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  • Takes a problem-solution approach to present a societal issue

  • Is a great way to gain a thorough and multifaceted understanding of a real-world problem

  • Employs a wide range of presentation techniques (tone, pace, gesture, etc.)

  • Encourages both creative and analytic problem solving



Persuasive speeches take the problem-solution approach to present a societal issue. Speakers will select a topic they are passionate about and take time to research and thoroughly craft a speech on that issue. These speeches invite a wide range of topics; as long as there is a problem, there can be a speech. Possible topics include access to education, food insecurity, the ethics of artificial intelligence in warfare, or even the legal issues with avocado imports. Persuasive speeches allow speakers to understand a specific issue in great detail and then encourages speakers to transform their knowledge into a communicable format that can be understood by various audiences. 


Persuasive speeches are always prepared speeches. Well before the presentation, the speaker takes time to research their topic thoroughly. After looking at a variety of sources that depict the problem from multiple perspectives (news articles, interviews, videos, books, etc.) the speaker begins to devise a solution. Sometimes a possible solution will be indicated in the research, other times the speaker will take it upon themselves to formulate a unique solution.


After having a comprehensive idea of both the problem and solution, the speaker will begin to write their speech. In the writing process, the speaker can either write out the entire speech to memorize or can write a progression of notes they will use to jog their memory. In the junior category, persuasive speeches range from 5-7 minutes and in the senior category they range from 7-10 minutes.


When presenting, minimal notes are permitted. Often, notes are entirely unnecessary as the speaker knows their material incredibly well. These speeches are of a serious and persuasive nature but can also include humour and wit for emphasis. As these speeches are incredibly content dense, employing a variety of presentation techniques is essential. As a speaker practices their persuasive speech, they will identify areas where it would be advantageous to speak softer (to draw the audience in), slower (to ensure comprehension), or with more drama (to appeal to the emotions of the audience). Speakers will also include hand and body gestures as appropriate. 


As the name suggests, these speeches must be of a persuasive nature. The persuasive aspect of these speeches comes through both the material and the presentation. The culmination of the research and practice should enable the speaker to persuade the audience that their approach to the problem and solution is correct.


Persuasive speeches require dedication and perseverance, yet are tremendously rewarding upon completion. Researching a particular issue will allow the speaker to have a thorough understanding of that issue and how that issue interacts with other parts of the world. Furthermore, developing a solution requires creativity and critical analysis of existing structures in the world. Using a variety of presentation techniques teaches speakers how to be efficacious communicators on subjects of which they are experts.

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