Informative/Persuasive Speech/Panel Discussion TOPICS


Prepare a major speech lasting 8-10 minutes on one of the following topics or one mutually agreed upon with the instructor. Your speech must use at least three credible sources that you will inform the class of.You may illustrate your speech using suitable visuals, powerpoint, audio or visual aids. If you use a video your video should last not more than 3 minutes. Your presentation should stimulate audience questions. Ask audience to hold questions to the end. Make sure your speech is well organized with an introduction, body and conclusion. Make point form notes to refer to not sentences in paragraphs. Don't read!!! Notes that are read may be stolen by the instructor!!!

As well as your in class speech, on the day of presentation before you speak, you must hand in a written POINT FORM summary of your speech and a properly written bibliography with your three specific sources.

Your speech will be evaluated by the instructor and three classmates chosen at random from different parts of the room. The mark will be made up of the in class evaluation plus your handed in point form summary and bibliography. See Evaluating a Presentation and Speaking Analysis Sheet for more information.

The following are potential topics for major speeches or discussion. If you wish to alter a topic or come up with a topic of your own, please discuss your plan with the professor. You must use at least three reputable sources for any speech.


  1. Should the Ontario government have legalized casino gambling?
  2. Should there be a "Red Light" district in Toronto?
  3. Should assisting terminally ill people die be legal in Canada?
  4. Should capital punishment be reintroduced in Canada?
  5. Should hard core pornography be illegal?
  6. Should animals be used in medical testing?
  7. Should the knowledge gained from genetic testing by parents be used in making decisions about terminating a pregnancy?
  8. Should a couple live together before marriage?
  9. Do prostitutes perform a needed social service?
  10. Should convicted criminals who came to Canada as children and grew up here be deported to their countries of birth?
  11. Do municipal governments have any obligations to support "street kids" in whatever lifestyle they choose?
  12. Should the Canadian military be performing peacekeeping duties in war-torn countries?
  13. Does the Canadian government have a responsibility to accept refugees from any and every refugee-producing country?
  14. Should Canadians be legally able to sell reproductive products like sperm and ova?
  15. Should Canada trade with any country that has a record of human rights abuses?
  16. Should squeegee kids be arrested for disturbing drivers on the road?
  17. Should cloning of humans be allowed?
  18. Should welfare/social assistance recipients be forced to take drug/alcohol tests?
  19. Should welfare/social assistance recipients be forced to take literacy and math testing?



  1. Was it a mistake for Canada to have entered into a free trade agreement with the United States?
  2. Choose one of Canada's social services (e.g. unemployment insurance, family benefits, old age security) and persuade your audience how it could be revamped to be economically viable, while being fair to all Canadians?
  3. Are colleges and universities getting so expensive to attend that access to people of all income levels is being eroded?
  4. Are strikes fair to all involved (employees, employers, the public, the province, the country)?
  5. Is the Ontario Government taking the right steps to control Ontario's deficit?
  6. Do rent controls serve the interests of landlords, as well as tenants, equally well?
  7. Are we, as a society, doing more harm than good when youths under 18 can leave home, collect welfare, and live on their own?
  8. Persuade your audience as to whether income tax, property tax, provincial sales tax or GST is equally fair to taxpayers of all income levels.
  9. Is the running of lotteries an equitable way for the provincial government to raise money?
  10. Is Canada one of the best countries to invest one's money?
  11. Should sports stars be paid salaries in the millions of dollars?
  12. Are immigrants and refugees economically beneficial to Canada?
  13. Has Sunday shopping been economically beneficial to Ontario as a whole?
  14. Should alcohol be sold in supermarkets and convenience stores?
  15. Pay equity has been a reality in Ontario for a few years. Persuade your audience that its impact has been more positive than negative--or vice versa.
  16. Should gays and lesbians have the same marriage and other family rights as heterosexuals?
  17. Are all of Ontario's citizens treated equally by the province's Criminal Justice System?
  18. Does social class limit social mobility in this country?
  19. Does ethnicity affect job mobility? ( you may substitute gender, race, sexual preference,physical disability or new immigrant status for "ethnicity")
  20. Does the media treat men and women equally?
  21. Assess the role of women in male dominated careers. Does your review suggest that gender equality in the workplace has been reached or is it reachable?
  22. Are fathers and mothers treated equally by the courts where getting custody of small children is concerned?


  1. Should children with HIV or AIDS have the right to attend classes with other children?
  2. Should public schools have the right to expel violent children permanently?
  3. Should it be mandatory for all aged 65 to retire?
  4. Do young offenders have too many rights and not enough responsibilities?
  5. Do "hate groups" have the right to exist legally in our country?
  6. Should convicts serving time for crimes such as murder, rape and pedophilia be paroled?
  7. Should prisoners be allowed to earn college diplomas or university degrees while in jail?
  8. Is workfare a good idea for those on welfare?
  9. Should cities provide a needle exchange for drug addicts?
  10. Should employers have the right to test their employees for drug use?Should smoking be banned from all public places?
  11. Does Quebec have the right to separate and does Canada have the right to prevent separation?
  12. Does the American Government have the right to enact laws that interfere with the right of Canadian business persons and others to do business in Cuba?
  13. Should all workers have the right to strike?
  14. Do "street people" have the right to be supported by the community? What are the street people's responsibilities?
  15. Should governments be responsible to balance their budget each year?
  16. Should our government be responsible to redress wrongs committed in the past against various groups of people? (Japanese Canadians, Native Peoples)
  17. Should working parents have a right to government or employer-sponsored day care centres for their children?
  18. Is access to post secondary education a right that all Canadians should have?
  19. Do Canadian laws protect human rights in this country?
  20. Do cell phone users have the right to use their phones wherever and when ever they choose?
  21. Is cell phone blocking by restaurants, movies, hospitals or other establishments justified?

( 30 minutes + discussion time with audience -not more than 50 minutes altogether)

  1. The war against illicit drugs cannot be won.
  2. The Internet offers more dangers than pleasures.
  3. Society is responsible for producing sex offenders.
  4. Our justice system needs to be drastically reformed.
  5. Professional sports teams are vital to the economic health of a city.
  6. There is no discrimination in Canada; everybody is treated equally by society, businesses and public institutions.
  7. Our society has become too obsessed with greed.
  8. Unions have outlived their usefulness.
  9. Businesses, not governments or consumers should accept responsibility for preserving the environment.
  10. Many well established North American companies are exploiting third world countries; their products/services should be boycotted by the developed world.
  11. Pornographic materials of all sorts are harmful to society.
  12. Prostitutes perform a needed social service. Prostitution should be legalized.
  13. Marijuana for recreational use should be legalized.
  14. Mixed marriages are more likely to fail than succeed.
  15. Lotteries do more harm than good.
  16. The current trends to allow more violence, sex, and profanity on television and in movies is having a negative affect on society.
  17. The rapid advancements in technology are more a curse than a blessing.





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2003 Karen E.Hamilton