David Mccullough Rhetorical Devices

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In speech writing, the proper use of rhetorical devices can have a substantial effect on the audience’s overall opinion of a speaker's ideas. The speeches by David McCullough Jr. and President Obama both utilize rhetorical devices differently in their own ways. President Obama’s speech had a much more formal tone and directly addressed his main focus. McCullough, on the other hand, was incredibly informal in tone as well as used a very uncommon route to address his main idea. Despite the difference in topics, one speech was more effective and persuading than the other. As a result of McCullough’s strong use of logos and awareness of audience, his speech, as well as argument, are much more effective than President Obama’s. In President …show more content…
Unlike Obama, McCullough is very aware of his audience and uses this to his advantage. Occasionally, McCullough makes references to pop culture, such as the nature of the phrase YOLO and YouTube. This demonstrates ethos which causes his audience to be more engaged in the speech and have more trust in the speaker. Moreover, McCullough frequently uses humor to engage with his audience. For instance, while discussing how nobody is truly special, McCullough makes a joke about Donald Trump and his hair. This demonstrates how McCullough is able to use humor and pop culture references in order to captivate as well as appeal to his audience. When addressing a large group of graduating seniors, a speaker wants to make sure they can connect with their audience in order to hold their fleeting attention. This method of appealing to your audience is something that Obama lacked in his speech. Another key factor that strengthened McCullough's argument was the method he used to approach his main idea. McCullough used a very indirect approach to his argument. Rather than state his main idea clearly, like Obama did, Mccullough started by stating that no one in the audience was special. This statement was bold and very unexpected for a commencement speech. As a result, McCullough was able to grab his audience’s attention and provoke them to think. By walking around his main idea