The are many potential topics for a persuasive speech. Even if you give a great speech, it’ll be harder to keep your audience interested if they feel like they already know what you’re going to say.
An exception to this rule is that if you feel you have a new viewpoint or facts about the topic that currently aren’t common knowledge.
You can imagine that everyone’s eyes glazed over whenever classmates gave their speeches on this topic.
We’d heard about it so many times that, even if it was a topic we cared about, speeches on it just didn’t interest us anymore.
However, most people don’t care that much about Saguaro cacti, and most people don’t care what our national plant is or if we even have one (for the record, the US has a national flower, and it’s the rose).
Spare yourself the smattering of bored applause my nine-old self got at the end of my speech and choose something you think people will be interested in hearing about.
Also consider what the audience will be most concerned about for a certain topic, and be sure to address those concerns.
For example, if you’re giving a speech to a Catholic organization on why you think priests should be allowed to marry, you don’t need to go over the history of Catholicism or its core beliefs (which they probably already know), but you should mention any research or prominent opinions that support your view (which they likely don’t know about).
This also ties into knowing your audience, which we discuss more in the final section.
When I was in high school, nearly every persuasive speech my classmates and I were assigned was the exact same topic: should the drinking age be lowered to 18?