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10.10: Persuasive Speech Examples

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    Example Outlines

    Sample Cause/Effect Persuasive Speech

    Specific Purpose: To persuade my classmates to eliminate their Facebook use.


    Attention-Getter: There she was late into the night still wide awake staring at her phone’s screen. In fact, she had to be at work early in the morning but scrolling through her Facebook account kept her awake.

    Reveal Topic: That girl was me before I deactivated my Facebook account. I honestly could not tell you how many hours I spent on Facebook. In the survey that I presented to you all, one person admitted to spending “too much” time on Facebook.

    Credibility: That was me in the past, I spent too much time on Facebook. Time is precious and once it is gone it does not return. So why do you spend precious time on Facebook? The time that could be spent with family, resting, or just being more productive.

    Thesis/Preview: Facebook users should eliminate their usage because Facebook can negatively affect their relationships with others, their sleeping patterns and health, and their ability to focus on schoolwork.


    I. Family relationships can be affected by your Facebook usage.

    A. In the survey conducted in class, 11 of 15 students confessed to having ignored someone while they were speaking.

    1. I found myself ignoring my children while they spoke.

    2. Noticed other people doing the same thing, especially in parks and restaurants.

    B. According to Lynn Postell-Zimmerman on, Facebook has become a leading cause of divorce.

    C. In the United States, 1 in 5 couples mentioned Facebook as a reason for divorce in 2009.

    Transition: We have discussed how Facebook usage can lead to poor relationships with people, next we will discuss how Facebook can affect your sleep patterns and health.

    II. Facebook usage can negatively affect your sleep patterns and health.

    A. Checking Facebook before bed.

    1. In my survey 11 students said they checked their Facebook account before bed.

    2. Staying on Facebook for long hours before bed.

    B. Research has shown that Facebook can cause depression, anxiety, and addiction.

    1. According to researchers Steels, Wickham, and Acitelli in an article in the Journal of Social & Clinical Psychology titled “Seeing everyone else’s highlight reels: How Facebook usage is linked to depressive symptoms,” because Facebook users only view the positive of their friend’s life, they become unhappy with their life, and it can lead to becoming depressed and unhappy.

    2. Marissa Maldonado on, concluded from recent studies that, “Facebook increases people’s anxiety levels by making them feel inadequate and generating excess worry and stress.”

    3. Facebook addiction is a serious issue, according to the article “Too much Facebook leads to anger and depression” found on and written by Cara Reedy.

    a. Checking Facebook everywhere we go is a sign of addiction

    b. Not being able to deactivate your Facebook account.

    Transitions: Many of you have probably never thought of Facebook as a threat to your health, but we will now review how it can affect you as a college student.

    III. Facebook negatively affects students.

    A. I often found myself on Facebook instead of doing schoolwork.

    B. I was constantly checking Facebook which takes away from study time.

    C. I also found myself checking Facebook while in class, which can lead to poor grades and getting in trouble with the professor.

    D. A study of over 1,800 college students showed a negative relationship between the amount of Facebook time and GPA, as reported by Junco in a 2012 article titled, “Too much face and not enough books” from the journal Computers and Human Behavior.


    I. In conclusion, next time you log on to Facebook try deactivating your account for a few days and see the difference. You will soon see how it can bring positive changes in your family relationships, will avoid future health problems, will help you sleep better, and will improve your school performance.

    II. Instead of communicating through Facebook try visiting or calling your close friends. Deactivating my account truly helped me, and I can assure you we all can survive without Facebook.

    Works Cited

    Junco, R. (2012). Too much face and not enough books: The relationship between multiple indices of Facebook use and academic performance. Computers in Human Behavior, 28(1), 187-198.

    Maldonado, M. (2014). The anxiety of Facebook. Psych Central. Retrieved from

    Postell-Zimmerman, L. (1995-2015). Facebook has become a leading cause in divorce cases. Retrieved from

    Reedy, C. (2015, March 2). Too much Facebook leads to envy and depression. CNNMoney. Retrieved from technology/facebook-envy/

    Steers, M. L. N., Wickham, R. E., & Acitelli, L. K. (2014). Seeing everyone else’s highlight reels: How Facebook usage is linked to depressive symptoms. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 33(8), 701-731. DOI: 10.1521/jscp.2014.33.8.701

    Sample Problem/Solution Persuasive Speech

    Topic: Antibacterial Chemicals

    Specific Purpose: To persuade my audience that the use of antibacterial chemicals in household products is creating health and environmental problems.

