Compassion Speech, Essay Example

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Words: 2275

Essay

The Speech Objectives

The objective of this speech was to promote the concept of compassion as an ideology beyond just religion. The speaker creatively did this by calling the audience to involve with good will and sympathy towards others as a staple part of their daily lives. As a fellow audience member, I did not feel as though this was a simple instruction to be taken lightly for my own personal benefit, but that there was a collective group event happening of which I was a contributing part.  Some specific suggestions the preacher mentioned that I took from this speech as minor instructions to live a more compassionate life were as follows:

  • Sympathizing with others when they are at low points in their life.
  • Truly identifying with others, even if it means making an extra creative effort on my part to imagine myself going through the circumstance of their exact situation.
  • Smiling and saying hello when you pass people by. (This was probably the simplest suggestions and most difficult for me to comprehend). I didn’t realize that I never made a habit of doing this until the preacher mentioned it.
  • Before one truly hate another, they must first hate themselves; and before one can truly love another, they must first love themselves, because we are all truly one in the same.

The Audience and Context for the Speech

The audience was a church congregation. This means most members were not there against their will and information was not being imposed on them to which they already hadn’t predetermined to subscribe. Despite this there was a heightened level of expectation very different from what one might expect in a classroom, or on a street corner. People were dressed professionally in their best attire and arrived on time to hear a sermon, so I assume the pastor of the church was under some pressure not to disappoint. I knew this was not going to be a run of the mill speech or presentation. I personally had never been to this church before this day, but within 5 minutes of being in the cathedral, I felt like a welcomed member of the congregation. Everyone was kind to me.

The Speech Content and Structure

The content of the speech was composed of a combination of both information and instruction. There were no slides or props, but the speech was definitely heartfelt. The speaker had captured more than just the ear of the audience, as the audience appeared to be emotionally engaged and their verbal responses played a part in the structure of the entire presentation.  When the speaker made a statement, he would ask a question to the congregation to add credit to the validity of that statement like, “can I hear an Ahmen?” and the congregation would respond in kind.

Before the Speech

The speech was given in church. This meant that before the preacher came out to speak to the congregation, there was a choir and a brief opening benediction. Once this was done, the speaker was introduced by a member of the church staff.

The Speech Opening

The preacher opened by saying, “God is good,” to which the congregation replied “All the time.” He repeated three times and received the same response. There was an accordion player who played music in the opening of the speaker’s presentation and then gradually stopped playing until there was a moment of complete silence. Neither the speaker, nor the congregation, nor the accordion player made any nose for about 5 minutes. The speaker then broke the silence by saying this phrase “Things are more like they are now than they have ever been.” This was a puzzling statement and it made me wonder what he would say next. I found myself listening intently, and just this fact made me admire him as an orator.

The Speech Body

The body of the speech appeared to be non-linear, and have know predetermined form, until I noticed there were many reoccurring themes like: global conflict and the connection between it and the conflict one might have with their neighbor or co-worker, arrogance, and pretentiousness and its ability to divide people, and jealousy and hate. Hate was a major theme of the speech and at the preacher’s most climactic point when he was projecting his voice the loudest, it was no surprise he was talking about hate and how it can destroy one’s concept of reality.

The Speech Conclusion

The conclusion of the speech was that in order for the world to move forward individuals must realize there is no such thing as an external enemy. The only real enemy is one’s own persona or identity that they have convinced themselves they must play. True compassion for one’s fellow man comes from realizing as a human being you can play all roles composed within humanity.

Delivery Skills and Techniques

The delivery skills of this speaker were stellar and his techniques well practiced. He switched from high to low vocal projections intentionally and strategically. Low when he was talking about complex concepts to which he wanted his audience to listen intently and high when he wanted them impassioned and energized. He positioned himself intentionally as well. I noticed when he was giving instruction he was behind the podium, but when he was speaking about topic that could be considered roe on a personal level, he walked in front of the podium and addressed the crowd directly, often with open arms.

Enthusiasm and Connection to the Audience

The Audience was engaged and responded like clockwork to everything the speaker said. The preacher was animated, and energetic. At times he was rhythmic with his voice and at other ties stern and vocal moral like a political figure giving a state of the Union address, than a religious figure.

Humor

This speaker, if he were not a pastor in a church, could a have a long successful career in standup comedy. I can’t remember any of the jokes specifically that he made, but I do remember laughing hysterically many times throughout the presentation, it was mostly at times when he was being most down to earth in front of the podium instead of behind it.

Visual Aids or not

There were no specific visual aids used for the delivery of the subject at hand, but as the speech was given in a church it would be naïve to overlook the dynamic effect the cathedral had on the preacher’s presentation. I was captivated by both the art and architecture that surrounded me. The preacher’s voice echoed and reverberated off the walls. There were stain glass images, some of Christ, but other of figures I could not easily identify but most were portraits with eyes that appeared to look directly at me, so they definitely impacted how the message was received. I felt like I was being talked to directly, and at times like I was the only one in the room.

