Speech Analysis

1. The general purpose of the speech on "Feng Shui" is to explain what Fen Shui is through simple, everyday examples. The specific purpose is to persuade the audience to understand the aesthetic and perhaps scientific value of Feng Shui and to practice it in their homes, dorm rooms and offices. The central idea is that by practicing Feng Shui, one could control the natural and artificial energy centres to positive effect by the placement certain objects like wind chimes, curios and even furniture at the right places and direction. The speech starts with a general everyday example of the speaker’s mother persuading him/her to hang a wind chime next to the dorm room’s door and moves to more specific explanations and examples of the concept of Feng Shui. The attention grabber is the first part of the speech itself, which arouses the interest of audience through the description of an interesting incident. The main points are that Feng Shui originated in China over 4000 years ago, that it is a method of maximizing energy flow by manipulating our environment, that its aim is to improve our ‘chi’ (the energy flow that connects all things) and that it could be practiced anywhere by certain arrangements of objects. The speaker makes use of information from Simon Brown’s book Practical Feng Shui, Sarah Rossbach’s book Feng Shui: The Chinese Art of Placement, Nancilee Wydra’s book Feng Shui: 150 Simple Solutions for Health and Happiness in Your Home or Office, Winifred Gallagher’s book The Power of Place and Lurraue Lupone’s book Feng Shui: Therapy for the New Millennium. The speaker concludes with a positive note – mentioning how the presence of a wind chime at the dorm room could in fact generate good chi, thereby persuading the audience, who are supposedly his/her fellow students, to practice Feng Shui.
2. The general purpose of the speech entitled "To Save a Child" is to explain the relevance and functioning of the organization named Compassion International. The specific purpose is to make the audience aware of the extent to which poverty affects children all over the world, especially in the developing nations, and to persuade them to contribute towards the good work done by Compassion International. The central idea is that anyone could help the suffering children in their own ways – in this case, by contributing a small amount of money one time or on a monthly basis, which would be used by Compassion International to take care of the children’s education and health. The speech moves from the specific to the general. the opening sentences make use of relevant facts and figures to reveal the seriousness of the topic and then explore the scope for contribution from individuals to help children through organizations like Compassion International. The attention getter was the shocking statistics regarding the effects of poverty on children. The main points are that poverty and poor education are the main causes for children’s suffering and deaths, that there is a wide gap between the living standards of people from developing and developed nations, that good education can help poor children overcome their predicament and that one could sponsor a child by contributing just $28 per month, which would cover the child’s educational and health needs. The speaker makes use of various supporting materials like the brochure of Compassion International which gives the statistics, the Hunger Project website, a report on Compassion conducted by the Better Business Bureau and Smart Money magazine. The speech is concluded with a touch of humor where the speaker refers to the need of opening the hearts and checkbooks of the audiences in order to help poor children. S/he also makes use of a punch line from Compassion International – "while we cannot individually change the world, we can change the world for one child". This technique of a string conclusion is both effective and persuasive.