Response of the Video talk: Speak like a Leader by Simon Lancaster in Verona
The speaker the Ted Talk, talks about the six techniques that one must employ in their speech. He refers to them as the secret language of leadership. The techniques include thee breathless sentences, repetitive sentences, balancing statements, use of metaphors, exaggeration, and rhyme. These techniques make even the most absurd arguments sound plausible. Notably, the art of rhetoric is seen as a basic entry to society and it is taught in school. Breathless sentences mimic hyperventilating which helps speakers deal with distress and anxiety. It is the authentic sound of fear and has been employed by various such as Barack Obama. Tony Blair also employs the technique; he says, “Education. Education, Education.” The emphasis is on three because three the magic number in rhetoric. The technique has also been demonstrated in other phrases such as democracy which means a government for the people by the people. Three breathless sentences help to put things in freeze which makes the speech sound rather credible, convincing, and compelling.
Repetitive sentences are also helpful in speech delivery. For instance, Winston Churchill employs repetitive sentences while speaking to communicate emotion. Winston speaks repeatedly yet slowly. Repetition helps pass points across. When we are emotional regarding something, our perspectives often become distorted. Repetition sweeps people away and for this reason, it is used by sleek market traders and salespeople to convince people to pay for products and services. The technique of balancing statements is also highlighted. Our brains are tuned to like balanced things, more so if we imagine that the underlying thinking is balanced. We are drawn to balanced sentences even when the balance is an illusion. For instance ‘we are thinking about what we can do, not what we can’t’. Metaphors are the most powerful pieces of political communication. We use metaphors after every 16 words. Metaphors are rather political in that they are used to lead people towards things or to make them recoil. Metaphors describe people, things, images, love sunshine, disease, or even family. For instance ‘The colored Jungle’ is used to paint the idea that immigrants are like wild animals; they are to be afraid of, dangerous, and are threats. Such a language is dangerous because it is a language of hate. The metaphors are similar to those used Hitler used to refer to the Jews as snakes or by the Hutus in Rwanda genocide to refer to the Tutsi as cockroaches.
Exaggeration is also employed in speech. Whenever we are emotional, our perspectives distort the manifestation and when people are emotional they tend to go over the top. An example of a manifestation is “I have been waiting to do this talk my whole life; I did not sleep last night thinking about today”. Exaggeration forms a part of an ordinary conversation. Leaders replicate what we do naturally in their speeches only that they exaggerate them. Rhyme is also another important technique that must be employed in speech delivery. Recent research shows that people are more likely to believe something is true if rhymes than if it does not rhyme. Linguistics refers to this as the fluency of language. It shows how easy it is to swallow words. It is just like giving a person a steak to swallow and wine. If you give someone stake, they are unable to swallow because of the size. Similarly, if you speak using log words and sentences they may need an extra minute to understand. This is the kind of effect, rhyme has. Rhyme is a signifier of truth in society hence it can be used to conceal fallacies.
There is a strong connection between the discussions emerging in the video and the text. Although the two sources use different approaches to but their points into perspective, the conclusion is the same. For a speech to be captivating, it requires one to speak from their memory. This is referred to as memory speaking. Memory speaking refers to the art of reciting a message that has already been committed to the memory by the speaker (Marini, Ruffino, Sali, & Molteni, 2017). In speeches, memorizing can be helpful particularly if they aim to be precise but at the same time, they do not want to be confined to notes. There is a connection between memorizing and the points fronted in the video because both encourage the speaker to maintain eye contact throughout the speech. Another issue that shows a connection between the text and the video is the art of learning from experts. Various organizations including toastmasters are known for helping professionals overcome the phobia of public speaking. (Nordin, & Shaari, 2017). Although the video delves more on techniques of rhetoric, throughout, it emphasizes emulating the people that are more experienced than us. It does this by referencing world leaders such as Barack Obama.
Without a doubt, I have established a personal connection with the video because I can resonate with everything said by the speaker in the video. Just like the speaker, I feel that society can benefit much more if every person could master the ability to express themselves articulately. Without political, financial, and legal systems, society can never be fair. Additionally, I agree that the fact that the conversation has only been narrowed down to a small portion of the powerful elite should be an issue of concern. It is scandalous that we live at a time when the world is battling serious challenges including financial inequalities, the apocalyptic effect of climate change, and religious prosecution that has been unmatched since the 1940s that we should restrict debates to such a narrow minority of leaders. Every person should take charge and challenge themselves to learn to express and articulate issues in the best way they can. By employing the six techniques of rhetoric, we can achieve more milestones.
Marini, A., Ruffino, M., Sali, M. E., & Molteni, M. (2017). The role of phonological working memory and environmental factors in lexical development in Italian-speaking late talkers: a one-year follow-up study. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 60(12), 3462-3473.
Nordin, S. M., & Shaari, Z. H. (2017). Implementing the Toastmasters tradition in the l2 classroom. The English Teacher, 7.