Effective Public Speaking
Effective Public Speaking

Effective Public Speaking

Lead Author(s): George Griffin and Contributors

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Designed to teach the skills and build the confidence your students need to become effective public speakers.

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Key features in this textbook

Effective Public Speaking gives students the confidence and competence in preparing and presenting speeches with real student videos, a comprehensive glossary, up to five in-class activities per chapter, and a full chapter on controlling speech anxiety.
Using Bongo for Top Hat, students can practice their oral communication skills and get feedback from instructors or their peers.
Built-in assessment questions embedded throughout chapters so students can read a little, do a little, and test themselves to see what they know!

Comparison of Public Speaking Textbooks

Consider adding Top Hat’s Effective Public Speaking textbook to your upcoming course. We’ve put together a textbook comparison to make it easy for you in your upcoming evaluation.

Top Hat

George Griffin, Effective Public Speaking, Only one edition needed

McGraw-Hill

Stephen Lucas, The Art of Public Speaking, 12th Edition

Pearson

Beebe & Beebe, Public Speaking: An Audience-Centered Approach, 9th Edition

Pearson

Beebe & Beebe, Public Speaking Handbook, 5th Edition

Pricing

Average price of textbook across most common format

Up to 40-60% more affordable

Lifetime access on any device

$121.80

Hardcover print text only

$99.29

Hardcover print text only

$114.52

Hardcover print text only

Always up-to-date content, constantly revised by community of professors

Content meets standard for Introduction to Anatomy & Physiology course, and is updated with the latest content

In-Book Interactivity

Includes embedded multi-media files and integrated software to enhance visual presentation of concepts directly in textbook

Only available with supplementary resources at additional cost

Only available with supplementary resources at additional cost

Only available with supplementary resources at additional cost

Customizable

Ability to revise, adjust and adapt content to meet needs of course and instructor

All-in-one Platform

Access to additional questions, test banks, and slides available within one platform

Pricing

Average price of textbook across most common format

Top Hat

George Griffin, Effective Public Speaking, Only one edition needed

Up to 40-60% more affordable

Lifetime access on any device

McGraw-Hill

Stephen Lucas, The Art of Public Speaking, 12th Edition

$121.80

Hardcover print text only

Pearson

Beebe & Beebe, Public Speaking: An Audience-Centered Approach, 9th Edition

$99.29

Hardcover print text only

Pearson

Beebe & Beebe, Public Speaking Handbook, 5th Edition

$114.52

Hardcover print text only

Always up-to-date content, constantly revised by community of professors

Constantly revised and updated by a community of professors with the latest content

Top Hat

George Griffin, Effective Public Speaking, Only one edition needed

McGraw-Hill

Stephen Lucas, The Art of Public Speaking, 12th Edition

Pearson

Beebe & Beebe, Public Speaking: An Audience-Centered Approach, 9th Edition

Pearson

Beebe & Beebe, Public Speaking Handbook, 5th Edition

In-book Interactivity

Includes embedded multi-media files and integrated software to enhance visual presentation of concepts directly in textbook

Top Hat

George Griffin, Effective Public Speaking, Only one edition needed

McGraw-Hill

Stephen Lucas, The Art of Public Speaking, 12th Edition

Pearson

Beebe & Beebe, Public Speaking: An Audience-Centered Approach, 9th Edition

Pearson

Beebe & Beebe, Public Speaking Handbook, 5th Edition

Customizable

Ability to revise, adjust and adapt content to meet needs of course and instructor

Top Hat

George Griffin, Effective Public Speaking, Only one edition needed

McGraw-Hill

Stephen Lucas, The Art of Public Speaking, 12th Edition

Pearson

Beebe & Beebe, Public Speaking: An Audience-Centered Approach, 9th Edition

Pearson

Beebe & Beebe, Public Speaking Handbook, 5th Edition

All-in-one Platform

Access to additional questions, test banks, and slides available within one platform

Top Hat

George Griffin, Effective Public Speaking, Only one edition needed

McGraw-Hill

Stephen Lucas, The Art of Public Speaking, 12th Edition

Pearson

Beebe & Beebe, Public Speaking: An Audience-Centered Approach, 9th Edition

Pearson

Beebe & Beebe, Public Speaking Handbook, 5th Edition

About this textbook

Lead Authors

George Griffin, Professor of SpeechKeiser University

George Griffin earned his degrees at the University of West Florida and Auburn University. He has been teaching college, business seminars and workshops for over 30 years, while still doing public speaking engagements for non-profit organizations. Currently, he is serving as the Professor of Speech at Keiser University, Orlando, and as Adjunct Professor at Stetson University. George is also the author of “STAGE FRIGHT! A Student-Friendly Guide to Managing the Jitters.”

