Q:

What is a credibility statement?

A:

Quick Answer

A credibility statement is a rhetorical device that establishes the validity of the rhetor's position as articulated in a given speech or artifact. Credibility statements are often associated with Aristotelian models of argumentation.

Continue Reading
What is a credibility statement?
Credit: Juice Images Cultura Getty Images

Full Answer

In rhetoric, and specifically argumentation, the credibility of a speaker can be considered to be a signifier of the validity of their position. A credibility statement is a rhetorical device which seeks to establish this validity by exemplifying the qualities of the speaker. Following an Aristotelian model of rhetoric, this is typically achieved through an appeal to ethos, or character.

In the Aristotelian model, rhetoric functions along the axes of the Artistic Proofs: Logos, pathos, and ethos. These proofs represent, to paraphrase James Herrick from The History and Theory of Rhetoric, logical argumentation, emotional psychology, and the sociology of good character, accordingly.

As it can be seen, while the first proofs concern themselves primarily with the articulation of the speech itself, ethos concerns itself with the character of the rhetor himself. The importance of character in argumentation is found in the assumption that personal morality influences the explicit value of other statements, be they related or unrelated to that specific character quality.

To that end, a credibility statement specifically addresses the speaker's social context such as to establish the validity of their position on the matter at hand. Be it through the development of empathy via shared experience, the statement of expertise through practice and history, or the establishment of intent through the detailing of past intention, credibility statements support the argument of the speaker by supporting the speaker him or her self in the eyes of the audience.

Learn more about Public Speaking

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where should the credibility statement be placed in a speech?

    A:

    The credibility statement is important as it informs the audience that the speaker is well qualified to talk about the subject matter, which means that ideally any credibility statement should be included in the speech's introduction. The credibility statement is one of five components that should be a part of the introductory section of any speech.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is an example of a good introductory speech?

    A:

    An example of a good introductory speech is one that communicates a thesis or defines the speaker with a singular topic and supporting claim. For an introductory speech focused on the speaker, consider the intended audience, such as a professor, an employee or a general audience, and tailor the content to the audience. Include information about your experience that makes you qualified to speak or facts about yourself, depending on the purpose of the speech.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some tips for writing a one-minute speech of introduction?

    A:

    Tips for writing a one-minute speech of introduction include making sure to clearly state the introductory speaker's relationship to the main speaker and making sure to include biographical information about the main speaker. The person giving the introduction should also state positive things about the main speaker and keep the introduction speech professional and brief.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some good subjects for writing a speech?

    A:

    Good speech topics include the legalization of marijuana, the history of tobacco use and blaming the dog for mishaps. Speech topics can be persuasive, informative or funny. A good speech needs to be innovative and creative.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore