Priya Desai 4 min read Academic Tips and Info

52 Persuasive Speech Topics That Are Actually Engaging

Often, coming up with an essay topic is one of the hardest parts of the writing process. This is especially true of persuasive speeches – not only do you have to generate a convincing argument, but you have to present it to others in a way that sways them to your side. It can be hard to craft a speech that resonates with your audience at the level you wish to achieve, but a good topic can give you a head start. 


In this post, we’ll give you expert tips on choosing a topic that will allow you to formulate an awesome persuasive speech. We’ll also give you 52 non-cliche examples of topics, broken down by category. Feel free to use these or simply use them as a springboard to inspire self-created topics – after all, there are limitless possibilities to what your speech topic can be!


How to Pick a Good Persuasive Speech Topic


Genuine Passion


It can be hard to find a speech topic that you’re truly passionate about, especially if you have to give persuasive speeches frequently; however, you should ensure that whatever you’re speaking about is within the realm of your interest. If you’re genuinely excited about your topic, the research, argument formation, and delivery will come so much easier. 


That being said, don’t pick something so niche within your own interests that others won’t be able to relate. For example, if you discuss the ending of an obscure episode of Star Wars or a specific species of endangered fish, you might have really valid arguments, but you run the risk of losing your audience.


It’s imperative that you toe the line between a topic you care about deeply and one that others will care about too. Finding something in this sweet spot will go a long way in keeping both yourself and your audience present and engaged during your speech. 


Avoiding Cliches 


There are a handful of unoriginal and hackneyed persuasive topics that are used all-too-often in speeches. These include polarizing topics such as abortion and whether climate change exists. Though these topics are relevant and important to discuss, their prominence means that most people have already formed a solidified opinion, so they don’t make the best persuasive speech topic. Psychologically, people are less receptive to information once they’ve formed an opinion, especially those that have had years in the making. As such, you should avoid these topics because you don’t know where your audience stands and this could negatively affect your speech’s reception. 




You also want to make sure your topic is actually controversial enough to constitute an argument. Avoid subjects that lack an opposing side or multiple potential viewpoints, as you won’t be able to generate an original persuasive approach. For instance, arguing that school lunches should be healthier is probably not something people will debate you on. If you want an interesting and engaging speech, there needs to be another viable side or opinion. 


Let’s look at some potential topics!


Persuasive Speech Example Topics




  • Should high school athletes get tested for steroids?
  • Should schools be required to have physical education courses?
  • Should sports grades in school depend on things like athletic ability and mile time?
  • What sport should be added to/removed from the Olympics?
  • Should college athletes be able to make money off of their merchandise?
  • Should sports teams be able to recruit young athletes without a college degree?




  • Should college be free at the undergraduate level?
  • Are GPAs doing more harm than good?
  • Should schools be required to teach courses about standardized testing?
  • Should Greek Life in colleges be banned in America?
  • Should schools offer science courses explicitly about mental health?
  • Should students be allowed to bring their cell phones to school?




  • Should all public restrooms be all-gender?
  • Should undocumented immigrants have the same education and employment opportunities as citizens?
  • Should everyone be paid a living wage regardless of whether or not they’re employed?
  • Should ideologically supremacist groups be able to hold public events?
  • Should guns be allowed in public places? College campuses?
  • Should the national drinking age be lowered?

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  • Should stores be able to charge customers who use plastic bags?
  • Should breeding animals (dogs, cats, etc.) be illegal?
  • Should people be fined for not recycling?
  • Should compost bins become mandatory for restaurants?
  • Should electric vehicles have their own transportation infrastructure?
  • Would heavier fining policies reduce corporations’ emissions?




  • Should cyberbullying have the same repercussions as in-person bullying?
  • Is the paper media more reliable than digital news sources?
  • Should automated/self-driving cars be legalized?
  • Should euthanasia be allowed in hospitals and other clinical settings?
  • Should schools be required to provide laptops to all students?
  • Should software companies be able to have pre-downloaded programs and applications on devices?




  • How many branches of government should there be?
  • Who is the best/worst president of all time?
  • Should more of the U.S. budget go toward education?
  • Should the country invest in rapid transcontinental transportation infrastructure?
  • Should airport screening be more or less stringent?
  • Should the electoral college be dismantled?




  • Should students have to sing Christmas carols, say the pledge of allegiance, or perform other tangentially religious activities?
  • Should nuns and priests become genderless roles?
  • Should schools and other public buildings have prayer rooms?
  • Should animal sacrifice be legal if it occurs in a religious context?
  • Should countries be allowed to impose a national religion on their citizens?




  • Should all actors be paid the same regardless of gender or ethnicity?
  • Should all award shows be based on popular vote?
  • Who should be responsible for paying taxes on prize money, the game show staff or the contestants?
  • Should movies and television shows have ethnicity and gender quotas?
  • Should newspapers and magazines move to a completely online format?
  • Should streaming services like Netflix and Hulu be free for students?




  • Are libraries becoming obsolete?
  • Should all schools have mandatory art or music courses in their curriculum?
  • Should offensive language be censored or removed from classic literary works?
  • Is it ethical for museums to hold onto indigenous artifacts?
  • Should digital designs be considered an art form?


Hopefully, after reading these ideas, you feel inspired to write a unique and powerful persuasive speech. Once you’re done with the first draft, try CollegeVine’s free peer essay review tool, where you can submit your speech script and get feedback for free from a peer.

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Priya Desai
Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Priya has been working at CollegeVine for two years in various capacities, including mentoring students, editing hundreds of essays, and creating blog content. She has also interned in healthcare consulting. She is extremely grateful for all the help she received as an applicant and wants to pay it forward by demystifying the admissions process for others.