I Know I Can
Steps to an Effective Persuasive Speech
Step One: Focusing on the Subject
- The topic for a persuasive speech must be clear. There must be a reason for arguing.
- In order to focus on the subject, first write a sentence that indicates what you want the listener to think.
Step Two: Studying the Listener's Position
Since you assume that the listener is opposed to your point of view, put yourself in the listener's place. Anticipate his or her concerns by answering the following questions:
- What is the listener's position on this issue?
- What information does the listener have/not have which is relevant to the issue?
Step Three: Thinking Through the Arguments
Answer the following questions about your point of view:
- What information can I give the listener to make his or her current position uncomfortable?
- What facts, statistics, examples or illustrations will help the listener see the importance of changing his or her position?
- What information can I include that will negate the listener's arguments?
- What personal appeal will most likely cause the listener to take action?
Step Four: Doing the Research
- Seek out facts and arguments to support your argument.
- Read about opposing arguments to understand the other point of view and be able to refute it.
Step Five: Getting the Arguments on Paper
- The speaker must somehow appeal to the listener in order to change his or her position or opinion. Consider using: logic, emotional appeal, believability.
- Begin with your topic sentence and provide supporting arguments.
Step Six: Revising/Analyzing the Content
After you have written the first draft, ask:
- Have I included a clear topic sentence, either at the beginning or the end?
- Is the information easy to follow with clear, concise sentences?
- Have I refuted the major opposing arguments and given additional supporting arguments?
- Do I show an understanding of both points of view?