FIU Why the Best Leaders Make Love The Top Priority Ted Talk Discussion…

SPC 4680
Min. words: 1250-1500
Essay #3: (25 points): DUE ON CANVAS 4/5 MIDNIGHT- NO LATE POSTING- Due
Date extended
In your third essay, you will critique either from a positive perspective or a negative
perspective a PUBLIC SPEECH (a heavy text-based speech). It can be in the form of either a
public appeal or commentary, a TED-style motivational speech; a tribute or acceptance
speech; a commencement speech or a controversial public statement using Fisher’s Narrative
Choice of text is yours, but you need to get it approved by the Professor.1250-1500 words
(4-5 pages)
Additional Guidelines for Essay #3
This essay intends to present YOUR rhetorical position explaining whether you consider the
artifact analyzed an effective or a non- effective piece in relation to its intended audience, and
WHY. Please ensure that you describe the artifact, you describe in DETAIL the method, and you
apply it to the artifact to explain whether it is rhetorically effective or not. It is very important to
make your statement clear about its rhetorical effectiveness and to justify your position.
One extra suggestion: look for PUBLIC OR POLITICAL TEXT (speech, motivational discourse,
political commentary, or public statement) that could be considered strongly situated to attempt
to change public attitudes, beliefs, etc. One such example can be a controversial use of language
in a political campaign.
Please consider the following as part of the format:
a. A brief description, in your own words, of the lyrics/political commentary/political
ad/ or controversial artifact selected along with the justification of your choice.
b. The description should contain also
-a description of how the text elements and the visuals [ads, pictures, videos] are
connected, if at all. (FORMAT/ARRANGEMENT)
-an explanation of language and/or visual images as language, and explain whether the
style is appropriate, do they use correct language? Does it utilize slang and/or inside
references, for people who already know the product/site/images, etc,
c. Spend some time presenting the NARRATIVE Paradigm Explain why you choose it, and
what are you expecting to demonstrate, [whether this is appropriate or whether it is not].
Remember to respond to the following questions re Fisher’s Narrative Paradigm Method in the
How is the artifact coherent or suggesting fidelity in relation to its audience?
And more importantly, in relation to its audience’s beliefs or attitudes?
Can they change for better or worse, and how?
What is the moral overall argument that is presented by telling the story (as narrative
through the lyrics or through the political ad/commentary)?
How powerful is the narrative vs. others?
How believable is it and for whom?
Narrative fidelity is the degree to which a story fits into the observer’s experience with other accounts.
How the experience of a story rings true with past stories they know to be true in their lives. Stories with
fidelity may influence their beliefs and values.
Fisher set five criteria that affect a story’s narrative fidelity.
1. The first of the requirements are the values which are embedded in the story.
2. The second of the elements is the connection between the story and the espoused value.
3. Third element is whether possible outcomes can make people believe and therefore join the values
presented in the argument.
4. Refers to the consistency of the narrative’s values with the observer’s (audience) values
5. And lastly the extent to which the story’s values represent the highest values possible in human
experience. (Wikipedia, edited)
D. show with EXAMPLES from the text how this method assists with justifying whether this
artifact works or not for the audience. Feel free to cite!
Your overall opinion whether this is a rhetorically good or rhetorically poor artifact, in terms
of its ability to influence people in their values/beliefs/interests. Good Luck!
Again, you need to add the public text/political commentary as a separate document or citation
with explanation of sources, and you are encouraged to cite from the text.
Choose a text that is important to you! Please make sure you cite correctly the sources.
Student Sample
Rhetorical Criticism
Ted Talk- Public Text
Essay III
The TEDx video I chose is called “How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over” by Mel
Robbins. She talks about how a third of America are dissatisfied with their current lives. She also
says there is no time where we are going to feel like doing that thing. She goes on to say how we
as humans do not even know what we want half the time. We must get out of our comfort zone
in order to feel change. How can you get what you want if you do not even know what that is? I
chose this video because I myself have troubles with getting out of bed in the morning to start
my day or procrastinating with my homework or even going to the gym. I think as humans we all
sometimes do not feel like it. This video persuades its audience and me that we can do whatever
we set our mind to. It is simple, but not easy. Mel Robbins goes on to talk about how 100 million
people are not happy with their current situations. Why is this the case? All these examples are
great ways to show rhetoric. Even more so she shows how when we are kids our parents show us
how to do the things we do not want to do. As I watched the video Mel gives this great example
how when you say you are fine that causes you to not act on your issues. The word fine is basically
one main reason why so many people are stuck in their same routine and unsatisfying life. At the
end of the day, we are human and must feel those feelings. One main reason we have feelings is
because something usually needs to be changed. We live in a world where everyone is trying to
be like someone else, so it is rare to be different and yourself.
There are many ways that the text elements and the visuals in this video are connected.
The way Mel Robbins speaks in this video leads the audience through the different aspects of the
rhetoric by drawing their attention by using bold language and descriptive storytelling. Mel
Robbins giving real life examples, which help to illicit an emotional response in the audience.
