Professional Analysis of Speech
World Trade Organization’s Director General Pascal Lamy delivered the speech titled ‘Humanizing Globalization’ the on January 30, 2006, in Santiago, Chile. Lamy’s use of language is exemplified hereunder.
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Imagery and figures of speech– Lamy’s speech is rather limited. The only imagery and symbolism in the speech emerges when he appears to equate recent events on the global stage to military activity or even social upheaval. He talks of technological ‘revolution’, social and economical ‘forces’ and ‘a new territorial dimension.’ Apart from these few panoramic sweeps of the events shaping the world today, the rest of his speech remains literal.
Lamy’s speech is lacking in humour yet it is not dry. Humour breaks the walls between speaker and audience through shared laughter. This is important when the speaker is presenting an argument in which he hopes the audience will eventually see things from his or her point of view and act accordingly.
The battle is not just for the minds but also for the hearts of the audience. What Lamy’s speech lacks in humour he compensates for with kind words towards the host country. His warmth toward the host is further evident when he praises Chile’s commendable role in international trade. He also honours the capable authority of President Ricardo Lagos; a man he salutes with admiration and announces to that entire he takes pride in their friendship.
Irony– In his magnanimity with praise, Lamy gives us the impression that there are certain points in which he disagrees with either the policies of President Lagos or the theme of the seminar, namely ‘humanization of globalization’. This is ironic considering that he had just declared his admiration of Chile’s president and his policies.
Idioms– Lamy’s usage of idioms is evident in phrases like ‘more and more people’ ‘globalization on individuals,’ and ‘opening up’. Their use relevant and Lamy has succeeded in incorporating them in to the formal tone of his speech.
Imagery– The speech lacks in imagery, although Lamy’s response to the “humanizing of globalisation” is testament that he has been drawn into the imagery made up by the seminar organisers. Considering that globalisation is a concept that has no human characteristics, how then can it be humanised, one may ask. Lamy’s response seems lays bare his opinion that what the world needs is more consideration about what people may have to undergo in the globalised era.
Pronouns and alliterations– Lamy’s use of pronouns is balanced and relevant throughout the speech. He however avoids alliteration in his speech with the closest evidence being in the phrase “sometimes similar, sometimes very different from one place to another” (Lamy).
Length– Lamy’s speech is long on generalities and short on specifics. His statement that people need to seek global solutions to counter globalization’s negative effects, imply that he does not have a good idea what these solutions might be.
Lamy’s style of language is formal, yet personal. His use of language makes the easy to listen to, and an even better reading piece. His forthright language is expected considering the specialized audience he addresses.
Specifically, Lamy seems to be addressing government officials, bureaucrats, think tanks, leaders of other international organizations and delegations from other nations. His avoidance of alliterations, too many idioms, or metaphors appears a deliberate action on his (or his speechwriter’s) part, intended to make the speech easy to hear and comprehend.
Lamy, Pascal DG. Humanizing Globalization. WTO News, 30 Jan. 2006. Web.