How to Write a Persuasive Speech - Engage Your Audience
It does not matter what type of speech you are writing, and in this case we're talking about a persuasive speech, unless you engage your audience your chances of being a successful speaker are limited. There are two things to discuss in this article.
- What is a persuasive speech?
- How do you engage your audience?
A persuasive speech is where you are trying to persuade or convince the people listening to you that what you are saying is true or has value or is worth supporting. The key to your success is being able to successfully persuade your listeners. What do you need to do to make that happen?
- Be entertaining.
- Have an excellent plan or layout to the presentation of your speech.
- Have rock solid evidence to support any claims you make.
If you are not entertaining, it does not matter how good your speech is, you're bound to lose some if not many of your audience. Remember that people are sitting watching you speak. There are any number of things which can distract them from your presentation. All the more reason why you need to be entertaining. You can do that by making sure that your physical movements around the performing area are appropriate and interesting; that you vary the speed and pitch of your speaking and that you remember to smile from time to time.
Your speech will be persuasive if it has been planned well in advance and even written in full. Certainly you will have the salient points on a card or piece of paper to keep you on track and to give you confidence. You will have rehearsed your speech to get it just right.
And in making the case to support the argument you are proposing, you must have excellent evidence in support of your claims. This is where proper research and strong preparation will stand you in good stead.
How do you engage your audience?
Eye contact is a key factor in engaging your audience. If a person listening to you sees you looking at them, it immediately creates a link. This is what you want. You want rapt attention and you'll go a long way to getting that by using and making proper eye contact.
A little bit of humour and natural humour at that is always welcome. You have not been engaged as a stand-up comedian so do not try to be one. But telling an anecdote or story and certainly using humour are both ways to effectively engage your audience.