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Round-table discussion

Get ready to discuss the problem of skinheads in Russia at a round-table conference. Distribute the roles among the par­ticipants and do not forget about the role of the chairperson. Make use of the hints given in Unit 2 The Press.

Skinheads in Russia

Asian student — Skinheads are dangerous juvenile delinquents and should be imprisoned.

Psychologist — Skinheads are sick young people suffering from xenophobia who need medical treatment.

Preacher — Skinheads are physically mature but spiritually re­tarded young men in need of re-education.

Nationalist — Skinheads are true Russian patriots.

Hair-stylist — Skinheads are like punks and hippies — only a passing fashion.

African diplomat — Skinheads are puppets in the hands of closet racists in Russia.

Politician — There is no place for skinheads in a democratic society

Word List IV

to alter image

to acknowledge jingoistic

to affect long-established

allegiance long-standing

alleged corruption to link

to accept motto

to abandon martial arts

to appropriate national aspirations

to abolish to nurture

authority to nip in the bud

amateurishness orthodoxy

to assume identity to overlap

backlash to plunge

brainchild to perfect

bargaining power pragmatism

backward pernicious influence

to cause offence to question

cosmopolitanism to replace

to counter radicalism

cacophony to run amok

to command revenge

continuity resilient

contrived nation to revolutionize

to derive from to recede

devolution reverence

de-facto revival

to displace to reinvigorate

diversity short-lived

to dispense benefits supremacy

to detract from stagnation

to draw on the expertise of succession

decline speculation

to distance oneself from secularisation

to embark on to sigh up to

to envisage strivings for

emigrant superpower

to eclipse to shed

to encompass to surge

to forge to taint

to face an uphill battle turmoil

to frustrate to transform

global powers to take over

to give up to a lesser extent

high profile understatement

to imbue with unity

to issue to update

inevitable to vent differences through

to welsh on an agreement

Unit V. PUBLIC SPEAKING

Aristotle defined persuasion as the faculty of discovering all the available means of influence. Everything you say involves persuasion. No matter what you're speaking about or whom you're speaking to, the ability to use words to influence others is at the heart of any public speaking effort.

Workshop I. THE DECLINING ART?

Speeches are designed to influence an audience. They should be inspirational. Unfortunately, according to Simon Jenkins, mod­ern public oratory leaves much to be desired. Read his article and answer the questions that follow.

Lamentable as I am at public speaking... By Simon Jenkins, the "Times"

The climax of the dining season has come, and with it anoth­er crisis for the Society for the Protection of Victims of Speech­es. The news from the front is bad. The public speaking epidem­ic continues to pollute social occasions.

On Wednesday night we heard Lord Jenkins of Hill head give a short address to an audience of the University of London. Though still convalescing from illness, his five — minute speech was a model of gracious wit. The few sentences were effortlessly turned to evince a ripple of laughter. He judged the gathering perfectly and his words of thanks were never trite. Glancing sel­dom at his notes, he never lost the eye of his audience. Lord Jenkins is of the old school. He knows the proprieties of oratory and how to respect them.

Modern political oratory, once excellent under the influence of the debating chamber, is now awful. Too many of those who are allowed to speak in public are simply no good at it. Why do We let them do it? Why do we not heckle, jeer or walk out?

Speech is not spoken text. The purpose of a speech, said Hazlitt, "is not to inform but to rouse the mind". Mr. Blair has become like an American President, enslaved to his speech writ­ers. Such men should talk only to cameras. The public speech used to be a glory of British politics. Under Mr. Blair it has de­generated into mere body language.

What is to be done? We can only reassert the rules. A formal speech is a contradiction in terms. Informality is the essence of dialogue and dialogue the essence of rhetoric. Humour is the key to engaging an audience, laughter a sign of "message received". Nobody is ever thanked for keeping an audience from its food, drink and conversation.

Inspirational speaking is, like singing, a talent possessed by few. But competence can at least be taught. It does not come ex officio with being a best man, corporate executive, politician, artist or journalist. Speakers, like surgeons, should be certified as competent before they assault the ears of the public.

The ancients had no qualms over this. Rhetoric was taught and practised with pride. To Aristotle, the pursuit of rhetoric (per­suasion) was set against the pursuit of philosophy (truth). These two formed the dialectic of human intercourse.

Comprehension questions:

  1. What is the author's opinion as regards the standards of mod­ern political oratory?

  2. What has helped British politicians to keep up high standards of public speaking for many years?

  3. Why is Mr. Blair compared to an American President?

  4. What makes the author think that American and British lead­ers should talk only to cameras?

  5. What are the most typical pitfalls for public speakers?

  6. What are the attributes of good public speaking according to the author?

  7. What message is the author trying to convey to the readers in his article?

Exercise 1

Interpret the following lines and answer the questions.

  1. "The news from the front is bad". Which front? Why does the author use a military term?

  2. "The purpose of a speech is not to inform but to rouse the mind". Whose phrase is it?

  3. "The public speaking epidemic continues to pollute social occasion". What does the author refer to as "epidemic" and "social occasion"?

