Advanced Public Speaking
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Advanced Public Speaking

A Leader's Guide

Michael J. Hostetler, Mary L. Kahl

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eBook - ePub

Advanced Public Speaking

A Leader's Guide

Michael J. Hostetler, Mary L. Kahl

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About This Book

Advanced Public Speaking: A Leader's Guide is a comprehensive textbook designed to serve as a speech-making reference for upper-level undergraduate students. Now in its second edition, this volume offers brand new classroom-tested chapter assignments, updated examples, and new content on speaking to international and remote audiences. An instructor's manual and test bank are available for download on the book's companion website, offering everything from guidance in constructing a syllabus, to lecture suggestions, to classroom activities. This student-engagement focused and flexible text offers students the opportunity to increase their speaking abilities across a variety of more specific and complex contexts.

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Part I
Speaking Situations

Chapter 1
The Speech of Introduction


Interview and introduce to the class one of your professors or an official of your college or university.


It is not unusual in leadership situations for a public speaker to be introduced to the audience by another speaker. This common speaking situation may be lightly regarded as a routine presentation, but a little reflection on the speech of introduction reveals that there is more to it than first appears. The starting point for preparing a speech of introduction is to consider how the introducer situates him or herself in the overall rhetorical transaction. In other words, where does the introducer stand in relationship to the participants in the event? Do you see yourself as speaking on behalf of the audience in welcoming the speaker? If so, some of your remarks will be directed to the speaker. Or do you see yourself speaking on behalf of the event’s sponsor in welcoming both the speaker and the audience? In these cases, it may be necessary to introduce the topic as well as the speaker. Perhaps the most common approach is to see the introducer as speaking on behalf of the speaker to the audience. Regardless of how you see your role in the overall event, it is important to keep in mind that when you give a speech of introduction, it is not about you, it’s about others. Your job is to draw attention to the speaker, the topic, or the audience in such a way that the speaking event is satisfying to the greatest possible extent to all those involved. The speech of introduction is a service to others.
One important purpose of the speech of introduction focuses on the main speaker by building up his or her ethos or credibility. There are several ways to go about this. The most common method, citing the speaker’s accomplishments or awards, is a starting point. Most audiences, however, do not appreciate the recitation of a laundry list of academic degrees, publication titles, or awards. Choose to magnify two or three accomplishments of the speaker that are clearly relevant to the topic and audience at hand. For example, when introducing an environmental activist to an audience of like-minded activists, it would be appropriate to mention the speaker’s past involvement in the movement and current projects. When introducing the same speaker at an academic conference, it might be better to emphasize his or her academic degrees and publications.
Another way to enhance a speaker’s credibility is to tell an anecdote that puts the speaker in a favorable light. Make sure the speaker is comfortable with you telling the anecdote and is not planning to use the same story in the speech. Sometimes a speaker’s standing in the eyes of an audience might be enhanced by seeing the speaker in an unexpected light. For example, if the speaker is a research scientist or academic philosopher, a story about their interpersonal qualities or avocation might be telling and effective. Yet another way to build up a speaker’s credibility is to share some of your own. In situations where you are introducing a protégé or someone who is subordinate to you in an organizational hierarchy, your own endorsement and positive comments will carry weight with the audience.
A second purpose of the speech of introduction focuses on the audience by preparing or conditioning it for what the speaker has to say. Columbia University President Lee Bollinger’s introduction of Iranian President Ahmadinejad, cited below, is a highly unusual example of preparing an audience by attacking the credibility of the speaker. A more typical example of audience preparation was evident in Archie Epps’ introduction of Malcolm X to an audience at Harvard University in 1964.1 Epps began by using a medical metaphor to describe how many in the audience probably viewed radicalism within the Civil Rights Movement. He then challenged those in the audience who “have come for the reason one would attend a circus—to watch the dancing bear.” The purpose of Epps’ pointed audience analysis was to challenge it to sober reflection, to see social movements “and all social history in light of discovering the social reality which is contained in them.” In other words, he wanted the audience to take Malcolm X seriously. That said, he introduced X: “The speaker this evening is Mr. Malcolm X, who lives in New York State and is at this time Minister of Moslem Mosque, Incorporated.”
Here are a few practical points regarding the speech of introduction:
  • There is nothing wrong with going over your introduction with the main speaker ahead of time. You don’t want to be surprised that something in your introduction is factually erroneous (the speaker went to USC, not UCLA), and the speaker will probably not be comfortable correcting your gaff in front of the audience. Best to deal with these sorts of things ahead of time.
  • Keep it short. The audience is there to hear the speaker, not you. You need a really strong reason to speak longer than 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Be certain of the pronunciation of the name of the person you introduce. In our multi-cultural world, the pronunciation of names can be a tricky business. Ask for the correct pronunciation and practice until you get it right. The surest way to look like a fool is to muff the pronunciation.
  • Unless you have specifically set out to introduce the topic to the audience, steer clear of it. Anything you say about the topic should be stated in such a way as to defer to the speaker.
  • Conclude the introduction by repeating the speaker’s name and perhaps the title of the speech. “Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Candace Jones on the topic, ‘The Roots of American Democracy.’”
  • Reinforce words with nonverbal behavior. When the speaker comes to the podium, will you shake hands? Hug? A little advanced planning can help avoid an awkward moment.
Finally, keep in mind that some speaking situations may call for extra care by an introducer. In a tense or antagonistic forum, the introducer may need to defuse tension, perhaps by the use of humor. In such situations, it may fall to the introducer to make a statement about civility, emphasizing the right to dissent and the duty to listen. By speaking first at an event, the introducer has the opportunity to exercise leadership and set a tone for the whole event.