    Central Idea or Thesis: After looking at the problems created by antibacterial products, we’ll explore some solutions.


    I. (Attention Grabber) In the film The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, a boy born with a deficient immune system is forced to live in a germ-free environment to prevent him from contracting infections. His room is sealed against bacteria and viruses, his food is specially prepared, and his only human contact comes in the form of gloved hands.

    II. (Reveal Topic) Today millions of Americans are trying to build a bubble around themselves and their families to keep out germs. The bubble is not made of plastic, however, but millions of dollars' worth of antibacterial hand wipes, soaps, and sponges.

    III. (Credibility) Before I studied antibacterial products in my public health class, I always used antibacterial hand soaps and antibacterial all-surface cleaner for my apartment. I also know from my class survey that 70 percent of you use antibacterial soaps, cleaners, and other products. But after learning about the subject in class and reading research studies for this speech, I’m here to tell you that, try as we might, we cannot build a bubble between ourselves and germs with antibacterial products and that these products actually create more problems than they solve.

    IV. (Thesis) After looking at the problems created by antibacterial products, we’ll explore some solutions.


    I. The use of antibacterial chemicals in household products is a serious problem.

    A. The place to begin is by noting that antibacterial products are popping up just about everywhere.

    1. The next time you go to the store, try to find a liquid soap that is not antibacterial.

    a. According to the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics, 75 percent of all liquid soaps and 33 percent of all bar soaps are antibacterial.

    b. In fact, there are more than 1,000 antibacterial household products on the market.

    2. In addition to all the soaps and cleaning products, there are also antibacterial cotton swabs, tons of antibacterial shampoos, and this antibacterial cutting board from Williams Sonoma.

    a. You can even get antibacterial socks, mouthwash, toothpaste, and, to protect you while away from home, this travel toothbrush with antibacterial bristles.

    3. The Boston Globe reports that larger items such as mattresses, countertops, high chairs, and even children’s toys have been coated with antibacterial chemicals.

    4. The New York Times calls the antibacterial craze, “the biggest marketing coup since bottled water.”

    B. There’s no doubt that antibacterial products are popular with consumers, but there is a great deal of doubt about whether they’re effective in stopping the spread of germs.

    1. Elaine Larson, associate dean of the Columbia University School of Nursing, studied 238 families who used antibacterial products and found that they were just as likely to get fevers, sore throats, coughs, rashes, and stomach problems as families who used regular products.

    2. Larson’s findings are echoed by Eric Kupferberg, associate director of the Harvard School for Public Health, who states: “Antimicrobial products don’t significantly eliminate the number of germs you encounter on a daily basis.”

    3. Nor do antibacterial products prevent the transmission of diseases such as colds and flus.

    a. Why? Because these illnesses come from viruses, not from bacteria. Antibacterial products don’t kill viruses.

    b. As Dr. Larson explains, “Most of the infections healthy people get are colds, flu, and diarrhea caused by viruses”—none of which can be prevented by the use of antibacterial products.

    4. Not only do antibacterial products fail to deliver what they promise, but they actually increase your chances of getting sick.

    a. According to Stuart Levy, a professor of microbiology and medicine at Tufts University, excessive use of antibacterial products in the home can make children more likely to develop allergies and asthma.

    b. In addition, people who use antibacterial products may become more susceptible to infections.

    5. Dr. James Chin, a research scientist in New South Wales, Australia, says: “The way we stay healthy is by low-dose exposure to bacteria and viruses.

    a. You need to exercise your immune system in the same way you need to exercise your muscles to be fit.

    b. If you don’t do that, your immune system doesn’t have a chance to do battle when it engages with an infection.”

    6. The problems caused by antibacterial products are so serious that Dr. Myron Genel, chairman of the American Medical Association’s council on scientific affairs, fears one result may be the creation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria “that are largely untreatable because they are resistant to existing drugs.”

    C. And that’s not all. Besides being ineffective at preventing diseases and being potentially dangerous to our health, antibacterial household products also appear to harm the environment.

