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Persuasive speeches are given from school public speaking courses to boardrooms to conference rooms. The power to persuade people to think the way you think, want what you have to offer, buy what you have to sell, is valuable thing. How do you persuade someone when you speak? Some may think it’s difficult, but truthfully, it can be done in a very simple manner. If done effectively, even though simple, you’ll achieve your goal.

The structure for the short, simple persuasion speech can be as follows:


Here you want to state your topic, give at least three reasons for your topic and how you feel about it, and tell the audience how you think things should be. For this paper purpose, I’m going to use the legal drinking age. A good opening might be something like:

The legal drinking age in this state is 21, I find that strange. In our country, 18 is considered the age adulthood. At the age of 18, someone can be forced to go to war and die for their country. They can choose to have an abortion or marry without parental consent. If they can do all these things, why shouldn’t they be able to drink if they so choose?

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Take each one of your reasons, and give information to support it. While I’m not going to do every one above, I will give an example:

Be real. If 18 is the age of an adult, then it’s the age of an adult. How can we say it is for some things, and not for others. You’re old enough to sign for loans, enter business agreements, hold full-time jobs, go to college and live on your own, pay your own bills, but oh, by the way, you can’t drink. Does that make sense?

Notice how I took my first reason and supported it with logical statements that would make an audience think.


In the conclusion, you need to restate your topic. Restate your reasons for it, and then try to end with a statement or thought that will evoke an emotion in your audience. You want to make them feel. The emotion can be laughter, anger, sadness, fear, etc. It doesn’t matter, and it will vary depending on your topic. Make them feel, and you can persuade them to feel the way you do. For example:

I’ve told you why I feel the legal drinking age should be 18. If the law says age 18 is an adult, if young people can be forced to go to war and die, if they can get an abortion or marry without parental consent, then why can’t they drink? They show you commercials with teens dead on the street near crashed vehicles. They’re terrible pictures that make you turn your head, because you don’t want to see them. They don’t show you, however, the teen lying in a foreign field with a body full of gunshots who died fighting a war he didn’t even thoroughly understand…What’s the difference?

Did you think? Did this article make you wonder if the law was wrong? I hope so, because if it did, I’ve accomplished my purpose. I don’t believe the legal drinking age should be reduced. In fact, I think the age of an adult should be raised. The point is, I could take facts and write something that could possibly persuade you to feel differently than you do. That’s the power of persuasion!


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