Interpersonal Communication - SPCH 277
Professor Ralph Millsap
August 9, 2012
Many important speeches have been presented since the birth of the United States. One of the greatest speeches in American history was entitled “I Have a Dream” by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This essay will analyze and evaluate his speech using the criteria presented in the course text and the criteria used to evaluate in class, student presentations. The most important elements of effective communication in this speech were Dr. Martin Luther King’s use of pathos, the way he analyzed his audience and the content within his message.
Dr. King effectively used pathos which appealed to the emotions of his audience. During the speech, King used inflection and tone to emphasize his main points. The passion in Dr. King’s voice was very strong and moving. When listening to his speech it is clearly evident that he had mastered the art of repetition, because certain words were repeated, for example; “one hundred years later” was repeated several times throughout the speech. Pathos was just one of the several elements of speech that he mastered.
Dr. King had a tremendous audience and did a great job of analyzing them. He knew that his audience was going to be predominately African American. The location of the audience was iconic because it was by the Lincoln Memorial with a large number of African Americans. Historical documents such as the Emancipation Proclamation were cited to support his arguments. Dr. King kept his audience focused to his speech by using common language that was simple to understand for any age group or race. The audience kept their interest more so because of the message Dr. King was portraying in his speech.
The overall message in Dr. King’s speech was a powerful and effective one. He “had a dream” of equality which still has relevance today. He used significant words that everyone could relate to such as “struggle”...