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Guide to Creating a Persuasive Sales Speech for a Specific Brand-Name Product

Time Limit and Point Deductions

Time Limit: 2-4 minutes (around 450 words). It is important that you meet this time criteria. You will lose points if you are short or long based on the following formula: the percentage of time short or long divided by two. Please consult the “Sales Speech Time Deduction” sheet, posted on Canvas.

As a guide, a 2-4 minute speech manuscript will roughly contain 450 words.

Delivery: All your speeches need to be delivered extemporaneously. You are limited to the number of note cards and the content on your note cards. Your note cards should contain key words and phrases, not complete sentences. The only exception to this is a direct quote. 

You are limited to using only one side of each note card. You are allowed a maximum of five note cards for this speech. Your note cards can contain a maximum of 25% of the written content of your speech.

Purpose: The primary objective of this assignment is to persuade your audience to buy a product.

Topic Selection: You are selling specific brand-name product, not a general idea. For example, you would sell Beats, not headphones. Your topic must be affordable for the average college student. The most expensive thing you can sell is a MacBook. You cannot sell a general idea or a service like Netflix.

Sources: You are required to have two sources in your speech. One is placed in the second step and the other one in the fourth. The first source must be credible. This source focuses on why we need the product, not the product itself. For example, if I were selling sunscreen, I would find a source talking about skin cancer. That is why we need the product. The second source is testimony from someone who has used the product. Both sources need to be properly cited orally in your presentation. A maximum of 15% of the total length of your speech may be quoted. If you paraphrase or summarize correctly, you should have a very low similarity percentage. No Quote Should Be More Than Three Lines ties up to failure will result if the percentage is higher. Remember that the purpose of research is to establish understanding of the material. I am not looking for regurgitation of information. Be careful and cite what you need to cite only. If you have questions about this, you need to email me. Do not use Wikipedia or similar encyclopedia sources. You are not allowed to use interviews as sources unless you have my permission.

Delivery Tips and Note Card Limits

Presentation Aid: You are required to show the product during this speech. Remember that you do not do this until the third step. I should see your product the first time you say what you are selling. You can use the actual product or a picture of it. Your product will only be displayed for a short amount of time.

Organization: You must use the following format for this speech.

Based on Monroe’s Motivated Sequence

Step 1 (Attention): All you do here is gain attention. Popular methods are to ask questions, state of fact, or putting your audience in a situation. Unlike your informative speech and final issue speech, this is the only thing you do here.

Step 2 (Need): Here you establish that there is a need (problem) that exists and support that need with a credible source. For example, if I were selling Coppertone Sport Sunscreen, the need is to prevent sunburn which leads to skin cancer. I would then find a credible source, a doctor for example, who states that there is a growing number of skin cancer cases every year. Or that sun damage can eventually lead to skin cancer.

One common error at this step is to use the web site of the product you are selling as a source. This is obviously an example of a biased source. Remember that the source you cite needs to focus on the need (problem) and not the product.

Step 3 (Satisfaction): This is the first time you will mention the name of the product you are selling. Remember you are selling a brand name (Beats, not headphones). You then tell us about the product. You will also meet possible objections your audience may have. For example, if I were selling Toyota Trucks, I would compare it to Ford and explain why Toyota is better.

Step 4 (Visualization): You paint a picture for your audience at this stage. You tell them to imagine how much better their life can be if they purchase your product. Life is good now that you have bought it. You also need an endorsement or testimony from someone who owns/uses the product. You can make this up or find this on the Internet on sites like

Step 5 (Action): At this step you will tell me where, and how if applicable, I can get the product. You tell me how much it costs. You can also offer an incentive, like a free set of Ginsu knives or the reduction of cost (think infomercial here). The last thing you need to do is urge us to go buy it. Something like, “So what are you waiting for, rush out and get your _______ today.”

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