Analysis of Jim Valvano’s Arthur Ashe Award Acceptance Speech Essay

Analysis of Jim Valvano’s Arthur Ashe Award Acceptance Speech Essay

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Jim Valvano was the head coach for the North Carolina State Wolfpack in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). In 1992, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and as a result he created the V Foundation, whose raises money for cancer research. In 1993, Valvano won the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the ESPY’s. In his acceptance speech, Valvano effectively incorporates the three appeals of speech writing, but uses a strong ethos appeal to capture the audience. Through such a strong ethos appeal, Valvano makes himself worthy for the award he is receiving, which is the goal for any acceptance speech. Valvano’s speech is also effective because he uses four of the six parts of a speech, found in the Ad Herenium. In Valvano’s speech, exordium, narration, proof, and peroration are present. Since the purpose of this speech is not to get the hearers to donate, division (showing the difference between you and your opponent) and refutation (lowering your opponent’s arguments) are not needed. So let us go through Valvano’s speech to see the different parts where he makes his ethos appeal.
Exordium is the part of a speech where the speaker uses ethos to relate to his audience. In this part, the speaker explains why he or she was chosen to present the topic. This part is usually used in the introduction to catch the hearer’s attention and establish a connection with them. To do this, Valvano uses his cancer as an ethos appeal. Right at the beginning of the speech, he talks about his parents and how they raised him to be “a very emotional and passionate man”. As he says, “That’s being the son of Rocco and Angelina Valvano. It comes with the territory. We hug, we kiss, we love,” (Valvano). During the speech, he ...


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...at he will be able to get through this, which shows the audience the fighter inside.
Sadly, Jim Valvano died two months after he accepted the award. But this speech is still ingrained in our minds. Through the ethos appeal in this speech, Valvano showed the audience why he deserved the Arthur Ashe award and convinced them to donate to his cancer research foundation. Throughout the different parts of the acceptance speech, Valvano shows his courage and love that helped him to win the award in the first place.



Works Cited
Valvano, Jim. “Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award Acceptance Speech.” ESPY Awards. ESPN. New York, March 4, 1993. Speech. Online. http://www.jimmyv.org/about-us/remembering-jim/jimmy-v-espy-awards-speech/
Zegers, Charlie. “Jim Valvano.” About.com. n.p. n.d. Web. 5 April, 2014. http://basketball.about.com/od/coaches/p/valvano.htm

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