The Persuasive Speech

Speech #4:  The Persuasive Speech
Purpose:  To persuade your audience on a Question of Policy; that a specific course of action should or should not be taken.
Specific Purpose Statement Examples:
  • The audience will agree that same-sex marriages should not be legalized.
  • The audience will agree that a security fence should be constructed along the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • The audience should create a living will to provide for their family.
  • The audience should vote for a total ban on human cloning.
  • The audience will agree that school districts should not allow soft-drink companies to stock their products in school vending machines.
Assignment Description:  The goal of this speech is to persuade your audience for or against a Question of Policy.Questions of Policy inevitably involve Questions of Fact and Questions of Value BUT Questions of Policy always go beyond both to decide whether something should or should not be done.  In other words, Questions of Policy attempt to persuade an audience that a specific course of action should or should not be taken.  Questions of Policy deal with specific courses of action.
Speakers may see either passive agreement or immediate action from the audience, though you are encouraged to seek the latter (immediate action) if there is appropriate action for the audience to take.  In either case, be prepared to deal with all three (3) basic issues of policy speeches – need, plan, and practicality.
This speech will require considerable research and skillful use of the methods of persuasion.  Special emphasis is given to evidence and reasoning.  This assignment also stresses audience analysis and adaptation.  Identify with and adapt to your target audience.
At the end of this speech, the audience should know your attitude or personal viewpoint on the topic, but we still need to know what the “experts” have to say on your topic as well, based on your research.  Select topics that are interesting to you or that you feel passionate about.  The goal is to invoke a reaction (mental or behavioral) from your audience.  This speech requires a balance of emotional appeal and researched information, organized into a cohesive, logical, and documented outline.  Emphasis is placed on citation of sources.
  • Make your message clear and avoid jargon.
  • Make your message accurate and use research.
  • Make your message vivid and memorable, using descriptive words.
  • Make your message interesting, keeping your audience’s interests in mind.
  • Make your message relevant, considering ways to relate the topic to your audience.
Points:  200
Time Requirements:  7-10 minutes
Audience requirements:  You need at least 6 people, ages 16 and up (no pets or mannequins) to serve as your audience, including your video camera operator.  Having less than the required 6 audience members will result in failing the assignment.
Delivery Method:  This speech should be delivered extemporaneously, which means that it is prepared in advance, which includes rehearsing it.  Use a conversational speaking style that talks naturally “with” us, not “at” us.  Keep movements and gestures natural.  Since using at least one visual aid is required, practice working with it prior to the presentation. 
Speaking Outline:  This speech should be delivered from a brief set of notes (keywords, brief phrases, etc.), called a Speaking Outline. These notes should not be written word-for-word, except for quotes.  Speaking notes are acceptable in any format:  index cards, sheets of paper, notebook, binder, etc., and should follow basic outline format (labeled headings, notation, indentation, etc.).  You are not to read your speech and you should use as much eye contact as possible.  Regardless of the format your speaking outline takes when delivering your speech, you will need to submit this outline to your instructor by the assigned due date.
Organization:  The strategic order that is most common for this type of persuasive speech is the Problem-Solution pattern, although other variations are sometimes used.  The three basic issues of a Policy Speech (need, plan, and practicality) parallel the problem-solution-action approach.
Preparation Outline:  A Preparation Outline is written in full sentences, is properly labeled and follows proper outline format . Use good organization as you prepare your speech.  You should submit a well organized Preparation Outline of your speech by the assigned due date.  This outline should include:
  • A labeled Introduction that fulfills the functions of an effective beginning
1.      Gains the interest and attention of the audience
2.      Reveals the topic of your speech
3.      Adapts and relates your topic to your target audience
4.      Establishes credibility and goodwill
5.      Previews the body of the speech
  • A Body with Main Points developed and arranged properly and logically
1.      Written in full sentences
2.      Uses proper outline format (notation, indentation)
3.      Outline is cohesive, logical, supported, and documented
4.      Main Points include the Need, the Plan and the Practicality
·         Need:  Is there a need for the policy?  Prove the existence of the problem.  The burden of proof always rests with the speaker who advocates change.  Prove that a change is necessary.
·         Plan:  Explain your plan for solving the need.  What is your solution?
·         Practicality:  Show that your solution will work.  Will it solve the problem?
5.      Sources, evidence, and supporting material cited (written) in the outline
6.      Includes a balance of emotional appeal and researched information
7.      Connectives employed effectively between Main Points
  • A labeled Conclusion that fulfills the functions of an effective ending
1.      Summarizes and reemphasizes the main ideas of the speech
2.      Motivates an audience response (action to be taken by the audience)
3.      Memorable closing statement that reinforces, unifies and creates a lasting impression
  • A Bibliography or Works Cited list of your sources using MLA or APA format
Visual Aids:  At least 1 visual aid is required for this speech.  The accuracy, clarity, appropriateness, and usefulness of your visual aid will be part of your evaluation.  The audience should not feel that the visual aid has been thrown in at the last minute or that the speech would have been equally good or even better if no visual aid had been used.  Refer to Chapter 13 for types of visual aids and guidelines on preparing and presenting effective visual aids.  If using technology, always have a back-up plan.
Sources:  Four (4) sources are required for this speech presentation.  Consider the legitimacy, recency, credibility, balance, and accuracy of your sources.  Interviews from qualified sources can be especially helpful for this speech.  State WHO the source is and why they are qualified, not just the statistic/fact/quote/example from the source.  A web address is NOT a source; it is merely the location of the source.  A database (Wikipedia) is not a source; it is a compilation of information from many sources.  Cite the original source of the information.  Your sources must be cited out loud in your speech, written into your Preparation Outline where the supporting material from the source occurs, and listed in your Bibliography/Works Cited list.
Bibliography/Works Cited list:  Required for this speech.  List the sources using either MLA or APA format.  Include as part of your Preparation Outline.
Verbal Communication:  Give adequate attention to the verbal aspects of this speech.  Avoid the use of vocalized pauses.  Speak in well-formed, grammatically correct sentences.  Articulation, enunciation and correct pronunciation are important.
Nonverbal Communication:  The nonverbal aspects of public speaking that require attention in this speech include posture, natural gestures, appropriate attire, facial expressions, eye contact and purposeful body movements.
To Be Submitted by Due Date:  Your Speech #4 Video should be uploaded using Speech Capture in Connect.  Your speaking outline and your preparation outline should follow written work guidelines (see syllabus) and be sent as attachments (one per message) via Blackboard.  In addition, if you used PowerPoint or any other electronic visual aid, they should be submitted as well.
NOTE:  Please refer to the “Guidelines for Recording and Submitting Speech Videos” and “Using Speech Video Capture in Connect” documents prior to completing this assignment.  See syllabus for written work guidelines.
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