speech by Alan Perlman

CH 1-

You want to move your audience from point A (where they are) to point B (where you want them).  Either by challenging ( upsetting their balance and getting them to think about their beliefs) confirming or changing what they think.


Do an exercise to find the right word for your goal: Explain, describe, offer solution, define, predict disagree analyze...


Everything that helps that end goes in.  Everything that doesn’t goes out.

They should never ask themselves, “Now why is she telling me that?”


Ask about the background of your audience.  If you underexplain you lose them, if you over explain you bore them. “As you may already know...”


If you’re presenting a solution to a problem, make sure your audience thinks its a problem.




CH 3

Opening strategies:


1) Give a summary of what will follow (and outline of your speech)

2) Explain our motivation for communicating (if the audience doesn’t know).

3) Comment on your relationship to the subject.

4) State your p

urpose or hoped for outcome.

5) Describe what is new, interesting or useful in what you’re about to describe.

6) Describe the background context for what you’re about to say.

7) Give an example of what you’re talking about.

8) Play off a current event, either agreeing or disagreeing with it.

9) Talk about your audience and its feelings, beliefs, situation etc. (if you know them).

10) Talk of a vision which the audience will have a hand in realizing: plan to win, different world etc.


Ending strategies:


#1 - Net: summarize what your message means for your listeners, or for their world, or the world you both share.


#2 - Action/Commitment: Describe what action you hope the audience will take as a result of your speech.  This may be proceeded by a quick reminder of your motivation for speaking.


#3 - Outcome/Outlook: Describe what will happen if they do or don’t.


#4 - Confirmation


#5 - Qualities: Describe the qualities the audience will need to realize the goals or ideals you’ve set out.


#6 - Bonding:  Descr

ibe the way in which you’re tied to eachother or some larger entity.


Last Words:


Content:  the last sentence should stress the highest ideal of the speech, in strong vivid words and a good rhythm.  It should either be a long sentence that builds suspense, or a long sentence plus a short sentence that finishes the thought in a mind catching way.


In impromptu, if they can and it doesn’t insult the audiences intelligence, you may say who the person is or was. 

CH 8

Impersonal v. personal: Strategy choice


CH 9 choice words

            word choice #1 - labeling

Hedge words (Used only when the audience agrees with you).

When we say the tomato “strictly speaking”, is a fruit...

Technically, he didn’t break the rules.

Their opinion is, in a sense, irrelevant.

supposedly, putatively


Push words:

true; truly; truth

In (point of) fact

really actually


(The above put your stamp of approval on your own words)




(practically and virtually dismiss objections as irrelevant)



Disadvantaged you

th (not juvenile delinquent), substance abuser (not drug addict)

Passed away (not dead)

Sanitation engineer (garbage man)


 Unfortunately, these can make your audience suspicious of you.  You need to guage the feelings of your audience.


significantly, appreciably, remarkably meaningful, noteworthy,  considerably.


emotionally loaded evaluators:

Unethical Immoral obscene, insane, brave foolish liberal, bourgeois, sinful, cowardly, and so on.


Again, know your audience and use these only if your audience agrees with you.


Use gender neutral words when possible: humanity, people (not mankind)  respresentative or legislator (not congressman).

To effect this go for plurals:  Not he she his her, but they their them.

Or use he or she  or her and his.


CH 10

Write notes to yourself in your speech:


make them feel great

get their attention



warm, friendly



curious, puzzled


tension, problem, challenge

this is the solution


vary word speed with th

e familiarity of your topic.  Fast if they know, slow if they don’t.

for argument’s sake

Necessary and sufficient causes


A necessary cause is a cause without which the effect could not have taken place. 

If you hadn’t parked your car near a construction sit e it wouldn’t hae been trashed..


This can be reedundant.  The bank went bankrupt because it ran out of money.


Sufficient causes is one that by itself is capable of producing a particular effect. 


