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Top Twenty Tips For Presentations

  1. Be Late – successful people are busy, not early.
  2. Do Not Prepare or Rehearse – You want to sound spontaneous, don’t you?
  3. If there’s a lectern, stay well behind it and grip it as hard as you can.
  4. At the beginning, to get the attention of your audience, shout “Shut Up!” as loud as you can. (You’ll be able to hear a pin drop!) This works especially well when the room is already quiet.
  5. Spend the first couple of minutes re-assuring them you will be coming straight to the point.
  6. Tell a dirty joke – find out how far you can go!
  7. Speak a bit more quietly than normal, to get them leaning forward in their seats.
  8. Remember, an ounce of words is worth a tonne of behaviour, so speak as fast as you can and try not to use gestures, movement or vocal changes – they get in the way of the words.
  9. If asked to prepare 30 minutes, aim to deliver an hour – Add Value!
  10. Dress how YOU want, not how the audience expects you to dress.
  11. Ignore the brief and deliver your own ideas, even if they are not relevant. Share YOUR wisdom!
  12. Never look at your audience – they might be intimidated.
  13. Stand close enough to your screen to be able to read all the bullet points out.
  14. Remember the rule of three – three bullet points are better than one. And no more than three pictures per 100 slides.
  15. Use really long sentences – no-one likes a “pauser”.
  16. Surprise them at the end by walking off mid-sentence.
  17. Never say “Thank-you”. It sounds needy.
  18. If you don’t know the answer to a question, say “that’s irrelevant” and plough on. Have a sarcastic put-down in mind for persistent questioners.
  19. Trash your colleagues/competitors – show ambition!
  20. If you get nervous, drink plenty of vodka (it doesn’t smell as much as whisky) beforehand.
  21. Try to use the word “I” and avoid “you” and “we” – you are the star of the show, remember.
  22. If asked for 20 tips, give 21 – see tip 8 above!
  23. Never re-cap or repeat the important stuff – if they don’t get it the first time, they don’t deserve you.
  24. Don’t worry about a smell-check – typos can be funny!
  25. If the content of a blog post doesn’t quite ring true, check the date it was written!

The Route to Success

I’ve read my share of self-improvement books, and left as much unread as read. Fortunes have been made out of chapters which may never have been read. Expensive seminars might easily be known generically as “how I made a fortune out of writing a book telling people how to make a fortune” and the really clever post-ironic ones “how I made a fortune out of writing a book telling people not to read all those books about how to make a fortune…”

This is not a post-post ironic blog! Quite the opposite.

Last week I met (for the second time) some-one who is so inspiring, I’m tempted to dust off my copy of “Awaken the Giant Within” and start reading where I left off years ago.

Sarah Leung is a casting director who practises what she rarely has time to preach and as a result has a list of film and TV credits as long as your arm. In seven years she has achieved far more credits than I have in twenty-five years by the simple and repetitious application of internet research, plus heaps of charm and talent to do her job.

Sarah Leung is living proof that practising good habits with energy makes you more virtuous, successful, happy, etc. Aristotle formed that notion more than 2000 years ago. The old ideas are the best, especially now that the internet has presented us with so many ways to gain knowledge and make connections habitually and with energy.

The Greeks also had the concept “agapao”which for simplicity’s sake I define as “to love altruistically”. Love not connected with sexual, fraternal or even religious issues (though it is commonly referred to as divine love), but a simpler theme where the focus is on wanting good for others. Serving the bigger picture even at one’s own expense. I was reminded of this by Sarah’s offer to the group of people who heard her this week at Fuse London ( a meeting place for actors to engage in workshops – I highly recommend it to anyone who can get a place ). If we provide her with a list of 70 activities we’ve done this week “for our own good” then in return she’ll engage with and help us until we need her help no more.

Agape is on the surface less conditional than that offer, but not when you appreciate what the condition means in practice. I’ll be struggling to list 70 big things I’ve done this week that I don’t do most weeks, but the “for my own good” element is new, or at least refreshed. Before, the walk to the station was routine, now it was a chance to breathe deeply and reflect. So it counts as an activity “for me”. 70 small examples of agape directed at myself and those around me have and will add to my power to achieve success.

Agape is not supposed to be easy. At the end of Sandhurst Army officer training (documented by a BBC series last year), the CO finished his final speech by exhorting the officers to “go out there and love your troops”. He meant something akin to agapao, which can include brutal honesty and severe discipline as well as the officers’ more obvious willingness to sacrifice his or her own life for their troops’.

