparingly and make sure they are relevant to your message. Low-quality or confusing visual aids can distract your audience and undermine your message.

    8. End Your Speech with a Clear Call to Action

    Inspire your audience to take action. Ensure your call to action is specific, achievable, and relevant to your audience. The ultimate goal of a persuasive speech is to inspire your audience to take action. So, it’s important to end your speech with a clear call to action that tells your audience what you want them to do. Your call to action should be specific, achievable, and relevant to your audience, so they feel motivated to take action.


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    Why This Makes Your Speeches Persuasive

    These persuasive speech techniques work well because they utilize effective communication and psychological principles to engage and persuade the audience. They include starting with a strong hook, using simple language, connecting with the audience’s needs, confirming beliefs, identifying a common enemy or obstacle, repetition, using visual aids, and ending with a clear call to action. When used effectively, these techniques can make the speech more persuasive and impactful.

    Additional Reading on How to Make a Persuasive Speech

    If you are interested in further reading on how to make a persuasive speech, here are some recommended books.

    Each of these books provides valuable insights and practical tips on how to craft and deliver a persuasive speech that resonates with your audience. They cover topics such as storytelling, audience engagement, persuasion techniques, and more.

    “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert Cialdini

    Classic book on persuasion and communication. The book delves into the psychology behind why people say “yes” and explores six key principles of influence: reciprocity, commitment and consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity.

    Cialdini draws on years of research and real-life examples to demonstrate how these principles can be used to persuade others in a variety of situations, from sales and marketing to politics and personal relationships. He also discusses how to defend yourself against unwanted persuasion attempts.

    The book is highly regarded and widely used in both academic and business settings. It provides practical advice and actionable strategies for anyone looking to improve their persuasive abilities and influence others.

    “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

    A highly recommended book for anyone looking to make a persuasive speech or communicate their ideas effectively. The book delves into the reasons why some ideas are more successful than others and provides practical strategies for making your own ideas more memorable, compelling, and influential.

    The authors identify six key principles that help ideas stick and provide numerous examples of how these principles have been used in successful communication. These principles include simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotions, and stories. By applying these principles to your own communication, you can create messages that are more memorable, engaging, and persuasive.

    “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie

    A classic self-help book written by Carnegie. It was first published in 1936 and has since sold millions of copies worldwide. The book is designed to help readers improve their communication and interpersonal skills. With the aim of becoming more successful in their personal and professional lives.

    The book is divided into several sections, each covering a different aspect of communication and social interaction. Some of the key topics covered in the book include the importance of listening, how to make a good first impression, how to handle criticism, and how to influence people without resorting to manipulation or coercion.

    One of the key themes of the book is the importance of empathy in interpersonal communication. Carnegie emphasizes the importance of understanding other people’s perspectives, needs, and desires. Finally, using this understanding to build stronger relationships and more effective communication.

    Books on Persuasive Speeches Discussed in This Article

    Cover page of Influence The Psychology of Persuasion New And Expanded By Robert Cialdini
    Cover page of How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie
    Cover page of Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

    Shaun Mendonsa, PhD is an influencing expert and pharmaceutical development leader. He writes on the topics of influence and persuasion, and develops next generation drugs in human pharma by advising international pharmaceutical CROs and CMOs. He can be reached at [email protected].


    Persuasive Speeches, Simplification, Influence, Persuasion, Public Speaking

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