We are surrounded by persuasive messages. Advertisements are everywhere. Our friends convince us to watch TV shows or movies. Our professors lead us to complete our homework. You can think of a million situations in which you are persuaded to do something, whether you wanted to or not.

As speakers, the power of persuasion is one of the strongest tools we can wield. Using only our message, through words, nonverbal signals, and images, we can bring people to revolutionary action, or pacify people to accept their current lot. Our next speech will practice this technique.

From the perspective of a speaker, persuasion is a little different than simply informing an audience. Let’s start by defining what persuasion is, what we can target, and what our persuasive statements sound like.

Previous Week

Prepare Yourself

Does your audience know about your problem? Do they agree it needs to be addressed?

Is there a clear and specific cause to your problem or are you addressing a broader need?

Is your solution one of many? How complex is your solution?

Based upon your answers to the above questions, which pattern would be most effective for your speech?