125+ Persuasive Speech Topics To Amaze Your Audience

Speaker talking to audience
Updated:
December 20, 2023
10 min read
Contents

”Mary

Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 12/15/23

This article provides a comprehensive list of persuasive speech topics and answers to some of your frequently asked questions about speech topics. 

Persuasive writing is hard, and it’s even harder to try to come up with an engaging topic that interests you and your audience. 

Not only do you have to convince your audience to take your side on subjects that are often pretty divisive, you also have to persuade them to take your side of the argument. The first step to making a successful persuasive speech that will amaze your audience is having a strong topic.  

Keep reading for 125+ persuasive speech topics. 

125+ Topics for a Persuasive Speech

Persuasive speech ideas are harder to come up with than you may think. There is a fine balance between interesting your audience, interesting to you, unique and fresh, all while being thought-provoking without being outright offensive. 

Here is a breakdown of various topics for persuasive speeches, organized by categories, to inspire you. 

1. Arts & Culture

Art and culture are always hot topics amongst individuals and groups. There are many interesting arguments and stances on both topics, and many people have strong opinions when it comes to the subject matter. 

See below for prompts for persuasive speeches about art and culture: 

  • Is graffiti art? 
  • Should art classes be mandatory for all students?
  • Should we keep reading classic literature that is offensive? 
  • Should there be a distinction between ‘high’ and ‘low’ literature?
  • Are romcoms and erotica series like Fifty Shades of Grey empowering for women?
  • Is reading actually more beneficial than watching TV or playing video games?
  • Is there any benefit or relevance to teaching high school students Shakespeare?
  • Should video games be considered a high form of entertainment?
  • Are biographical movies of deceased musicians and artists ethical?
  • Is modern music really worse than older music?
  • Should paparazzi be banned and unable to sell their photos?

Topics in arts and culture are always fun to debate and discuss because you have the opportunity to talk about your favorite pieces of media!

2. Economics

100 dollar bills

Economics is a hotly debated topic. There is no shortage of compelling, engaging arguments involving economics. 

Here are some good persuasive speech ideas on the topic of economics: 

  • Is capitalism a functional, ethical economic system? 
  • Should everyone, despite their income, be taxed at the same rate?
  • Can we introduce another economic system to our society? 
  • Should each state, the federal government, or individual companies be responsible for setting a living wage?
  • Should minimum wage be doubled?
  • Should everyone adapt to the four-day work week?
  • Should people who make under a certain amount per year not be taxed at all?
  • Should governments encourage and reward people for shopping locally? 
  • Should advertisements be banned during TV and media programming aimed at kids?
  • Has modern consumerism gone too far?

Economics is a great topic for a persuasive speech because it affects our everyday lives in so many ways. There are tons of research and perspectives to help support your argument. 

3. Education

empty classroom

Many people feel strongly about education and there are many sides and perspectives that come into play: teachers, parents, students, student athletes, and more. 

Here is a list of some engaging topics to write a persuasive speech on:

  • Should post-secondary education be free?
  • Should taking a year off between high school and college be mandatory?
  • Is it fair to take cell phones away from kids in middle/high school while they are in class?
  • Should school uniforms be mandatory in all high schools?
  • Should cursive writing still be taught in schools?
  • Do frats and sororities actually serve their purpose? 
  • Should programming and coding be introduced to young students?
  • Should school lunches be free?
  • Is college/university necessary anymore?
  • Does the education system prepare students for adult life?
  • Should gyms be mandatory for all students?
  • Do schools need to do a better job at teaching students a second language?
  • Should schools teach sign language?
  • What age should students be taught sex ed?
  • Should distant learning be encouraged, or avoided at all costs?

Education is another great topic to write a speech about because it intersects with economics, culture, and politics. These topics will guarantee an engaged audience. This is a popular topic for high school students who are learning about tuition and scholarships at their top colleges! 

4. Environment

air pollution

Since the release of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and Greta Thunberg’s unapologetic activism, climate change has been at the forefront of many political, economic, and cultural conversations. 

If environmental issues spark your interest, consider writing on one of the topics below:

  • Can we ever live in a truly ‘green’ and environmentally friendly society?
  • Should water bottles be banned?
  • Are businesses responsible for implementing environmentally friendly production and products?
  • Should there be a carbon tax?
  • Should electric cars be mandatory in the near future?
  • Should we switch over to entirely renewable energy?
  • Do low-income families have the same duties to be eco-conscious as high-income families do? Should plastic bags and single use plastic be completely banned?
  • Should car racing be banned?
  • Should fast fashion be banned?