Classical Concept: Praise and Blame

In classical times, juries relied less on physical evidence and testimony than on the probability that a person did or did not commit some offense. If a person’s good character could be established, then it was unlikely he committed the crime and vice versa. As a result, the process of “praise and blame” became an important part of forensic rhetoric. Aristotle lists nine forms of virtue for which a person could be praised: justice, courage, temperance, magnificence, magnanimity, liberality, gentleness, prudence, and wisdom. Some virtues, like courage, seem to transcend culture, but many others vary with time and culture. Aristotle reminds us that it is important to recognize what our audience believes to be virtuous. “If the audience esteems a given quality, we must say that our hero has that quality, no matter whether we are addressing Scythians or Spartans our philosophers.” Cicero reminds us that natural advantages are not praiseworthy. In other words, being born into a wealthy family or with natural good looks are not qualities for which someone is praised. Once a virtue is identified, it needs to be magnified or built up. For example, Aristotle writes, we could “point out that a man is the only one, or the first, or almost the only one who has done something, or that he has done it better than anyone else …” These and other classical ideas of praise and blame are useful today for speeches of introduction, nominating speeches, award speeches, eulogies, sentencing hearings, and other occasions when a person’s character or actions are discussed.
Sources: Aristotle Rhetoric I, 9. Cicero De Oratore II, 341–350.

