235+ Ideas for persuasive speech topics

How to choose a great persuasive speech topic, inspiration and ideas, and example presentations for you to get started

Creating a great persuasive speech starts with picking the right topic. 

Some of these speech ideas are supposed to be funny, some are “easier” to create a speech around, and all of them offer the ability to take multiple sides or present multiple points of view.

Here are 235 of the best ideas for persuasive speech topics, categorized by topic area.


How to pick a topic for your persuasive speech

To make a great persuasive speech, you should pick a topic that meets the following criteria:

  1. You’re interested in the subject matter - Life is short! Don’t spend a bunch of time researching something that you don’t want to learn about.
  2. There are multiple perspectives - If there’s no need to persuade anyone, it’s not going to be a very effective speech.
  3. It’s relevant - Whether it’s relevant to your friends, classmates, or current events, there’s a reason to bring up this topic.
  4. You can bring insight - Whether you have a personal experience, unexpected facts, or can debunk some commonly misunderstood beliefs, surprising and educating your audience is one of the best ways to create an effective persuasive speech.

How to write a persuasive speech

The first step to writing your persuasive speech is to do a bit of research to understand the different viewpoints on the topic, form your personal opinion based on the facts, and then create a rough outline of your speech.

Depending on how long your presentation is, you will probably want to have 2 or 3 key points as well as supporting information about each of them.

Once you have the key points written out, you can write your full speech and create an accompanying presentation, if needed.

Create a first draft of your presentation with Plus AI

If you want to get a jump start on a first draft of the speech or presentation, you can also use a tool like Plus AI to quickly create a starting point for you, and edit it from there.

Most popular persuasive speech ideas

Here are some of the most popular ideas for persuasive speeches, based on topics we have seen in the past:

  • Is student debt forgiveness a good idea?
  • Should students be allowed to use AI?
  • Would universal basic income improve the day-to-day life of everyone?
  • Should AI systems always be able to explain their decisions?
  • Are politicians getting too old to be effective?
  • Is social media bad for you?
  • Can money buy happiness?
  • Should religion be taught in schools?

Here’s an example presentation on whether students should be allowed to use AI.

Easy persuasive speech ideas

Here are some topics that should be easier persuasive speech ideas for students because you may already have a point of view or personal experiences that could enhance the content of your presentation.

  • Should students be allowed to use AI tools?
  • Should you exercise every day?
  • Should we reduce the use of single-use plastics?
  • Should voting be mandatory?
  • Should schools teach kids a foreign language?
  • Should schools teach financial management and other practical skills?
  • Are phones and social media affecting how kids grow up?
  • Should the government invest more money in space exploration?

Persuasive speech ideas about society

Here are some ideas for speeches about society and how we live where it could be interesting to share different points of view.

  • Are romantic movies good for feminism? 
  • Would universal basic income improve the day-to-day life of most people?
  • How can education reduce social inequality?
  • Is there still a stigma when people have mental health issues?
  • Do people enjoy the commercialization of holidays?
  • How should countries trade off the need for safety vs. privacy?
  • How has reality TV changed dating?
  • Why is religion becoming less important in modern society?
  • Are communities stronger in urban areas or rural areas?
  • Should schools encourage students to be politically active?
  • Are we headed towards World War 3
  • Is cancel culture a bad thing?

Persuasive speech ideas about AI

AI is a hot topic these days, and people have a lot of different opinions on AI. Here are some ideas that can help you find the perfect topic for a persuasive speech about AI.

  • Should intelligent AIs have "human rights"?
  • Who should be at fault if an AI system makes a bad decision?
  • Will AI destroy jobs or lead to new forms of work for people?
  • Who is the creator of an AI-generated artwork / book / song?
  • Does AI increase inequality?
  • How should people handle misinformation in the age of AI?
  • Should AI systems always be able to explain their decisions?
  • Will AI change the way we interact with other people in social situations?
  • Should AI developers be reponsible for making AI behave ethically?
  • Should there be a global regulatory framework for AI? 
  • If AI performs better than human doctors, should it be allowed to make medical decisions?

Persuasive speech ideas about the environment

Given the media’s polarized coverage of climate change (see what I did there 😄), there are no shortage of opinions on the environment. Here are some interesting speech ideas on the environment.

  • Should cities ban items like plastic bags and plastic straws?
  • How should corporations be held responsible for climate change?
  • Why is investing in renewable energy important?
  • Should all endangered species be protected?
  • Should farmers be forced to adopt water conservation policies?
  • Are electric vehicles a failure?
  • Should "fast fashion" be regulated in order to protect the environment?
  • How can overfishing be prevented?
  • Is nuclear energy a good solution or a threat?
  • Is ecotourism good for local economies and ecosystems?
  • Who should decide what makes a building "green"?
  • Is "organic" a meaningless word today?
  • Can technology solve our environmental problems?
  • Should we limit the use of pesticides and chemicals in agriculture?
  • Should countries limit the import and export of water?

