Appendix B: Glossary

Abstract – the summary of a document commonly found at the beginning of academic journal articles.

Abstract language – language that evokes many different visual images in the minds of your audience.

Ad hominem – a fallacy that attacks the person rather than dealing with the real issue in dispute.

Ad misericordium – Inappropriate appeal to pity or emotions to hide lack of facts or argument

After-dinner speeches – humourous speeches that make a serious point.

Alliteration – the repetition of initial consonant sounds in a sentence or passage.

Analogical reasoning – drawing conclusions about an object or phenomenon based on its similarities to something else.

Anaphora – the succession of sentences beginning with the same word or group of words.

Anecdote – a brief account or story of an interesting or humourous event.

Antithesis – the juxtaposition of contrasting ideas in balanced or parallel words, phrases, or grammatical structures.

Appeal to Tradition – arguing that traditional practice and long-term history is the only reason for continuing a policy.

Appropriateness – how persons and groups should be referred to and addressed based on inclusiveness and context.

Argument from silence – making an converse argument from lack of evidence or information about a conclusion

Assonance – the repetition of vowel sounds in a sentence or passage.

Attention – focus on one stimulus while ignoring or suppressing reactions to other stimuli.

Attention getter – a statement or question that piques the audience’s interest in what you have to say at the very beginning of a speech.

Attitude – a stable positive or negative response to a person, idea, object, or policy.

Audience analysis – examining and looking at your audience first by its demographic characteristics and then by their internal psychological traits.

Bandwagon – a fallacy that assumes that because something is popular, it is therefore good, correct, or desirable.

Bar graphs – a graph designed to show the differences between quantities.

Beliefs – statements we hold to be true.

Boolean search – a method of using search engines in databases and the Internet that allows the user to combine key terms or words with the “operators” AND, NOT, or OR to find more relevant results.

Bridging statement – a type of connective that emphasizes moving the audience psychologically to the next part of a speech.

Causal reasoning – a form of inductive reasoning that seeks to make cause-effect connections.

Central idea statement – a statement that contains or summarizes a speech’s main points.

Channel – the means through which a message gets from sender to receiver.

Chart – a graphical representation of data (often numerical) or a sketch representing an ordered process.

Chronological pattern – an organizational pattern for speeches in which the main points are arranged in time order.

Clichés – predictable and generally overused expressions; usually similes.

Clincher – something memorable with which to conclude your speech.

Cognitive dissonance – a psychological phenomenon where people confronted with conflicting information or viewpoints reach a state of dissonance (generally the disagreement between conflicting thoughts and/or actions), which can be very uncomfortable, and results in actions to get rid of the dissonance and maintain consonance.

Communication – the sharing of meaning between two or more people

Confirmation bias – a tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions; the seeking or interpreting of evidence in ways that are partial to existing beliefs.

Connective – a phrase or sentence that connects various parts of a speech and shows the relationship between them.

Connotative meaning – the subjective meaning a word evokes in people either collectively or individually.

Console – to offer comfort in a time of grief.

Construct – a tool used in psychology to facilitate understanding of human behaviour; a label for a cluster of related but co-varying behaviours.

Culture – the system of learned and shared symbols, language, values, and norms that distinguish one group of people from another.

Decode – the process of the listener or receiver understanding the words and symbols of a message and making meaning of them.

Deductive reasoning – a type of reasoning in which a conclusion is based on the combination of multiple premises that are generally assumed to be true.

Defamatory speech – a false statement of fact that damages a person’s character, fame, or reputation.

Define – to set limits on what a word or term means, how the audience should think about it, and/or how you will use it.

Demographic characteristics – the outward characteristics of the audience.

Denotative meaning – the objective or literal meaning shared by most people using the word.

Derived credibility – a speaker’s credibility and trustworthiness (as judged by the audience members) throughout the process of the speech, which also can range from point to point in the speech.

Diagrams – drawings or sketches that outline and explain the parts of an object, process, or phenomenon that cannot be readily seen.

