Discussion assignment (8)


Discussion 8

Speaker Critique Discussion

This discussion asks that you find a speaker to critique online. Please ensure you are choosing a speaker with an audience in a somewhat professional setting. I’ve found that if you are in doubt about a speech to critique, a famous or historical speech is often very effective to listen to or to watch; I offer some suggestions below as to sites you may choose to visit in order to complete the assignment.


The speech must be from 4–7 minutes long (in its entirety). In other words, do not listen to simply a portion of a long speech; listen to all of the speech.

You must choose a speech source that includes an audio recording (or a video recording) of the speech so that you can hear the speech. Of course, being able to see and hear the speech would be better, but it is not required. You may choose any site that provides speeches that meet these requirements.

Answer the following questions on the discussion board.

1. Context of speech: List the name of website you used. How long is this speech? Who is speaking? Where? When? Please provide a link to your speech here as well.

2. Purpose of speech: Why is the speech being delivered? Who is the intended audience, do you think? Is this a persuasive speech or informational?

3. Briefly discuss the speaker’s voice quality. Discuss rate (how fast or slow), emphasis, intensity, vocal distractors (uh’s, umm’s, etc.), use of pauses, etc. Is the overall quality effective? Why or why not?

4. How does the speaker begin? What is used to gain attention? Tell us the quote or opening lines. Is it an effective opening?

5. What are the main ideas the speaker is presenting? Briefly outline them.

6. How does the speaker conclude? What is used to give a memorable ending? How does the audience respond?

7. What one positive technique or skill can you take from this speaker and use in your own speeches?

Suggested sites:

· History Channel: Great Speeches (Links to an external site.)

· The History Place (Links to an external site.)

· American Rhetoric  (Links to an external site.)


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