How to sway the audience
The Importance of Persuasion
Persuasion is the process of creating,
reinforcing, or changing people’s beliefs or
The ability to speak and write persuasively
will benefit you in every part of your life!
Understanding the principles of persuasion
is also vital to being an informed citizen
and consumer.
Something to Note…
When you speak to persuade, you act as
an advocate. Your job is to get others to
believe with you and possibly act on that
Your goal may be to defend an idea, to
refute an opponent, to sell a program, or to
inspire people to action.
Ethics in Persuasion
Make sure your goals are ethically sound
and that you can defend them if they are
questioned or challenged.
Study your topic so that you do not
mislead your audience through muddled
Be honest in what you say. There is no
place in ethical thinking for false or
deceptive statements.
The Psychology of Persuasion
Persuasion is a psychological process. It
occurs in a situation where two or more
points of view exist.
There must be a disagreement, or there
would be no need for persuasion.
The Psychology of Persuasion:
The Challenge of Persuasive Speaking
 Of all types of public speaking, persuasion is the
most complex and the most challenging.
 In every persuasive speech, you will face some
listeners who are strongly in favor of your
position, some who are neutral, and some who
are adamantly opposed.
 How successful you are in any particular
persuasive speech will depend above all on how
well you tailor your message to the values,
attitudes, and beliefs of your audience.
The Psychology of Persuasion:
How Listeners Process
Persuasive Messages
 Listeners often engage in a mental give and take
with the speaker.
 While they listen, they actively assess the
speaker’s credibility, delivery, supporting
materials, language, reasoning, and emotional
 Think of your speech as a kind of mental
dialogue with your audience. You must
anticipate possible objections in your speech.
You cannot convert skeptical listeners unless
you deal directly with the reasons for their
Degrees of Persuasion
in Favor
in Favor
Persuasion involves any movement by a listener from left to right
in Favor
Requirements of Persuasion
Persuasion requires providing the
audience with enough information to
understand the topic under discussion,
while appealing to the emotions, attitudes,
and values, and good sense of the
listeners. Persuasion requires setting up a
course of action that is well-suited to
audience capabilities and ethics, and is a
logical outgrowth of the arguments set up
within the speech.
Combination for Persuasion
A good persuasive speech requires the
speaker to put together elements of logos,
pathos, and ethos that have been
mastered throughout the class so that the
audience agrees with the speaker and
sees the logic behind the action step.
A speech whose message
attempts to change or reinforce
an audience’s thoughts, feelings,
or actions
 This refers to the process of drawing
conclusions based on evidence and
reasoning. Evidence is used to prove the
truth of a contention or opinion.
 If a speaker contends or asserts that a topic
is important, the audience will want to know
why. Anticipating that question, the speaker
will provide facts and testimony from
research that supports his or her contention.
Reasoning is a process of stacking
evidence to create support for conclusions
drawn by the speaker.
One simple form of reasoning that we use
all of the time is cause-and-effect.
Then, there is the problem-solution speech
where the speaker sets up or describes a
problem then suggests a solution based
on conclusions drawn from evidence.
Testing Logic
Logic can be tested by breaking down the
sequence of assumptions and evidence
put forth by the speaker, then checking to
see if the conclusion actually fits the
Delivering a Persuasive Speech
The energy level, adequacy of
preparation, and perceived trustworthiness
of the speaker are all persuasive
Conclusions can be reached in one of two
ways: deductively or inductively.
Deductive reasoning builds layer upon
layer of proof, then comes to a conclusion
that can be tested.
Inductive reasoning flips the pyramid over
and is used to draw a broad range of
conclusions based on a single point of
Possible topics
 Eating fast-food
 Public displays of affection
 Prayer in schools
 Helmet laws
 Speaking English in America
 School uniforms
 Education in prisons
 The “insanity defense”
 Puppy mills
 Curfews