Macquarie University
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Exploring persuasive techniques used by Japanese University students in English oral presentations

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posted on 2022-03-29, 00:36 authored by Richard Miles
This dissertation explores the use of persuasive techniques in English language oral presentations delivered by Japanese university students. In particular, it focuses on the persuasive discursive techniques employed by the presenters. The purpose of this study is to develop a better understanding of how and why Japanese university students use certain persuasive discursive techniques and if usage of these techniques affects the persuasive impact of their oral presentations. Phase 1 of this study focuses on the audience's perspective and is comprised of three focus group sessions. Participants in these sessions rated the overall persuasiveness of four presentation videos and provided rationale, with a particular focus on the persuasive techniques employed by the presenters. Two of the focus groups were comprised of Japanese nationals, while a third focus group was comprised of non - Japanese nationals, adding a cultural comparative element to this study. Phase 2 of this study examines the presenter's perspective and is comprised of four case studies . Exploring these case studies firstly involved documenting how four Japanese university students prepare d persuasive presentations, how they delivered these presentations , and finally, how these presentations were perceived . A modified version of Hyland's (2005) Interpersonal model of metadiscourse was employed to further analyze the specific persuasive discursive techniques used by the presenters. Along with documenting and explaining the 'how', this phase additionally involved examining 'why' presenters chose certain methods or techniques. The various forms of data collected over two phases in this study were then integrated to generate a more comprehensive overarching analysis. This analysis explored which persuasive discursive techniques were utilized by the presenters in this study, why these techniques were utilized, the effectiveness of the techniques employed, the underlying rationale behind the perceived effectiveness of certain techniques, and how other non-linguistic techniques affected the utilization of the discursive techniques. The findings show that the more persuasive presenters in both phases of this study were not only able to implement a far greater range and frequency of persuasive discursive techniques, but they were also able to combine the use of multiple techniques throughout their presentations, and were able to utilize these techniques alongside a congruent delivery skill set. Implications drawn from this study indicate support for a multi-faceted analysis of oral presentation skill sets in future research and for educators to focus on multiple aspects when teaching presentation skills in their courses.


Table of Contents

1. Introduction -- 2. Literature review -- 3. Phase 1: Preliminary study -- 4. Phase 2: Qualitative multiple-case study -- 5. Phase 2: Findings -- 6. Cross-analysis of Phase 1 and Phase 2 findings -- 7. Conclusion -- 8. References.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 313-333

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Linguistics

Department, Centre or School

Department of Linguistics

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Stephen Moore


Copyright Richard Miles 2019 Copyright disclaimer:




1 online resource (xiii, 354 pages)

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