Introduction to Public Speaking The Devil’s Advocate or Speech Analysis
Please respond to one of the following questions:
There’s always one audience member who asks a question that either (a) catches you off-guard, (b) confuses you or (c) pushes your presentation down a road you didn’t want to go. In the time that you stood before them, they managed to dissect your material so thoroughly that they’re prepared to dispute your evidence. Those people are called the Devil’s Advocates, and they’re out there!
For this assignment, I’d like for you to be The Devil’s Advocate. Last week you submitted an outline for your persuasive speech that we as a class were able to review. Now, PLEASE CHOOSE two classmates’ outlines, and be The Devil’s Advocate. Propose counterarguments to the speech. Pinpoint areas where you need more proof to be convinced.
You might be thinking: what exactly is the purpose of this exercise? By acting as the Devil’s Advocate, you’ll be helping your peers by allowing them to prepare responses to questions that might be asked. They’re able to be proactive and thwart arguments to the contrary in their actual speech, before an audience member even has a change to object. By acknowledging points to the contrary, and then refuting those points, the speaker’s argument is strengthened and their stance is far more credible. Thus, Devil’s Advocates are actually quite valuable!
Most audience members form an opinion of a speaker during the first minute of his/her speech. But how do we determine what makes a speech good… or bad? Each week, we’ll look at an example of public speaking, and we’ll dissect it thoroughly. What did you like? What didn’t you like? Evaluate it multiple ways: watch the speaker’s mannerisms, gesturing, posture and eye contact. Watch a second time and critically analyze the conten (YouTube Video: Permission granted by Patricia Fripp, http://www.fripp.com/)
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