Martin Luther King: master of metaphor

Give your metaphors legs: from metaphor to allegory

I was invited this week by Patricia Mansencal to give an online-workshop on the Power of Metaphor at the newly chartered but already wonderfully dynamic Toastmasters Academy Rome.

Metaphors are powerful because they are visual and because they help us explain concepts in a non-abstract way. I mentioned recent creative uses of metaphor by my fellow Toastmasters Allisha Ali, Krisztina Stump and by Florian Mueck, with whom I recently had the honour to share the online stage at Lukas Liebich’s Storyteller Sundays.

At Toastmasters you always always always get feedback. Lilian Shaftacola, a fellow Toastmaster from Cyprus, recommended one thing I didn’t do: give examples from a famous speech. Read more…

Learning from Abraham Lincoln, master of rhythm and concision

Abraham Lincoln: a master orator, a master in concision

I love to give trainings at places where they have quotes from great speakers on the wall.

Yesterday, it was this quote from Abraham Lincoln:

The best way to predict the future is to create it.

Phrases like these get quoted for a reason: they say something meaningful with rhythm and concision. Read more…

In the John F. Kennedy room

John F. Kennedy was a master of rhetorical devices. A quick look at his use of contrast and tricolon.

The John F. Kennedy room was a fitting place for a public speaking coaching I gave today.

Kennedy was of course, with his speechwriter Ted Sorensen, a master of rhetorical devices, in particular, of Contrast (antithesis) and the Power of Three (tricolon).

His inaugural address had plenty. So did his ‘We choose to go to the moon‘-speech (delivered at Rice University in 1962). Read more…

Learning from Steve Jobs: Cultivate your Origin Story

Steve Jobs is known for his big stage speaking. But have you seen the Lost Interview?

He gave this interview in 1995 before he returned to Apple. It’s extraordinary. It shows what a visionary he was. And what a good speaker. And how well the two go together.

More than once in the interview, Jobs tells what you can call an Origin Story. Read more…

The twenty-eight second Ethos harakiri

Aristotle told us that there are three types of persuasion:

Ethos: Persuasion through character
Logos: Persuasion through argument
Pathos: Persuasion through emotion

Every speech and presentation needs all three in always different variations. Read more…