Public Speaking: The Role Of Rhetoric In Ancient Greek Politics

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Public speaking is the process or act performed by one individual or several people to influence or guide the audience. Public speaking was first established 2500 years in the Ancient Greece and followed by Rome. First the Greeks utilized public speaking as a form of democracy. Famous Greek philosophers such as Socrates (c.469-399BCE), Plato (427-347 BCE), and Aristotle (384-322 BCE) are renowned for the specialty of “rhetoric”. Rhetoric, as defined by Aristotle, is the “faculty of discovering in the particular case all the available means of persuasion” (Kennedy, 1963, p.19). Rhetoric was an enormous element of art that Greeks relied on; ordinary men adapted such activities to speak in public or ‘gathering places’ such as the Ancient Agora…show more content…
35-95 AD). Cicero is considered a significant politician and rhetorician as he established the five steps of rhetoric which are according to (History of Public Speaking, n.d.):
Invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery [are the five main steps of rhetoric. Cicero] urged his students to seek all possible means of argument (invention), put those arguments in the order best suited for the situation (arrangement), use the best and most expressive language (style), memorize the presentation (memory), and present the speech with the best gestures, expressions, and volume (delivery).
Subsequently, the students pursued Cicero’s five steps strategies which organized their rhetoric accurately and eloquently. He influenced Quintilian, another leading rhetorician that claimed public speaking is ‘inherently moral’ (History of Public Speaking,
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The value of public speaking evolved during time until now which became a predominant activity worldwide.

Public speaking was a course requirement to obtain my bachelor degree, at first I wasn’t quite fond of it as I have never practised speaking in front of an audience before. Plus, I easily become nervous by getting all the eyes of the audience on me. Furthermore, my experience with public speaking course was intriguing as I recall the first time I arrived and my professor demanded that I should speak about myself in front of the class.

Consequently, I was submerged with nervousness and anxiety as I didn’t encounter such experience. Immediately, after I ended my speech my professor acknowledged of my fluency which boosted my self-esteem in public speaking. Suddenly, my midterm was approaching and even though I practised excessively for the midterm in front of my friends and family. However, I was tensed that I couldn’t do well in my speech. In addition, I let fear consume me and be victimized by it, I started stuttering and stammering with the words as I say “broom” instead of the word “groom” in my wedding customs speech. Furthermore, my professor was not fond of my speech even though she was the only voice

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