I have a small part in a really strong film “Flying Blind” which will be in cinemas in April/May. I got that job around two weeks after my last Fuse workshop with Sarah (though not through her directly). I ascribe that small victory to the good habits drummed into me by my actor colleagues and directors.

A note to myself is to take advantage of the cinema release by spreading the word of it. All those self-help books talk about doing more of the everyday things that work. If I do so, with the right sort of energy and mentors like Sarah Leung, my next post here will be one I look forward to.

Confidence and Trust

The word “confidence” is derived from Latin “Fides” or “Trust”. Fides is about reliability and trust between people, so “confidence” can be loosely translated as “with trust”, or “with a sense of reliability”.

I’m often asked how confidence can be learned (or at least encouraged to grow). The best way to become confident is to do things which improve your confidence. Easier said than done, but every small step outside your comfort zone will improve your confidence if you don’t fall over.

Stories from The London Olympics can inspire a kind of national confidence (where for instance passengers on London Underground began to exchange smiles and even words in the wonderful atmosphere). The efforts of the Gamesmaker Volunteers to engage with the public could easily encourage more confident behaviour in individuals who saw the positive effect for themselves.

All steps in developing confidence involve risk. “They might not like me” is a great reason not to take the step. In presentations to investors by fund managers, such a fear can be well-founded – they might well hate you and be quite vocal about the fact!

Obtaining a reputation for reliability, or trust-worthiness is major goal of anyone wanting “confidence”. So you can work at it by mastering detail and gaining a command of your subject.

Actors appear confident on stage because we have learned the lines, steeped ourselves in the story and character for weeks or months, and are more-or-less error-proof by curtain-up.

One more element can raise the level of “trust” between audience/client and cast/supplier : A sense of teamwork – a sense that a wealth of trust exists between the team members who are addressing the audience. If you demonstrably trust your colleagues, your audience will trust you.

Two things finally from the London Olympics. First, the opening ceremony was as emphatic a statement of confidence that we could possibly have hoped to see. The audience may not have recognised some of the dafter references, but they all will have been completely bowled over by the self-assurance, the sense of belief and the reliance on the skills of a masterful story-teller like Danny Boyle. His camera-positioning, use of film and close-up, as well as the dramatic, awesome set-pieces just screamed confidence, and re-assured the audience that London 2012 could be trusted to deliver what it promised.

The second thing is entirely practical, and we saw the result of the theory in the velodrome. Dave Brailsford explained the success of the cyclists he coached by the application of a theory : “The Aggregation of Marginal Gain”. In effect, “if we find enough small improvements, we will have an overall advantage that far exceeds what you might expect from such small improvents”. That theory can be applied to more than one sport, or field of endeavour. If you want to become more confident, more trusted, then find as many very small things that you can do that are consistent with becoming what you want, and do them. Lots of them.

 

London 2012. The Opposite of Cynicism

Image

My favourite image of the London Olympics, amongst many incredible, moving and inspiring memories is this one. It shows two athletes, not direct competitors, but members of different teams, swapping their trade-marks for a moment. Nothing says more to me about Trust, Team Spirit, Humour, Goodwill, Excellence and Belief than moments such as these.

As an actor, I’ve been lucky enough to find myself working in companies that enjoy those traits. Work becomes an absolute pleasure, full of invention, risk and mutual support. My first experience was in a very well-rehearsed reading of Willy Russell’s “Breezeblock Park” at The Shaftesbury Theatre. I was very much in awe of such luminaries as Jean Boht, Geoffrey Hughes, George Costigan, to name (drop!) a few. Half way through the first act, there was a bit of a rolling laugh developing from the audience, and it was my line next. I waited, decided to improvise a bit with a very rude prop, and ride the laugh. I looked at the other actors, and saw in their faces such trust (of a very green young actor who had a lot to learn) and goodwill, team spirit and humour. They let me play.

Since then, of course I’ve sometimes worked in companies where trust, goodwill, humour and team spirit are there to a lesser degree – and mea culpa for times when I’ve been as responsible as anyone for such waste. That’s when work becomes a chore, when cynicism sets in to replace goodwill, egotism replaces team spirit and scepticism replaces belief.

