37 Read: Persuasive Speech Case Study 1- Carissa’s Speaks about SADD

Case Study – Carissa

Carissa’s Speech Delivery:

Carissa’s Speech is at: https://mediaspace.minnstate.edu/media/Carissa%27s+Persuasive+Speech+-+Spring+2018/0_zhmbkmdf 




Name: Carissa Nielsen

Topic: SADD Organization

Specific Purpose: To introduce a way for people to get involved in their community and organizations.

Thesis: Volunteering with a school organization, like SADD, builds community relationships with students and helps reiterate that adults are always role models for students- even when driving!

Add your Audience Analysis Report: (SEE REPORT AT END)

Add your Interview Summary: (SEE REPORT AT END)

Add your Volunteer Summary:  (SEE REPORT AT END)

GOALS: This speech is much briefer w/the goals. This time, just summarize your GOALS for this speech – what will you do differently and similarly?

  1. Similarly to past speeches, I will: make this personal. I want my classmates to feel compelled to get involved- even if it’s not in SADD.
  2. Differently, than in past speeches, I will: practice WAY more! This is a long speech, the longest speech I’ll ever have given without reading it off of a teleprompter. I voice recorded my speech and I’ve been listening to it in the car and during downtime at home.




Attention Material: Reading a text message behind the wheel can take your eyes off the road for an average of five seconds – enough time to drive the length of a football field.  And those five seconds can have devastating consequences.

Gain Goodwill of the Audience: You probably aren’t a teen driver but if you drive- PLEASE consider yourself a role model to those teens.

Credibility Material: After being personally affected by a distracted driver in 2014, I chose to volunteer with our local SADD chapter, which happens to be held at the high school I work at. My time with these teens helped me

Thesis & Preview: My goal today is to introduce you to the SADD organization (Students Against Destructive Decisions) and how easy it is for an adult to help make a difference in our community.

(Transition: so let’s look more deeply into the issue…)


I. NEED — The SADD organization is the nation’s premier Youth Health & Safety Organization. Their chapters are found in schools and they cover topics including distracted driving, substance abuse, mental health, and leadership.

A. Being that April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, I’ll be focusing on that specific topic tonight.

  1. Distracted driving can include texting, applying makeup, eating, and much more. TextLessLiveMore tells us that Mental Distraction Lasts up to 27 seconds – after a text!
  2. Liberty Mutual Insurance surveyed 1700 teens and found teens observe their parents doing the following behaviors at least “occasionally”:
    1. 91% talk on a cell phone while driving
    2. 59% text message while driving.
  3. The survey reveals parents may not be the best role models for their teens behind the wheel.
  4. This problem is wrong.
    1. TextLessLiveMore.org states that 9 people are killed everyday in the U.S. due to Distracted Driving and drivers under the age of 20 have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes.
    2. Officer Corey Spencer, of the Chisago Lakes Police Department, states that “what used to be a rare thing, teen accidents are unfortunately becoming a more common occurrence” and that his favorite part of being involved in SADD is “Getting students to advocate for their own well being and learn to take care of one another.”

(Summary: It’s definitely not a ‘fun’ subject to talk about so…)

(Preview: …let’s get positive and proactive with some ways to slow down distracted driving statistics.)

II.  SATISFACTION – We must change our habits and we can begin today!

A. Solution #1: Change your habits!

  1. It takes no time or money to commit to not being distracted.
  2. Some people need to sign a petition to feel accountable, and if you have an iPhone, you can simply enable the “no notifications while driving” and it will respond to your texts with a personalized message allowing you to keep your focus on driving- not texting.

B. Solution #2: Get Involved with your local chapter.

  1. As an adult, you can help financially or with time with your local school’s SADD chapter.
  2. SADD always needs help with events, highway cleanups, fundraising, and more.
  3. The students love to see a non-”teacher” adult involved with their chapter, it helps them build more relationships within the community and gives them more supportive role models in their lives.

(Summary:  So worst case scenario is that after everything I’ve said, you couldn’t care less and I’ve just wasted 8 minutes of your life…)

(Preview: but let’s see what can happen if we do get involved!)

