The art of persuasion is no easy feat. But with a strategic outline guiding your message, you can effectively convince others of your viewpoint on even the most controversial topics.
Today, we’re sharing an example of a persuasive speech outline you can use as a template for crafting your own convincing presentations.
Table of Contents
Tips for Audience Engagement
The Three Pillars of Persuasion
Want to move the masses with your message? Master the magical art of persuasion by tapping into the holy-grail trifecta of ethos, pathos and logos.
Ethos – Ethos refers to establishing credibility and character. Speakers use ethos to convince the audience they are a trusted, knowledgeable source on the topic. Tactics include citing expertise, credentials or experience. The audience is more likely to be swayed by someone they perceive as genuine and authoritative.
Pathos – Pathos utilises emotion to persuade. It aims to tap into the audience’s feelings by triggering emotions like fear, happiness, outrage and such. Stories, anecdotes, passionate delivery and language that tugs at the heartstrings are tools used to connect on a human level and make the topic feel relevant. This builds empathy and buy-in.
Logos – Logos relies on facts, statistics, logical reasoning and evidence to rationally convince the audience. Data, expert quotes, proof points and clearly explained critical thinking guide listeners to the conclusion through objective-seeming justifications.
The most effective persuasive strategies incorporate all three approaches – establishing ethos to build speaker credibility, employing pathos to engage emotions, and utilising logos to back assertions through facts and logic.
Example of a Persuasive Speech Outline
6-minute persuasive speech examples
Here is an example outline for a 6-minute persuasive speech on why schools should start later:
Title: Starting School Later Will Benefit Students’ Health and Performance
Specific Purpose: To persuade my audience that high schools should start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. to align better with teenagers’ natural sleep cycles.
A. Adolescents are chronically sleep-deprived due to early start times
B. Lack of sleep harms health, safety and learning ability
C. Delaying school start by even 30 minutes could make a difference
II. Body Paragraph 1: Early times contradict biology
A. Teens’ circadian rhythms shift to late-night/morning pattern
B. Most do not get sufficient rest due to obligations like sports
C. Studies link lack of sleep to obesity, depression and dangers
III. Body Paragraph 2: Laters starts to boost academics
A. Alert, well-rested teens demonstrate improved test scores
B. Attention, focus and memory all benefit from adequate sleep
C. Fewer absences and tardies reported at later-starting schools
IV. Body Paragraph 3: Community support available
A. American Academy of Pediatrics, medical groups endorse change
B. Adjusting schedules is feasible and other districts had success
C. Later start times are a small change with a large impact
A. Prioritising student wellness should motivate policy revision
B. Delaying the start by even 30 minutes could transform outcomes
C. I urge support for biologically aligned school start times
This is an example of a persuasive speech pitching a business proposal to a potential investor:
Title: Investing in a Mobile Car Wash App
Specific Purpose: To convince investors to back the development of a new on-demand mobile car wash app.
A. My experience in the car care and app development industries
B. Gap in the market for a convenient, tech-enabled car wash solution
C. Preview of potential and investment opportunity
II. Body Paragraph 1: Large untapped market
A. Majority of car owners dislike traditional wash methods
B. On-demand economy has disrupted many industries
C. App would remove barriers and attract new customers
III. Body Paragraph 2: Superior customer value proposition
A. Schedule washes on the go with just a few taps
B. Washers come directly to the customer’s location
C. Transparent pricing and optional upgrades
IV. Body Paragraph 3: Strong financial projections
A. Conservative usage and customer acquisition forecasts
B. Multiple revenue streams from washes and add-ons
C. Projected 5-year ROI and exit valuation
A. Gap in the market represents a huge opportunity
B. Experienced team and developed app prototype
C. Seeking $500,000 seed funding for the app launch
D. This is a chance to get in early on the next big thing
3-minute persuasive speech examples
In 3 minutes you need a clear thesis, 2-3 main arguments reinforced with facts/examples, and a concise conclusion recapping your request.
Title: schools should switch to a 4-day school week
Specific purpose: persuade the school board to adopt a 4-day school week schedule.
Main points: longer days can cover required learning, increase teacher retention, and save on transportation costs. A longer weekend means more recovery time.
Title: companies should offer a 4-day workweek
Specific purpose: persuade my manager to propose a 4-day workweek pilot program to upper management
Main points: increased productivity, lower costs from less overtime, higher employee satisfaction and less burnout which benefits retention.
Title: high schools should allow cell phones in class
Specific purpose: convince the PTA to recommend a change in the cell phone policy at my high school
Main points: most teachers now use cell phones as educational tools, they engage digital native students, and an occasional approved personal use boosts mental health.
Title: all cafeterias should offer vegetarian/vegan options
Specific purpose: persuade the school board to implement a universal vegetarian/vegan option in all public school cafeterias
Main points: it’s healthier, more environmentally sustainable, and respectful of various student diets and beliefs.
An effective outline serves as the backbone for a persuasive presentation that can inspire change.
It ensures your message is clear, cohesive and backed by strong evidence so that your audience leaves empowered instead of confused.
While crafting compelling content is key, taking the time to strategically structure your outline gives you the best chance of winning hearts and minds.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should a persuasive speech outline look like?
A persuasive speech outline means each point should support your overall thesis. It includes credible sources/references for evidence and also considers anticipated objections and counterarguments. The language should be clear, concise and conversational for oral delivery.
What is an outline for a speech example?
A speech outline should include these sections: Introduction (attention grabber, thesis, preview), body paragraph (state your points and counterarguments ), and a conclusion (wrap up everything from your speech).