Amy Poehler has many memorable roles, from being a recurring member on Saturday Night Live, to her award-nominated portrayal of Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation. Poehler is an American-comedian classic. When she was chosen as the 2011 Harvard Class Day Commencement Speaker, she took on a serious and honorable role. Poehler gave the graduating class of 2011, a hilarious, engaging, and inspirational speech. Poehler was chosen to give a speech that was out of her ordinary comfort zone, to inspire a hardworking class of graduates as they headed off into the working world. Her speech is an excellent example of effective rhetoric through its use of artistic proofs, humor, and establishing common ground. Through the content of Poehler’s speech, her detailed care to the rhetorical situation, and her impressive use of rhetoric, Poehler gave one of the most memorable and moving commencement addresses in Harvard’s history.
Amy Poehler gave the 2011 Harvard Commencement address to graduating seniors, their families, and their guests on May 25, 2011. Poehler combined her classic comedic humor with a serious underlying message to create an engaging speech. Poehler began the speech with humor and explained her prior knowledge about Harvard. She went on to discuss her own college experience, her career, and some of the best advice she learned throughout her life. Her main message of the speech was that “no one can do it alone.” She explained that no
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What I just recited was a selection from "Oh, The Places You'll Go!", a graduation speech as prepared by Dr. Seuss. I chose to recite this because its optimism toward beginning a new phase of life seemed to fit our class. It reminded me of our entrance into high school, when as freshmen, we blew away the students and staff at Stoks high School with our incredible enthusiasm and spirit. We didn't allow ourselves to be intimidated by the upperclassmen, or by our new surroundings. By the time we had completed our first Homecoming activities, coming in second place only to the seniors, we had established a certain respect, and it became evident that the Class of 2006 was capable of achieving greatness.
Most graduates have a lot of stress and worry about their futures, the uncertainty of where they are going or what they will become. Ellen is relatable when she tells the graduates how she didn’t know who shes was, considering that, she was still dating men. Another use of a rhetorical question “But why am I here today?” to introduce an anecdote about her growing up in New Orleans. This question takes the audience’s attention back to her, because, consequently, they know that Ellen will explain why she is there; giving them a reason to listen to her words. Once again, Ellen asks “What else can happen to you?” in order to commend the graduates of having success after the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina. She uses the hyperbole and rhetorical question, “So what I’m saying is, when you’re older, a lot of you will be gay. Anyone writing this stuff down? Parents?” this keeps everybody’s attention and loops the parents into relating the commencement speech to them as well. Rhetorical questions help Ellen by giving the crowd small moments to reflect and invites them into her speech, connecting to them and allowing them to smile during serious content.
Neil Gaiman is a renowned British author, screenwriter, comic book creator as well as a voice actor. Using his position as a professional who never attended a university, he uses his experience to pass the fire of excellence to the new graduates. As tradition entails, a commencement address is often used to mark the beginning of something new. The commencement speaker, in this case, having never achieved university education, uses his freedom to address the audience, unlike other formal speeches to relate well with the graduates and pass the intended message.
In the general purposes of the three inaugural addresses of FDR, JFK and Barack Obama, they were focused on appreciating the constitutional process which involves the inauguration of the U.S president. For example, recently, President Obama stated in his speech that people gathers each year to observe the enduring strength of the U.S and the act of democracy. FDR also appreciated the need for the inauguration in upholding the constitutional values and cultures.
Once Ms. Knight comes on stage she opens by explaining that she is happier now that she has discovered the “Magic of Not Giving a F***”. Listeners were warned prior to the speech that there would be some use of strong language; however, the extensive use of strong language at the beginning of the speech does affect the view on has on her. After hearing her swear so freely at the beginning of the speech I started to take her less seriously. What had happened was that it had negatively affected my view of her overall character. You can note the audience did find it funny at first, a first few minutes you can hear people having side conversations. Something that Professor Shubb touches upon in her TEDx Talk “The Power of Public Listening”. She notes that in order for a speech to successful it’s
The session that I attended was Dolores Huerta speech, which was very interesting. Dolores Huerta was born on April 10, 1930, she is a labor leader and civil rights activist who, along with Cesar Chavez, co-founded the national Farmworkers association, which later became the United Farm Workers (UFW). Huerta has received numerous awards for her community service and advocacy for workers, immigrants, and women’s rights. She is truly a leader, working tirelessly to help the poor and women and children. She talks about war, genocide, Mass incarceration, and poverty. During her participation in non-violent protest she was arrested 22 times trying to make changes in society. Her main question was what can we do as people to solve things in the
For almost two centuries, the system of public education has honored the best and the brightest high school graduates with the honorable titles of valedictorian and salutatorian.Though these titles have been a valued part of graduation for what seem like the entire history of American public schooling, they are under heavy scrutiny as impassioned and angry parents, as well as their hardworking students, attack the idea of only recognizing one or two of the class’s most talented seniors. In “Best in Class”, reporter Margaret Talbot challenges the traditional system of choosing a single valedictorian by by exposing the emotional opposition to the system’s change or preservation; her use of emotional dialogue as well as far less emotional, far more objective writing style allows Talbot to emphasize specific ideas and opinions with syntax to avoid confrontation, while simultaneously establishing that it is time for the traditional system of valedictory to change.
