Persuade the Audience to take Immediate Action


The purpose of this speech is to persuade your audience to support a nonprofit, or some relevant policy. Thus, you will have to convince your audience, through argument, that the nonprofit/policy is worthy of their support, or disdain.

On the technical level, the purpose of this speech is to continue to master the art of outlining and speech structure, adapt the speech to your audience, and use scholarly sources. Additionally, you should demonstrate your ability to develop clear and cogent arguments, free from obvious logical flaws, which incorporate citations to sources. These speeches must do more than simply restate their theses in various ways. They must give reasons and evidence.


Persuasive business speech topics attempt to convince an audience of a different point of view and/or to change the audience’s behavior about a given topic. These are the presentations in which you attempt to convince to support your goals and change their minds or attitudes. Persuasive presentations are motivational and confrontational.

Do not give your audience common surface information, like an encyclopedia entry; instead narrow your focus and be specific. Elaborate and explore your topic. Strive to provide your audience with new information they have not heard before. As speaker, you must demonstrate your knowledge about the issue, which means you must have updated evidence as well as knowledge of the history of the topic. One critical aspect of this speech is to relate a topic that you know about to an audience that might be “in the dark.” Be careful not to use lingo or jargon when presenting to an audience who may know nothing about your subject.

Structurally, the outline is organized just like your other presentations. You can organize your speech using Monroe’s Motivated Sequence, thus:

Introduction    I)         Attention Getter-paint that vivid big picture of the problem

Main Point      I)         Need (problem) Identify a specific problem the organization helps with

Main Point      II)        Satisfaction (solution) What research and actions foster a solution

Main Point      III)      Visualization-How does research and the organization solve the                                                      problem(s) collectively

Conclusion      III)      Call to action (where we go, who we call, etc.)

Possible topics include:

  1. Persuade the audience that they need to take a specific action to solve a local, national, or international problem.
  2. Persuade the audience to be an active member in a group or association.
  3. Persuade the audience to be a regular volunteer for a local, national, or international non-political organization.
  4. Persuade the audience to protest an organization based on a decision that that organization made.

Topics that are off limits:

  • Topics that are religious or moral in nature.
  • Avoid questions of value or fact.
  • Abortion, capital punishment (the death penalty), steroids usage (Ex. baseball), No Child Left Behind, driving tests for the elderly, legalizing marijuana, obesity, drinking and driving, exercise, texting while driving, recycling, global warming, wearing a seatbelt, smoking, eating healthy, organ donation, gay marriage, illegal immigrants, safe sex, STD/STI, pollution or lowering the drinking age.
  • The organization must be controversial. For instance, not everyone believes that Amazon is the best online retailer. However, no one would disagree that St. Jude’s, the American Cancer Society, and the Make a Wish Foundation are worthy of our praise. Thus, make sure the topic you select is controversial and convince your audience, through argument, that it is worthy of their admiration.
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