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14 Persuasive Speech Topics and Ideas for Students

14 Persuasive Speech Topics and Ideas for Students

Published by on 2021-07-09 08:58:59

If you want to come up with the best persuasive speech able to bring you the highest grade possible, the first point for you to consider is the topic. Many students start worrying when they see the words speech, persuasive, and topic standing close to each other. So, here is the first good news you need to hear: crafting a high-quality speech is pretty similar to completing any other academic assignment.

Do you know what a persuasive essay is? If yes, then, most probably, a persuasive speech won’t be a problem for you as well. Of course, the difference between an essay and a speech is in the communication channels used. Essays are about writing. Speeches would be impossible without oral interaction. However, the purpose of the two remains unchanged: a professor wants you to use persuasion instruments to convince them (or your classmates) that your opinion about some topic is right.

The reason for the majority of students to feel stuck and doubtful about these assignments is mainly connected to the need to read their speech aloud on their own. They don’t know how the professor or groupmates will react to their voice, their arguments, and ideas: those can either encourage them to go on or break the student’s confidence entirely.

No worries. A correctly picked persuasive speech topic is a solid guarantee of your success. Before we proceed with the list of some cool theme concepts, you might want to check recommendations on choosing your speech topics in the right way.

Good Persuasive Speech Topics: Pick Theme Right

If you want to increase the probability for your speaking performance to be accepted and bring you the best grade, it is reasonable to approach the process of picking its topic seriously. Here are three main points that your topic should correlate with:

  • passion;
  • relevance;
  • manageability.

Let’s take a closer look at each feature mentioned above.

You Are Passionate About Your Topic

Whenever you need to choose a speech topic, make sure you listen to yourself. At least, you should have an interest in the theme that you pick. It would be perfect if you had the chance to tie your topic with something you are truly passionate about.

Why so? It’s because you’ll find it much difficult to come up with an outstanding persuasive speech in case you don’t like the topic you should discuss. A concept that is interesting personally to you is the solution able to motivate you for better research, expertise, persuasion, and, consequently, success. If you aim to get the top grade, then passion is a must-be component of your speech.

Good Persuasive Speech Topics

Relevance

Relevance is a default aspect of any topic picked for an academic assignment, so it also works for speeches. Luckily, a theme of your passion is highly likely to be relevant enough. You wouldn’t feel that interest in a topic that doesn’t have any value or meaning for your neighborhood, community, country, or even planet. So, mostly, relevance is more about setting your view angle regarding the topic and not about the choice itself.

Manageability

A manageable topic is one flexible enough to adjust to your current needs and circumstances. To craft a worthy assignment of this type, you need to consider your own academic level, that of your listeners, and the topic’s searchability.

Your Own Level

Figuring out the features of your current academic level is necessary here because you obviously need to have enough qualifications to explain, support, and protect what you say with confidence. However, you are a student so far, so you most probably understand one simple fact: regardless of the topic, you don’t know much more than you do know.

So far, you are not considered an expert in any field. That means you should try to keep away from getting too high into expertise when picking your topics. No, nobody says you should not improve your knowledge. The key thing to understand for you here is the necessity to know your current academic limits. Going too far may result in a failed persuasive speech assignment. Most probably, that’s not what you want.

Audience’s Competence

The next point to consider when you’re evaluating your topic’s manageability is the academic level of people who are going to listen to you. Regardless of who they are, those people are your audience. You don’t complete this assignment for yourself only. You write it for them as well.

And a persuasive speech means that you should persuade, convince your listeners about something. It’s not enough to simply come up with a certain opinion. Do whatever you can to make your speech suitable and understandable to your listeners. That’s the only way for them to think whether or not they would agree with your thesis statement and proofs.

Topic’s Searchability

The level of a challenge coming along with some topics is not always about the need to process huge data volumes, choose arguments, filter facts, and so on. Sometimes, a topic is difficult to craft a speech about due to the lack of information one could have at its disposal.

So, the last but not least important thing to do while considering a topic for your persuasive speech is to try googling it (and visiting the library, too). Do that before you start working on your speech. That’s how you can check the amount of relevant info you might get at hand and find the very first trustworthy reference sources at the early stage of your work.

