The Analogy: a particularly strong rhetorical device

The analogy is a particularly powerful rhetorical tool. It often allows you to present a situation much more clearly than when you speak directly about it. It sometimes takes a little effort to find a good analogy. But if you take your time, you often have an advantage. Here is an example.

Imagine: You go to the doctor, no, better, you go to 100 doctors and 99 of them diagnose “diabetes”. 99 doctors tell you that you have diabetes and should therefore not eat bacon or donuts. Then what do they say? They say,”This is a conspiracy! 99 doctors have sat down with Obama and want to keep me from eating bacon and donuts!”[Break] You’d never say that! That’s exactly how it is with climate change …”

The words come from the former US President, Barack Obama, who in his speech criticized the position of some Republicans on climate change and the Treaty of Paris. The analogy is convincing and presented with humor. You have to look at it in the original.

Click here for the video. (It takes less than 2 minutes.)

As always: Practice makes perfect. Only if you take the trouble to implement the tips, you have the chance to make a good speech.

If you like the tip, why not share it in the social media such as Facebook, XING and others?

Gunter Pauli

Move your listeners, if necessary right at the beginning of your presentation

The number one rule of public speaking is,”Don’t bore your audience.” Because that many times leads to the audience falling asleep.

Some situations are easier than others to keep the listeners awake. Especially with rising temperatures – at the moment it’s about 30 degrees Celsius in my office – and with meetings that feel as long as a marathon it can be very difficult to keep the listeners and participants attention. Karem Albash, a colleague from the GSA, has brought to my attention a video on YouTube, in which this problem is masterfully solved. It is a video excerpt from the Entrepreneurship Summit 2014 in Berlin. Even if this occasion is a while back, I think everyone can learn something from it.

In the video we see Gunter Pauli, entrepreneur and designer and co-founder of The Blue Economy. He’s one of many speakers. What does Gunter Pauli do to wake up the audience?

  1. Gunter Pauli is in a good mood.
  2. He’s brimming with energy.
  3. He sets the audience in motion.

In particular, I think the third point is worth mentioning. Even though the first two points are a prerequisite for the third point to be successful. Namely: He makes the audience get up. At first glance, he doesn’t seem to be able to do it with all spectators. But he doesn’t give up: He insists. The audience seems to follow him. Especially as he has to ask the audience to sit down again at a later date. Acoustically, we hear that the audience has fun to participate. Yes, often this is the case: the audience wants to have fun or at least be entertained. Don’t be boring. As mentioned at the beginning, this is the highest rule of public speaking.

In addition, the third point is interesting because it helps the audience to take a different viewpoint. This contributes to the audience’s willingness to take new ways of thinking.

Why not also invite your audience to stand up, stretch out and move in a meeting or conference?

Click here for the video of and with Gunter Pauli

The sequence takes only 40 seconds (00:07 – 00:47). Look at it.

As always: Practice makes perfect. Only if you take the trouble to implement the tips, you have the chance to make a good speech.

If you like the tip, why not share it in the social media such as Facebook, XING and others?