A Small History of Rhetoric

From the very beginning of mankind, that to survive we had to live in society. We knew that only together we would be able to survive what was out there. Out there the human being was not at the top of the food chain. Other animals were stronger, faster and overall physically more able than us. And to live in a society we had to be able to understand each other. We had to create a form of communication. And those who were able to do it better, were those who lead. 

A long time ago, as far as time can remember, there was a group of strange people, and talking was all they did. They went from city to city teaching locals how to speak and be persuasive. They were called: the sophists. 

Years later, theory started being made about how to achieve this (persuasion). One of those theorists was Cicero, who was recognised as a fantastic orator and left us 5 rules on rhetoric:

  1. Invention – Goal of the speech. Figure out what is your message;
  2. Arrangement – Structure. Intro – Main Body – Conclusion and Transitions
  3. Style – The words you use. They must be simple, clear and fit the audience;
  4. Memory – Managing to remember and creating hooks. Fit a story or facts;
  5. Delivery – what can you add to your delivery? Voice? Body Movement? Eye Contact?

The goal of these 5 rules was to persuade and inspire others to follow your views. Even if that isn’t your goal, these 5 rules are the bases for a great speech and these are a key elements. The truth is that the majority of courses on Speaking to this day, most probably will present you with a variation of these rules.

These rules don’t tell you “How”, “What” or “Why” to any ideas you may have, these rules will give you the base to be a captivating orator.

Kind regards, 

Miguel & Lerio

P.S: Stay tuned for next Monday’s Quote!

Illustration Credit: @djinguita – behance.com/maisachaves

Deixe uma resposta

O seu endereço de email não será publicado. Campos obrigatórios marcados com *