Contributing Authors

Wade CorneliusNew Mexico State University

Kathryn DederichsUniversity of St. Thomas

Morgan GintherInstructional Designer at Texas A & M

Luke GreenSt. Cloud Technical and Community College

María Elena BermúdezGeorgia State University

Daryle NaganoEl Camino College

Wendy YarberryFlorida State College at Jacksonville

Allen DavisIndiana University

Jasmine RobertsOhio State University

Krista MacDonaldDoña Ana Community College

Explore this textbook

Read the fully unlocked textbook below, and if you’re interested in learning more, get in touch to see how you can use this textbook in your course today.

Chapter 3: Communication Ethics


What are the ethics of public speaking? [1]​​


“Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.” 
 -Potter Stewart, Supreme Court Justice, 1958-1981.
"...and pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children - and all children in this nation - to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them." 
- Michelle Obama, First Lady, 2016

Table of Contents

Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter you will be able to:

  • Understand the importance of ethics in speaking.
  • Understand the guidelines to fully prepare for your speech.
  • Understand how to speak ethically.
  • Refrain from committing plagiarism.
  • Be an ethical listener.

Introduction

“Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.” I grew up chanting this along with all my other elementary school friends. Of course as kids, they truly were just words and we had no idea what it really meant. Yet, as adults, we can look at that seemingly harmless chant and realize it couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, have you ever had someone say something to you that did hurt, perhaps even more than a stick or stone would? On the other hand, have you ever had someone say something to you that uplifted you and turned your day around? As we can see, what we say does matter. Words have meaning, and how we use them has consequences. As a moving example of the power of words, take a look at this public service announcement released by the Concerned Children's Advertisers in Canada:

Common Approaches to Communication Ethics

Ethics is the branch of philosophy that deals with good vs. bad, right vs. wrong, ethical vs. unethical, moral vs. immoral, and honest vs. dishonest in human communication. Let’s take a look at some of the common approaches to communication ethics.

Ethical Absolutism states that we should always behave the same in every situation. For example, it would never be acceptable to plagiarize. I have had students tell me that they simply “didn’t know” it was wrong to plagiarize, or that if they didn’t do so, they would fail the class, lose their financial aid, and not be able to pay their rent. Under Ethical Absolutism, the excuse doesn’t matter, as plagiarism is plagiarism. Of course, this approach doesn’t take into account that sometimes ethical decisions may vary depending on the context. If the clerk at the convenience store accidentally gave you an extra dollar with your change, what would you do? What if the clerk accidentally gave you an extra $100 bill with your change? Would your ethical decisions vary with each situation?

Situational Ethics holds that our behavior should be dependent upon the situation we are in at the time. For example, in class we have a “No Cell Phone” policy that applies to all students at all times. However, a student approached me prior to class and told me that his wife was about to go into labor at any moment and that he would need to have his cell phone on but set to vibrate. Naturally, even though it went against policy, given the circumstance, I allowed him to have his cell phone out. Of course, the follower of absolutism would argue that situational ethics means that you can justify almost anything, given the right situation.

Culturally Relative Ethics teaches that we need to keep in mind that an audience will surely contain people of different cultures and backgrounds and what is considered ethical in one culture might be considered unethical in another. For example, in the United States bribery is considered highly unethical and many have gone to jail for it. However, in other cultures bribery isn’t considered unethical; it’s a way of life and considered an everyday business practice. For instance, in the U.S. it is considered bribery to give a public officer a gift as a reward for acting in their official capacity. But in some Arab countries, it’s not considered bribery and is actually socially acceptable.

Ends and Means Ethics can be tempting when preparing a speech. You may have heard the expression, “the ends justify the means.” In other words, the final result that I am trying to achieve (the ends) is so important that it doesn’t really matter what means I use to accomplish them. For example, when the ethics of waterboarding prisoners or “enemy combatants” is discussed, some people are quick to accept the practice because, in their opinion, “it works.” That would be an “ends and means” ethical decision. In our speeches, we may really want to gather a thousand signatures on an important petition, so we might justify misleading our listeners a little in order to convince them to sign our petition after our speech.

