Once You Have Selected Your Topic, What is Your Next Step For the Persuasive Presentation?

In my previous article I discussed the often difficult task of selecting a topic for your persuasive presentation. Your next step is not the creation of your presentation but the research for it. Yes, you have a particular belief, idea, or theory which you feel is correct or better or easier or whatever. The question is why should anyone believe you?

If you do not research the pros and cons of your topic, then your chances of persuading those in your audience to agree with you are slim. Yes, your idea or belief may be the better choice but you must be able to look at both sides of the issue and present evidence in your favor.

A simple example of this is my belief that cornstarch makes a better thickening agent for gravy than flour. How do I know this is true?

1. I have been cooking from ‘scratch’ since I was a child so I am an experienced cook.
2. Unless you have a whisk, flour will produce a lumpy gravy.
3. Cornstarch mixed with a little water can be stirred directly into your drippings (unless the drippings are very fatty and need to be degreased first).
4. In using flour, you must start with just a small amount of fat and then add the drippings to your roux.
5. Cornstarch is easier, faster, and always velvety smooth.

Because of my experience, I have immediately established credibility with my audience. And, because I have tried both methods, I know which is best. Yes, it is a personal preference but that is part of the persuasive presentation whether you are discussing controversial issues or something as basic as cooking.

No matter what your topic, not everyone is going to agree with you no matter how persuasive you are and you should not allow that to deter you. Getting everyone in agreement is not the issue. The issue is establishing your credibility first so that others will open up their minds to what you are saying. That is where your research is so important. You must be able to back up what you are saying by means of your experience, your knowledge, and in many cases, by proof. Being able to cite credible sources tells your audience that you have done your homework and that you know what you are talking about even if they are not all in agreement.

Do not be afraid of the persuasive presentation. Taking a stand for something in which you believe is an excellent means of helping others improve their lives in some fashion. In the process, you will not only be giving to your audience but you will get to know yourself better as well.