Better Speaker in 30 Days | Email 7


As we enter into the third part of rhetoric, Style, we’re shifting from choosing our content to thinking about how it might come across most effectively. So I’d like to share an exercise I did yesterday with a course participant during an “office hours” session.

It’s about how to find, heighten and shape the emotional shape of your talk.

In brief, I asked the participant to describe something that had happened in the last hour – anything. You can do that too, or (if it’s easier) something from the last 24 hours.

He told me a story, and I listened carefully for any emotional content, whether explicit or veiled. I told him what emotions I thought I had seen and heard, and asked him to tell me the same story again – but really exaggerate.

Go bonkers, I said.

He did.

Finally, I asked him to “tell me” the same story, but focusing entirely on emotion, without using any of the circumstantial details or facts: “Just say, ‘bored bored bored, surprised, delighted, reflective, nostalgic, melancholy’, or whatever.”

And he did.

In this video, I go into a bit more detail. I challenge you to do the exercise too!

In the next email, I’ll share some ideas relating to the way you can shape your sentences and phrases for maximum impact.

Till then.