ERIC Number: EJ1079138
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Reference Count: 8
Waking up Audiences: Lessons in Rhetorical Devices
Lawrence, Samuel G.
Communication Teacher, v29 n4 p212-218 2015
A fundamental challenge that all public speakers face is getting and keeping the attention of audiences. Because audiences absorb large amounts of talk with little chance of taking the floor, the potential for inattentiveness and boredom is significant. In conversational interchanges, the brief duration of speaking turns and regular transfers of the floor intensify motivations for listening. If partners are to recognize when to start speaking and what would be relevant to say, they need to continually monitor the speaking turns of others. With the suspension of turn taking in public speaking, audiences' motivations for listening are severely weakened unless speakers implement strategies for reviving them. This article describes a two-and-a-half week unit on rhetorical devices. Students are introduced to the devices through an exemplar-centered approach. Students study instances of each device through audio recordings and transcripts in preparation for in-class discussions and exercises. The culminating assignment, one month after the lesson unit, involves a sales presentation in which students are expected to incorporate the rhetorical devices.
Descriptors: Public Speaking, Audience Awareness, Audience Analysis, Class Activities, Communication Skills, Communication Strategies, Rhetorical Invention, Teaching Methods, Educational Practices
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Tests/Questionnaires; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A