Chapter 9: Persuasive Speaking
Types of Persuasive Speeches
Proposition of Fact
A proposition of fact is one that claims something is true or false. Some propositions of fact include:
- America has fifty states.
- Water is composed of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen.
- The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
Each statement is a proposition that can be proven true or false by checking with authorities, a map, a chemistry textbook, and your experience and senses. Some propositions are quantifiable, like the number of states in the United States. Others are simply true or false, like the correct composition of water.
The propositions of fact that will be the subject of most persuasive speeches are less straightforward. They might include the following:
- Violence on television causes child violence.
- More Americans are going to college than ever before.
- The athletic program at our college raises more money than it spends.
Each of these propositions can be supported by conducting research in books, on the Internet, or in your college’s financial statements. As you establish the truth of your propositions, you are impacting the beliefs of the audience.