Below, please find some examples of persuasive speeches. Based on your readings in the course textbook and lecture folder, state what you think of the speeches. Do you find them effective? What do you like or dislike about them? How is the speaker able to convince or persuade the audience in seeing things from his or her perspective? Is the speaker able to connect and relate to the audience?

Write thoughtful answers that address all of the questions above (not just one sentence responses).

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Be sure to reply to this discussion and reply to two of your classmates


1. Persuasive speeches are an effective method of compelling the audience into believing what you say to be reasonable. I dislike that they play on human emotion, as do most speeches in general (regardless of genre), so much so that it feels like a manipulation of the audience rather than attributing just to a cause. Persuasive speakers tend to use statistics, or factual evidence, and relation via empathy to story mechanics, in order to capture audience emotion and critical thinking as a methodology of convincing the audience that their viewpoint is just or reasonable.

For example, in the first TED talk video pinned to this discussion board, Wendy Troxel insists that schools should start later than they currently do, specifically for teenagers. First, she relates to the audience on a sentimental level by telling stories of other parent’s waking up their children in humorous ways when all they want to do is continue sleeping but need to get up for an education. She then uses argumental evidence such as melatonin (released by the pineal gland of the human brain) release having a delay of around 2 hours in teenagers versus adults. In simple terms, melatonin is the hormone associated with inducing the feeling of wanting to go to sleep or not being able to do without sleep once the level of melatonin in the bloodstream reaches a high enough level. She argues that if melatonin is being released 2 hours later in teenager’s than in adults, then school should start 2 hours later for teenager’s so that they get proper, restful sleep which is the type of sleep linked to proper brain development and memory solidification. Troxel later goes on to add statistics to the mix to influence the audience that common teenager emotion swings and drug addiction may because of lack of sleep.

In conclusion, most persuasive speeches follow a similar pattern, whether it be asking a question at the start, sharing a story, including statistics, the works, with the end goal of persuading the audience to take their side of the story for whatever situation they introduced.

2. Both presentations are wonderful, I was able to see how to persuade an audience effectively.

In Wendy Troxel’s first video I was able to see how she persuades the audience about the importance of sleep, especially in adolescents. She sets an example of herself as she wakes up her teenage son and some of her friends, but she explains the importance of sleep with examples shown with hormones (melatonin) as it interferes with the sleep schedule of adolescents and that is why she defends that schools should start a little later. In her speech, she maintains eye contact with the audience and both facial and hand gestures in accordance with what she expresses. In the second video of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, she talks about feminism and persuades the audience with several real examples of her life that happened to her, where she over time began to know that concept. She explains several examples of feminism and how it influences society. In conclusion, persuasive speeches can use some of the techniques that I saw in these videos, such as asking questions, for example about oneself, or telling a personal story, it is a very effective way of attracting the audience, also using statistics or scientific studies; Both videos were very interesting for me, from which I was able to learn some persuasive technique to speak in public.

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