    1. Rolf Halden of Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health reports that each year the United States releases into the water supply more than 2 million pounds of the active chemicals in antibacterial soaps.

    a. The U.S. Geological Survey reports that chemicals from antibacterial products are winding up in streams and groundwater from the Denver area to remote locations in the Rocky Mountains.

    b. These chemicals are known to pollute the water supply, disrupt fish reproduction and growth, and because they do not decompose quickly, remain active for years and years.

    Transition: Now that we’ve seen the seriousness of the problem, let’s look at some solutions.

    II. Solving these problems requires a combination of government and consumer action.

    A. First, we need federal legislation regulating the use of household antibacterial products.

    1. Just as the Food and Drug Administration has regulations controlling the use of antibiotics, so, too, should it institute regulations controlling the use of antibacterial products.

    2. We don’t let people purchase antibiotics without a doctor’s prescription, and there’s no reason we should allow makers of soap, tissues, hand wipes, toothbrushes, and other products to add powerful antibacterial agents without oversight from the Food and Drug Administration.

    3. Given the problems being caused by these products, it is time for the federal government to take action.

    B. Second, we all need to take action as consumers.

    1. Most obviously, we need to stop buying these products.

    2. The best way to avoid germs, says the Centers for Disease Control, is to wash your hands for 10 to 15 seconds with plain soap and water.

    a. In fact, a study at the University of North Carolina found that washing your hands with soap and water is more effective at getting rid of germs than using antibacterial hand wipes.

    b. Emily Sickbert-Bennett, a public epidemiologist and co-author of the study, explains that when you use soap and water, the germs go down the drain, but with waterless antibacterial hand wipes, “you never rinse your hands. You are just rubbing a chemical into your hand and letting it dry.”


    I. In conclusion, Americans spend millions of dollars every year on products that promise to “kill germs on contact.” But as we have seen today, the antibacterial craze is a marketing coup rather than a proven way of stopping either the spread of germs or the incidence of colds, flu, and other virus-borne illnesses. Worse, these products appear to contribute to health problems, and they are creating environmental problems in the U.S. water supply. The federal government should start regulating these products and we, as consumers, should stop throwing our money away on them.

    II. We need to resist the false notion that we can use these products to create a bubble around ourselves to keep out germs and diseases. Instead, we can burst the bubble of marketers who are selling us a false bill of goods, and then we can thoroughly wash our hands of the whole mess.

    Works Cited

    Nelson, Kathleen. “To Kill Germs, It’s Simple: Wash Your Hands.” The Boston Globe 4

    Nov. 2003, 3rd Ed.: C3.

    Roach, Mary. “Germs, Germs Everywhere. Are You Worried? Get Over It.” The New

    York Times 9 Nov. 2004, Final Ed.: F1, pg. 6

    Sickbert-Bennett, Emily, David J. Weber, Maria F. Gergen-Teague, Mark D. Sobsey,

    Gregory P. Samsa, and William A. Rutala. “Comparative efficacy of hand hygiene agents in the reduction of bacteria and viruses.” American Journal of Infection Control 33(2) (2005):67-77.

    Underwood, Anne. “The Real Dirt on Antibacterial Soaps.” Newsweek v. 140 no. 19

    (November 4 2002): 53.

    Sample Monroe's Motivated Sequence Persuasive Speech

    Topic: Sponsoring a Child in Poverty

    Specific Purpose: To persuade my audience to sponsor a child through an agency such as Compassion International.

    Introduction (Attention Step)

    I. Attention-Grabber: How much is $38? That answer depends on what you make, what you are spending it for, and what you get back for it.

    II. Reveal Topic: $38 per month breaks down to a little more than $1.25 per day, which is probably what you spend on a snack or soda in the break room. For us, it’s not very much.

    III. Credibility: I found out that I can provide better health care, nutrition, and even education for a child in Africa, South America, or Asia for $38 per month by sponsoring a child through Compassion International. If I can do it, maybe you can too.

    IV. Thesis/Preview: Through a minimal donation each month, you can make the life of a child in the developing world much better. In the next few minutes, I would like to discuss the problem, the work of organizations that offer child sponsorships, how research shows they really do alleviate poverty, and what you can do to change the life of a child. Body


    I. (Need Step) The problem is the continued existence and effects of poverty.

    A. Poverty is real and rampant in much of the world.

    1. According to a 2018 report by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, 9.2% of the world lives on less than $1.90 per day.

    a. That is 600 million people on the planet.

