Speech analysis is a form of text analysis, which plays a role in different disciplines. The speech analysis is therefore not restricted to the subject area of German, but is also an important building block in English or history lessons. Nevertheless, the approach is similar in all subjects and differs only in a few details.
In the Department of German, emphasis is often placed on the rhetorical means (→ stylistic means) of the orator, whereas the history of history focuses more on the historical context. In the area of foreign languages, the requirements for speech analysis are comparatively low, since the linguistic level is obviously much lower.
Note: In this article, we would like to show you how to write a speech analysis on what things to consider. We also provide you with a possible structure of the analysis and give you numerous tips to refine the analysis.
What is the point of speech analysis?
The subject of a speech analysis is, of course, the spoken word, that is, the speech. Whoever makes a speech is a speaker and uses rhetorical means. Rhetoric can be translated with repertory or art of eloquence. It is therefore an art to make a speech.
Consequently, not every oral communication is a speech. A speech is referred to in the form of a pre-written oral communication which the speaker addresses to an audience and, as a rule, pursues a purpose. Frequently, we are confronted with speeches in politics, and are therefore usually political, but also social and moral.
If we write a speech analysis, it means that we divide an object into its smallest parts, arrange it, evaluate it and examine it under the magnifying glass. This object is in our case the speech, which we must decompose into individual parts. This step is often followed by the interpretation of the analysis observations. This means we look at what the individual results could mean. (see poem interpretation)
Thus, when we write a speech analysis, we verbalize the speech and decompose it into its components, which we evaluate after the investigation. Sometimes the subsequent interpretation is not necessary and we limit ourselves to pure analysis.
Prepare speech analysis
Before it comes to the actual writing, it makes sense to prepare the whole, so that we do not neglect or forget important things when formulating the essay.
Read the speech before editing. Ideally equal several times, to also really capture all the trifles. If the speech is not in text form, listen to the whole thing several times.
Choose different color markers. This way, you can write down anomalies immediately and keep the ambiguities at the edge.
If you notice any special features during the first reading or listening, make a note of it immediately or mark it with the markers. Perhaps there are special stylistic means that the speaker uses or a catchy way to speak. Every detail you hold here can be useful later.
Perhaps you can now classify the whole thing in time and sketch an approximate year or sketch a historical context at the edge of the work (This is of course not necessary if a date or context is specified.) → Literaturepochen
Important! Be thorough in these preliminary work. Also, if you need to write the speech analysis under time pressure (exams, tests, etc.). The detailed preparation is in any case more valuable than a work that ultimately goes in the wrong direction.
Rough outline of speech analysis
If we systematically analyze a speech, it makes sense to use an approximate outline. Let us look at a rough classification of the analysis and then devote ourselves to the details.
Rough outline of speech analysis
Formal aspects of the speech (who, when, where, why etc → W questions)
Redesituation (place and time, political background of the orator)
Content of speech (topic of speech and important core statements)
Purpose of the speaker (What is the intention? Why is the speech held?)
Structure (structure of the speech) and used rhetorical means (→ stylistic means)
How is the speech presented? What is the effect?
Evaluation of speech
Notes on classification: These points are to be understood as basic categories of speech analysis. This means that these are the aspects that should be used in the analysis. In doing so, however, we can set our own focus and vary the order of the individual points. Let us now look at a detailed guide for speech analysis.
Detailed structure of speech analysis
Let us now look at the exemplary structure of a speech analysis. The following outline is to be understood as a guide and should be adapted to one’s own project.
Introduction of speech analysis
Formal features (just specify!)
Who’s talking? (Speaker)
At what time was the speech held?
Where was the speech?
What type of speech is present (monologous, dialogical, etc.)
To whom is the speech addressed? (Addressee)
Why is the speech held? (Occasion)
What is the subject of the speech?
Is the place of speech special? What is the speaker’s point of view?
Spatial situation: Has the speaker to the present eye contact? Is the speaker integrated into the set or is he even highlighted (lectern, etc.)? Is there a symbolic ambience (flags, banners, uniforms)?
How is the audience: Is it interested? Is it social, educational or mixed with the world view? Is he particularly interested in this?
Are certain media used? If so, what is the effect?
What are the political, economic, social conditions? Does it matter?
What is the speech? (Is there any special occasion?)
Content of speech
What are the aspects of the speaker? What topics does he address?
Under which concept can these subjects be classified?
What are the core statements of speech?
Is the speaker’s worldview obvious? If so, which one does he have?
Intention of speech (speech intention)
Will the speaker have an effect? Which? How does this become apparent?
Is the speaker himself? If yes how?
Does the speaker have their own interests? Is he open or hidden?
How is the audience addressed? (attacking, informing, enlightening, denying, etc.)
Is the content of the speech acknowledged? Does it stimulate reflection or intensify a circumstance even further or even divide the audience?
Are there terms or words that fall again and again?
To whom is the speech addressed? Whom does the speaker address by reproaches, appeals, etc.?
Outline of speech and linguistic means
How is the speech structured?
How is the argument argued? Are the arguments conclusive?
How are the arguments put forward? Is there evidence? (→ argument types)
Are the individual points of the speech logically linked together or do they have an indiscriminate effect?
Are there special linguistic elements (rhetorical means → stylistic means)?
Are metaphors used? Which function do they have? (→ examples of the metaphor)
Is the language oriented at a certain level (colloquial language, technical language, etc.)?
What is the sentence structure of speech (hypotactic, paratactic)?
Which types of records are available? (Statements, questions, questions, etc.)
Is there a conspicuous accumulation of certain types of words (adjectives, verbs)? Does this have a function?
Are the types of words used evaluative? Are they directed against a certain group?
Are there strategies in the speech that reinforce / attenuate statements (→ Klimax, Antiklimax, rhetorical questions)
What is the speaker’s speech? (hectic, slow, uncertain, etc.)
Does the speech stop, fluently, or rather read?
How are the speaker’s gestures and facial expressions? How is this used?
Is there a linguistic rhythm or is the speech rather monotonous?
Is the audience involved in the speech? Is responding to interviews?
Assessment and conclusion of speech analysis
Summary of the most important analysis results
What is the relevance of the speech in the historical context?
What do you think? (Opinion)
Tip: Sometimes your own language is more lively if we use different and varied adjectives when talking about the orator. We have compiled an overview of possible properties → Character properties (list)
Note: As written, this outline is only a possible structure of speech analysis. Of course, you can omit or neglect points, if they are not relevant in your case at all. You can also vary the structure and adapt it to your needs. Understand the whole as an excuse for speech analysis and not as a dogma.
Conclusion of speech analysis
Introduction and main part are almost cross-fictive and can be used according to our proposal. However, there are specific variations for the key part.