One of the semi-regular features of Communication Currents is "Communicators Speak," which offers commentary from those in the communication discipline on topics timely and relevant to our audience. As the August issue is the traditional "back to school" issue, we’re calling attention to the return to the classroom for the fall semester.
As you know, the fall semester of 2012 brings with it one of the most hotly contested Presidential campaigns in recent memory—that between incumbent President Barack Obama and his challenger, former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney. Given the attention that will be paid to the Presidential and other political campaigns this fall, we’re spotlighting the activities of those in the communication discipline around the various campaigns.
So, we asked readers how they plan to involve their students in the Presidential or other political campaigns this fall. Here’s what they shared with us….
2012 Presidential campaign provides an excellent opportunity for learning about
public speaking. Viewing and analyzing the speeches of Presidential candidates
is a pragmatic way to help students recognize how professional speakers use
public speaking techniques to influence their audiences. Because students learn
through direct experience and application of knowledge, I plan to show students
segments of each candidate’s campaign speech from the Republican and Democratic
begin, I will ask students to analyze these speech segments in light of
concepts they are learning, especially in the areas of rhetorical appeals and
speech delivery. After learning
about rhetorical appeals, students will analyze each candidate’s use of
ethos, pathos, and logos to make his persuasive appeal. Through this analysis,
students learn how rhetorical appeals can weaken or strengthen the quality of a
public speech. After learning about effective delivery, students will evaluate
how each candidate uses his voice and body to interact effectively with his
audience. Thus, students will evaluate vocal elements, such as: rate, pauses,
volume, rhythm, pitch, and fluency, and enunciation. Additionally, students
will evaluate how well the candidates use their bodies by analyzing: eye
contact, facial expressions, gestures, motivated movement, and attire.