The Speech skill allows you to more effectively persuade people and to barter with shopkeepers. Perks in this skill allow you to get better deals when trading, buy and sell any kind of item to any merchant, and make it more likely for a persuasion or intimidation attempt to succeed. The Speech skill tree has a total of 9 perks, requiring a total of 13 perk points to fill.
In-game Description: The skill of persuasion can be used to get better prices from merchants, and persuade others to do as you ask.
 Skill Perks
|Perk||Rank||Description||ID||Skill Req.||Perk Req.|
|Haggling||1||Buying and selling prices are 10% better.||000be128|
|2||Buying and selling prices are 15% better.||000c07ce||20 Speech|
|3||Buying and selling prices are 20% better.||000c07cf||40 Speech|
|4||Buying and selling prices are 25% better.||000c07d0||60 Speech|
|5||Buying and selling prices are 30% better.||000c07d1||80 Speech|
|Allure||10% better prices with the opposite sex.||00058f75||30 Speech||Haggling|
|Merchant||Can sell any type of item to any kind of merchant.†||00058f7a||50 Speech||Allure|
|Investor||Can invest 500 gold with a shopkeeper to increase his available gold permanently.‡||00058f7b||70 Speech||Merchant|
|Fence||Can barter stolen goods with any merchant you have invested in.||00058f79||90 Speech||Investor|
|Master Trader||Every merchant in the world gains 1000 gold for bartering.¥||001090a5||100 Speech||Fence|
|Bribery||Can bribe guards to ignore crimes.||00058f72||30 Speech||Haggling|
|Persuasion||Persuasion attempts are 30% easier.||001090a2||50 Speech||Bribery|
|Intimidation||Intimidation is twice as likely to be successful.||00105f29||70 Speech||Persuasion|
† The Merchant perk also allows you to buy any item from a merchant's inventory. One implication is that various bugged alchemy ingredients that normally cannot be purchased become available, making some ingredients much easier to find.
‡ Some merchants have the dialogue allowing you to Invest with them, but doing so does not result in any permanent change in the merchant's available gold. This bug is noted on the pages of individual merchants for whom it applies.
¥ The Master Trader perk increases nearly all merchants' gold by 1000. Some merchants are not affected by this perk.
 Skill Usage
Your Speech skill determines the chance of successfully being able to get information out of an NPC using intimidation or persuasion. These Speech Challenges will be provided as options during certain dialogues.
Special dialogue options include:
- Persuade: get information using Speech skill alone. Chances of success depend solely upon your Speech skill.
- Intimidate: get information forcefully. Chances of success depend upon your Speech skill and your overall level.
- Bribe: pay someone for information.
Your Speech skill also affects merchant prices; prices can be further improved using some of the Speech skill perks, barter potions or enchanted equipment.
The base rate for buying/selling is based solely on your Speech skill and any perks or Fortify Barter effects are applied to prices afterwards.
 Persuasion Options
What follows is a list of all persuasion attempts that can be made in Skyrim. Spoilers in this list are intentionally kept very minor. All speech challenges fall into one of five categories: Very Easy, Easy, Average, Hard, and Very Hard. Their skill requirements to pass are 10, 25, 50, 75, and 100, respectively. Possessing the Persuasion perk reduces the requirements on all but Very Easy challenges by 30%, dropping them to 10, 18, 35, 53, and 70, respectively. Wearing the Amulet of Articulation allows you to succeed at any persuasion check in the game regardless of skill.
- Persuading a shakedown bandit to leave you alone for 50 gold.
- During The Forsworn Conspiracy, getting Margret to reveal information.
- Getting a free sample from the attendant at Redwater Den.DG
 Easy (25/18)
 Average (50/35)
 Hard (75/53)
 Very Hard (100/70)
Prices are computed by the following:
The Base Price Factor is calculated by your skill level (fBarterMax default is 3.3, fBarterMin default is 2.0):
price factor = (fBarterMax * (100 - skill) + fBarterMin * skill)/100
Modified Price Factor depend on perks and Fortify Barter bonus:
sell price modifier = (1 + Haggling %) * (1 + Allure %) * (1 + Fortify Barter from potion) * (1 + the sum of Fortify Barter from equipment + Fortify Barter from Blessing of Zenithar) buy price modifier = (1 / (1 + Haggling %)) * (1 / (1 + Allure %)) * (1 - Fortify Barter from potion) * (1 - the sum of Fortify Barter from equipment - Fortify Barter from Blessing of Zenithar)
The final price combines the two Price Factors and rounds to the nearest whole number:
sell price = ([ value of item ] / base price factor) * sell price modifier buy price = [ value of item ] * base price factor * buy price modifier
- At 0 skill and no perks, the final price factor is 3.3.
- At 100 skill and no perks, the final price factor is 2.
- At 100 skill and all perks the final price factor is 1.42857.
- Trade price cap: (max sell price = value * 0.95), (min buy price = value * 1.05).
Skill levels over 100 have no effect.
Investing 500 gold into a business with the Investor perk immediately increases their current gold by 500. Investing is as simple as speaking to a merchant NPC and selecting the 'I want to invest in your business' option. This can only be done at the same time of day as they would normally allow sales.
