Professional Speech Critique
Students will select a famous speech to critique this semester. The links to view the speeches are listed below. If the link is broken please contact the instructor as soon as possible.
The assignment is to watch the full speech, then to read the speech transcript. After seeing and reading the speech students are to write a critique of the delivery, content and figurative language. This is NOT to be a format for the student to talk about their political beliefs – it is purely a critique of the content and delivery. In other words do not tell me you like or dislike the person – do not tell me that the beliefs expressed are not in line with your beliefs. That is not the purpose of this assignment.
What to include:
1. Delivery style should include the following:
a. Verbal –
[volume, rate, fillers, pauses]
b. Nonverbal –
[body movement, gestures, eye contact, facial expressions]
(Note: keep in mind most presidential speeches are limited to a podium with no movement, basically they have NO choice in that matter but you can address how their placement or lack of movement affected the delivery)
2. Content should include the following:
Word choices – why you think this speaker selected particular words or phrases, what images were being created? Was the wording effective or not? Pick out a particular favor section and explain why that section stood out to you.
Literary Devices used:
a. Anaphora – Did the speaker use any? Were they effective? Why or why not?
b. Alliterations – Did the speaker use any? Were they effective? Why or why not?
3. Metaphors & Simile
a. What metaphors were used? Were they effective? Why or why not?
b. Personalize: do a metaphoric analysis (think about the images created in the mind of the listener (YOU), talk about those possible images and what they represent – then explain why you think this particular metaphor was used. (e.g. if the metaphor of a tiger is used what images are created in your mind? do we see something strong, ferocious, wild – do those images work with what the speaker was trying to convey? remember this is based on what YOU see so make it personal)
c. ALL of these speeches utilize metaphors – do not say you couldn’t find any because they are there.
a. Cover page with your name, class and a title for your paper
b. 4 full pages of text – typed paper (approximately 1000 words)
The ONLY acceptable fonts are:
1. Courier New 12 pt. font
2. Times New Roman 12 pt. font
3. Arial 12 pt. font
c. Do not play with margins or font size.
d. Papers that are less than 4 pages of full text will NOT receive an A!
e. Introduction (Gain and Maintain, Thesis, Preview), that tells the reader the name of the famous speaker, the purpose and/or title of the speech and a preview of the contents in the body. (Hint: Delivery, Content, Metaphors) 1 paragraph
3 – 4 paragraphs on Delivery
3 – 4 paragraphs on Content (quotes are good here)
2 3 paragraphs on Metaphors (quotes are good here – remember make this personal)
g. Conclusion (Recap and Gain and Maintain) 1 paragraph
UN Address 2014 Watson Speech