Persuasive Speech Analysis


A good example of a persuasive speech is on the effects of smoking on individuals given by doctor Rustenburg in California. The speech is intended for the general public consisting of both active and passive smokers. The objective of the speech is to create awareness of the harmful effects of smoking on health. Many people assume that some things are right just because they are popular. Smoking has become popular in the recent past to the extent of many individuals not seeing the effects of it. Smoking actually affects the people around the smoker. The speech targets the effects of smoking on the general population hence persuading the audience that smoking is indeed bad. Cigarettes are portrayed as having life-threatening chemicals that put both the life of the smoker and the people near them at risk. Though the speaker uses this, it is not yet proven that smoking affects passive smokers with the same magnitude as the active smokers. This is a successful use of an appeal to doubtful authority. The speech also portrays smoking as giving someone a bad appearance and also a bad influence on other people around them.

The use of Logos

The speaker employs logos to appeal logics and facts to the audience. By saying that smoking is bad on the health of the smoker as it increases the chances of developing cancer. The speech is made more effective by the use of statistical data on the health effects of smoking. According to the author, smoking increases the risk of developing lung cancer by 90%.

Slippery Slope

A good example of the use of slippery slope is when he argues that smoking will inevitably lead to cancer in most cases. However, this is also a form of hasty generalization. This is an example of the use of slippery slope as he uses statistical data on effects of smoking to convince the audience. The tar and the smoke from the cigarettes are responsible for the development of this form of cancer. According to the speech, there are more than eleven forms of cancers associated with smoking. Smoking is also said to be a leading factor for the development of a heart attack. Smoking increases the clotting time of blood hence can also lead to the development of a stroke. Some chemicals contained in cigarette smoke cause the stiffening of blood vessels hence leading to severe heart attack.


The speaker also employs the use of pathos to emotionally move the audience. He describes the effects of smoking on teeth and mouth using emotionally moving descriptions. Despite all these effects, smoking has also been associated with dental diseases. Smokers tend to have brown colored teeth and affected gums. This successfully appeals to the emotions of the audience by creating an emotional setback on the audience. Smokers are also prone to mouth and throat cancers. Smoking also affects one's breath as the smell tends to linger on for long after one smokes. The tar from the smoke is responsible for the teeth turning yellow in color. This deeply affects someone's appearance. The article uses the effects of smoking to portray it as bad and unhealthy.

Weak Analogy

The author uses weak analogy in making the speech more persuasive and attractive. He compares something unfamiliar to something familiar by describing the effects of smoking on the vocal cords. He compares the toughness of the voice after smoking to the effects of smoking on the vocal cords. This makes him successfully describe the effects smoking has on the vocal cords.

Straw Man Method

Smoking has also been proven to increase the aging rate of the skin and area around the mouth. Smokers tend to have wrinkles on their skin and areas around the mouth. Smoking also causes the upper lip to crease. The creases seem to get deeper after every smoke. The author employs the straw man method when describing this. This is by avoiding attacking the stronger issue which is smoking in this case and instead talking of how it creates creases on the lips. Most of the heavy smokers tend to have rough creased lips.

Ad Hominem

The author employs this to attack on the character of smokers so as to portray its effects to the audience. The author talks of this together with the coloration of teeth and the bad breath associated with smoking make smokers less attractive to other people. Through these sentiments, the speaker effectively uses ad hominem by attacking the character of smokers. This helps the audience focus more on the effects of smoking.

Bandwagon Analogy

Despite the severe effects of first hand smokers' face, second hand smokers are also prone to developing health issues by inhaling the smoke. By using the bandwagon analogy, the author tries to advice the audience not to assume something is right just because it is popular. Just because we are used to sitting near people who are smoking does not mean e are safe from the smoke they blow out around us. The author of the article portrays smoking as a bad influence on others.

Begging Questions

The speaker employs begging question by using statements based on assumptions with no logical facts. He does this by saying that smoking in public can have an influence on the children to picking up the trait. It leads some kids to think that smoking is cool and hence start experimenting on it. Smoking has numerous health effects on the second hand smokers. Just as the first hand smoker, the second hand smoke is prone to developing lung cancer by inhaling the smoke. This smoke contains carcinogens that predispose both the first hand and the second hand smokers to developing lung cancer. The author clearly states the details of the negative effects of smoking hence making the audience angrier at smoking than before. Smoking is said to have worse effects to the people around the smoker than the smoker himself.

Post Hoc

This is the suggestion that if two occurrences take place within the same time period, one must have caused the other. The speaker relates smoking to pregnancy problems as he says smoking is also not advised during pregnancy. Some incidences of smoking during pregnancy have been associated with misconception. The chemicals from the cigarette have also been proven to have harmful effects to the unborn baby. Just as the mother, the unborn baby is predisposed to developing any of the more than eleven forms of cancers associated with smoking. There have also been incidences of smoking being associated with impotence in men and infertility in women. The author deeply portrays the effects of smoking hence portraying the immense hatred for the habit.

Hasty Generalization

The speaker finally concludes on several effects of smoking by basing on too little evidence. According to him, smokers, therefore, are predisposed to several health problems associated with smoking. Most smokers meet an early death caused by one of the more than eleven forms of cancers associated with smoking. The consistent restating of cancer as the major effect of smoking is an example of circular reasoning. This can come in combination with dental diseases also associated with smoking. Smokers are also seen as a bad influence to children as most end up smoking just as their said mentors.

Red Herring

The speaker also successfully uses red herring by tossing arguments to the audience to distract the audience from the effects of smoking. He does this by successfully bringing up arguments the hygiene of smokers and their genera cleanliness. The speaker goes on to relate the cases of cancer to the number of smokers. He relates the two and successfully employs the use of post hoc. The author of the persuasive speech gets deep in the minds of the audience by the careful choice of words to use in the speech. Smoking affects not only the smokers but also the people around them.;

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