A persuasive speech puts across a point or a group of points to an audience in an effort to convince them or to seek their approval. As the name suggests, it is a speech that is crafted to persuade an audience to support a certain cause. You have probably listened to or read persuasive speech example that made you cry, that moved you, that made your emotions shake, and that made you stand up and clap in appreciation.
Excellent speeches are crafted to evoke emotions in an audience and to bring about a mind shift. A persuasive speech is, therefore, more than the simple combination of good ideas to be addressed to a crowd. The speech has to speak to every person in the audience and make them not only agree but also to support the writer’s ideas.
As you have probably noticed, not everything that can be written can be said, and the vice versa is also true. For example, there are words that we use when talking that are considered slang but cannot be used in writing. While this is no excuse for you to be informal when writing a persuasive speech, remember that whatever you write should be used to address an audience.
For example, deep descriptions, of the surrounding, like in a descriptive essay are unwise to use in a persuasive speech. Extremely difficult words and jargon is also unfit for a speech, especially if your audience is largely varied.
Speeches are largely influenced by the audience to be addressed. For example, if a doctor is invited to address fellow doctors in an annual conference, then his/her speech may be marred with technical jargon since the audience will be familiar with the language. However, the doctor will be forced to change the speech when addressing a group of high school students interested in pursuing a medical degree.
Understanding your audience will influence your choice of topic, words, length and the line of persuasion you should follow. For example, money may be a huge persuasion for students looking t become doctors, but a successful doctor will probably look forward to participating in a bigger cause such as starting a community hospital and seeking pro bono cases.
Knowing the kind of audience your speech is geared to address will also help you avoid politically incorrect, insensitive and language that is considered rude among a certain group. Remember that you cannot persuade a reader to support your idea if you create conflict by hinting at their wrongs, or suggesting superiority.
Like all works of literature, a persuasive speech should have a structure. For example, you may choose to start off with a personal story to captivate the audience, then proceed to present your ideas as a solution to a pre-existing problem. Afterward, you can finish off with a plea to the audience to join you or contribute to your cause. Whatever structure you decide to use, keep in mind that the goal is to persuade your readers and listeners at the end of the speech.
Before writing the speech, decide on the topic you wish to address. For example, if your speech is on the current healthcare system, ensure that you carry out enough research to learn about any problems and then provide viable solutions that your audience can agree with. Try and choose an interesting topic that will capture the listeners’ attention, and find enough points to support the speech.
Sometimes, the best way to learn is through an example. A persuasive speech example will help you understand how best to introduce your ideas to an audience. You will also learn how to greet everyone respectfully, and then proceed to the rest of the speech. The example will show you how to transition from one paragraph to another until you get to the conclusion.
Below are some of the greatest persuasive speeches in literature and contemporary culture
Julius Ceasar by Mark Antony
I Have a Dream By Martin Luther Jr
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