Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Speaking In Public

Or, How You Can Stoke Passions Or Bring Peace With Your Speech

Caesar's Advantage
Not every aspiring orator or public speaker can have the advantage that Julius Caesar had. This great statesman was tutored by rhetoricians such as Marcus Antonius Gnipho and Apollonius Molon.

Julius Caesar

The distinguished teachers themselves were disciples of Gurus who traced their lineage right up to people like Demosthenes. Molon would drill into young Caesar the key element of skilled oratory: "Delivery, Delivery, and Delivery! That is what matters, Julius!"

Demosthenes, Bust, copied from work by Polyeuctos

Caesar's rise in Roman politics may be partly attributed to his oratorical skills. When he would rise to speak, his presence on the podium would hush the crowds. When he opened his mouth, words would flow like a fresh stream of water - sometimes spiking, sometimes ebbing, and always holding the attention of the audience in their grip. He would sense the mood of the crowd, and sway their emotions the way he wanted them to be swayed. Whether it was pitching against powerful opponents in the election for Pontifex Maximus (the post of the High Priest), or whether it was defending himself against the charges of colluding with Catiline to overthrow the Roman Republic: Caesar's skillful and shining oratory won him the day.

Roman Senate Meeting

Caesar's impassioned gestures and high-pitched voice would later inspire his troops to conquer more than eight hundred cities and hoist the Roman flag over the entire Gaul, Britannia and Germania.

Pic by Edward Armitage

So, Can You Achieve The Same Feat?
Granted, not all of us are so fortunate to have learnt from such great tutors. But that doesn't mean that we are handicapped, or in any way less of human beings than them, are we, eh?

Modern research has gone into what makes the likes of Julius Caesar and his contemporary, Cicero, so great. Few traits that they have readily identified (doesn't take much research to identify them, actually) are:

- These guys have a lot of self-esteem. They believe in themselves. They do not constantly look over their shoulder for approval from peers.

- They do a lot of preparation. And in situations where they are called upon to make an impromptu presentation, the first attribute sees them through.

- They can look at the audience, eyeball-to-eyeball, they can feel the mood of the audience, and quickly tailor their presentation accordingly.

Building these and other traits in one's personality is now relatively simple. Self-Hypnosis is one technique that you can deploy to imbibe into your psyche the basic elements of positive self-esteem and self-confidence that is not fragile but enduring, whatever the circumstances. (Caesar was once kidnapped by pirates. They demanded ransom from his seniors in government. Caesar promised that he would get even. The pirates laughed at him. After being released against ransom, Caesar returned and crucified his perpetrators. Now how's that for self-esteem and self-confidence?)

myHelpHub Self-Hypnosis

Here is one site where you can pick up the CD for self-hypnosis: - Costs US $25.95 for a CD, $12.95 for a download.

Fractal - Hypnosis!

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