Writing a persuasive speech
50 good persuasive speech topics
Good persuasive speech topics
50 persuasive speech ideas, plus example topic treatments
By: Susan Dugdale | Last modified: 06-02-2020 | First published: 10-01-2011
You want good persuasive speech topics and, fortunately I've got quite a few here. ☺
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 choice.
What's on this page:
How to be sure you are choosing the best topic
To be sure you make an informed decision, before you settle on a topic check the guidelines about what makes a good topic and the "how to" examples, as well as the list itself.
(Hint, (a not so subtle one): The absolutely best way to use my list is as a prompt to get your own creative juices working. That tip, combined with the series questions in the infographic below will help you cut through the time you spend dithering about trying to decide what topic to do.)
What makes a persuasive speech topic good?
A persuasive speech topic is good if it:
- fits with the audience - Are they interested in it? Does it benefit them in anyway? How is it of value to them? 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
- can be researched and prepared within the time frame you need the speech for
- fits the criteria and the purpose of your speech - set by yourself, your teacher, club, the organization who hired you to speak ...
Use the series of questions in the infographic below to narrow down your search for a good topic. As I've said in the infographic, the winner is the topic with the highest number of YES answers.
How to use this list of topics effectively
Treat each idea as a starting point - a hook to give your brain something to latch on to.
you scan the list look for the speech topics triggering more than a
flicker of interest. Stop and consider those more carefully. Examine
the topic from as many angles as you can. Apply imagination. Shake, rattle
and roll that idea around and use the questions in the infographic to
see whether it fits your needs.
And remember, 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 - the impact of a teacher's voice on students" - Example 1
The Intended Audience: teachers
Speaker Credibility: many years of teaching English and drama, plus public speaking experience
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
- 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's really interesting how much voice quality influences our lives.)
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
- 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.
voice quality or voice image be changed?
Why would you do/not do that?
Provide researched examples of before and after work on voice.
of working/not working on voice image - Give results - better classroom
atmosphere, more on-target behavior, less time off with voice strain
*For sound, trustworthy information on how voice quality impacts on student learning please visit my page: How is your teaching voice? You'll find links to academic studies, and more. Voice does matter!
- How to work on voice image - outline of action and time line involved
- Sign up for workshop and ongoing public speaking course
"Voice Matters - the benefit of a good telephone voice" 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:
Audience: job seekers
Speaker Credibility: senior recruitment specialist for a major firm in town
Speech Angle: to persuade listeners that their telephone voice, (how they say what they say), 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
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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- Sport is the new religion.
- Social media affects mental health.
- There should be a law against drugged driving
- Truth and politics seldom mix.
- Protests are effective.
- All guns should be registered.
- Should single people be allowed to adopt a child.
- Exploitative advertising should be banned.
- Love is not a defense or an excuse.
- Adoption of other-race children should be encouraged.
- Space aliens exist.
- Euphemisms are dangerous.
- Children should not be allowed mind altering drugs of any sort.
- Arranged marriages have more chance of succeeding.
- The quality of our voice matters.
- Assisted suicide should be made legal.
- Government benefits weaken a country.
- Discrimination makes you stronger.
- Private education/schools promote elitism.
- Religion has no place in schools.
- Good or right thinking is a matter of opinion.
- Multi-national corporates should be outlawed.
- Immigration laws are there to protect us.
- We should buy locally to support our communities.
- To be vegan is the only right and moral way to live.
- Fashion cripples creativity
- Cars and city centers should not mix.
- Birth control should be compulsory for people with genetically inheritable diseases.
- A young single girl who has a child should give it up for adoption.
- Age gives a face character.
- The earth is smaller today.
- Swearing has lost its shock value.
- Organic farming is the way for the future.
- Plastic packaging should be banned.
- Manners are essential.
- Allowing yourself to have fun is good for your health.
- Reincarnation is the only way to explain some experiences.
- The death penalty is obsolete.
- Drones need to be regulated to protect privacy.
- Safety legislation leads to diminished personal responsibility.
- A big brand doesn't necessarily mean big value.
- Diets do more harm than good.
- Oil drilling is dangerous for the environment.
- Food does not make you fat.
- Advances in medicine are not necessarily good for us.
- Big brother is more alive and well every day.
- Death is not final.
- Community service should be compulsory for everyone.
- Everyone should have the right to wear what they wish.
- Addiction is an illness, not a crime. Alcoholics or drug addicts do not belong in prison.
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, (fully explained with an example speech) 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.
Another 295 persuasive speech topic ideas
- 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.