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The speech under discussion is the speech delivered by Severn Suzuki at UN Summit 1992 (“Severn Suzuki”). The audience was not homogeneous; it was a large group of representatives of different countries of the world. Importantly, the speaker and the audience shared common ground as all participants were children once.
Since this was an international conference, the sound system was appropriate. The setting made the girl’s speech even more effective, as it was really uncommon to listen to a twelve-year-old at such a conference. Her speech made adult people listen to the speaker very attentively as the girl’s speech was simple and inspiring.
Type of Delivery and Persuasive Choices
The speaker used manuscript delivery. This contributed to the effectiveness of the speech. Adult listeners saw that the problems discussed were really important as even children had to get ready for such an important event and deliver a speech just like any other adult representative.
Notably, Severn made the right persuasive choices. First of all, the speaker took into account the type of audience. The girl’s word choices proved that the speaker appealed to adult listeners (Standard English which was appropriate), she emphasized that the listeners are those who should make a difference, in the first place. The girl used star pattern to reveal her idea. Thus, the girl used different rather independent points to draw a specific conclusion.
As for persuasive means, Severn resorted to hypothetical examples, comparisons and analogy. The girl compared her life with other children’s lives; she also contemplated her hypothetical life in less privileged conditions. Seemingly, there was some sort of redundancy of the speaker’s claims concerning her age.
However, numerous references to the speaker’s age made the speech more expressive and more meaningful. Adult participants of the conference had to face the fact that children were concerned with serious issues. In other words, the speaker made the audience understand that adults were stealing childhood from children. All these means made the speaker’s speech expressive and even inspiring.
Proposition and Reasoning
The girl’s proposition was clear and appealing. It is necessary to note that the organization of her speech was concise and effective. Severn made a strong introduction as she emphasized that they, children, raised funds to address adult people at the conference. The speaker proceeded with particular examples to support her statements.
Notably, the speaker does not refer to specific secondary sources. However, her speech was full of specific examples and hypothetical examples. Finally, the speaker stressed that they were only children so adults were responsible for coming up with solutions.
It is important to note that the speech in question has a very strong ending. Thus, the girl addressed the audience, adults, with direct questions which could not possibly be ignored. The girl made the audience understand that the adults were responsible for the future of humanity. In fact, the girl also used loaded questions which also made participants think of the past and the future of the planet. Of course, this strong ending made the speech effective.
To sum up, Severn Suzuki delivered her speech which was full of various persuasive means. The speech was effective as the girl managed to use persuasive means properly. At that, the age of the girl made the audience listen to her carefully and think about issues she mentioned.
“Severn Suzuki Speech at UN Earth Summit 1992 Tell the World”. YouTube, 18 May 2008. Video file. Web. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaOJrJ_oqFU&feature=related>.