Persuasive Speech Topics

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Persuasive Speech Topics
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Are you having a hard time coming up with the right persuasive speech topic? One that isn’t boring or cliche? Are you looking for a persuasive speech topic that will both interest you and captivate your audience? It’s easier said than done, right?

110 Interesting Persuasive Speech Topics to Impress Your Audience

Learn how to give an impressive persuasive speech and explore our comprehensive list of persuasive speech ideas

Persuasive Speech Topics

Introduction

What makes a good persuasive speech topic?

How to create and deliver a compelling persuasive speech

110 interesting persuasive speech topics

Introduction

Are you having a hard time coming up with the right persuasive speech topic? One that isn’t boring or cliche? Are you looking for a persuasive speech topic that will both interest you and captivate your audience? It’s easier said than done, right?

Creating and delivering an interesting persuasive speech is a major endeavor. The last thing you want is to get stuck on the first step—selecting a persuasive speech topic. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. To help you identify the perfect persuasive speech topic for you, we’ve compiled a list of 110 compelling persuasive speech ideas. Every single one of these ideas has the potential to be an outstanding persuasive speech.

In addition, we’ll peel back the curtain to teach you what makes a good persuasive speech topic and give you expert tips on delivering a successful persuasive speech that will convince and astound your audience.

What makes a good persuasive speech topic?

There are three questions you can use to determine which persuasive speech topics will lead to enthusiastic applause and standing ovations.

Does the persuasive speech topic interest you?

A major part of writing a persuasive speech is doing ample research on the subject you choose. So one of the first things you should ask yourself when considering a potential persuasive speech topic is, “Would I enjoy learning about this subject extensively?” If you can’t answer that question with an emphatic, “Yes!” you might want to continue your topic search. You don’t want to spend hours diving into a subject you don’t enjoy.

Plus, an audience can easily pick up on boredom or lack of interest in a persuasive speech, and you clearly don’t want that. On the other hand, if you’re explaining a subject you’re passionate about, your audience will get caught up in your excitement—resulting in a much more compelling and persuasive speech.

Here’s another word of advice. Some people will tell you to pick a persuasive speech topic you’re already an expert in, and that’s certainly one way to go about it. While we won’t tell you being an expert in the subject should be your top deciding factor, this approach has its advantages—you’re already familiar with the lingo and the basics of the subject are. This helps you significantly speed up your research process. But if you have the time and willingness to tackle an entirely unfamiliar subject that utterly fascinates you, we say go for it!

Will the persuasive speech topic interest your audience?

So you’ve found a few persuasive speech topics that interest you. But what about your audience? Do they share your interest? Even if you argue your points with enthusiasm, will they be bored by your subject?

To answer these questions, you have to understand your audience well. Study them to learn what grabs their attention. What do they care about? What topics are relatable to their lives or their communities? What subjects will they be more likely to get emotionally invested in?

When you find persuasive speech topics that equally interest you and your audience, you’re setting yourself up for success.

Has the persuasive speech topic been covered too many times?

This is the last question you should ask yourself before committing to your persuasive speech topic. Has this topic been overdone? Even if your audience is invested in the subject, they’ll be quickly bored if they’ve listened to ten similar speeches prior to hearing yours. You won’t be persuasive if your listeners can predict each of your arguments before you give them.

Instead, search for persuasive speech topics that are unique and fresh—something your audience hasn’t heard a hundred times before. The one exception to this is if you can approach an overworked topic with a completely fresh and unusual perspective. For example, maybe you can approach the gun control debate as someone whose friend died from an accidental shooting, but your family still owns guns and enjoys hunting as a pastime.

How to create and deliver a compelling persuasive speech

Once you’ve chosen your persuasive speech topic (our list of 110 riveting persuasive speech ideas is coming next!) and completed your research on the subject, you’ll begin the writing process. Use this step-by-step approach to produce an outstanding speech that easily persuades your audience to adopt your viewpoint.