Persuasive speech ideas about arts and culture

If you’re looking to do a persuasive speech on art or culture, there are certainly a lot of different opinions and interesting media assets you could share with your audience.

Here’s an example slide deck created by Plus AI on whether NFTs should be considered “art.”

  • Should NFTs like Bored Apes be considered art?
  • Has the quality of music gotten worse over time? 
  • Should we keep reading literature that is offensive?
  • Should people study video games as a form of art?
  • Should paparazzi be allowed to invade celebrities' privacy?
  • Should the government fund more arts and culture programs?
  • When should art be censored?
  • When does cultural exchange become cultural appropriation?
  • Is AI-generated art really art?
  • Is graffiti on public buildings art or vandalism?

Persuasive speech ideas about ethics

Ethics and moral dilemmas are a classic set of topics for persuasive speeches. Here are some of the traditional questions that often come up in this category as well as some newer ones based on the latest trends and news.

  • Is political lobbying moral and ethical? 
  • Is testing products on animals unethical?
  • Should people be allowed to sell their kidneys?
  • Should capital punishment exist as a form of justice?
  • Should people have the right to euthanasia? 
  • Is selecting for or against certain traits in embryos genetic engineering?
  • Should governments be allowed to use torture in the name of national security?
  • How should AI and robotic systems be used in warfare?
  • What moral obligations do humans have towards animals and pets?
  • What types of performance-enhancing treatments are ethical in sports?
  • How should self-driving cars approach situations like the "trolley problem"?
  • Are parents allowed to make decisions in the best interest of their children?
  • Should prostitution be legal?

Persuasive speech ideas about health

People generally have a lot of opinions about their bodies and how to take care of them. Many debates come from other people having different opinions. Here are some persuasive speech ideas about healthcare and medicine.

  • What should be taught in health education in schools? 
  • Should we legalize more drugs and other illicit substances?
  • Does the government have the right to declare vaccines mandatory?
  • Does social media have positive impacts on mental health? 
  • Would universal healthcare be a positive impact on our country?
  • Who should be held responsible for the opioid crisis?
  • Should the government discourage people from drinking alcohol?
  • Are there benefits to cannabis use? 
  • Should clinical trials use placebos?
  • What is the best way to encourage people to exercise more? 
  • Should pharmaceutical companies make drugs cheaper?
  • How should organ transplants be allocated?
  • Is alternative medicine legitimate?
  • Is it ethical to develop life extension technologies?

Persuasive speech ideas about politics

Could there be a topic that needs more persuasive dialogue than politics? Here are some interesting speech ideas on the topics of politics and government.

We used Plus AI to generate this presentation on whether politicians are getting too old to be effective.

  • Are politicians getting too old to be effective?
  • Should we institute a mandatory military service or civil service program?
  • Is there too much spending on the miltary?
  • Should there always be term limits on elected officials? 
  • How should we control the influence of money in politics?
  • Should voting be mandatory?
  • Should political campaigns be funded by the state?
  • Do independent political candidates improve elections?
  • How should we change our national immigration policies?
  • How should public officials be held accountable for their actions?
  • Should social media platforms be allowed to take sides in politics?
  • Should our country be more focused on self-sufficiency or globalization?
  • Are state-sponsored assassinations acceptable for national security?
  • Should prisoners have the right to vote?

Persuasive speech ideas about sports

It might be hard to think about a fun topic like sports in the context of making a speech, but here are a few ideas on topics that can be both academic and relate to your passion in sports.

  • Is there too much importance placed on football?
  • Is betting in sports ethical? 
  • Are athletes paid too much?
  • Should athletes be allowed to take performance-enhancing drugs?
  • Should physical education be a compulsory subject in school?
  • Should female athletes be paid the same as male athletes?
  • Do replays and other technologies enhance sports or take away from the experience?
  • How important is racial representation in sports?
  • Are animal sports like horse racing or bullfighting ethical?
  • Are youth sports too commercialized?
  • Should high school and college athletes be compensated?
  • Should transgender athletes compete in gender-specific competitions?
  • Is the celebrity culture of sports stars detrimental to the sport?

Persuasive speech ideas about technology

Technology is becoming one of the most important topics in the stock market, in politics, and in our everyday lives. Here are some ideas on interesting topics to present on in tech.

  • Is social media bad for you?
  • Will cryptocurrency lead to stronger financial systems? 
  • Should private companies be allowed to use facial recognition technology?
  • Will automation hurt the economy and workforce?
  • Should we place limits on the development of AI technology?
  • Who should pay for space exploration?
  • Should AI deepfake technology be banned?
  • Can an AI be sentient?
  • Should social media companies be allowed to collect so much user data?
  • Is it ethical for scientists to develop gene editing technologies?
  • Should AI companies be allowed to impersonate well-known public figures?
  • How should tech companies handle censorship and content moderation?
  • Is it good to pursue technology-driven solutions to immortality? 
  • Has technology improved the quality of the average person's life over the last 10 years?
  • Is lab-grown meat the future of food? 
  • Should cloning be illegal?