We are faced with ethical dilemmas every day. It isn’t the dilemma we are faced with that is the issue; it is our response or behavior that matters. Unfortunately, there isn’t a handbook with a right answer for every ethical dilemma that one faces. Therefore, you must use your moral judgment and look at each dilemma on a case by case basis. It is your responsibility to your audience as the person generating the message to always make the most ethical choice.

As a speaker the first thing we must accomplish is gaining credibility from our audience. We gain credibility by being trustworthy, honest, and believable. Ethics comes from the Greek word ethos, which refers to a person’s character. The ancient Greek rhetorician, Aristotle, taught his students that audiences listen to, believe, and trust speakers who have good ethos, or positive ethos. Positive ethos includes competence (knowledge of the subject matter), good moral character (honesty, trustworthiness and straightforwardness) and goodwill (respect toward the audience and the occasion). As you will see in several chapters of this book, building, maintaining, and protecting your ethos (credibility) are essential for effective public speaking.

One last approach to consider in communication ethics is the ethos-centered approach. Since we know how important it is for a speaker to maintain high credibility and trustworthiness, this approach teaches that a communicator will never do anything in a speech that would damage the speaker’s ethos when the audience finds out. At first glance, this might sound rather shallow – almost like “image is everything.” Yet, in reality, when a speaker loses credibility, they become useless as a speaker. You may prepare a wonderful speech, but if the audience no longer trusts or believes you, the speech will accomplish next to nothing. With this approach to ethical decision making, the speaker must ask, “If the audience finds out I did this, will it hurt my reputation?” If the answer is “yes,” don’t do it.


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Q3.01

While listening to a friend's speech in class, you've realized they have plagiarized a section of their talk from a book. You confront your friend about it. They apologize and tell you that they've been very stressed with schoolwork lately and made a mistake but don't want to admit to it. You know that no one will find out if you don't say something. What would you do in this situation? Which ethical approach best applies to your decision?


Q3.02

Kyra is presenting her speech to classmates that are from China studying in the United States. She needs to research and keep in mind which type of ethics?

A

Ethical Absolutism

B

Culturally Relative Ethics

C

Situational Ethics


Credo for Ethical Communication

In 1999, the National Communication Association recognized that questions of right and wrong will always come up whenever people communicate. Therefore, the association came up with nine principles and made up the Credo for Ethical Communication for communicators to practice. Here is a modified version of the nine principles we should follow when speaking and listening to others:

1. Be truthful, accurate, and honest.
2. Endorse freedom of expression and tolerance.
3. Understand and respect others before evaluating their messages.
4. Promote access to communication resources for all.
5. Promote safe communication environments for all types of communicators.
6. Condemn communication that degrades, belittles, or promotes hatred to others.
7. Commit to courageous expression of personal convictions.
8. Share information, ideas, opinions, and feelings but also respect privacy.
9. Accept responsibility for the consequences of what you say.

To gain credibility one must be competent and build goodwill with their audience. Consider the differences in the student's credibility between the following two videos. Think about how his approach in each has an effect on how much you trust his speech. 

Click here for the script from video 3.01.

Click here for the script from video 3.02.

Ethical Speaking Guidelines

Going beyond the basic Credo for Ethical Communication listed above, here are the ethical speaking guidelines to be used when delivering presentations:

1. Make Sure Your Goals are Ethically Sound

You should have the audience’s well-being in mind. Hitler was a dynamic, passionate speaker that called for his audience to commit unspeakable acts. The hatred of one man caused the death of millions. On the other hand, Martin Luther King, Jr. was also gifted with the power of public speaking and used it for ethical purposes. Both of these speakers used the power of public speaking to change the course of our history; we live different lives because of them. Remember, what you say does matter because whether you realize it or not, people are listening. Take a look at the following videos. Notice how your opinion of the speaker can change drastically if you ethically agree or disagree with what they are saying. 

Click here for the script from video 3.03.

Click here for the script from video 3.04.

There are many key figures throughout history that have used their power of public speaking for either ethical or unethical purposes. Is it possible that something you might say or do in your public speaking class could catch up with you 20 years later in life? You bet it could!

Communication ethics decisions can haunt you for years to come. When former Vice President Joe Biden withdrew from the presidential race in 1988, he was being accused of plagiarizing from several other political speakers. It also came out that he failed a course in law school because he plagiarized several pages of a term paper. [2]

​Communication ethics decisions can not only haunt you for years to come, they can also overpower the message you want to convey. When a speech by future First Lady Melania Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention was compared to the 2008 Democratic National Convention speech by Michelle Obama, the similarities dominated the discussion much more than the inspirational words being spoken.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama speaking at a campaign rally for Hillary Clinton in 2016 [3]​

Michelle Obama's Speech, 2008
"...values that you work hard for what you want in life: that your word is your bond and you do what you say..."