  1. Determine your thesis. What opinion or belief are you convincing your audience to embrace? Are you asking them to take a specific action after listening to your speech? Just as you do when writing a college essay, make sure your thesis or call-to-action is crystal clear before you start writing.
  2. Organize your main arguments. Create an outline of the evidence or points you’ve collected to support your thesis. Make sure your ideas flow logically into each other and build your case.
  3. Support your arguments with facts and examples. You’ll want to use multiple sources for your evidence, with a preference for well-known or reputable sources. (Please don’t cite Wikipedia!) You can also get personal by using anecdotes from your own life or the lives of someone close to you. This will increase your persuasive speech’s impact.
  4. Add emotional connections with your audience. Make your argument more powerful by appealing to your audience’s sense of nostalgia and common beliefs. Another tactic (which marketers use all the time) is to appeal to your listeners’ fears and rely on their instincts for self-preservation.
  5. Address counterarguments. Rather than waiting for your audience to think up objections to the points you make, do it yourself. Then dispute those objections with additional facts, examples, and anecdotes.
  6. Wrap up your persuasive speech with a strong conclusion. In your closing, restate your thesis, tug on your audience’s heartstrings one last time with an emotional connection, and deliver your decisive call to action.

Now that you have a strongly written persuasive speech, your final task is this: practice, practice, and practice some more! We guarantee your delivery won’t be perfect on your first attempt. But on your tenth or fifteenth, it just might be.

Record yourself delivering your persuasive speech so you can play it back and analyze your areas needing improvement. Are your pauses too long or not long enough? Did you sufficiently emphasize your emotional points? Are your anecdotes coming out naturally? How is your body language? What about your hand movements and eye contact?

When you’re feeling more comfortable, deliver your speech to a friend or family member and ask for feedback. This will put your public speaking skills to the test. Ensure they understood your main points, connected emotionally, and had all their objections answered. Once you’ve fine tuned your persuasive speech based on your warm-up audience’s feedback, you’ll be ready for the real thing.

110 interesting persuasive speech topics

Now for the fun part! We’ve compiled a list of 110 persuasive speech topics—broken down by category—for you to choose from or use as inspiration. Use the set of three questions we shared above to determine which of these interesting persuasive speech topics is right for you.

Art, Media, and Culture

  1. Should tattoos still be considered “unprofessional”?
  2. Do romantic movies and books glorify an unrealistic idea of love and lead to heartbreak?
  3. Should offensive and inappropriate language be removed from classic literature?
  4. Does watching TV shows or movies about teenage suicide encourage it or prevent it?
  5. Is creating films and documentaries about criminals glorifying them and inspiring some to become criminals themselves?
  6. Should art and music therapy be prioritized over traditional talk therapy?

College and Career

  1. Should the cost of college be reduced?
  2. Are income-share agreements better for students than taking out student loans?
  3. Should college athletes be paid like professional athletes are?
  4. Are same-sex colleges beneficial or antiquated?
  5. Should everyone go to college?
  6. What are the benefits of taking a gap year before starting college?
  7. Would removing tenure and job-protection from professors improve or reduce the quality of higher education?
  8. Has the traditional college model become outdated in the age of the Internet?
  9. Should you pursue a career based on your passions or a career based on earning potential?

Economy and Work

  1. Should the federal minimum wage be increased?
  2. Is the boom of e-commerce harmful or beneficial to small communities?
  3. Should everyone receive paid maternity and paternity leave?
  4. Is capitalism a harmful or beneficial economic system?
  5. Should manufacturing and outsourced work be moved back to the United States?
  6. Would three-day weekends increase work productivity?
  7. Should working from home be the new standard?
  8. Why should we pay more to support small businesses and services instead of going to large companies and retailers?
  9. Should the US establish mandatory military service for all its young people, such as the countries of Israel and South Korea do?
  10. Should there be a mandatory retirement age?

