Chapter 13: “Persuasive Speaking”

Chapter 13: “Persuasive Speaking”
I. Seven characteristics of persuasive speaking contrast with informative speaking
(chapter 11).
A. Persuasive speeches urge choice among options; informative speeches
reveal the options.
B. Persuasive speakers are advocates; informative speakers function as
C. Persuasive speeches develop supporting material as evidence to justify
advice; informative speeches provide supporting material to enlighten.
D. Persuasive speeches ask for more audience commitment than informative
speeches do.
E. Leadership is more important in persuasive speeches than in informative
F. Appeals to feelings are more appropriate in persuasive speeches than
informative speeches.
G. The ethical obligation for persuasive speeches is greater than that for
informative speeches.
II. A persuasive speech will usually emphasize one of the functions below, but all
three may be present also.
A. Persuasive speaking seeks to adjust listener attitudes, beliefs, and
B. Persuasive speaking seeks to urge listeners to take action.
C. Persuasive speaking seeks to present and answer opposing views.
III. Successful persuasion is a process involving up to twelve steps; for this course,
these phases will be grouped into five stages.
A. Awareness— sometimes called consciousness raising— includes knowing
about a problem, paying attention to it, and understanding how it affects
the world.
B. Understanding is the second phase when listeners grasp what you are
telling them.
C. Agreement means the listeners not only accept the speaker’s
recommendations but remember their reasons for doing so.
D. Enactment is when listeners act on what you say.
1. For example, they sign a petition.
2. Or they write letters to newspapers.
E. Integration is the final stage of the persuasive process when listeners
weave new attitudes and commitments into previous beliefs and values.
IV. There are a variety of possible challenges when you present a persuasive speech,
and there are a variety of strategies to meet these challenges.
A. Enticing a reluctant audience to listen is possible.
1. You can adopt a co-active approach (def. 355) to meet this
2. You do not want to create a boomerang effect (def. 357).
3. Avoid what McGuire calls the great expectation fallacy.
4. Be sure you offer a multi-sided presentation.
B. Removing barriers to commitment requires doing three things.
1. Provide listeners with needed information.
2. Affirm and show how your proposal relates to their values or
3. Strengthen your credibility by “borrowing ethos.”
C. Moving your listener from attitude to action requires giving them a
reason to act.
1. Remind listeners of their beliefs.
2. Demonstrate the need for involvement.
3. Present a clear plan of action.
4. Make it easy for them to comply with your plan.
D. Always remember your ethical responsibilities when you are in a position
to persuade others.
V. There are three speech designs especially suited for persuasive speaking, but
there are other patterns for you to consider explained in Figure 13.3
A. Problem-solution design first convinces listeners there is a problem, then
shows them how to deal with it.
1. Use this design when the problem can be clearly identified and the
solution is concrete.
2. When preparing this design, do not overwhelm listeners with
3. A variation of this design is stock issues design, which attempts to
answer the major questions that a reasonable, careful person would
ask before agreeing to a change in policies or procedures.
B. Motivated sequence design, which has five steps, is also related to
problem-solution design, but it is distinctive enough to discuss its
development separately.
1. Arouse attention.
2. Demonstrate a need.
3. Satisfy the need.
4. Visualize the results.
5. Call for action.
C. Refutative design serves directly the function of answering opposing
viewpoints; this design has five steps.
1. State the point you are going to refute and why it is important.
2. Tell the audience how you are going to refute the point.
3. Present your evidence.
4. Spell out the conclusion for listeners.
5. Explain the significance of your refutation— show how it discredits
or damages opposition.
VI. Summary
VII. Terms
VIII. Notes
IX. Sample persuasive speech: “Global Burning” by Joshua Logan