Topic Persuade the audience about a question of fact, value, or policy. Refer to chapter 16 in The Art of Public Speaking for a description of each question that gives rise to a persuasive speech and its recommended organization. You are expected to write your speech from “scratch.” The idea is to learn the speech process by selecting the topic, analyzing the audience, preparing (researching and outlining) the speech, and delivering the speech. Topics that you should avoid: Religion Politics Health care Depressing subjects Note: Speaking on political or religious topics (abortion, capital punishment, marijuana, same-sex marriage, war, etc.) is rarely effective. People have deep-rooted feelings on these topics that have developed over many years. You are not likely to change anyone’s mind in a six- to eight-minute speech; however, you might create a hostile audience. Do not set yourself up for failure. Focus on a question of fact, value, or policy that is politically and religiously neutral. Also, you have the next three years to focus on healthcare topics; try to pick something different. Topics such as donating blood and organs are “preaching to the choir” because we are all going into health care. Finally, depressing subjects are a bummer; pick something fun and exciting.