Education

  1. Should classes about mental health and wellness be added to school curriculum?
  2. At what age or grade should sex education be taught in schools?
  3. How can sex education be taught more effectively?
  4. Should school funding be dependent on taxes of district residents or should all schools receive an equal amount of funding from the state?
  5. What are the benefits of year-round schools?
  6. Are charter schools hurting or helping low-income communities?
  7. Is homeschooling beneficial or harmful to children?
  8. Should students on the Autism spectrum be integrated into regular classrooms?
  9. What should be the qualifications for books to be banned from schools?
  10. Should advanced math classes in high school be replaced with more practical courses on financial literacy and understanding taxes?
  11. Are grades an accurate representation of learning?
  12. Should we switch to the metric system?
  13. What is the most important book every high school student in America should read?
  14. What are the benefits of teaching art and music classes in high school?
  15. Should independent learning be offered as a larger option in high school?
  16. What are the benefits of making preschool free to all families?

Environment and Conservation

  1. Should fuel-run vehicles be banned?
  2. How does it benefit nature to reduce human paper consumption?
  3. Should it be okay to own exotic animals as pets?
  4. Should hunting be made illegal?
  5. What is the biggest current threat to the environment and how would you suggest we remedy it?
  6. Should disposable diapers be banned?
  7. Should zoos and animal theme parks (such as Sea World) be closed?

Family and Religion

  1. Should children have the right to virtual and physical privacy from their parents?
  2. “It takes a village to raise a child.” How important is a community in raising children?
  3. Is it better for a young child to attend daycare or stay home with a parent?
  4. Should children be told to believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy?
  5. Nature vs. nurture—which is the most powerful influence on a person’s character?
  6. Should parents have to give approval in order for their minor children to receive birth control?
  7. How does learning about family ancestors impact you in the present and future?
  8. Should parents teach their kids about sex or is it the responsibility of the school system?
  9. What is the most beneficial parenting style and why?
  10. Should cults receive protection under freedom of religion?
  11. What are the benefits of belonging to a religious community?
  12. Should parents force their children to go to church or let them decide for themselves?

Government and International Relations

  1. Should states have the ability to secede from the U.S.?
  2. Should Puerto Rico be added as a state to the U.S.?
  3. How long should judges serve on the Supreme Court?
  4. Should the U.S. have open borders?
  5. Should the U.S. get involved when leaders of other countries commit human rights violations against their own people?
  6. Is the U.S. overly dependent on manufactured goods and imports from other countries?
  7. Should the government focus on increasing revenue or reducing spending?

Health and Medicine

  1. Should universal health care be freely given to everyone?
  2. Should soda and candy be banned from school campuses?
  3. Should tobacco products be completely banned in America?
  4. Is a plant-based diet better than a meat-based diet?
  5. Should addiction counseling and treatment be covered by health insurance?
  6. Would taxing fast food help combat obesity?
  7. Should we ban all genetically modified foods?
  8. What would be the benefits of making all birth control methods (e.g. condoms, the pill) free of charge?
  9. Should homeopathic and alternative medical treatments be covered by health insurance?

Politics and Society

  1. Should voting become mandatory?
  2. What could politicians do to appeal to younger generations of voters?
  3. Should prisoners have the right to vote?
  4. Would it be better in the U.S. if elected politicians were younger?
  5. Should the police use rubber bullets instead of real bullets?
  6. Are private, for-profit prisons a threat to prisoners’ rights?
  7. Should U.S. military funding be increased or decreased?
  8. Should there be stricter or looser restrictions to qualify for welfare assistance?
  9. Is our current two-party political system good enough or in need of replacing?
  10. Should major corporations be eligible for tax breaks?
  11. How can the current policy on undocumented immigrants in America be improved?
  12. Should it be illegal for politicians to receive donations from large corporations?

Science and Technology

  1. Should animal testing be banned?
  2. Should organ donation be optional or mandated for all?
  3. Is artificial intelligence a threat?
  4. Should parents be allowed to scientifically alter their children’s genes?
  5. What is the best option for renewable energy?
  6. Should military forces be allowed to use drones in warfare?
  7. Should self-driving cars be illegal?
  8. Do the benefits of the internet outweigh the loss of privacy?
  9. Should it be illegal for companies to sell their consumers’ information?
  10. Should the government more strictly regulate the Internet?
  11. How much screen time is too much?
  12. Should everyone receive free internet?
  13. Should we build a colony on the moon?