III.  VISUALIZATION – There are benefits to getting involved.

A. There are Consequences of inaction.  But maybe you’ll think twice about grabbing your phone while driving, or you’ll get involved in a local SADD chapter.  If you pick up your phone, there’s a chance that you could be contributing to one of the 9 lives lost every day to distracted driving.

B. As a result, there are benefits to act. And if you choose to get involved with a local SADD chapter, you just might be the person that helps these students realize they have the choice to make good decisions.


Signal an end: So what will you do?

Summary:  My experience with these students was eye-opening, even after being personally affected by a distracted driver. The SADD organization helps students make better decisions and you can too.

Goodwill Audience Tie: Please, don’t add to these statistics- you have the choice.

Concluding Clincher: If you take one thing away from this, think before you reach- is it worth risking a life to see the screen?


Works Cited 

Our Approach. (n.d.). Retrieved April 01, 2018, from https://www.sadd.org/who-we-are/our-approach/

“Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD Bring Out New Survey.” Entertainment Close-up 21 Sept. 2012. Business Insights: Essentials. Web. 1 Apr.2018.  http://bi.galegroup.com.mtrproxy.mnpals.net/essentials/article/GALE%7CA302920364?u=mnamsu

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month – Learn What you Can Do |. (2018, April 08). Retrieved April 11, 2018, from https://www.enddd.org/distracted-driving-updates/april-distracted-driving-awareness-month/

TextLess Live More. (n.d.). Retrieved April 12, 2018, from http://www.textlesslivemore.org/


Report to accompany Persuasive Speech

  • Summary
    • This school year I decided to volunteer for our school’s SADD Organization. I was personally affected by a distracted driver in 2014 and I felt compelled to get involved and hopefully make a difference with these students. We organized community events, like 5th grade fun night. We make awareness posters for our school walls (“hugs not drugs”, “texts can kill”, etc.) We organized a clothing drive for students in need. In May will be organizing a Mock Crash to simulate a distracted driver in front of our school.
  • Supervisor Officer Corey Spencer, School Resource Officer and SADD Advisor, Chisago Lakes High School
  • Interview Local Expert
    • Who did you interview? What is their Expertise?
      • Officer Corey Spencer, and School Resource Officer at Chisago Lakes High School. SADD Advisor.
    • Contact Information for Interviewer:
      • XXX
    • Summary of Interview: My interview with Officer Spencer was a nice way to learn why he, as a busy community member, would be involved, for no pay, in a school organization. He stated that his favorite part of being involved in SADD was “getting students to advocate for their own well being and learn to take care of one another.” He spends, on average, 2-4 hours a weeks involved with this organization, and working with our students on SADD projects. I asked if without SADD, would the topics our organization cover be addressed in any other ways in our school and he was unsure, which is a little bit scary.
  • VISUAL AID: I will be wearing a SADD shirt
  • Classmate Survey (10 people)
    • Questions I asked:
    • Have you, or anyone you know, been a victim of a “destructive decision”? (can include, but not limited to: drunk driving, distracted driving, impaired driving, emotional or physical abuse, etc.) YES or NO
    • How much do you know about SADD? very knowledgeable 5  4  3  2  1  not at all
    • What would be the the hardest part, for you, with talking to teen/preteens about making positive decisions?
  • Responses:
Qa Qb Qc
6 yes, 4 no Average 2.2 “Getting them to stay focused and understand consequences and rid them of the “it won’t happen to me” mentality that a lot of teens/preteens have”


“Getting them to absorb what I’m saying. Many of them will hear me but not listen.”


  • What did you infer about your audience from this data?:
    • I wasn’t surprised with the answers I received. Everyone seemed to have the same thoughts on talking with teens about decisions. I was surprised that not many people knew about SADD.
  • How did you use your data and inferences to adapt to your audience?:
    • I made sure to inform more about SADD before I talked about my experience with them.


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The Public Speaking Resource Project Copyright © 2018 by Lori Halverson-Wente and Mark Halverson-Wente is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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