ERIC Number: ED249562
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Winning Orations: An Historical, Comparative Perspective of the Interstate Oratorical Contest.
Olson, Clark D.
Data from five first-place orations from the earliest Interstate Oratorical contests (1874-1878) and five recent first-place orations (1978-1982) were analyzed to determine their subjects or prominent theme, the patterns of organization that were employed, and the types of evidence the speakers used. Following this, historical conclusions were drawn and the two periods were compared to determine the nature of oratory past and present. The analysis revealed that the subject matter of all the early orations was metaphysical. The topics of the later speeches were distinctly different in that they were much more refined in nature, each specifically explaining a particular problem, its causes and cures. There were also differences in the organizational patterns employed by the speakers. Most of the earliest speeches used a tree pattern of organization, with the subject matter being treated from the point from which it naturally unfolded or developed. The five contemporary speeches all fit into the motivated sequence pattern consisting of five steps: attention, need, satisfaction, visualization, and action. Earlier speeches also used significantly less evidence than the later speeches. The historical significance of all the speeches was most clearly seen in the subjects that were discussed. The earlier speeches focused on the Bible while the later speeches were characterized by a noted absence of references to great figures in literature, mythology, and--in particular--oratory.(HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (70th, Chicago, IL, November 1-4, 1984).