Joining a health club can have many causes. 


Bolstering sufficient cause according to John Stuart Mill

            Method of agreement-

looking at the five bestselling hardbacks could tell you what makes a bestseller.  If you could isolate one thing they all have in common.


            Method of difference-

If you want to know why one professor was sucessful and another wasn’t, you ask what they did differently.  This oly works with truly similar situations that share a number of common factors.l


            Method of Proportional correlation

Look for conditions preceding the trend you

are trying to illuminate, that vary directly with your trend.  So if gas prices go up and sales of cars with high gas milage go up at the same time...  The rise in divorce rates and the rise in two family incomes.  To be  a proportional correlation, however, it must not be the result of the same cause (ie they are both caused by another larger factor);All of their fluctuations must either be proportional or explained; and and plausibly linked by an accepted behavior principle (the desire for independence in the divorce case).


causal chains

Rubella lead to closed captioning.  There was an epidemic of rubella in the 60s.  The children of such women often had birth defects (deafness).  There has been an increase in sensitivity to the needs of those “differently abled” in the meantime.  And as they are all grown now, closed captioning was made available for them.


supporting causal claims

You support causal claims by

(1) establishing the factuality of the effects and causes you present;

(2) identifying, someti

mes ony implicitly, an acceptable motive in arguments involving human action (difficult in the 2 family incomes leads to divorce case) ;

(3) in some cases, describing the process that helped you  alidate a causeal candidate (method of difference, agreement, or proportional correlation); and

(4) qualifying the degree of certainty in your argument claims. if very sure you can use the following:

necessitated, caused, resulted in attributable to , produced, created, brought about , was responsible for.

Less sure you can use:

Contributed to

is associated with, is a function of, facilitated, enabled, influenced, increased, decreased, improved.


Arguing effects

This is arguing for something in the future (or not).


Determining and supporting a probable effect


Applying the principles of causality.

Will a books sell?  You must look for a sufficient cause to think so.  Perhaps agreement method, or  perhaps a causal chain, there are lots of women buyers, women shop around this time of year, women like this type of b

ook before this time of year, this book is in that category, it will sell. 


comparable situations.

this seems like a method of agreement.  If educational methods have worked in other countries, then they should work here (all things being equal).


Drug intervention programs will lead to lessening of college drinking, this will increase test scores, this will create competetiveness, we shall dominate the world.



First, to define an evaluative term is important.  John is a good writer.  What does good mean?He communicates ideas clearly and gracefully.


A negative evaluation could proceed by showing what a positive one would be.


You must gain your  readers agreemejnt about your definition of the evaluative term.  If they don’t agree wtih your criteria then...  Johns writing is clear and graceful, but meaningless and unoriginal.


When you’re confident that your readers know what the term means you don’t need to spend much time on it “a reliable car” .  But If its complicated you must s

pend more time.  Especially if:


* When your audience consists of people with expertise and/or values different from yours

*When your definition of the evaluative term is unconventional or controversial.

*When there are different definitions of the term.


Remember, vague and inflated evaluations are hard to argue.


Presenting the definition

make the definition of the evaluation clear and measurable.  Not he has a fulfilling life.   Fullfiling meaning what?


Think of how much your audience needs to be persuaded of the validity of the definition.  Also, anticipate any objections they might have as far as leaving out other definitions is concerned.    If you wish to omit something obvious, tell them why. Evaluation of a banker might not include computer skills, bankers don’t use them much.


Ranking the qualities in your definition

Difference of opinion on the order of importance may make the difference in an evaluation.

You may have to justify the relative value you place on each quality.    Which is the essenti

al quality?

An exercise might be to rank the qualities that you think are important in choosing a university.


arguing the evaluation

This should largely be factual.  Prove the qualities you said are desirable exist.


Your own experience may be used, provided you present yourself as a reliable and objective person.  The  subjective evidence must sound as objective as possible.  Let them know its not just you that feels this way or that you wouldn’t say it if it weren’t true.


