Chapter 15 & 16 Reflection

November 15, 2010 at 4:27 pm 3 comments

Chapter 15 deals with Speaking to Persuade. Persuasion is described as the process of creating, reinforcing, or changing people’s beliefs or actions. I was amazed by the statistic that I read in this chapter: “By age 20, the average American has been exposed to 1 million television commercials—an average of 150 every day.” When someone is listening to a persuader, they are trying to get you to agree with their beliefs and to act on that belief. We are given two terms that deal with the audience of persuasive speeches. The first is mental dialogue with the audience, which is the mental give-and-take between speaker and listener during a persuasive speech. The second term deals more with whom in the audience the speech is directed; the target audience is the portion of the whole audience that the speaker most wants to persuade. Next, chapter 15 discusses 3 different kinds of persuasive speeches. The first is Persuasive Speeches on Questions of Fact. Question of fact is a question about the truth or falsity of an assertion. Most questions of fact can be answered either as either right or wrong. Some questions, though, must be predicted. And lastly, some questions deal with inconclusive issues. Next, is Persuasive Speeches on Questions of Value. Questions of value are questions about the worth, rightness, morality, and so forth of an idea or action. Give the audience reasons why you believe what you do on touchy subjects of morality. This will justify your opinion. The third and last is Persuasive Speeches on Questions of Policy. Question of policy is a question about whether a specific course of action should or should not be taken. These questions deal with specific courses of action. There are two types of these speeches. One, speech to gain passive agreement, is a persuasive speech in which the speaker’s goal is to convince the audience that a given policy is desirable without encouraging the audience to take action in support of the policy. The second, speech to gain immediate action, is a persuasive speech in which the speaker’s goal is to convince the audience to take action in support of a given policy. When analyzing questions of policy, be sure to take into consideration need and the burden of proof, plan, and practicality. Make sure to balance these as well when you are preparing the speech. Along with balancing them when you are preparing the speech, decide which order is going to be the most effective. The book lists four different orders. They are: problem-solution order, problem-cause-solution order, comparative advantages order, and Monroe’s motivated sequence.

Building Credibility, Using Evidence, Reasoning, and Appealing to Emotions are the four characteristics that we read about in Chapter 16. First is Building Credibility. Ethos is the name used by Aristotle for what modern students of communication refer to as credibility. Credibility is the audience’s perception of whether a speaker is qualified to speak on a given topic. The two major factors influencing a speaker’s credibility are competence and character. There are also three types of credibility: initial, derived, and terminal. A few ways to enhance your credibility are listed in the chapter. Explain your competence, establish common ground with your audience, and deliver your speeches fluently, expressively, and with conviction are some tips of how to enhance your credibility. Next is Using Evidence, which is supporting materials used to prove or disprove something. Use specific evidence, use novel evidence, use evidence from credible sources, and make clear the point of your evidence are a few tips on how to use evidence effectively. Statistics, examples, and testimony are a must when doing a persuasive speech. Reasoning is probably about the most important part of your persuasive speech. Reasoning is the process of drawing a conclusion on the basis of evidence. The reasoning that I found most interesting and beneficial is the casual reasoning. Casual reasoning is when the speaker pretty much gets on the same level as his audience and doesn’t talk downward to his listeners. I think that this would create a feeling from the audience that they are more involved with the issue. Also, in my opinion, I think this might cause them to be more open about the issue. A couple of other ways to incorporate reasoning is reasoning from principle and analogical reasoning. However, make sure and stay away from fallacies, or errors in reasoning. This is a big turn-off for the audience. Of the fallacies are red herring, ad hominem, either-or, bandwagon, and slippery slope. Lastly, be sure to be careful when Appealing to Emotion. As a speaker, you definitely should use passion in your speech and some of this rubs off on the listeners. Be careful, though, to not appeal negatively. Do not “toy” with their emotions. Mainly, speak with sincerity and conviction.

After a not so good demonstrative speech, I plan on trying to improve on some things that my last speech was lacking. I plan on doing this by taking the knowledge I have obtained from reading Chapters 15 & 16 and incorporating it into my next speech.



Entry filed under: Persuasive Speech, public speaking.

My classmates Demonstration Speech

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. pammy53  |  November 19, 2010 at 11:34 pm


    This persuasive speech, I feel may be a challenge. But, I feel ont he other hand it will be rewarding. We all in class, seem like that we have grown as a class, like a family. I think the communciation skills have improved dramatically since the first of the class year.

    You, will do great on this next speech!


  • 2. Blake14  |  November 27, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    Well Andy you did very well on your persuasive speech. Although I know it wasnt the easiest thing to do it was very good. Im proud of ya bro.

  • 3. shamilton22  |  November 28, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Andy you really did a great job, I know it was hard for you but you really inspired all of us. I lost my dad on April 5, 2010 and it was very hard for me considering I received the call on my way to class and had to leave for SC right away and I never got to say ” goodbye dad, I love you.” That is why I read that poem for my reading. The Dash, that helped me alot remembering the years in between the dash.


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