All merchants who are available for investments are identified in the notes column on the Merchants article.
 Skill Increases
 Character Creation
The following races have an initial skill bonus to Speech:
- Dro'marash with the Khajiit Caravans (Common)
- Revyn Sadri in Windhelm (Common)
- RonthilDG in Volkihar Keep (Common)
- Ogmund in Markarth (Expert)
- Giraud Gemane of the Bards College in Solitude (Master)
- 2920, Second Seed, v5
- A Dance in Fire, v6
- A Dance in Fire, v7
- Biography of the Wolf Queen
- The Buying Game
- +1 Speech reward (as well as +1 to all other Stealth skills) from Inge Six Fingers (Bards College) for completing the quest Finn's Lute.
- +1 Speech reward from Malur Seloth (Winterhold) for completing the quest Some Light Theft
- +1 Speech reward from Ysolda (Whiterun) for completing the quest Rare Gifts
- +2 Speech reward from Azzadal for jumping off of Bard's Leap Summit. Jump from opposite the Word Wall in Lost Valley Redoubt off the bridge that extends over the waterfall for Azzadal to appear.
- +5 Speech reward (as well as +5 to all other stealth skills) by selecting "The Path of Shadow" from the Oghma Infinium after completing the quest Discerning the Transmundane.
 Gaining Skill XP
- Trading with merchants will increase the Speech skill. The amount of skill progress gained is based on the base value of the item being bought/sold and is not limited by the merchant's available gold. However, if you trade multiple units of an item in one transaction, you will only gain experience equivalent to trading a single unit; for optimal leveling, sell each item one at a time, and sell expensive items.
- Successful Persuade, Intimidate, and Bribe attempts in conversations will also increase the skill.
- One method for those who have a very large amount of money is to don your best haggling apparel (e.g. Guild Master's Hood and a Necklace of Haggling), go to the local fence and sell/rebuy your most expensive weapons (e.g. a pair of Legendary Blades of Woe) repeatedly until your skill increases to the desired level. As you will lose money (the amount varies based on perks and equipment) with every sell/buy cycle, the merchant will end up with a vast quantity of gold if you continue the exercise for long enough. At this point you can sell all your more expensive items (i.e. those items which will normally cost the merchant most of their gold) as well as any others to the merchant until they are back down to 0 gold, or you have run out of items to sell.
- One way to train this skill without spending money is to commit a crime with a very low bounty (e.g., trying to pick a lock once). When your bounty is only 5 gold, guards may ignore such crimes unless you speak to them. In dialogue, you may get a Persuasion option for the guard to overlook your crime. If you fail the persuasion check with such a low bounty, the guard may ignore the crime anyway. By speaking with and persuading every guard you encounter (except the one who witnessed the crime), your speech will go from 50 to 100 in 10-15 visits to the town. A bounty of 10 gold may be too high to use this technique.
- If you are trying to level Speech as quickly as possible, do not use magic items or potions which fortify speech, and do not give money to beggars. Anything which boosts your speech skill directly will make your progress slower.
Achievements related to the Speech skill are:
When the player reaches a high level in this skill, guards will sometimes comment:
- "Don't think you can barter with me like I'm one of those damned shopkeepers."
- "Heard about you and your honeyed words."
- A very easy way to further the skill is to talk to Ungrien in the Riften Black-Briar Meadery. Repeatedly choose the persuade option as long as desired. However, Speech must be at least level 25 to make the persuade option successful. If not 25 you can pay him 19-25 gold to do this until 25 (The Shrine of Dibella in the master bedroom of Haelga's Bunkhouse can be very useful for boosting this).
- This bug is fixed by version 1.9 of the Official Skyrim Patch.
- If you employ the "exploit" of selling and buying back your most valuable item with fortify speech enchantments/potions, the merchant/fence gold may get stuck at 65535 (16 bit value max) while selling back duplicate items. It will continue to allow you to sell your duplicate items, but you will not receive any gold.
- To reset, wait the 48 hours for an inventory refresh. You can also save, attack the merchant/fence, and load; this should refresh their inventory, and is much faster.
- Some of the merchants may "forget" that you invested in their shop and lose the option for having extra buying gold. This appears to affect female alchemy merchants much more than male merchants or merchants of general goods stores (e.g. Angeline's Aromatics in Solitude will never remember an investment).
- This bug is fixed by version 1.1 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.
- It is occasionally possible to invest in a merchant multiple times, giving them an exorbitant amount of gold with which to buy. This may be specific to certain merchants—it has so far been observed only with Ulfberth War-Bear and Angeline Morrard.
- This bug is fixed by version 1.1 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.
- Although Ulfberth War-Bear will appear to have a high gold amount after re-investing with him several times, if you invest with his wife Adrianne Avenicci his extra gold will disappear. There is also a chance that when the shops reset after the 48 hour period that his extra gold investment will disappear.
- Investing in Lucan Valerius will cause him to have an additional 10,000 gold instead of an additional 500 gold.
- This bug is fixed by version 1.0 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.
- Madesi isn't affected by the Master Trader perk.
- This bug is fixed by version 1.3.2 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.
- Investing in Master Trader and then resetting your speech skill points will leave all merchants with the additional 1000 gold.