The purpose of the persuasive speech is to change an audience’s attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors. You are not only helping your audience to understand the significance of your topic, but you are also changing the way they think, how they feel, or what they do in relation to it. For this speech you will persuade your audience to support a community organization in some way (note that this does not have to be through monetary donation). In your speech, you will need to (1) establish the significance of the social problem that this organization addresses (i.e. convince your audience that a problem exists), (2) persuade your audience that the organization you have selected is having an important and significant impact on their cause, and (3) let your audience know how they can get involved. When selecting a topic for your persuasive speech, you should begin by asking yourself a series of questions about each topic that you consider:
1. What are some of the most significant social issues facing my local community, another community that I care about, or society more broadly?
2. Which organizations are working to address the social problems that I identified? Of these organizations, which one is having the most significant impact on solving the problem and/or bettering the lives of others? Which organization is in greatest need of support?
3. Is this an organization in which I am interested? Is this organization as well as the issues it address important to me? Do I feel strongly about this organization and believe that it should be important to others?
4. Will my audience be interested in this organization and the ways that it impacts an important social issue? How much does my audience already know about this organization?
5. Is this an organization about which I can actually change my audience’s attitudes, actions, or beliefs? Note: If everyone in the audience already knows about and supports this organization then you will not really be persuading them! Likewise, if your organization is too controversial or addressing an issue about which your audience already has strong beliefs (e.g., abortion, political affiliation, capital punishment, etc.) then you are unlikely to change your audience’s attitudes, beliefs, or actions in such a limited time.
6. Will persuading my audience about this topic help somebody in some way?
*Topics that are prohibited in this class include: politics, weapons, drugs, alcohol, and any other illegal substances or activities. If you believe that your topic is controversial or you are unsure about whether you should use it, please check with your instructor. After selecting a topic, you should develop a specific purpose or thesis statement for your persuasive speech. Fill in the outline below to present your main points, and incorporate support materials as you develop your outline.
Research: For this speech you will need to conduct additional research and cite at minimum 5 sources. Of those 5 sources, you must include 3 different source types – You should consult a variety of sources, such as newspaper articles, magazines, peer-reviewed academic journals, books, and websites, or even interview someone who is an expert on your topic. You will include an annotated bibliography at the end of your outline. For each of your 5 sources please include the following at the end of your outline:
JRN 120: Fundamentals of Public Speaking
1. Label the source type (e.g., Book, Journal, Newspaper, etc.). Remember to include at least
3 different types.
2. Include the full APA citation. Visit the OWL at Purdue website for APA information and examples: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/general_format.html
3. Write a one paragraph summary (3-5 sentences) of the information you plan to use in your
4. Write one paragraph (3-5 sentences) evaluating the source itself. How do you know that the source (author) of the information is credible? How will you be including the information you obtained from this source strengthen your speech?
In your outline, be sure to cite your sources in-text by using the format (Author Last Name, Year) at the end of the sentence where the information from the source appears. Additionally, during your speech you must cite your sources aloud. Note that you may cite the same source multiple times but that will only count as one source.
PowerPoint: For this speech you are required to use PowerPoint during your presentation. You should plan to use 1-3 PPT slides maximum. You should not transfer your speech outline to the PPT slides. Instead, you should choose one or two meaningful graphics, charts, video clips, etc. that will enhance your presentation. You should not keep the slide up during your entire presentation, but rather share your screen when you would like us to focus our attention to it, and unshared it when we should focus on you.
Please include the URL on the actual slide for any and all images you use in your presentation. These can be small and in the bottom corner of the slide.
Length: 6-8 minutes
Peer Workshop: To prepare for this speech, you will participate in a peer workshop during a virtual class session. You should complete your outline and upload it to Blackboard before the workshop. Also be sure to have a digital copy of your outline handy during the workshop so that you can refer to it. Come to the workshop prepared with 3 things that you would like feedback on from your classmates. Perhaps you want to spend time brainstorming ideas for a better attention getter, or need help finding a good example to support one of your main points. Perhaps you want to practice running through a part of your speech and citing sources aloud. Maybe a little bit of each. It is up to you how you want to use your time. During the workshop we will also practice sharing your screen to display your PPT so you can see how this functionality works. Please note that you must be present for the peer workshop to receive credit for it. Because this is an “in class” activity it is not something that can be made up.
Persuasive Speech Outline Template
Background and Relevance to the Audience
Preview of Main Points
Transition to first main point
Main Point 1: Establish the significance of the social problem
One part of the problem
Another part of the problem (or what causes this problem)
Transition (signpost, summary, preview)
Main Point 2: Introduce an organization that has a positive impact on this problem
Background on organization and mission
Specific examples of how the organization is achieving the mission
Transition (signpost, summary, preview)
Main Point 3: Share ways for your audience to get involved with this organization
Transition and signal closing
Review Main Points
References. For more information on Persuasive Speech Assignment visit this: https://www.britannica.com/science/persuasion-psychology
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