Persuasive Speech Topic Ideas

Now when you know more about how to pick topics for persuasive speeches, it is time to check some ideas. See theme concepts available below and read short descriptions if you want. Feel free to copy the topic you like as it is, or just take some of them as references before coming up with something original. It’s your call.

Psychology Persuasive Speech Topics

As you most probably know, psychology is a scientific discipline studying the laws and patterns of occurrence, development, and functioning of psychics and psychic activities of individuals and groups. It is a broad area open for scientific research, although it is over 100 years old. There still are multiple blind spots and unknown zones in knowledge about psychology. However, if you are passionate about the subject, coming up with a suitable speech topic will not be a challenge for you.

Psychology Persuasive Speech Topics

Here are five topic examples.

Change Is (Not) the Same as Progress

The fast-paced world of today makes humans live in a constant run that can even be called a race. They may not know the purpose of it or fail to determine that they need to take a break. It seems that their progress in self-development, education, career, and even private life is based on constant changes.

But does a random change always mean any progress?  Define your answer to that question, and you’ll have a thesis statement for your speech. Then, try proving your point of view to the audience.

Why People Are Afraid of Public Speech

What did we just say about relevance? The reasons for people to be so afraid of speaking in public can serve as a perfect persuasive topic on psychology. Finding a more relevant and suitable concept for students assigned to write a speech would be quite challenging.

So, if you are afraid of public speaking, why not reflect on the theme and try persuading people that your opinion is correct? Or, if you don’t feel anxiety before appearing in public, why do you think so many people are?

Pavlov’s Dog Experiment Justification

One of the most famous scientific experiments to study the higher nervous activity of living organisms was the one conducted by the Russian and Soviet scientist Ivan Pavlov. To study reflexes empirically, he used dogs. Manipulations and surgeries applied to Pavlov’s dogs’ organisms can be considered cruel and inhumane.

However, the scientist made a huge contribution to close many knowledge gaps and push the field of medical and physiological sciences forward. Try to justify Pavlov’s experiments while taking into account his deeds and achievements at a time. A persuasive speech of that kind is bound to attract a lot of attention. A good one can make a significant impression on your professor and mates.  

Lie Can Be for Good

Since ancient times, liars have been considered as bad and unreliable people by the overwhelming majority of human societies in different parts of the world. A person not telling the truth intentionally was put at risk of being publicly judged, imprisoned, and even sentenced to death more than just frequently.

However, a lot of people try to find proper balance in this question nowadays. They say a liar can have good, protective, and even noble intentions. Explain what lies can be perceived as justified ones and why.   

Pacifism Does (Not) Mean Naiveness

Here goes another topic that has always been with humans. Throughout the entire history of human civilizations, people have been coming to war with each other. On the other side, there are pacifists. Those are people thinking that any war should not even be started, regardless of the reason and circumstances, due to its immorality. They think all conflicts can be solved peacefully.

Which side would you support? Do you think war is a part of human nature, and there is no way for us to refuse to fight each other? Prove your viewpoint in a speech.

Scientific Persuasive Speech Topics

Science is the engine of progress. Scientific research, experiments, and achievements they bring are the key elements able to improve human lives and expand the horizons of human civilization. It’s another broad topic full of great persuasive speech ideas.

Here goes another pack of scientific persuasive speech concepts.

Space Expansion is the Only Way for Humanity’s Long-Term Survival

In 2021, we all know for sure that our home planet, Earth, is not going to be there for us forever. Sooner or later, we’ll exhaust natural resources, or cause significant climate changes, or pollute global ecosystems, and this world will become impossible to live in. And if we don’t, then the Sun will burn the entire planet out with its increasing heat production. The latter will not happen within several million years, though it only confirms the thesis above: the planet is not eternal.

You might want to pay your attention to that topic and to prove that the only solution remaining for the entire humankind is the colonization of other planets. Most probably, our far descendants will even need to go beyond the Solar system. The idea is as great as it is frightening.

The Most Critical Disease to Solve is Cancer

A controversial idea standing on the edge of such fields as health and science, cancer and its treatment have been remaining relevant for decades. Millions of people all over the world suffer from this disease, and there is still no direct and effective cure able to save individuals from it.

