Plato believed you could arouse a person’s soul with your words and they would believe in what was being presented.

Plato believed you could arouse a person’s soul with your words and they would believe in what was being presented. Plato also believed that a speaker should have high moral character and only persuade the people if it is true and good. The Sophists (paid public speaking coaches from around the time of Plato), on the other hand, taught that as long as you had style to your persuasion, you could persuade the people to do just about anything. These differing views on persuasion exist today; politicians make large grand statements that energize their followers and journalist work towards the “truth.”

For this assignment, you will be following the teachings of Plato. You need to pick a topic that is interesting to your audience, that has been well researched, and that you are giving out true and accurate information to your audience.

Pick a topic that you feel strongly about, so the audience can pick up on those emotions. Do not choose overused topics such as marijuana, global warming, benefits of exercise, texting and driving. Also, do not choose highly charged topics such as abortion, gun control, or same-sex marriage.

In the next few weeks, you will learn about persuasive techniques and about how to motivate your audience. Remember you want your audience to either, 1) establish, reinforce, or change a belief or 2) motivate action. Think about that goal when choosing your topic.

Time Limit:

5-7 Minutes, aim for 6 minutes (every 30 seconds you go over or under time limit you will receive 1 point deduction).


You will need to cite at least Five authoritative sources in your speech. At least Three of your authoritative references must be from academic sources, such as scholarly journals, newspapers, magazines, or books (strongly suggest using the SLCC library (Links to an external site.)). The other two sources can be from authoritative websites or other types. All sources must be orally cited in your final speech presentation, placed in a reference page in your outlines, and cited properly within the text of your outlines. You will also complete an annotated bibliography using your five sources.

Visual Aid:

You must have a visual aid. You choose what type of visual will best aid your audience in understanding and being persuaded.

You can use presentation software, a prop, poster board, etc. as your visual aid. There is no specific requirement for your visual aid in this speech, but you are required to use one. In your personal artifact speech you used a prop, in your demonstration speech you may have used a prop, a poster, your body, or a volunteer, in your informative speech you used presentation software, and now in your persuasive speech, you get to choose.

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