Interesting Persuasive Speech Topics: A List for High School & College

persuasive speech examplesIf you have been assigned a persuasive speech, lucky you!  This might not seem like your idea of a fun time, but getting to give a persuasive speech can actually be one of the more interesting parts of the school year.  Being persuasive really just means getting people to see things your way.  With that in mind, I would encourage you to take some time to think about what aspects of your life mean a lot to you.  If you can throw yourself into a topic you have a lot of personal interest in, you are more likely to be successfully persuasive.

Some of the more abstract topics like political views might be popular, but your speech could come off sounding hollow or disingenuous, if you don’t really care or have much interest in them.  It’s better to get a hold of a topic you can really identify with, and bring your audience around to agreeing with your opinions.  Let’s take a look at some possible topic ideas:

Employment for Young People

Employment is one of the biggest responsibilities you will ever have, and many high school students are just beginning to find that out.  Do you have any personal experiences that you can bring to the table to help build a clear and strong argument?  Did you find the job search to be especially difficult because of your age?  Is there any aspect of employment that you feel could be improved?  A few sample topics are below:

  • Why Teenaged Workers Should Not Automatically be Given Minimum Wage
  • Businesses Should Hire More Young People
  • Companies Should Offer Tuition Reimbursement Programs for Workers Attending College
  • Why You Should (or Shouldn’t) Get a Job While in High School
  • The Best Jobs for Students
  • The Worst Jobs for Students
  • Schools Should Have Placement Programs to Help Students Get Part Time Jobs
  • Why Students With Jobs Should Have More Time for Assignments
  • Why You Should Get Paid for Household Chores
  • Why Certain Classes in School Should Count as Work Experience
  • Businesses Should Offer Transportation To and From Work

Changes to the School Environment

Whether you are in high school, technical school or college, you are spending much of your time in classes.  How those classes are run effects your day a great deal.  There are probably some changes you can think of which would make your life easier.  Are there any rules in school which seem particularly unfair?  Are there parts of school which might benefit from better rules?  Some examples of persuasive arguments might include:

  • Why the School Should Issue More Parking Passes
  • Campus / School Security is Too Tough
  • Creating a Women’s Center at School
  • Extending the Hours of the Cafeteria
  • Students Should Have the Opportunity to Seek Mediation for Help With Conflict Resolution
  • Why Dorms Should (or Shouldn’t) Be Co-Ed
  • Why Alcohol Should (or Shouldn’t) Be Allowed on Campus for Students of Drinking Age
  • The School Should Make Free Tutoring Available
  • Why “Quiet Hours” Should be Enforced in the Dorms
  • Make Athletic Facilities Available to All Students
  • Work Study Programs or Internships Better Prepare Students for the Job Market
  • Students Who Volunteer on Campus Should Receive a Tuition Break
  • Allow More Free Time or Study Time for High School Students
  • Arguments Against Standardized Testing

Changes to Age Requirements

One of the most frustrating things for a young person to run into is being told that you can not access or participate in something because you do not meet the age requirement.  If you can come up with a good, persuasive argument as to why these restrictions should be changed, you may get some people thinking.  Some possible topics in this area include:

  • Lowering the Driving Age For Students Who Pass a Safety and Driver Training Class
  • Lowering the Drinking Age to 18 to be More in Line With Other Countries
  • Allow 18 Year Old High School Students to Sign Their Own Permission Slips
  • Allow 16 Year Olds With I.D. Into R-Rated Films

Pop Culture Topics

A lot of the media we are exposed to, and consume on a daily basis can have a big effect on high school and college students.  Advertisers are aware that teens and twenty somethings are spending money, working job, and participating in society as much as older generations are.  For that reason, there may be an aspect of today’s culture that has you thinking.  Is there anything you would like to change?  Is there an issue you want to persuade your classmates to get involved in?  This is a pretty broad area to choose from, and a few ideas might include:

  • Dieting Ads Aimed at Young People Do More Harm Than Good
  • The Length of The School Day Leads to Too Much Sitting Around, and Not Enough Exercise
  • Students Should (or Shouldn’t) Take a Year Off Between High School and College
  • High School Sports Are Leading to Too Many Injuries
  • There Should Be More Opportunities For Students to Travel Abroad for School
  • The Clothing Marketed to Young People is Needlessly Expensive
  • The School Year Should Include More Frequent Breaks
  • You Shouldn’t be Blocked From a Job Opportunity Just Because of Piercings or Tattoos
  • Election Campaign Ads Aimed at Young People are Manipulative

Financial Topics

Finances are important to everyone, and that goes for high school and college students too.  Since Many of your classmates are likely new to handling their own money, any insight you have could be very valuable.  You might consider giving a speech on:

  • Credit Cards That Try to Hook Young People Are Dangerous
  • Why You Should Open a Savings Account as Soon as You Get a Job
  • Landlords Should be More Willing to Rent to Young People Who Have Proven Themselves Responsible
  • Why You Are Not Too Young To Start Investing Your Money
  • Reasons Why You Don’t Need to Split The Rent With a Roommate
  • Why You Need Medical Insurance
  • Why A State School is a Better Value Than a Private School
  • Why You Should Still Work While Going to School

Best of luck to your speech or presentation!