Convince Your Audience – The Persuasive Speech

WRITTEN August 18, 2016 Author: Rich Atkins

The goal of a persuasive speech or presentation is to influence and change the opinions and actions of others.

Some examples of the persuasive speech include: a sermon, a homily, a political campaign speech, a sales presentation, coaching another person or a group, a lawyer’s statements to a jury or judge, and even asking for a favor.

A successful persuasive communication puts the audience in a mental state of conflict. It attempts to show how the receiver’s ideas are in conflict with each other or with his/her behavior (“I’m thinking/saying one thing and doing something else”).

The truth is always the strongest argument.

The content for a persuasive speech is formed from opinion based on fact. Provide evidence that supports your viewpoint. Evidence can come from many sources, including: personal experience, interview, survey results, articles, books, audio/video media, and other visuals (charts, graphs, pictures).

Presentation Format

Follow this outline to organize your thoughts:

1. Introduction / Opening

  • Greeting
  • Attention getter
  • Claim
  • State purpose

2. Body

  • Main points
  • Reasons
  • Evidence

3. Conclusion / Summary

  • Restate and summarize main points
  • Keep audience involved
  • Present brief review of what has been said
  • Review value of the information to the listener
  • Close with firm appropriate “punch line” or “tag line”
  • Move audience to action

4. Questions and Answers

5. Closing Statement


This information is from our Public Speaking curriculum. If you’re looking for ways to improve your communication skills, register for one of our public classes.

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