Week 3 Workbook Activity – Review an argument

This video was created ultimately to dispel negative perception of the concept,
defend the study of rhetoric and to answer the old aged question of, ‘what is rhetoric?’1

There a number of key arguments throughout this video. One of the main points that had quite a lot of emphasis was what the term ‘rhetoric’ meant. The video made evident that rhetoric was the study of the technique of using language effectively as well as the art of finding the available means of persuasion in each case.

The other key arguments implied that ‘rhetoric’ applies to everyone in society as people use this term, without realising, when they talk, draw pictures, go for a job interview or even those people who cannot talk or choose not too. Dr Randy Nichols states ‘We choose what to say and how to say it for the purpose of getting someone to believe, understand or agree therefore rhetoric happens in every communication aspects.’2

The video then went on to discuss what individuals can gain from familiarising themselves with the term ‘rhetoric’. One argument was that those who attain some knowledge in rhetoric can help them breakdown the components of language and an argument. Whereas, an education is rhetoric, can enhance an individuals communication and presentation skills, prepare an individual to enter the work force and make a person more self conscious of their practices so that they can tailor them to a wide variety of situations because it is not a matter of one size fits all.

1Clemson English, “In defense of rhetoric video”, YouTube. Online video clip, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYMUCz9bHAs&feature=youtu (accessed July 20, 2012)


Please note: YouTube clips do not feature in the reference list according to the Turanbian referencing table found at https://www.avondale.edu.au/Departments::Library::Endnote_Turabian.pdf

Week 3 Workbook Activity – Reflect on Rhetoric

Below are some of the key points that Aristotle1 makes about rhetorical speech.

1. Writers say nothing about enthymemes, which are the substance of rhetorical persuasion, but instead deal mainly with the non-essentials.

2. Rhetorical study, in its strict sense, is concerned with modes of persuasion.

3. The orator’s demonstration in general is the most effective mode of persuasion. This is because persuasion is clearly a sort of demonstration and we are most persuaded when we consider a thing or element to have been demonstrated.

4. Whether the argument concerns public affairs or some other subjects we must know some, if not all, of the facts about the subject on which we are to speak and argue on.

5. When making a rhetorical speech a person must study the production of persuasion, its style and language and also the argument of the speech.

6. Persuasion in every case must be effected by working with emotions, giving the right impression of the speaker’s character and providing truth about the statement made.

7. The use of rhetoric is useful because things that are true and other that are just have a tendency to prevail over their opposites.

8. Some people fail to instruct with trying to hold an argument therefore modes of persuasion are used. However, orators must be able to employ persuasion.

9. Rhetoric is not bound up by a single definite class of subjects but as universal as dialectic.

10. We look upon rhetoric speech as the power of observing the means of persuasion on almost any subject.

11. There are three kinds of modes of persuasion in rhetorical speech which include; personal character of the speaker, putting the audience is to a certain frame of mind and proof based on the words of the speech.

12. Persuasion is achieved by the speaker’s personal character when the speech is so spoken to make us thing that the speaker is credible.

13. These are also three means of effective persuasion in rhetorical speech. The orator or the person in charge must be able to reason logically, understand human character and goodness in every form and also understand emotions. These include elements such as youthful, young, prime, wealth and power. They must be able to name emotions, describe them, and know their causes and the way in which they are excited. Some of these emotions include anger, calm, friendship, eminenty, fear, shame, pity, indignation, envy and emulation.

14. There are two oratorical arguments that are common in rhetorical speech these include; example and maxim. Example comes in two varieties which include the mention of past facts or the invention of facts by a speaker which generally refers to the use of fables. Maxim is generally for the more experienced speaker where they use a statement not a particular fact. For example; have some sons taught more wisdoms than their followers.

15. Rhetorical speech falls into three divisions determined by three classes of listeners (three elements of speech making) speaker, subject and the person being addressed.

16. From this there are three divisions of oratory; political, forensic and ceremonial oratory of display.

17. There are three propositions of rhetoric speech; complete proofs, probabilities and signs.

18. In term of rhetorical speech, the person in charge needs to practice their delivery. Loudly, softly or somewhere in between voices; low high or intimidate pitch.