​"...that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise; that you treat people with dignity and respect."

"...and pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children – and all children in this nation – to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them."

First Lady Melania Trump speaking at a campaign event for Donald Trump in 2015 [4]​


Melania Trump's Speech, 2016

"...values that you work hard for what you want in life: that your word is your bond and you do what you say..."

"...that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise; that you treat people with respect."

"...and we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow. Because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them."


According to the plagiarism- checking website Turnitin.com, “…The likelihood that a 16-word match is 'just a coincidence' is less than 1 in a trillion.” 


2. Be Fully Prepared for Each Speech

We all know the cliché “time is money.” I know that I am guilty of wasting my own time and I am sure I am not the only one that does. However, we don’t like it when someone else wastes our time! Every minute of listening to someone that is unprepared is a minute of our life that we won’t get back. The goal isn’t to present a perfect speech, if there is such a thing, but to be as prepared as possible. It is evident which students came prepared and which did not. An audience will understand if you get nervous and stumble, but they won’t tolerate a speaker that comes up and has no idea where they are headed, no organization, and is off topic. It is the speaker’s job to get their message across clearly, not the audience’s job to try to figure out what the message is. Remember that delivery and content go hand in hand.

For example, a student came up to the stage with note cards that she read from directly. If she didn’t have her note cards she would have had nothing to say. She made no eye contact at all. Although the class tried to be polite, they would have preferred that she just handed out transcripts of her speech so they could read it on their own rather than listening to her read to them for eight minutes.

Another student speaker didn’t bring up any notes; however, all he did was talk off the top of his head about how he was a college athlete and that he deserved to get paid. He didn’t cite any sources, didn’t have any organization to his speech (no clear introduction, body or conclusion), and just brought up things as they came to mind. Although impromptu speaking is a necessary skill it was not the skill we were practicing at the time. Students had four weeks to prepare their speeches so the audience felt insulted and disrespected.

You should have at least four to five dress rehearsals prior to delivering your speech. You do not want to deliver your speech for the very first time in front of your audience. The only way to know if you will be within the time limit imposed on you is if you rehearse prior to your actual presentation. If you are over the time limit, then you need to cut information and if you are too short on time, then you need to add information. The ethical speaker shows respect for their audience’s time and attention by always being prepared and practiced.

For example, a student that was confident about her topic, speech, and delivery didn’t think she was going to have an issue with time. The speech was supposed to be four to six minutes long but her speech time was two minutes because she presented her speech without practicing and had no idea how long or how short her speech was going to be. There may be penalties for going over time or under time, so make sure to know prior to speaking approximately how long or short your speech is.

3. Do Your Research

Each speaker is considered the “expert” regarding their chosen topic; therefore, it is important that you present your information accurately. When you enter each class, you trust that your teachers are experts in their field and are teaching you accurate and correct information. Can you imagine if your teachers gave you incorrect information and you acted upon that information and found you were incorrect? Has anyone ever given you inaccurate information on how to complete an assignment? What about an inaccurate phone number? How about an inaccurate date? When you present, you are taking on the role of the teacher and are expected to “know your stuff.”

Artist's conception of a mission to Mars. [5]

A student presented a speech titled “The Environment on Mars.” In his speech he cited the 2015 movie, The Martian staring Matt Damon. He told the class that Matt Damon’s character was able to survive on Mars by growing potatoes, creating water and using solar panels. However, he failed to tell the class that it was a fictional story, just a movie. Granted it was a good movie, but not a true story. The student and the class both believed once the speech was over that humans can now live on Mars and that Matt Damon’s character really existed.

When you are researching for your speech it is important that the sources you are pulling from are accurate and you are citing experts in the field. Don’t cite sources that aren’t credible. It is okay for someone to give their “opinion” on an issue that they are not familiar with but it is not okay to cite someone’s “opinion” in a speech as truth.

One student was giving his speech on the drought in California. Instead of citing scientists or experts he cited the popular actor Leonardo DiCaprio. DiCaprio had been a guest on a late night talk show and was asked his opinion regarding the drought and said, “It is a serious issue and if we don’t address it I believe the next war will be over water.” Again he is absolutely entitled to his opinion, especially when posed the question on national TV. However, he wouldn’t be a credible source to use during this speech.