Social Media

  1. At what age should children be allowed to be on social media?
  2. Should schools be responsible for teaching safe social media education?
  3. When should children be allowed to have a cell phone?
  4. What should the punishment be for cyberbullying?
  5. Do online friendships have the same benefits as in-person friendships?
  6. Are social media influencers beneficial or harmful to society?
  7. Has the popularity of “selfies” increased self-confidence or self-centeredness?
  8. Is cancel culture a positive or a negative thing?
  9. What are the most reliable, unbiased sources to receive news and information?

103 Good Persuasive Speech Topics for Students in 2023

good persuasive speech topics

Do you know that moment in your favorite film, when the soundtrack begins to swell and the main character stands up and delivers a speech so rousing, so impassioned, it has the entire room either weeping or cheering by the time it concludes? What distinguishes the effectiveness of such a speech is not only the protagonist’s stellar delivery, but also the compelling nature of the subject matter at hand. Choosing an effective persuasive speech topic is essential for guaranteeing that your future speech or essay is as moving as these . If this sounds like a tall order, have no fear. Below you’ll find a list of some of the best and most interesting persuasive speech topics for high school students to tackle, from the playful (“Pets for President”) to the serious (“Should We Stop AI from Replacing Human Workers?”).

And if you’re craving more inspiration, feel free to check out this list of 85 Great Debate Topics , which can be used to generate further ideas.

What is a Persuasive Speech?

Before we get to the list, we must address the question on everyone’s minds: what is a persuasive speech, and what the heck makes for a great persuasive speech topic? A persuasive speech is a speech that aims to convince its listeners of a particular point of view . At the heart of each persuasive speech is a central conflict. Note: The persuasive speech stands in contrast to a simple informative speech, which is intended purely to convey information. (I.e., an informative speech topic might read: “The History of Making One’s Bed,” while a persuasive speech topic would be: “Why Making One’s Bed is a Waste of Time”—understand?)

And lest you think that persuasive speeches are simply assigned by your teachers as a particularly cruel form of torture, remember that practicing your oratory skills will benefit you in all areas of life—from job interviews, to business negotiations, to your future college career in public policy or international relations . Knowing how to use your voice to enact meaningful change is a valuable skill that can empower you to make a difference in the world.

Components of a Great Persuasive Speech Topic

The ideal persuasive speech topic will inspire the audience to action via both logical arguments and emotional appeals. As such, we can summarize the question “what makes a good persuasive speech topic?” by saying that the topic must possess the following qualities:

  1. Timeliness and Relevance. Great persuasive speech topics grapple with a contemporary issue that is meaningful to the listener at hand. The topic might be a current news item, or it might be a long-standing social issue. In either case, the topic should be one with real-world implications.
  2. Complexity. A fruitful persuasive speech topic will have many facets. Topics that are controversial, with some gray area, lend themselves to a high degree of critical thinking. They also offer the speaker an opportunity to consider and refute all counterarguments before making a compelling case for his or her own position.
  3. Evidence. You want to be able to back up your argument with clear evidence from reputable sources (i.e., not your best friend or dog). The more evidence and data you can gather, the more sound your position will be, and the more your audience will be inclined to trust you.
  4. Personal Connection. Do you feel passionately about the topic you’ve chosen? If not, it may be time to go back to the drawing board. This does not mean you have to support the side you choose; sometimes, arguing for the opposing side of what you personally believe can be an effective exercise in building empathy and perspective. Either way, though, the key is to select a topic that you care deeply about. Your passion will be infectious to the audience.

103 Persuasive Speech Topics

Technology

  1. Should tech companies regulate the development of AI systems and automation to protect humans’ jobs?
  2. Should we limit screen time for children?
  3. Is it ethical for AI models like Dall-E to train themselves on artists’ work without the artists’ permission?
  4. Should the government regulate the use of personal drones?
  5. Is mass surveillance ethical? Does its threat to civil liberties outweigh its benefits?
  6. Are virtual reality experiences a valuable educational tool?
  7. Do the positive effects of powerful AI systems outweigh the risks?
  8. Do voice assistants like Siri and Alexa invade individuals’ privacy?
  9. Are cell phone bans in the classroom effective for improving student learning?
  10. Does the use of facial recognition technology in public violate individuals’ privacy?

