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Difference Between a Persuasive Speech and a Persuasive Essay

Persuasive Essay

Difference Between a Persuasive Speech and a Persuasive Essay

What Is a Persuasive Essay?

A persuasive essay is a type of essay that presents logical arguments with emotional appeal in order to sway readers to a particular point of view. Persuasive essays can be both a form of academic writing and personal writing. They typically begin with a question that the writer spends the essay arguing in favour of or in opposition to. A personal essay writer will make a firm statement that is backed up with a combination of data, research, and anecdotal experience. The writer will often explore opposing positions and counterarguments as a means to discredit them.

What is persuasive speech?

The aim of a persuasive speech is to inform, educate and convince or motivate an audience to do something. You are essentially trying to sway the audience to adopt your own viewpoint. The best persuasive speech topics are thought-provoking, daring and having a clear opinion. You should speak about something you are knowledgeable about and can argue your opinion for, as well as objectively discuss counter-arguments.

Another common form of persuasive writing is a persuasive speech. This form of writing can also be assigned within an academic course. However, it is also widely used in the professional world, for example, when presenting a new idea to investors with the goal of persuading them to invest their money in a project.

Is writing a persuasive speech any different from writing an essay? To begin with, writing an essay and a speech are two completely different experiences. Even though the ultimate goal is the same, to convince the audience of something, the steps of writing, style, tone of voice, and techniques used by the author can be quite different.

Here are the key differences between a persuasive speech and a persuasive essay:
  • Audience. Obviously, by writing a speech you intend to communicate with a live audience, meanwhile, an essay addresses a reading audience.
  • Tone. Due to the difference in audience, the tone of these two persuasive pieces is also different. A speech aims to generate a strong emotional effect. To create it, authors often use a particular diction full of the grave, hopeful, or uplifting tones. An essay also relies on evoking emotions; however, in this case, a writer will fulfil this goal with the help of making the right points.
  • Format. Most essays follow a standard format: introduction, body, and conclusion. A speech also generally follows the same structure. However, often speechwriters draw a separate conclusion from every point made in the body to ensure that the audience is on the same page with the speaker.
  • Presentation. A speech gives a speaker a wider range of tools to use during a presentation. Thus, when writing a speech, you can expect a speaker to further strengthen its effect with the help of eye contact, body language, intonation, gestures, etc. On the contrary, when writing an essay, the whole effect a piece makes depends on the word choice and the way you use them.