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Speech introductions in the anthology Famous speeches : How to gain attention and win favour of the audience


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Pletikos, Elenmari and Vlašić Duić, Jelena. (2007). Speech introductions in the anthology Famous speeches : How to gain attention and win favour of the audience. In: Znanstveni skup s međunarodnim sudjelovanjem Istraživanja govora (4 ; 2001), 06.-08.12.2001., Zagreb, Hrvatska.

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In this study we analyse how famous speakers in 127 speeches published in the text collection Famous speeches (Glasoviti govori, 1999) begin they talks, which strategies they use in the introduction to gain attention, to win the favour of the audience and to arouse the interest for the topic. The aim of this study is to find out how often specific elements of speech beginning are used, whether there is any specific element concerning the speech type (political speech, speech in parliament, speech in court, military speech before or after battle, preaching and speeches on special occasions and at ceremonies) and if there is any immanent rule about the order in which single elements of the introduction should appear. Text analysis shows that the only formal element of speech beginning (appearing in 62 speeches, which is 49% of the examined corpus) is addressing the audience. Different ways of gaining attention and strengthening the relation between the speaker and the audience (winning favour) are: laudation of the audience (32 speeches), expressing modesty of the speaker’s person (27) and establishing credibility of the speaker (24). Speeches in court and parliament also begin with belittling of the speaker’s opponents in the audience (7). The most often used introduction to the topic is telling a story (using a real life incident, a story with a point etc. in 29 speeches). Less often introductions are: using a quotation (10), asking a rhetorical question (11), making a statement (which can be the central idea of the speech, 11) or referring to the occasion (7). From the analysed speeches we can not form the conclusion about the strong order-rule in which single introduction elements appear. There is interplay between different purposes of introduction and various strategies for beginning. Speakers often use more than one way to win the favour and to make the relationship with the audience stronger (e. g. modesty, credibility and audience laudation) and in the same beginning sentence they arouse the interest for the topic. If we exclude addressing the audience as an element of building the relationship between the speaker and the audience, in about half of the corpus (52 speeches) speakers begin with the topic, returning later to the strategies of winning favour or completely leaving out this part.

Item Type: Published conference work (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: drawing attention, speaker credibility expression, rhetorical skills
Subjects: Phonetics
Departments: Department of Phonetics
Additional Information: Razgovori o retorici : zbornik radova s IV. znanstvenog skupa s međunarodnim sudjelovanjem / uredili Ivan Ivas i Ivo Škarić. Zagreb : Hrvatsko filološko društvo : Filozofski fakultet, Odsjek za fonetiku, 2007. 103-128 (ISBN: 978-953-7067-80-9).
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2013 10:23
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2013 10:23

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