May 31, 2016 fm

Where Has All The Rhetoric Gone?


The more I dedicate myself to the scientific art of speaking, the more I dig into the field of persuasion and inspiration, the more I know about communication in general, the more I ask myself one question: Where has all the rhetoric gone?

A robust pillar of political science in Ancient Greece – today it has completely disappeared from our educational agenda. Why?

In the United States, at least, they let their young ones show and tell. Who comes to your mind when you think of great speakers? JFK? MLK jr.? Steve Jobs? You can challenge their school system, but US-Americans will always beat the rest of the world in public speaking.

What about the rest of the world, what about Europe, what about us? Where has all the rhetoric gone? All these great engineers, all these great designers, all these great chefs… As soon as they open their mouth – game over!

I studied business administration in Bamberg, Germany, for more than five years. Do you know how many presentations I had to give? Zero, none, nada.

It’s time to put rhetoric back on our educational agenda. One hour a week, starting with the youngest. The benefits speak for themselves. They will gain self-confidence, they will structure their thoughts, they will get tot he point, they will have a message, they will convey their message with conviction, they will engage their audience, they will speak with meaning.

Help bringing rhetoric back to our schools!

What is your opinion?

Let’s discuss!

Comments (4)

  1. Daniel

    The word is given
    The challenge set
    The torch passed to a new generation of rhetoricians
    They will not fade, nor falter
    But follow Florian to the fruition of his dream
    A dream of light in the darkness
    A dream of shining clarity cutting through the haze
    A dream of blazing speech piercing the fog of corporate thinking
    Then will the voices of the speakers be heard
    Not in empty words, nor vacuous phrases
    Nor even portentious repetition.
    And they will rise as one, saying
    “Ask not what your company can speak to you,
    but what you can speak to your company”

  2. It’s an important idea and one that raises the broader issue of educational reform in general. For example, I believe that in the final years of high school, there should be a course that teaches kids how make a budget, how to plan for retirement, how to negotiate, how to start a business, etc. Practical things that will be useful in life.

    Knowing how to speak well is a fundamental skill that will help anyone in their personal and professional life. It should be at the top of any revised curriculum.

  3. For my money, it’s the lack of authenticity that’s the root cause. Everyone is trying to be the next Steve Jobs instead of just being themselves and sharing their story.
    Great read, important question!

  4. Our generation does not need to remember so many things because we can find what we look for in Google.

    I think in the near future the importance of memorizing concepts will decrease while the importance of explain those concepts will increase.

    In the idea’s era we need people who communicate those ideas because machines will memorize things for us but they will not speak for us.

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