Speech Study Guide

©2017 of 80 the shared interests of the speaker and listeners. The classical tradition attempts to de-emphasize the techniques of manipulation. Since ancient times, it has been believed that rhetoric traditions are only effective if used for the good of everyone and not for selfish interests. Ancient scholars, such as Aristotle, Cicero, Isocrates, and Quintilian, are the engineers of democratic society, free speech, and the classical tradition. Similar to the classical tradition, the contemporary viewdiffers from a centered focus on the speaker’s character and shared characteristics between the speaker and listener to a more audience focused view. Since the age of exploration, diversification among people has been exponentially increasing. Within the last several hundred years this has been due to exploitation of slavery and racial and cultural blending of populations. Due to such diversification, an orator must take the culture(s) of their audience into account when researching and organizing their speech. Despite the shift of focus to the audience, contemporary views maintain a central emphasis on the content of the speech, similar to the classical tradition. 1.4 Social Considerations When thinking about the social considerations of public speaking, one of the first things to consider is culture. Culture is a common set of beliefs, values, and morals shared by a group of people. When speaking to different cultures it is pertinent to be considerate of cultural differences. These differences may be in tone of voice, speaker word choice, and topic of speech. If cultural taboos or differences are violated the audience may not be receptive to what the speaker has to say. In order to understand or even know what cultural taboos or differences are, research prior to the speech must be done. If research cannot be done, then a generalized awareness of cultural sensitivity should be exercised. Cultural sensitivity is not as complicated as one may think. In order to learn how to be culturally sensitive, one must begin with the self. It requires understanding that one’s own beliefs and values are not the same as everyone else’s, and despite what may appear to be logical and reasonable to one person, those personal beliefs, values, and morals may be perceived differently or may appear to be wrong to someone of a different culture. After understanding this, the speaker can modify research and delivery methods to provide a stronger argument during their speech. Another aspect to consider is the setting of the speech, which can contribute to how the speech will be perceived. The culture of different settings is important to consider. A speech given during an exam is different than a speech given to an elementary school, which is yet again, different than a speech given to CEOs. When preparing for a speech for a general or unknown audience, it is best to avoid common mistakes. Even if the audience is unknown and the setting virtual, a speaker can deduce the likely audience, and therefore, a generalized idea of culture from the topic of the speech. If one is still unsure of the dynamics of the audience, it is best to assume one’s own culture. If the speaker finds something offensive or incorrect, then it is safe to assume the audience will as well. There are as many social considerations of public speaking as there are societies. Within democratic and liberal societies, citizens are typically awarded the liberty of freedom of speech. History has shown when societies do not endorse and encourage the freedom of speech and public speaking, Achieve Test Prep Page 8

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