The environment and climate change are becoming, if not already, some of the most pressing issues of our day. 

5. Ethics

lab rat in gloved hand

Ethics may be one of the most difficult topics to write a persuasive speech about because the topics tend to cover sensitive subject matter. However, ethics are also some of the most compelling and complex topics to explore. 

Here are some potential topics for a persuasive speech about ethics:

  • Is animal testing ethical?
  • Is drinking coffee unethical?
  • Are animal shelters that allow euthanization ethical?
  • Should more people try to adopt a vegetarian/vegan diet?
  • Is the death penalty ethical? 
  • Can racism ever truly be eliminated?
  • Can the prison system genuinely contribute to the improvement and rehabilitation of individuals?
  • Should justice systems and incarceration facilities focus on rehabilitation over punishment? 
  • Should cosmetic plastic surgery be covered by insurance?
  • Are morals objective or subjective?
  • Should zoos and circuses be banned?
  • Should fur coats be illegal?
  • Are censorship laws ethical?
  • Is it ethical to genetically modify an embryo? 
  • How should we, and who is responsible, for addressing the homelessness crisis? 
  • Should minors who commit violent crimes be charged and tried as adults?

Tackling a persuasive speech on ethics is a challenge, as many of these topics are complex and sensitive. It can also be difficult to wrap up a speech on such huge ethical debates. 

However, these topics also provide some of the most riveting and energizing debates - if you’re up to the challenge, you should definitely try to tackle one of these topics. 

6. Health

pills spilling out of bottle

From fitness to food prices to economic privilege, there are tons of debatable topics regarding health. Here are just some of the potential topics you can write a speech on:

  • Are individuals solely responsible for their own health?
  • Should prescription medications be free?
  • Should sugary drinks like pop be taxed at higher rates?
  • Should Starbucks be allowed to advertise their high-calories and high sugar drinks?
  • Should the government regulate the prices of fruits and vegetables?
  • Should fast food restaurants regulate and reduce their portions?
  • Should gym memberships be free?
  • Should the government change and restructure the work week to reduce stress?
  • Should nurses be paid more?
  • Should smoking be banned?
  • Should insurance companies fully cover rehabilitation stays for health issues like eating disorders?

People have varying opinions and understanding of health, which makes these topics very engaging and interesting to write about.

7. Politics

woman holding sign at protest

It goes without saying that almost every political issue is debatable. 

  • Do we actually live in a truly democratic society?
  • Should there be a minimum wage or a living wage?
  • Should the legal voting age be decreased?
  • Does the pay gap exist?
  • Are younger politicians more effective?
  • Should there be stricter gun laws?
  • Should Presidents be able to serve more than two terms?
  • Should everyone get the day off work to go vote?
  • Should political party funding be regulated?
  • Should political smear campaigns be banned?
  • Is there a political bias in mainstream media?
  • Should you date someone with opposing political views? 
  • Is the government spending too much on the military sector?

Politics are all about persuading people to take a side, which makes it a strategic topic for delivering a moving persuasive speech. 

8. Sports

football player about to throw football

Sports is another big topic that people care a lot about. There are sports related matters that are questioned everywhere: sports on TV, the Olympics, college sports and athletics, and athletic sponsorships

Below is a list of captivating sports topics for a persuasive speech: 

  • Should the pay for professional teams be based on audience viewership? 
  • Are professional sports getting too violent? 
  • Are athletes overpaid?
  • Is cheerleading empowering or exploitative? 
  • Should children be allowed to compete in competitive sports?
  • Should we continue spending millions of dollars on the Olympic Games?
  • Do people put too much importance on high school and college football?
  • Should alcohol and tobacco ads be banned during sports?
  • Is betting on sports teams ethical?
  • Should high school and college athletes be paid?

Sports is a topic that people don’t often think of as controversial. However, your audience is bound to be engaged and contemplating your argument as you present your speech. 

9. Technology

digitialized globe

As the world increasingly moves to online spaces, and technology advances faster than ever before, technology is another hot topic that people have a lot of thoughts and opinions on. 

  • Should all workplaces offer hybrid/remote work?
  • Should we pursue Artificial Intelligence?
  • Do we need to put resources into travelling to space?
  • Should parents monitor their children’s online activity?
  • Is it okay for phones to use facial recognition and fingerprint technology?
  • Is technology actually addicting?
  • Can we blame technology for increased stress and anxiety?
  • Are security cameras and body cameras an invasion of privacy? 
  • Should the internet be surveilled or managed?
  • Should video game chats be surveilled or even banned?
  • Are machines replacing human labor? 
  • Should cloning be outlawed/banned?