Q3.03

Using the above example, it is inappropriate to cite DiCaprio in a speech about a water crisis. However, would this change if you found out that DiCaprio actually takes an active interest in this issue and has founded a charitable organization to help the cause? More generally, to what degree can we legitimize information or quotes from those who are not considered experts in any field of study but do exercise an active interest in them?


4. Be Honest and Upfront With Your Audience

We also all know the cliché “honesty is the best policy.” Any form of dishonesty during your presentation is unethical. As the speaker it is your responsibility to find credible sources to back up your claims. It is never acceptable to state something as truth unless you have double and even triple-checked your sources.

There are three types of “untruths” to avoid. Obviously, flat out lying is out of the question. It is never acceptable to intentionally deceive your audience. At times, one may justify their actions, by telling a half-truth which is still considered unethical. In a court of law, we swear to “tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” The same applies during any presentation. For example, if a cell phone company states, “Nine out of ten researchers state that cell phone use isn’t damaging to your health” but fails to mention that nine out of ten of the researchers work for that cell phone company, they would be guilty of a half-truth. Lastly, there are false inferences where a speaker will intentionally manipulate or omit information to lead their audience to false conclusions. For example, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, “In 2012, motor vehicle crashes accounted for less than 1 percent of fatalities among people 70 and older.” This makes older drivers look safer. But in reality, that just means that 1% of deaths over 70 are from car crashes. It ignores that, according to Insurance Information Institute, “In 2013 drivers age 65 and older accounted for 17 percent of all traffic fatalities.”

When citing sources it is important to represent the author’s message the way they intended. We don’t like it when people misquote us or leave key information out to further their cause. Therefore, we must make sure that when we paraphrase the main message, facts and data remain intact.

One student wanted to grab his audience’s attention and told the audience, “According to the American Dental Association, anyone in here that has had a cavity filled with a silver filling is prone to mercury poisoning which can cause babies with birth defects, mouth cancer, infertility, and brain damage.” Well he sure did grab his audience’s attention! After his speech, about half the hands in class went up and one student stated, “I am really worried now about my silver filling, what should I do?” The student that just eight minutes ago cited the American Dental Association looked puzzled and then all of sudden remembered his statement and then casually said, “Oh, I just said that to grab all of your attention, I read about it but the study stated that the results were so minimal it was negligible.” I am sure you can imagine how upset the audience was and how difficult it was for this student to regain his credibility.


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5. Use Sound Reasoning

Avoid using fallacies; a fallacy is a mistaken belief based on shaky reasoning. Unethical speakers that use fallacies misuse logic and mislead their audience. In Chapter 12 you will learn more about specific fallacies and how to avoid them.

6. Make Sure Your Speech Has Qualities of Dignity and Integrity

When you put together your speech it is your ethical responsibility to always have your audience’s best interest in mind. Treat your audience with dignity; make them feel worthy, honored, and respected as you speak. Let them know that you have their best interests in mind.

Have high integrity and speak confidently while citing your sources correctly to signal to your audience that you will always avoid compromising the truth to manipulate it in your favor. For example, "According to the WebMD website accessed on March 1, 2016, 'Sleep paralysis is a feeling of being conscious but unable to move. It occurs when a person passes between stages of wakefulness and sleep.'”

7. Avoid Name-Calling and Biased Language

An essential goal of giving a classroom presentation is to include everyone in your audience; any language that excludes or discriminates against certain groups of people is unacceptable. Remember, what may not be offensive to you may be offensive to others. The rule of thumb is we want to keep things “G rated.”

One student used the word “Libtard” to describe people in favor of gun control. When I addressed the issue with him, he said, “Well no one in the class is one.” It doesn’t matter who is in the room, it is unethical refer to a group of people in an offensive manner.

Examples of biased language include sexist, racist, and ageist language. 

Q3.04

If someone said, “I went to the emergency room last night, and couldn’t believe I was treated by a female doctor,” that would be an example of:

A

Ageism

B

Sexism

C

Racism

D

Ableism


Think about the following student's use of language. Whenever potentially offensive language is used, there is often a much better way to get your point across. Audiences will tend to focus on your language decisions as opposed to the content of your speech if you offend them. 

Click here for the script from video 3.05.

Click here for the script from video 3.06.

Some useful questions you should ask yourself when thinking about the ethical conduct of your speech:


Plagiarism

Plagiarism is when one uses words or ideas from an author without giving proper attribution. That is considered stealing. We wouldn’t steal someone’s car or textbook, right? It is considered equally wrong to steal someone’s ideas, thoughts or words. Stealing someone’s intangible property is just as bad as stealing someone’s tangible property. That is why copyright laws exist, to provide legal protection for the original creators of literary and artistic work. Individuals stand to profit from their intellectual property, their individual creative expressions.

