Organ donation is a sensitive topic for many people; giving a persuasive speech about it can be an angst-ridden affair. Not only do you have to deal with the pressure of public speaking, but you are broaching a subject that is the speculation of many rumours and strong feelings. Fortunately, there is no reason to worry. Choose the tone and topic of your speech wisely; you will not only put your audience at ease, but enlighten them regarding organ donation as well.
Scarcity of Organs
The first way you might convince your audience to become organ donors is to explain the shortage of organs currently available. Many individuals assume that everyone who needs an organ can get one immediately, but this is far from the case. People often languish for months -- if not years -- on organ donor lists. Sadly, a great number of them die waiting for a salvation that never comes. Get recent statistics for your state or area regarding the number of people on waiting lists as opposed to the number of organ receivers; incorporate this information into your speech.
Another way you can discuss organ donation is to allay fears about it interfering with a person's religion. Many people are under the mistaken impression that their religion does not support organ donation. On the contrary: this miraculous gift is encouraged by almost all major religions. Talk to local spiritual leaders; try to get direct quotations from them to add to your speech. If audience members with further questions can be referred to the spiritual leaders, that is even better in terms of making the potential donors more comfortable with organ donation.
Continuity of Life
Organ donation can be a frightening topic for some because they associate the process with death. Consider these viewpoints and address them in your speech. Stress that organ donation is not about death but about life. Becoming a donor does not hasten anyone's demise, but it might mean a loss of life to someone who needs a vital organ. Urge your audience to consider promoting the continuity of life through organ donation and creating a legacy for themselves that honours this concept.
Many individuals put off becoming an organ donor because they fear the process is complicated. This is untrue. No doctors or lawyers are needed to complete the process. Simply check off "organ donor" on the back of most state driver's licenses. If you do not have a license, fill out an Advanced Directive (forms can be found on the web) and make your family aware of your selfless decision to become a donor.
- Organ Donation: Opportunities for Action by Committee on Increasing Rates of Organ Donation; James F. Childress and Catharyn T. Liverman; 2006
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