I have been thinking about classes in training seminarians in public speaking. This is different than teaching homiletics, or preaching (or sacred communication, as the Army calls it). Public speaking involves the classical rhetorical features (Aristotle’s three forms of persuasion: logos, pathos, and ethos) that can be boiled down to “style/skill” and “substance.” I hope to follow this post with some thoughts on public speaking. But, first this:
One of the resources I came across is the poem by Taylor Mali, “Speak with Conviction.” In the video below typography is employed with the reader’s powerful voice and inflection (style) to address common problems that are afflicting contemporary speech. I think this would be a good thing to talk about not only with seminarians, but, also, with business presenters, politicians, and, yes, you and your family. Help your children to overcome the media-saturated pop talk of, for example, using the “interrogative tone” even when you are not asking a question.
This is good fun with a good lesson. May we who have something to say, by all means, say it with conviction.