CHAPTER 5

Components of Style

People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars: and they pass by themselves without wondering.

—St Augustine of Hippo, 4th/5th century theologian

What all the research that highlights how much style matters really tells us is that you can have great content, beautifully structured, and well-argued, but if it is not delivered well, it will not be effective and the audience will not remember it. There are some caveats to the 90 percent style matters most rule, as it is only a crude average. More sophisticated audiences expecting a presentation containing technical, legal, or academic ...

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