A persuasive speech aims, on a high degree to persuade the audience to take action. Whether you want to change the audience opinion regarding a particular issue, you want people to vote you into office or to show them the importance of caring for the environment; a persuasive speech is the best and most effective way to sway an audience. It is, therefore, a very important piece of writing and should follow the right procedure. Many students make a lot of mistakes while writing and delivering a persuasive speech. Read on to get an idea of what you should avoid if you find yourself with the task of writing this kind of speech.
What to Avoid When Writing a Persuasive Speech
1. Failure to Understand the Topic
In order to write a good persuasive speech, you have to find out as much as you can about the topic. This is done through thorough research. You have to get as much information as you can regarding your topic and fully understand what you are required to come up with.
Failure to understand your topic will be evident in the speech that you write. The information that you relay to the audience will be insufficient and lacking. You may also end up having a really short and basic speech due to a lack of information since you failed to understand the subject and what you were expected to write about.
2. Lack of a Clear Focus
To write the best persuasive essay, you should have a clear focus and goal in mind. This means that you should have a clear understanding of what you hope to achieve when writing your speech. Lack of a clear focus will sabotage the quality of the speech you produce. You might end up including unnecessary information which is not related in any way whatsoever to the speech you are writing.
3. Writing without the Audience in Mind
The audience is very important in a persuasive speech. They should be the main focus in your essay since your goal is to try and convince them to view the subject from your perspective. When writing your speech, you should consider the audience’s knowledge about the topic, what their stand is on the issue and in which way you can change their views. Failure to follow this step will cause the audience to get bored or lose interest in the speech simply because they do not understand or relate to the subject you are addressing.
4. Using Unreliable Sources
The audience should have confidence in the information you are relaying. They should be able to trust you and believe that the information you are giving to them is accurate, reliable and true. Your goal as the writer should be to guide the audience to support your viewpoint using reliable information. You could use unreliable sources without realizing it. However, providing unreliable information with the aim of deceiving the audience to get them to support your viewpoint is wrong and will hurt your credibility as a writer. You should, therefore, be very cautious with the sources you use when researching to ensure that they are reliable.
5. Choosing a Topic that you do not find interesting
All experts on speech writing insist on one thing; choose a topic that you find interesting. This is because your passion for the subject will be evident in the way that you write the speech. The audience can be able to tell whether you truly care about what you are writing about or you are simply doing it out of obligation. Basing your speech on something you like also means that you will be able to come up with the best argument to persuade the audience about the subject.
Having some knowledge on the topic, you are writing about can also come in handy. Avoid choosing a topic that you know absolutely nothing about. If you don’t understand something, how will you explain it to your audience?
6. Writing the speech like an essay
When writing your speech, consider using the same language you would use if you were giving it orally. Remember, this is not an essay. You should, therefore, try to give it the same features you would use if you were relaying it physically. This could be in the form of brief sentences and short words.
7. Using the Wrong Persuasive Approach
Persuasive speeches use a certain kind of approach to try and convince the audience to support the writer’s viewpoint about a subject. There are three persuasive approaches, namely; ethos, pathos, and logos.
Ethos: It involves appealing to the audience’s morals. That is, trying to convince them to engage in something for the good of everyone.
Pathos: It involves appealing to the audience’s emotions.
Logos: Involves appealing to an audience’s logic
When writing a persuasive speech, you should be able to tap into these three approaches and use them effectively. Relating to the subject of the speech you are writing, one or two of these should help you. As an illustration, if you are trying to convince your audience to adopt a pet and give them a home, the right balance of pathos and ethos could be used to work in your favor.
These are just a few points to guide you on what you should avoid when writing a persuasive speech. If you want to completely perfect this skill, you should read through some of the best speeches to fully perfect your writing skills. You should also do a lot of practice, especially if this is a skill you will require in the future when you begin your career path.
Just a recap on what you should avoid:
1. Failure to understand the topic
2. Lack of a clear focus
3. Writing without the audience in mind
4. Using unreliable sources
5. Choosing a topic that you do not find interesting
6. Writing the speech like an essay
7. Using the wrong persuasive approach