Use of Stage Area

The speaker was at the center front of the Cathedral standing at the podium, but every now and then he would leave his positions and walk to the front of the podium to address the crowd directly. When he did this I noticed there was more energy in the room through the crowd responses.

Physical – Gestures and Eye Contact

There were a few occasions when the speaker made direct eye contact with me through his speech. This gave me the impression that he was talking directly to me. Even when he looked away, I never forgot that I was one of the select few he had directly addressed. This made the entire speech feel more personal. Most importantly, when it was all said and done I came to realize he may have been actively doing the same thing with many of the other new members of the congregation, as I was not a familiar face their church.

Vocal Variety

As I had mentioned before, the preachers was both rhythmic and professional. At times it felt almost as though he was singing while at other times it felt like he was delivering valuable urgent breaking news.

Language

The speaker spoke in English. Aside from some biblical passages which were read in the beginning of the presentation, I believe the majority of what he was saying would be understandable by religious and non-religious type alike.

Intangibles

The most significant intangibles worth mentioning was the effect the church and church congregation had on the feel of the speech. Everything felt authentic and genuinely meaningful. At the end there was a call to action to all audience members, and I felt as though I had a vested interest in that calling. I think the church and the crowd I was a part of, had more to do with that feeling than the speaker himself.

Speech on Homelessness

The Speech Objectives

On the surface, the objective of this presentation was to educate the listener about homelessness. In reality, the objective was to sell a brand of prepaid debit cards, which the audience was told a part of the proceeds would go to ending homelessness.

The Audience and Context for the Speech

The audience of this speech was on a street corner, and mostly composed of random people walking nearby.

Speech Content and Structure

The content of the speech was informative with a lot of researched facts and statistics. There was a lot of information presented. The speaker had a very clear beginning, middle and end structure, that he had obviously rehearsed beforehand.

Before the Speech

Before the speech there was a loud cowbell sound. The speaker did this to get the attention of people in the street. As members drew closer, he began to give his presentation.

The Speech Opening

The speaker had a portable projector, music, and slide. The speech started with images flashing while he read off some statistics.

The Speech Body

The body of the speech was mostly information regurgitation and then a conclusion that ended with a pitch to sell the speakers product.

The Speech Conclusion

The conclusion was a marketing ploy to get people to buy a product that the speaker said resulted in donations to a shelter for the homeless. This conclusion disappointed my enough to lose respect for the speaker and disapprove of his misrepresentation of his topic.

Delivery Skills and Techniques

The speaker was a very skilled orator and he had clear mastery of the technology he was using to present information. He was also exceptional at keeping the crowd’s attention, which was demonstrated by the fact that they all had the option to walk away at any moment but chose to stay and listen.

Enthusiasm and Connection to the Audience

The speaker was vocal and quick witted. He spoke fast and was very energetic. It was obvious he was enthusiastic about both the topic and the act of giving his presentation.  The connection he shared with the audience was give and take. Some people left in the middle of his speech and other remained for the entire presentation. The fact that people stayed at all was an accomplishment in the fact that most did not anticipate his presence and were most likely there for other reasons. I assume the people who decide to stay and listen to what he had to say were genuinely interested in his topic or entertained by his delivery method.

Humor

I would not categorize this presentation as humorous, since the topic was very bleak. It was wise of the speaker to not use a comedic tone, because it most likely would have been taken in bad taste.

Visual Aids or not

As I previously mentioned, the speaker had numerous visual aids. There were posters, t-shirts, a projector. He even had a megaphone that he was using to speak to the crowd.

Use of Stage Area

The presentation space was in the middle of a street. It was not a street meant for driving, but one that had been blocked off, possibly for his presentation, but also so city travelers could walk. The speaker used this space to make his presence known, without imposing his will on those who might now be interested in his message. As people gathered around him, they ultimately created the “U” shaped like space that became his stage. He stood stationary in the center, with one and on his megaphone and another on his remote which he used to control his projector. Behind him there was an assistant that was signing people up for e-mail newsletter and other assistance in the crowd that were handing out brochures for their product.

Physical – Gestures and Eye Contact

The speaker’s physical gestures were somewhat erratic. I felt like he might be desperate for the attention of the crowd but it is understandable as it seemed like he had been doing the same routine all day and was well aware he could lose the crowd at any moment.

Vocal Variety

There was only one speed for this speech, loud. I did not notice him quite down, and that is most likely because he had to speak over others who were passing by and talking unaware of what he was doing. There were also still cars driving a few blocks away and they could be heard in the distance. There was no vocal variety to his speech.

Language

The speaker spoke English, but at times it was fast enough and jumbled enough through the megaphone to be interpreted as another language entirely.

Intangibles

The main intangible that is worth mentioning is the fact that this was a marketing scheme. I was actually impressed with the speakers presentation methods and ability to draw and retain the attention of the crowd. I did not like the speech because, as informative as it was, the fact that I knew the speaker wanted to sell me something entirely unrelated to his topic made me lose faith in his credibility. Once he started to pitch me, I became completely uninterested in anything he had to say.

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