A Rhetorical analysis for “How stress is killing us”

In the TED Talk, “How stress is killing us” Thijs Launspach uses his credibility, graphs and statistics, and audience participation to emphasize how dangerous too much stress can be and how to manage it. Launspach is a well-known psychologist who has written two books about overcoming struggles throughout your life. This adds a level of trust with the audience, which makes the argument more convincing.

He also made the audience participate in various points of the speech. The audience was told to raise their hands if they felt close to burning out from stress, felt that they would be happier if they had more time, and felt that stress was causing them to live an unhealthy life. This magnified his argument because it showed that the majority of the audience was all undergoing the stress that he was talking about in the speech. Towards the end of the speech, he asked the audience to do an experiment with him. He told them to first focus on their breathing, then their position, then the sounds around them, and lastly their thoughts. He led them through a mindfulness exercise, which is one way to help cope with stress and enhance your mind’s focus. This was very impactful because he physically showed the audience a technique to handle stress and they themselves experienced it.
Launspach also used a lot of logos to prove his argument. He showed statistics of people and how much stress they have, showing how for most of people’s lives they are overly stressed. He also added the dictionary definition of stress and depicted the science behind stress and how the human body copes with stressors through diagrams. The use of this information helped to emphasize just how serious too much stress can be, magnifying how important it is to find a way to cope with it.

At the end of the speech, when Launspach talked about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle to manage stress, he said “ You either deal with stress or stress deals with you.” This is a fallacy because this sentence is over simplified and not actually factual. In reality, there are multiple ways to go about stress, but narrowing it down to those two choices makes the audience feel like they need to make a choice. Lastly, he ended his speech by saying, “Start minimizing stress today.” This is a call to action for the audience, which helps to make the audience feel motivated towards reducing their stress and living their best lives. Overall, I thought this speech was very well planned and presented, making his argument very impactful.


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