The use of relatable stories in the background matches the subjects being discussed. The video
draws on the pathos form of rhetoric by connecting the emotions of the audience because of the
relatable story.
Bitzer’s method in the ‘Rhetorical Situation” describes the three main constituents
mainly, “exigence, audience, and constraints,” as necessities to create any situation which is
rhetorical. (63) In defining “exigence” in terms of a rhetorical situation, Bitzer discusses that the
exigence is a problem or “urgency” which exists at the time and place that the rhetoric is to take
place. Additionally, Bitzer discusses that not every urgency is rhetorical and that only those
urgencies that can be solved, modified, or improved by the use of discourse can be rhetorical in
In other words, a rhetorical exigence is an emergency that needs solving and which
discourse can modify or improve. Bitzer then goes on to discuss the next constituent of a
rhetorical situation as the “audience” for in order to have an exigence which can be improved
through discourse, the rhetor must have someone else to engage in the discourse who are not just
hearers or readers but may also act as agents of change based upon the discourse. That group
which can be influenced by the discourse and is capable of making a change to the exigence based
upon the rhetor’s discourse is the “audience.” Finally, Bitzer discusses the third constituent of
rhetorical situations which he calls constraints. Rhetorical constraints according to Bitzer are the
persons, events, objects, and relations surrounding the situation and include the facts, proofs,
beliefs, and traditions of both the rhetor and audience. The constraints play a role in the oration
of the discourse by the rhetor due to their character, logical proofs, and styles in relation to the
situation surrounding the exigence. Bitzer states that there are two types of constraints as
explained by Aristotle, the artistic proofs and inartistic proofs. Artistic proofs originate and are
managed by the rhetor and their style. The inartistic proofs are all other constraints born of the
situation and which are operative.
The Audience is definitely a mix of demographic. I think any individual can benefit from
this speech. As humans we all have emotions and feelings of despair. I really do not want to put
a specific demographic or age on this type of video. I think every single person could benefit
from a video like this. We all have been in that position where we do not feel like doing something
or want to get started. I myself today sat in bed for an hour debating when I felt like getting up.
Now that I have watched this video, I am going to take Mel Robbins advice and fling myself out
of bed tomorrow. The age range is between 22-70 years old. Mel Robbins is an author, mother,
wife, motivational speaker, and role model who tend to relate to individuals trying to figure out
who they are or who feel stuck. I think she really can help anyone that wants to be helped. I think
this video is not really geared towards the younger generations because what Mel says is a little
more advanced and takes experience to understand what she is talking about. I think when
children grow up they are told what to do and held accountable by their parents or elders, but as
soon as they reach eighteen Mel states “That is when you have to start taking care of yourself
because no one else is going to make you do the things you need to do or force you to get out of
bed”. The younger generations would not be as interested in this or understand as well as we do
because they are unfamiliar with these aspects and hurdles. When you are a kid your
responsibilities are usually to have fun, be safe, go to school, get good grades, be creative, and
listen to your parents or elders. Someone like my fifteen-year-old little sister would not be found
watching this type of content.
When it comes down to who is most likely to next be influenced by this video, I would
say individuals who are really into self-help or just graduating, or even changing their career
paths. At the end of the day we all want to feel like we are making a difference and feel
empowered. This video is here to show how you can empower yourself and get exactly what you
want out of life by putting in the work. It is incredible how videos can influence some individuals
to feel a certain way after watching them. I think the audience’s mood is important. Not only the
age and demographic, but also if someone was feeling lost or stuck, they are more likely to watch
a video like this and relate. Rhetoric is really all about being persuaded. It is about not sticking
to the status quo and changing individual’s minds. I think a rhetorical situation is different in the
aspect that you are the change agent. Mel Robbins is that change agent. The video is very affective
in a multitude of ways and has me wanting to even fling myself out of bed tomorrow. Our body
is there to send us signals. When we feel stuck it usually just means one of our basic needs in the
hierarchy of needs is not being met. That to me is also a great example of logos. I think persuasion
is all about making the audience relate and feel like they too can live the dream or get what they
desire. I think this is a rhetorically great TEDx video. Every individual at the end of the day needs
motivation, drive and taking actions towards their goals in order to succeed in life and this video
proves exactly that.
At one point in the video Mel Robbins states “The activation energy is the exact same of
force that it takes to push you to get out of bed”. We all must do that stuff we do not want to do
and are busy waiting to feel like it, but the reality is we are never going to feel like it. That to me
hit home and is very accurate. I think when you have a problem it definitely creates rhetoric. You
cannot persuade any individual without exigence. Think about it like this. Exigence is the problem
and your job is to come up with a solution. I think at the end of the day when there is a problem,
others also want change and are more likely to listen and be open to solutions. In this video it
illustrates all of that and more. It is important that the audience can relate. It all comes down to
what we want and how we are going to get it. Sometimes we must get out of the routine and do
that thing that scares us the most. All in all, this video is very persuasive and very full rhetoric.
Works Cited, Mel Robbins, 12 June. 2011,
Bitzer, Lloyd F. “The Rhetorical Situation.” pp. 60–68.

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