Ethics in Public Speaking
Ethics in Public Speaking
Five Criteria for Ethical Public Speaking
A speaker should ensure that the message has achieved its intended purpose (Beebe & Beebe, 2003). Intended purpose means the goal or intentions of the message. The main purpose of any speech is to inform, educate, and impart knowledge to a specific audience (Beebe & Beebe, 2003). The audience expects to learn new information. An ethical speaker is supposed to meet the needs of their audience and must prepare himself/herself before presenting the speech to have a clear understanding and the reason for the speech and anticipate answering any questions raised at the forum (Beebe & Beebe, 2003).
An ethical speaker should gain the trust of his/her audience. This can be gained by the provision of honest information, which is not discriminative or distorting (Beebe & Beebe, 2003). The speaker should be honest and open to the audience. By an ethical speaker being trustworthy, they can build a strong connection with the audience, which can lead to participation and engagement of the audience in the forum (Beebe & Beebe, 2003). Trust can be cultivated by being genuine, being a good listener, having an open-minded conversation, and giving other people opportunity to participate in the forum as well as taking into consideration other people’s opinions (Beebe ; Beebe, 2003).
An ethical speaker will practice integrity in public speaking. Integrity involves having good morals, which include respecting other people, being honest, being sincere, and fair (Beebe ; Beebe, 2003). Any speech should have a moral value and respectful to all audience in attendance. Public speakers should carefully research about the topic that they will presenting to avoid difficulties in answering questions from the audience (Beebe ; Beebe, 2003).
An ethical public speaker will be truthful in his/her speech and will not tell lies to the audience (Beebe ; Beebe, 2003). A speaker should not deviate from the truth to satisfy certain needs. Deceiving the audience may have serious consequences to the speaker and the speaker should tell the truth regardless of the outcome (Beebe ; Beebe, 2003). Lying or distorting information to the audience will affect the relationship between the speaker and the audience and lower the levels of trust. Arguments supported by lying and manipulation will not stand the test of time and sooner or later the truth will finally come out negatively affecting the image of the speaker (Beebe ; Beebe, 2003).
Ethical public speakers should be honest about where they have acquired their information on their speech and should cite their sources in their speeches (Beebe ; Beebe, 2003). The audience has a right to know where the information was obtained. The American Psychological Association states that all information obtained from a source should be clearly cited and credit given to the source (Beebe ; Beebe, 2003). Plagiarism can have serious consequences on the speaker and can even face legal action. Plagiarism also lowers the credibility of the speaker (Beebe ; Beebe, 2003).
What Criteria Are Most Important To You and Why
The intended purpose of a speech and truthfulness are the most important criteria as this is the main reason for the speech. Without an aim, the speech will have no value or importance to the audience (Beebe ; Beebe, 2003). The speech should address the needs of the audience and the audience can engage with the speaker for complete understanding and transfer of knowledge to the audience (Beebe ; Beebe, 2003). The purpose of a speech is the backbone of the speech and the most important aspect of any speech. Truthfulness is also important as a speech full of lies will have a negative effect on the audience and even distort the main aim of the speech (Beebe ; Beebe, 2003).
Beebe, S. A., ; Beebe, S. J. (2003). Public speaking: An audience-centered approach. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.