This summer has highlighted the public’s desire for all those qualities encapsulated in that photo. The games were not perfect; there were examples of poor sportsmanship, cheating, drug taking and so on, but the motive – the purpose to inspire a generation shone through. The problems at the start over G4S and the supply of security staff were overcome, and a general sense that we all prefer to focus on the good things has prevailed. The cynics, sceptics and satirists have been reduced to hissing from the sidelines (or at best from the graveyard slot on Newsnight) , provoking nothing – redundant in the face of so much goodwill.

Seasoned sports commentators spent the duration of London 2012 weeping buckets of tears as one event after another moved and inspired. Those used to commenting on football games, spirits gnarled by years in the business of describing cynical gamesman-ship and the baleful, ovine chanting that such persistent cheating “inspires”, those commentators must be praying that London 2012 carries us all towards a better spirit. The legacy must endure if we all allow trust, goodwill teamwork and a sense of belief to make us more confident.

 

Flying Blind – How to cut a film (and a presentation)

I recently played a small (but perfectly formed!) role in a feature film called “Flying Blind”, and find my two career paths crossing as a result…

One of my favourite notes to clients is “cut the flim-flam and get to the point.” Another is “speed up the rate of thinking, and reduce the number of words per thought”. Producing an effective presentation is therefore to do with achieving clarity and a pace that allows space for the presenter to think, and their audience to digest.

The size of an actor’s role is not limited by the number of words they speak. I freely admit to estimating the size of my parts by measuring them, and after 20 years’ work, I have gradually come to know that that measurement should only happen once the film has been cut and completed.

The 21-year-old drama school graduate in me might have felt aggrieved at having such beautifully performed lines as “The pilot just happens to be in Oxfordshire while his plane is over Afghanistan.” cut and left in the virtual land-fill site that used to be known as the cutting-room floor. The 40-odd yr-old actor sees the big picture (and “Flying Blind” is a Big Picture!), and thanks/trusts the director/producer/editor for their creative input. They made me look good by cutting the exposition flim-flam that they shot me speaking.

Over-all, Flying Blind – cf https://twitter.com/#!/FlyingBlindFilm or @FlyingBlindFilm on twitter has been cut to maximise the thoughts and feelings, at the expense of unnecessary plot exposition. Digital film processes allow us nowadays to shoot far more words than we need. “Just in case” no longer has the cost implications that processing film had in the past.

It takes courage to allow pause in dialogue its reins in any performance, whether a locked-in final cut, or a live performance/corporate presentation. Robert Evans, the producer of “The Godfather” re-created his film after re-cutting in order to subtract words and add “texture”. His final cut was far removed form the “script-faithful” first cut that failed to impress his execs.

Which brings me back to my purpose here. One of my favourite pitches to corporate clients is similar to my (always unspoken!) offer to film directors – “I speak for free – I think for the fee”. In film production the pitch works two-fold – “acting is the same as re-acting in thought” and “you pay me to wait for “action” and anything that happens between “action” and “cut” must happen in a spirit of “free”. Over-riding that is the need to express thoughts at pace – never let the audience get ahead of you; thoughts should imbue words, not delay them; thought travels at the speed of electricity through water, sound catches up, etc.

Cutting extraneous words, phrases and sentences can bring into focus the ideas which appeal to your audience. A crisp delivery will support and enhance a clear and inspiring idea.

“Flying Blind” explores the idea that our views of ourselves and others are dependent on both our instincts/passions and our background/education/experience/family. And we can all become confused. Nothing I was proud to feel on that film-set is inconsistent with what I feel in the office.

I encourage pause to allow an audience space to reflect, and a performer/advisor space to think and clarify.

Get to see Flying Blind if you can, and notice the texture, the pause, the thought and the amount of self-assurance that the director,Katarzina (Kasia) Klimkiewizc and producer (Alison Sterling) brought to bear in the execution of it.

The Apprentice – Ethos and Interview Technique

The Final of The Apprentice on BBC1 is one of my favourite shows of the year. It always throws up something interesting and instructive.

Last year (or was it the previous year?) it was the destruction of a candidate who had not been 100% accurate in describing their history on their c.v. Whether deliberate or not, any hint of doubt over an applicant’s honesty would in almost all fields of work destroy their chances. (Sporting, artistic and criminal endeavours probably don’t require 100% honesty and highest morals to be part of the Ethos – fortunately I do not advise anyone in those fields, although I do work in one of them!)

This year, the final verdict was delivered by Lord Sugar in the following terms : “I’ve got to keep to my ethos of keeping it simple, keeping it straightforward, and so, Ricky…you’re hired.”