Avoiding Plagiarism

Procrastination can set the stage for plagiarism. It is important to plan ahead so that you have time to research, organize, prepare, and rehearse your speech. Students that wait until the last minute become desperate, and at times will resort to plagiarism. There is no link between intelligence and plagiarism. When one feels backed into a corner they start to search for loopholes in the communication ethics approaches to rationalize and justify their behavior. We all have 24 hours in a day to work with; it is a matter of how we use those 24 hours. Planning ahead is key!

Global

Global plagiarism occurs when one takes from a single source and tries to pass it off as their own. By copying a single source, virtually no original work was done at all aside from finding a speech that was already written and then presenting it without giving credit to the source. Obviously, global plagiarism is the most blatant and offensive type of plagiarism one can commit.

For example, there is a DVD of sample student speeches that students are able to watch. In addition, students are also able to download transcripts of the speeches. One of the speeches on the DVD was on “Edible Insects,” a very memorable topic that was also listed in the textbook's Table of Contents. I was in shock when a student came up and delivered the exact same speech on “Edible Insects” word for word from the DVD that I assigned. Not only did the student use the exact same wording of the speech, she cited the same sources as if she had done all the research on her own. Half of the class had also viewed the speech on the DVD and couldn’t believe it either. The other half of the class that didn’t see the DVD was fooled because her delivery was spot on.

Patchwork

Patchwork plagiarism occurs when one takes from multiple sources and tries to pass the material off as their own. Although, the patchwork plagiarist does more work than the global plagiarist, they still fail to give credit to the sources.

Let’s say you have to present a speech on stem cell research and your teacher tells you that you need five different sources. So you find a book, a magazine, a website, a newspaper article, and a documentary. But then you pick a paragraph from the book, a paragraph from the magazine, a paragraph from the website, a paragraph from the newspaper, and a passage from the documentary then put it all together and present it. Even if you cite all the sources that you used, you still just “cut and pasted” the content of your speech rather than telling your own story in your own words.

Incremental

Incremental plagiarism occurs when one periodically quotes or paraphrases the content from their sources but doesn’t give credit to the source. There is nothing wrong with paraphrasing, along with using direct quotes. But remember, even when you paraphrase, they aren’t your ideas, thoughts, or theories so you still need to give credit to the source.

Q3.05

Rank the types of plagiarism from most offensive to least offensive.

A

Patchwork Plagiarism

B

Incremental Plagiarism

C

Global Plagiarism


To correctly cite an interview (primary source) you would cite the name of the person, source qualifier (title or description of the source’s significance), and the date of the interview. Take a look how this student takes credit for someone else's work and how to properly source:

Click here for the script from video 3.07.

Click here for the script from video 3.08.

Internet

Nowadays, more and more speakers are tempted to plagiarize when using the Internet because it is easy to cut and paste information. Be sure to keep track of your sources as you collect them and know how to cite Internet sources correctly. Keep track of the title of the Internet document, the author or organization associated with document/website, the date the document was last updated, and the date you accessed the website. You will need all this information for your Bibliography. In addition, many listeners may want to follow up on your topic and you will need to provide all the relevant information for them to do so. Refer to Chapter 8 for guidelines on how to orally cite Internet sources and correctly put together your Bibliography or Work Cited page.

Another issue with the Internet is the availability of Websites that sell entire speeches or papers to those desperate and willing to pay. Not only would pulling from a source like this be highly unethical and put other students at an unfair disadvantage, but the quality and credibility of the material is questionable since you don’t actually know the validity of the research. Of course, the bigger issue is the consequences you will face if caught. Just as accessing materials online is easy, it is easy for instructors to locate material that has been plagiarized. There are several easily accessed websites where instructors can upload content and find the exact source from which material has been taken!

Common Knowledge

There are some instances when knowledge is widely dispersed among many different sources and therefore does not need to be cited. For example, it is common knowledge that Sacramento is the capital of California and citing one specific source wouldn’t be expected. However, it is always good when in doubt to check with your instructor.

