Rhetorical Creativity! Why Speakers Are Great – to – Mediocre -To – Hard To Listen To – To ……..

creativity bulb  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

etc.

 

“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
values it.

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” . . . .

bar,
bench,
forum,
tribunal

or

close,
courtyard,
enclosure (also inclosure),
patio,
quad,
quadrangle,
yard

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 . . . .

The Courtroom

conviction
charges
crime
accused / accusation
redress
civil action
criminal action
adjudicate
prosecutor
enforcement
judicial
settlement
decree
evidence
admissible
adversary / adversarial
affidavit
contested
proceeding
oath / affirm
swearing in
aggravation factors
aggrieved party
allegation / alleged
alias
standing
appeal
appellant
arraign
arrest
bail / bond / bondsman
codicil
continuance
contempt of court
attorney
plaintiff
defendant
complaint
contract
negligence / contributory negligence
conviction
counterclaim
court order
cross-examine
custody
damages
deposition
clerk
dismissed
discovery
divorce
docket
direct examination
indirect examination
escrow
eviction
executor
ex parte
expunge
felon / felony
finding
jury / grand jury
guilty
incarceration / imprison / jail
penitentiary
indict
interrogate
judge / judgement
misdemeanor
jurisdiction / lack of jurisdiction
lien
sheriff / officer / bailiff
magistrate
damages
trial / jury trial / bench trial
motion
mitigating factor
mistrial
sentence
guilty / not guilty
objection
parole
objection
jurisdiction
perjury
plea / petition
preponderance
quash
reasonable doubt
recognizance
remand
restitution
sealed
seizure
suspended sentence
search warrant
revoked
served (as in a summons)
subpoena
show cause
civil suit
courthouse
transcript
summons
retrial
unlawful detainer
circuit court
waive
warrant
witness
writ
innocent
not guilty
hung jury
bench
courthouse
arrested
investigated
hear-say
smoking gun
testimony
corroborating evidence /witness
perjury
witness stand
transcript

 

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!

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