Speech Study Guide

• Honesty: Communicators should be honest and truthful in the knowledge they are sharing with their audience. Audiences believe and expect what they are told to be true. In order for a speaker to practice honesty, they need to be able to keep their personal beliefs and opinions at bay, while not relaying any exaggerations to the audience. In order for speakers to be honest, they must research their topic and present all perspectives of an issue accurately. Also, a speaker must not plagiarize. Plagiarism is passing off ideas, words, or created works of someone else as one’s own without crediting the source. Using part or all of a source without properly crediting the original source constitutes plagiarism. Even if someone else’s words are summarized, credit of the original author is still needed. For a speaker to be credible, the speaker must be honest. • Integrity: Speakers must “practice what they preach.” Orators must conduct themselves in accordance with their words or they may be proven to be unreliable. • Fairness: Speakers must communicate in a manner that renders them impartial (fair or just). In addition, to being fair, a speaker should acknowledge any bias they might have regarding their topic. Speakers achieve fairness by researching and reporting all sides of a topic. Listeners should consider the evidence provided by the speaker, even if such evidence is against the beliefs of the listener. • Respect: Behaving with respect means showing regard for others, including their point of views, their rights, and their feelings. Orators show respect for an audience by choosing language and humor that is inclusive and inoffensive. Listeners demonstrate respect by providing undivided attention to the speaker. • Responsibility: One of the responsibilities of orators is to recognize the power of words. Ethical orators advocate what is in the best interest of the audience. Ethical listeners evaluate the positions that speakers advocate and do not blindly accept positions that are not in their best interest. A speaker must incorporate the five general standards of public speaking in order to be credible. Some would argue ethical standards are universal, however society has shown they are far from universal. Despite discrepancies in the definition of ethical standards, the central premise is the same: a speaker must be found ethical to be found ultimately convincing. In order to be ultimately ethical, an orator adheres to standards of accuracy, objectivity and subjectivity, good taste, and judgment. Accuracy entails more than one may think. An orator must be as proficient on their topic as possible. In order to gain such proficiency, a speaker must thoroughly research their topic. The speaker must choose sources that are up-to-date, comprehensive, and unbiased. If an article is out of date, the information contained within the article may not be accurate and is therefore invalid. If the course is biased, it may not cover all viable objections or perspectives of an argument or topic. Arguments that are poorly thought-out or contain faulty information canmislead audiences and have more disastrous effects. To avoid the likelihood of misinformation, a speaker must use sources that are credible. If the source is not credible, the information the speaker is relaying is also not credible or ethical. One of the most obscured debates speakers face is the tangle of objectivity versus subjectivity. It is not always an easy task for one to remain perfectly objective or neutral on a topic. Everyone is


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