Persuasive speeches: 6 tips for choosing a topic
Persuasive speeches are a common part of academic research projects. They require the speaker to express a clear viewpoint while also highlighting important information that will sway viewers into agreeing with their perspective.
To complete a persuasive speech well, it is most important that you pick a topic that will work well for your audience. And, of course, you must also pick a topic that you are comfortable explaining well. Ideally, a topic that you are passionate about.
6 Tips for Choosing Your Persuasive Speech Topic
- Make a list - Create a list of the different topics you are considering. Jot down the pros and cons of researching and speaking on a given topic. Some of the best topics for persuasion in speech are those that have multiple pros and cons - because that means there is already a lot of feeling associated with the topic.
- Outline - Once you have narrowed your topics to the strongest two or three options, create an outline of what your speech would look like using each topic. Review your options and consider the topic that you already know most about. The more you can say about the topic now, the better the chances you will be able to connect with it during further research.
- Consider frequency - Make sure your topic isn't being covered by others or hasn't recently been discussed. While it might be a viable subject, you don't want to be the fifth one presenting the same subject or your speech is more likely to fall flat.
- Research - Using your outline, research the points that are most compelling about your subject. Your outline will provide the holes that you need to fill - and the points you need to expand upon.
- Create a thesis - Your thesis for a speech is your main point. Much like a thesis for a written project, you must be able to support it with facts and research. If your research doesn't yield the support you need to create a compelling speech, consider switching your topic choice to one of your other options.
- Write and practice - After you write your speech, you need to practice it with feeling. It should include quotes and other compelling sources that will peak the interest of your audience, but you should also be able to convey those parts with passion and effectiveness. If you can't connect and you feel it falls flat, you need to rework your speech.