Persuasive speech ideas about happiness

If you are going to be doing some research for this persuasive speech, you might as well learn something useful - like how to be happy! Here are some ideas on speeches about happiness:

  • Can money buy happiness?
  • Is the journey or the destination more important in being happy?
  • What are the best ways to pursue happiness?
  • Are older people happier?
  • Is happiness a better measure of a country's success than economic output?
  • Would teaching children mindfulness and mediation make them happier?
  • Is volunteering one of the best ways to be happy?
  • Does more choice lead to better decisions?
  • Would getting rid of technology make people happier?

Persuasive speech ideas about work

Workaholics rejoice! If you want to spend some quality time researching and talking about work, here are some ideas.

  • Is work life balance real? 
  • Should companies offer unpaid internships?
  • Do gig economy companies exploit their workers?
  • Should companies be allowed to ask their employees to work after hours?
  • Should companies monitor their employees' social media?
  • Is the glass ceiling real or outdated?
  • Is at-will employment a good thing for the economy?
  • Are mandatory retirement ages discriminatory?
  • Is remote work temporary or here to stay? 
  • Should companies be allowed to use IQ tests and personality tests in hiring?
  • Is outsourcing to lower cost locations ethical?
  • Should employees be compensated purely on performance?
  • Are DEI programs successful?
  • Is it ethical for CEOs to get paid 1,000x more than employees?
  • Are unions a good thing for workers?
  • Should companies be responsible for employees' mental health?
  • Would companies be more efficient with a four day workday?

Persuasive speech ideas about religion

Is it okay to talk about religion in a persuasive speech? Depends on the context, but sure! These are all about sharing your opinions and helping other people to understand your views.

Want to get a head start on your presentation? Here’s an example slide deck of whether churches should be classified as non-profits.

  • Should churches be classified as non-profit organizations?
  • Should religion play a role in the government?
  • Is it moral to attempt to convert others to your religious beliefs?
  • Can science and religion coexist?
  • Should religion be taught in schools?
  • What happens if religious beliefs conflict with laws?
  • How should religions promote interfaith dialogue?
  • How should people deal with religious extremism?
  • Is the commercialization of religious holidays bad?
  • Should religious symbols be displayed in public spaces?
  • Were any religious wars like the crusades morally justified?
  • Should governments fund religious schools?
  • Should religious groups be exempt from medical treatments or military service?

Persuasive speech ideas about animals

Here are some speech ideas if you want to talk about animals and find cute pictures of pets.

  • Should animals be used in research instead of humans? 
  • Is it ethical to use animals in entertainment and agriculture? 
  • Is factory farming an unethical way to raise animals?
  • Should pet ownership be regulated?
  • Is it okay to hunt animals for sport? for subsistence?
  • How should people manage invasive species? 
  • Should people be allowed to keep exotic animals as pets?
  • Is it moral to breed animals in captivity? If the animals are endangered?
  • Should we respect cultural practices that involve the killing of animals?
  • Are animals intelligent or self-aware?
  • Should puppy mills be banned?

Persuasive speech ideas about mental health

Mental health is a serious topic, and if you want to do a speech on mental health, here are some idea starters.

  • How should we destigmatize mental illness?
  • Should we teach kids about mental health from an early age?
  • How should schools support students dealing with mental health issues?
  • Should employers give employees mental health days?
  • Why is there a crisis in loneliness and mental health?
  • Do conservatives have better mental health than liberals?
  • Could we solve homelessness and crime by focusing on mental health?
  • Should the government fund more mental health research?
  • Is technology a major driver of the decrease in mental health?
  • How can mental health be better integrated into primary care?

Funny persuasive speech ideas

If you’re looking for funny topics for a speech, you’re probably a lot more funny than the guy who is writing this blog post, but here are some ideas we came up with.

  • What is the best fast food chain?
  • What is the best Netflix reality show?
  • Are McFlurrys better than Blizzards?
  • Does every adult need a nap time? 
  • Are cats better than dogs?
  • Should you procrastinate?
  • Should teenagers run the government?
  • Is tea better than coffee?
  • Are night owls more intelligent?
  • Is chocolate the best food group? 
  • Does toilet paper go over or under the roll?
  • Should you shower at morning or at night?
  • Should you take your shoes off in the house? 
  • Is there evidence that the earth is flat?
  • Should we get rid of Daylight Savings Time?
  • Should dessert be the first course of every meal?


If you’re worried about coming up with an original idea for your persuasive speech, hopefully this list gives you some ideas and inspiration. 

If you’re done and ready to get started, check out Plus AI for Google Slides and Docs as a way to create a first draft of your speech and slide deck!

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