Chapter 15 Speaking to Persuade

Persuasive Speaking
Persuasion is the process of creating, reinforcing, or changing people's beliefs or actions. The ability to speak persuasively is beneficial in everything from personal relationships to career aspirations, to civic deliberation. The job of the persuasive speaker is that of an advocate, trying to affect the attitudes, beliefs, or actions of listeners.

Ethical Obligations
Meeting ethical obligations can be especially challenging when one is speaking to persuade. Persuasive speakers should keep in mind the guidelines for ethical speaking. They should make sure their goals are ethically sound. They should study the topic thoroughly so they won't mislead the audience. They should learn about all sides of an issue and make sure they get the facts right. They should be honest in what they say. They should guard against subtle forms of dishonesty . They should present evidence fairly and accurately. They should keep in mind the power of language and employ it responsibly. They should respect the rights of free speech and expression. They should avoid abusive language. If they use emotional appeal, they should make sure it is appropriate to the topic and is supported by facts and logic.

Degrees of Persuasion
Persuasion is a psychological process. Of all the types of public speaking, persuasion is the most complex and the most challenging. Persuasive speeches often deal with controversial topics that involve people's most basic attitudes, values, and beliefs. No matter how skilled a speaker may be, some listeners are so committed to their own ideas that they cannot be persuaded to the speaker's point of view.

Persuasive speakers must enter a speech situation with realistic goals. If listeners are not strongly committed one way or another on the speech topic, a speaker can realistically hope to move some of them toward her or his viewpoint. If listeners are strongly opposed to a speaker's message, the speaker can consider the speech a success if it moves even a few to reexamine their views.

Mental Dialogue with Audience

they assess the speaker's credibility. Unlike speeches to inform. delivery. The first main point establishes the standards for the speaker's value judgment. and the like. The first basic issue is need. Questions of Value Some persuasive speeches deal with questions of value. supporting materials. When dealing with a question of value. As in other speeches using topical order. inside their own minds. they try to anticipate audience objections and to answer them in the speech. each main point will present a reason why the audience should agree with the speaker. The second main point applies those standards to the speech topic. Effective persuasive speakers regard their speeches as a kind of mental dialogue with the audience. Questions of Fact Some persuasive speeches deal with questions of fact. One type seeks to gain passive agreement that a policy is desirable. a speaker needs to justify her or his value judgment in light of a clearly defined set of standards. with the speaker. and practicality. language. she or he can adapt the speech to fit the values and concerns of the target audience. When preparing the speech. Speeches on questions of value are usually organized topically. The amount of time devoted to need. they try to put themselves in the place of the audience and imagine how they will respond.Mental Dialogue with Audience When processing persuasive messages listeners engage in a mental give-and-take with the speaker. Questions of Policy Most persuasive speeches deal with questions of policy. They may argue. and practical. It is often helpful for persuasive speakers to think in terms of reaching their target audience. There are two types of persuasive speeches on questions of policy. The first step is to define the speaker's standards for value judgment. plan. In such speeches. plan. necessary. and practicality in any given speech will depend on the topic and the audience. Persuasive speeches on questions of policy must address three basic issues—need. . Once a speaker knows where the target audience stands. Most persuasive speeches on questions of fact are organized topically. The second step is to judge the subject of the speech against those standards. As they listen. The second type seeks to motivate the audience to take immediate action. Above all. persuasive speeches on questions of fact take a partisan view of the information and try to persuade the audience to accept the speaker's view about that information. persuasive speeches on questions of fact should subdivide the topic logically and consistently.

The second main point analyzes the causes of the problem. The second basic issue is plan. Speakers who advocate a new policy must show their plan is workable and will solve the need without creating new problems. These speeches have three main points. . a persuasive speaker must offer a specific plan—policy—that will solve the need. The speaker should be as specific as time allows in identifying the major features of the plan. Comparative advantages order This pattern of organization is most effective when the audience already agrees there is a need for a new policy. Patterns of Organization for Questions of Policy Four patterns of organization are especially effective for persuasive speeches on questions of policy. Problem-solution order Speeches for The first main point shows the need for a new policy by proving the existence of a serious problem. the proposed new policy would not solve it change and would create serious problems of its own. change The second main point presents a plan for solving the problem and demonstrates its practicality. The third basic issue is practicality. Speakers who oppose a change in policy will try to show there is no need for change. Speakers who advocate a change in policy must prove there is a need for the change. After showing the need for change. The third main point presents a solution to the problem. Speeches opposing The second main point shows that even if there were a need.The first basic issue is need. Speakers who oppose a shift in policy will argue that a proposed plan is impractical and will create more problems than it will solve. The first main point shows that there is no need for change. Problem-cause-solution order The first main point shows the existence of a problem. Rather than dwelling on the need. the speaker devotes each main point to explaining why his or her plan is preferable to other solutions.

.Monroe's motivated sequence The first step is to gain the attention of the audience. The fourth step is to visualize the benefits and practicality of the plan. The second step is to show the need for a change. The fifth step is to urge the audience to take action in support of the plan. The motivated sequence has five steps that follow the psychology of persuasion. The third step is to satisfy the sense of need by presenting a plan that will remedy the need.

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