Essay about Rhetorical Speech : The Speech

Essay about Rhetorical Speech : The Speech

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Reflective Speech Draft

Speeches have been used for thousands of years to communicate ideas and influence others. Ralph Waldo Emerson; American poet, essayist and lecturer, once said, "Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel. It is to bring another out of his bad sense into your good sense." He was correct, speech is indeed a powerful tool which has the ability to influence and persuade an audience; if an audience is positioned carefully and the speech is written in such a way that the audience 's emotions, logic and trust in the speaker are all appealed to. This is rhetoric. Rhetoric must be used in order for a speech to effectively convey information in such a way that an audience member is persuaded and influenced by the author’s ideas. Shane Maloney’s speech to Scotch College, and David Morrison’s address to the Australian Armed Forces both use rhetoric to convey strong imperatives. Shane Maloney criticises the values and actions of Scotch College, calling the current students to be different from their predecessors. David Morrison criticises the extremely inappropriate actions of several members of the Australian Army, reinforces the importance of females in the army, and calls members to take a stand against exploitation and degradation of fellow soldiers. In both speeches, several rhetoric devices are used to increase the effectiveness of communication and influence the audience, and rhetoric modes are utilised to make concepts more memorable and engage the listeners.
Pathos is used in speeches to appeal to the emotions of the audience, and convince them by evoking an emotional response. In his speech at Scotch College, Shane Maloney says “Well, all this is hardly the fault of the current crop of stud...


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...my responded positively, and he was awarded Australian of Year, in part for his effective communication. The media described the speech as ‘rousing’, and said that it ‘saw him shot into public recognition’. Although the public later applauded Maloney’s speech as well, he received a negative response from his audience at Scotch College, with students strongly disagreeing with his arguments. He was accused of being ‘unfair’, and several students attempted to debate the topic with him after his speech. This poor reception from Maloney’s initial audience may be due to the insufficient pathos, making his audience feel that they must defend themselves against him. The lack of ethos also makes his audience less likely to believe what he says. Rhetoric must be used when communicating with an audience, to effectively ‘bring another out of his bad sense into your good sense’.

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