Speech Revision Analysis: President Obama’s Oval Office Address
As many of you know, I’m wrapping up a summer-long semester on Strategic Approaches to Presentational Speaking, one of the core classes in my graduate curriculum for the M.A. in Strategic Communication I’m pursuing at the University of West Florida. It has - by far! - been one of the most challenging classes I have ever taken. That said, I have enjoyed it immensely, as it has forced me to think of communications far more critically and through an extremely strategically focused lens.
A couple of weeks ago I finished one of the key assignments for the course, a speech revision analysis on a rhetorical text of my choosing. I selected President Obama’s remarks to the nation on June 15, 2010, 8 weeks after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.
For purposes of this assignment, I assessed President Obama’s speech based on Lloyd Bitzer’s rhetorical situation (1992) and on the characteristics of cooperative argumentation posed by Josina Makau and Debian Marty (2001), as well as other concepts fundamental to strategic approaches to presentational speaking. I then further analyzed the text for its strengths and weaknesses, as they pertain to strategic rhetoric, and ultimately revised it to better achieve its desired strategic outcomes.
You can view a copy of the full revision/analysis here.
How would you have revised the text to meet its desired strategic ends?