Guide to Writing Persuasive Speeches


Purpose of Speech

Speeches are usually formal spoken presentations for a particular purpose—often to persuade an audience to support an idea, or to explain or describe an interesting topic or past event.

An effective speech

  • engages the audience straight away through personal reference or surprising information.
  • uses humour, powerful ideas, imagery, rhetorical questions and repetition to make a point.
  • uses a range of sentence lengths for effect

Successful Persuasion

Successful persuasive language appeals to:

  1. LOGIC Reasoning is clear and consistent. Logic may be real or false (i.e. giving the appearance of logic)
  2. PERSON Know and understand the audience. Knowledge of personal motivations and history can be used to good effect.
  3. EMOTION Use emotional appeal, highly emotive words, images, and colours to stir an effective response.

Structure of a persuasive speech/ speech


  • Captures audience’s attention;
  • Start with yourself and why you are speaking.
  • Include an interesting fact or item of information.
  • Clearly state your opinion.


  • Developing your ideas;
  • Using questions to engage listeners.
  • Your argument.
  • Acknowledgement of the other argument/ opinion.


  • Summarise your speech.
  • Conclude the speech memorably.

Useful words:

Adverbs: evidently; understandably; reasonable; undoubtedly; clearly; finally; strongly; adamantly

Verbs: to challenge; to oppose; to question; to implore; to urge; to condemn; to propose; to support

Adjectives: Vital; important; essential; biased; dishonest; inappropriate; controversial; brave; foolish

Transitional words and phrases: In addition,…; Furthermore,…; Above all… It goes without saying…; Of course,…; Decidedly…; Undoubtedly…; Indeed…; In fact… Specifically,…; More importantly,… Yet,… ; However,… In summary…

Useful phrases:

This needs to be dealt with…; Some people feel that…; How could you possibly…; What would happen if…; This would mean that…; Is it really worth…/ Do you really think…; Just think about…; I believe that…; Although not everybody would agree, I want to argue that…; There are several points I want to make to support my point of view. Firstly…; I have several reasons for arguing for this point of view. My first reason is…; Therefore, although some people argue that…; think that I have shown that…; We can solve this by…; If these plans go ahead…

Read the following speech identify the persuasive P IN A FOREST techniques (personal pronouns, alliteration, fact, opinion, rhetorical questions, repetition, emotive language, statistics, rule of three)

Ladies, Gentleman and Children, lend me your ears!

I am here today to express my utter disgust at the so called ‘sport’ of fox hunting.

Some of these rich, posh, toffee-nosed public school boys in tights say that shooting foxes does not always kill the fox outright and that hunting with dogs is actually more humane. However, that could not be further from the truth. Fox hunters chose foxes purely for puerile pleasure; not because they want to help farmers. Indeed, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals reported a case of a twelve year old girl and her ten year old brother being traumatised at the sight of a fox being torn limb from limb by a pack of blood-thirsty hounds. Does this sound like humane pest control to you?

Furthermore, being hunted by a wild pack is not a humane way to die. Statistics show that 92% of foxes killed in the hunt have a longer, more agonising death than these killed by more traditional methods of pest control.

Stop the murder,stop the violence, stop fox hunting!


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