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Karyn Lewis

Effective Speaking – Jenkins


535-501-01 fall20051
Persuasive Speech Critique

Discover Great Tastes

The strength of my introduction stands in my use of a solid opening statement that gains viewer
attention by referencing the importance of food and the enjoyment of taste in our everyday lives—which is
a subject everybody can relate to. It also catches attention with a rhetorical question the audience can relate
to through common curiosity and the shared pursuit of pleasure, asking, “Can wine make food even
better?” The weakness of my introduction lies in my lack of conviction. I spoke too quietly and lacked any
real emphasis on specific words or phrases that perhaps would have made my stance on the topic more
solid and effective. My introduction also started to sound like an informative speech, especially with the
last statement, “Today I will encourage you to learn a few basic guidelines and experiment to discover for
yourself how wine can truly elevate any meal.” This statement is not very strong or persuasive. Better eye
contact will certainly start to improve my introduction. More volume and conviction through emphasis and
speaking out directly to my audience will grab their attention more effectively. I need to reword the last
statement of my introduction that states my stance on the subject and what I plan to persuade my audience
to do by replacing “encourage” with something stronger and more direct.
In the need section of my speech, the problem is stated clearly right away, mentioning that people
get caught up in the confusion of rules and ultimately feel that wine and food pairings are hard work.
However, the body of my speech immediately started off too informative. The explanations I used to
describe how the rules have changed were meant to illustrate how this has created a problem by lending
more complexity to the process of food and wine pairing—but it came off as too matter-of-fact. Thus, there
was an obvious lack of coherence and my need section just seemed too vague. Perhaps better transitions
would help me to relate each subtopic together in identifying the problem, illustrating it, then stating how it
affects my audience. I need to unclutter this sequence to clearly state my need without extra information.
Switching the order of my need section and developing the concept of the changing rules of wine and food
pairing as the problem may help with coherence. I could use the general statements describing people’s
feelings of confusion to illustrate the problem caused by these changes.
In the satisfaction section of my speech, the solution is strong and clearly stated—use “FIT” and
experiment to achieve successful wine and food matches. Objections were clearly stated and argued as
well, mentioning that some people prefer to drink the wine they like no matter what and others prefer to
follow traditional rules for food and wine pairing. I spoke too in-depth, however, on the basic guidelines
that I mentioned as the solution to overcome the confusion and hurdles of food and wine pairing. It made
the speech more informative than anything else and detracted from what I actually wanted my audience to
do. With this, the theoretical examples I mentioned just added too much unnecessary information that
detracted from my overall purpose. I need to clear the clutter, once again, by eliminating some of the facts
and examples I used in attempting to demonstrate how my solution meets the need. I need to reword this
section so it’s more of a direct solution to the problem instead of a list of steps that specifically inform.
In the visualization section of my speech, the example I included from Olive Garden was a clear
hypothetical demonstration of how I would use the basic guidelines of food and wine pairing in a real life
situation to make a successful flavor combination. The tasting examples I provided, however, were weak
and did not clearly demonstrate the usage of the basic guidelines that I presented in the satisfaction section
of my speech as the solution to the problem of pairing confusion and difficulty as intended. I need to refer
back to my tasting examples but clearly define how I used FIT in my making my choices, specifically
mentioning how I matched the flavor, intensity, and texture of the wine to both the popcorn and the cheese,
step-by-step for full comprehension of the process. Also, I need to clearly relate how FIT eases the
confusion of food and wine pairing rules, with emphasis on the simplicity of the process in order to be most
effective.
The action in my speech was clearly stated, in directing my audience to go out and experiment
with food and wine pairings. This section was not very solid though, in clarifying the W’s: who, what,
when, where, and how. I need to be more specific and add more solid, detailed information to direct my
audience to take action.
My supporting materials were relevant. I included four strong sources, but they weren’t quite
specific enough as I mentioned them. I need to provide the dates of the sources I used as I mention them in
my speech for better credibility.
I had some eye contact and connected with the entire audience when I did, but this is certainly one
of the weakest aspects of my speech. I am much too reliant on my speech outline—which robs much of the
conviction from a persuasive speech. I need to make a better effort of connecting with my audience for a
longer amount of time—more than just a glance at a time—to truly connect with them.
As for movements, gestures, and paralinguistic stimuli, I generally did not have distractive
tendencies while giving my speech such as rocking or swaying back and forth, which would have detracted
from what I was trying to say. However, I was too stiff and emotionless as I spoke. I need to be more
expressive in my gestures and facial expressions and speak louder and with more emphasis in order to be
more persuasive.