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Guidelines for Ethical Listening

Just as it is important for speakers to be ethical it is equally important for the listeners in the audience to be ethical as well. Remember in this class you will actually do more listening than speaking, so it is the perfect place to hone those listening skills. Here are the ethical guidelines to follow when listening to presentations:

Be Polite

Growing up, our parents taught us that it was disrespectful to ignore others when they are speaking, or to talk when others were talking. We need to practice those same skills in the classroom. It would be very distracting if you came up to give your speech and some students were texting, talking to others in the class, or sleeping. Trust me, I know it doesn’t feel good. More often than not, when I ask students to step out of the room when doing any of the above, they have no idea they are being a distraction. Let’s give every speaker the respect they deserve when presenting. Let’s remember that the word “audience” comes from a word that means “to hear or listen.” Let’s practice audience etiquette by being respectful to the speaker.

Since eye contact is a major factor in your grade it is important that you have a captive audience making eye contact with you. Your eyes should be open and nowhere else but on the speaker. Clear your desk of notes, phones, tablets or anything else that might potentially distract you.

Click here for the script from video 3.09.

Click here for the script from video 3.10.

Examples of being rude are: not making eye contact with the speaker, not facing forward, and doing anything else aside from listening to the speaker.

Take your seat, and sit up straight, and face forward. The speaker will feed off of your energy. Therefore, if you are slouching and not facing forward, the speaker may view that as you are bored or disinterested and that could affect one’s performance significantly.

Remember speakers will be looking at our faces and they will be looking to all of us to show encouragement and validate what they are saying. Smile and nod your head every so often for support. Try to be that friendly face in the audience!

Don’t Prejudge the Speaker or Their Topic

At this point in your education you know that it is wrong to judge anyone positively or negatively before they present. Everyone should get an equal opportunity to present their information and sources without being prejudged. It is unethical to prejudge a speaker and put them at an advantage or disadvantage over other speakers.

For example, one student positively evaluated another student just because they were wearing a UCLA shirt, not because of the quality of her speech.

Another student prejudged a speaker based on his topic alone which put him at a disadvantage. He was pro-choice and she refused to listen to anything he had to say based on the fact that he was a male. Her reasoning? She prejudged him because she believed that a male wasn’t credible when it comes to speaking about what a woman does with her body.

Q3.06

Do you think it is ever possible to begin a speech as an audience member without any judgement? What effect, if any, should your first impression of a speaker have on your evaluation of a speech?


Honor the First Amendment

A public speaking class should be a “safe zone,” where everyone feels free to learn how to express their thoughts, beliefs and ideas. Listeners need to respect that speakers have a right to be heard and express their ideas. It is not about agreeing or disagreeing with a speaker, but rather their freedom to express their thoughts. If you disagree with a speaker, you also have a right to be heard. However, both of you should discuss the issues respectfully, and with open minds.

Q3.07

Ryan hears that Amy is going to be presenting her speech on same-sex marriage. Ryan tells another student in the class that he respects Amy but can’t believe that she doesn’t understand that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. Ryan is guilty of:

A

Prejudging the Topic

B

Prejudging the Speaker

C

Going against his own values


Chapter Summary

In this chapter you were familiarized with the connection between ethics and public speaking. It is important to start off with a good, agreed-upon definition and then understand the common approaches. Be sure to always keep in mind the nine principles that the National Communication Association set out in the Credo for Ethical Communication to stay on target.

Since ethics and public speaking go hand in hand, it is important to make sure that we apply ethics to all stages of putting together a presentation. This chapter addressed the basic guidelines for ethical public speaking. Plagiarism is often the most common unethical practice, as some students will feel pressure to resort to using the work of others without giving proper credit. Whether it is blatant, such as Global Plagiarism, or unintentional, as Incremental Plagiarism can be, it must be avoided by ethical speakers. Lastly, you also have an ethical responsibility as a listener. Remember, you will be listening to your classmates’ presentations and you want to listen to them from a fair and balanced perspective. If you apply the guidelines from this chapter, your presentations and your role as a listener will be in line with the requirements of ethical communication.

End of Chapter Checklist

After reading this chapter, you should be able to say to yourself:

  • I understand the importance of ethics in speaking.
  • I understand the guidelines to fully prepare for a speech.
  • I understand how to speak ethically.
  • I know how to refrain from committing plagiarism.
  • I can be an ethical listener.
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Video Scripts

Video 3.01

“Um uh Los Angeles Harbor College has a great club known as Alpha Gamma Gamma Sigma Honor Society um uh as a member we hold fundraising events, attend conferences and volunteer our time with many different organizations. My favorite organization is uh United Wilmington Youth Foundation, we get to tutor local high school students and clean up dilapa dilapidated areas in Wilmington.”

Click here to return to the video.

