Why Speakers Differ From One Another
Part of Classical Rhetorical Theory includes the concept called “Invention – Inventio”
It does not mean “inventing things which are not true” or “creating something which is new,” but the task of mentally brainstorming as to . . . .
√ how to present a truth, an idea, a concept
√ what is the best way to develop the idea with the audience
√ how should one arrange any of the arguments (strongest to weakest?)
√ what will capture the audience’s attention and interest
√ what visuals should I use – if any
√ what would be a good analogy to use in an explanation
√ what other passages should I bring in to the message
√ whether one should take a diversion in order to make a valuable point
√ what should I assume or not assume the audience needs to know
“Inventio” is the creative part of a preparing a message or a speech and encompasses all other parts of the message — the introduction, the laying out of the points, the statement of the points, the illustrations which were chosen, possible applications, and the design of the conclusion.
One is not creating something that is new, that is, which cannot be found in the Bible, but something new only in the sense that your presentation and development of the truth or principle to the audience is “new” and that is why it is yours and not another’s, and that is why all speakers are different, as well as effective, or ineffective.
Good-to-Great speakers work at developing and presenting this-or-that biblical truth or principle so that the audiences . . . .
gets it, and/or
feels it, and/or
sees it, and/or
grasps it, and/or
understands it, and/or
remembers it, and/or
That takes work and it is the creative side of preparing a message or a speech. One can be furthered in this task by having co-workers, fellow pastors, insightful friends, participants around a table talking about the passage and presentation. However, many a pastor operates alone in the secluded pastoral study — either by situation (he is the sole pastor of the flock) or by choice (he fails to take advantage of other minds).
If you would like to develop your creative skills in the development and preparation of a message or speech, there are tools which can and do help — and help more and more as your mind goes down paths which have been developed by the repeated exercise of “inventio” skills.
There are few (in fact almost none) books which would be described as a dictionary of related words. That is why I have been developing my own “dictionary of related words” which is illustrated below.
Oh, there are plenty of thesauruses, which are designed to provide synonyms — words that are similar but carry different overtones — like musical instruments — all play the note “C” but there are different overtones of meaning.
Try looking up “courtroom” on a Thesaurus. Miriam Webster won’t even give you a synonym. Okay, let’s try “court” . . . .
enclosure (also inclosure),
Now if you were addressing the idea of a courtroom, or giving an illustration related to the courtroom, the first list of words is useful. A thesaurus should be part of your rhetorical tool chest. It can give you clarity, some preciseness, and/or variety as you use that word.
But if you want to get the creative juices flowing let’s provide a list of related words . . . .
Words Related To . . . .
accused / accusation
adversary / adversarial
oath / affirm
allegation / alleged
bail / bond / bondsman
contempt of court
negligence / contributory negligence
felon / felony
jury / grand jury
incarceration / imprison / jail
judge / judgement
jurisdiction / lack of jurisdiction
sheriff / officer / bailiff
trial / jury trial / bench trial
guilty / not guilty
plea / petition
served (as in a summons)
corroborating evidence /witness
It is just such a dictionary of related words which can help a speaker or preacher clarify, explain, illustrate, drive a point, focus a slightly different direction, visualize, or vary the content of the message.
How about the word “baseball?”
We will do that one next!