Public Speaking, Dr Stone

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. The Statement of Facts is where you set out the sequence of factual points, events or arguments that you are going to present.
  3. The Division is where you make clear where you believe there is already consensus or agreement, and where there is still controversy or disagreement. 
  4. The Proof is the section where you present your arguments, backing them up with evidence or corroborative statements from others.
  5. The Refutation is where you set out any adversarial arguments or opinions, and discuss these.
  6. The Conclusion is the final section, where you summarise and wind up your speech.

Your function, as a speaker, is to present these six parts of a speech in an interesting and entertaining manner. To make it easier for you to understand how to do this, I am going to take each segment in turn, starting with the Introduction.

[Adaptation from Rhetorica ad Herennium, Book 1]

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