Domain term – a section of the Internet that is made up of computers or sites that are related in some way (such as by use or source); examples include .com, .ca, .edu., .net, and .gov.

Encode – the process of the sender putting their thoughts and feelings into words or other symbols.

Enthymeme – a syllogism with one of the premises missing.

Ethics – branch of philosophy that involves determinations of what is right and moral.

Ethnic identity – a group an individual identifies with based on a common culture.

Ethos – the influence of speaker credentials and character in a speech; arguments based on credibility.

Eulogy – a speech given in honour of someone who has died.

Euphemisms – language devices often used to make something unpleasant sound more tolerable.

Expert – someone with recognized credentials, knowledge, education, and/or experience in a subject.

Extemporaneous speaking – the presentation of a carefully planned and rehearsed speech, spoken in a conversational manner using brief notes.

False analogy – a fallacy where two ideas are compared that do not share enough (or key) similarities to be compared fairly.

False cause – a fallacy that assumes that because something happened first, that subsequent events are a result.

False dilemma – a fallacy that forces listeners to choose between two alternatives when more than two alternatives exist.

Feedback – direct or indirect messages sent from an audience (receivers) back to the original sender of a message.

Figurative analogy – an analogy where the two points under comparison are not essentially the same; “My love is like a red, red rose.”

Figurative language – language that uses metaphors and similes to compare points that may not be literally alike.

General purpose – the broad, overall goal of a speech: to persuade or to entertain.

Generalization – a form of inductive reasoning that draws conclusions based on recurring patterns or repeated observations.

Graph – a pictorial representation of the relationships of quantitative data using dots, lines, bars, pie slices, and the like.

Guilt by Association – a form of false analogy based on the idea that if two people, groups, or ideas bear any relationship at all, they are comparable

Gustatory – of or relating to the sense of taste.

Hasty generalization – a fallacy that involves making a generalization with too few examples.

Hearing – the physical process in which sound waves hit the ear drums and send a message to the brain.

Hero speech – a motivational speech given by someone who is considered a hero in society.

Heterogeneous – a mixture of different types of people and demographic characteristics within a group of people.

Hypothetical narrative – a story of something that could happen but has not happened yet.

Homogeneous – a group of people who are very similar in many characteristics.

Hyperbole – intentional exaggeration for effect.

Imagery – language that makes the recipient smell, taste, see, hear, and feel a sensation; also known as sensory language.

Impromptu speaking – the presentation of a short message without advance preparation.

Inductive reasoning – a type of reasoning in which examples or specific instances are used to supply strong evidence for (though not absolute proof of) the truth of the conclusion; the scientific method.

Information literacy – the ability to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and effectively use the needed information.

Informative speech – a speech based entirely and exclusively on facts and whose main purpose is to inform rather than persuade, amuse, or inspire

Initial credibility – a speaker’s credibility at the beginning of or even before the speech.

Inspire – to affect or arouse someone’s emotions in a specific, positive manner

Internal preview – a type of connective that emphasizes what is coming up next in the speech and what to expect with regard to the content.

Internal summary – a type of connective that emphasizes what has come before and remind the audience of what has been covered.

Irony – the expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humourous or emphatic effect.

Irrefutable – a statement or claim that cannot be argued.

Jargon – language used in a specific field that may or may not be understood by others.

Kinesthetic – issues related to the movement of the body or physical activity.

Lament – to express grief or sorrow.

Language – any formal system of gestures, signs, sounds, and symbols used or conceived as a means of communicating thought, either through written, enacted, or spoken means.

Lectern – a small raised surface, usually with a slanted top, where a speaker can place notes during a speech.

Line graph – a graph designed to show trends over time.

Listening – an active process where you are specifically making an effort to understand, process, and retain information.

Literal analogy – an analogy where the two points under comparison have sufficient or significant similarities to be compared fairly.

Literal language – language that does not use comparisons like similes and metaphors.