Video 3.02

“Los Angeles Harbor College has many great clubs, one is known as Alpha Gamma Sigma Honor Society. We do fundraising events, attend conferences, and work with many organizations. My favorite organization is United Wilmington Youth Foundation. We get to tutor kids and clean up dilapidated areas in Wilmington.”

Click here to return to the video.

Video 3.03

“The solution to keeping America safe is to not allow any more illegals to come into the United States. I’m with Trump we should build a wall so that no more drug addicts, rapists and gang members can come through our borders. And any illegals that are caught should be sent back where they came from immediately.”

Click here to return to the video.

Video 3.04

“No matter what side you are on regarding undocumented immigrants in America I think both sides can agree that there needs to be a solution. As for California, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times on March 23, 2013, 'Californians overwhelmingly are in favor of President Obama’s new program granting work permits and a two-year reprieve from deportation to some young people who were brought into the United States illegally as children.'”

Click here to return to the video.

Video 3.05

“You know how old fogeys don’t like to use social media to communicate? They’re slow slow and can’t understand anything. I don’t think I would have the patience to teach an old fogey how to set up a Facebook account!”

Click here to return to the video.

Video 3.06

“My grandma who is 75-years-old doesn’t understand why I am always checking my Facebook account. She said back in her days she would call her friends or talk to them in person. I told her that it would be a great way to see what her grandkids are up to. So after 30 minutes of trying to have her set up a Facebook account, we just laughed it off and gave up on trying!”

Click here to return to the video.

Video 3.07

“I talked to this girl, I can’t remember her name, at the LA SPCA on Tuesday and she said the President, I can’t remember her name either said that she thinks the internet is a great way to get dogs and cats adopted because people can see pictures of the dogs and cats up for adoption. So basically, the President thinks social networking is awesome.”

Click here to return to the video.

Video 3.08

According to Madeline Bernstein, President of the Los Angeles Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, during an interview with Explore.Org retrieved February 1, 2016, “The internet has been very effective in pet adoption. We are able to advertise pets online through our website and others. Social networking makes it possible to post photos and information about adoptable pets, post links about the animals or on TV, and advertise mobile adoptions.”

Click here to return to the video.

Video 3.09

Student 1: “Hey wanna go get something to eat?”

Student 2: “Shhhh!”

Click here to return to the video.

Video 3.10

“Hey that was a really good speech!”

Click here to return to the video.

Image Credits

[1] Image courtesy of Prerana Jangam under CC0 1.0.

[2]Image courtesy of World Economic Forum under CC BY-SA 2.0

[3] Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore under CC-BY-SA 2.0

[4] Image courtesy of The White House under CC BY 3.0

[5] Image courtesy of Les Bossinas of NASA Lewis Research Center in the Public Domain. 

Ethical Absolutism
A strict code of ethics in which right and wrong never vary - You must always do these things, or you must never do those things. There are no exceptions to the rule.
Situational Ethics
An ethical approach that does not maintain absolute right and wrong guidelines, but acknowledges that the situation one is in could affect judgement.
Culturally Relative Ethics
Out ethical decisions are based or influenced, at least in part, by the culture in which we are raised
Ends and Means Ethics
The theory that my ultimate goal (the ends) is so important that the means I use to accomplish my goals is not very important.
Ethos-Centered Ethics
The theory that ethical decisions should be made based on whether or not they will damage or enhance a speaker’s ethos (credibility and believability)
Credo
The word Credo comes from the Latin word meaning “I believe.” A Credo is a statement of the beliefs or goals that guide someone’s actions.
Ethically Sound
Goals or decisions that are made in accordance with an agreed upon set of moral guidelines.
Half-truth
A statement that contains some truth, but also deliberately includes or omits information with the intent to deceive the listener.
Sound Reasoning
Using accepted logical approaches (Deductive, Inductive, Causal, Analogical, etc.) to reach decisions and make recommendations.
Sexist Language
Language that either promotes, denigrates, or excludes one gender or in some way implies that one gender is superior or inferior to the other.
Racist Language
Language that either promotes, denigrates, or excludes one race, or in some way implies that one race is superior or inferior to others.
Ageist Language
Language that implies stereotypes, prejudice or discrimination based on a person’s age.
Plagiarism - noun
In its simplest form, plagiarism means using someone else’s words or work and taking credit as if you did it yourself.
First Amendment
The First Amendment to the Constitution actually guarantees five basic rights to all American citizens (religion, speech, press, assembly and petition), but in this case, the First Amendment is used to mean allowing the freedom of speech - that everyone should be allowed to voice their opinion.