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Persuasive speech outline – its structure and writing tips

June 30, 2020

It’s impossible to find a person that has outstanding oration skills from birth. Of course, some people are more charismatic than others, but this solely won’t allow you to transmit different messages to a different audience in an equally good manner. That is when a persuasive speech outline comes in hand.

Persuasive Speech Outline – Its Structure and Writing Tips

It is a plan that will help to achieve any goal that you have during a speech. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re performing in front of a class or on a public event. Everything needs an outline, and public performances are not an exception.

Most likely, you have already worked on outlines when writing a research paper or an essay (if not, we highly recommend doing it). If you did, it wouldn’t be too hard to write a persuasive speech outline even though there are a few peculiarities to keep in mind.

Today we will stick to the most popular and time-tested format of a speech format, which millions of people use day after day. It doesn’t matter whether you just need a plan to structure your thoughts or are terrified of performing: these guidelines on crafting a persuasive speech outline will be of great help. Below you will find the structure of the future outline, writing tips, and of course, an example of a great outline.

Structure of a persuasive speech outline

Some students have enough time to prepare for a speech, while others need to perform impromptu. That is why it’s important to remember the structure below and be ready to hold a speech even without previous preparation.

We recommend saving it on the cloud and opening any time you need it! Here’s how your persuasive speech outline should look like:

  • Introduction
    In the first part of your speech, you need to grab the attention of the audience, present thesis statements, and give a quick overview of what you’re going to discuss. Don’t forget to explain why you are credible to cover the topic and provide a smooth transition to the next chapter.
  • Body
    This is the ‘meat’ of your speech, where you need to cover the main arguments and provide supporting evidence and facts. To make the speech interesting and readable, don’t forget about transition phrases.
  • Conclusion
    The closing part of the persuasive speech outline is the conclusion. It indicates that the end is near, restates main arguments and thesis, and contains a powerful final sentence.

All these elements should come in the form of a list, so it will be easier for you to quickly find the necessary element and to stick to the structure.

How to write a powerful persuasive speech outline

By now, you know what features a persuasive speech outline should include and how to make it simple to use. Below we want to share a few winning tips that were collected by our team after many years of experience. Read them attentively, apply on practice, and you’ll definitely become a guru of the outline writing!

Grab the attention

It’s crucial to catch the attention of the audience by an interesting sentence right from the start. If you fail to draw their attention, it will be hard to make them focus on the things you want to say. There are multiple things that can open the speech:

  • A dramatic or alarming statistics, fact or story;
  • Personal experience concerning the discussed topic;
  • Rhetorical question;
  • A funny story, joke or anecdote;
  • Quote of someone famous;
  • Visual materials.

However, the catch sentence is very tricky, and you must avoid anything offending. Even if you think that your joke is pure fun, someone may take it close. Another advice to grab the attention of the audience is to provide your credibility: listeners need to understand why your words can be trusted.

If you show them that you are experienced and educated on the topic, they will follow your words with more attention.

Show the problem

You should be clear right from the start and explain to the audience what problem you are planning to solve. Actually, the need to see the problem and not only hear it. Provide enough credible information like statistics, research, and analysis to help people understand that the issue deserves their attention.

For this, we recommend conducting research and use sources from reliable databases. These can be books, articles, journals, and other publications of respectable authors. Make sure that the source is relevant and fresh. You may be tempted to use Wikipedia for showing the problem, but it often contains wrong data.

Provide a solution

When the problem is stated, it’s the right time to offer a solution. If you have followed all the above stages accurately, most likely, the audience is already waiting impatiently to see what things you can offer. Here are a few tips from our experts:

  • Describe the solution briefly and accurately;
  • Explain why the solution may solve the issue;
  • Include real-life examples to show why your plan is going to work;
  • Back the solution with credible support materials;
  • Present any counterarguments. Thus, you’ll be prepared, and it will be much easier to answer questions after the speech.

Give a perspective

Persuasive speech means that your task is to convince the audience that your point of view is correct. That is why showing the problem and coming with a solution is not enough: you need to explain what will happen if they don’t do as you offer. But don’t scare them away and combine both negative and positive effects. Tell how bad the situation may be if the issue isn’t solved and then depict an opposite situation.

The more contrast and vivid the picture is, the more chances you have to reach the hearts and minds of the audience. Another advice here is to give both a general and an individual perspective of what may happen. If you manage to appeal to all five senses, the audience will be thinking something like ‘this will definitely make our lives better’ or ‘I can’t wait to start!’

Call to action

Last but not the least tip is to motivate the audience to do something. You have already provided everything the audience needs to know: the problem, the solution, and alternative realities depending on the choices they will make. Now you need to motivate listeners and make them want to research the issue further, to support your point of view, and to do something to change the situation.

Here are the tools you can use:

  • Summarize the strongest points;
  • Quote someone famous;
  • Challenge the audience;
  • Give a personal example; 
  • Explain why everyone bears personal responsibility for the problem.

Think of the speeches you have seen and listened to: they always end on a high note, and you get the feeling that you’re ready to conquer the world. That is why you should make the ending strong and powerful, pushing the audience to action.

Offer something simple that everyone can do right after leaving the room. For example, you can ask everyone to smile to the person sitting nearby or to ask anyone willing to help to raise hands on the spot.

Persuasive speech outline example

The goal of persuasive speech: to take action and protect second-hand smokers, so:

  • Introduction
    • Smokers bear responsibility for what they do to people around them;
    • Additional laws may protect nonsmokers;
    • I have to deal with second-hand smoke when it bars where smoking is permitted;
    • The problem concerns everyone because we all breathe second-hand smoke.
  • Body paragraphs
    • Impact of second-hand smoke on our bodies. Cigarettes contain cancer-causing agents like cadmium, benzene, carbon monoxide, nickel, formaldehyde, and others. According to the EPA, passive smoking is the cause of around 3,000 deaths of lung cancer per year. Some chemicals cause coronary diseases and around 37,000 deaths from heart disease per year.
    • What is done to protect passive smokers? Examples of successful programs and campaigns to protect people from second-hand smoke. According to California’s restrictions, 30 states prohibit smoking in public places, and 17 of them have penalties. Individual entrepreneurs take an active part in fighting the problem.
    • A world without passive smoking. Having meals at cafes and restaurants will be more pleasant, and people won’t have to worry about the air they breathe;
    • Hanging out with friends in bars will be fun, and you won’t return home coughing and having to take all the clothes to the laundry.
  • Conclusion
    • Summary. Today I have discussed the problems of passive smoking. I told about the laws that different states apply to fight the problem and protect US citizens.
    • Everyone can contribute to solving the problem by making your home and environment smoke-free, supporting restaurants that prohibit smoking. You can also reach your council and congressman to address the problem;
    • Everyone has a right to breathe clean and fresh air that is free from chemicals that cause strokes, cancer, and other deadly diseases. It’s crucial to speak publicly about the dangers that passive smoking brings.

Quick help with writing a persuasive speech outline

Congratulations! Now you know how important outlines are, are well aware of how to write them, and even have an example for a speech outline that will persuade the audience with ease. There’s only one problem left: lack of time.

Many students don’t have enough time to deal with all the tasks and constantly need help and assistance. If you are one of them, don’t worry! Our team of writers, proofreaders, editors, and managers is there 24/7.

We will not only help you with outline writing but can create a powerful, persuasive speech from scratch!