    2. This number is supported by the World Poverty Clock of the World Data Lab, which states that 8% of the world’s population lives in extreme poverty.

    a. The good news is that this number is one-third of what it was in 1990, mostly due to the rising middle class in Asia.

    b. The bad news is that 70% of the poor will live in Africa, with Nigeria labeled the “Poverty Capital of the World,” according to the Brookings Institute.

    B. Poverty means children do not get adequate health care.

    1. One prevalent but avoidable disease is malaria, which takes the lives of three thousand children every day, according to UNICEF.

    2. According to the World Health Organization, diarrheal diseases claimed 2.46 million lives in 2012 and is the second leading cause of death of children under 5.

    C. Poverty means children do not get adequate nutrition, as stated in a report from UNICEF.

    1. Inadequate nutrition leads to stunted growth.

    2. Undernutrition contributes to more than one-third of all deaths in children under the age of five.

    D. Poverty means children are unlikely to reach adult age, according to the CIA World Fact Book quoted on the Infoplease website.

    1. Child mortality rate in Africa is 8.04% (percentage dying before age 5), while in North America, it is .64%

    2. Life expectancy in Sub-Saharan Africa is almost 30 years less than in the U.S.

    E. Poverty also means children are unlikely to receive education and be trained for profitable work.

    1. Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names, states the Global Issues website on Poverty Facts.

    2. UNESCO, a part of the United Nations, reports that less than a third of adults in Sub-Saharan Africa have completed primary education.

    Transition: Although in all respects poverty is better in 2019 than it has been in the past, poverty is still pervasive and needs to be addressed. Fortunately, some great organizations have been addressing this for many years.

    II. (Satisfaction Step) Some humanitarian organizations address poverty directly through child sponsorships.

    A. These organizations vary in background, but not in purpose. The following information is gleaned from each organization’s website.

    1. Compassion International is faith-based, evangelical.

    a. Around since the early 1950's, started in Korea.

    b. Budget of $887 Million.

    c. Serves 1.92 million babies, children, and young adults.

    d. Works through local community centers and established churches.

    2. World Vision is faith-based, and evangelical.

    a. Around since the 1950's.

    b. Budget of far over $1 Billion.

    c. 60% goes to local community programs but more goes to global networks, so that 86% goes to services.

    d. World Vision has more extensive services than child sponsorship, such as water purification and disaster relief.

    e. Sponsors three million children across six continents

    3. Children International is secular.

    a. Around since 1936.

    b. Budget of $125 Million.

    c. 88% of income goes directly to programs and children.

    d. Sponsors children in ten countries on four continents

    e. Sponsors X across X continents

    4. Save the Children is secular, through…

    a. One hundred years of history, began in post WWI Europe.

    b. Budget of $880 Million.

    c. 87% goes to services.

    d. Sponsors 134 million children in 120 countries, including 450,000 in U.S.

    5. There are other similar organizations, such as ChildFund and PlanUSA.

    B. These organizations work directly with local community, on-site organizations.

    1. The children are involved in a program, such as after school.

    2. The children live with their parents and siblings.

    3. The sponsor’s donation goes for medicine, extra healthy, nutritious food, shoes for school, and other items.

    4. Sponsors can also help donate for birthdays and holidays to the whole family to buy food or farm animals.

    Transition: Of course, any time we are donating money to an organization, we want to be sure our money is being effectively and ethnically used.

    III. (Visualization Step) This concern should be addressed in two ways: Is the money really helping, and are the organizations honest?

    A. The organizations’ honesty can be investigated.

    1. You can check through Charity Navigator.

    2. You can check through the Better Business Bureau-Charity.

    3. You can check through Charity Watch.

    4. You can check through the organizations’ websites.

    B. Secondly, is sponsoring a child effective? Yes.

    1. According to Bruce Wydick, Professor of Economics at the University of San Francisco, child sponsorship is the fourth most effective strategy for addressing poverty, behind water purification, mosquito nets, and deworming treatments.