Having listened to the finalists in the previous hour, it was suddenly obvious that Ricky’s performance had won the day (albeit that his venture idea was a good one). If Lord Sugar’s Ethos were to play any part in his decision, it was Ricky Martin whose final performance chimed best with it. There may well be a bit more to it than “keeping it simple and straightforward”, but that’s a powerful enough principle on which to found a successful enterprise. I’d like to analyse two moments in the show to highlight Ricky’s connection with “simple and straightforward”.

He began the day with a poor start. Asked to describe his idea in simple terms, he said : “I’m proposing an ethical and niche recruitment organisation. I’m looking at areas of therapeutics, new and existing drugs on the market. I’m looking at consumer products which focus on technical…I’m looking at sustainability, making sure that people’s usage of the environment is reduced.” To which Lord Sugar replied : “So just cut the crap and tell me…is it a recruitment agency for technical people?” It was a bit unfair, as the long-winded sentences actually made sense, but it showed the importance of sticking to the brief and answering only the question.

He clearly got the message in time for his interviews with Sugar’s advisers. Claude Littner picked apart his personal statement. “I’m going to teach an old dog new tricks” was probably the outstandingly mis-judged phrase of many similar. Claude described it as “infantile, crass, and obnoxious”, and was clearly relishing the chance to tear Ricky to pieces

At this point Ricky had a choice. He could easily have said the obvious: “I had to catch the eye of the TV producers who had thousands of applicants to consider.” This answer, though obvious, was not the straightforward one. It would have led Claude to believe that here was a candidate who was prepared to over-egg his output in order to gain advantage. A potential risk to the success of any company he worked for.

So he gave a straight answer that also satisfied one of the main questions in the mind of every recruiting interviewer in any business. He said : “I agree with you; it’s a very immature statement to make and one that I regret putting in there…when I turned up to this process I had a lot of bravado about me. I was happy to say these bold statements to get myself noticed and heard and I’ll be honest to say that throughout this process I’ve realised a lot about myself and I’m a very different person now.” Leaving aside the long-winded sentence and unnecessary reference to his honesty, this answer completely disarms Claude for two reasons. First, it demonstrates he was not simply using a trick to catch the eye, and second that he is able to learn from mistakes.

Cicero described the elements of how to become a successful leader as only three things : Will, Understanding and Memory. For a modern corporate interview, Will includes your love of your work, Understanding includes your technical knowledge and how to acquire more, and Memory includes your ability to learn from mistakes and call upon your experiences. So “tell me about your time at Barclays” is an opportunity to come up with a memory and relate it to the needs of the business you are applying to join.

What Ricky did there was demonstrate that he is straightforward, and able to learn from experiences. That alone will have endeared him to Mr Littner. A well-thought-out business plan and lots of experience in the field will have ticked the “Understanding” box, and his general demeanour, lack of hesitancy and ability to argue his corner in a stressful situation will have done a lot to demonstrate a high level of “Will”. His high degree of direct eye-contact and great use of natural, expressive hand gestures will have contributed to the aura of a convinced and driven person. In Claude Littner’s words to Lord Sugar, “I’m mesmerised by the guy”.

“It is a very simple business model” matched Lord Sugar’s ethos, as explained at the end of the day. Perhaps he had researched Lord Sugar, found out and deliberately matched what his ethos comprised, or maybe he was lucky. A winner, all the same.

Personality Matters

The recent local and Mayor elections in London produced results which suggested the personalities of the two Mayor candidates played some part in the outcome, rather than their policies.

Boris Johnson (Conservative) beat Ken Livingstone (Labour) by 4 (1st preference) percentage points to become Mayor, whereas in the same day his party were 9 points behind the Labour Party.

Londoners had three ballot papers to check at the same time, so “turnout” was consistent – almost all completed all three.

I have no interest in policies, and I’m no psephologist, so forgive me for sketchy caveats…

This inconsistency might partly be explained by the fact that Johnson was the incumbent, and partly by the possibility that his policies are seen as better for London than those of his party in general. However, there is a case for the “personality” factor carrying some force.

How can personality make a difference, and how can we help our personalities become more effective? Are we to compare Johnson’s personality with his direct opponent (Livingstone) or with his party leader (David Cameron)? Do we compare also the personalities of Livingstone and his party leader (Ed Milliband), and should we also throw into the mix the personalities of all the candidates?

I prefer to concentrate on why one personality should prevail over another in a general sense, and suggest ideas that might help public speakers improve the chances that they might use the “personality factor” to their benefit.

