A persuasive speech is one of the many forms of public speaking. This type of speech is delivered with the intention if affecting the audience enough to make a decision that they were initially not willing to make. It also aims at getting people to accept a different idea or theory. Making a persuasive speech is not as simple as it sounds, the speaker must have the ability to strike a deeply affect his audience in such a way that they consider acting upon his suggestions.
The Successful Persuasive Speech
For a persuasive speech to be truly effective, the speaker must appeal to three components that were once described by Socrates:
- Ethos – which refers to the speakers own features i.e. his educational background and his style of presentation
- Pathos – which aims at striking an emotional chord with the audience; and
- Logos, which makes an appeal to the rational side of the listeners. For logos to work effectively, examples and experiences may have to be used.
For a persuasive speech to have the desired effect, each of these components must be utilized. In addition, the speaker must be clearly audible to all members of the audience, structured and organized, and highly skilful in presentation and delivery.
You CAN learn how to successfully deliver a persuasive speech!
It goes without saying, for an effective persuasive speech; the speaker must be a master at the art of capturing audience attention with his oratory. He must then continue to hold the audience’s attention for as long as it takes for them to accept his beliefs.
Persuasive speeches should key on topics that interest the audience. The most well written speech is a disaster unless it appeals to audience interests. No audience will connect with a speech that the speaker himself does not completely believe. In other words, the speaker must be passionate about espousing the virtues of his cause, using masterful oratory techniques. Nothing puts off an audience like the notion that a speech has been prepared by someone else and that the speaker is merely quoting it from memory. Even if the speech has been prepared by someone else, the speaker needs to deliver it as if he had thought up the ideas on his own! This is, by no means an easy task and requires a good deal of training and practice.
Further, the speaker delivering a persuasive speech must be well versed in the art of using emotional nuances and inflections to connect with an audience. Making use of voice modulations and inflections, knowing when to pause and when to raise his voice are all important skills that help create the perfect persuasive speech. Besides the voice and tonal modulations, the speaker must take care to control gestures and hand movements. Too many of these may damage his credibility and can be a distraction to the audience. Finally, the speaker should not go overboard with the use of exaggerated speech delivery techniques. Such gimmicks are unnecessary and will cause the audience to assume that he is insincere.
Luckily, the art of persuasive speech, although difficult, is not impossible to learn. There are a number of seminars and training programs out there that will help you build your speech delivering skills and equip you with techniques to become a master at commanding and retaining audience attention.