Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Basic textbooks in the area of public speaking frequently contain information concerning the importance of speeches of introduction. The authors consulted recommend that to achieve these purposes a speech of introduction should focus attention on the speaker without containing personal comments about the introducer, should focus attention on the subject without discussing it, and should build the speaker’s prestige without embarrassing him by over-praise. Despite this agreement among authors, there appears to be not direct experimental evidence to support the assumption that the effectiveness of a persuasive speech is influenced by the speech of introduction which precedes the communication. However, indirect evidence to support this assumption comes from studies dealing with the ethos, which is understood to be the character and the reputation of the speaker. Although this evidence cannot be used in direct support of the importance of speeches of introduction, it does suggest that the assumption held by textbook authors about the importance of such speeches may be tenable. The present study was designed as a direct measurement of that assumption. The hypothesis tested was the following: a speech of introduction which corresponds to the established criteria, as set forth by the authors of basic textbooks, will have a stronger effect on the shift of opinion in the direction advocated by the persuasive speech than a speech of introduction that does not correspond to the established criteria.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Introduction of speakers
Public speaking


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University