In case you decide to choose this idea for your persuasive speech, your main challenge will be to prove why cancer is more critical to research than, for instance, AIDS or multiple sclerosis. It’s not only a scientific task but a moral dilemma in this case.   

Scientific Progress Accelerates Lifestyle Changes

Fifty and even thirty years ago, people couldn’t even dream about many opportunities that we consider as regular and routine ones in 2021. The impact of scientific progress on an individual’s everyday life is huge. And it seems that the more inventions and solutions are successfully implemented into one’s life, the faster the overall tempo of progress becomes.

The change of people’s way of life caused by that overall advancement will become your persuasive topic for a speech. Is that acceleration for good? Or is it necessary to slow down with innovations? Why?

Armed Conflicts Are Vital for Tech Development

Here we return to the topic of war once again. Throughout time, the need to protect what you’ve got, and to take away something from the others, has been among the priorities for human societies. Consequently, soldiers and warriors were the first to test new inventions that could potentially allow them to perform their functions more effectively. Consequently, the achievements of technological and scientific progress were first tested for war purposes and then became threads to improve the lives of civilians.

Does not that fact make both great wars and local armed conflicts be the catalysts of technological advancement? Come up with a clear thesis, and then find arguments to convince people it is right.

Scientific Persuasive Speech Topics

Anthropogenic Factors Are Not the Decisive Ones for Climate Change

Countless local and global eco-activists and nature protection organizations state that humans are responsible for climate changes all over the planet. They say anthropogenic pollution (mainly it is all about carbon dioxide) is the decisive factor causing significant shifts in ecological systems and weather conditions.

However, there also are experts criticizing that approach. In turn, they admit natural processes (for example, volcanic eruptions) and their consequences contribute a lot more to the global warming issue than humans could ever do. Consider supporting one viewpoint or come up with your own concept in a persuasive speech.

Health Persuasive Speech Topics

Healthy lifestyle, treatment, medical care, and both widespread and rare illnesses are all extremely relevant subtopics here, especially if one takes the COVID-19 pandemic into account. Bringing one of the persuasive speech topics about health to the table is a guarantee for your public performance to be relevant and surely receive the desired attention from the audience.

Same as before, here are topical concepts for you to choose from.

Everyone Should Switch to Organic Food

Organic food is made of products grown with the use of organic farming principles. That approach has some undisputed advantages: organic farms do not harm the environment, do not exhaust soils, and suppose products grown there to be free of pesticides and other harmful chemicals.

Try to substantiate the need for humans to start consuming exclusively organic products.

Human Organ Sales Should Be Legalized

Human organ transplantation became a revolutionary treatment solution to many health threats, including congenital ones. However, it is impossible for people to purchase or sell their organs legally. The issue allows illegal donor markets to prosper. Maybe, it would be better to legalize that trading opportunity?

That’s another moral challenge, too. Will you be able to come up with reasonable and persuasive arguments on the topic?

Why Everyone Should Know More About Depression

Depression is another plague of our time. Millions of people suffer from depression issues all over the planet. Psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists do whatever they can to help people whose mental state is unstable. Still, there are many individuals not considering depression as a health issue requiring specific treatment.

Proving them wrong can be a matter of life and death for thousands of their friends, loved ones, and family members.  

COVID-19 Vaccination Should become Mandatory

The global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic shocked the world in 2020. Lockdowns, healthcare systems’ paralyzation, and millions of deaths were only some of the heaviest consequences humanity had to face. Then, scientists from different countries, including the USA, UK, Russia, India, Korea, Israel, and others, introduced vaccines able to counter the deadly disease.

Still, many people worldwide just refuse to get vaccinated for various reasons. Should governments make them do that? Why?  

To Conclude

Coming up with a suitable persuasive speech topic is easier than you might think. Consider fields you are passionate about, then evaluate your level of expertise, take into account your audience, and see if there are enough authoritative data sources available. After that, you are most probably ready to generate multiple great ideas.

You may want to pay attention to the 14 topics described above, too. Feel free to take them as given or use them as basics to think out your original topic. Everything will cut it. And, most probably, you’ll craft a persuasive speech worth the highest grade possible!