A political speech is a type of public speech; public speeches are usually prepared with the intentions of informing, influencing or entertaining an audience. The main purposes of a political speech are to transmit information among others, motivating people to act either for or against something or to tell a story. A good orator should be able to change people’s emotions and keep the audiences interest. For my language study I am analysing David Cameron’s speech to his campaigners in Brighton before the election 2010 because I thought it would be an interesting topic as it is in current news.
Firstly, David Cameron’s excessive use of pauses is interesting. They seem to be the most used technique in the transcript, for instance David Cameron says ‘we’ve got the ambition (1) to make this country great again (2) and as you go out there (1)’ this shows that there are a lot of long pauses in just one utterance, a pause can sometimes be just a hesitation but in political speech is it more likely to be deliberate.
It is an interesting technique because when the orator has paused, even if only for a second, it gives the audience a chance to reflect on what has been said and interpret the information said across in their own way. However, many people may not realise that whilst letting the utterance play on the audience minds it also gives the speaker the chance to develop and prepare in his head how he will express his next point to the crowd, the longer pauses in this particular transcript seem to be after every main point so the crowd will remember those points in particular when they come to vote.
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Secondly, David Cameron uses pragmatic phrases in his speech such as “when we get knocked down we don’t roll over and die we get up and fight (1)” pragmatic phrases are common in political speeches to create humour or to give what is being said a second interpretation, some people make take this point literally and think about the current wars in Afghanistan but others may think of it as a personal comment made directly to them to tell them that they should never give up on what they believe in and that they should always be determined.
The purpose of the pragmatic phrase in this particular speech is probably to make the audience relate to the points being made and think that they can relate to the orator themselves. Another intriguing technique is the use of repetition in this speech, “another day we’re not gripping our problems (1) another day we are wasting our opportunities (1) another day when this country is not being all that it could be (2)” repetition in this utterance is powerful because it gives the speech more drama and make more of an impact and stick in the audiences minds for when it is really needed, at the polling station.
The orator might choose to use repetition to make the speech easier to remember if he does not want to seem like he is reading off a sheet because a good orator needs to at least try and look like he is delivering it naturally because that is what the audience would want. Also, in the transcript quote above the main points are emphasised, words that are emphasised are more likely to be remembered because they are spoken louder and clear than all the others. .
In political speeches, language is affected because it is slowed right down and is spoken more precisely, because in theory, a speech is a performance and you would want people to listen and not think, boring! A political speech is prepared, but that does not mean that the audience does not want a natural delivery, they would not want any false starts, that are seen in normal face-to-face conversations, because that would make the audience lose confidence in the speaker, also there is no slang unless that is the way the speaker wants to put the speech across.
Generally, in political speeches politicians tend to use words that the audience don’t really understand, the audience might not like this because they feel that politicians’ should talk in a way that every educational ability can understand and try not to diverge away from them, however that’s what is so interesting in this speech is the lack of political jargon, i would have thought there would have been a lot.
However, i realise that the orator may not want to speak in political jargon because he may want to act like one of the public and speak in a way they are more likely to understand because if the audience understands the pitch they are more likely to vote for the one they actually know what was said. The delivery of a speech welcomes peoples own interpretations and opinions, and politics is all about opinions.
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