In the first part of Gerry Spence’s book, he sets out to reveal the nature of argument itself — why it either has power or does not. This is not a “how to do it” set of rules, but a treatise on how to unlock the power within ourselves. And this post treats with the last chapter — the power of words.
Words come in two flavors: dead and alive. Dead words are abstract and cerebral. They are the words of the professor and more often than not, the lawyer. Living words come from the heart and convey powerful visual images. They stick with us. Which would you think has more impact in an argument?
You find these words most often among working men and women who speak from their living experience. One does not choose these types of words. That is like eating soup with a fork. They flow from the heart when the heart is engaged.
Gerry’s treatment of this subject is mainly in examples and stories. He shows the power of a phrase in a given context, whether it is a bar or at the edge of an old growth forest. It is worth a read through!
Next we move into the “how to do it” section of Gerry’s book – building the house that the wolf can’t blow down! Stay tuned!