Category Rhetoric

How Donald Trump Speaks

“How stupid are our leaders?” “How stupid are they?” “I’m really rich” “Politicians are all talk, no action” “huge,” “terrible,” “beautiful.” Any guesses which political leader made these statements? “he prefers simple language” Jon Favreau, Obama speechwriter How Donald Trump Speaks Donald Trump dominates a specific type of rhetoric. His speaking is radically different to every […]

Hide the Art (especially Toastmasters)

Toastmasters is a wonderful organisation for anybody who wishes to improve their ability to speak with impact. However, there is something that has often challenged me with the “best” toastmaster speeches. They are very clearly the work of someone who has worked very, very, very hard on the words, gestures and voice that they use […]

IESE Advanced Visionary (Ethos) Communication Module

The Visionary Leader In times of crisis, we prefer Visionary Leaders. Hope is a strong motivator to current action when the situation is difficult. In the years leading up to 2008, the USA was stuck in two protracted wars, and an economic crisis sparked by the subprime lending collapse. In this context of uncertainty, the […]

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IESE Webinar [Video]: Develop Your Communication Skills

The Webinar: This is the recording of the IESE Develop Your Communication Skills webinar we ran on 13th April 2013.  It is here on the IESE Business School YouTube channel. Storify Summary of the Webinar via Twitter Hashtag: #iesewebinar Communication Skills Webinar with Prof. Conor Neill http://t.co/rzT7nCPaVB #storify #iesewebinar #communication — IESE Business School (@iesebs) […]

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Eliminate the Unnecessary

“Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.” Pablo Picasso I finished a wonderful 3 day seminar this week in Madrid with 30 directors ranging from industries as diverse as agriculture, to mobile handset makers, to pharmaceuticals to drinks. The course began on Tuesday morning at 9am as the participants introduced themselves, their challenges and their […]

TED Education: What Aristotle and Joshua Bell teach us about Persuasion

TED Education: What Aristotle and Joshua Bell can teach us about persuasion

I wrote “Give a TED talk” on my bucket list 4 years ago, today I feel happy to see the idea come to fruition. It is not a TED Talk per-se, i.e. it is not up there on a stage, but in my mind almost better – a lesson from my class, and a concept […]

The Speech Act Theory of JL Austin

The Words, the Meaning, the Effect As we communicate, there are 3 separate processes at play: what we say, what we mean when we say it, and what we accomplish by saying it A rhetorician would call these 3 separate processes: 1) locution, 2) illocution, and 3) perlocution.  In my courses we use the shorthand “Point X” to […]

The 8 Universal Human Laws

Mythology and The Human Experience As part of the Greek and Roman Mythology course that I have been following for the last 10 weeks, our teacher Dr. Peter Struck has been drawing out a number of “universal human laws” from the myths. We read of Odysseus, of Aeneas, of gods, of monsters.  We read material […]

Rhetorical Fallacies: Sliding down a Slippery Slope with Pigs

“I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.” George Bernard Shaw Beware of Pigs One tool of “pigs” in manipulative persuasion is the rhetorical fallacy.  A fallacy is a deliberate mis-use of logical argument.  You’ll find them regularly in political, social and family “discussions”.  Don’t […]

Book Review: Lend Me Your Ears by Max Atkinson

I just finished reading Lend Me Your Ears by Max Atkinson on my kindle.  I am a regular reader of Max’s Atkinson’s blog.  Max is a political speechwriter, a professor and a blogger.  You can follow him on twitter @maxatkinson. Lend Me Your Ears is an easy read and covers the subject of public speaking […]

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