Persuasive speeches are used in a variety of contexts, including business, social justice and religious. They are also given in speech classes. They are sometimes designed to present a solution to a problem and encourage people to act on that solution. They can be motivational and inspiring, causing people to want to do something to assist the speaker in solving the problem or to look at the problem in a new light.
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Some persuasive speech topics have been overdone in the media and in society. For example, no one would say that smoking is a good idea. An antismoking speech would be a topic to avoid since almost everyone agrees with it. If you are giving a persuasive speech, either approach a stale topic in a new way or avoid it entirely. Find a new idea or a new twist to keep your audience interested and engaged.
Good topics generally are controversial in some way to wider society. They are topics people have strong feelings about. Persuasive speeches are often used in debates to set forth a few points about a topic that the speaker believes strongly in. He tries to convince the audience that his point of view is better than that of his opponent.
Some examples of persuasive speech topics are: illegal immigration, legalising gambling where it is currently not permitted, foreign policy, discrimination laws and whether global warming is a true or false premise. Some other topics include: whether home businesses are good for families; whether celebrities should dabble in politics; the need for pet vaccinations; whether restaurants should be able to choose if they are going to be smoke-free; and foreign aid.
Other examples of persuasive speech topics include illiteracy, bilingual education, positive discrimination, how to increase the time employees work for the company, how to increase international sales, the best ways to promote a good work-family balance and the necessity of retraining older vehicle drivers.
You might also base your speech around the following ideas: plastic surgery, joining the Peace Corps, street racing, the necessity of building a park in your neighbourhood, ways to cut business costs or burial versus cremation.
Whichever topic you choose, it should be appropriate for your audience, interesting, enlightening and supported by facts and logical details.
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