June 30, 2014 fm

A Rhetorical Couple Like Romeo And Juliet

There are only few love stories in the history of love stories that come close to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Romeo and Juliet is the mother of all love stories.

In public speaking, another loving couple enters the stage and steps into the limelight – Message and Relevance.

As a speechwriter you must caress both of them, if you want your audience to return your love.

No speech without message. Conflict and change expert Tobias Rodrigues points out that, A speech without message is like a Messiah without mission. 

Your message should be a catchy phrase of less than eight words. The shorter the better. Be inspired by advertising when you refine your message.


  • Bouillon cubes are stumbling blocks for your health.
  • IESE is a cradle of change.
  • Charisma is not 100% innate.

Two important aspects to have in mind. One, state the message early in your speech, preferably at the end of the opening. An audience gets nervous when they don’t know what it’s all about. Two, when a speech has two messages, make two speeches.

Now you have a message – great!

But you know what? You can have the best message on Earth – when it’s not relevant to your audience, nobody will care about it! Always ask yourself as a speechwriter, Why should they care?

A great way to make your message relevant to your audience is using rhetorical questions.


  • Is your health important to you? – Then I’d like to focus on a tiny, little friend in your kitchen today… Bouillon cubes!
  • You’re all experienced business people in this room. Who of you wouldn’t agree that change is the only constant in life? – I know a wonderful cradle of change…
  • Do you want to have more self-confidence? Do you want to have a better presence? Do you want to have better communication skills? Do you want to come across as an authentic person? Do you want to be a role model for your team? Charisma is the answer. And the good news is, charisma is not 100% innate!

Always make your message relevant to your audience. Once they care, they will listen to you.

Not all lovers are called Romeo and Juliet. Next time you prepare a speech or presentation think of another couple – M+R!

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