The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Speech Guide

Speech Skill Tips, Trainers, and Perks

Bartering with the Speech Skill in Skyrim

Skyrim's Speech skill fills two roles in the gameplay. First, it helps your Dragonborn to make more money through higher prices selling to shopkeepers, cheaper buying prices when Haggling, selling stolen goods, and can even let you permanently increase the gold available to a merchant for bartering. Second, it helps with Quest progression by giving you a chance at passing dialog option checks and advancing a quest by persuading, intimidating, or bribing. This also allows you to bribe your way out of trouble with guards, if your bounty is low enough.

Raising the Speech Skill
When you sell an item to a merchant, you get skill experience based on the cost of that item. It only counts for the first item, so sell expensive stacks of items one at a time. If you have extra money, it may be cheaper to sell and buy back items from a merchant repeatedly to gain experience than to make use of one of the Speech trainers. Of course, passing speech checks with questgivers and bribing guards also gives Speech experience, and quite a lot of it.

As you level Speech, your purchasing prices will gradually improve. Many dialog options can be used successfully at a low level of speech. You unlock the ability to pass harder speech checks at 25, 50, 75, and 100. Most speech checks can be passed at level 50 Speech.

Ogmund in Markarth is an Expert speech trainer; the Master is Giraud_Gemane from Solitude's Bard's College. As noted above, you may be better off buying and selling items back to the merchant, as your Speech skill rises in particular if you take Perks from the Speech tree.

Skyrim Speech Skill Perks

Skyrim's Speech Perks Tree

There are nine Perks for the Speech skill, requiring 13 points to fully master the tree. There are essentially two branches here. The left will improve your Haggling interactions with Merchants, the right with Questgivers and guards. I do not much bother with the right path myself, though Bribery could be handy for a Thief or otherwise Evil build. The thing is, there are limited uses of Persuasion and Intimidation, aside from easing the requirements of speech checks, allowing you to experience new reactions out of Quest NPCs.

Haggling (5 ranks, 10/15/20/25/30% better buy/sell prices)
(level 0/20/40/60/80 Speech Skill required)
Since it helps both buy and selling prices, this can seriously tip the scales in your favor when dealing with Merchants. Higher profit margins making potions, smithing, etc. can be found here. Don't underestimate the gameplay value of more money you may not see direct damage or survivability increases, but it lets you afford the best items available for your level, earning you those goals indirectly.

(level 30 Speech Skill required)
Gives you 10% better prices when dealing with the opposite sex. When you have the next Perk, you can take advantage of this fully thanks to being able to sell any item to any shopkeeper.

(level 50 Speech Skill required)
Can buy/sell any kind of item to any Merchant. This vastly opens up your selling options and can help you make more money in less time.

(level 70 Speech Skill required)
Investor allows you to give a Merchant 500 gold, which will permanently increase the funding available to them. That means you can make more in less time, as you won't have to visit as many shopkeepers to empty your inventory. This will also help you sell the game's more expensive items at a profit, as many shopkeepers won't have enough gold available to cover them.

(level 90 Speech Skill required)
Allows you to barter stolen goods with any Merchant you've invested in, turning them into a Fence. Incredibly helpful for Dovahkiin with sticky fingers or professional thieves.

Master Trader
(level 100 Speech Skill required)
Every merchant gains 1000 Gold for Bartering. If you bother to go all the way to Fence, you should absolutely grab this when you hit 100 Speech.

(level 30 Speech Skill required)
Allows you to bribe guards to ignore crimes, so long as your bounty isn't too high.

(level 50 Speech Skill required)
Persuasion attempts are 30% easier, allowing you to pass more dialog checks with a lower level this is only for Persuade-type interactions.

(level 70 Speech Skill required)
Intimidation is twice as likely to succeed.

Comments (2)

Leto says...
Having a enchantment of fortify barter also helps with getting cheaper stuff, or selling things at the exact value they are.
My char made a necklace with Fortify Barter of 46 or 47% which got boosted by her Necromage perk in the Restoration tree for being a vampire up to over 50%, where the cap is.

If you don't have enchanting then you could also choose to wear Cicero's clothes (paralyze him and steal it when he gets up to prevent killing him), in combination with the Amulet of Articulation (thieves guild reward).
That Amulet makes your speechcraft up to 35% better which is another way to boost getting cheaper prices. Better, I believe, since it also has a side effect which is extremely handy for mages: it has a light armor rating which can get boosted by light armor perks and skill but doesn't stand in the way of Matching Set or Mage Armor.
Since there is a barter cap you could go (for example) with Cicero's clothes (barter for 20% better). and the Amulet of Articulation.
13th September 2013 3:17am
Leto says...
If you want to play a character that is highly depending on Speech, like a sort of business man/barter type of Roleplay you could invest in buying scrolls, extremely practical not only in the lower levels but also beyond since they give access to high level Magic Spell without the necessarily skill, perks nor even magicka.
An Imperial (Imperial Luck makes them find more coin) can make even more use of this which improves the value of this race for this simple reason.

The Lore Keeper ( is an excellent example of this build, combining scrolls with staves and sometimes even potions or poisons to boost his own status or weakens that of his foes.
14th September 2013 8:33pm
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