4.6 Chapter Exercises

Speaking Ethically

Imagine that you’re in the audience when the main speaker proposes an action that is so offensive to you that you earnestly want to stand up and walk right out of the room. You are sitting near the end of a row, so it would be possible to do so. You notice that other people are listening intently. You hope others will not assume that by your presence, you show that you agree. What is the most ethical choice?

  1. Continue listening to be sure your understanding is accurate and to see whether the speaker explains the point of view in a way that makes it more acceptable.
  2. Interrupt the speaker so other listeners won’t be “taken in” by the message.
  3. Walk out as a symbolic gesture of disagreement.

End-of-Chapter Assessment

  1. The difference between hearing and listening is
    1. very small; the two processes amount to about the same thing
    2. hearing is mindful and intentional, but listening is effortless
    3. hearing is effortless, but listening is mindful and intentional
    4. hearing requires strong motivation and attention, but listening is an automatic human response to speech
    5. hearing depends on listening, but listening does not depend on hearing
  2. Although you are a strong advocate of First Amendment rights, especially the protection of religious freedom, you find an exception to your beliefs when a speaker defends the rights of separatist religious sects to practice polygamy. Which of these responses is most ethical?
    1. Wait until the end of the presentation, then stand up and insist that the speaker listen to your rebuttal, just as you have listened to him or her.
    2. Seek a way to infiltrate the sect in order to investigate the truth of what’s really going on.
    3. Go home to look up passages in the Bible that either support or refute the speakers claims, then write an anonymous letter to a newspaper opinion page.
    4. Sit quietly and listen to the speech to decide whether the message contains elements of value or whether to leave your original opinion unmodified.
    5. Have a sense of humor; lighten the mood with a little laughter.
  3. Which of the following statements is best?
    1. A fact is carefully reasoned.
    2. A fact is verifiable by authoritative evidence.
    3. A carefully considered opinion is as good as factual evidence.
    4. Assumptions are always wrong.
    5. Opinions, even expert opinions, never belong in human discourse.
  4. What is critical listening?
    1. negative judgments listeners develop during a speech
    2. the practice of detecting flaws in a speech
    3. a listener’s use of his or her opinions in order to mentally refute factual details in the speech
    4. the rejection of a message
    5. careful scrutiny of the ideas and logical elements of a speech
  5. Listening to a speech with an open mind means
    1. accepting the claims and conclusions of the speech
    2. listening in order to learn
    3. listening in order to quote the speaker later
    4. replacing your outdated knowledge with the newer information in the speech
    5. you must allow the speaker his or her First Amendment rights

Answer Key

  1. c
  2. d
  3. b
  4. e
  5. b

This is a derivative of Stand up, Speak out: The Practice and Ethics of Public Speaking by a publisher who has requested that they and the original author not receive attribution, which was originally released and is used under CC BY-NC-SA. This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.