Presentation on theme: "Techniques of the Art. Plato, the Greek philosopher, once explained that rhetoric is the “art of enchanting the soul.” While you’ve already learned."— Presentation transcript:
Techniques of the Art
Plato, the Greek philosopher, once explained that rhetoric is the “art of enchanting the soul.” While you’ve already learned some of the basic elements of rhetoric and the dangers of bias, it is important to take a closer look at some of the tools that are used in oral communication if you are to enchant an audience. Greek philosopher, Plato.
A speaker’s toolbox includes many devices each of which meets at least one of the following purposes: .
Handout: a speaker’s tool box The following interactive activity reviews some of the devices in relation to Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.“I Have a Dream”
Identify the device used in the following: An old, beat up, black truck was creeping its way along the road.
Identify the device used in the following: There must be tolerance in any workplace; tolerance that allows each person to accept others; tolerance that allows us to be ourselves.
Identify the device is used in the following: The teacher descended upon the exams, sank her talons into their pages, ripped the answers to shreds and then, perching in her chair, began to digest.
Identify the device is used in the following: It isn’t very serious. My house burned down, I lost my job, and my ankle has been sprained.
Identify the device is used in the following: “What a beautiful day,” he said as he opened his umbrella.
Identify the device is used in the following: Pinocchio loved her as any real boy would.
While these tools are useful, it is important to consider that writing for an audience who is listening to you is different than writing to an audience who is reading your work Keep in mind: A listener cannot go back and reread a sentence lacking clarity nor can a listener stop to look up a word in the dictionary.
To captivate an audience, it might be worthwhile to consider the advice of twentieth century writer and social critic George Orwell. He gave the following advice in his 1946 essay, ”Politics and the English Language”:
1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent. 6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
By applying the tools in the Speaker’s Toolbox, as well as considering Orwell’s rules, it is possible to create captivating works of art!
Words as a Force for Social Change
Have you ever had an idea that you think might make the lives of others better? Ideas that provoke social change are big ideas indeed.
A lot of big ideas have probably started out sounding more than a little strange to those who heard them for the first time. However, many big ideas go on to change the world.
Imagine that you were the first person to suggest that no human being should be considered property and that all humans deserve the same rights. Many people might have thought this was a preposterous idea! Yet, today, many parts of the world embrace the notion of equality for all and people are trying to spread this change across the planet.
One very diverse contemporary group of people who often express big ideas are the members of the Spoken Word community. . When you read Shakespeare aloud, you are performing Spoken Word and when you are listening to a rap song you are listening to Spoken Word.
While the best way to understand how Spoken Word can captivate and energize an audience is to see a live performance, listening to poetry that is meant to be heard will give you a glimpse of how well artists use language to create feeling, convey a message and provoke thought.
Amani is a contemporary artist who performs all across Canada and the world performing. Listen to her poem titled Heart of a Poet.Heart of a Poet
What features stand out most for you in the performance? Clearly, this is a personal response but an important question to answer nonetheless. Did you react to her style (changes in volume; pace; enunciation; inflection; emphasis)? Or, did you respond more to the ideas themselves (that her poetry is not a passing phase; that the thoughts, language and expression come from her heart)? Or, was it something else entirely?
Amani says that she “will give you a coronary occlusion when you hear [her] rhymes”. A “coronary occlusion” is a blockage of a blood vessel. What technique is she using?
In Amani’s poem, she says “prolific thoughts can overtake my soul.” What does the word “prolific” mean? a) kind b) angry c) abundant d) scarce
Amani says, “And this is not just some Poetic Passing Phase; some didactic, educational, edifying way of purging myself.” What techniques is she using in these lines? contains many techniques For example, there is alliteration in Poetic Passing. There is strong diction and parallelism in “didactic, educational, edifying”. If you read the lines aloud, you’ll probably recognize a rhythm to the words, as well as a tendency to hear the internal rhyme between “phase” and “way” (the use of assonance underscores the long “a” sounds).
Did you know that “Slam” refers to a Spoken Word competition where poets square off on stage? Slams and Open Mic Nights (when any person can take a turn on stage) are popular in many big cities across North America. Have you thought of a big idea yet? Does it deal with the environment? Human rights? Body image? Poverty? Something else?
One contemporary problem that has garnered a great deal of media attention is gun violence. Amani wrote a poem as a plea for change to the people most affected by this violence. Listen to Amani’s poem titled This is Livicated.This is Livicated
After listening to “This is Livicated”, the use of anaphora probably stands out. Which line is Amani emphasizing through this device?
Why does Amani create a word, “livicate”, rather than simply dedicate her poem? Amani considers the word “dedicate” a pun, since it sounds like the word “dead.” She explicitly explains, “So, I am going to livicate, not dedicate this poem cause, I don’t want to use the word dead no more.” This is an example of how language can both enslave and empower. By creating the word “livicate”, Amani puts emphasis on the living and creates a much more positive tone.
Amani pronounces, “Too many people searching for answers, too much violence, too many guns, too much sadness in the community, too many mothers and fathers losing their sons.” In addition to the rhythm and rhyme (guns and sons), what other device is the poet relying upon? The use of “too” can be considered anaphora, but this is a much better example of parallelism. Both devices create emphasis, providing the listener with an opportunity to focus.
Notice how Amani is using her own voice, not only with the way she speaks, sings and projects, but also with the words she chooses. Her voice comes through her diction, using expressions like “it is blowing my mind” and “walking off, but showing you could be rough”. Her personality and perspective are made clear.
You have your own voice. It is influenced by everything around you (your friends, your family, the media…) but it is uniquely yours. As you find your voice in writing your speech, you’ll likely be more connected and proud of what you create.