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Communication Skills

Analysis of Hilary Clinton’s Speech in the Context of ethos, pathos, and Logos

When Hilary Clinton delivered her speech at the United Nations Fourth World Conference, it was attributed as one of the more influential speeches. While some people were of the point of view that Hilary Clinton needed to do a lot of things on her own to make sure that she actually delivered what was propagating in her speech, many people were of the point of view that speech kind of embodied the sort of problems women face and what they need to do about it. In this paper, the analysis of her speech will be carried out in the context of ethos, pathos, and logos. Based on that analysis, her speech’s effectiveness will be measured.

Ethos and Ethical Quotient of the Speech

Despite the fact that Clinton has been criticized a lot of times in the past regarding her skills as a narrator, there is no doubt that she had past experience working on the issue. During this speech, she draws on her past experience and historical events to make sure that she appeals to her audience and her belief that Women’s rights are the same as Human Rights (Akhavan and Ramaprasad, 1998). At that point in time, criticism was levied about in what capacity she was speaking in the United Nations as it was her husband who was President at that point in time. But the key thing that can be seen there is that if her husband had delivered the speech, the likelihood that people would not have given it enough credence as its message would have been coming from a man (Akhavan and Ramaprasad, 1998). Thus, when the message came from women, the reliability factor and empathy combined with the past record of Ms Clinton as a worker provided additional insight into this issue. Her confidence stemmed from her past work on the issue, and that confidence plays a huge part in making a speech a success (Akhavan and Ramaprasad, 1998).

Pathos and Emotional Quotient in the Speech

As to the way emotional appeal is used during the speech, it can be seen that the emotional quotient plays a big part in the credibility of the speech (Akhavan and Ramaprasad, 1998). To make sure that she tends to get an emotional response from the people in the audience, she uses direct imagery as well as repetition to make sure that her audience can visualize the system that is unjust towards women (Akhavan and Ramaprasad, 1998). For instance, in one of the instances of her speech, she points out that

“It is a violation of human rights when babies are denied food, or drowned, or suffocated, or their spines broken, simply because they are born girls.”

In another instance, she sheds light on the prospect of why it is a violation of human rights when women are sold into slavery and prostitution (Akhavan and Ramaprasad, 1998). She is adamant about the fact that there are justifications presented for this whole practice, which is not justified, and effort is needed to make sure that the tolerance for this practice should be no more (Akhavan and Ramaprasad, 1998). During the course of the speech, she uses the term “violation of human rights” lot of times to make sure that the message of human rights of women and how they are violated thus creating enough emotional nuisance and appeal for all the people who are partaking in the speech (Akhavan and Ramaprasad, 1998).

Logos and Logical Quotient of the Speech

It is an interesting aspect of some of the logical facts presented during the speech, which is a very important part of the way the whole message is formulated. One of the reasons she provides good logical context to the speech is that she is an informed authority on the same issue (Akhavan and Ramaprasad, 1998). Being in the public service and the first lady, she had a fair idea of some of the issues. Not only that, but it was also important that she shed light on how it can be made sure that the problems faced by women can be resolved (Akhavan and Ramaprasad, 1998). One thing that can be seen, though, is that she has not provided enough numbers or fats to ensure that some credibility can be created towards what is being stated on her part. Being a part of the public sphere is one of the things that she could have carried out better. Another thing that is missing from her speech is that she does not talk about diversity issues and the instances of harassment that are being faced by women (Akhavan and Ramaprasad, 1998). Thus, at times, the logical connection that seems to be an important part of any speech is missing, and the message comes across as a bit forced, to say the least (Akhavan and Ramaprasad, 1998).


There are many things that work to her advantage when she conducts that speech. As an articulate speaker herself, she not only delivers the right sort of emotional message but can also develop credibility as a speaker to ensure that the audience can connect with the message that she gives in the given time period.

Works Cited

Akhavan-Majid, Roya, and Jyotika Ramaprasad. “Framing and ideology: A comparative analysis of US and Chinese newspaper coverage of the fourth United Nations conference on women an the NGO forum.” Mass Communication and Society 1.3-4 (1998): 131-152.



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