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Persuasive Speech

LA101H Ben Henderson During this final speech of the semester you present a tightly focused, 4 to 6 minute speech to educate your audience on the severity, scope, and urgency of a significant social problem, and then to motivate your audience members to take a specific action that will assist in solving the problem. The action that you suggest should be specific, feasible for your classmates to accomplish, and actually aid in solving the problem. (Consider requests such as changing lifestyle, altering habitual behaviors, or joining organizations, for example. Be cautious of asking for donations or encouraging contacting elected representativesthese typically are overdone and are especially difficult to get an audience to do.) Your main goals for this speech are: To establish understanding and arouse concern about the problem. To make the issue especially relevant to your audience by demonstrating their current connectedness to both the problem and a potential solution. To remove obstacleslike objections, misconceptions, or apathythat would hinder audience members from completing the proposed action. If your call to action is reasonable, manageable, and passionately presented, your audience should be left with a desire to help alleviate the problem, and hopefully they will be encouraged to act. As a starting point, you will need to clarify and narrow a specific problem (exigence) so that it that can be conveyed to your audience in a clear and compelling manner. The topic ought to be both manageable to discuss given the time constraints and ought to be relatable to your audience. You will conduct independent research to substantiate the problem, and then draw on your cumulative knowledge and experience about rhetoric and public speaking in order to present the most persuasive argument possible to your audience. In terms of organization, the speech should follow Monroes Motivated Sequence. This organizational pattern is briefly explained in the text and it will also be discussed during class in more detail. Preparation for this speech will likely return you to lessons learned early on in this course. Your knowledge about the topic and preparation ought to strengthen your ethos, your presentation of research ought to exhibit sound logos, and your pathetic appeals ought to elicit purposeful and appropriate emotions in your audience. Major Requirements for the Motivational Speech: This speech should display both mastery of the subject matter and adaptation to the audience in its use of arguments, appeals, organizational structure, and language style. Delivery will be extemporaneous, and will employ effective means of engaging the attention and motivations of the audience.

You will need to have at least 3 orally cited sources for this speech to demonstrate background research on your topic. To show the audience where your information is coming from, please remember that each oral citation must clearly indicate both the source of your information, as well as the credibility of that source, should the audience be unfamiliar with it. You should use a presentation aid for this speech. Be certain to use an aural or visual aid that either brings clarity or that adds impact. A visual aid should not be notes of your main points, should not give the speech a lecture-like feel, and should not obscure the actual message. Rather, it should be smoothly integrated to compliment the message. Note that this could be as simple as one effective PowerPoint slide; you neednt have a slideshow for your entire presentation. Your outline and bibliography should be submitted in printed form on the first day of the speech round. Your sources should be marked in the outline where you will be citing them, and each should also be listed in a properly formatted works cited page or bibliography. To allow time for all speakers, and to keep messages more focused, time limits will be fairly strictly enforced. Note that anyone reaching the 9 minute mark will be asked to sit down, so please write and rehearse to stay within the time allotted. 4:00 6:00 Within range 6:00 7:00 Grace period 7:00 7:30 -1/3 letter grade 7:30 8:00 - 2/3 letter grade 8:00-8:30 Full letter grade

Time Grade penalty

Additional Recommendations for Motivational Speaking Be clear about how what youre asking will actually make a difference. You may want to contrast how things would be with how they are now. When doing this, though, be realistic about the kind of change your proposal can make. Remind the audience of the values that will be upheld by their action. Will their action make the world freer? More fair? Just? Is this an act of compassion? One of integrity? It may not always be appropriate to be explicit about the relevant values, as it can come across as preachy with certain topics, but consider acceptable ways to illustrate them. Help your audience take the first step. If the best thing they can do is sign a petition, bring one to class or send out a link. If they need to write their representativeif that really is the best possible and most attainable actionthen provide the address. Better yet, pass out envelopes with the address preprinted. Give them something tangible to remind them to take action later. Maybe you can ask them to join you in doing something at a particular place or time. Be realistic, but at the same time, dont be afraid to ask for something big. If you want to support housing projects for the poor, ask people to volunteer over a break. But for those who cant or wont, give them a way to contribute as well. (This is one of the times when its okay to ask for two things.) Organizationally, you have two options here. Ask for the small thing up front, then build up to the Big Ask late in your speech. Just make sure they know the small thing is still on the table. Alternatively, ask big first (anywhere in the speech thats appropriate). For some it will be asking too much (for their abilities, resources, or commitment), while others will be open to it. Then give those who initially dissented to the Big Ask an alternative, so that they can still take action. (For example, ask for people to donate their first two weeks of summer for a Habitat for Humanity project. But for those who cant, wont, or are still unsure, you could ask them to try out a Saturday Habitat project in the area.) What obstacles does your audience need to overcome? Misconception? Feeling like their action wont make a difference? Apathy? Forgetfulness? Selfishness? Find specific ways to address these roadblocks to movement. Although it makes people uncomfortable, emotions like guilt can be ethical and appropriate pathetic appeals, particularly when dealing with an injustice. Dont be preachy (its a good idea to remind your audience that youre in the guilty party, too), but dont shy away from demonstrating your audiences culpability in the perpetuation of the problem. Be wary of constructing a speech around a common admonition, such as dont drink and drive, or use a condom every time. These messages are heard so often that they can come across as trite weve heard them so much were inoculated against their message. (Plus, familiarity breeds contempt.) If you can recommend a better, more specific action than weve heard in the past, do so. But if you do decide to restate a familiar plea, then you must give us a new or fresh reason for submitting to your course of action. Explain lesser known benefits, or the unexamined consequences of inaction; give us a fresh perspective on how our current action or inaction affects others or ourselves; do something to breathe new life into a stale message. Remember, just because something is true and right, doesnt mean an audience will actually act on it.

Your recommended action needs to be specific and tangible. For example, recommending the action think positively is vague and also lacks practical concreteness. In fact, this is the difficulty with many self-esteem/power-of-positive-thinking speeches. They may stir your emotions and convince you to make a change, but by not offering specifics they create an audience with a lot of steam but nowhere to go. Other troublesome primary pleas: tell someone else about this, try harder, or give money (when you dont provide specific ways to do so).