Persona derives from Latin (mask) and can be loosely defined as the effect on others of a combination of behaviours and mannerisms, mainly vocal and facial.

It follows that one should be able to learn those behaviours and mannerisms which improve one’s “personality”. How?

The foundation is ethical; you have to be true to your beliefs, and behave appropriately. (I always assume that my clients are honest and do not have pronounced psychological problems that interfere with their honesty and ethics.) It’s interesting that the most damaging attack on an opponent is often an attack on their honesty.

The first step is to analyse what your audience wants to see and hear (audience being those people you need on your side).

Make a list of adjectives, and try to apply them to your voice and facial expressions.

You might put on your list words like “likeable”, “articulate”, “down to earth”.

How do you do “likeable”? Easy! You simply “like” your audience, both facially and vocally. Many coaches will encourage you to smile, or to put the idea of a smile into your voice. What they mean is achieved by simply “liking” in an active way. Some reciprocal warmth will accrue to your personality if you appear and sound warm to your audience. Like them, and they will like you (a little!)

How do you do “articulate”? There are three stages from “inarticulate” to “articulate”. First, replace “er” with pauses. Easier done than you might think – just practise in low stakes environments. Second, speak in short, complete sentences, heading at all times for full stops. Finally, when you have mastered the art of the short, unhesitant sentence, bring in sub-clauses gradually. The whole process need not take more than  a few weeks, as long as you practise.

How do you do “down to earth”? In Boris Johnson’s case, use phrases like “stuff that” “load of bollocks” in amongst your classical vernacular, and  generally look like you are the sort of person your audience might want to (fill in your preferred  social activity) with.

I’m sure expert communicators have a list of adjectives as long as your arm that they are trying to deliver – the more the better. It makes it very difficult for an opponent to pigeonhole you if you are a complex mix of (likeable) characteristics.

The next time you see a “charismatic” or “popular” public speaker, notice the extent to which they seem to like their audience – some will be on the point of a smile almost permanently. Most will not have consciously learned their techniques, but they are nevertheless practising the techniques I have described. Copy the ones you like, and work out why some fail.

Personally, I think Ed Milliband (like Gordon Brown before him) could profitably focus on delivering a longer list of adjectives to his audience, vocally and facially. His focus is more on his subject matter than on the needs of his audience, which immediately distances him from people who don’t spend their waking hours thinking about the things he talks about. It’s not enough to say you watch the footy, or Britain’s Got Talent, you need to look and sound as though you do (if you want to appeal to footy and BGT watchers).

In the corporate world, of course your personality matters less than in politics. However, we could all add value to our audiences by becoming more articulate and likeable in our delivery.

Non-Verbal Communication Myths

I’ve just read an article by a training company, whose blushes I will spare, in which they make the following silly point :

  • The words you use contribute 7% to the effectiveness of your message
  • The tone of your voice make up 38% of the message you are sending
  • Your body language contributes a whopping 55% of the message received

Those plainly ridiculous assertions derive from the respectable work of Albert Mehrabian and have been bandied about in error for more than forty years.

In 1967 Dr Mehrabian worked with his erudite colleagues, Morton Wiener and Susan R. Ferris on experiments to determine the relative effects of words, vocal tone and facial expression when a speaker expresses their attitude and feeling towards their listener(s). There were two studies on the use of positive, neutral and negative words, spoken in “liking”, “neutral” and “disliking” ways. When a positive word (such as “thanks”) was expressed in a neutral or disliking way, the actual word used carried less than a fifth of the weight that the vocal tone carried. Likewise, facial expression was found to be one and a half times more persuasive than the vocal element when there was a mis-match between the word and the facial expression.

So, 7%, 38%, 55% were deduced as the proportions of persuasiveness where a speaker expresses their feelings about some-one they are addressing.

That is not to say that any communication of meaning can be proportionately described in the same way. Nor does it allow the preposterous conflation of facial expression with “Body Language”.

Dr Mehrabian puts it rather well here : http://www.presentationworks.me/index.php/2009/11/mehrabian-on-the-myth/

And there’s a decent analysis here: http://linguistlist.org/issues/12/12-1332.html

You can see something like this concept in action at any English football (soccer) match. The attitude of the crowd to the referee, players and events on the pitch and to opposing supporters is easily discernable by the sight of their faces, and general sound of their voices. You don’t have to know which words are being used in order to tell what their feelings are about their target of approval or disapproval. If a crowd were shouting negative things whilst laughing and sounding positive, we’d believe their faces and tones rather than the actual words used (which thankfully are rarely intelligible!)

