How to Draft the Best Persuasive Speech Outline?

When we think of good communication, we refer to expressing ourselves assertively, effectively conveying our ideas, desires, and dissatisfaction, thus inspiring other people.

One of the most critical aspects of this communication is the power of persuasion. Many people confuse influence with manipulation, but these are very different concepts!

To persuade a person or a group of people is to offer strong arguments capable of inciting a new way of thinking and acting. As we can see, it is not the same as forcing others to have the same opinions as ours, but instead expressing and defending our views through good communication.

To develop persuasive oratory skills, it is necessary to be aware of some items that support good communication. This article has separated the most important pillars for a compelling oratory.

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3 Pillars of Persuasive Oratory

  1. ETHOS

 Ethos is the element responsible for convincing your audience that you have a solid character and that your words have credibility. Before your talk, it should be established to facilitate acceptance of what you say.

 When your ethos is high, your audience pays more attention to what you say, primarily because they assume you will say something useful, but mainly because they respect you. In contrast, when your ethos is low, your audience will tend not to open up to hear what you say.

 The fact is, your audience establishes whether or not you are trustworthy using their moral principles and values ​​as metrics;  moreover, the more they identify with you, the more likely they are to buy your speech as accurate. Therefore, be aware of the audience you want to convince, seeking to gain their trust.

  1. PATHOS

 Pathos is the persuasion element of the presentation by appealing to the listener’s emotions and feelings. As a speaker or interviewee, you want your viewer to connect emotionally with you, and for that, you try to influence them based on the speech subtly.

 If you have low pathos, it will likely try to find fault with your arguments.

 Inseparable from the use of ethos, mastery of pathos makes the conquest of emotions more likely that the audience is more likely to be persuaded and act upon their requests from there.

 Furthermore, this combination increases the chances that your audience will understand your point of view and accept your arguments.

  1. LOGOS

 Logos uses logic, relies on the audience’s intelligence, and offers evidence supporting your argument. Like pathos, logos is also intrinsically connected to ethos because information makes you look like the holder of that knowledge.

 You mustn’t underestimate the intelligence of your audience – whether it’s your boss, an interviewer, or students – nor overestimate it because in both cases, you will sound arrogant.

 Offering data or information that proves what you are talking about in a simplified way is fundamental to making your listeners pay attention to what you are saying, especially since logical arguments that make sense are not easily dismissed.

types of speech styles

10 Steps to build the Best Persuasive Speech Outline

1. Arouse curiosity

To arouse an audience’s curiosity, stand with a stable posture and gaze. Then start your speech by giving the audience the impression that they are in the middle of a conversation. To hook, there are four ways to do it: surprise, interact, concern, or tell.

Here you have a few examples to illustrate:

StatementsStrategies
“2 minutes is the average time you need focused on a negative aspect to ruin your all day.”Surprise with figures
“You will never be paid what you are worth! Never!”Surprising statement
“Please close your eyes and imagine.”Interactive Experience
“Have you ever wondered why some people are more successful than others? Well (introduce statistics or a surprise statement).”Concern by bringing up a question
“Serge had been working for eight years in a bar. One day, a client approached him…”Story Telling

2. Introduce – 2 key ideas and appropriate language

Before you write a speech, be aware of the main ideas you would like to share with the crowd. Please choose two ideas maximum, and if there are too many, your listeners will shut down. It is a trap in which we too often fall.

Imagine that you have a 45-minute presentation, you have chosen too many ideas to deliver because you are passionate, but no matter how much you rehearse it, you seem to forget some of them.

The day has arrived, and you are planning too much, talking too fast, and running after your slides. 

So things get out of control nothing; keep in mind the two main messages to convey. Whatever the situation, you will know how to adapt.

3. The Problem must be Clear and Relatable

 Before persuading others, you must desire to change something in the world.  

Therefore, your speech must begin with describing the state of affairs at the origin of your commitment. The secret is to describe this state of affairs in two aspects: i) the qualitative aspect and ii) the quantitative aspect. 

 In other words, it is a matter of giving a depth idea of the subject (for example, with the description of a concrete case) and of its scale (for example, with the help of statistics).