19. The style of a rhetorical speech, to be good, must be clear. Speech which fails to convey a plain meaning will fail to do what a speech is meant to do. It also must be appropriate avoiding the meanness and undue evaluation. It also should show correctiveness of language. This includes the proper use of connecting words, calling things by their own special names and not by the vague general ones, to avoid ambiguities, observe Protagoras classification of nouns into female, male and inanimate and to express plurality, fewness and unity by the correct wording.

20. Language must be composed of nouns and verbs and will generally be appropriate if it expresses emotion and character. It also should correspond to the subject.

21. The introduction is a tool which is used to pave the way for what is to follow and usually subject to some praise or censure.

1Aristotle 1994, Rhetoric”, Aristotle http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/rhetoric.mb.txt (accessed 20 July, 2012).


Aristotle 1994, Rhetoric”, Aristotle http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/rhetoric.mb.txt (accessed 20 July, 2012).

Week 2 Workbook Activity – Emphasis in Professional News Reading

There was a lot of evident emphasis throughout Kate Stowell’s reading of the news script1. I found that Kate emphasised the start and end of each sentence which was most evident before and after each ‘grab interview’. It was also noted that there was a lot of emphasis put on numbers. For example “…after seventeen days of negotiations with the three independent MP’s2″. Emphasis was also put on people’s last names and even words before that were positioned before a comma. Although this may sound like a lot it really added to the consistent flow of speech and it is very effective in engaging and maintaining a listener’s attention.


In terms of my recording, I was a bit over the top in that I would try and emphasise my words all the time. This didn’t create a consistent read and if it wasn’t for my pauses many listeners might not have recognised when one story finished and another started. I also noticed that I spoke faster then I should have which affected the articulation of my words whilst Kate read at a consistence pace and very clearly so the audience could understand the intended message. After hearing Kate, it just shows that my voice is probably not meant for a radio. Has anyone notice how all radio presenters have distinct voices ?

1Kate Stowell Radio, “News reading sample”, YouTube, Online video clip, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-qKDbNz2YI (accessed July 15).


Please note: YouTube clips do not feature in the reference list according to the Turanbian referencing table found at https://www.avondale.edu.au/Departments::Library::Endnote_Turabian.pdf

Week 2 Workbok Activity – What makes a great speech?

So what makes a great speech?

A great speech consists of many different elements; however, as stated on the ‘Hart of Manliness Blog1,’ for a speech to be classed as great, it needs to include three very important elements; style, impact and substance1.

Style refers to the way the speech is written2. It must be constructed very carefully with a lot of thought. Every speech has a purpose by a great speech will use its structure to covey this purpose effectively. By having an effective structured speech, it increases the chances of staying on theme while decreasing the possibility of going off on a tangent. A great speech should never go off on a tangent because it will fail to inspire the audience’s finest values and beliefs.

Substance refers to the depth of the speech3. A great speech must connect with its audience and this can be achieved by including words that give the speech emotion, expression and meaning. It is simple, the more meaning a speech has through the words it uses, the more depth it will have increasing it’s chances to connect with its audience.

Impact refers to the way in which the speech persuades the audience4. Great speeches have the ability to persuade audiences of huge numbers, allowing people to forget what’s going on around them and only focusing on the words coming from the speaker’s mouth. If a speech has impact then it will be sure to change the audience’s hearts and minds on a certain topic.

If an ordinary speech is revamped with the inclusion of style, substance and impact then it increases its chances of becoming a great speech.

1Brett and Kate McKay, comment on ”The 35 greatest speeches in history”, The Art of Manliness Blog, comment posted on August 01, 2008, http://www.scribd.com/doc/20913000/The-35-Greatest-Speeches (accessed July 15, 2012)


Art of Manliness Blog, http://www.scribd.com/doc/20913000/The-35-Greatest-Speeches (accessed July 15, 2012).

