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Public SpeakingDetailsAssignment 8.1: CORE Competency

This assignment supports the following lesson objective:

  • 1.5 Use effective speaking style and language when delivering a speech

Assignment Overview
This practice exercise explores four styles that effective speakers use
when delivering speeches. Completing this exercise will help you prepare
to use elements of the four styles when delivering speeches to maximize
the impact of your message.


  • A one- to two-page document (12-point font, 300 to 600 words) written in a word processor, such as MS Word

Assignment Details
In this activity, you will read transcripts of sections from three
different speeches. Then you’ll select the speech excerpt that is the
most interesting to you and answer some questions related to the
speaker’s style and language choices.

Perform the following tasks:

Step 1: Review the information presented in the lesson that explores styles used to deliver presentations.
In particular, focus on the styles identified as the CORE styles:Clear Style
Oral Style
Rhetorical Style
Eloquent StyleStep 2: Read the following excerpts from three different speeches.
Analyze each speaker’s style and language strategies. Identify which CORE style(s) each speaker uses.Oprah Winfrey Receives the first Bob Hope Humanitarian AwardSeptember 22, 2002 (from (Links to an external site.))”Thank
you everybody. Thank you Tom, and Bob and Dolores, who are home
watching I hope, thank you so much, and to everyone who voted for me.

There really is nothing more important to me than striving to be a good
human being. So, to be here tonight and be acknowledged as the first to
receive this honor is beyond expression in words for me. ‘I am a human
being, nothing human is alien to me.’ Terence said that in 154 B.C., and
when I first read it many years ago, I had no idea of the depth of that

I grew up in Nashville with a father who owned a barbershop, Winfrey’s
Barber Shop, he still does, I can’t get him to retire. And every
holiday, every holiday, all of the transients and the guys who I thought
were just losers who hung out at the shop, and were always bumming
haircuts from my father and borrowing money from my dad, all those guys
always ended up at our dinner table. They were a cast of real
characters—it was Fox and Shorty and Bootsy and Slim. And I would say,
‘Bootsy, could you pass the peas please?’ And I would often say to my
father afterwards, ‘Dad, why can’t we just have regular people at our
Christmas dinner?’—because I was looking for the Currier & Ives
version. And my father said to me, ‘They are regular people. They’re
just like you. They want the same thing you want.’ And I would say,
‘What?’ And he’d say, ‘To be fed.’ And at the time, I just thought he
was talking about dinner. But I have since learned how profound he
really was, because we all are just regular people seeking the same
thing. The guy on the street, the woman in the classroom, the Israeli,
the Afghani, the Zuni, the Apache, the Irish, the Protestant, the
Catholic, the gay, the straight, you, me—we all just want to know that
we matter. We want validation. We want the same things. We want safety,
and we want to live a long life. We want to find somebody to love.
Stedman, thank you. We want to find somebody to laugh with and have the
power and the place to cry with when necessary.

The greatest pain in life is to be invisible. What I’ve learned is that
we all just want to be heard. And I thank all the people who continue to
let me hear your stories, and by sharing your stories, you let other
people see themselves and for a moment, glimpse the power to change and
the power to triumph.

Maya Angelou said, ‘When you learn, teach. When you get, give.’ I want
you to know that this award to me means that I will continue to strive
to give back to the world what it has given to me, so that I might even
be more worthy of tonight’s honor.

Thank you.”

President Obama’s Speech to a Joint Session Of Congress, February 24, 2009 (from (Links to an external site.))
“Now, I understand that when the last administration asked this Congress
to provide assistance for struggling banks, Democrats and Republicans
alike were infuriated by the mismanagement and the results that
followed. So were the American taxpayers. So was I. So I know how
unpopular it is to be seen as helping banks right now, especially when
everyone is suffering in part from their bad decisions. I promise you—I
get it.

