A persuasive speech is not too far from a persuasive essay. The main difference is that a persuasive speech is spoken. These two share the same goal of persuading the reader or the audience to accept or agree to your stand, and they mainly use the same modes of persuasion. However, unlike the persuasive essay, the persuasive speech is subject to different, harsher realities because you actually need to read it to an audience, and in the process, you are likely to see their varied reactions. Your speech’s topic is key to writing a compelling speech and consequently keeping your audience engaged.
The first tip for choosing a topic for a persuasive speech: it should be a topic that you’re interested in, at the very least. Aside from the fact that this will keep you motivated to research and write your speech, your passion for the topic will surely shine through and intrigue your audience. Your passion will inevitably contribute to your persuasiveness because your audience will likely infer that you have done your research and are genuine in your motivation.
It goes without saying that in choosing a topic for a persuasive speech, you should choose one that is relevant. This, fortunately, ought not to be much of a burden because there is a higher chance that a topic that you’re already passionate about is relevant to your community, or even your country. This point is not so much about choosing a topic for a persuasive speech but choosing an angle or perspective. Take, for example, how the discourses concerning rape has twisted and turned in the last few years.
This aspect is three-pronged: your academic level, your audience’ s academic level, and searchability.
- Consider your academic level. The general rule of thumb is that you should be able to explain your topic and argue in your own words, confidently. Since you’re still studying, there’s a lot more than you don’t know, even about topics you know a lot about. You’re not an expert yet, so don’t attempt to take on expert-level topics just yet. This is not to say that you shouldn’t learn something new; just that you should keep your limitations in mind when choosing a topic for your persuasive speech.
- Consider your audience’s academic level. No matter who your audience is, keep in mind that you are speaking for them, not just for yourself. Your goal is to persuade them, not simply express your opinion. So, this means that your audience should be able to understand and appreciate what you talk about, so that they may agree with you.
- Searchable. Certain topics can be difficult to write about simply because there are few articles and studies about them available. So, before finalizing your choice of topic, try to give it a search online or in the library (this will give you a head start on your sources, too) to see if there are credible articles that you can use.