9 Basic Elements of a Great Persuasive Speech

As human beings, we commonly face debates, sales pitch, or even casual conversations, where we discuss with an audience (that can be familiar or not) about a subject that we want to convince, to think in a similar or same perspective that we do.

If we are playing the speaker role, we need to bring arguments that will acknowledge our audience and use techniques to make them see why they should be there buying our ideas.

Persuasion is the ability to convince a social group by coming up with factual statements, great posture making people doubt, reconsider, and feel the need to know more about the arguments we affirm. 

Only a few of most speakers have a great persuasive speech, which is a quality that allows us to convince and influence people more than others.

So now we know that changing people’s mindsets takes a lot more than merely coming out with good arguments. Some skills need to be learned or enhanced; it requires passion, confidence, accuracy in our words, involving the audience, many more skills than the knowledge itself.

Hang on with us a little more to find out how to develop them in the next steps; let us find out more about what it takes to produce the public speaking skills (elements) that a great persuasive speech compose.

The 9 Basic Elements of a Great Persuasive Speech:

  1. Credibility and Passion!
  2. Evolvement.
  3. Connection with the audience.
  4. Conversational Presentation.
  5. Rhetoric Game (Pathos, Logos, Ethos).
  6. Markable Analysis. 
  7. Good Posture.
  8. Visual Impact. 
  9. Voice Tone.

Every element on the list complements each other, making our delivery more appealing to be heard and seen and helps with our goal, which is to persuade our audience.

Understanding the nine Essential Elements of a Great Persuasive Speech

  1. Credibility and Passion!

The audience may not hear every time we speak because we are not confident enough. As we form an idea or argument, we must have some background knowledge about the subject we want to talk about.

If we don’t own the subject we want to pitch about, our audience will discard our message right away and for that is vital that we study it, know-how it formed, and preview the doubts that our audience can have if we want to influence them.

If we want to deliver a great persuasive speech, it is essential to talk about a subject that inspires us to do better, to talk about something we know or have a certain familiarity with.

 Passion will come out naturally because of it, and the audience will be more and more open to what we are saying, raising the odds of them buying our arguments.

When we bring facts, which can happen by giving examples of real-life situations that expose our speech, scientific proofs of that phenomenon;

We are also showing that the subject we are out coming is credible and not only conveys to us as individuals but also a group of people that make them believe in that will be our primary duty.

A) PASSION: We can accomplish this step by

  • Watching a few documentaries, tv shows, or reading could help us find some good subjects to be passionate about (if we don’t);
  • Reading articles, video reviews about these subjects, especially the ones that think the other way around;
  • Taking notes of day-to-day problems people face and then google it;
  • Talk with different people about their opinion about it and mostly listen;
  • Ask yourself what do you think and write it down.
  • Involvement.

Our goal is to sell our pitch, make people or a particular group understand, and buy our perspective. For that, we need to be straight forward as possible with the main question we want to raise influence our audience.

We want them to engage with us and vibrate as we bring this new idea; we want to blow their minds and make them want to have more of us, more of what we have to say.

We are raising our voice about this subject we chose because we have an opinion about, even if we don’t know what reaction to expect from the audience we did our research about this subject. We are giving the audience something that will be impactful to their lives. 

We are here because we are trying to bring to people something new that we think is hidden. What drives us an altruist felt that we would not say but show them by organizing a structure, storytelling, and being polite intimate but not intrusive.

elements of a great persuasive speech

We must take in place enough information such as: what the main question is ( the subject), how it is a problem for everybody, and how we can interpret it.

B) CREDIBILITY: We can accomplish this step  by:

  • Connecting with the audience

To make our presentation memorable, we need to engage our audience from the beginning, since the word ONE, so they can understand our message. For that, we need to act as we mean it, and being positive is one way to make the audience feel a part of our speech.

Imagine that we are talking about social inequalities. Sharing pictures of people in degrading situations would be the obvious way but may leave the audience a little bit uncomfortable.

Instead, we could share examples of how this problem could reverse actual live issues; let us take by example, volunteering.

 Making them visualize how people belonging from distinct social structures can make at least dozens of them, that could be robbing or killing having the opportunity to do better. 

It can force the audience without violence to create petitions, for example, that will benefit these groups in need, making them feel helpful and productive in some way.

Our audience has to feel that they are accomplishing a worthwhile thing, supporting our arguments. Ideas are increasing them to do something that is not selfish, making our message valuable to the audience. 

  • Start to list the pros of the activities we could be doing to help solve the problem;
  • Telling the audience them the consequences of groups who are not of these activities we are suggesting that could help; 
  1. Conversational Presentation

In a conversational presentation, the subject on the table has to be concerning the audience, worthy of listening, and useful to others. 