Logical fallacies – mistakes in reasoning; erroneous conclusions or statements made from poor inductive or deductive analyses.

Logos – logical and organized arguments and the credible evidence to support the arguments within a speech; arguments based on logic.

Manuscript speaking – the word-for-word iteration of a written message.

Mean – the mathematical average for a given set of numbers.

Median – the middle number in a given set of numbers.

Memorized speaking – the rote recitation of a written message that the speaker has committed to memory.

Mental dialogue – an imagined conversation the speaker has with a given audience in which the speaker tries to anticipate what questions, concerns, or issues the audience may have to the subject under discussion.

Metaphor – a figure of speech that identifies something as being the same as some unrelated idea for rhetorical effect, thus highlighting the similarities between the two.

Mode – the number that is the most frequently occurring within a given set of numbers.

Monotone – a continuing sound, especially of someone’s voice, that is unchanging in pitch and without intonation.

Motivational speech – a speech designed not only to make an audience experience emotional arousal but also to motivate the audience to do something with that emotional arousal.

Needs – important deficiencies that we are motivated to fulfill.

Noise – anything that disrupts, interrupts, or interferes with the communication process.

Non sequitur – a fallacy where the conclusion does not follow from its premise.

Olfactory – of or relating to the sense of smell.

Opinion – a personal view, attitude, or belief about something.

Organic – feelings or issues related to the inner-workings of the body.

Parallelism – the repetition of grammatical structures that correspond in sound, meter, and meaning.

Paraphrasing – putting the words and ideas of others into one’s own authentic or personal language.

Pathos – the use of emotions such as anger, joy, hate, desire for community, and love to persuade the audience of the rightness of a proposition; arguments based on emotion.

Peer-reviewed – a review process in which other scholars have read a work of scholarly writing (an article, book, etc.) and judged it to be accurate according to the research rules of that discipline.

Peer testimony – any quotation from a friend, family member, or classmate about an incident or topic.

Perception – how people organize and interpret the patterns of stimuli around them.

Periodicals – works that are published on a regular, ongoing basis, such as magazines, academic journals, and newspapers.

Persuasion – a symbolic process in which communicators try to convince other people to change their attitudes or behaviour regarding an issue through the transmission of a message, in an atmosphere of free choice.

Pictographs – a graph using iconic symbols to dramatize differences in amounts.

Pie Graph – a graph designed to show proportional relationships within sets of data.

Pitch – the relative highness or lowness of your voice.

Plagiarism – the act of using another person’s words or ideas without giving credit to that person.

Plain Folks – a tactic for portraying elite, famous, powerful, or wealthy persons as “the common man or woman.”

Planned redundancy – the use of a clear central idea statement, preview of the main points, connective statements, and overall summary in the conclusion to reinforce the main ideas or points of a speech; the deliberate repetition of structural aspects of speech.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc (historical fallacy) – using progression in time as the reason for causation, but nothing else.

Presentation aids – the resources beyond the speech itself that a speaker uses to enhance the message conveyed to the audience.

Primary research – new research, carried out to answer specific questions or issues and discover knowledge.

Primary sources – information that is first-hand or straight from the source; information that is unfiltered by interpretation or editing.

Probative – having the quality or function of proving or demonstrating something; affording proof or evidence.

Proposition – a statement made advancing a judgment or opinion.

Psychographic characteristics – the inner characteristics of the audience; beliefs, attitudes, needs, and values.

Public speaking – an organized, face-to-face, prepared, intentional (purposeful) attempt to persuade a group of people (usually five or more) through words, physical delivery, and (at times) visual or audio aids.

Rapport – a relationship or connection a speaker makes with the audience.

Rate – the speed at which you speak; how quickly or slowly a speaker talks.

Red herring – a fallacy that introduces an irrelevant issue to divert attention from the subject under discussion.

Religious speech – a speech designed to incorporate religious ideals into a motivational package to inspire an audience into thinking about or changing aspects of their religious lives.

Rhetorical question – a question to which no actual reply is expected.

