Many high schools have some type of public speaking assignments. These may be part of a formal speech class, or be a requirement in a communications type of class. Persuasive speeches are interesting as they allow you to explore a subject and take a stand on it. They also tend to be about controversial topics, which are also fun to research. Choose a topic that you will enjoy learning and speaking about.
An essay topic for teens to give a persuasive speech about is beauty pageants. As it is persuasive, the teen must pick a side. Thus, take the side of persuading the listeners that beauty pageants are exploitative of girls and women. In addition, talk about the kinds of messages they send to girls. Another option is to argue the opposite, that beauty pageants teach confidence and poise.
A persuasive speech topic that may reach teens is volunteering and whether it should be a requirement in schools. Discuss types of volunteering, such as at soup kitchens for homeless people or at an animal shelter. Present either view, whether volunteering should be required for high school students, or whether it should not be required.
As video games are a large part of American culture and are popular among teenagers, a persuasive speech for or against them would be good as a topic. Write a persuasive speech that states that video games are detrimental to learning and also contribute to violence. On the other side, argue that video games encourage creativity.