Writing A Persuasive Speech - Dos And Don’ts

There’s hardly a student who makes it through school without having to write a persuasive speech or essay. In a persuasive speech you are trying to persuade the audience to consider or even agree with your point of view. It’s usually not the mainstream point of view. That’s where the challenge comes in.


  • Be too negative. Negativity isn’t a good way to persuade someone to believe what you are saying. Stay away from words such as disgusting or awful.
  • Use a strict either/or argument. This eliminates the opportunity to choose a point of view that lies somewhere in between two opposing poles.
  • Bring up a red herring. This refers to the strategy of using a diversion to throw your audience off onto the wrong track. Be careful because this is often unintentionally done.
  • Use vague terminology. Some words have multiple meanings; they do not do well in a persuasive speech.
  • Use the bandwagon persuasion technique. This is where you try to tell the audience that “everyone else is doing it.” It’s kind of a cheap and ineffective method for a persuasive speech. Your audience is smart enough to make up their own minds.


  • Use both facts and opinions to support your argument. A greater variety builds a better support to your side.
  • Organize your writing. Start with the weakest supportive evidence and build up to the strongest. This strategy will leave the best impression and make the most of your evidence.
  • Think about your audience. Who are you talking to? What is their background and life experience? How can you use this information to make a better persuasive speech?
  • Give examples and even incidents from real life. This will help your audience to really connect with you on a personal level. It will help your persuasive efforts.
  • Find a “hook” that you can use at the very beginning of the speech that will grab your audience’s attention and reel them in. A good hook is a personal incident or a powerful statistic that will astonish or amaze them.

As you are writing, remember the objective of your persuasive speech. Craft your evidence and supports around that objective. It’s kind of like building a house. You need a foundation, you need to keep in mind what your finished goal is, and everything you do in building that house is in conjunction with the final goal. Your persuasive speech is built in a similar fashion.


11 2016