Excerpt from course description

Rhetoric - the art of persuasion in speech and writing.


Is it possible to learn how to become a successful speaker? Can you learn how to write good texts? Can you strengthen your professional and personal credibility? Of course you can. The art of speaking and writing can be learned and rhetoric makes this possible. Rhetoric is the art that the Greeks regarded as fundamental to leadership and to leading people. Everybody can learn to be better speakers; everybody can learn to be better participants in conversations; everybody can learn to write persuasively and effectively. Rhetoric helps you convince your audience to accept a point of view or a message. Speech and writing need to be adjusted to the sender and the audience, the issue and the argumentation, to time and place; to what is called the rhetorical situation. The better these elements are coordinated, the better the rhetorical effect.

Course content

Day 1. What is rhetoric?

  • To persuade, raise interest, demonstrate understanding, result in action
  • The production of verbal messages and credible texts
  • Analyzes, interprets, constructs, evaluates, critiques
  • Takes a holistic perspective

Skills: Outlining a speech text for oral presentation; practicing oral presentations

Day 2. Ethos: Credibility – competence, character, goodwill

  • The credibility of the speaker
  • Authority, authenticity, trust
  • Personal and professional ethos

Skills: Constructing writer/reader roles; developing tone of voice, training body language

Day 3. Pathos: Feelings, appeals and persuasion

  • The impact of text and speech on readers and audience
  • Involvement, commitment, identification

Skills: Writing second drafts based on feedback; accommodating language, style, tone of voice to audience

Day 4. Logos: Argumentation, thesis and arguments

  • Diction, argumentation – fact and reason
  • The good argument
  • Argumentation and positioning

Skills: Developing a thesis, finding good arguments, working on coherence for speech and text

Day 5. Speech and body language.

  • From text to speech. Theory and practice
  • Body language. Individual training and exercises
  • Oral delivery: exercises

Skills: Oral delivery

Day 6. Evaluation: Speech delivery or oral presentation


This is an excerpt from the complete course description for the course. If you are an active student at BI, you can find the complete course descriptions with information on eg. learning goals, learning process, curriculum and exam at portal.bi.no. We reserve the right to make changes to this description.