Week 2 Workbook Activity – Define ‘Professional Voice’

As stated by Bales Communications, ‘Your voice is a signature – a unique and powerful part of your professional identity1‘ which I, so far into this course, have realised ‘says much more about you than you could ever imagine.”

You may not realise but when you are talking to a new client or business they will be making all kinds of assumptions about you including things like your age, education, intelligence, maturity and capabilities2.

Personally, I find it hard to define a ‘professional voice’ because is can vary depending on the context; however, I generally define it as a voice that is clear, loud, consists of adequate emphasise and coveys resonance. I find that there are not a lot of presenter that have all these elements; however I believe that Chris Bath3 a long term presenter on Channel Seven News now presenter of Sunday Night is close enough to the mark. Chris is so poise and confident which reflects in her voice contributing to the professionalism factor.

There are several elements that help to contribute to a professional voice.

The first element that helps make a professional voice, in some cases, is the use of inflection4 Inflection refers to being able to give your talk meaning. People can hear the many words you speak; however, they will not understand or relate to the emotions you are trying to portray without inflection.

Another element that makes a voice professional is the pace in which people speak5. The general rule is to not speak too fast but also not too slow. The pace in which a person speaks can covey many qualities such as emotion, urgency and control. Speakers need to be aware of this so it can be controlled to suit each communication situation.

Practice! I’m sure every person especially University students have heard the expression practice makes perfect. To help mould your professional voice it is important to always familiarise yourself to the sounds and different elements of your voice6. Many people practice with a voice recorder, as we are doing in this course, this is done to make evident a person tone, accent, breathing, phrasing, inflection, pitch and loudness. Take notes of what you don’t like and work on them. As hard as it may be for some to listen to their own voice it is definitely a worthwhile element in making a voice sound professional.

There are also many other elements such as accent, being conversational, breathing, using appropriate phrases that have meaning and a person’s tone7. Once you become familiar with these elements you are on your way to possessing a professional voice.

1Bales Communications, “Does your voice say ‘energetic, intellegent and professional”, Bales Communication, http://www.bates-communications.com/articles-and-newsletters/articles-and-newsletters/bid/59787/Does-Your-Voice-Say-Energetic-Intelligent-and-Professional (accessed July 15, 2012).
3WA TV News, “7 News Sydney (17 Feb 2011)”, YouTube. Online video clip, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2B7PY3hh4-c (accessed July 13, 2012).


Bales Communications, “Does your voice say ‘energetic, intellegent and professional”, Bales Communication, http://www.bates-communications.com/articles-and-newsletters/articles-and-newsletters/bid/59787/Does-Your-Voice-Say-Energetic-Intelligent-and-Professional (accessed July 15, 2012).

Please note: YouTube clips do not feature in the reference list according to the Turanbian referencing table found at https://www.avondale.edu.au/Departments::Library::Endnote_Turabian.pdf

Week 2 Study Guide Activity – ‘The 35 Greatest Speeches of All Time’

Despite being very manly orientated these speeches all deserved to be on this list. All these speeches, as stated on the website, were complied by referring to three specific elements including; style, substance and impact1. Although these speeches have all these elements there is one speech that comes to mind that is not on the list. Martin Luther King’s speech ‘I Have A Dream’ was a very powerful speech that had a great deal of style, impact and substance. I am very surprised that I did not see this on there. This was also stated by many people who commented on the blog. Did anyone feel as though another speech deserved to be on that list?

Honestly I am only familiar with a couple of speakers. Theodore Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, John F Kennedy and Ronald Reagan as these men all very famous, some infamous but are all currently spoken about throughout school english and history classess. Despite being familiar with these speakers,sadly, I am not familiar with their speeches.

1Brett and Kate McKay, comment on “The 35 greatest speeches in history”, The Art of Manliness Blog, comment posted on August 01, 2008, http://www.scribd.com/doc/20913000/The-35-Greatest-Speeches (accessed July 15, 2012)


Art of Manliness Blog, http://www.scribd.com/doc/20913000/The-35-Greatest-Speeches (accessed July 15, 2012).