In 1976 Barbara Jordan, Congresswoman from Texas, became the first African American woman to deliver a keynote address at a major party convention in the US. She was aware of the significance and symbolism of the moment. Referencing the first Democratic convention of 1832, she said, “A lot of years passed since 1832, and during that time it would have been most unusual for any national political party to ask a Barbara Jordan to deliver a keynote address.” For Jordan, her presence at the convention was “evidence that the American Dream need not be forever deferred.”
Morrison began her speech by singing praises about Wellesley college, which was a fairly intelligent but standard move on her part. She lauded the college for producing an “enviable rostrum of graduates”, and sustaining itself despite the difficulties and setbacks faced by many women colleges today. By doing so, she immediately charms the audience by making them feel great about themselves and their institution, and therefore making everyone more agreeable to what she will say later. I can already see the smiles and nods of approval just reading through it.
Barbara Bush gave a speech unlike any other, a speech to an audience that had gone as far as to protest her even coming to speak to the point where her husband the President of the United States had to stand up for her (Eidenmuller). A speech that combined the use of Aristotle's Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in such a manner that each aspect grew the next. As one aspect developed in her speech it boosted the other up as well, allowing her to come from behind and present the True American Dream - the individual's personal dream. To an audience that despite her individual accomplishments looked down on her because of her Title First Lady.
Famous actors, musicians, politicians, artists and authors are often called upon to deliver commencement addresses at prestigious places of higher learning. It doesn't take Nobel-Prize-winning social scientists or psychologists, or speech professors to predict what these elite guest speakers will say on such occasions such as these. The speaker will tell the graduating class to aim high, never give up, make the most of opportunities, and do as our forbearers did: pull yourselves up by the bootstraps. But when Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks showed up at Vassar College to present the commencement address, his presentation avoided those clichés and platitudes. Hanks was refreshing original and yet remarkably pragmatic. This paper critiques Hanks' themes, examines his rhetorical techniques, and editorially analyzes his purpose.
Communication is a process that allows us to construct identities based on the interpretation and intention of speech acts. Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, spent most her life identified by her master identity as a cis-white-male and until a few years ago she adopted the interactional identity of a transgender female. In this paper, I will demonstrate how various forms of speech acts build, remain and/or change the master and interactional identity of Caitlyn Jenner as well as her relationships to others. To do so I will explain how Caitlyn Jenner seeks advice from her close family member Scott Disick to help her understand the variety of speech acts coming from both her private and public life: ranging from Scott who demonstrate face redress and accept her based on her new interaction identity as a female, while also dealing with the face threats that come from those (particularly males) who only see her as her previous master identity as a male.
She uses the humor to keep her audience entertained and to make her speech one to remember. She creates a bond to the audience reminding them that she has been in their place and remembers what it was like. She continues to use humor like “Not only has Harvard given me an extraordinary honour, but ... A win-win situation!” (Rowling). This is because she can relate to the graduates nerves of going into the real world. She shows them that even she has felt the same feelings.
This one is slightly harder to comprehend due to the indirectness surround it. This section is more about doing than anything else. This can be seen when Amy is discussing her old group, UCB, motto of don’t think; she says “Don’t think. Get out of your head. Stop planning and just go,” (Poehler, 196). Farther into this section of Yes Please, Amy Poehler delves into careers verse passion and how to treat each of them respectively if they aren’t lucky enough to align. She truly inspires while expressing how hard she had to work to get to the top. She made herself into who she is now because she figured out who she wanted to be and she became it. A comedian is who Amy Poehler is so that is who she became through her years of hard work waiting tables, and making connections, and learning, and traveling to work and succeed. Poehler finds in all of this that ambivalence is key to success, with this she states “You have to care about your work but not about the result. You have to care about how good you are and how good you feel, but not how good people think you are, or how good people think you look,” (Poehler, 223, 224). Throughout this section Amy reinforces to be who you are through