We can make our speech a conversational presentation if we deliver the message with the care to use a language that embraces subjects such as “We” and “Us.” It can make them feel we are having an actual conversation and have an opinion about it. 

Even though we have a persuasive speech and our goals are to influence and persuade people to adopt our argument, we should not make them feel under pressure or attack. It should feel as natural as possible.

  1. Rhetorical Game ( Pathos, Logos, Ethos)

Rhetoric is the art of persuasion that appeals to people to action through visual, verbal, or written language, using one or multiple means of spreading the message.

When we want to call people to action, we need to have something besides the story, and we need to happen to say that will justify why that subject is concerning and for that becoming a problem.

A presentation can use one primary technique, namely by calling out values that broke. These proofs show how particular behavior is degrading people’s lives, or even how we are accepting things that have no credibility at all. 

Mode of PersuasionPathosLogosEthos
ObjectiveCreate an emotional responseMake the audience understand the worthiness of the idea.Establish authority to speak and trust of the audience.
Main TechniquesStories;Inspirational quotes;Humor/ sarcasm.Structure of the speech;Reference to the studies, statistics;Comparisons, syllogisms, analogies, and metaphors.Body language articulate;Cite credible sources.

Here are some Examples of Ethos, Logos, and Pathos for saciating your own curiosity.

  1. Markable Analysis 

So we already agreed that we want to make our discourse memorable and for that is essential that we choose the simplest way to explain to people the logic we want them to follow.

Having a structure that organizes what we should introduce first to have the audience step by step with us engaged and receiving the message.

People may not remember every word we say. Still, we give them examples, bullets, or keynotes about our idea that can be an organized way to start pitching by imprinting with the audience.

A markable analysis is precise notwithstanding being polite, explicative, and making people feel confused or in the wrong place. Rather than that, it has a mode of persuasion that guides the presentation.

  1. Good Posture.

It may seem weird, but our body language speaks and is quite loud. We may have an excellent speech delivery by articulating thoughts, engaging the audience, and making them feel like part of the process but guess what? Our stance is curvy.

To avoid that, keeping up a good posture is a big sign of confidence and will make the audience feel that we own the presentation and for that worthy of being listened to.

We want to ace the speech and pass the audience’s first impression judgment, so ensure that you are not wearing colors that will overshadow our listeners’ eyes because, by doing that, we keep them focused on our message and less on our body.

To make eye contact with the audience from the first very moment we meet can be a useful thing that we know very well. That is why we do it while looking at them, creating a connected environment to the audience to make questions and not feel misplaced.

Highly Recommended Article on the topic: 11 Best Body Language Tips for Engaging Presentations.

  1. Makes a Visual Impact 

Visual stimulation and emotions are connected to the same part of the human brain that processes and creates memories. If we want to influence the audience, we want them to recall our speech and spread our word to as many people as possible.

By showing slides, for example, images related to our subject, graphics can make people visualize our words and create their interpretation aside from ours about our speech.

That will make our audience better comprehend the information we are giving and make them collaborative by developing their perception of the content and synthesizing our analysis quickly.

  1. Voice Tone

Lastly, but not least important, the voice tone, how we speak is as essential as not saying anything. The body language and tone of voice are two crucial parts critical to ace non-verbal communication.

The tone of voice is how we sound when we talk about how we think or feel out loud, so if we do it very loud or quickly, some of the words can be misunderstood or take a different meaning from the one we want to share.

“A firm, confident tone of voice makes other people think that we are distinguished and important. Talking in a quiet tone of voice makes us look like someone who has major weaknesses or is awkward. People who have a high tone of voice don’t convey much credibility.” 

Maria Pellicano

Here, we want our voice to look assertive and sure about what is we are going to say. For that, we need to take little breaks to breathe. Let’s do it in parts that we know the audience needs a few seconds to digest and analyze the message.

Conclusion

Being able to persuade different people doesn’t have to be a quality of a few if we prepare and properly educate ourselves.

The body language control, the voice tone, knowing a bit of rhetoric, using vivid examples, and visuals to engage the audience can improve a persuasive speech. 

In the persuasive speech, we have to be the tour guide of the audience who plays the role of tourists. Our goal is to enlighten them about a subject or issue that they haven’t seen yet. If you read this far, thank you so much, and I hope you enjoyed it.

References and Further Reading 

Ace The Presentation. Amadebai, E. 11 Best Body Language Tips for Engaging Presentations.

Ace The Presentation. Amadebai, E., 120 Persuasive Speech Topics.

Ace The Presentation. Amadebai, E. 8. Awesome Persuasive Speech Techniques.

Ezine Articles. Toney, B (2011). Key Elements of a Persuasive Speech.

The Knowledge Project FS. Parrish, S (2020). Ethos, Logos, and Pathos: The Structure of a Great Speech.

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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