It is quite possible to have perfect technique and yet leave something vital out of the speech. That something is the individual personality of the speaker. This is what Aristotle called the “ethos” of the speech. Think about the character that you display when you speak. The dual meaning of the word character is instructive. It is simultaneously something that you have and something that you play. Enlist a friend to help you think about what you are like as a person and also how you come across when you speak in public. Get a video recording of yourself speaking and make extensive notes as you watch about the character traits that spring to mind. Then compare the account of your character that emerges with the person you actually judge yourself to be. You will then know which aspects of your character you need to find a way to communicate better.

Not Just a Speech But Your Speech

This is, you should remember, your speech. It is not just a speech that you have to deliver. It has to be your speech. It is possible to follow all the guidelines that have been set (even in a book as marvellous as this one) and yet produce something rather bloodless. In other words, it is possible to have a perfect technique and yet for there to be something important missing. That missing thing is you.

The aim of this book is not just to give you a technique for competent composition. It is more ambitious than that. The comprehensive aim is to give you a technique on top of ...

Get The Art of Speeches and Presentations: The Secrets of Making People Remember What You Say now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.