Bob Dudley, New BP CEO: Good Speech or "Worst Person"?

The Story

Bob Dudley, British Petroleum's new CEO (the company's first American CEO), addressed business leaders in London in an attempt to rebuild his company's image.  This was Dudley's first public speech since taking the role following the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Discussion Starters

  • What persuasion strategies does Bob Dudley use in his speech?
  • What do you think are the most successful parts of this speech? Which are the most convincing?  Which are the least convincing? 

Assignment Ideas

  • Identify examples of logos, pathos, and ethos in Bob Dudley's speech.  Which strategy does he use most?
  • Bob Dudley earned a spot on Keith Olbermann's "Worst Person in the World" list (fast forward to 1:30). On his political commentary program, Olbermann criticized Dudley particularly for the last paragraph in his speech, where he noted the intense "political and media attention" generated by the oil spill. Read the "Conclusion" of Dudley's speech, and draw your own conclusion. Is Olbermann's criticism justified?  Does Dudley have a point?  Imagine that BP has a blog for public comments.  Write your assessment of Dudley's comments.  Be sure to justify your perspective.