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Speech Critique

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 678
  • Category: Audience

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My critique is written based on a speech, called “The puzzle of motivation”, that Dan Pink gave on August, 2009. I happened to have a chance to watch his speech right after it was uploaded on YouTube, and after 6 years, I’m finally facing a great opportunity to elaborate my thoughts about this speech. The central idea of Dan’s speech covers the approach to the motivation for both: humans and mostly businesses. Pointing to the scientific academic researches on motivation, he mentioned the fact which causes the establishment of decreased productivity in general, and why people need to rethink the way they run their businesses. There is absolutely no doubt that the structure of his speech is superb and well written, I loved the way he started his speech: “I need to make a confession…” He gained the audience’s interest immediately by stating that he has a confession to make, followed by a joke about his education. Although, this way, he leveled himself with the audience, it was very obvious that he did not sound confident in some particular moments.

However, the constant change in his persuading voice, lowering and raising it, made the speech more interesting. His main message was transformed through solving the “Candle problem”, which he constantly referred to as an example to showcase how motivation is perceived by humans. Though his introduction was way too long, he shared some good information and established a common ground with the audience. He made a self-deprecating humor, which could lower his credibility in front of the audience, but it was not a case in his speech. He, couple of times referred to the audience by saying: “Let me marshall the evidence, because I’m not telling a story. I’m making a case, ladies and gentlemen of the jury…”, which specified the importance of his message. He concluded the speech by saying: “Let me wrap up” followed with a pause of four seconds. This way, he helped his listeners to be prepared to the last phase of the speech. “We can change the world”, the part of his cliché which followed by “I rest my case” and he stepped out of the stage. I think, it was an amazing way to complete the speech.

His knowledge of the subject and well-organized arguments made his speech very informative and persuasive, which makes it very interesting to listen to him. The fact that I still remember his speech, though I watched it 6 years ago, says by itself, how well it deepened my understanding. In the middle of his speech Dan says that: “Think about your own work… everybody in this room is dealing with their own version of the candle problem”, which makes his speech more personal and can be related to everyone in the audience. Back then I made my first steps towards the entrepreneurship, and any information was useful. Luckily, Dan’s speech persuaded me to be caution when it comes to the way I could motivate my personnel. He clearly delivers the message how incentives and bonuses affect the productivity when it comes to the completion of any given task.

To support his message, he says: “Too many organizations are making their decisions… based on assumptions that are (1) outdated, (2) unexamined, and (3) rooted more in folklore than in science.” He then updates the whole understanding by explaining what the scientific research comes with when we deal in this type of situations. Throughout of his talk Dan uniquely uses his gestures and body language to help the audience to be more engaged. I can write another critique on Dan’s approach to his movements and gestures. He doesn’t even need a PowerPoint presentation to deepen listener’s understanding for any particular message. The timing for changing his positions is awesome. I made a research on him and found out that he was a professional speechwriter. After his talk there is no doubt that he clearly knew what he wanted to deliver and he didn’t know that he could become a “motivation” for future speech givers.

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