The skill of persuading others is said to be one of the key instruments to success. This is why more and more people spend time attending speech bootcamps, analyzing persuasive speeches on YouTube, or hiring personal coaches.
While these techniques are all effective, they are either time-consuming or expensive. If you want to save time and financial resources, there are things you can do that would make you an expert in persuasion in no time.
In delivering a persuasive speech, you would greatly benefit from following these tips: knowing your audience, starting with an impactful introduction, being clear and concise; appealing to your audience's emotions; using facts, never countering your arguments; using storytelling; and closing with a high note.
I have detailed all these tips in this guide so make sure you read this from beginning to end! If you know anyone who might find this useful, go bookmark this page and share this with them as well.
What Makes A Good Persuasive Speech?Aside from these tips, you will also learn from picking up some and reading our guide on. Remember, your credibility is being assessed by your audience, so you must really come prepared.
The goal of persuasion is to convince an audience to accept a point of view or make them consider a certain argument. To achieve this, you must be aware of what makes a good persuasive speech. Luckily, this section got you covered! Let's take a look at the characteristics of powerful persuasion.
- It holds the audience's attention. A great persuasive speech can grab and hold the audience's attention until the conclusion. It shouldn't have gray points which can lead the audience to think that the speaker is boring or unprepared.
- It showcases the speaker's credibility. A persuasive speech is commendable if it highlights the speaker's authority or competence on the topic. Remember that in persuasion, the audience is critical of the speaker's expertise. It would be one of their bases in believing the perspective presented.
- It is logically presented. Any speech requires structure, and for persuasive speeches, it should be presented logically – the problem, its effects, and how to address it.
- It has smart pacing. The main points that will be discussed during a persuasive speech should be allocated equal amounts of time. Also, prioritize the parts of the speech that focuses on the big ideas. Don't dwell too much on the introduction, or jokes that can take up much time.
- It stirs action. The best persuasive speeches are the ones that call people to action. This means that by the end of the speech, the audience is motivated to do something or act and behave differently.
Of course, there is no definitive list of what makes a good persuasive speech. This will still depend on the topic, the setting, the circumstances, etc. The ones I detailed above are for general persuasive speeches. If you want more specifics, you should consult subject matter experts.
How Can I Improve My Persuasive Speaking Skills? (Top 9 tips!)
Whether you're pitching a new idea to a client, or convincing a professor to approve your thesis, the tips below will surely help you deliver an impactful persuasive speech.
1. Know your audience
Some speakers think that because they are already good, they'll do well in any type of audience. This is completely wrong.
After you've set a goal for your persuasive speech, the next logical step is to know your audience. You won't be able to persuade people if you don't have any idea how to appeal to them.
Start by researching their demographics: Are they students or employees? Are they all male or female? etc. And then, if you can learn about what they know about the topic you're going to talk about.
2. Start with a bang
The introduction of your persuasive speech should be attention-grabbing but concise. This will help you make a good first impression and set the mood of your audience according to how you want it to be.
To give a great and impactful introduction, you may use statistics, facts, historical events, absurd stories, questions, and quotes. Make sure that you also lay a foundation of the points and arguments you plan to discuss as you go along.
Avoid admitting mistakes in the introduction because this will weaken your credibility. Also, do not question your audience's ability by weird questions like, "Do you know how to work your way to the corporate ladder? Probably not."
3. Be clear and concise
The lengthier your speech becomes, the more your audience zones you out. Once you lose their interest, you already failed in persuading them.
In your speech, make everything short and simple. Don't wander too much as you might get lost. Deliver facts with brevity, and do not be too technical.
Use examples sparingly. If you already got your point across, move on to your next point.
4. Use facts
Traditionally, this technique is called logos. Using facts, data, and evidence is really effective because they build your credibility as a speaker.
It shows your audience that your opinions have a basis and that you took the time to really research before delivering your speech.
5. Never counter your arguments
When delivering a persuasive speech, do not make your points too complex to the point that you can get lost and turn them into a discussion. When this happens, your audience may find loopholes and contradict your arguments. Worse, you may even contradict yourself.
Before your speech, make sure that your points are organized in a well-thought-out structure. Deliver your speech exactly how you practiced it and don't get sidetracked by some additional information you thought of while speaking. This will prevent you from spewing things that may seem like counterarguments.
6. Employ the storytelling technique
Storytelling is a powerful technique that you can use in delivering a persuasive speech. It makes the audience feel that you are just another one of them — someone who feels and experiences things and makes judgments according to them.
Most speakers who only use the logos technique appear like they're talking down to their audience. Of course, when you sound condescending, your audience won't take you seriously. Sharing stories can balance out a fact-driven persuasive speech and make you more convincing.
7. Use words that evoke imagination
A technique that works well with story-sharing is using words that can evoke imagination. These words let the audience picture themselves as someone really involved in the situation. Some examples of this include:
- Imagine yourself in…
- Picture this…
- Let's say you're in...
8. Appeal to their emotions
People are often encouraged to change or do something when emotions are already involved. Whether you are convincing someone to employ the service of your company, or follow your advocacies, they can be easily persuaded if you appeal directly to their emotions.
Of course, it should not feel forced. Appealing to emotions should feel organic for it to be effective. This would be possible if you apply the storytelling technique that I have mentioned earlier.
9. End with an impactful conclusion
If you started your speech with a bang, might as well wrap it up with impact. Remember that it is your last chance to convince your audience.
An effective conclusion recaps the points of your argument without adding any new facts. It also asks the audience to take action.
If appropriate, you can also use a quote to end your speech. This will help tie up all the points of your argument and also inspire your audience some more.
Are You Ready To Deliver A Persuasive Speech?
The idea of persuading others is quite intimidating. However, with the right strategies and techniques, you'll be well equipped to deliver speeches that can change people's mindsets and spark positive actions.
Here's a recap of the top 9 tips for delivering a persuasive speech:
- Know your audience
- Start with a bang
- Be clear and concise
- Use facts
- Never counter your arguments
- Employ the storytelling technique
- Use words that evoke imagination
- Appeal to their emotions
- Use call to action in the conclusion
Aside from these tips, you will also learn from picking up some public speaking books and reading our guide on how to be more confident when speaking in public. Remember, your credibility is being assessed by your audience, so you must really come prepared.