Are persuasive speech techniques worth learning? Let me rephrase this…Would you love to be able to convince, inspire, change peoples’ minds about something? Alternatively, perhaps you would like to bargain better and become a powerful negotiator in your business, sales efforts, salary negotiation, fundraising, and so on?
Let me help you: The answer (s) is a resounding YES! Learning how to convince, persuade, or sell your ideas to people is an invaluable skill that will help you in your career, personal life, and business.
This is one of our posts on the types of speech series, should you be interested in learning about other types of speeches, go ahead and click below whichever you feel like reading more about – when you are done reading this article. Now, let’s go right into this topic.
Types of Speech Series
Persuasive speeches: You should know that the power of being persuasive is not possessed by a lot of people. It takes mastering key techniques to change the mentality or belief of your audience with just mere words.
The importance of possessing the skill of how to persuade can never be overemphasized. While an individual with little or no skill might take several weeks to persuade you, an individual with tremendous persuasive skills can easily persuade you on the same topic with just one speech.
If you want a clear example of this, then watch this video of the persuasive speech that made Barack Obama President and the analysis by experts of how he connected with the audience and sold it!
The reason why people use persuasive speech is to inform, educate, and cajole or inspire an audience to engage or believe in a particular thing.
With this persuasive speech above, Obama made millions of people believe, and you too can and should be able to do that, with the right technique, topic and approach to the speech.
PERSUASIVE SPEECH TECHNIQUES YOU SHOULD ADOPT
1. Have your goal in mind:
Since persuasive speech is used in convincing an audience to engage or believe in something (more strongly), then you should never fall in the traps below.
- Do not just give insufficient information about something. Also, do not invest too much of your time talking about the history of a dispute, except if it aims at achieving your goal.
- Do not just make complaints about a particular thing. You should rather convince your audience to do something about it if it is that bad.
- Try your best to stay positive, even when given the opportunity to talk badly about someone or something
- Ensure that the power of your message is conveyed right from the start of your speech, by preparing and crafting the best speech opening possible. I have shared some tips on how you can achieve that in this post, you should check it out.
2. Know your audience:
To learn how to persuade, you must be utterly ready to learn how to do audience analysis. This analysis aims at making you know who exactly is your audience, as well as what they want to hear. This will, however, be put into consideration when tailoring your persuasive speech to match their interests.
The ability to know who your audience is is incontestably one of the best persuasive skills any leader can possess. With this skill, you already know what your audience already knows and what they are game to know.
3. Place your emphasis on your audience:
It is crucial to understand that your mission is not to only pass your message across to a number of people but to also change their minds immediately after the message is passed across. For this reason, one of the persuasive skills you have to develop is the ability to make your audience feel as if their opinions and needs are profoundly cared for.
You should learn to talk to your audience, rather than talking at your audience – this is a critical technique to ensure your persuasive speech can have the desired effect on your audience.
4. Start building credibility right from your introduction:
This is not necessarily considered when talking about persuasive skills because it is rather perceived as an effective measure to keep an audience-focused. Nonetheless, I believe that the ability to build credibility is a remarkable skill, and not everyone can possess it.
When writing a persuasive speech, you should invest enough time to perfect your introduction because it has the means to make or break you.
Your introduction can be a great determinant as regards establishing a presence all through your speech. You should come across as a credible speaker, leader, and influencer, right from your introduction.
Please avoid sounding like a snob. The idea is not to brag, rather it is to make your audience understand where you are coming from, your expertize and experiences and why that topic, in particular, is important to them, and feel that you of all people are best suited to deliver that speech.
5. Always use examples:
If you are the type that does not know how to make use of examples that match a particular instance, then you might not know how to persuade. Making use of examples is ferociously effective when it comes to persuading an audience. It can help you in the following ways:
- Examples serve as logical appeal and logos. They are effective in proving any particular point. For example, it is more convincing to give an example of when and how a particular thing happened than just saying that it can happen.
- Examples serve as emotional appeal and pathos. Examples usually come with an emotional edge.
- Your audience will definitely find real-life examples more fascinating than just telling them the opinion you have written in your script.
6. New approaches:
No matter how professionally and intriguingly written your persuasive speech is, your effort to persuade an audience would yield a miscarriage if you are telling them the same old things they already know. For this reason, it is a must to surprise your audience with good points that they have never heard before.
You can as well make use of metaphors and stories to buttress your point. This is amongst the persuasive skills you must possess as a leader, together with the ability to make logical comparisons that your audience can relate to.
