Analogies and Speech Critique: Class Review Thursday 9/11

After completing our first Quiz (grades are already on eLC) we discussed three things:

Wrap up Monologue & Impromptu Speeches. Why did we start class with the hardest assignments? 1. In order to share excellent thematic models and show that without preparation our instinct is to go for the obvious. In place of strong themes our impromptus contained four types of central statements: shoulds (policy), can/might/coulds (non-assertions), polemics (rants), and trueisms (statements of the obvious). 2. Because these two assignments produce the best EMOTIONAL delivery, so I want them to set the bar moving forward as we start writing and practicing more strategic delivery.

Moving on the the self introduction speech with these ideas in mind, we also discussed the Personality Quiz that many students took in preparation for class and how it might yield some clues for potentially good themes for your speech. These “clues” include: neologisms (made up words), paradoxes, transitions, unusual words, and non-cliche catchphrases.


Analogies. Analogies are the comparison of an Unknown Vehicle (speech topic) to a Known Vehicle (usually what we call the “metaphor” in the strict sense) in order to transfer a tenor or theme from the Known to Unknown. We illustrated a “failed” analogy using a scene from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and a 3-Column Chart (You can learn more about analogies in the reading “SUPPORTS & Evidence” on eLC and find a full version of this reading ALONG WITH the class activity at my page.) (Also thanks to Ruthie in the 3:30 class for an awesome analogy to little kids’ shoelaces). These are two images mapping the same discussion of the Fresh Prince Analogy:


Self Introduction Speech Critique. We concluded with a critique of Jack Chapman’s introductory speech. Both the outline and a link to the video on my YoutTube channel are in your eLC “Self Intro” folder.

For Tuesday (and Thursday and NEXT Tuesday) remember to bring hard copies of your speech of self introduction. Each day bring the best possible version and be sure you are revising from one class meeting to the next.

Go forth! Think! Write! And have a good weekend.



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I am a rhetorical scholar, public speaker, and teacher at the State University of New York at Geneseo. I study speech and contemporary U.S. political culture and teach courses in public speaking, interpersonal and visual communication, speech and media, and rhetorical theory and criticism. I have been featured on RabbitBox Storytelling and TEDx.

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