In the last 44 years, Dr Mehrabian’s perfectly respectable research has been mis-quoted and mis-appropriated by mis-guided communication skills coaches as a way of making their schtick sound scientific.

It even made it into this speech to the House of Commons on the first occasion that Parliament was televised :

http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1989/nov/21/first-day

In the very first televised speech, late Conservative MP Ian Gow read out part of a letter he’d received from a consultant which set out the mis-conception, and offered to work on his image in advance of the televising of Parliament.

I’m sure there are still versions of such “training” out there, whether pure in its traducing of Mehrabian’s work, or a mutation thereof. For example, you might hear that it’s crucial to suit your face and voice to the words you say in any presentation, to avoid the risk of the words being mistrusted. Fine, but don’t use Mehrabian’s good name and work to support this idea.

Even if it were true that the meaning of the words you use can be trumped by the manner of delivery, it would be of no help to a speaker to know to what extent the face and vocal tones affect the communication. It certainly wouldn’t be part of a “strategy” to speak with clarity and conviction. It isn’t true anyway. If I hold my finger to my lips (to signal “be quiet”) and at the same time ask you “what is your name?”, you might be a bit puzzled but you would certainly tell me your name.

In my view, it’s far more effective to attune your facial and vocal expressions to the desires of your audience, rather than to the words you use. Look at Ed Milliband (leader of UK’s Opposition Labour Party), and you will see a face that is set with concern as he explains his analysis of the UK’s economic position. That may match his words, but it isn’t what his audience want to see. They want to see strength in his facial expression, and hear it in his voice if he is describing a poor state of affairs. Instead they see and hear anxiety and as a result are less willing to believe in him. In contrast, Tony Blair, Margaret Thatcher, David Cameron, Barack Obama are all political speakers whose conviction and strength (whatever you think of their policies) are/were visible in their faces and audible in their voices, irrespective of their words.

When the message is difficult or sombre, go for increased energy and muscularity in your delivery to establish a sense of your ability to deal with problems. Ignore any advice to make your facial and vocal expressions mirror the words you are saying. Using a sombre face and voice risks sending your audience to sleep, however sombre the meaning of your words. Using a “this is difficult” face and voice looks and sounds weak; it doen’t help to convey the difficulty that the words are describing.

If there’s anyone out there still flogging the “7,38,55” myth, please refer them to me for some verbal (and non-verbal!) correction.

Ethos, Logos, Pathos

I believe in presenting a story in a truthful, clear, inspiring way. I believe in leading with my most important point. In this case, my first post here, my most important point is actually Aristotle’s guidance, written more than 2000 years ago. Ethos, Logos, Pathos are the three appeals, or bases upon which an argument or presentation can be built.

Ethos comprises what you stand for, your brand, qualifications, and connections. Your Truth.

Logos is your argument, your resources, methods, and the performance of your product or service. Your clarity – what differentiates you.

Pathos is the emotional reaction of your client or audience to your Ethos and Logos. Your inspiration. Your script.

Ethos – If you lead with your beliefs, you will be speaking from your heart right from the start. This will not only help you to relax, but also send a clear and powerful signal to your audience that you do actually believe something! If they share your beliefs, they will listen to your argument.

Logos – You already have an idea of what I believe. If you don’t agree, then we are unlikely to work together. If you do share my beliefs, you will be more interested to hear about my courses and one-to-one coaching, and about my work as an actor. What I have to offer – my Logos – is the offspring of what I believe.

Pathos – This post is aimed at a particular audience. If I had already developed a network on LinkedIn, Worpress and Twitter, then I could have researched my audience and geared the piece much more towards their agenda. Client-focus is the same as audience-focus. If you know your audience, you will be able to address the questions in their minds. You will create much better rapport if you can use the word “you”. Pathos derives from your desire to engage and inspire.

My aim is to re-claim the word “Rhetoric” from the modern abuse (aka “Spin”). Aristotle’s “Rhetoric” was written in order to provide guidelines for citizens who were gaining the right to speak in a nascent democracy. He encouraged people to broaden and deepen their education, in order to develop practical wisdom, to become successful, virtuous and happy.

In contrast to this general post, in future I’ll write about current events, and also practical tips – I regularly update my “top tips” as my beliefs evolve.

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