Persuasive Speaking Assignment Instructions

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Persuasive Speaking Assignment Instructions

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Objective: To learn and practice the principles of preparing and delivering a persuasive speech to motivate action.


Grading: Grades for the Persuasive Speaking Assignment are based on content and delivery. Thoroughly read both the Persuasive Speaking Assignment Instructions and the Persuasive Speaking Assignment Evaluation Form prior to preparing and submitting your speech. It is your responsibility to ensure that your recording is gradable; that is, your submission must contain both adequate audio and video. If I cannot grade your submission because it lacks adequate audio and video, you will receive a zero for this assignment. Speeches must be shot in one take and cannot be edited. Speeches that have been edited will not be accepted.


Instructions: Choose a topic of interest and significance to you that addresses either listener attitudes (form, reform, or reinforce listeners’ attitudes about an issue) or listener behavior (motivate listeners to initiate or change behaviors).  Grading criteria for this speech, beyond previous speeches, include:


  1. Content: At least four (4)verbal footnotes/citationsfrom at least three (3) different, credible sourcesmust be cited during the presentation.  *Please Note: Wikipedia is not a credible source.  A “verbal footnote/citation” is simply stating to your audience, during the speech, the source of your information as you share that information. Students who do not cite the sources of their information during the speech will have points deducted from their speech grade.


An example of a verbal footnote/citation is:

“According to the December 2009 issue of Newsweek, 17% of students…”


  1. Structure:  Specific organizational patterns are dependent upon the type of persuasive speech you choose to deliver; however, the speech should be clearly designed using the appropriate organizational pattern to achieve your persuasive goal successfully.  Persuasive appeals must be evident.  Particular structural choices should be made to enhance the clarity and power of your persuasive speech (i.e., clear organizational pattern, transitions, etc.).


Organizational patterns for a Persuasive Speech:


Problem-Solution   OR   Monroe’s Motivated Sequence  (see Ch. 11)


  1. Delivery: Persuasive language should be evident throughout.  Emotional conviction should be evident in vocal delivery, facial expression, and gestures.  As always, an extemporaneous delivery is expected.  You may only use 3×5 note cards (one side only) as an aid for your delivery.  Points will be deducted for going over or under the time limit (1 pt per 10 seconds over or under). and prepare and deliver a persuasive speech appropriate for that topic. Be sure to follow the time, notes, source, presentation aid, topic, speech, delivery, and outline requirements listed below. Your persuasive speech must motivate to action as opposed to motivating a change in attitude or belief.


Time requirements: Your speech must be between 4 and 6 minutes in length. Speeches that are shorter than 4 minutes or longer than 6 minutes will be penalized.  Additionally, any speech that exceeds 8 minutes and 30 seconds will not be graded after that time.


Notes requirements: You may use key words on notecards to aid your delivery.


Source requirements: You must consult and effectively cite at least 4 external sources that support your central idea and your main points. At least 2 sources must come from a Troy University library electronic database ( All sources should be factual, reliable, well supported, current, verifiable, fair, and comprehensive. All sources must be cited in 3 different places:


  1. Verbally in oral footnotes as you actually deliver your speech. Oral footnotes should include
    1. Author’s name
    2. Publication name
    3. Date or approximate date of publication (e.g., “the August 2009 issue of…” or “last week’s edition of…”
  2. Written in in-text citations in the text of your outline. In-text citations should follow the same guidelines as oral citations and should include:
    1. Author’s name
    2. Publication name
    3. Date or approximate date of publication (e.g., “the August 2009 issue of…” or “last week’s edition of…”
  3. Written in a references list immediately following your outline. The citations in your references list should follow the guidelines found in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th Edition).



Topic requirements: Choose a topic you really care about.  If you don’t recycle, do NOT give a speech urging us to do so. Do not pick a topic because it is a popular “controversial issue.”  Topics such as distracted driving, abortion, capital punishment, smoking, seat belts, euthanasia, etc., may be easy to research, but they are so familiar to most audience members that they are often treated with indifference or apathy.  Instead, choose a personal interest or hobby and persuade your audience to do something related to that interest or hobby.  For example, if you enjoy hiking, you could persuade your audience members to join a local trail club, to buy a book on local trails, to go for a hike during their next vacation, to donate time or money to a group that works to preserve wilderness areas, or to do anything else related to that interest.

Speech Requirements: Your speech should include


  1. A proper introduction that includes (pp. 65-68)
    1. A creative attention-getting device
    2. A clear statement of relevance (rapport statement) that orients your audience by explaining how your topic influences them
    3. A clear statement of credibility that explains reasons why you are credible to speak on your topic
    4. A clear central idea
    5. A preview of your main points
    6. A smooth transition to the body of your speech
  2. A body that includes coordinated, logical, and substantive main points that are (pp. 68-69)
    1. Fully stated
    2. Effectively organized
    3. Well supported using at least 4 external sources
    4. Smoothly connected using transitions
  3. A proper conclusion that includes (p. 70)
    1. A clear signal of the end
    2. A restatement of the central idea and review of the main points
    3. A return to the introductory device
    4. A strong ending statement


Delivery Requirements: Deliver your speech extemporaneously (p. 94) according to the following guidelines:


  1. Physical delivery that includes (pp. 95-97)
    1. Adequate and appropriate eye contact
    2. Appropriate body movements including posture and gestures
    3. Appropriate use of speaking notes
  2. Vocal delivery that includes (pp. 97-98)
    1. Appropriate volume and expressiveness
    2. The absence of verbal fillers
    3. Appropriate rate of speech
    4. Proper articulation and pronunciation


Speaker platform notes should be on note cards and only consulted. All presentations should be extemporaneous not manuscript readings! The video should reveal the student standing and presenting the speech with a view at least from the waist – up. Do not sit at your computer and read off of your screen to the webcam! If you read your speech instead of delivering it extemporaneously, you will received a zero for the delivery section of your grade.


Outline requirements: You are required to construct and submit a complete-sentence outline (pp. 70-71) as part of your speaking assignment. The complete sentence outline is an outline that helps you prepare (as opposed to deliver) your speech. It includes one sentence for every main point and sub-point. It should be structured according to your selected organizational pattern (see options on p. 69).


Writing a complete-sentence outline means putting your speech together – deciding what you will say in the introduction, body, and conclusion.  However, since you will deliver your speech extemporaneously (meaning that you practice carefully but choose your exact words as you speak), it is not your speech written word-for-word. Your complete sentence outline should follow the following template (note: you may create more main points and sub-points using the same pattern as necessary):



Speech Type: Persuasive


Organizational pattern:

Specific purpose:





  1. Creative attention-getting device:
  2. Central idea:
  3. Relevance statement:
  4. Credibility statement:
  5. Preview of main points:





  1. Replace this text with your first main point
    1. Replace this text with your first sub-point
    2. Replace this text with your second sub-point




  1. Replace this text with your second main point
    1. Replace this text with your first sub-point
    2. Replace this text with your second sub-point





  1. Statement signaling the conclusion:
  2. Restatement of central idea:
  3. Summary of main points:
  4. Return to introductory device:
  5. Strong ending statement:



References (below is example format – check APA Manual for correct format of different kinds of sources)


Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages.


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