Roast – a humourous speech designed to both praise and good-naturedly insult a person being honoured.

Secondary sources – information that is not directly from the source; information that has been compiled, filtered, edited, or interpreted in some way.

Selective exposure – the decision to expose ourselves to messages that we already agree with, rather than those that confront or challenge us.

Sign reasoning – a form of inductive reasoning in which conclusions are drawn about phenomena based on events that precede (not cause) a subsequent event.

Signposts – a type of connective that emphasizes physical movement through the speech content and lets the audience know exactly where they are; commonly uses terms such as “first”, “second,” or “finally.”

Simile – a figure of speech involving the comparison of one idea with another of a different kind (specifically using the terms “like” or “as”), used to make a description more emphatic or vivid.

Slang – a type of language that consists of words and phrases that are specific to a subculture or group that others may not understand.

Slippery slope – a fallacy that assumes that taking a first step will lead to subsequent events that cannot be prevented.

Spatial pattern – an organizational pattern for speeches in which the main points are arranged according to movement in space or direction.

Special occasion speech – a speech designed to address and engage the context and audience’s emotions on a specific occasion.

Specific purpose statement – an infinitive phrase that builds upon the speaker’s general purpose to clearly indicate precisely what the goal of a given speech is.

Speech of acceptance – a speech given by the recipient of a prize or honour.

Speech of commencement – a speech designed to recognize and celebrate the achievements of a graduating class or other group of people.

Speech of dedication – a speech delivered to mark the unveiling, opening, or acknowledging of some landmark or structure.

Speech of farewell – a speech allowing someone to say good-bye to one part of their life as they are moving on to the next part of life.

Speech of introduction – a mini-speech given by the host of a ceremony that introduces another speaker and their speech.

Speech of presentation – a brief speech given to accompany a prize or honour.

Statistics – include numerical facts, descriptive statistics (such as ratios and percentages), and the more in-depth process of analyzing, comparing, and interpreting numerical data to understand its relationship to other numerical data.

Stereotyping – generalizing about a group of people and assuming that because a few persons in that group have a characteristic, all of them do.

Stipulated definition – a definition with clearly defined parameters for how the word or term is being used in the context of a speech.

Strawman – a fallacy that shows a weaker side of an opponent’s argument in order to more easily tear it down.

Success speech – a speech given by someone who has succeeded in some aspect of life and is giving back by telling others how they too can be successful.

Survivor speech – a speech given by someone who has survived a personal tragedy or who has faced and overcome serious adversity.

Syllogism – a three-sentence argument composed of a major premise (a generalization or principle that is accepted as true), a minor premise (and example of the major premise), and a conclusion.

Symbol – a word, icon, picture, object, or number that is used to stand for or represent a concept.

Target audience – the members of an audience the speaker most wants to persuade and who are likely to be receptive to persuasive messages.

Terminal credibility – a speaker’s credibility at the end of the speech.

Testimony – the words of others used as proof or evidence.

Toast – a speech designed to congratulate, appreciate, or remember.

Tone – the attitude of a given artifact (humorous, serious, light-hearted, and so on).

Totalizing – taking one characteristic of a group or person and making that the “totality” or sum total of what that person or group is.

Transition – a type of connective that serves as a bridge between disconnected (but related) material in a speech.

Two-tailed argument – a persuasive technique in which a speaker brings up a counter-argument to their own topic and then directly refutes the claim.

Values – goals we strive for and what we consider important and desirable.

Vocal cues – the subtle but meaningful variations in speech delivery, which can include the use of pitch, tone, volume, and pace.

Vocalized pauses – pauses that incorporate some sort of sound or word that is unrelated to what is being said; “uh,” “um,” and “like” are well known examples.

Volume – the relative softness or loudness of your voice.


This appendix was adapted from Exploring Public Speaking, 4th Edition by Barbara Tucker and Matthew LeHew, which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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Public Speaking for Today's Audiences Copyright © 2023 by Sam Schechter is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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