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Persuading a Culturally Different Audience: Strategies and Considerations

Introduction: Choosing a controversial topic and preparing for your persuasive speech


Situation: Imagine that you have been tasked to give an effective persuasive speech to an audience that is very different from you culturally. In other words, the audience consists of people whose national, linguistic, socio-economic, racial, ethnic, and/or religious norms are very different from yours.


Choose a topic to speak on that you know will be controversial, difficult, or uncomfortable to address with this particular audience. For example, perhaps you will address an area of disagreement between your own attitudes, beliefs and values, and those of a typical person who belongs to this particular culture you have chosen.


You can choose to focus on issues below or any other issue where you can conduct a clear comparison and contrast between your attitudes, beliefs, and values on the subject, and the very different attitudes, beliefs, and values of people who come from the distinct cultural group you have chosen: Sexuality or Gender and gender roles Moral or religious values Racial and/or ethnic differences


Prompt: Write an essay that clearly explains how you will prepare yourself, your speech text, your visual aids, your bodily presentation, and your interaction with your audience in order to best persuade them on the topic. Your goal is to convince the audience to see the issue from your perspective, and adopt your viewpoint or take a desired action.


This may be difficult, as they will likely have preconceived ideas about the issue and resistance to the topic and your position. How will you best prepare and present your topic so that it can be best received by your audience, and so you will have the best chance at success at persuasion? You are NOT writing a speech. You are writing about the speech preparation and presentation process that you will undergo to effectively inform this audience of people who see the topic very differently than you do.


You will need to research the issue and research one particular culture that typically has a different perspective from yours on the issue. You need to identify this culture in your speech and their viewpoints on the issue. *Focus on what you have learned from lecture and the Gamble & Gamble (2021) textbook. Especially consider Chapter 2: Public Speaking in a Global World: Inclusion, Ethics and Critical Thinking, Chapter 4: Analyzing and Adapting to the Audience, Chapter 16: Prepare to Persuade, and Chapter 17: Methods of Persuasion. Format: Your essay must be organized into an introduction paragraph that clearly states your thesis and previews your main points. Your six body paragraphs must cover the following main points (one paragraph for each item below):

Identifying your own biases and assumptions: unpacking your cultural perspective on the issue


(1) What are your own personal and cultural biases, assumptions, and stereotypes around this issue and the people from the cultural group who will be in your audience?


(2) What are some of the biases, assumptions, norms, and stereotypes that people in your audience might have about you and this topic?


(3) What are some of the clearest and most defined differences between your own cultural perspective on the issue and the audience’s cultural perspective on the issue?


(4) What are some potential points of agreement, connection, or commonality between your own cultural perspective on the issue and the audience’s cultural perspective on the issue?


(5) How will you challenge yourself to stretch and open your heart and mind in order to respect, engage, and empathize with the audience members from other cultures who do not share your biases, assumptions, stereotypes, and cultural norms?


(6) Based upon the details you have learned about the culture of your audience and about your own cultural perspective: What words, body language, and visual/presentation aids do you think will best engage and educate this particular audience?


(7) How will you use your words, body language, and visual/presentation aids to best engage and educate this particular audience? (Consider the types of hooks, stories, jokes, dialogic elements, and other devices you will use to connect to the audience.)


You need a conclusion paragraph that summarizes your main points and ties the entire essay together with one final thought. In the conclusion, you should consider what you have learned through this process, and how you will apply this knowledge to future communication with people from cultures that are different from your own.


This assignment should be typed and follow the guidelines below: The essay must be at least 500 words long. Put your name, course and section number, and assignment title on a separate title page. Use one-inch margins. Use a 12-point Times New Roman font. Use double line spacing in the document. You must cite at least three scholarly sources from your research in the essay (one of these sources can be our course textbook) You must include in-text parenthetical citations and list all of your sources in the references page. Use APA Citation Style: (opens in a new window) for in-text citations and a References page. You may also learn more about APA style and formatting in the “How This Course Works” tab on the left.

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