Evaluate your evaluation

do this by looking at your arguement as a syllogism.  Well rounded people are __________, traveling makes you _________, therefore traveling makes you well rounded.


The major premise is your definition, the minor is your facts, and the conclusion shows the relationship.


This is like going warrant, support, claim.

            other methods

Identification of Effect:  you can show that child abuse is bad by looking at the effect.  You can say travel is good by looking at the effect.


Appeal to authority.  Find a juddge who i

s recognized in the arena as an expert.  If Chris Everet says she’s one of the finest tennis players then....


Comparison:  You can identify how your audience will feel about something else and build a comparison. Feminists argue that sexism is bad by comparing it to racism.


The varieties of evaluations

The type of evaluation your using will indicate what type of support would be best.


ethical evaluations

conforms, or doesn’t, to a moral code. 

These vary by family, community, nation: bill of rights or the 10 commandments or the father’s word.

These often clash in law.  The value of your right to free speech hits mine to be free of libel.

Get the definition and then use facts: Hitler was evil.  Define and prove.  Make sure the definition is there.

You can also compare (hitler was worse than other dictators)

or identify an effect (6 million juice, the division of Europe)


aesthetic evaluations

While it is difficult to argue someone from their tastes, you can help them appreciate strengths and weaknesses.



ost artistic fields do have standard criteria for evaluation.  short stories coherence, careful selection of detail, avoidance of digression, good style. 

Disagreements are often about whether standards were met, not what the standards are.


You may have to educate your listeners about the standards of the field.  TOo much and you bore them, to little and you lose them.  If they are totally ignorant, you may want to compare with something they are familiar with.  For greek theater, you may want to make a comparison with tv shows.


functional evaluations

This is easier than aesthetic.  But choose your criteria for evaluation carefully still.  Ranks them and make sure the audience agrees  with them.


Positive effects is the best way to get the evaluation across.  Sometimes the warrant must be argued though.  Does rate of acceptance in to graduate school indicate that the undergard program is good?


The purpose of an interpretation is to disclose the meaning of a particular subject - often a mean

ing not immediately obvious to a casual observer or reader.    Often this is mixed with an explanatory causal argument.  So perhaps there is an element of proving a  thing exists that you’re trying to say is good.  “Hamlet’s indecisiveness is a symptom of his unresolved Oedipal complex”.  Does he have one?


It is also often paired with an evaluative arguement.  The wearing of baggy pants by youth is a symptom of an unauthoritarian society.  (implied is and its good/bad)


successful interpretations satisfy 3 criteria. 


1) the interpretive term is clearly defined.  News today is just entertainment:  what is the definition of entertainment vs. news.  You have to decide whether the definition needs explanation or not.


Most music is freudian in its nature.  Think of your audiences dispositions and try to reassure them if your going to trash something they love.  Football is a sexist nightmare. 


2) the interpretive term and subject are shown to be matched or equivalent

Jacks smiles hide mischievous thoughts.

 Really , show the coincidence of these things.  A feasible human behavioral explanation often must be given.  He is as friendly to one person as anotherl.  This lack of discrimination usually hides hatred.


3) evidence is supplied to support the interpretation.

Try not to adopt a dogmatic tone in your speech.  Usually many interpretations can be argued.  Don’t put the audience on the defensive.


ARGUING RECOMMENDATIONS (proposals and policies) CH 9

This is usually asking for a change.  They involve factual, causal and evaluative arguments.


They all start with the current situation and go to a probable future situation (if change is or isn’t implemented)You need to calculate how much emphasis you want to put on these elements.  Do you need to convince them that there is a problem first?  Or are they just dying of a solution?


Audience needs and values

This is more important here than in any other type of argument, because you desire action from them.  They are greedy, what are their interests in this problem

 or outcome?


Your trying to argue that a teacher should be retained.  You must do so to the principal.  Find out what his or her objectives in the decision are.