Business and Economy

  1. Should we do away with the minimum wage? Why or why not?
  2. Is it ethical for companies to use unpaid internships as a source of labor?
  3. Does the gig economy benefit or harm workers?
  4. Is capitalism the best economic system?
  5. Is it ethical for companies to use sweatshops in developing countries?
  6. Should the government provide free healthcare for all citizens?
  7. Should the government regulate prices on pharmaceutical drugs?
  8. Should the government enact a universal base income?

Bioethics

  1. Should we legalize euthanasia?
  2. Is it ethical to use animals for medical research?
  3. Is it ethical to allow access to experimental treatments for terminally ill patients?
  4. Should we allow genetic engineering in humans?
  5. Is the death penalty obsolete?
  6. Should we allow the cloning of humans?
  7. Is it ethical to allow performance-enhancing drugs in sports?

Family

  1. Should the government limit how many children a couple can have?
  2. Is spanking children an acceptable form of discipline?
  3. Should we allow parents to choose their children’s physical attributes through genetic engineering?
  4. Should we require parents to vaccinate their children?
  5. Should we require companies to give mandatory paternal and maternal leave?

Social Media

  1. Should social media platforms ban political ads?
  2. Do the benefits of social media outweigh the downsides?
  3. Should the government hold social media companies responsible for hate speech on their platforms?
  4. Is social media making us more or less social?
  5. Do platforms like TikTok exacerbate mental health issues in teens?
  6. Should the government regulate social media to protect citizens’ privacy?
  7. Is it right for parents to monitor their children’s social media accounts?
  8. Should social media companies enact a minimum user age restriction?
  9. Should we require social media companies to protect user data?
  10. Should we hold social media companies responsible for cyberbullying?
  11. Should schools ban the use of social media from their networks?

Education – Persuasive Speech Topics

  1. Would trade schools and other forms of vocational training benefit a greater number of students than traditional institutions of higher education?
  2. Should colleges use standardized testing in their admissions processes?
  3. Is forcing students to say the Pledge a violation of their right to freedom of speech?
  4. Should school districts offer bilingual education programs for non-native speakers?
  5. Should schools do away with their physical education requirements?
  6. Should schools incorporate a remote learning option into their curriculum?
  7. Should we allow school libraries to ban certain books?
  8. Should we remove historical figures who owned slaves from school textbooks and other educational materials?

Sports

  1. Should colleges pay student athletes?
  2. Should we ban violent contact sports like boxing and MMA?
  3. Should sports leagues require professional athletes to stand during the national anthem?
  4. Should sports teams ban players like Kyrie Irving when they spread misinformation or hate speech?
  5. Should high schools require their athletes to maintain a certain GPA?
  6. Should the Olympic committee allow transgender athletes to compete?
  7. Should high schools ban football due to its safety risks to players?

Science

  1. In which renewable energy option would the US do best to invest?
  2. Should the US prioritize space exploration over domestic initiatives?
  3. Should companies with a high carbon footprint be punished?
  4. Should the FDA ban GMOs?
  5. Would the world be a safer place without nuclear weapons?
  6. Does AI pose a greater threat to humanity than it does the potential for advancement?

Social Issues – Persuasive Speech Topics

  1. College education: should the government make it free for all?
  2. Should we provide free healthcare for undocumented immigrants?
  3. Is physician-assisted suicide morally justifiable?
  4. Does social media have a negative impact on democracy?
  5. Does cancel culture impede free speech?
  6. Does affirmative action help or hinder minority groups in the workplace?
  7. Should we hold public figures and celebrities to a higher standard of morality?

Politics and Government

  1. Is the Electoral College still an effective way to elect the President of the US?
  2. Should we allow judges to serve on the Supreme Court indefinitely?
  3. Should the US establish a national gun registry?
  4. Countries like Israel and China require all citizens to serve in the army. Is this a good or bad policy?
  5. Should the police force require all its officers to wear body cameras while on duty?
  6. Should the US invest in the development of clean meat as a sustainable protein source?
  7. Should the US adopt ranked-choice voting?
  8. Should institutions that profited from slavery provide reparations?

