Persuasive Speech Assignment
Purpose: The purpose of this speech is to provide students the opportunity to argue for a policy change utilizing the persuasive principles discussed in class within a public speaking format.
Assignment Instructions/Criteria: Your job for this speech is to attempt to persuade the class to adopt the policy change that you have chosen. Simply put, a policy change urges for something to be done or thought about differently and can impact people, institutions, organizations, and/or governments in terms of what they are allowed, or not allowed, to do. When you argue that we should do something different, you are most likely arguing for a change in policy. Some examples are listed below:
• Major League Baseball should eliminate the use of instant replay during games.
• People should exercise more.
• The U.S. government should spend more money to support the arts.
• University should drop Core courses as a requirement for graduation.
• The purchasing of cigarettes should be illegal.
You must argue for a policy change – you cannot argue for an existing policy to continue. For example, a student CANNOT argue that cigarette smoking should remain legal since this does not constitute a “policy change.” However, arguing that people should be allowed to smoke in restaurants would work. If your speech does not, at minimum, advocate for a policy change, you will receive a 20% deduction.
Your speech should be between 4-5 minutes so it is important that you plan accordingly. Finally, students are required to find four (4) credible sources for their speech and cite them both within their speech and in their outline using APA format.
Students must present on the date they are scheduled. If you need to reschedule, it will result in a 25% grade deduction unless documentation is provided validating the need to change your speech date.
Your speech must follow the format below:
• Attention Getter
• Introduce Your Policy Change
• Credibility Statement
• Reason to Listen
• Preview Your Main Points
• Thesis Statement
Main Point #1: Problem/Need for Change
• This is where you are going to make the case that there is a problem with the existing policy (i.e., the status quo). What are these issues?
• In some cases, you might want to discuss relevant background information if your audience does not know about the topic and/or relevant details pertaining to the policy you are discussing.
Main Point #2: Plan/Solution
• Here, you are going to talk about your policy change and how it will be enforced/implemented. Your audience should know what your policy will look like.
• You are also going to discuss how your policy change will solve or reduce the problems you’ve identified.
• You are also going to talk about how we will benefit from the policy change.
Main Point#3: Call to Action
• Finally, you will try to motivate your audience to do something to change the policy. What can your audience do to make the policy change happen (i.e., vote, sign a petition, learn more about an issue, donate money, join an organization, boycott, etc.).
• Make sure that your call to action is simple for your audience to follow through with. If we ask too much of our audience, they are less likely to follow through.
Main Point #4: Conclusion
• Summarize your main points.
• End with a memorable thought that provides closure for your audience.
• Need help with APA? Here is a helpful link: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/ If the link does not work, find the Purdue/OWL website by doing a Google search with the keywords “APA format.” It should be at the top of your search results.
• No Power Point slides are to be used during the speech. Rather, you can use note cards or an outline during your presentation.
• You are required to turn in a full-sentence outline on the day you present your speech that follows the speech organizational pattern listed above. There is no length requirement, but your outline should be long enough to adequately represent your main points and supporting information. You must also cite your sources in your outline using APA format for both in-text citations and in your reference page at the end of your outline.
• Students must dress up for this speech in business casual clothing.
Persuasive Speech Assignment