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Good Persuasive Speech Topics


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Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt,
so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. - Collosians 4:6

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On the Persuasive Topics page, I wrote that the three basic elements of rhetoric, as Aristotle was kind enough to outline for us a few millennia ago, is Logos, Pathos and Ethos.  On this page, I'll delve into the details of Ethos:  The use of credibility...
Persuasive Speech Ideas
Need a few good persuasive speech topics?  This page not only contains a nice list of topics you can use in speeches, debates or essays - especially when you're looking to prove a point - but will also teach you some of the basics of persuading people to agree with your ideas.
Politics (10)
Stop Lifetime Pay for Lawmakers
Require All States to Have Citizen Legislators
Require Only Public Funds for Campaign Financing
Legalize 6 month Campaign Season
Limit Number of Media Ads
Abolish 2 Party System
Repeal Term Limits
Repeal Lifetime Security for Ex-Presidents
Reduce Pay for Lawmakers
Maximum Limit on Campaign Spending

National Policy (34)
Movie Ratings Enforced by Law
Reinstate Don’t Ask/Tell
Socialized Health Care
Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients
Forgive Student Loans for Full-time Workers
Increased Health Insurance Costs for Non-
Passports Required as Identification
National ID for Everyone
Polygamy Made Legal
Legalize Illegal Aliens
Mandatory Military Service
English and Spanish Official US Languages
Reinstate Prohibition of Alcohol
Mandatory Diets for Obese People
Legalize Steroids for Athletes
Abolish Speed Limits on Highways
Raise Driving Age
Euthanasia for Elderly/Infirm
Mandatory Prison for 1st Offense Drunk Driving
Abolish the National Endowment for Arts
Lower the Drinking Age
Forgive Students Loans for Community Service
Gas Guzzlers Outlawed
One Tax Rate
Abolish US Postal Service
Mandatory Volunteer Service for High Schoolers
Total Deregulation of Stock Market
Require High School Graduation for Military Service
Earthquake Insurance Required where Warranted
Make Puerto Rico a State
Totally Close Mexican Border
Require Prisoners to Work
Prison Sentences for Dead-Beat Parents
Celebrate Columbus Day?
Now you may think that your credibility in any given area is mostly out of your control, since you can't very likely go back to school for another Major-in-something-else every time you make a speech on a given topic.  But wait, there's good news!  Even though you don't personally have credentials or experience to back up whatever you're talking about, you can still remain credible by making use of credible sources...

2) The credibility of your sources.  Use sources that are trustworthy or credible.  Audiences will take you seriously when you quote from scientific journals, respected niche magazines or credible experts, but not when you use Tabloids, Facebook or even Wikipedia!

Yes, the rise of information on the Internet has been both a blessing and a curse since, while previously hard-to-access information may know be at your fingertips, vast amounts of it are simply inaccurate, speculation or opinion.  So be careful about the sources you use...

List of 50 Good Persuasive Speech Topics

Below you'll find a list of good persuasive speech topics that you can use to argue either for or against.  This is only one of four lists of topics, so be sure to have a look at the Logos, Pathos and Rhetoric pages for more...
Susan Peterson M.D PhD M.A B.Lah BL.ah BSc

While Logos makes use of cold hard facts, statistics and rationality, and pathos appeals to the emotions, ethos is all about credibility

When something or somebody is credible it simply means that it's trustworthy and that the audience can rely on it/him/her to communicate accurately and truthfully.  Two things to consider with ethos...

1) Your own credibility.  Do you have some experience or education in your topic matter?  Do you have a credential or a degree in the 'university of life' to prove that you're a trustworthy source...