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COM 1100: Persuasive Speeches

What is a persuasive speech?

Persuasive speech is given to change audience attitudes and behavior on specific topic or subject. It has to be presented with information collected from different sources, in order to persuade.

  • Changes audiences attitudes, beliefs and behavior
  • Gets something from the audience
  • Persuasion can be informative
  • Tends to have more controversial purpose
  • Expect powerful response from listeners, a "call to action"
  • Requires greater degrees of proof and credibility
  • Effective persuasive speech presentations

Sources for Persuasive Speech Ideas

Persuasive speech ideas can often come from controversial topics.  Outlined below are a few resources for controversial topics which may spark an idea for a persuasive speech topic.

Purchased by Brittanica Group in 2020, ProCon is the country’s leading source for information and research on all sides of the debatable issues of the day. is neither conservative nor liberal nor otherwise politically biased. Issues are arranged both alphabetically or by topic. 

  • Lists from Academic Library LibGuides as idea starters
    • St. Ambrose University Hot Topics
      • Consider subject headings provided for each topic and use in CUC database searches.  Try suggested book titles in CUC catalog search tool to find or request from other libraries. Look at websites suggested for additional information but be sure to evaluate for currency, relevance, authority, accuracy and purpose. See PDF below for more information.
    • McLennan Community College
      • Current and Controversial Issues with links to information along the spectrum of each issue.
    • University of Michigan Flint
      • List of current events and controversial issues.

When using websites for any type of research,  it is important that you have evaluated them for relevance, timeliness, reliability, validity, credibility, perspective and purpose, etc. Use the checklist below: