The purpose of this essay is to critically engage with the late Leonardo Dicaprio’s speech at United Nations. Persuasion was seen as a necessary skill for leadership and democracy, where the speakers can produce logical arguments to persuade his audie support or oppose a particular point of view (Fawkes, 2006). The persuasive copy’s main premise was to call on individuals, industries and governments concerned at climate change and call for action from the leaders of the world to put a stop to climate change. As the UN Messenger of peace, Leonardo Dicaprio gave us a persuasively and forcefully speech which can show his excellent presentation skills and temperament, therefore, there are many aspects of this speech that are worthy of critical expansion. In the following paragraphs, we will firstly discuss the structure and main ideas of this speech. Moreover, this approach will apply rhetoric theories to analyze the ethos, pathos, and logos of this speech. Finally, we will summarize the strengths and weakness of his speech.
Firstly, the speech of Dicaprio is well structured with a clear introduction, body, and the conclusion. An effective introduction should gain audience attention and interest, state the purpose of the speech, establish credibility, provide reasons to listen and preview main ideas (Wrench et al, 2016). Dicaprio employs some elements in his introduction, he grabs his audience’s attention by stating himself as a reluctant citizen in New York who cares about climate change. Perloff considered similarity is one of the most important elements of speaker credibility (Fawkes 2006:273). Through putting himself at the equal level with ordinary people who marched in the streets, he can establish...
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... give the audiences a feeling that the speaker forgets his word.
In conclusion, the speech of Dicaprio is well structured with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion, which help him make an effective and attractive speech. Moreover, Dicaprio’s high ethos help him build the credibility and pave the way for the rest of the speech, high pathos trigger the audience emotion and make the audience more likely to be persuaded. He also used logical arguments to support his main ideas and listed various evidence to make an effective speech. Furthermore, gestures, facial expression tone are utilized by Dicaprio successfully, however, body language may give the audiences a feeling that the speaker forgets his word. Though there is a problem in this speech, Dicaprio gave us a persuasively and forcefully speech which can show his excellent presentation skills and temperament.
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