Speech Study Guide

instead of describing actual people or events. To ultimately be effective, a speaker must examine the importance of an example and if it will aid or hinder their points. Testimony consists of opinions, interpretation, or judgments of other people. There are three kinds of testimony: personal, lay, and expert testimonies. Personal testimony happens in many speeches and may add to credibility. This type of testimony cannot be used in all speeches because there is almost always a need to go beyond a speaker’s own experiences and expertise. It is always a good idea to gather other kinds of testimonial evidence. Lay testimony is based on firsthand experience and comes from ordinary individuals, not necessarily from the speaker or an expert, whose personal experiences make their testimony compelling. This form of testimony can be effective, depending on how the testimony is used; standing alone it may not be enough, but when used in tandemwith other supporting evidence, it may be effective. Sources of lay testimony may not have special education or qualifications but they should have direct, firsthand experience which lends them a unique perspective on their topic. Expert testimony is one of the most frequently used types of evidence, especially when a speech is complicated or highly technical. This form of testimony relies on individuals regarded as experts, someone with special education training, or related experiences. Prestige testimony can provide support for an argument if the source is perceived as intelligent, dedicated, well-educated, or inspirational (think of Goodwill Ambassadors, celebrities who work with charities, or relief organizations). Speakers may also find that comparison and contrast are effective tools to examine the similarities and differences between a new experience and an old experience. This method can provide strong support for ideas and enhance the clarity or persuasiveness of speeches. There are many methods of comparison and contrast between ideas. Effective and ethical speakers will examine and think critically about their evidence. They seek to ensure their evidence supports their topics, purposes, and claims. In addition, when thinking critically about evidence and supporting material, a speaker will attempt to understand how the speech will be received, and if the material is appropriate for the given audience. To engage in such critical thinking, a speaker must conduct research to obtain evidence. • Claims of value assume a variety of forms, including what is effective or ineffective, just or unjust, moral or immoral, legal or illegal, and if something is beneficial or harmful. • Claims of fact examine if something exists, what caused something to happen, or the scope and magnitude of a phenomenon. • Claims of policy debate about what should be done or the future course of action, and are the hardest claims to prove because of their involvement in predicting the future. 5.6 Key Terms • Claims are debatable assertions a speaker makes.


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