But I also know that in a time of crisis, we cannot afford to govern out
of anger, or yield to the politics of the moment. (Applause.) My
job—our job—is to solve the problem. Our job is to govern with a sense
of responsibility. I will not send—I will not spend a single penny for
the purpose of rewarding a single Wall Street executive, but I will do
whatever it takes to help the small business that can’t pay its workers,
or the family that has saved and still can’t get a mortgage.

That’s what this is about. It’s not about helping banks, it’s about
helping people. (Applause.) It’s not about helping banks, it’s about
helping people. Because when credit is available again, that young
family can finally buy a new home. And then some company will hire
workers to build it. And then those workers will have money to spend.
And if they can get a loan, too, maybe they’ll finally buy that car, or
open their own business. Investors will return to the market, and
American families will see their retirement secured once more. Slowly,
but surely, confidence will return, and our economy will recover.

So I ask this Congress to join me in doing whatever proves necessary.
Because we cannot consign our nation to an open-ended recession. And to
ensure that a crisis of this magnitude never happens again, I ask
Congress to move quickly on legislation that will finally reform our
outdated regulatory system. (Applause.) It is time—it is time to put in
place tough, new common-sense rules of the road so that our financial
market rewards drive and innovation, and punishes short-cuts and abuse.

The recovery plan and the financial stability plan are the immediate
steps we’re taking to revive our economy in the short term. But the only
way to fully restore America’s economic strength is to make the
long-term investments that will lead to new jobs, new industries, and a
renewed ability to compete with the rest of the world. The only way this
century will be another American century is if we confront at last the
price of our dependence on oil and the high cost of health care; the
schools that aren’t preparing our children and the mountain of debt they
stand to inherit. That is our responsibility.”

Response to President Obama’s Speech to Congress from Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (from (Links to an external site.))

“Today in Washington, some are promising that government will rescue us from the economic storms raging all around us.

Those of us who lived through Hurricane Katrina—we have our doubts.

Let me tell you a story.

During Katrina, I visited Sheriff Harry Lee, a Democrat and a good
friend of mine. When I walked into his makeshift office, I’d never seen
him so angry. He was yelling into the phone: ‘Well, I’m the Sheriff and
if you don’t like it you can come and arrest me!’ I asked him: ‘Sheriff,
what’s got you so mad?’ He told me that he had put out a call for
volunteers to come with their boats to rescue people who were trapped on
their rooftops by the floodwaters. The boats were all lined up ready to
go, when some bureaucrat showed up and told them they couldn’t go out
on the water unless they had proof of insurance and registration. I told
him, ‘Sheriff, that’s ridiculous.’ And before I knew it, he was yelling
into the phone: ‘Congressman Jindal is here, and he says you can come
and arrest him too!’ Harry just told the boaters to ignore the
bureaucrats and go start rescuing people.

There is a lesson in this experience: The strength of America is not
found in our government. It is found in the compassionate hearts and the
enterprising spirit of our citizens. We are grateful for the support we
have received from across the nation for the ongoing recovery efforts.
This spirit got Louisiana through the hurricanes and this spirit will
get our nation through the storms we face today.

To solve our current problems, Washington must lead. But the way to lead
is not to raise taxes and not to just put more money and power in hands
of Washington politicians. The way to lead is by empowering you, the
American people. Because we believe that Americans can do anything.”
Step 3: Copy and paste the following questions into a word processing document:Which speech excerpt did you select? Who was the speaker, and what was that speaker’s main topic?
What CORE style(s) does the speaker use in his or her speech? Cite the
choice of word phrases and other clues from his or her speech to justify
your answer.
Based on reading the transcript of the speech, write what you believe to be the speech’s specific purpose.
What strategies did the speaker use to achieve the specific purpose of the speech?
Based on the portion of the speech transcript that you read, do you
believe the speaker was successful in achieving the specific purpose of
the speech?
How does style and word choice in this speech impact the effectiveness of the message?Step 4: Enter answers to the questions based on the speech excerpt you found most appealing.

Step 5: Save and submit your document.
When you have completed the assignment, save a copy for yourself in an
easily accessible place and submit a copy to your instructor using the
drop box


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