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14.7 Sample Persuasive Speech

Here is a generic, sample speech in an outline form with notes and suggestions.

Learning Objective

  1. Understand the structural parts of a persuasive speech.

Attention Statement

Show a picture of a row of rabbits in cages and ask the audience: do innocent animals deserve to die just so you can look a little prettier?

Introduction

Briefly introduce the story of how every year millions of animals are killed by cosmetic companies while testing their products, mentioning some of the testing procedures that they undergo.

A statement of your topic and your specific stand on the topic:

“My speech today is about animal experimentation in the cosmetic industry - and I am against it.”

Introduce your credibility and the topic: “My research on this topic has shown me that animal testing is cruel and unnecessary, yet many companies in the cosmetic industry continue the practice.”

State your main points.

“Today I will address the two main arguments against the use of animal experimentation: the cruelty to the animals, and how unnecessarity it is to continue the practice when there are alternate procedures that are just as - if not more - effective. I will also examine how the cosmetic industy has attempted to cover its use of animal experimentation by implementing a cunning public relations strategy.”

Body

Information: Provide a simple explanation of animal experimentation in case there are people who do not know about it. Provide clear definitions of key terms.

Deterrence: Provide arguments by generalization, sign, and authority.

Retribution: Provide arguments by analogy, cause, and principle.

Case study: The story of Jessica Sandler, director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA's) Regulatory Testing Division, noting that thanks to her negotiating skills with the U.S. government, almost one million animals were saved within the first year of her hire.

Solution steps:

  1. Only buy products from those companies that do not test on animals.
  2. Contact those companies that do test on animals and inform them that you will not buy their products until they stop.
  3. When donating to health charities, donate only to those that also support alternatives to animal testing.

Conclusion

Reiterate your main points and provide synthesis; do not introduce new content.

Residual Message

Imagine that you have been assigned to give a persuasive presentation lasting five to seven minutes. Follow the guidelines in Table 14.6 "Sample Speech Guidelines" and apply them to your presentation.

Table 14.6 Sample Speech Guidelines

1.Topic Choose a product or service that interests you so much that you would like to influence the audience’s attitudes and behaviour toward it.
2. Purpose Persuasive speakers may plan to secure behavioural changes, influence thinking, or motivate action in their audience. They may state a proposition of fact, value, definition, or policy. They may incorporate appeals to reason, emotion, and/or basic needs.
3. Audience Think about what your audience might already know about your topic and what they may not know, and perhaps any attitudes toward or concerns about it. Consider how this may affect the way that you will present your information. You won’t be able to convert everyone in the audience from a “no” to a “yes,” but you might encourage a couple to consider “maybe.” Audiences are more likely to change their behaviour if it meets their needs, saves them money, involves a small change, or if the proposed change is approached gradually in the presentation.
4. Supporting Materials Using the information gathered in your search for information, determine what is most worthwhile, interesting, and important to include in your speech. Time limits will require that you be selective about what you use. Consider information that the audience might want to know that contradicts or challenges your claims and be prepared for questions. Use visual aids to illustrate your message.
5. Organization
  1. Write a central idea statement, which expresses the message, or point, that you hope to get across to your listeners in the speech.
  2. Determine the two to three main points that will be needed to support your central idea.
  3. Prepare a complete sentence outline of the body of the speech, including solution steps or action items.
6. Introduction Develop an opening that will
  1. get the attention and interest of your listeners,
  2. express your central idea/message, and
  3. lead into the body of your speech.
7. Conclusion The conclusion should review and/or summarize the important ideas in your speech and bring it to a smooth close.
8. Delivery The speech should be delivered extemporaneously, using speaking notes and not reading from the manuscript. Work on maximum eye contact with your listeners. Use any visual aids or handouts that may be helpful.

Key Takeaway

A speech to persuade presents an attention statement, an introduction, the body of the speech with main points and supporting information, a conclusion, and a residual message.

Exercises

  1. Apply this framework to your persuasive speech.
  2. Prepare a three- to five-minute presentation to persuade and present it to the class.
  3. Review an effective presentation to persuade and present it to the class.
  4. Review an ineffective presentation to persuade and present it to the class.