Pericles Speech

I had a really great time on the call today folks.  I’m really enjoying everyone’s perspectives and insights.

I mentioned that I broke Pericles’ speech into its basic elements and I know somebody else mentioned they did the same thing so I thought I’d share this with you.  I think this can be refined further and hopefully simplified to fewer elements.  I think this could be helpful to anyone who may find themselves in a situation where they are in a difficult leadership challenge and need to get people in a difficult situation aligned toward an important goal.

The elements I came up with are as follows.

1) Call out the issues (things you know people are saying or gossiping about)
2) Appeal to a higher purpose or value system of the people
3) Pull them into owning the current situation (ownership of the original decision in Pericles situation)
4) Remind them what is behind the current situation/decision so they understand it was a good or logical approach with the info available at the time even though it didn’t work out
5) Tell them what to do (A call to action)
6) Appeal to a greater legacy for them all
7) Explain they must earn it
8) Explain the consequences of reversing their decision/situation instead of moving forward
9) Tell them what logic to use to base their current decision on
10) Repeat telling them what to do (A call to action)  I just added this myself and I’m not sure that this is how Pericles ended his speech.

Maybe this is a good approach to use when trying to get people to vote for something, but I think it can be a nice framework for any speech where you need to convince people of something.  Feel free to improve and refine this if anyone wants.


06. January 2009 by Arrian
Categories: Commentary, Thucydides | Tags: | Comments Off on Pericles Speech