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SPC 1608 - Prof. Greg Barnes: Start here!

Persuasive Speeches

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This guide is designed to assist you in successfully completing your research for an informative or persuasive speech. The tabs along the top of the page serve as tools that are key in understanding what is expected, and ultimately delivering an exceptional speech. If you have any questions, please contact the Reference Desk (954-201-6653) or email us using the "send email" link on the right side of this screen.

Getting Started

The first step in beginning your research is to select a topic. Based on the time length of your speech and assignment criteria, choose a topic or issue you can clearly present. If you are undecided on a subject matter, below is a link to over 100 suggested topics that include resources to help you begin the research process.

Persuasive Speeches

A persuasive speech proposes to change your beliefs or actions on a particular issue. The presenter takes a side and gives his/her opinion on why something is good/bad, right/wrong, moral/immoral, or justified/unjustified. The topics tend to be debatable and the speech itself should have a convincing tone. While the objective is to sway your audience, it is important to have factual evidence to support your argument. Common examples of persuasive public speaking include:

  • A politican running for office or re-election
  • A lawyer or prosecutor trying to influence a jury
  • A doctor persuading a patient to stop smoking
  • A salesclerk encouraging a customer to open a credit card

Informative Speeches

An informative speech gives us unbiased, factual information on a topic, person, event, or concept. The goal is to educate the audience without an opinion, judgment, or intent to change the audience's attitude. The informative speech should enlighten listeners on a subject that is non-controversial. Types of informative speeches include:

  • Demonstrating to an audience how to do something such as changing a tire, or attaching a file to an email.
  • Describing a particular activity, object, person, or place. Examples would be a piece of artwork, the Great Wall of China, or First Lady Michelle Obama.
  • Concept speeches which focus on a belief, idea, or theory. Topics such as Christianity, the Big Bang Theory, or non-violent protesting would be appropriate.

Five Basic Public Speaking Tips

From Toastmasters.

40 Inspirational Speeches in 2 Minutes

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