persuasive speech on backpacking

6:40 p.m. on September 17, 2009 (EDT)
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I am taking a public speaking class and I am doing a persuasive speech to try to get people into backpacking and hiking. I know I am going to use the health angle for one point. I would really appreciate any other ideas you guys can give me for the speech.

Thanks in advance,

Jeremy

7:29 p.m. on September 17, 2009 (EDT)
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You could tell them they're just mammals and animals like every other mammal and animal and that they belong outdoors and in the woods, but then they'd probably just get up and walk out on you.

7:41 p.m. on September 17, 2009 (EDT)
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One life to live, make the most of it. That's my favorite reason for everything. ;)

7:56 p.m. on September 17, 2009 (EDT)
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I recommend you check out the Outdoor Foundation's report on particiaption in outdoor recreation that came out this week. It has some interesting stats on who gets out to do what, by age, activity, gender, ethnicity.

You can download the report here: http://www.outdoorfoundation.org/research.participation.2009.html

Definitely highlight the fun point. For youth it was the number one reason, by far, to do activities. On a personal level, I'd talk about having the personal time and space to recharge. On the flip side, partners, families, and friends may like the idea of bonding over an activity together. The social and independent sides both work in this case.

Health is good; I'd consider saying something about how the challenge can be adjusted to ability and interest.

Cost/value.

Also, the rewards of new challenges and experiences. Okay, I'm convinced...

Good luck, Jeremy.

http://www.trailspace.com/articles/2009/09/16/americas-favorite-outdoor-activities.html

http://www.trailspace.com/articles/2009/09/16/outdoor-foundation-2009-participation-report.html

8:05 p.m. on September 17, 2009 (EDT)
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Oh, and this may be more involved than you need, but Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv is a great source. Obviously, it focuses on the necessity of getting kids outside, but there are a ton of facts and studies cited about the physical, mental, emotional, and other benefits of being outside for kids and adults.

One study I recall tested people's proofreading skills. After an initial test two groups did things like hang out in the room or listen to music (I may be a little off on the specifics). Group three took a walk in a park outside. When everyone proofread after the break, group three did the best. The restorative benefit of being outside in nature is real.

8:14 p.m. on September 17, 2009 (EDT)
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Because 'BEING THERE' is so astronomically better than just watching it on TV or looking at a calendar, post card, etc.

Once you (your audience) stand on a high ridge and FEEL the place, you will understand!!

Wind in your hair, sun on your face, troubles melt away, and you got there on your own terms, your own two feet. You did it, and you will remember forever.

Kinda like the difference between sex ed, and, well the real thing.

Can I say that?

 

Also Tipi's right, the more we stay indoors the more co-dependent we become on modern conveniences, you could make the argument that in a sense, we are devolving.

9:21 p.m. on September 17, 2009 (EDT)
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Can't you persuade them to STAY OUT OF MY WOODS!? Too many of the unwashed out there already. Hmmm, that didn't come out right - we woodsy folk ARE the unwashed.

Well, ok, you got an assignment, so I guess you need to make the best effort. In addition to the excellent suggestions above, you could throw in a few quotes from Muir, Thoreau, Abbey, and other writers on the outdoors. A common point is the one about getting back to a basic level where you directly interact with the Earth, and develop more of an appreciation for where all this stuff we take for granted comes from. Remember the old saying, "down to Earth".

7:56 a.m. on September 18, 2009 (EDT)
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As Alicia mentioned there have been a number of studies done on the positive affects that exercise can have on a persons emotional and mental well being (besides physical health). I don't remember the source material but recall reading that exercise has been shown to help in dealing with stress; there are also some studies that indicate that exercise helps people with ADD/ADHD to focus better. What better way to get exercise then with a backpack? Sure beats the same amount of time in a stuffy gym.

8:28 a.m. on September 18, 2009 (EDT)
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Louv mentions the ADD/ADHD research in his book too. I was skimming through the book last night and noticed a paragraph on it. I need to reread the book, but I believe that outdoors activity had far better, calming results than exercise alone. So, exercise like playing on a soccer team may help, but taking a child with ADD/ADHD into nature had a far stronger and longer lasting mental health benefit overall.

8:40 a.m. on September 18, 2009 (EDT)
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Thank's for the reference and information Alicia. I think that I'll be looking for this book when I get my next stack of books to read.

9:09 a.m. on September 18, 2009 (EDT)
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I always say you've gotten back to basics when all you can talk about is food and basic bodily functions, i.e. what goes in and what comes out. Usually takes a minimum of three days in the woods.

1:41 p.m. on September 18, 2009 (EDT)
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Good luck.

Maybe you'll want to share your speech or parts of it with us once you're done. Then we'll all be compelled to immediately leave our computers and head outside. Yay!

2:09 p.m. on September 18, 2009 (EDT)
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Beyond all of the obvious, my two favorite reasons.

 

1. No cell phone

2. No email

 

True, that is not always the case because you can get coverage in the back country but when I head to the woods, never, never, never do I take my work phone with me... and everyone I work with knows it. I am in the IT staffing business and I get calls 24/7. I always have my phone and respond. My boss likes to send me emails at 11 and 12 at night. I have even received an email at 3AM from the owner of my company. You never seem to have any real down time when you work in my environment. Heading to the woods/mountains is true down time for me. I imagine it may be the same for others.

2:18 p.m. on September 18, 2009 (EDT)
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I agree with Bill.

 

Make it sound terrible so nobody wants to do it. ;)

6:20 p.m. on September 18, 2009 (EDT)
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Thanks for all the great suggestions. It will be a great help but you know now that I think about it maybe I should change it as to why they shouldn't go. HA! Of course I don't think I could be very convincing on that.

7:19 p.m. on September 18, 2009 (EDT)
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Hmmmm, reverse psychology, brilliant idea!

Tell them they can't handle it. Maybe you could show them some poison ivy and pass it around, just so they'll know for sure what it looks like.

I also agree whole heartedly with the idea that getting out there is good for you mentally as well as physically, very good point.

7:22 p.m. on September 18, 2009 (EDT)
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Bugs, no bathrooms, bad hygiene, stinky people, heavy loads up hills, little furry critters, the dark...

I can think of lots of things if you need to make an alternative speech to keep people away! Just reinforce what they're already worried or scared about and the crowds will stay home and the outdoors will be ours! (I'm kidding, I think).

8:35 p.m. on September 18, 2009 (EDT)
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Hmmmm, reverse psychology, brilliant idea!

Tell them they can't handle it. Maybe you could show them some poison ivy and pass it around, just so they'll know for sure what it looks like.

 

Alicia said:

Bugs, no bathrooms, bad hygiene, stinky people, heavy loads up hills, little furry critters, the dark...

I can think of lots of things if you need to make an alternative speech to keep people away! Just reinforce what they're already worried or scared about and the crowds will stay home and the outdoors will be ours! (I'm kidding, I think).

For some reason these posts brought the Pinky and the Brain theme song to mind. Narf. :-)

10:41 a.m. on September 19, 2009 (EDT)
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tough to convince people who haven't already been convinced. i think you either "feel the call" and need it, or you don't.

12:30 p.m. on September 19, 2009 (EDT)
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unless someone is on the fence, you can't convince them otherwise. unless you are talking to a group of bikers(the harley rider kind) and rednecks you could just say "stop being little girls" and apart from recieving a black eye, you will be sure to see more leather bound, bearded road hogs out in the woods defending their manhood! :)

July 23, 2014
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