3 techniques for memorable lines

The following article was featured in Communications Briefings.

Some of the best practices for public speaking have been used effectively since the time of Aristotle. Adopt these ancient techniques, described with the Greek terms for them, in your speech writing:

  1. Anaphoroa (repeating). A word or phrase at the beginning of clauses and sentences. Who can forget  “I have a dream”?
  2. Chiasmos (creating). A parallel structure so the first part is reflected in the second part. President John Kennedy used this technique often, as in “Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.”
  3. Polyptoton (using). Words from the same root in different ways. President Franklin Roosevelt used the same word as a verb and noun when he said “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Source: “Great Speeches: How to Know One If We Hear One,” Diane Swanbrow, University of Michigan News Service, http://ns.umich.edu.

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