The rhetorical triangle


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The rhetorical triangle

  1. 1. The Rhetorical Triangle Victoria Rock August 23, 2012 The rhetorical triangle consists of three sides; the speaker, the audience, and the situationor problem as well as the location it is going on in. By picturing a triangle and placing each partof the approaches, you can picture the concept of the rhetorical triangle; Speaker =‘s one side of a triangle, Audience =‘s another side of a triangle, and Situation& Location =‘s the last part of the triangle. Speaker Audience Situation/ Location When you think about it, every one of us uses the rhetorical triangle each and every dayof our lives. The rhetorical triangle is used when giving a speech or lecture, workshop,discussion, or group activity. Depending on who you wish to communicate your ideas orthoughts, depends on which of these approaches you will need to get your information across to(The Rhetorical Triangle, 2011).Speech/ Lecture When giving a speech or lecture you have to figure out who your audience is and what orwhere you will do it at. There is a big difference between a speech and lecture and so there willbe a big difference in the way you use the rhetorical triangle. A speech is used like a script withan outline of what you want to say. When thinking of speeches I tend to think of politiciansbecause they talk of a specific thing in order to persuade or move a person to their ideas. Aperson giving a lecturer will be informing you about their information much like teachers whenexplaining a subject matter. Speeches and Lectures are used when a person addresses a largegroup with little interaction with the audience (Johnston, 2012). So by looking at the diagramabove you can see how the rhetorical triangle works within the guidelines of a speech or lecture;
  2. 2. Speech/Lecture; Speaker = Politicians/Teacher, Audience = the public/students, Situation& location = their ideas & stage or platform/subject & classroomWorkshop/Group Activities Workshops and group activities are used to educate small groups of people. They gathertogether for a period of time to work on a single project to inform, solve problems, and fortraining. With workshops and group activities you will find there are two different kinds,technical and applied. Depending on what you objectives are will depend on what and how youwill get your message across. For a technical approach you will use the same format as youwould for a lecture, while the applied method is more of a hand on approach (What is aworkshop?, 1998). Workshops and group activities are used to teach a group of people about acertain topic and allow the audience a chance to ask questions and discuss the topic presented. Italso gives the opportunity to take part in activities in order to learn more about the topic. Someexamples as to how the rhetorical triangle is used in workshops and group activities are; Technical; Speaker = Professor, Audience = Students, Situation & Location = Subjectmatter & classroom Applied; Speaker = Instructor, Audience = Employees, Situation & Location = Product &work areaDiscussion A discussion is much like what we do in a classroom or even at home with our families.The teacher or parent gives us a topic or subject to talk about and we each give our ideas on thesubject and interact with each other to come to a conclusion. As we can see the rhetoricaltriangle works here as well; Speaker = Teacher, Audience = Students, Situation & Location = Subject & classroom Speaker = Parent/Spouse, Audience = Child/ Spouse, Situation & Location =Idea/problem & home So as you can see the rhetorical triangle is an important part of our everyday lives and isused to get messages across to others in the best way possible for each situation (The RhetoricalTriangle, 2011).Reference
  3. 3. Johnston, K. (2012). Difference Between a Speech & a Lecture. Retrieved from eHow: The Rhetorical Triangle. In E. Board, Introduction to Communications (pp. 136-145). Words of Wisdom.What is a workshop? (1998, July 2). Retrieved from LinguaLinks Library: shop.htm