Types of Speeches: The Persuasive Speech

If you decide to become a professional speaker or use speaking as an integral part of your marketing strategy, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the various types of speeches you might be asked to give. In this series of posts, I’ll give you the basics on a variety of types of presentations you can prepare. At the end of this post, I’ve listed previous articles in this series.


What is a persuasive speech?
A persuasive speech urges the audience to do something specific. I can be to change their mind about something, to vote for (or against) something, to join or support something, or even to buy something. If you are trying to influence the audience to think, feel or do something, you are giving a persuasive speech.

How do you persuade?
There are several ways you can appeal to your audience and persuade them to take the action you desire.

  • Emotionally — you appeal to their emotions on the topic and get them to take action based on how they feel
  • Intellectually — you provide a logical argument based in facts and figures
  • Through credibility and trust — you use your credibility and authority to get the audience to do something because they trust you as a person or expert … sort of like, “if so-and-so thinks this, it must be true!”
  • Through their need to belong — you use “mass appeal” to get the audience to do something because “every body else is doing it”


I listed the above in order of their power to persuade. People are more likely to take action based on how they feel than how they think. This is why most political speeches are filled with emotional rhetoric.

That said, it helps to have your emotional appeal backed up by actual facts. If you want your persuasive speech to be effective, you never one to rely solely on any one of the above ways to persuade. You want to have a healthy, balanced mix.

Being a recognized expert on a topic only helps you persuade people to your point of view. This is why nutrition experts are better able to motivate an audience to change their diet than someone with not background in that topic at all.

And finally, if you can add what I like to call “the Lemming factor” to the mix … make the audience feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves by taking the action you suggest, you’ll be more likely to seal the deal.

Of course, how you blend these various tactic depends on your audience. Some audiences will be more swayed by logic than emotions, others are more inclined to be lemmings. Know your audience … and use your persuasive powers with respect, integrity and with good intent.

Resources for developing your persuasive speech

Did you miss these?
Here are the previous posts in this “Type of Speeches” series:


The next post in this series is The Impromptu Speech.

About Carma

Carma Spence, author of Public Speaking Super Powers, is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in marketing, public relations and science communication. She is a multi-dimensional entrepreneur, a certified life coach, science fiction writer and poet. She is able to see people's brilliance and help them bring their genius to light. The wind beneath her clients’ wings, Carma provides creative entrepreneurs with expert advice on branding and online presence, as well as the emotional support necessary to carve out their niche for success online. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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2 Responses to Types of Speeches: The Persuasive Speech

  1. Greetings! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to
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    that cover the same topics? Thank you so much!

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