In school we’re taught so much about persuasive writing and what it takes to get our argument across to the reader. Persuasive speaking is right along the same lines except for the fact that not only does the content matter, the delivery can also make or break our argument’s persuasive effectiveness. Persuasive presentations can really set you apart from the rest of your peers or colleagues if done right. Two persuasive speech examples are found below, followed by a brief breakdown of how to be a great presenter.
Example 1: Running
Today, I would like to talk to you about something that is near and dear to my heart, although it hasn’t always been: running. Two years ago, you would have never found me in a gym or on a treadmill. And you certainly wouldn’t have found me competing in a race with actual athletes. As fellow working moms, I’m sure a lot of you can identify with many of the challenges I faced. From overcoming years of physical inactivity to trying to fit jogging into my busy schedule, I just never thought I could do it. Well, I was wrong. I did do it. And you can too. Let me tell you how.
The first key to running for fitness is to start small. When I began running, some coworkers and I used a smartphone app that allowed us to run as little as 1/8 of a mile (halfway around a standard track) at a time. We ran three times a week and, after 7 weeks, were running in our first 5k race which is just over 3 miles.
Another essential element to achieving your goals is finding a way to work regular jogging into your schedule. Get up half an hour early while your family is still sleeping. Go to the track immediately after work before picking the kids up from daycare. Find the perfect time when you can squeeze it in without compromising the other things that place demands on your schedule.
On a similar note, make sure you have accountability. I could never have stuck to my running plan and accomplished everything that I have without those co-workers I mentioned. They encouraged me on the days that I struggled and scolded me when I tried to slack off. Without someone to hold you accountable, it’s way too easy to give up on your goals.
The final tip I have is to wait patiently for the moment that you begin to love running—yet another event that I never thought would happen in my life. It took some time, but eventually running became such a big part of my life that I felt incomplete when I didn’t do it. And it’s not just the benefits of running that I enjoy, although there are many. I’ve lost weight. My blood pressure is down. My energy level is up. I look better. I feel better. I sleep better. But on top of all that, I actually love getting out and running. It’s a great excuse to get outside (or into the gym if that’s your preference), listen to music, or just enjoy the silence.
Today, I welcome all of you to take the same challenge that I did two years ago. Have a talk with your spouse and figure out the best days and times for you to begin jogging. Find a plan to follow and set some small goals for yourself. Then get yourself a partner and get started. Start small and work your way up. Sign up for a race to give you something to work towards. And don’t stop after that first achievement. Wait it out. You’ll love it before you know it.
Example 2: Mentoring
As young business professionals, you have so much potential to impact the future, both within the ranks of this company and beyond. You have your degrees, some of them even advanced degrees, hanging on your cubicle walls. You’re working hard to earn professional designations in your field. But I’d like to talk to you about a vital resource that you may be missing out on as you prepare for leadership: a mentor.
I know that having a mentor may seem a bit juvenile or maybe even beneath some of you. However, every single one of the company’s executive officers states that they currently have a mentor who is either a peer or one level higher than they are. The only exception is the CEO, who has no one higher ranking. However, even he admits to having a mentor of his own outside of this organization. This is not a coincidence. These successful executives maintain mentoring relationships because they believe in them. They all attribute many of their career achievements to the effective mentors they’ve had.
The mere task of selecting a mentor may be enough to prevent some of you from doing so. Here’s a tip: determine what your goals are, and select a mentor who excels in those areas. This could be as general or specific as you’d like. If you struggle with public speaking, partner with a mentor whose rhetoric you admire. If you want to know how to move up the ladder quickly, find someone else who has done it and ask them to help you plan your next steps.
Because most mentoring relationships are mentee-driven, many of you may shy away from choosing a mentor because you’re not sure what the partnership entails. The truth is that it’s really up to you and your mentor. Discuss those goals we mentioned with your potential mentor. Share your ideas for helping attain them and seek your mentor’s feedback. Agree on some steps together, and set deadlines to help you accomplish your goals. Also determine how often you’ll get together and what to expect at each meeting. Remember that mentoring is a two-way street, so be prepared to find ways to help your mentor develop him- or herself as well.
Don’t let your hesitations hold you back from one of the most beneficial tools to developing your role as a leader. Talk to some of the successful leaders you know, and find out how mentoring has helped them. That should give you some ideas on areas where you could improve. Identify people in the organization who have insight into those areas. Put together a game plan and take it step by step. The sky’s the limit. Just remember to return the favor once you start working your way up the ladder by never forgetting the little guys.
Breaking It Down
These two examples of a persuasive speech provide a terrific baseline for any persuasive speech, irrespective of the topic. Public speaking may be easy for some, but chances are you’re here for some help!
First, the introductions grabbed the attention of the particular audience and very likely drew them in. Both speeches were targeted to very specific audiences and thus the speaker was able to convey a personal sentiment or story to immediately gain the trust and confidence needed in a persuasive speaker.
Second, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of your argument is key. Ultimately you will find a way to strongly favor why your argument trumps its antithesis but acknowledging any obstacles and addressing how they will be overcome makes your argument that much more persuasive.
Lastly, your presentation of your argument needs to be polished, crisp, and cogent in order for it to really move your argument. Obtaining powerful persuasive skills for business presentations can not only be helpful in the business setting but in every single area imaginable. Udemy’s courses on persuasive speech are top notch and can help you get that extra edge!