The Relationship between Public Speaking and Democracy

The relationship between public speaking and democracy is clear and traditionally anchored. Public speaking from long time ago has been seen as a crucial skill of democratic participation and a vital constituent of a well-rounded democratic society. Public speaking plays a critical role in public deliberation. Democracy is profoundly reliant on citizens' capacity to generate, assess, and successfully put arguments, positions, and views across (Evans, Evans, Lami and Jones 231). Leaders in the society are particularly required to be skillful in public speaking in order to be able to sponsor and participate in public issues discussions. Public speaking skills could potentially connect the lives of the people possessing them to the society around them. Through public speaking, a person takes part in political discourses that shape their community.

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Public speaking empowers the speaker by giving them the essential tools for fulfillment of their rights and duties as a responsible citizen in an assorted democratic culture. Assertions of the influence public speaking on democracy can be derived from the fact that public speaking has been a part of the democracy identity since its first conceptualizations. However, it is important to note that the relationship between public speaking and democracy has been questioned before. The field of public speaking has been shaped by its capacity to produce citizens and ease involvement in a democratic society. If public speaking could not play a part in important democratic dialogue, one would wonder what other purpose it would serve.

However, the relationship between public speaking and democracy can only be seen when democracy is viewed from through Chantal Mouffe model of agonistic pluralism. According to Mouffe's model, taking part in a democratic citizenship in the American society entails recognizing its pluralistic nature and being able to see competing outlooks and principles as legitimate voices that play a significant role in the formation and protection of that society, as opposed to adversaries who threaten it. The regular clashes keep democracy lively. Agonistic viewpoint on democratic pluralism appreciates that opposition and a "we against them" mentality that cannot and must not be overlooked will always characterize politics. The model is relevant in that it helps us embrace this viewpoint and hence seek to sustain the dissimilar voices, while avoiding conceiving those with conflicting perspectives as adversaries. Although avoiding this trap is difficult, this is the only chance we can have of engaging in meaningful public discourse.  

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These differences link democracy to public speaking. Astute public speakers embrace differences as a central feature of democracy that operates in a context of pluralism. Principles of public speaking implicitly or explicitly urge public speakers to avoid quarrel and contestation. Public speaking principles not only make wider the gap between public speaking and democracy, but also points out at viewpoints of democracy that endanger its very own existence. The process of preparing for speeches as  a critical exercise give speakers an opportunity to clearly recognize how their speaking labors impact on a democratic society.

According to Swartz public speaking, through the process of identifying and reviewing the ways language structures and regards human, social reality as if had a concrete or material existence, empowers the speakers to participate more energetically in both the building and review of society (137). Public speakers, when directed by such a viewpoint will have to do more critical analysis of rhetorical positions and focus on the political interaction between contributors in the discourse they have elected to take part. Public speaking further encourages the speakers to employ the deeper indulgence in language to seek out and connect (rather than overlook) extensively incongruent standpoints.

Public speakers, when faced with an audience of various viewpoints, seek to connect rather than tear down those viewpoints. To do this, they can turn to the indefinite and flexible character of language to make out where the differences between the presenter and the listeners are not as clearly drawn out or can be amended and/or expressed in a less sharp manner. Ivie enlightens on how one could employ such a perspective of language as tools to address the audience (192). These unclear borders and dilemmatic spaces advanced by Honig (293) are prospective points at which interest overlap and sites where to anchor productive, democratic reflection.

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This strategy ought not to be confused with the unsuccessful endeavors to set up a common ground embedded in the universal good, or the elusive calculated vagueness that condenses viewpoints and thus circumvents differences. Rather, it is a convincing exploit of language. An exercise manipulating opposing viewpoints to come up with novel amalgamation of viewpoints, and hence indentifies common symbolic space where fruitful conflict can occur. Public speaking involves the exploitation of language in this way to provide themselves with a more pragmatic skill of speaking eloquently in different democratic contexts.

In conclusion, the main relationship between public speaking and democracy is that public speaking is the essence of democracy. Public speaking in a democratic society is very important since it through it that leaders are able to demonstrate what thy can offer. When leaders are competing for positions, it is through public speaking that they present their vision, agenda, and proposal. The competing contestants, on top of having a good agenda, above all ought to be able to speak with the populace.

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