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Persuasive Speech: Selecting a Catchy Topic
If you’re taking a speech, English, or communications class, you’re likely to receive a persuasive speech assignment. Choosing a fun and engaging topic is critical. Here is a list of tips to help you choose a topic and present it in a persuasive manner.
Before jumping right in to choosing a topic, brainstorm about things you actually enjoy talking about. Think about hobbies, political issues, ideas, art forms, sports—anything you really enjoy having a good conversation about. Much of your time spent conversing is actually spent trying to persuade your listener of something. Tapping in to a topic that you enjoy will make the entire process much more enjoyable.
Ruling Out Bad Topics
Sometimes it’s easiest to narrow things down by ruling out the topics that won’t work first. Topics that aren’t at all controversial should be tossed out immediately. Topics which don’t have two sides won’t work either, because there’s nothing to persuade your audience of.
Choose an Interesting Topic
Choose a topic that piques your own interest, which you’ll enjoy learning more about. Don’t assume you won’t need to research for you persuasive speech—it’s through research that you’ll likely find the most persuasive arguments. One exercise is to choose your topic without forming your own opinion on it until you research. Through your research, thoughtfully consider all sides of the issue, and then determine what you’ll aim to persuade your audience of.
Choose Your Angle
Don’t just list reasons to try and persuade your audience. You’ll want to appeal to them in some manner—appeal to their ethics, their morals, their self-interest, their sense altruism. Remember that a persuasive speech is more about coaxing the audience into changing their point of view, rather than tearing their opinions down. Whenever possible, argue in favor of your own proposition rather than against another position. In choosing your topic, choose one which you can identify a good persuasive angle for.
Persuasive speeches that keep a positive attitude are often the most effective, so choose a topic you can be positive about! If you choose a negative angle, you’ll find that those who initially don’t agree will be that much more resistant to changing their opinions. By remaining positive overall and only using more aggressive, negative statements for impact once you’ve begun to win your audience over, your speech will be far more persuasive.