Speech Study Guide

should avoid these fallacies at all possible costs. The best ways to avoid these fallacies are proper audience research, adaptation, and most importantly, preparation and proofreading. 5.4 Evidence The types of evidence a speaker will use depends on the purpose and topic of a speech. Regardless of the type of speech, setting, or purpose, a speaker needs to use a variety of strong and credible evidence. In order for a speaker to avoid plagiarism, evidence needs to be cited so that an audience knows the source of the evidence. When researching for evidence, a speaker may find more evidence than is needed. If a speaker encounters more evidence than is necessary, they should employee evidence evaluating strategies. One of the best questions to ask is, “Does this evidence come from a well-respected source?” Individuals should question where evidence comes from and the credibility of the source. In addition, a speaker should examine if the evidence is still recent or, if it is not recent, if it is still valid. Typically, when a source is not recent the evidence provided by the source may no longer be pertinent to the speaker’s purpose. One of the gravest mistakes a speaker can make is to use evidence that does not support the speaker’s claim. Evidence may be indirectly related to a claim, but not directly related, so it should be avoided. In addition, evidence should be persuasive. If evidence is compelling, the audience is more likely to pay attention and align themselves with the speaker’s point of view. To further evaluate evidence, a speaker should examine criteria for the quality of supporting material, such as accuracy, completeness, appropriateness for the audience, and ethical considerations. Evidence should be accurate, true, and verifiable. Questions of accuracy should be raised if there are inconsistencies found. In addition, sources should enable a speaker to obtain complete knowledge of their subject. Gathering complete information helps a speaker respond to questions after their speech. Regardless of the quality of evidence, it should not be used if it may be considered inappropriate for a specific audience or situation. Speakers should take into account the type of speech, their topic, audience characteristics, and values when considering the appropriateness of supporting materials or evidence. An orator should be aware of the ethical considerations raised by tests of evidence. If a speaker uses evidence that is known to be inaccurate, incomplete, biased, or offensive to an audience the speaker might be accused of misleading them. Unethical evidences show that a speaker does not have an audience’s best interest at heart. At times a speaker may lose track of their ethical responsibilities because they may want, more than anything, for their audience to respond in a particular way. Even though anyone can make mistakes, all speakers have ethical obligations to scrutinize their own evidence and fulfill their civic responsibilities.


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