Ethical speaking plays a critical role in the establishment of trust between the speaker and their audience. Among the main reasons for maintaining ethical conduct in public speaking are establishing reputation and credibility, presenting an accurate and fair argument, and providing honest facts (Hamilton, 2015). Recently, I watched a broadcast news show on NBC’s YouTube outlet and discovered numerous factors that constituted ethical speaking. In this show, Julia Ainsley, NBC news correspondent, was asked to explain to the audience the reason why the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) considered white supremacist extremism as the biggest threat to America.
Notably, Ainsley’s speech comprised nearly all elements of ethical speaking. Essentially, the news correspondent demonstrated that she had done thorough preparations before presenting her speech (Hamilton, 2015). Ainsley started by referring to the insurrection that happened on January 6, 2021, at the United States Capitol (NBC news now full broadcast – May 12, 2021). She argued that this event has made the DHS believe that violent domestic extremists pose a great security threat to the country if urgent steps to stop them are not taken. Furthermore, Ainsley talked about a similar case during Obama’s administration where the government successfully managed to curb homegrown jihadism that had grown into a big threat (NBC news now full broadcast – May 12, 2021). These references indicate a fair, honest, factual, and well-researched presentation (Hamilton, 2015). Additionally, Ainsley refrained from bias by preserving her subjective opinions. As a result, the speech was informative as it helped the audience gain more knowledge about the role of government in fighting white supremacist extremism.
Most public speeches are either informative or persuasive or both. The purpose of an informative speech is to enhance the understanding or knowledge of the topic being presented (Hamilton, 2015). Subsequently, a persuasive speech is designed to convince the audience to embrace the speaker’s position. Unlike in an informative speech, a persuasive speaker must employ appeals to ethos, logos, and pathos (Hamilton, 2015). In this regard, all persuasive speeches or presentations are informational, but not all presentations or speeches are persuasive. Thus, it can be deduced that a speech can be informative but not persuasive.
Hamilton, C. (2015). Essentials of public speaking. Cengage Learning.
NBC News now full broadcast – May 12, 2021. (2021). YouTube. Web.