How Can You Become More Persuasive In Your Next Speech?

The reason that we give a speech is to persuade an audience
The reason that we give a speech is to persuade an audience
Image Credit: Gabriel Caparó

So why do you even bother? Why go to all of the effort to give a speech? I mean, if you agree to give a speech you are really signing yourself up to pick a topic, do the research needed, write the speech, practice the speech, and then finally go to the effort of actually delivering the speech. Man, that sure seems like a big commitment. Why do it? If you are like most of us the reason that you are willing to give a speech is because you understand the importance of public speaking and you see this as yet another opportunity for you to persuade an audience to see the world the way that you do. Great thought. Now just exactly how does one go about persuading an audience?

5 Key Ways To Persuade An Audience

When we are giving a speech, what are we trying to do? We are trying to persuade, influence, and perhaps even build some consensus within our audience. I personally believe that the ability to do this is one of the most important skills that a speaker can have. Now comes the really big question – how can any of us make our speeches even more persuasive? We all have to agree that becoming more persuasive is not an easy thing to do. It’s going to take some attention to detail and preparation on our part. The good news for us is that there are some fundamental characteristics to make this happen that we can work into our next speech.

Each and every speech that we give needs to be clear. This is critical because if we don’t take the time to shape the words that we use, then we are going to be left with an audience that is not able to follow our line of reasoning. If this happens then we will have failed because our audience will not have been persuaded when our speech is over.

I like to talk. A lot. What this means is that when I’m creating a speech in which I’d like to be able to persuade an audience, I need to take the time to practice the art of brevity. I need to put myself in my audience’s place as I review what I’m going to be saying. I need to realize that if my audience is going to be spending their time waiting for me to get to my main point, then once again my audience is not going to walk away being persuaded about anything that I told them.

One thing that may be very clear to us, but not so clear to our audience, is context. How does what we are talking about impact them? If we want to have any hope of persuading them then we are going to have to have taken the time to very clearly map out how the things that we are talking about will affect them and their lives. If the relevance to your audience is not made obvious by your speech, then in the end your audience will not be persuaded to believe what you have told them.

So how long will your audience be listening to what you are telling them? 30 minutes? 60 minutes? 90 minutes? No matter how long your speech is, you have to make sure that the words that are coming out of your mouth are going to have an impact on your audience. You need to find a way to shake them up, make them understand that things can’t stay the same and that they have to change. If your speech does not have an impact on your audience, then there is no chance that they will be able to remember what you said once your speech is done and they will not have been persuaded.

In the end, it all comes down to value. You are going to the effort of preparing and delivering this speech because you believe that you are giving something of value to your audience. They need to agree with you. If for some reason, your audience does not believe that there is any value in what you have told them and instead you just talked about things from your personal perspective, then in the end your audience will not have been persuaded.

What All Of This Means For You

Agreeing to give a speech is a big deal. You are signing up to do a great deal of work to both prepare and then deliver your speech. As long as you are going to be making this effort, you need to have a very clear understanding of just exactly why you are willing to do it. What you are going to have to figure out is how you are going to go about using the benefits of public speaking to persuade your next audience.

The goal of any speech that we give is to find a way to persuade our audience. This is not an easy thing to do. The first thing that we need to realize is that our speech needs to be clear. If our audience does not understand what we are trying to tell them, then they will not be persuaded. We have to get to the meat of what we are going to be talking about as quickly as possible so that we don’t end up losing our audience. The context of our speech is important. We need to make sure that our audience understands how what we are talking about is going to end up impacting them. Your speech has to change your audience’s lives. You need to make sure that you are going to have an impact on them. The only way that you’ll be persuasive if if you can deliver a speech to your audience that they believe has value to them.

Giving a speech to persuade an audience is a great goal to have when delivering a speech. However, this is not an easy thing to accomplish. If we want to be successful at doing this then there are 5 things that your next speech is going to have to bring to the table: clarity, brevity, context, impact, and, of course, value. If you can work these into your next speech, you’ll walk away from that speech having persuaded your audience.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: How quickly do you think that you need to get to your main point when you are making a speech?

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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Every time that you have a chance to give a speech, you want it to turn out well. You’d like to be able to walk off of the stage feeling good about the speech that you gave and because of the importance of public speaking the impact that it had on your audience. In order to make this kind of speech happen, there is a lot of information about your speech that you are going to have to be able to remember and then tell your audience. There are many different ways to go about doing this, which one is the best?