7. Make your speech emotional:
A leader who knows how to persuade his followers always ensures that he is never insensitive and cares about the feelings of his followers. Emotion is pivotal when it comes to convincing someone to believe you.
If your intent is to persuade me, and I do not feel anything while listening to you, you will most definitely end up not changing my preconceived notion about the topic you spoke on.
You have to talk to me in a way that touches my life before you can successfully persuade me to believe your perception.
Another skill you have to possess together with your persuasive skills is how to use emotional language to convince and motivate people.
8. Practice, and keep practicing:
You cannot become a master at using persuasive speech to influence a large audience in one day. You have to be committed to learning and building up yourself religiously. Check out this post on public speaking tips for beginners.
All the required and aforementioned techniques needed to deliver a great persuasive speech are developmental and can become obsolete and non-effective when you stop developing them.
HOW TO CHOOSE PERSUASIVE SPEECH TOPICS
We have discussed what a persuasive speech is, and a few techniques on how to craft and deliver them. Now, let us move on to deciding a topic for this type of speech, from my experience and that of many others this can sometimes be brain-racking, but putting the factors below into consideration can make you decide faster.
- Familiarity: Choose a topic that you are familiar with. Delivering a speech you are acquainted with is usually easier and better.
- Interest: Choose a topic that you will be keen to do and enjoy doing research on. Factually, when you love what you are doing, you will do it better.
- The interest of the audience: When deciding on what topic to discuss about, you should also consider what topic the audience will be interested in.
The interest of the audience is even more important than your interest. This is the point where your persuasive skills have to come to place; you have to be able to identify what topic your audience will pay more attention to.
- Use visual language: When trying to choose a topic for your persuasive speech, you should consider choosing a topic that you can explore on in a descriptive manner. Every leader/influencer that knows how to persuade an audience knows that this is important in allowing the audience to visualize, and thereby making it possible to convince them more easier.
- New topic: There are so many topics that have been spoken about innumerable times. If you know most of your audience must have heard about the topic you have in mind, why don’t you just go for something different and unique? Or, perhaps a completely new approach to a classic topic.
- Emotional topics: Emotions are good motivators – therefore they are important in making you achieve your aim. It is wise to go for an emotional topic, for topics that are emotional make it easier to persuade an audience.
- Relatable: Stating that you should go for a unique topic does not imply that you should go for a strange topic. People love listening to issues that are affecting them, their environment, their country, and many more. These topics are considered to be relatable, and for this reason, people are more interested in listening to these types of topics.
- Desired outcome: When deciding the topic of your persuasive speech, you should first of all think about your aim of writing the speech. What you want from your audience after listening to you is a great factor to consider before choosing a topic. Have a clear action plan at the end.
Now that you have already fathomed the persuasive skills and techniques required of you as a leader/influencer/speaker, as well as some useful tips on how to persuade an audience, some examples of persuasive speech topics are listed for you below. You can get a bigger list on my other post, where I shared over 120 topics and ideas for persuasive speeches across several niches.
- Should taming be done to wild animals?
- Should people be able to purchase exotic animals?
- Should it be mandatory for every student to learn at least one instrument in school?
- Should graffiti be included as part of arts?
- Who should take the blame for the increase in prices of energy?
- Should buyers be mandated to tip waiters in restaurants?
- Should euthanasia be legalized?
- Does the consumption of meat depreciate health?
- Should it be mandatory to vote during elections?
- Should drug addicts be incarcerated or treated?
- Should all Muslims be blamed for the actions of a few misguided ones?
- Should cultism and religion be considered as the same thing?
- Should the parents of a child be invested with the means to decide the sex of their yet-to-be-born child?
- Should a ban be placed on smoking in public?
I am a firm believer that learning and mastering the use of persuasive speech and becoming an influencer who inspires others to rethink and perhaps change their preconceived ideas is a great investment of time.
As a leader, an influencer, a speaker, a salesperson, or even as an entrepreneur we all could benefit of the ability to persuade others and have them buy into our ideas, products, services, and/or social causes such as fundraising events.
Follow up the tips shared in this post whenever you have to deliver an important speech or negotiate a deal or salary on a job interview, I am sure they should prove invaluable in making you achieve your intended goals.
Thank you so much for reading this far and I hope these tips helped you. I am curious to know what other tips you would suggest to all those wishing to learn more about persuasion and delivering persuasive speeches.