Eloquentia Perfecta, the ideal of a good person writing and speaking well for the common good, is a concept I learned in my rhetorical arts class this past spring. I was eager to delve into the subject matter of this course and learn how to improve my communication skills. I am also a communication studies major, so I figured that this class would be a great supplement to my communication classes. Even though I already had an interest in rhetorical arts, this class completely opened my eyes to the importance of good writing and speaking and how these two skills can spur positive change in the world.
For the assignments in this course, we had to deliver an informative speech, a persuasive speech, a persuasive group symposium, and a final persuasive research paper on a social justice matter. For the informative speech, we examined multiple viewpoints on our specific topic, but for the persuasive assignments, we chose a specific stance on our particular issue. From there, we researched how to advance our cause in order to create progress and benefit our local and global communities. Students in my class chose topics such as animal testing, homelessness, and childhood obesity and proposed interesting and creative plans of action to solve these problems in our society.
The persuasive group symposium was my favorite assignment from this course because it challenged me to refine my persuasive skills and work collaboratively with others to convince an audience to side with our stance. My group’s topic was in vitro testing, which is an alternative to animal testing that tests products on human cells and tissue rather than on animals. We were confident that this method would have a beneficial impact because it would save the lives of animals around the world. My group had to develop a plan of action to expand the use of in vitro testing and persuade our audience to support our cause. We explained how we intended to work with animal testing facilities in our local Los Angeles community to implement in vitro testing as an alternative to testing on animals. We then outlined how we planned to expand the use of in vitro testing from Los Angeles to other facilities nationwide and eventually on a global scale. Additionally, we discussed the economic breakdown of this plan and the necessary funds that would be allotted to each component of our proposal.
Effective persuasive skills were imperative to making this presentation a success. As a group, we were sure we could all speak passionately about our topic with credibility and confidence. Projecting our voices, making eye contact, and using effective diction were key rhetorical skills we utilized to deliver a great presentation. We did extensive research on in vitro testing and practiced our symposium countless times to ensure that our persuasive communication skills were convincing and memorable to an audience.
Everyone in my group supports animal rights, so being able to collaborate with like-minded people to advance an important social justice cause was very enlightening and inspiring for me. Even though this group symposium was hypothetical and only for classroom purposes, it allowed me to see the importance of Eloquentia Perfecta and how this ideal can actually change the world. I realized that having effective rhetorical skills coupled with a passion for social justice can benefit the common good and make society a better place. Writing and speaking well are not just useful academic skills, but tools that can improve the lives of others and make a difference.