As technology continues to advance and expand into our personal lives, it is a great topic to write a unique persuasive speech on. 

10. Other 

alien inside barn

Having a unique and creative speech topic discussing one of your interests can make it stand out more! Think about extracurriculars you participate in, podcasts you enjoy, or fascinating facts you’ve learned. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. 

  • What makes a hero?
  • Are we headed towards World War 3?
  • Did humans really land on the moon?
  • Are serial killers born or made?
  • Can good and evil be separated neatly?
  • Is cancel culture a positive or negative thing?
  • Can money buy happiness?
  • How to become a millionaire
  • How to become more confident
  • How to live to be 100
  • How to survive an apocalypse
  • Do extraterrestrial beings exist?
  • Why students should start investing at 16
  • The true history of… (event of your choice, such as the Chernobyl disaster, the Black Plague, Salem Witch Trials, etc.)

Exploring these kinds of diverse and intriguing topics will not only capture your audience's attention but will also allow you to share your passions with your peers! 

What Makes a Good Persuasive Speech Topic?

The best persuasive speech topics are topics that are not overdone, and topics that the speaker is genuinely passionate and knowledgeable about. 

Persuasive speech topics should also be a bit controversial (this does not mean offensive) because the topic and speech itself should be thought-provoking. The more people are emotionally invested in the topic, the better. 

For example, while you can try to persuade your audience that strawberry ice cream is better than chocolate ice cream, it’s unlikely that many people have a strong emotional investment in that topic. Without an emotional investment, audiences will be sitting listening to your speech thinking: “so what?” 

On the other hand, a topic like “Should government’s set limits on how many children a family can have in overpopulated countries?” is emotionally charged and truly matters to people. 

FAQs: Persuasive Speech Topics

After reading through all the possible topics you can write a persuasive speech on, you may still have some questions before you get going. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about persuasive speech topics. 

1. What Are Some Easy Persuasive Topics?

Any persuasive topic can be easy to write about if you are passionate about your stance. The more passionate and knowledgeable you are about your topic, the easier it will be to research and write. 

There are also easy persuasive topics that are more lighthearted than controversial, which some people may find easier to debate and write about. Some easy persuasive topics include: 

  • Should everyone have a three-day weekend?
  • Should every public place have free Wi-Fi?
  • Can money buy happiness?
  • Does social media do more harm than good?
  • Should kids get paid for getting high grades?
  • Do we need more holidays?

These topics are all fun to debate, which makes it easy to write a persuasive speech or essay. Whereas some persuasive topics can be complex and sensitive, the topics listed above are pretty straightforward, which makes them easier to discuss than more complex topics. 

2. What Is a Good Persuasive Speech Topic For School?

A good start to finding a good speech topic for school is looking for a topic that involves something related to school. For example, you can look into talking about school uniforms, class sizes, tuition and scholarships, and school sports, just to name a few. 

Having a speech topic related to school is a good idea for school because your audience (teachers and peers) are directly in that environment as well. This means they will likely be more engaged as the topic, whether they agree or disagree, is relevant to their everyday lives. 

3. What are Three Examples of a Persuasive Speech Topic?

Any of the above topics listed in this article are examples of persuasive speech topics. Three specific examples that have not been listed are:

  • Is social media to blame for the rates of depression and anxiety amongst youth?
  • Do young adult romance novels encourage harmful and toxic relationships to their target audience?
  • Should children under 18 have total control over medical decisions made about their bodies?

These topics are examples of persuasive speech topics because you need to take a clear stance in order to answer the question. The point of a persuasive speech is to convince or persuade the audience that your side of the argument is valid and should be considered, so the topic needs the individual to take a specific stance. 

As briefly touched upon before, your topic needs to interest your audience for a successful persuasive speech. While you should make sure your topic isn’t overdone, you don’t want to go with something too ‘safe’ as that will most likely bore your audience. 

Final Thoughts

Coming up with a topic for a persuasive speech may be the most difficult part of the writing process. 

Read over our list of topics and pick out a few topics that genuinely interest you. From there, do some preliminary research on each topic and see which one has the strongest evidence to support your argument. Then, you’ll be good to start writing your persuasive speech that will amaze your audience!

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