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John Zimmer is a speaker and presentation skills trainer based in Geneva. He is a seven-time European champion of public speaking. John is the editor of Manner of Speaking, a popular blog about public speaking followed by readers worldwide. John is also the co-creator of Rhetoric — The Public Speaking Game™, and a TEDxLausanne speaker in 2014.
A speech opener in special
One of John’s clients had to speak in a convention for 20 minutes needed help with her opener. John used his coaching skills to pull a moving story from her. Ultimately the speech opened with the words, “It was raining the day I arrived at the hospital” and she continued the story and kept her audience captivated until the end.
What rhetorical devices are
Rhetorical devices are clever uses of language to make a persuasive argument. As a speaker, the main tool you have is your use of language.
4 Easy Rhetorical Devices for Any Talk
Anaphora is the repetition of a word or a phrase at the beginning of successive sentences. An example from Winston Churchill: “We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and the oceans, …”
Epistrophe is the repetition of a word or a phrase at the end of successive sentences. From Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address: ” … and that government of the people, by the people, for the people”
Anadiplosis is beginning a sentence by repeating the last words of the previous sentence. An example from Star Wars’ Yoda: “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
Tricolon is a series of three words, sentences or clauses. An example from Julius Caesar: “I came, I saw, I conquered”
Rhetoric. The Public Speaking Game
It’s a board game that John has co-created with Florian Mueck. The game is in its 2nd edition (2015) and the digital version (app) is in progress. Players practice 1-minute speeches and can use rhetoric techniques, including metaphors.
Related: Winston Churchill’s Legacy in Rhetoric and Public Speaking
“All the great speakers were bad speakers at first.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” — Leonardo Da Vinci
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson
Steve Jobs (biography) by Walter Isaacson
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
Routine to Shine
Do this exercise 1 minute a day for the next 30 days and it will help you with your stage presence. It helps you to stand in a grounded and anchored manner on the stage. Stand up, let your arms hang on the side, close your eyes. Feel your arms gravity pulling down. Feel the heaviness moving on your legs and then on your feet. When you’re on the stage, feel heavy, rooted.
John’s blog Manner of Speaking
Rhetoric. The Public Speaking Game
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John Zimmer says
Thanks again for having me on the podcast, Oscar. I enjoyed it very much. You are doing great work to help others and I wish you the best of success in 2016!
Thank you for your words John. It’s great to have you as full-time speaker and I’m sure you’ll reach unimaginable success and impact more and more people worldwide in the coming years.
Rashid N. Kapadia says
Just heard your conversation with John Zimmer. Excellent! So glad I did. Thanks. I have been following John / Manner of Speaking for a while now.
I too am fascinated with all aspects of public speaking. I pay particular attention to the power of openings, transitions and closings.
Further to your question to John about stand-out openings, you may find my blog article on “openings” valuable. It is an analysis of 10 openings that grabbed my attention.
I (based in USA) have a small connection with Finland. I helped start the Vaasa Toastmasters club that chartered almost a year ago.
Hi Rashid, thank you a lot for your kind comments. John made this interview really entertaining and enlightening.
Your article looks very interesting, great collection of openers! Thanks for sharing.
I have to visit Vaasa Toastmasters one day. You did a great job there.
All the best!