When your values differ from the assumed reader.

most recommendations involve two sets of values: the readers andyours.  Some times their congruent.  You may have to convince them that your concerns are theirs.  Or you may just think of what they want to hear and conceal your agenda.


Recommendations that emphasize the present

Some have just the problem and not the solution.  The motivation is to get them to find one.

Exact figures are better than huge exaggerations.  22 people were left behind due to bus fullness.  Not “huge amounts of people are unable to get on these overcrowded buses”

Misrepresentations and exaggerations will be noticed and resented.


Evaluating the current situation

you may not have to do this.  Bus overcrowding is obviously not good.  perhaps a litle rhetorical armtwisting subtly applied would auger well.  Especially if the au

dience doesn’t know about the problem, perhaps hasn’t considered the implications.


Remember the warrant, claim and support model.  You need to make this tight.  Your warrant is like the major premise in a syllogism.  It needs to be there.


Recommendations that emphasize the future

these have to get to the future effects of your proposal.  You  must:

1 - show what those are

In talking of the future, consider the level of detail.  Most politicians give little detail. Some audiences may get bored easily.


2 - show a connection between events now and that outcome

you may want to do a causal chain here. If this then this will happen then this and finally this.  Each may need evidence (correlary or human behavior based)


Judging effects in terms of assessed needs and values

If some possible outcomes are negative don’t omit them.  No proposal will have purely positive results.  But establish that the goods outweigh the bads.


Your recommendation must be feasible.  Though you may not need a detailed plan, some in

dication of the feasiblity of getting from here to there is helpful.  Judge your audience on the level of detail.  Often a cost analysis is necessary.


Remember people are conservative.  The problems avoided are drastic, the measures needed too disturbing.  Again judge your audience.


1. statement of problem

2. statement of recommendation

3. advantages of recommendation

4. disadvantages of recommendation

5. costs and implementation program



Remember how important how you come off is.  Some arguments rely alot on your credibility. 

Dont be too crazy or cocky.


Decide whether to be formal or informal.  Excited or calm and reasoned.


Ethos is the impression of the writers character that t he reader gets.   sincerity and trustworthiness, honesty upright and unselfish claims are harkened.


You can use metaphors and similies, but remember that they clarify , they don’t prove.  They are not an acceptable alternative to evidence.

Be careful that slanted language doesn’t undermine your sincer

ity.  The latter is better than the former.


Remember that language has a sound.  Make it pleasant to listen to.



the basic purpose of your introduction is to engage your audience.

Intro by narrative: some story or anecdote that  illuminates the type of thing you’ll be discussing

intro by generalization:  Few professions have such an antagonistic relationship as politics and journalism

intro by quotation:  It must apply in an interesting way

others: startling statistics, a brief historic servey of the topic (which can have the same charm as the narrative introduction) a particularly startling ofr shocking statement (must be relevant to the rest of your argument)  or a frank statement of your purposes.


Dos and don’ts

1 - usually construct the intro last.

2 - if you get one that’s catchy right away use it.  But make sure that the intro fits the argument not vis versa

3 - D

on’t make your intro too long

4 - Make sure it is representative of the rest of the argument.  It shouldn’t look tacked on to get attention and it shouldn’t just introduce the first support.



Three types of conclusions

Findings :  That is like a restate of the claim


Recomendation:  Exactly what is expected of them.


General closing:  It should move us onward (where we go from here)  Or outward (how this relates to other domains)


Your conclusion must never go outside the boundaries of what you can legitimately claim in your argument.  You may suggest that the incident you looked at is not isolated, but leave it at that.



Summaries are different from conclusions.  They tell the person just what they have said.


2 kinds

Abstracts just tell the body again

executive summaries may be longer and perhaps give background info on why the report was written and the scope of the original inquiry.


both abstracts and summaries should be able to stand alone.

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Footnote Index