Ethics of Public Speaking

The Credo for Ethical Communication (National Communication Association, 1999) is a set of principles outlined to observe ethics in communication, particularly significant in public communication:

  1. We advocate truthfulness, accuracy, honesty, and reason as essential to the integrity of communication.
  2. We endorse freedom of expression, diversity of perspective, and tolerance of dissent to achieve the informed and responsible decision-making fundamental to a civil society.
  3. We strive to understand and respect other communicators before evaluating and responding to their messages.
  4. We promote access to communication resources and opportunities as necessary to fulfill human potential and contribute to the well-being of families, communities, and society.
  5. We promote communication climates of caring and mutual understanding that respect the unique needs and characteristics of individual communicators.
  6. We condemn communication that degrades individuals and humanity through distortion, intimidation, coercion, and violence, and through the expression of intolerance and hatred.
  7. We are committed to the courageous expression of personal convictions in pursuit of fairness and justice.
  8. We advocate sharing information, opinions, and feelings when facing significant choices while also respecting privacy and confidentiality.
  9. We accept responsibility for the short- and long-term consequences of our own communication and expect the same of others.