2A Handbook for Public Speaking Speech Assignment

2A Handbook for Public Speaking Speech Assignment - Speech...

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Speech Assignment for 2A This semester, you will be asked to give a five to eight minute persuasive (also called “deliberative”) speech. The speech will concern an issue taken from the readings for this semester. You will be required to submit a full-content outline of this speech, and the speech will be graded. The details of the assignment will be up to your individual instructor. The Persuasive Speech A persuasive speech differs from those you have previously made in the course, both in intent and in organization. This section of the reader is intended to help you with both aspects of constructing the speech. Persuasive speech arises out of the process of deliberation, when audiences need all sides of an issue presented to them before they make a decision. In this sense, its roots are in the Greek democratic state. This made it a speech of particular interest for all Greek writers and teachers of rhetoric: in fact, rhetorical study is said by Aristotle to be “concerned with the modes of persuasion” ( The Rhetoric , I, I). You obviously use persuasion in your daily life—say, convincing your family of something or assuring your professor you really did study for that test. The historical period we are covering this semester suggests an even wider application for deliberative rhetoric. We will read about an ever-increasing number of citizens, as they appear in more and more “democratic” states, trying to influence public policy. A full knowledge of the techniques of persuasion was vital to everyday life during this time. Humanities 2A contains subject matter that is loaded with debates, arguments, disputes, parliamentary discussions, and public sermons with political overtones. Persuasive speaking has aims that are different from those of both exegetical and epideictic speech. Persuasive speech is aimed at helping convince the audience to choose one of a number of possible perspectives. It requires the audience to assent to a point of view, and therefore asks for a great deal of commitment from the hearers. It can thus require more emotion than an exegetical speech and, perhaps, more documentation and organization than an epideictic one. In many ways, it is the type of speech that requires all the available means at a speaker’s disposal.
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