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A Guide to Persuasive Speech

By Jeff Ingram

A persuasive speech is characterized by steering the audience to believe and accept what the speaker is offering them. The main aim is to persuade and win over the audience by explaining to them why the offered idea is a great one. It is generally not hard to win over the audience and be successful in persuasion. It just needs a little more gusto than usual, and in some cases, a combination of conviction and charisma. Here are some tips that can be of help for speakers to be successful in their speeches.

The first thing the speaker must do is to establish his rapport with the audience. There has to be a strong connection between the speaker and the audience, since doing so means getting their attention. The speaker must get the attention of his audience in the first few minutes of the speech. This is to ensure that they will hear, understand, and eventually evaluate the facts and cases given by the speaker so the audience will hopefully accept the latter's proposition. There are many ways on how to do this: some speakers use humor, surprise, movement and anecdotes. It is up to the speaker what method he likes to use as long as he can get the attention of the audience.

The second factor in having an effective persuasive speech is for the speaker to establish authority and leadership. It is a given fact that people will more likely follow the trends and ideas of someone they look up to, or someone who has an authority over them. This is a tricky business to go on with since it is difficult to identify at which point one can say that authority is already present. However, it can be done by telling the audience why they should believe in the ideas presented by the speaker. Why should they make it their own? It is more than just quoting a list of credentials and good background. The speaker should know all the facets of his topic to make the speech as natural and knowledgeable to the audience as possible.

Lastly, the persuasive speech must have a backup plan to answer the non-believers. This is usually the "so-what" phrases. It is also important to have a majestic "close" or that last phrase that urge the audience to take a stand. It must be creative and fully thought-changing, so that even in the last phase of the speech the audience will reconsider their options and with any luck, take the idea that was just presented to them.

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