Freedom of Speech
Dr. Margarita Gangotena
Whenever we are teaching any form of communication, especially public speaking, we are entering into the
realm of freedom of speech and equal access, as stipulated in the First and the Fourteen Amendments and in
the Equal Access Act. Furthermore, public speaking involves political, religious, ethical, moral, business, and
every other type of discourse, as the textbooks in public speaking demonstrate.
The textbooks that are used in public speaking all over the nation discuss issues prevalent in what the Supreme
Court calls “the market place of ideas.” One of the textbooks of choice in the country that has served as the
model to almost every other
page eight, they use political and religious examples, from both the right and the left.
The authors discuss George W. Bush presidential campaign and his ideology
of “compassionate conservatism,” and at the bottom of the page they have a picture of
the Democrat Christian preacher Martin Luther King and describe him as an inspired
orator and transformational speaker.
discusses the plight of Senator Joe Biden of Delaware who in 1987 was a Democratic Party presidential
early on, on page 2, Lucas sets the tone that public speaking includes political and religious discourse. He does
this by bringing in examples of orators, political figures such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Cesar Chavez, Jesse
Jackson, Ronald Reagan, Barbara Jordan, and Elizabeth Dole and introduces the well known Christian
preachers Billy Graham and Martin Luther King. Lucas also brings up “people who employ the power of public
speaking” such as the world known politician Margaret Thatcher, the religious and political leader Nelson
Mandela, the Guatemalan activist Rigoberta Menchu, and Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. A
paragraph before Lucas talks about other political opinion leaders from the right, such as Colin Powell, and
Norman Schwarzkopf, as well as left opinion leaders in the world of politics, morality, and ethics, Ophrah
Winfrey and Barbara Walters.
Lucas (The Art of Public Speaking, 1998) is no different from other authors of public speaking texts in