Topic:   ______________________________

General purpose: to persuade___________

Specific purpose statement: After listening to my speech, the audience will …_____________________


  1. Attention-Getting Statement
  2. Credentials / Connection to topic
  3. Thesis Statement
  4. Preview of main points

(Including oral citations - reference to research)


(Including oral citation - reference to research)

  10. Transition + Review of thesis and main points
  11. Closing Statement / Direct Challenge (to adopt the specified attitude, belief or behavior)

Persuasive Speech Outline Example

Topic:  Reusable Shopping Bags

General Purpose: To persuade

Specific Purpose Statement:  After listening to this speech, the audience will trade in single-use plastic grocery bags for reusable shopping bags.

  1. Attention
    1. Attention Getter- The state of California recently passed a law banning plastic single-use grocery bags. And according to an October 2014 article from com, by July 2015, customers must bring reusable bags or pay 10 cents for each paper bag provided by California grocery stores.
    2. Credentials/Connection to topic – Once I started recycling diligently, I noticed that at the end of a month I would have a large container of just plastic grocery bags. I decided it was time to make a change and reduce my waste.
    3. Thesis- Converting to reusable bags could put us one step closer to a cleaner and safer environment.
    4. Preview- Single-use plastic bags are putting a strain on our already stressed environment, but the simple choice to purchase reusable shopping bags could have a huge impact.

Transition- First, you must understand the harm these plastic bags can cause.

  1. Need
    1. According to, plastic bags are considered one of the top causes of litter.
      1. Worldwide, there are more than 500 billion plastic bags produced each year.
      2. Most often plastic grocery bags are thrown away after just one use.
    2. Plastic bags take over 400 years to decompose on land and even longer in water.
      1. Plastic bags break down into the soil and release toxic substances.
      2. Plastic bags cause over 100,000 marine animal deaths each year.
  • These deaths can be painful because the plastic either wraps around the animal or the animal eats the plastic thinking it’s food.
  1. Plastic bags are made of polythene, which is a petroleum product that contributes to air pollution and energy consumption.
    1. It is estimated that 60-100 million barrels of oil are used to make plastic bags each year.
    2. Manufacturing of plastic bags creates carbon emissions, contributing to growing air pollution problems.

Transition – As you can see plastic bags are a major problem in our society.  Fortunately the solution is clear and simple!

  • Satisfaction
    1. According to com, reusable bags are much stronger and typically larger than single-use plastic bags. That means less spilled groceries in the parking lot and less trips to the car when you have to unload at home.
    2. Since bags come in a variety of materials and patterns, purchase ones that you like and that fit your needs.
      1. Reusable bags are available online and at most all grocery stores and even retail stores.
      2. Cotton bags are easily washed, but are a bit more expensive than standard non-woven or jute reusable bags sold at grocery stores.
  • At Publix, one reusable shopping bag costs 99 cents.
  1. A better quality, coated bag from Amazon costs about $10 for 4 bags. There are just too many cost effective options available on Amazon to list.
  2. Ikea makes a reusable grocery bag that’s simple and rugged looking, maybe more appealing to a guy.
  3. There are even websites, such as, which will allow you to create custom-designed grocery bags.
  • And for the fashion diva,, has a huge selection of bags for around $10 each.
  1. It’s one thing to purchase new reusable bags, but you’ve got to incorporate these new bags in your daily routine.
    1. To begin, purchase 6-10 bags, based on the size of your family and your grocery shopping habits.
    2. Keep the bags stored in the trunk of your car – not in your house.
  • Simply get in the habit of using the bags. It may be difficult at first, but make yourself walk back to the car if you forget your bags.  At some point you’ll begin to remember them.
  1. It is still recommended that you use plastic bags for raw meats and cleaning products.
  2. Lastly, wash or clean your other bags regularly as directed by the manufacturer
  1. Visualization
    1. Cutting out these plastic bags is a small act with huge advantages.
    2. Without plastic bags, more than 1 million animal’s lives could be saved, thus having a positive impact on the food chain.
    3. Space could be freed-up, extending the life of our landfills.
    4. And less demand leads to reduced production of plastic bags; leading to a reduction in demands for oil - possibly even having an impact on gas prices.
    5. And if that doesn’t motivate you, you’ll look much smarter and stylish with a designer grocery bag than that drab beige plastic grocery bag.
  1. Action / Appeal
    1. Review- Now you understand the harm that single-use plastic bags cause our environment, as well as the benefits to our environment and your style of using reusable shopping bags.
    2. Closing Statement- So I challenge you, invest in a few reusable shopping bags, and get in the habit of using them every time you shop. You’ll be saving lives, and making the earth a cleaner place. BYOB!


Abel, Jennifer, “California outlaws ‘single-use” plastic shopping bags.” ConsumerAffairs.  Web. 6 July 2014. <>

Cahill, LM, “The Benefits of Reusable Grocery Bags.”  Ezinearticles.  Web. 14 Jan 2014.


"Dangers of plastic bags." Envirosax. Envirosax, 2004. Web.

18 Jun 2014. <>.

“Sustainable Habits.”  2014. Web. 7 July  2014. <>