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The purpose of this assignment is to better understand the fundamentals of established, powerful, effective persuasive speakers by examining a speech that they have given. In addition to exploring the historical circumstances that led to the speech, you will be looking at the delivery, organizational, and persuasive techniques that can be found in the speech.
Tasks with Directions
1. Review Martin Luther King, Jr. “I Have a Dream” speech (available under resource materials in this module).
2. After reviewing this speech, you will write a three to four (3-4) page paper discussing the following:
- Historical significance of the speech. Discuss the circumstances that led to the speech being given. Why was this the appropriate time to give this particular speech? Why did this person give this speech? Who was the intended audience, and how was it received?
- Delivery Techniques. What kinds of nonverbal and verbal behaviors is the speaker engaging in, and how does it contribute to the effectiveness of the speech? Is the delivery style that the speaker used effective? Could he or she have been more effective with their body language to better engage their audience? What kind of persona does the speaker project?
- Organization Techniques. Review the organizational patterns. Talk about the strengths and weaknesses of the way this speech is organized. Include comments on the introduction, body, conclusion, transitions, etc. Was this speech well organized and easy to follow? Did the organization contribute to the audience’s overall understanding/interest in the speech?
- Persuasive Techniques. Discuss the persuasive strategies used in this speech (for example, ethos, pathos, and logos, listener needs, cognitive dissonance, etc.) and provide specific examples. What strategies are used most? How are they used? Are they effective? Your analysis should be thorough and specific.
Directly reference the text of the speech that you have chosen, and be sure to cite all of your sources. You will need to find information about the history surrounding your speech, and you are expected to conduct college level research. You are not permitted to use Wikipedia to copy and paste information.
You are welcome to extend beyond the provided questions but they should give you a baseline for starting your speech. Your analysis should include:
- Three to four pages (typed)
- One-inch margins, double-spaced
- 12pt Times New Roman font, with no cover page required
- Citation of the course textbook using APA formatting