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Memory

 

Disciplines Argument > Five canons of rhetoric > Memory

Description | Discussion | See also

 

Description

When you are going to persuade someone of something, take time to remember enough of the argument to be able to present the full story without hesitation or omissions. If you want to spellbind them, you must fully learn the spell.

You seldom need to learn everything by heart, but it can be a very good idea to at least learn your opening lines by heart and then know very clearly all of the points of your argument.

If you have problems remembering things, do not worry, help is at hand. There are many practical memory methods described within this website.

The secret of speaking is often in the rehearsal. Even great orators spend much time behind closed doors perfecting each of their speeches. The more important the speech, the more time you should put into its preparation, including a full dress rehearsal (or two).

Discussion

When an actor performs in a play, they do not read from the script. To do so would spoil the performance terribly. They would not be able to use their hands and body fully. They would look like a person reading from a piece of paper, rather than a person who transforms the audience to a separate reality.

Persuading is like acting. The performance depends on you not having to spend time thinking about what to say -- your spare cognitive effort should be spend on shaping it to the situation, going with the flow of moment, responding to your audience to ensure you are in perfect tune.

In the original Latin text, this is 'memoria'.

See also

Memory, Memory methods

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