4. Arguments – Check your sources

That’s it, and the audience is ready. You can provide figures, weight references, study results. Now that the audience knows where to hang up these notions, back them up with arguments.  

5. Cause

Once you have described the problem, you need to identify its cause. 

 This is a crucial step in persuasion: the more specific you are in identifying the source of the problem, the more effective your solution will be.

6. Know how to tell your story

Tell personal and relatable stories that show the audience that you follow your recommendations, making them more likely to believe you.

Don’t forget that statistics and citations should be up-to-date and from reliable sources, as this increases your credibility and, consequently, your ethos.

Plus, storytelling is a quick way to establish an emotional connection, which will increase your pathos.

7. The Solution

 When it comes to the presentation of the solution, it is a question of being as concrete as possible.

  It is not simply a question of stating ideas but detailing a procedure to follow. Finally, you will have to engage your audience in this march.

8. Call to Action

The call to action is to be creative and inspirational enough. And for a good reason: we are inundated with calls to action (“click here,” “donate here,” “watch this”). 

 Moreover, these calls to action often neglect the intelligence of the public. You have probably already been confronted with messages like: “give me your email address, I will send you five tips to become a millionaire without leaving your home.” 

 These calls to action are neither believable nor inspiring. You see what you have to do: come up with an activity that makes sense.

A great example of a persuasive Call to Action

 After a week of work, I liked to relax by taking a walk in the park in my neighborhood.  

Today, these walks no longer relax me: they sadden me and annoy me. Lawns, benches, barriers, and groves are disfigured by picnic leftovers, empty cans, fast-food wrappers, and packets of cigarettes thrown there by negligence or maliciousness. 

 We have to face reality: our cities, our countryside, our streets, our roads, our beaches, and our forests are getting dirtier and dirtier.

 We could blame the lack of public trash cans, the inefficiency of cleaning services, and the absence of a culture of cleanliness among a growing segment of our population.

 What if, instead of wallowing in complaints, we took matters into our own hands?

 Get the habit of picking up, from time to time, a can or a pack of cigarettes lying around in your street. 

If you’re afraid of getting dirty, try putting on gloves. Then throw the waste in the nearest trash you can.

 It’s a small gesture that costs you nothing and changes everything. By this gesture, you become a protector of your city; you contribute to improving your environment and neighbors.

 Let’s see the Big Picture: you have the power to start a real revolution. Before throwing away the litter you have picked up, take a picture of it. Then share the photo on social media. By doing so, you are showing others the way forward. By doing so, you indicate your solidarity with those who, like you, lead a daily fight for a more beautiful planet.

9. Know who you’re talking to

Research your audience, mainly focusing on the traits you share, so you know how to appeal to them.

 If you are speaking at a conference, for example, arriving early at the presentation venue demonstrates to the audience that you want to be there and share an experience, so they are more likely to see you as similar to them.

 If the venue requires information to publicize your presentation, emphasize your ethos in this material so people know why they should come and see your talk.

10. Use analogies and metaphors.

Linking your ideas to something your listeners already know and feel strongly about can trigger emotional responses. To do this, use emotionally charged, vivid, sensory words that allow the audience to experience the emotion.

 Make sure the emotion you want to induce is appropriate for the context. For example, if you are in a debate, positive emotions such as joy should be associated with your claims. Negative emotions such as anger should be linked to your rival’s claims.

Conclusion

Begin your speech by showing your credibility and character. Show the audience that you are committed to the well-being of others, and you will earn their trust.

People are induced to act by the way the speaker makes them feel. End your big idea with a story that causes an emotional reaction.

Reference and Further Reading

Persuasive Speech Outline, with Examples. Virtual SpeechOpens in a new tab.

How to Write an Outline for a Persuasive SpeechOpens in a new tab.

120 Persuasive Speech Topics – Ace the Presentation.

Emidio Amadebai

An avid seeker of knowledge, and passionate about sharing the lessons he picks up in life. Emidio is passionate about public speaking, teaching, and helping others develop critical soft skills, such as communication, leadership, and other interpersonal skills which are in high demand in today's rapidly evolving market.

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