Inside: Best persuasive speech topics for high school students to ace that final!

One of my favorite classes in High School was English. I loved learning about all of the different ways to write essays, but admittedly when I first took the class, I thought I would be taught about novels and how to write stories, but that was a whole other genre of English class. Still, there was one thing I ended up loving: Persuasive speeches/essays.

I loved any kind of thought-provoking question that would give me the excuse to sit and ponder the way I felt. And I loved delivering the speech/essays with facts laced with my own passion.

Top Classic Persuasive Speech Topics for High School Students

So today, I wanted to share some of the top persuasive speech topics for high school students. If you have an assignment due soon that requires you to come up with your own topic, just choose one from the list below and get started. But before we get into that, I want to go over some of the benefits that come from considering hard-hitting questions like the ones below.

The Benefits of Persuasive Speeches

I know that seeing intense questions like the ones below may feel like a pretty intense thing to drop on our teens, but it is actually very beneficial. It teaches them how to think for themselves, and that they can and should be thinking about these types of things, that they are affected by some of them. This, in turn, helps to create socially aware people in the world.

More than this, the simple act of preparing and giving a speech in person like this has so many benefits it’s unbelievable. An article that argues why Persuasive speeches should be a priority put it brilliantly:


Students learn the art of giving a great persuasive speech to help them not only give presentations in future education levels but also in the work place. Additionally, the skills developed by persuasive speeches expand far beyond presentations. Students learn how to communicate with others, speak clearly, present themselves well and articulate their ideas. These tools help students communicate with friends, family members, in relationships and in the workplace. While technology continues to play a major factor in the classroom, the act of engaging students in real discussion becomes more crucial. When educators place high priority on persuasive speeches, they help students struggling to communicate socially as well as advance the abilities of those who can already speak well.

I think that this quote really speaks to the domino effect that one simple act, public speaking, can really have insane ripple effects throughout the teenager’s life. How interesting is this?

Now without further ado, let’s get into the reason why you are here: Persuasive speech topics for high school students.

How to ace your final exams

Classic Persuasive Speech Topics

First up, we have the classics. Well, maybe they aren’t quite classics but more so the more popular ones that are used these days. It’s interesting to see that some of the questions are the same as they were ten years ago. Perhaps those are the questions that need to be answered and solved.

1. Violent Video Games Cause Harm Vs. Violent Video Games Don’t Cause Harm – This is an age old question that has been around since the beginning of violent video games.

2. Money Can’t Make You Happy

3. Is eating meat ethical?

4. Is adopting a pet from a shelter more ethical than buying one from a breeder? – It should be said that I am not judging anyone here, these are just some of the hard-hitting questions.

5. Factory Farming should be illegal.

6. Should the legal drinking age be 18? – I have always wondered about this. I think the biggest argument that I hear people use for this is, “I can sign up for the army, but I can’t buy myself a drink?”

7. Should sports cars be sold to just anyone?

8. Advertising takes advantage of children. – This is something I haven’t really thought about very much. I am going to have to do some more research.

9. Alcohol should be outlawed.

10. Fast food should be less available.

11. How old should you be to have a cell phone? – Oof, this is a good one for teens because they get to learn about the bad side of cell phones.

12. Disposable diapers should be banned.

Persuasive speech topics for High school students

Heavy Persuasive Speech Topics for High School Students

I think we don’t give teens enough credit when it comes to discussing hard and uncomfortable things. I think that many of them not only understand certain issues in their complexity but that they have important things to contribute to it. Take a look at some of these hard-hitting questions to see what I mean.

13. Should assisted suicide be available for specific circumstances? – I told you some of these were going to be super heavy.

14. Should animal testing be banned?

15. Should the death penalty be outlawed?

16.  Should billionaires exist? – All of these are going to be highly personalized to whatever your personal opinion is.

17. Should parents spank their children?

18. Should students wear school uniforms?

19. Is standardized testing more hurtful than helpful? – This one should be interesting for students to write about while they are in school.

20. The importance of activism.

21. Why social media is bad. – Another important one for teenagers to consider. By having to look into this question, they are going to learn so many more facts!

22. Are you for or against gun control?

23. Should we be able to ban books?

Classic Persuasive speech topics for debate

Top Persuasive Speech Topics for High School Students

Last but not least, here are some of the top persuasive speech topics for high school students. These are a mix of hard-hitting and positive questions, so if you are not in a space where you can cover anything too intense, pick a lighter-hearted one. It is important to listen to our bodies and minds!

24. Diversity and its importance.

25. Student loans should be forgiven.

26. Taxes should be taught in school. – True.

27. There should be better systems in place for the homeless. – This is the kind of question that will leave the kids thinking for days. This is the question that has the power to change the future.

28. Should teens have access to birth control without their parents knowing?

29. It’s important for students to have weekend jobs.

30. Music is beneficial to society. – I love phrases like this that you have to argue because you get to learn more about something that you once overlooked, and now you are looking straight at it.

31. Should we be aware of what is happening in the solar system?

And there you have it; I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about the benefits of persuasive speeches, as well as that you were able to find a top that works for you.

At the end of the day, just try and pick a persuasive speech topic that you are passionate about and that you want to look deeper into. That way, this won’t really feel like it’s work; it’s play!

If you enjoyed this article about high school topics, then perhaps you would enjoy some more high school ideas. I totally have you covered with this, seeing as I literally come up with these ideas all day! So check these out and see how you like them. There is plenty more where that came from!