It is believed that a convincing message is successful because the listener learns and remembers its content (Greenwald). Metcalfe’s presentation will thus be measured on the same basis. The host, on the other hand, is controversial in the way he suggests the premise that printing money may be a solution to financing the war against climate change. Climate change is an issue that typically causes a lot of discussions, from political agencies to non-governmental organizations to climate change crusaders. Policy actions to fight climate change are at the center of the debate. The speaker sets off the talk with a question; “will we do what it takes to tackle climate change?”(Metcalfe) Which draws his listeners to wonder what interesting idea he had based on the title of the talk. The speaker uses the story of a family ring was passed on to him from his grandfather through his father. The story gives a message to his audience about how the future generations will judge him, and to paint a picture of how well the current generation need to take care of the environment so as to pass it to the next generation. If his father gave to him a ring that was in good condition, he, the speaker, is obliged to give to his son Charlie one day in good shape as well.
The speaker further illustrates the seriousness of the subject matter with a personal story about his grandfather who was a coal miner. The idea that current industry will be judged more harshly than his father’s industry persuades the burning of fossil fuels has been discouraged, and the current industry knows. Knowledge of the impacts of burning coal to the environment may form the basis of judgment clearly indicating that coal miners back then did what was acceptable and what is happening now is not fair across the board.
The integration of a photo of a young child in the hands of his father into the talk also persuades the audience of the time difference between now and the next generation. Children are adorable, and no one in their right mind would want to hurt a child. The thought of hurting the environment making it inhabitable for the future generations persuades the audience that maybe the idea of investing into the preservation of the environment need more urgent and aggressive measures.
The whole talk is centered on the depths and breadths of which the United States government went to the height of 2008 financial crisis. Whatever transpired during this time, led to the federal government (and UK government as well) doing whatever it took to salvage the ailing and collapsing financial giants. The speaker shares with the audience an agreement in Copenhagen that is since losing grip which should be worrying. This example is to persuade the audience that everything seemed to be on the right track and perhaps the audience would wonder why they wouldn’t follow up with the plan. The speaker arouses emotion among the audience by repeating the word really when he remarked about 2008 financial crisis, “–a crisis that diverted the attention and finances of governments from some really, really important promises…” this persuades the audience that there were several backward steps taken at the height of the crisis.
The presenter also shares staggering statistics of how much investment in deforestation in Brazil went along way to saving 3.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions while reducing deforestation by 70 percent (Metcalfe). Numbers don’t lie and being part of the presentation plays an important role in convincing the audience that his proposition can yield desired results or even more. The speaker says, “why don’t we start by spending those unused extra SDRs that were printed in 2009?” (Metcalfe). The speaker knew that perhaps the audience had a question like, “It has never happened before? Where and how do we begin implementing your rather weird idea of printing currency?” The speaker had answered their concerns before they asked prompting the audience to know that he thought about that before the speech and hence they need to trust him. He persuades them that it is possible and there is a way to begin.
Winning the confidence of the audience by answering unasked questions that linger in their faces plays a major role in persuasion. Towards the end, the speaker finishes off with “we must must do whatever it takes” giving the audience an option to think of their ideas to make sure that climate change checked through funding or any other means. The speaker takes 12 minutes and audience unanimously applauds the speaker as he takes his seat.
Greenwald, Anthony G. “Cognitive Learning, Cognitive Response to Persuasion, and Attitude Change.” Psychological foundations of attitudes (1968): 147–170. Print.
Metcalfe, Michael. A Provocative Way to Finance the Fight against Climate Change. Boston: TED@state Street, 2015. Film.