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Worksheet: Persuasive Speech Outline

This is a template you can use to create your informative speech preparation outline. Create your own outline in a Word document. Follow the tips below. Be sure your outline includes all the information in bold listed below.


  • Label each part of the speech. Use the labels provided for the Introduction, Body, Connectives, and Conclusion.
  • Write out each idea as you plan to say it in your speech. Develop each section with fully fleshed-out ideas in full-sentences.
  • Use formal outlining style with appropriate Roman Numerals, etc. Do not use bullet points in your outline.
  • Refer to the examples posted in our course.



Draw us into your speech!

  • The items below can be in any order as long as all are present, and as long as the attention-gaining device is first and the preview statement is last.
  • You can accomplish more than goal at once. For example, your attention-getter might be a story that shows your credibility.
  • The introduction should be 10-20% of your speech.

A. Attention gaining device. See course documents for ideas and examples on effective ways to hook your audience. Never begin by stating your name and/or your topic.

B. Relevance statement. Relate or connect your topic to the audience. See course documents for ideas on how to let your audience know why this topic should be useful or relevant to them.

C. Credibility statement. Be specific about how or why you came to know about this topic. See course documents for more information on how to show listeners that you have special expertise or interest in this topic and are thus qualified to speak about it.

D. Goodwill. Be specific about how you have the best interest of you audience in mind.

E.  Common Ground. Be specific about what you and your audience have in common as it relates to your topic.

F. Preview statement. In one or two sentences, list each main point you’ll cover, in the order you will present them in the body. See course document for tips on how to let the audience know what to expect.


  • Be sure the audience will understand that you’re leaving the introduction and moving to the body / first main point. (For example, “I’ll begin by talking about —–” or “First, you need to know —–“ or “Let’s get started.”)
  • Be creative in your wording so the main point phrasing doesn’t repeat the connective phrasing.




  • This section forms the bulk of your speech.
  • Your Persuasive Speech will have 2 or 3 main points.
    • The first main point presents the problem or need. Provide evidence to show that a serious problem exists. Demonstrate a need for the actions or solutions that will be in the last main point.
    • The second main point is optional. You can choose to argue, using evidence, that a problem has particular causes.
    • The last main point argues for solutions to the problem(s) presented in the first main point. The solutions must include feasible and specific actions that your audience can realistically take. If you discussed the causes of the problem, then the solutions recommended should target particular causes.
    • This worksheet has spaces for three main points in this worksheet and three subpoints for each main point; however, use the number of main points and subpoints that fits your topic and time limit.
  • Develop the main points with a variety of evidence, such as examples, statistics and testimony.
  • The body of the speech must include at least three orally cited sources.
  • Use standard outline format, as shown below.


A. Subpoint – This should be a category or grouping of problems, not just a list.  This is your claim.

1.  sub-subpoint (explain or give details on your main points: examples, statistics, testimony, etc.) This is your evidence.

a.  sub-subpoint (Develop ideas as needed) This is your reasoning.

i.(Most 4-6 minute speeches don’t have this level of detail, but yours might.)

2. because you are explaining a detailed issue – you will most likely have more than one piece of evidence to explain the problem.

B. Subpoint #2:

C. Subpoint #3:

Connective: Let us know you’ve finished one idea and are moving to the next.
(For example, “Now that we have covered —–, let’s discuss —–.)


Typically main point 2 is used for the Causes.  Many students choose to not include this in their speech.

III. Main Point #3 (Provide as many subpoints and sub-subpoints as needed.)

This should include your solutions.  Typically solutions should be well developed and include both solutions we can accomplish as an individual and solutions that require group action.

A.  Individual solutions

1. Explain or give details on your solution: use examples, statistics, testimony, etc.)

B. Group solutions

1. Explain or give details on your solution: use examples, statistics, testimony, etc.)


  • The conclusion should be 5-10% of your speech.
  • Reinforce content already presented instead of going in a new direction. Do not present new information (such as material that couldn’t be worked in earlier) or shift the goal (e.g. from informing to persuading). The action step must be a well-developed main point in the body of the speech, not added to the conclusion as if the solution to the problem is an afterthought.

A. Brakelight: First, use a signal phrase to let us know that you’re done with the main points. (Examples: “To wrap up” or “In conclusion” or “Now that you’ve learned about —–“ or something more creative.)

B. Summary. Review the main points of the speech in the order you presented them. Provide a bit more detail than in the opening preview, perhaps dedicating a sentence to each main point.

C. End Powerfully. Close strongly and definitively. Be sure the audience knows when to applaud. Never end by saying “that’s it.” You could refer back to your attention- gaining device or find another creative way to finish.

Works Cited Page

  • This list contains the sources orally cited (quoted or paraphrased) in the speech above. (It is not a list of works referenced or works consulted).
  • Be sure a reader can easily match each item on this list to a work actually cited.
  • Use MLA format.
  • Alphabetize this list (by author’s last name, or by document title if the author is unknown).
  • See speech research requirements on how many sources, and what types.