Introductory Remarks at Sipa—World Leaders Forum with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran Lee C. Bollinger, President, Columbia University
SEPTEMBER 24, 2007
Seldom has a speech of introduction drawn more attention and controversy than that delivered by Lee C. Bollinger when Iranian President Ahmadinejad spoke at Columbia University.
I would like to begin by thanking Dean John Coatsworth and Professor Richard Bulliet for their work in organizing this event and for their commitment to the role of the School of International and Public Affairs and its role in training future leaders in world affairs. If today proves anything it will be that there is an enormous amount of work ahead for all of us. This is just one of many events on Iran that will run throughout this academic year, all to help us better understand this critical and complex nation in today’s geopolitics.
Before speaking directly to the current President of Iran, I have a few critically important points to emphasize. First, since 2003, the World Leaders Forum has advanced Columbia’s longstanding tradition of serving as a major forum for robust debate, especially on global issues. It should never be thought that merely to listen to ideas we deplore in any way implies our endorsement of those ideas, or the weakness of our resolve to resist those ideas or our naiveté about the very real dangers inherent in such ideas. It is a critical premise of freedom of speech that we do not honor the dishonorable when we open the public forum to their voices. To hold otherwise would make vigorous debate impossible. Second, to those who believe that this event never should have happened, that it is inappropriate for the University to conduct such an event, I want to say that I understand your perspective and respect it as reasonable. The scope of free speech and academic freedom should itself always be open to further debate. As one of the more famous quotations about free speech goes, it is “an experiment, as all life is an experiment.” I want to say, however, as forcefully as I can, that this is the right thing to do and, indeed, it is required by existing norms of free speech, the American university, and Columbia itself. Third, to those among us who experience hurt and pain as a result of this day, I say on behalf of all of us we are sorry and wish to do what we can to alleviate it. Fourth, to be clear on another matter—this event has nothing whatsoever to do with any “rights” of the speaker but only with our rights to listen and speak. We do it for ourselves. We do it in the great tradition of openness that has defined this nation for many decades now. We need to understand the world we live in, neither neglecting its glories nor shrinking from its threats and dangers. It is consistent with the idea that one should know thine enemies, to have the intellectual and emotional courage to confront the mind of evil and to prepare ourselves to act with the right temperament. In the moment, the arguments for free speech will never seem to match the power of the arguments against, but what we must remember is that this is precisely because free speech asks us to exercise extraordinary self-restraint against the very natural but often counter-productive impulses that lead us to retreat from engagement with ideas we dislike and fear. In this lies the genius of the American idea of free speech. Lastly, in universities, we have a deep and almost single-minded commitment to pursue the truth. We do not have access to the levers of power. We cannot make war or peace. We can only make minds. And to do this we must have the most full freedom of inquiry. Let me now turn to Mr. Ahmadinejad.
Over the last two weeks, your government has released Dr. Haleh Esfandiari and Parnaz Axima; and just two days ago Kian Tajbakhsh, a graduate of Columbia with a PhD in urban planning. While our community is relieved to learn of his release on bail, Dr. Tajbakhsh remains in Teheran, under house arrest, and he still does not know whether he will be charged with a crime or allowed to leave the country. Let me say this for the record, I call on the President today to ensure that Kian Tajbaksh will be free to travel out of Iran as he wishes. Let me also report today that we are extending an offer to Dr. Tajbaksh to join our faculty as a visiting professor in urban planning here at his Alma Mater, in our Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. And we hope he will be able to join us next semester. The arrest and imprisonment of these Iranian Americans for no good reason is not only unjustified, it runs completely counter to the very values that allow today’s speaker to even appear on this campus. But at least they are alive. According to Amnesty International, 210 people have been executed in Iran so far this year—21 of them on the morning of September 5th alone. This annual total includes at least two children—further proof, as Human Rights Watch puts it, that Iran leads the world in executing minors. There is more. Iran hanged up to 30 people this past July and August during a widely reported suppression of efforts to establish a more open, democratic society in Iran. Many of these executions were carried out in public view, a violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a party. These executions and others have coincided with a wider crackdown on student activists and academics accused of trying to foment a so-called “soft revolution.” This has included jailing and forced retirements of scholars. As Dr. Esfandiari said in a broadcast interview since her release, she was held in solitary confinement for 105 days because the government “believes that the United States … is planning a Velvet Revolution” in Iran. In this very room last year we learned something about Velvet Revolutions from Vaclav Havel. And we will likely hear the same from our World Leaders Forum speaker this evening—President Michelle Bachelet Jeria of Chile. Both of their extraordinary stories remind us that there are not enough prisons to prevent an entire society that wants its freedom from achieving it. We at this university have not been shy to protest and challenge the failures of our own government to live by these values; and we won’t be shy in criticizing yours. Let’s, then, be clear at the beginning, Mr. President you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator. And so I ask you: Why have women, members of the Baha’i faith, homosexuals and so many of our academic colleagues become targets of persecution in your country? Why in a letter last week to the Secretary General of the UN did Akbar Gangi, Iran’s leading political dissident, and over 300 public intellectuals, writers and Nobel Laureates express such grave concern that your inflamed dispute with the West is distracting the world’s attention from the intolerable conditions your regime has created within Iran? In particular, the use of the Press Law to ban writers for criticizing the ruling system. Why are you so afraid of Iranian citizens expressing their opinions for change? In our country, you are interviewed by our press and asked that you speak here today. And while my colleague at the Law School Michael Dorf spoke to Radio Free Europe [sic, Voice of America] viewers in Iran a short while ago on the tenets of freedom of speech in this country, I propose going further than that. Let me lead a delegation of students and faculty from Columbia to address your university about free speech, with the same freedom we afford you today? Will you do that?
In a December 2005 state television broadcast, you described the Holocaust as a fabricated “legend.” One year later, you held a two-day conference of Holocaust deniers. For the illiterate and ignorant, this is dangerous propaganda. When you c...

Table of contents

Citation styles for Advanced Public Speaking
APA 6 Citation
Hostetler, M., & Kahl, M. (2017). Advanced Public Speaking (2nd ed.). Taylor and Francis. Retrieved from (Original work published 2017)
Chicago Citation
Hostetler, Michael, and Mary Kahl. (2017) 2017. Advanced Public Speaking. 2nd ed. Taylor and Francis.
Harvard Citation
Hostetler, M. and Kahl, M. (2017) Advanced Public Speaking. 2nd edn. Taylor and Francis. Available at: (Accessed: 14 October 2022).
MLA 7 Citation
Hostetler, Michael, and Mary Kahl. Advanced Public Speaking. 2nd ed. Taylor and Francis, 2017. Web. 14 Oct. 2022.