Inspirational Speech Review
Shekinah Elmore has a way of capturing the audience’s attention through her speech, “The courage to live with radical uncertainty” (2020). Elmore delivers a perfectly organized speech that helps the audience navigate from one idea to the next and connect the ideas, thus making meaning of the speech. She opens her speech with a rhetorical question, ‘what’s the worst that can happen?’ The introduction of the speech leaves the audience thinking of the answer to the question. It puts the audience in a mental state similar to that of the speaker. The rhetorical question also creates a mystery that makes the audience eager to know what the speaker means. The organizational pattern of the speech is biographical. Elmore uses her life story to pass across the point to her audience.
Elmore uses formal, straight forward language showing that her audience is knowledgeable, most probably an adult audience. Her choice of words, language, and intonation determine the mood of each scene and content of the speech. She uses her voice and facial expressions to communicate the mood of a certain scene within her speech. She uses her story to pass on the message of facing uncertainty in a person’s life. She is a medical expert, and thus her speech is based on her medical expertise. Elmore uses contrast in her speech when she puts the ideology of her cancer to her dreams of being a doctor. Cancer she had, meant that she only had a short time to leave. She balances the emotions by throwing in a few jokes that lighten the mood during the speech. Elmore’s speech appeals to the emotion of the audience. Though she uses basic logic to explain the conditions she had and normal humans think, she uses the emotions to connect with her audience. The speech thus makes use of pathos and ethos to pass the message.
Without fear, we end up doing foolish things, and without courage, we never step out into the unknown. The speech by Cara E. Yar Khan ‘The beautiful balance between courage and fear’ dated December 2019 on the TEdTalk clearly explains the stated concept. Just like Elmore, the speech has a biographical structure. Khan speaks about how her experiences in life brought about the difference between courage and fear. The speech is interesting and shows how, with courage, anything is possible. The speech is motivational and acts as a tool to encourage individuals towards gathering the courage to know the unknown.
The speech is approximately nine minutes, and the speaker is on a podium speaking down to the audience. The speaker is in a wheelchair, and most of her body language is seen through her facial expressions and arm movements. She uses pathos and logos to connect with her audience. Khan has logical explanations and facts about the conditions that she is ailing from and logically explains concepts she talks about to the audience. A good example is when she is explaining about the Grand Canyon to the audience. She uses an emotional approach towards passing on the message about courage and fear to the audience. She uses examples that bring about empathy from the audience, and it is evident through how they respond throughout the speech with cheering and clapping.
She connects to the audience through her experiences with courage and fear. Khan uses the art of sarcasm to also change the emotion of the crowd. She uses contrast in the way that she uses her intonation and the speed of her speech. When Khan is explaining about an adventure on the Colorado River, her intonation becomes sharp, and her speech faster, thus creating imagery in the mind of the audience. Khan creates a persona of an individual who has all the right to doubt themselves. She creates a persona that the audience could identify with and shows how that persona was able to overcome fear and gather the courage to go on an unimaginable adventure.
The third speech is a commencement speech by Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google and Alphabet. The speech was posted on YouTube in June 2020. The speech setting is different from the previous two as it is intended for an online audience. The theme of the speech is educational and motivates individuals to be ready and accept challenges that they are facing in the year, even as it’s their year of graduation. Throughout the speech, Pichai uses personal experiences to explain points he wants to pass to his audience. His speech is intended for a student audience.
He uses logos to connect to his audience. He uses logic and a lot of factual information, especially about technology, to pass certain points through the speech. He uses ethos to create credibility and creates a persona of a student’s life towards success. The persona he creates in his speech creates a connection with the audience. The purpose of the speech is to encourage students. The speech passes out the message clearly. Pichai is very articulate in his speech. He uses a constant rate throughout the speech and uses the same volume through the speech. His eye contact is focused on the camera, thus creating some form of direct connection with a virtual audience. The speaker incorporates pauses in the speech to highlight ideas or when changing from one idea to the next. Some intentional pauses are also to grab the audience’s attention and also give them time to digest or internalize ideas already brought out.
From the analysis, the three speeches have various things in common. First is the method of delivery, where all the speakers use articulate language that is fit for the intended audience. The speakers create credibility in their speech by using personal experiences and expertise to explain concepts within their speech. The speakers are precise and direct to the point, thus keeping the audience attentive. The speakers all use deductive reasoning to prove logic about human life, thoughts, and emotions. The speeches meet the intended purpose of inspiring individuals towards being better.
Inspirational Speech Review