Creating receptive and attentive listeners

Dear Gaius

When we make a speech, we want our audience to feel receptive to our message, to gain a favourable impression of us as speakers and to pay good attention to what we are saying. I shall now show you how these three conditions can be brought about. Continue reading Creating receptive and attentive listeners


Consider the underlying purpose of your speech

Rhetorica ad HerenniumDear Gaius,

But first, in order to construct the most appropriate Introduction, you must consider the underlying purpose of your speech.

There are four possible purposes: honourable, discreditable, doubtful, and petty. An honourable purpose is when we either defend what seems to be a universal truth, or attack what seems to be universally accepted as reprehensible; for example, when we defend a heroic person, or denounce a heartless killer. Continue reading Consider the underlying purpose of your speech

Six sections of a speech

Rhetorica ad HerenniumDear Gaius

Let us start with the first skill you need – invention. And I will discuss how you might use invention in the six sections of a speech: the Introduction, the Statement of Facts, the Division, the Proof, the Refutation, and the Conclusion

  1. The Introduction. This comes at the beginning and its purpose is to prepare your audience and to make them sit up and pay attention.
  2. Continue reading Six sections of a speech

The strength of memories

“I think it is all a matter of love; the more you love a memory the stronger and stranger it becomes”
― Vladimir Nabokov

It seems that memories associated with strong emotions are the ones we remember the best.

And, as we think back and sink into that memory, it seems the emotional flavour of the memory is all that really matters and becomes the dominating aspect of the remembrance. Continue reading The strength of memories