Free Resources for Students and Teachers of English as a Foreign Language in China - by Paul Sparks

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Paul Sparks - Online English Lesson Plans, Lesson Material and Ideas for Oral English (Speaking Lessons) from Hunan University of Science and Technology...



ORAL ENGLISH: Persuasive Speaking


Delivering a Persuasive Speech

  • Sometimes we have to use skills to convince others about our positions, this is called persuasion.

  • In English we need to remember that how we say something and how we present ourselves are just as important as what we say.

Appear Rational

  • When we are trying to convince someone of something, we must first establish our credibility, or in other words, we must sell ourselves before we sell the "message".

  • We should not use words such as "maybe" or "might", we should use positive words such as "will" and "must".

  • We must supply enough information to prove our points so that we seem knowledgeable.

  • We should also appear to be truthful, even when we are really stretching a point.

  • Do not be afraid to show a little emotion. You and your voice must match the tone of the words.


Body language








The speed, or pace, is also very important for delivering a persuasive speech. Between 140-160 words per minute is the normal pace for a persuasive speech.

ACTIVITY 1: With a partner: Try to persuade your partner to go to a party with you, which is hosted by someone that they don't like.

ACTIVITY 2: Try to persuade your partner to let you copy their homework, but your partner doesn't like cheating!

ACTIVITY 3: Choose a statement that not everyone would agree with (E.G. "women should clean the house"). The goal of this speech is to change someone's mind or way of thinking about a topic.

How to be More Persuasive:
There are 3 Ways to Persuade Someone:

Emotional Reasons / Arguments

Ethical Reasons / Arguments

Logical Reasons / Arguments

Persuasive Techniques:

Repetition (repeat many times)

Restatement (repeat the idea, in another way)

Parallelism (rhythmic repetition of a key word)

Announcement (precede important points with a statement)

Non Verbal Strategies:


Eye Contact

Facial Expressions

Appropriate Clothing

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