A motivational speaker has the ability to create situations in their speech

A motivational speaker has the ability to create situations in their speech that engages the audience and gets them yelling and interacting throughout the speech. Just as well, if a persuasive speaker says the wrong thing and offends the audience his entire speech crumbles and hes no longer thought to be credible. In both situations the speaker had the ability to create a situation and you can either be successful in that or you can fail at it.  You need to have the social awareness that there is a variety of people in your audience from gender and race to different cultural beliefs. For the most part I think they go hand in hand. To create a positive situation through your speech you have to keep your audience in mind. You cant just walk into a room and say whatever you want in your speech. If that were the case no speaker would ever thought to be a credible or reliable speaker. You have to be respectful and mindful of the people you are communication your message to. You have to take the time to put in the research not only for your speech but to also research and gauge the type of audience you would have. You cant go to a senior home and give a speech on why senior citizens shouldn’t adopt children, that’s not being socially aware. Its better to say nothing at all and be thought stupid than to open your mouth and prove them right.

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In our society today, people cater to the culture and let the audience influence how they give their speech. I think that is very unfortunate because we end up finding people who suit what we believe rather than having a challenge that’ll make us better as humans. What I am getting at, is that in our culture today, too many people are silenced and told they are bigots just because they hold different beliefs. If we not challenged as human beings, they never makes anything better. Politics are a perfect example. No matter which side of the political party you land on, both sides are intolerant of  one another in some form and fashion and are “politically incorrect” to the other side. People, instead of earnestly listening to one another and trying to understand each others side, viewpoints, moral standards, and trying to make a compromise, they in turn bash the other side and never give any credit to the good things they do try to accomplish. Along with that, you have each side and the political candidates change the tone and words used in their speech to fit what their people want to hear. Rarely do people ever want to be challenged in their beliefs or told that there is a better way to solve an issue. People will always flock to what they want to hear. In no way am I trying to make a debate or political argument, it was just the best example I cold think of. Give me your thoughts! Thanks.

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Personally, I believe that it is more often for situations to dictate the kind of speaking a person can do, placing constraints on what that person can say and on how he or she can say it. All of these aspects of a speech are affected by who our audience is, the occasion, and purpose. Distinguishing who our audience is will dramatically shift the direction of a speech. For instance, if we are focusing on the importance of maintaining good personal hygiene in primary schools, we already know that our audience will be small children. We will not be speaking as if it were a general audience, instead we are changing the approach to a more suitable one. More than likely we will emphasize key points when speaking, break it down to their understanding and be patient. Being able to adjust to the environment is important to meet their level of knowledge, values, and style of communication. The way in which we were to talk to children, seniors, adults, it all varies, that being said, age is also a constraint that affects how we may express ourselves about a certain topic.  The expectation that the different types of listeners have may vary, some may want to be persuaded, informed, entertained. All of these differences help shape a speaking situation. The occasion in which we are found is an influencing factor as well. It demands us to present ourselves in specific ways, for instance, during a wedding toast it is a common to provide a formal but light conversational speech that is prepared. We tend to stay away from serious and highly scripted speeches during such events. A successful speech is one where we are aware of the circumstance and are well informed beforehand, which in return affects our way of delivery.

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I will take the stance that the situation dictates the kind of speaking a presenter chooses as it best ensures their intended message is received by the audience. Dr. Harlow on the subject of topic and purpose emphasizes how context provides helpful constraints in narrowing down topic selection for the speaker because it is rare that a speaker would have a blank check to talk about anything and in any manner they chose. To me, this means that most of the time a speaker is not given the power to just create their own situation and speak any way they chose without constraint.

Dr. Harlow does continue to talk about the importance of identifying purpose which I see as an extension of the situation that brings a speaker forward in the first place. To me, the situation is important because it helps establish both the context and purpose for a speech.  As you will recall Schreiber and Hartranft (2017) define context as “the communication rules that govern different physical settings and/or different types of relationships” (p.11). This definition reinforces the notion that there are inherent rules to speaking and that situation provides the speaker another set of rules to abide.  For example, celebrations are a type of situation that would dictate how a speaker speaks, and whether or not somber poetic language or light-hearted diction is more appropriate. From our course reading, a reoccurring theme is to be strategic with word choice. A situation helps define what type of language or word choice is most appropriate for the speaker to adopt.  Decaro (2017) outlines the principle that speakers should analyze their audiences, in order to establish this bond between speaker and audience which they define as “identification.” If identification is important, it would follow that we know the situation that brings us all together (formal, informal presentation, etc) and that situation determines the rules of the speech provided, more so than a speaker who artificially constructs a situation and speaks without any constraint.

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