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Persuasive Speaking – A Template for Presentation

When we take a stand on an issue and advocate for others, we sometimes need to give persuasive speeches. We use persuasive speaking when we are trying to give an opinion or convince the audience to adopt an idea. To effectively persuade people, we need to start by describing the context of the problem to get everyone on the same page before advocating for a specific plan or idea. Even when we disagree, it is helpful to frame issues in terms of a larger, universal purpose that we can all understand.

For persuasive speeches, you should begin by outlining your central argument. All arguments cover the following key pieces of information:

  • Claim: a short statement about your belief or opinion.
  • Warrant: your reasoning, examples, and logic that backs up your claim.
  • Impact: the implications of your point and why it matters, especially in the long run.

12 Tips for Persuasive Speaking:

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Identify an argument with multiple sides, going beyond what your audience already believes.

Connect to universal themes and frame the importance to everyone, not just to you.

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Start your speech with the context behind the issue and magnitude of the problem.

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State the central question you want to answer along with the main need and central claim.

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Elaborate on the problem or issue at hand with examples and logical reasoning.

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Explain what is happening in the status quo and why it isn’t enough.

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Compare your arguments with the arguments on the other side.

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Tell us what should be done and how it will solve the problem.

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Describe what the world looks like with your solution, compared to without your solution.

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Illustrate what your solution will look like in the short-term and in the long-term.

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Throughout your speech, use intentional repetition of key messages or takeaways.

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Use strong and powerful action words and vivid and colorful descriptive language.

The following template can be used to organize content in a persuasive presentation.

Description Example
1. Describe the context/purpose of your talk. Tell a story that describes a moment that captures the central issue at hand, or mention something about the local context that we need to consider.
2. State the central question you want to answer. “Therefore, today, we need to consider the issue of whether…”
3. State the main need and thesis sentence and preview what you will cover. “We need….” “Today, I will cover three arguments...first...second...finally….”
4. Elaborate on the problem or issue at hand, using reasoning, statistics, research, and other expert opinion. “According to…”
5. Make an argument that is fairly easy to grasp as a result of expert opinion. “From this research, we can see that…”
6. Make an argument that dives into a more specific and nuanced aspect of an issue, such as arguing about the effects on a specific population. Offer reasoning to support your point. “Now, let’s consider the impact of this issue on….” “This is supported by…”
7. Make a final argument about the ripple effects and why this issue will not change without action. “Without action, this problem will continue affecting…” “Over time, this will lead to….”
8. State your call to action and clearly outline what you want the audience to do with this information. If you have a specific solution or plan, describe what the plan will take to implement. “Therefore, we need to take the following action…” “We can accomplish this by implementing a plan that…”
9. End with a comparative conclusion and repeat your final core message. “If we do not take action then…” “With this plan, then…”
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