Since Aristotle, teachers of public speaking have argued that an understanding of the audience’s beliefs, values, and assumptions about the world are the key to effective, persuasive speaking. All too often, however, public speaking courses either avoid audience analysis or focus on superficial details of the audience demographics. This paper makes the argument that by reading and discussing novels, students can develop an appreciation of their classmates as audience members and that dystopian fiction is especially well-suited to developing speech ideas that connect public speaking with the world outside the classroom. Teaching suggestions and lesson plans are included.
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Dimock, J. P.,
A Rationale for Incorporating Dystopian Literature into Introductory Speaking Courses.
Communication and Theater Association of Minnesota Journal, 36(1).