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Good persuasive speech topics

50 speech ideas, plus "how to" examples

You want good persuasive speech topics and, fortunately I've got some!

Good persuasive speech topics button

My list of 50 is below.

However whether they are good for you and your audience is something to seriously think about before making your final decision.

To get the most out of the page do check the guidelines about what makes a good topic choice, and the "how to" examples, as well as the list itself. The best way to use that is as a guide to get your own creative juices working.

On this page

What makes a good persuasive speech topic?

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A persuasive speech topic is good if it:

  • fits its audience - Are they interested in it? Does it benefit them in anyway? Is it of value? Can you make it appealing? If it's an old topic, (one that has done a million times before), can you make it fresh and interesting?
  • is a fit with you - You already know something about it, or you're really interested in finding out more, and you know what want you to achieve through giving the speech.
  • can be researched and prepared within the time frame you need the speech for
  • fits the criteria and purpose of your speech - set by yourself, your teacher, club, the organization who hired you ...

Using the list

Treat each idea as a starting point - a hook to give your brain something to latch on to.

As you scan the list look for the speech topics triggering more than a flicker of interest. Stop and consider those more carefully. Examine them from as many angles as you can. Apply imagination - shake, rattle and roll the idea around to see whether it fits your needs.

Any topic can be handled multiple ways.

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Same topic - different treatment

Here are two examples to show you how the same topic can be adapted for different audiences. The topic is "Voice Matters".

"Voice Matters" Example 1

Vertical line of happy cartoon children

The Intended Audience: teachers

Speaker Credibility: many years of teaching English and drama, plus public speaking experience

Speech Angle: to persuade the listeners (teachers) that how their voices sound in their student's ears influences how they are responded to, how their students behave and ultimately how they learn.

Specific Speech Purpose: to have them sign up for a voice workshop

Main ideas:

  • Voice image - how we are perceived by others is influenced by voice quality. This in turn impacts on how we are responded to.  (Do check the link. It is all true.)
  • What is a good quality voice? What personality or character traits are attributed to a person who has a good voice? Use sound clips to demonstrate. Ask for suggestions from the floor. How could that affect students?
  • What is a poor quality voice? What do people assume about the speaker with that type of voice? How could that affect students?
  • How do you know what you sound like to others? Use prepared sound clip of self to demonstrate.
  • Can voice quality or voice image be changed? Why would you do/not do that? Provide researched examples of before and after work on voice.
  • Consequences of working/not working on voice image - Give results - better classroom atmosphere, more on-target behavior, less time off with voice strain ...
  • How to work on voice image - outline of action and time line involved
  • Sign up for workshop and ongoing public speaking course

"Voice Matters" Example 2

Someone else might come along looking for a good persuasive speech topic and pick "Voice Matters" too. This time the treatment goes like this:

Male call center worker on phone.

"Voice Matters" when calling about a job

Audience: job seekers

Speaker Credibility: senior recruitment specialist for a major firm in town

Speech Angle: to persuade listeners that their telephone voice is their initial calling card to getting an interview

Specific Speech Purpose: to have the seekers sign up for course on telephone skills to get the appointment they need

Main Ideas: As illustrated in the first example above because the core material is the same or similar but the examples used to carry the persuasive argument and benefits will be relevant to the audience.

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50 good persuasive speech topics

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  1. Sport is the new religion
  2. Miracles do happen
  3. There should be a law against drugged driving
  4. Truth and politics seldom mix.
  5. We get what we deserve
  6. Proverbs speak the truth
  7. Natural disasters are the earth's way of restoring balance
  8. Exploitative advertising should be banned
  9. Love is not a defense or an excuse
  10. Adoption of other-race children should be encouraged
  11. Space aliens exist
  12. Euphemisms are dangerous
  13. Children should not be allowed mind altering drugs of any sort
  14. Arranged marriages have more chance of succeeding
  15. How we pronounce our words matters
  16. Assisted suicide should be made legal
  17. Government benefits weaken a country
  18. Discrimination makes you stronger
  19. Private education/schools promote elitism
  20. Religion has no place in schools
  21. Good or right thinking is a matter of opinion
  22. Multi-national corporates should be outlawed
  23. Immigration laws are there to protect us
  24. Factory farming can be humane
  25. To be vegan is the only right and moral way to live
  26. Fashion cripples creativity
  27. Cars and city centers should not mix
  28. Birth control should be compulsory for people with genetically inheritable diseases
  29. A young single girl who has a child should give it up for adoption
  30. Age gives a face character
  31. The earth is smaller today
  32. Swearing has lost its shock value
  33. Most illness is avoidable
  34. Junk mail is essential reading
  35. Manners are essential
  36. Allowing yourself to have fun is good for your health
  37. Reincarnation is the only way to explain some experiences
  38. Illness occurs in the mind before it manifests in the body
  39. Getting older doesn't mean becoming feeble
  40. Safety legislation leads to diminished personal responsibility
  41. A big brand doesn't necessarily mean big value
  42. Diets do more harm than good
  43. Honesty is not the best policy
  44. Food does not make you fat
  45. Sometimes being cruel to be kind is the only way
  46. Advances in medicine are not necessarily good for us
  47. Big brother is more alive and well every day
  48. Death is not final
  49. Community service should be compulsory for everyone
  50. Everyone should have the right to wear what they wish

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More persuasive speech resources

For help turning your good persuasive speech topic into a fully fledged speech check these pages:

  • Persuasive Speech Outline
    Find out how to prepare an excellent speech outline using the classic persuasive speech structure: the 5 steps of Monroe's Motivated Sequence, and then download a blank speech outline to complete.
  • How to Write a Speech
    Step by step easily followed instructions for refining your outline into an effective speech.
  • If you haven't found the topic you want check this link for 50 more persuasive speech topics
  • And last but not least, read a sample persuasive speech that follows the persuasive speech outline referenced above.
    Please note though before you go to that page the subject is somber: the affect of suicide on families.