Easy Persuasive Speech Topics

  1. Should schools have uniforms?
  2. Can video games improve problem-solving skills?
  3. Are online classes as effective as in-person classes?
  4. Should companies implement a four-day work week?
  5. Co-ed learning versus single-sex: which is more effective?
  6. Should the school day start later?
  7. Is homework an effective teaching tool?
  8. Are electric cars really better for the environment?
  9. Should schools require all students to study a foreign language?

Funny Persuasive Speech Topics

  1. Should we allow pets to run for public office?
  2. Does pineapple belong on pizza?
  3. Would students benefit from schools swapping out desks with more comfortable seating arrangements (i.e., bean bag chairs and couches)?
  4. Is procrastination the key to success?
  5. Should Americans adopt British accents to sound more intelligent?
  6. The age-old dilemma: cats or dogs?
  7. Should meme creators receive royalties when their memes go viral?

Interesting Persuasive Speech Topics

  1. Is the movie ranking system an effective way to evaluate the appropriateness of films?
  2. Should the government place a “health tax” on junk food?
  3. Is it ethical to create artificial life forms that are capable of complex emotions?
  4. Should parents let children choose their own names?
  5. Creating clones of ourselves to serve as organ donors: ethical or not?
  6. Is it ethical to engineer humans to be better and more optimized than nature intended?
  7. Should we adopt a universal language to communicate with people from all countries?
  8. Should there be a penalty for people who don’t vote?

I’ve Chosen My Topic, Now What?

Once you’ve selected your topic, it’s time to get to work crafting your argument. Preparation for a persuasive speech or essay involves some key steps, which we’ve outlined for you below.

Putting Together a Successful Persuasive Speech, Step by Step

  1. Research your topic. Read widely and smartly. Stick to credible sources, such as peer-reviewed articles, published books, government reports, textbooks, and news articles. The right sources and data will be necessary in helping you establish your authority. Take notes as you go.
  2. Create an Outline. Your outline should include an introduction with a thesis statement, a body that uses evidence to elaborate and support your position while refuting any counterarguments, and a conclusion. The conclusion will both summarize the points made earlier and serve as your final chance to persuade your audience.
  3. Write Your Speech. Use your outline to help you, as well as the data you’ve collected. Remember: this is not dry writing; this writing has a point of view, and that point of view is yours. Use anecdotes and examples to back up your argument. The essential components of this speech are logos (logic), ethos (credibility), and pathos (emotion). The ideal speech will use all three of these functions to draw the audience in and engage them.
  4. Practice! As Yoda says: “ Mastery, you seek. Practice, you must .” It sounds cheesy, but it’s true: the more you practice, the more confident you’ll be when it’s time to get up there. Read your speech out loud several times. Be sure to speak slowly and enunciate, and don’t be afraid to make eye contact with your listeners to stay connected.

Good Persuasive Speech Topics—Final Thoughts

The art of persuasive speaking is a tricky one, but the tips and tricks laid out here will help you craft a compelling argument that will sway even the most dubious audience to your side. Mastering this art takes both time and practice, so don’t fret if it doesn’t come to you right away. Remember to draw upon your sources, speak with authority, and have fun. Once you have the skill of persuasive speaking down, go out there and use your voice to impact change!

Persuasive Speech Topics

Lauren Green

With a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from Columbia University and an MFA in Fiction from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin, Lauren has been a professional writer for over a decade. She is the author of the chapbook A Great Dark House (Poetry Society of America, 2023) and a forthcoming novel (Viking/Penguin).

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Maddie Otto

By Maddie Otto

Maddie is a second-year medical student at the University of Notre Dame in Sydney and one of Level Medicine’s workshop project managers. Prior to studying medicine, she worked and studied as a musician in Melbourne. She has a background in community arts, which combined her love for both the arts and disability support. She is an advocate for intersectional gender equity, and is passionate about accessibility and inclusive practice within the healthcare system.