  4. To Aristotle, the pursuit of rhetoric was set against the pur­suit of philosophy.

Exercise 2

Explain or paraphrase the following:

  1. the dining season

  2. the Society for the Protection of Victims of Speeches

  3. a best man

  4. the debating chamber

Exercise 3

Define the meaning of the following:

  1. climax.

  2. enslaved to

  3. gracious

  4. to degenerate into

  5. ex officio

  6. intercourse

  7. epidemic

Exercise 4

Match the words in Column A with their definitions in Column B.

Column A Column B

  1. lamentable at a) the ability to make clever connections in the mind and express them well

  2. to convalesce from b) a small wave

  3. wit c) causing one to be dissatisfied

  4. ripple d) an uncomfortable feeling of uncertain ty before doing something

  5. evince e) unoriginal, said too often to be interesting

  6. trite f) to show clearly (a feeling or a quality)

  7. propriety g) to interrupt a speaker with disapproving or unfriendly remarks

  8. to heckle h) to get well after an illness

  9. to jeer at i) lightness of social and moral behavior

  10. to reassert j) to laugh or shout disrespectfully

  11. qualms k) to show forcefully the existence of smth

Exercise 5

Find in the text the English equivalents for the following Russian word combinations:

  1. изящное остроумие

  2. банальные слова

  3. обратиться с речью к кому-либо

  4. найти контакт с аудиторией

  5. не уметь делать чего-либо

Exercise 6

A. Match the words in column A with their definitions in col­umn В and with their translation in column C. Consider the distinctions between the words and find out how some of them are used in the text.

A

B

C

oratory

the art of good clear speaking in public

искусство выступать перед публикой

rhetoric

ability to express ideas in very clear, beautiful language, especially in a way that persu­ades people to agree with you

ораторское искусство

elocution

the art of making good speeches

риторика

public speaking

the art of speaking or writing in a way that is likely to per­suade or influence people

красноречие

eloquence

the activity or art of making speeches in public

дикция

B. Find the sentence in the text with the verb "to judge" and translate it into Russian. Paraphrase the sentence using the following patterns.

  1. to judge what/who 4) to judge it expedient

  2. to judge that 5) to judge smb on the merits

  3. to judge smb to be 6) to judge by the expression

C. Find the sentence in the text with the noun "public ". Study the collocations with this word, translate them into Russian/ English and make up sentences with them.

concern public деятель

spirit скандал

housing мнение

access порядок

affairs достояние

enemy расследование

utterance давление

house служащий

relations фонды

service библиотека

office праздник

spending позор

D. Compare and translate into Russian.

in public — in private

public bill — private bill

public law — private law

public school — private school

public sector — private sector

Exercise 7

Translate into English using the new words and expressions. A.

  1. Во время визита президент обратился с краткой речью к студентам столичного университета.

  2. Нечаянная оговорка во время выступления вызвала смеш­ки в зале.

  3. К сожалению, он не отличался ни остроумием, ни умением налаживать контакт с аудиторией, и на его лекциях присутствовало мало людей.

  4. Оратор, очевидно, не испытывал никаких угрызений со­вести по поводу того, что приводимые им в качестве ар­гументов откровенно банальные слова и идеи не соответ­ствовали теме дискуссии и явно раздражали его оппонен­тов.

  5. Председателю с трудом удалось закончить свое выступ­ление, так как присутствовавшие в зале делегаты съезда вступили с ним в пререкания. Некоторые явно не скрыва­ли своей иронии и откровенно насмехались над его пред­ложениями относительно повестки дня съезда.

  6. Судя по реакции аудитории, которая, затаив дыхание, вни­мала словам оратора, можно было сделать вывод, что вы­ступавший произвел на нее весьма благоприятное впечат­ление. Он прекрасно владел приемами ораторского искус­ства и явно держал под своим контролем ход дискуссии.

  7. Умение выступать перед большими аудиториями приоб­ретается не сразу. Выступление перед публикой требует серьезного обучения и постоянной практики.

B.

Русские ораторы вписали яркие страницы в историю мирового красноречия. Блестящие речи политиков и деяте­лей культуры прошлого и настоящего, многочисленные вы­дающиеся работы по теории риторики — наше наследие, наше национальное богатство, достижение нашей цивили­зации. Лучшие произведения ораторского искусства не зна­ют старения. Они продолжают участвовать в жизни челове­ка и воздействуют на нас.

Exercise 8

Refute or support the statements below.

  1. Speech is not spoken text.

  2. Rhetoric can't be taught.

  3. A formal speech is a contradiction in terms.

  4. The purpose of a speech is not to inform but to rouse the mind.

  5. Informality is the essence of dialogue and dialogue is the essence of rhetoric.

  6. Humour is the key to engaging the audience.

  7. Inspirational speaking is ... a talent possessed by few.

  8. Modern politicians should talk only to cameras.

Read the article below to compare it with the article by S. Jen­kins along the following lines:

  1. what the authors think about modern standards of oratory

  2. how the authors account for the decline in public speaking skills

  3. what the authors think of the future of public speaking

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