Wednesday, April 16, 2014
When you persuade others, you use language, images, and other means of communication to influence their attitudes, beliefs, values, or actions. Persuasive speeches may address questions of fact, value, or policy. Speeches on questions of fact ask whether something is true or not true. Speeches on questions of value take a position on the worth of something. And speeches on questions of policy are concerned with what should or should not be done. Speeches on questions of fact typically are organized using topical, chronological, spatial, or cause-and-effect pattern. Speeches on questions of value are best organized using a topical, chronological, or spatial pattern. Because speeches on questions of policy ask for action or passive agreement on the part of the audience, the problem-solution, problem-cause-solution, or motivated sequence are the best patterns of organization for such speeches.
In general, persuasive speakers face five types of audiences: negative, positive, divided, uninformed, and apathetic. Each type calls for different persuasive strategies. Negative audiences require persuasive speakers to thoroughly demonstrate their credibility, take a common-ground approach, visualize the topic in positive ways, and address audience objections. Persuasive public speakers facing positive audiences use narratives, engaging evidence, vivid language and images, and calls to action to reinforce listeners' opinions. When speaking to a divided audience, persuasive speakers must integrate the strategies for negative and positive audiences. Uninformed audiences require speakers to use motivational tactics, demonstrate expertise, rely on repetition and redundancy, and employ subtle persuasive strategies. For apathetic audiences, speakers must gain and maintain audience attention, relate the topic to the audience, display dynamism, and take a one-sided approach to the topic.
Ethical public speakers must meet the National Communication Association's standards of ethical communication. Ethical persuasive speakers present their information and arguments truthfully, accurately, and honestly, and never deceive or manipulate the audience.
Persuasion Commentary Example:
Keith Olberman on Health Care :
Persuasive Speech Lesson Review:
Persuasive Designs, Structures, Organizational Patterns:
Partial Topics List:
Why Seek Out Opposing Views:
International Debate Education Association
This site features an online database of information
on debate topics, as well as discussion boards
on a range of debate-related topics.
Media Education Foundation
Develops and distributes documentaries
encouraging critical thinking about media content.
The news page includes articles on a wide range
of issues that often address mass persuasion,
such as drug company advertising, the
commercialization of childhood,
and product placement in movies.
Dr. Hugh Rank, Professor Emeritus
of English at Governors State University,
provides information for students
and teachers on ways to analyze persuasion
in advertising and political rhetoric.
Pros and Cons of Controversial Issues
A good resource for identifying possible
persuasive speech topics, the website's goal
is to promote “education and informed
citizenship by presenting controversial issues
in a simple, nonpartisan
primarily pro-con format."