Not a Fitting Response

In the “Rhetorical Opportunities” article by Hauser, he discusses the importance of understanding your exigences.  Whether they are psychological or physical, if a speaker does not pay attention to contstraints, the audience will undoubtedly be able to tell.  Hauser give the example of Senator Edward Kennedy’s campaign for president in 1980 and his tendency to shout when he became excited about an issue.  If Kennedy were in a large auditorium, this may be okay, however, when addressing a small audience Kennedy must recognize the size of the room and other physical constraints.

Below is a youtube video of an example of a speech where another politician ignored the physical and psychological exigences in the rhetorical situation  (Fast forward to 1 min, 50 seconds for the best example):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMgyi57s-A4

Ali Sehringer

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4 comments so far

  1. dupublicaddress on

    Goodness, he also does a fantastic job of pacing about the room and then looking down or back at his notes while he’s moving back to the podium. While he should not be moving around so much as it’s disconcerting for the audience, he should have memorized more of his speech so if he was going to move about he wouldn’t have to rush back to his notes constantly. I would imagine it’s hard for the audience to focus on the message of the speech when all they see is him pacing back and forth, poking fingers into the air, and shouting at them. Giana Gregga

  2. sritch15 on

    Wow, this man clearly needs some training in the public address area. I agree with Giana that he definitely needed to rehearse his speech some more, especially with all of the pacing, he should have had more of his speech memorized. At 1:50, he messes up what he calls one of his “favorite quotes in the history of the spoken word.” I think this really hurts his credibility. He seems to be extremely angry and it’s like he is yelling at the audience. I don’t think this is the most effective way to present a campaign speech. I know I wouldn’t vote for him after listening to this speech.

    • sritch15 on

      oops, sorry again!

      -Sarah Ritchey

  3. antonio16brown on

    Interesting video! Exigency is always important as you can see. Here are a few imporant points on Exigency.
    Exigency can be something as basic as someone being late for a meeting or as complex as a dispute between election results. Let’s say you are attending a group meeting to complete a presentation for class the following day. One of the group members fails to appear and the group is unprepared. Communication and persuasion now becomes a necessity. The group member must be contacted to resolve the situation. Communication is urgent for the group to succeed. The exigency is not only that the member failed to attend the meeting but also any circumstances which gave rise to the member’s absence. Perhaps the member had car trouble or thought the meeting was at another time or place. Regardless, a need for communication and attempted resolution has been invoked. One could argue that part of the exigence is that the group needed to meet because something was assigned in the first place.


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