    2. Dr. Wydick and colleagues’ work has been published in the prestigious Journal of Political Economy from the University of Chicago.

    3. He states, “Two researchers and I recently carried out a study (sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development) on the long-term impacts of Compassion International’s child sponsorship program. The study, gathering data from over 10,000 individuals in six countries, found substantial impact on adult life outcomes for children who were sponsored through Compassion’s program during the 1980s and ’90s…In adulthood, formerly sponsored children were far more likely to complete secondary school and had a much higher chance of having a white-collar job. They married and had children later in life, were more likely to be church and community leaders, were less likely to live in a home with a dirt floor and more likely to live in a home with electricity.”

    C. To this point I have spoke of global problems and big solutions. Now I want to bring it down to real life with one example. I’d like to use my sponsored child, Ukwishaka in Rwanda, as an example of how you can.

    1. I have sponsored her for five years.

    2. She is now ten years old.

    3. She lives with two siblings and both parents.

    4. She writes me, I write her back, and we share photos at least every two months.

    5. The organization gives me reports on her project.

    6. I hope one day to go visit her.

    7. I believe Ukwishaka now knows her life can be more, can be successful.

    Transition: We have looked at the problem of childhood poverty and how reliable, stable nongovernmental organizations are addressing it through child sponsorships. Where does that leave you?

    IV. (Action Step) I challenge you to sponsor a child like Ukwishaka.

    A. Although I sponsor her through Compassion International, there are other organizations.

    B. First, do research.

    C. Second, look at your budget and be sure you can do this.

    1. You don’t want to start and have to stop.

    2. Look for places you “waste” money during the month and could use it this way.

    3. Fewer snacks from the break room, fewer movies at the Cineplex, brown bag instead of eating out.

    D. Talk to a representative at the organization you like.

    E. Discuss it with your family.

    F. Take the plunge. If you do.

    1. Write your child regularly.

    2. Consider helping the family, or getting friends to help with extra gifts.


    I. In this speech, we have taken a look at the state of poverty for children on this planet, at organizations that are addressing it through child sponsorships, at the effectiveness of these programs, and what you can do. My goal today was not to get an emotional response, but a realistically compassionate one.

    II. You have probably heard this story before but it bears repeating. A little girl was walking with her mother on the beach, and the sand was covered with starfish. The little girl wanted to rescue them and send them back to the ocean and kept throwing them in. “It won’t matter, Honey,” said her mother. “You can’t get all of them back in the ocean.” “But it will matter to the ones that I do throw back,” the little girl answered. We can’t sponsor every child, but we can one, maybe even two. As Forest Witcraft said, “What will matter in 100 years is that I made a difference in the life of a child.” Will you make a difference?

    Works Cited

    AGScientific. (2019). Top ten deadly diseases in the world. Retrieved from

    Compassion International. (2019). Financial integrity: The impact of our compassion. Retrieved from

    Children’s International. (2019). Accountability. Retrieved from

    Global Issues. (2013, January 7 ). Poverty facts and stats. Retrieved from

    Infoplease. (2019). What life expectancy really means. Retrieved form

    Kharas, H., Hamel, K., & Hofer, M. (2018, Dec. 13). Rethinking global poverty reduction in 2019. Retrieved from

    Roser, M. (2019). Child and infant mortality rates. Retrieved from https://

    Save the Children. (2019). Financial information. Retrieved from UNICEF.(2008).

    Tracking progress on child and maternal nutrition: A survival and development priority. Retrieved from UNICEF 2019.

    The reality of Malaria. Retrieved from https://www.unicef. org/health/files/health_africamalaria.pdf United Nations. (2019). Poverty eradication. Retrieved from

    World Vision. (2019). Financial accountability. Retrieved from https:// Wydick, B., Glewwe, P., & Rutledge, L. (2013).

    Does international child sponsorship work? A six-country study of impacts on adult life outcomes. Journal of Political Economy, 121(2), 393–436. https://doi. org/10.1086/670138 Wydick, B. (2012, Feb.).

    Cost-effective compassion. Christianity Today, 56(2), 24-29. Wydick, B. (2013). Want to change the world? Sponsor a child. Christianity Today, 57(5), 20–27.

    This page titled 10.10: Persuasive Speech Examples is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Lisa Coleman, Thomas King, & William Turner.