Audience-Centeredness Using Political Speeches

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In examining audience-centeredness of speech delivery by analyzing political speeches, I viewed three speeches to discern how each was tailored to the audience. In the first, Gov. Ann Richards speaks at the 1988 Democratic Convention in Atlanta, GA. Her speech was about unity in the Democrat Party, and delivered to the Democratic National Convention. Richards’ speech was to develop support for U.S. presidential candidate Michael Dukakis. In the second speech, former U.S. Senator for Kansas, Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker, presents a lecture titled “Women’s Leadership: Challenges Ahead” on March 6, 2007, at Kansas University. Baker’s speech was about what women can do to meet the challenges of leadership and delivered to a group of educators at Kansas University. The audience seems to be predominately women, and involved in politics, or related educational fields. Baker’s speech was to inform and inspire them. The final speech was, “Women’s Rights are Human Rights” delivered at the 1995 United Nation’s 4th World Conference on Women by First Lady Hillary Clinton. Her speech was about the rights and equality of women and that by bettering women’s lives it will bolster children and families too. Clinton’s speech to the UN World Conference on Women seems to be a perfectly tailored audience for her message, and that audience can heed her call to action if her speech inspires them. My reaction to Ann Richards, “Democratic Keynote Address at the 1988 Democratic National Convention” on July 19, 1988 was negative; Richards’ delivery seemed very arrogant and critical. She began her speech with insults to her political opponent (a sitting vice-president), based on accent. Richards’ verbal delivery has a very heavy southern drawl, which was somewhat difficult to listen to, but perhaps overemphasized to play to the Atlanta audience. Her non-verbal delivery was very

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