OratoricalAnalysis Paper

Shewhipped me to be great

“Shewas my first acting teacher…act like you got some sense… Shecould get an Oscar for the way she whipped me because she was greatat it [ CITATION Jam05 l 1033 ].”Known to be a funny guy,musician, and actor Jamie Foxx had a moving moment especially towardsthe end of his speech at the 2005 Oscar awards. In a 490-word speech,the winning actor produced one of the most captivating acceptancespeech in the history of the Oscars. Mixed with comic and intriguingmoments, he was able to keep his audience glued. At one instance,Morgan Freeman who was among the audience seems to be gazing at Foxas if he was anticipating something. This was the mood throughout thespeech. This paper will dissect Jamie Fox’s speech at the 2005Oscars. Analysis of the speech will cover three main parts includingcommunication i.e. verbal and non-verbal, situational audienceanalysis, and pathos.

Communication:Well Expressed

Non-verbalcommunication is a type where one uses gestures or eye contact toelaborate a point. An effective speech is accompanied by appropriatefacial expressions, eye contact, gestures, and dress code (Beebe andBeebe, 2015). All these are replicated in Jamie Fox’s speech.Well-dressed to suit the occasion, Jamie Fox continuously usesgestures to drive in his point. The way he moves, speaks, and thefacial expressions display a connection with the audience. Though theactor does not maintain direct eye contact, the intertwiningmovements, and facial expressions make the speech quite interesting.“Stand up straight, put your shoulders back.” As he utters thesewords, Jamie Fox moves according to the phrase. In general, the mostused non-verbal communication technique is the facial expression. Heis well acclimatized to this mechanism and can utilize itefficiently. The enunciation, stress, and tone of voice are importantaspects of speech (Beebe and Beebe, 2015). Jamie Fox seems to knowhis audience well enough by the tone of his voice. He imitatesSidney’s voice in a hilarious way much to the excitement of theaudience. “I saw you once, and I looked in your eyes, and there wasa connection [ CITATION Jam05 l 1033 ].”The ability to imitate Sidney’s sentiments without mincing hisintentions draws attention from the audience. Just after entering thestage, Jamie Fox involves theaudience in his speech. He triggers their response in a short chorusthat keeps them active.

Situationalaudience analysis: All-Inclusive

Inthis assessment, it is crucial to check on the audience to gaugetheir reaction. As entailed in the Beebe and Beebe (2015), verbal andnon-verbal responses can be utilized to measure the audience.Non-verbal responses include applause, facial expressions, nods, andsmiles. Verbal responses are commonly obtained while conversing withthe audience probably after the speech (Beebe and Beebe, 2015). Thenon-verbal responses were quite positive in this speech. The firstbit of his speech required a response from the audience, which wasefficiently done. The audience was smiling, seemingly accepting hissentiments. In more than one instance, some people in the audiencewere nodding showing acceptance. For example, when Jamie Fox mentionsSidney, Oprah Winfrey nods ostensibly intrigued by the sentiments.The audience also claps enthusiastically to show their receipt of thestatements. In this speech, Jamie Fox tries to appreciate allindividuals within the audience as well as his supporting cast. It isquite difficult to appreciate everyone who has played a role in yoursuccess. In most cases, people just mention the names that come totheir minds. The same argument can be drawn in this speech, whereJamie tries to mention some people who have encouraged him throughouthis acting. The audience also felt the genuine appreciations andresponded accordingly. One catching moment involves Morgan Freeman’sfacial response towards Jamie’s whooping sentiments. As stated byBeebe and Beebe, different people react varyingly towards speech. Thefacial expressions also differ, but the responses typicallyillustrate what the audience is getting (Beebe and Beebe, 2015).Morgan Freeman is caught in between giggling and listeningattentively to what is coming next. He ends up putting a smiling facethat typifies the mood of the audience. When Jamie Fox shared thestory of his loving grandma, the mood in the room appeared to changefrom ecstatic to should we be clapping? As Beebe and Beebe affirms,“A well-timed pause, coupled with eye contact, can also powerfullyaccept a particular word or sentence.” Jamie Fox paused, theaudience followed suit showing responsive facial expressions tosignify acceptance of the speech.

Pathos:My first acting coach

Itis the quality of speech to evoke a feeling of sympathy, pity, orcompassion. As entailed in Beebe and Beebe (2015), facial expressionscan be utilized to elicit response from the audience (Beebe andBeebe, 2015). The audience indicates pleasure by respondingappropriately to the speech. In his speech, Jamie Fox prompts tenderfeelings when he speaks about the people who influenced him, taughthim, and the chances they gave him as an actor [ CITATION Rac16 l 1033 ].His grandmother whooped him to make him a better a gentleman.Almost drawn into tears, Jamie utilizes the pathos to keep theaudience intact.


Thequality of speech is embodied by the response from the audience. Aspeech does not have to be long instead, it should be precise. Inhis speech, Jamie Fox exemplified a series of well-structured vitalaspects of speech. A combination of pathos, facial expressions,gestures, and audience involvement made the speech quite enticing.However, critics were against his notion of whipping. His grandmotherwhipping is one of the unique features entailed in the speech, andsome critics do not appreciate it. Barbara Rogers is one of thecritics who thought Jamie Fox was championing children whipping. InBarbara’s sentiments, it felt sad for whipping to be recommendedfor an Oscar. For Jamie to tell millions of people how hergrandmother’s whipping helped him, suggests that violence againstvulnerable humans should be condoned (Exchange Press, 2005). Thecritic says Jamie could have used that moment to stand againstwhipping children. He could have advocated for better ways of raisingkids rather than whipping and suggesting that it could win an Oscar.However, a precise analysis of the mood and the way Jamie Foxaddressed the audience does not indicate an appreciation of whipping.He was merely reflecting on his past. If one looks clearly at thepresentation, then it is quite evident that Jamie is a loving father.At one instance, he mentioned his daughter`s support. The fact thathis daughter accompanied her to the event suggests that Jamie is wellinformed of how to raise kids.

Thespeech was all inclusive of true sentiments. It showed respect andappreciation. Almost everyone involved in his upbringing and successwas mentioned. It encompassed laughter and thoughtful moments. Ingeneral, it was the right speech.


Mixedwith comic and intriguing moments, Jamie Fox managed to keep hisaudience glued. He showcased excellent communication skills bothverbal and non-verbal, involved the audience, and used pathos to makethe speech interesting. Even though critics may want to disregard hisnotion on whipping, the speech was straight to the point.


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Exchange press. (2005, March 8). Jamie Foxx Promotes Whipping. Retrieved from Jamie Foxx Promotes Whipping: https://childcareexchange.com/eed/issue.php?id=961&ampnr=all

Fox, J. (Director). (2005). Jamie Fox Wins His First Oscar for Best Actor in 2005 [Motion Picture].

Jones, R. (2016, May 13). Act Like You’ve Been Someplace Before. Retrieved from Act Like You’ve Been Someplace Before: http://50days.org/2016/05/act-like-youve-been-someplace-before/