George Clooney gains attention of the audience right away. He says: “I won’t try to educate you on the issues of Darfur.” By saying this, Clooney acknowledges the audience’s expertise and points out that the purpose of his speech is not to educate them, but to urge them to act appropriately on the issue. Also, Clooney starts off with a stable pace, which does not change throughout the whole speech.
In the body of the speech, Clooney states that he is the representative for the people who cannot speak for themselves. With this statement he gains credibility right away, and lets the audience know that he represents not only his own, but a collective point of view. Clooney proceeds with statement that UN needs to act immediately on the issue of Darfur. Thus, he stresses his attention on the sanctity of human life by saying: “my job is … to beg you on behalf of the millions of people who will die — and make no mistake; they will die — for you to take real and effective measures…” While saying this, Clooney keeps straight and serious face, which adds more pathos to his words.
Towards the end of the speech, Clooney starts to blame UN for inaction by blaming the organization for the conflicts in Rwanda, Cambodia, and Auschwitz. Therefore, he addresses to the audience with a harsh statement: “So, after September 30th, you won’t need the U.N. You will simply need men with shovels and bleached white linen and headstones. In many ways, it’s unfair, but it is, nevertheless, true that this genocide will be on your watch”. Even though, Clooney makes harsh arguments, he manages to deliver strong message to the audience and warns them to act immediately on the issue.
Towards the conclusion, Clooney becomes less harsh and goes softer. He asks the UN to start acting on the issue of Darfur, and points out there must be no waste of time regarding the decision-making. By the end of the speech, Clooney says: “We believe in you so strongly. We need you so badly. We’ve come so far. We’re one “yes” away from ending this.” This statement, probably, was the most influential part of the speech, because Clooney begs UN to start acting on the Darfur conflict and his speech finishes with a question: “So, what is next?”
The Rhetorical Situation
George Clooney is known worldwide as an actor, producer, and screenwriter. However, Clooney is not only a Hollywood star, but also a political activist. After delivering the speech on the conflict on Darfur, he was named “messenger of peace” by the United Nations. Thus, Clooney has all the necessary skills for public speaking. Consequently, Clooney effectively uses rhetorical tools and delivers his speech to the audience with slightly harsh and attacking way.
Throughout the whole speech, Clooney maintained strong eye contact with the audience. Also, his pace remained during the whole speech. He was not rushing, but rather trying to stress attention on every word.
Clooney had great vocal variety; his voice was loud and clear. The articulation was on the high level, and it was easy to understand everything that he was saying.
For the body language, it was visible that Clooney was trying to hide his hands, as he kept them crossed on the table. By doing this, he has created the feeling that either he was hiding something or was not completely honest about what he was saying.
Even though, the speaker was passionate and persuasive, he was reading too much from his notes. His speech was quite short, thus, he could have memorized it and he could have more impact on the audience if he did not use any notes.
Also, Clooney’s speech sounded bit too harsh. Sometimes it seemed like he was trying to blame UN for everything bad happening worldwide.
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