LouPlatte Speech Conference
2023 — Ravenna, NE/US
A persuasive speech is written to persuade, or convince, the listeners of the validity of the speaker’s argument. It is aimed at influencing the values, ideas, beliefs, and/or attitudes of the audience. This might involve persuading someone to change their opinion or at the very least take into account some elements that have not really been considered before. Pragmatically, the persuasive speech should encourage the audience to do something, whether that be taking a specific action or merely entertaining a new perspective.
Although many persuasive speeches deal with a current problem and propose a solution, the judge is expressly reminded that this is not the only acceptable form of persuasion. The speaker should not be expected to solve any of the great problems of the day. Rather, s/he should discuss intelligently, with a degree of originality, in an interesting manner, and with some profit to his/her audience the topic he/she has chosen. The speech may simply alert the audience to a threatening danger, strengthen its devotion to an accepted cause, or reinforce a previously-held belief. The speaker should be given free choice of subject and judged solely on the effectiveness of its development and presentation.