At first, it is vital to spend a few minutes thinking about what you wish to achieve in your persuasive speech. As the great Yogi Berra confirms: “If you do not know where you are going, you will find yourself somewhere else.” So, do not waste your precious time and consider following tips.
What type of speech is it? Typical samples are based on informational (teaching and instruction), persuasive (when your objective is to change people’s behaviors and beliefs), and affective (aimed at the emotional reaction) methods.
Who is your target audience? What do they already know about the issue? What do they desire to hear? What should the audience find out from your speech? What do you want them to realize? Select 1-3 aspects that you want to convey to them. That will encourage them to do what you desire them to do.
Step 1: Organize the information
- Investigations in consumer psychology demonstrate that when you offer too many options and give too much information to the audience, their attention is distracted.
- Your speech should be clear and informative. Avoid confusing and chaotic statements. Break main thoughts and ideas into a few parts.
- The introduction is the best way to grab attention. Use a quote, story, question, statistics, even a joke – something that can hook the audience as quick as possible. “Good morning, and thank you for inviting me” – it’s not an exciting start.
- Explain your thesis. These key items should be based on points that you prepared earlier (what you want the audience to recognize or understand). Add stories, statistics, news, and examples from the personal experience, resonated with listeners. But do not cram it all in one place. Choose one or two ways to spice up each item and move on.
- Questions and answers. Some people think that the question should be left to the very end. But in this case, you allow the audience to determine what theme of the performance is over, indicating the tone of your voice. Use questions and answers before summarizing the whole speech in order to finish it on your own
- The conclusion is the most challenging and important part of your persuasive speech. You need to summarize central concepts and enhance the effect of the whole speech. What was said in the conclusion would be remembered longer. Complete unfinished thoughts, express inspiring conclusion to encourage people to think and act differently. As a rule, try to finish with spectacular and memorable statements, using “call to action” option.
Step 2: Speak with enthusiasm
Your task is not just to compose a speech, but also to demonstrate empathy, good humor, and perfect style. Make an eye contact with the audience, using gestures to generate energy, walk around the room (not too much), and let your voice and your face shine. You must show that you really care about your topic and your audience.