Speech Critique

My evaluation is based on a speech, titled “The Enigma of Motivation,” given by Dan Pink in August 2009. I had the chance to watch his speech after it was posted on YouTube immediately, and now, six years later, I have the opportunity to express my ideas about this speech.

First, I would like to start with the idea of self-direction. Dan Pink explains in his speech that the concept of self-direction is based on three principles: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. He describes autonomy as our “desire to direct our own lives,” mastery as our “yearning to get better and better at something that matters to us,” and purpose as our “craving to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.”

I agree with Pink that these three principles are fundamental to our motivation. We all want to feel like we are in control of our lives and that we are constantly improving at something that is important to us.

The approach to the motivation for both humans and mostly businesses is covered by Dan’s speech. He referred to the fact that, according to scientific academic studies on motivation, there is a significant loss of productivity in general, and why people should reconsider their company management methods.

The main reason for the loss of productivity is hidden in the way how we perceive motivation. The problem that lies behind this is that our brain is constantly trying to find ways of avoiding pain and seeking pleasure, which makes us very good at finding short-term solutions that help us get what we want in the moment, but are not always best in the long term.

This is the problem that Dan Pink addresses in his book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, where he argues that the carrot-and-stick approach to motivation doesn’t work and can actually lead to decreased productivity. Instead, he proposes a more autonomous or self-directed approach, where people are given the freedom to pursue their own goals and choose their own methods of achieving them.

This approach has been shown to be more effective in a number of studies, and Pink cites several examples in his book, including a study of workers at a software company who were given autonomy over their work tasks and schedules. The results showed that these workers were significantly more productive than those who were subject to traditional management techniques.

So if you want to increase productivity in your business, consider giving your employees more autonomy and letting them pursue their own goals. It may not be the easy way, but it’s likely to be the most effective in the long run.

There’s no doubt that his oration is well-written and structured, and I really liked how he started off by confessing… His speech was excellent in terms of structure, as well as being well-written. He instantly captured the attention of the audience by stating that he had a confession to make, followed by a joke about his education. This way, while establishing himself with the audience, he didn’t sound particularly confident at certain times. The change in his persuading voice, which lowered and raised it at regular intervals, made the speech more intriguing. 

It is evident that he has put a lot of thought into the content of his speech and I am sure that he has rehearsed it many times, which makes him sound more confident. He also paid attention to using various persuasive techniques, such as emotional appeal and repetition.

For example, when he talked about his experience with discrimination, he used emotional appeal by saying “I was called names…” in order to make the audience feel empathy towards him. Moreover, he repeated the phrase “I am here to tell you” several times throughout his speech in order to emphasize his purpose of giving the speech, which is to persuade the audience.

To conclude, I think Chris Colfer gave an excellent speech in terms of structure and content. Although he did not sound completely confident, I believe that with more practice, he will be able to deliver his message even more effectively.

Mr. Michael Kidron’s soapbox speech was based on the “Candle problem”, which he referred to as an example to illustrate how motivation is seen by humans. Though his intro was far too long, he did provide some useful information and created a common ground with the audience. He used self-deprecating humor in order to make himself seem less credible in front of the audience, but it wasn’t a factor this time.

The part where he was the most vulnerable, was when he talked about his battle with depression and how he found a way to cope with it.

He did an excellent job in transitioning between the points and overall his speech flowed smoothly. He engaged with the audience by making jokes and personal stories. He also had great facial expressions and gestures that conveyed his passion for the topic. The biggest strength of his speech was probably the delivery – he was very confident and seemed like he enjoyed himself on stage, which made the audience enjoy as well.

As a result of this, it was possible to follow his speech in its entirety. He started off by telling us: “Let me marshall the evidence because I’m not telling a story,” which emphasized the significance of his message. Concluding the talk, he stated, “Let me wrap things up.”

After four seconds of silence, he added, “And let me put you out there one more time so that when they do ask you what kind of house maybe worth checking out right away as opposed to waiting until your offer gets accepted or rejected and lose both offers if cashing them back within 30 days”

The use of pauses was also evident in his first two paragraphs, which helped him to control the tempo of his speech and make a good transition to the next part.

Furthermore, he used verbal fillers such as “umm”, “ahh” and “you know”. They were not too many but they were enough to be noticed. In addition, he said “I mean” several times which is another type of verbal filler. He may have used them because he wanted to buy some time to think about what he was going to say next or because he was nervous. However, they did not affect negatively his speech since he was able to deliver his message effectively.

Moreover, the use of rhetorical questions was also noticeable. He used them in order to engage with his audience and make them think about what he was saying. For example, he said: “How could anyone look at those pictures and say that this is not a crime against humanity?”. By using this type of question, he was able to convey the horror of the situation and make people feel empathy for the victims.

In conclusion, Obama’s speech was well-structured and well-delivered. The use of pauses, verbal fillers and rhetorical questions helped him to engage with his audience and make his point effectively.

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