It has been a good week for rhetoric. It started with Stephen Fry on BBC Radio 4, with his English Delight series, hosting an entertaining and informative programme under the heading ‘Rhetoric Rehabilitated.’ This reminded us that despite the popular dismissal of rhetoric as political spin, it is in fact alive and well and underpins most persuasive communication, whether we realise it or not.
It has been a good week because several public figures have demonstrated rhetoric at its best, not least of course Martin Luther King in various anniversary programmes. In different ways they have brought to life the art of rhetoric, built around the five canons or parts; invention, arrangement, style, memory and delivery. All are as relevant to developing the political address as they are to the professional business pitch. Continue reading