If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? – Harmony and Public Speaking – TALLspeaking

10 May

In music, harmony is pleasing to the ear, a concordance of sounds, and a balance that beholds. In speechwriting, you can employ a harmonizing sentence structure to balance the beginning and the ending of a series of (at least) three sentences.

Think of putting your sentences on a teeter totter: whatever weight you put on one side must be balanced by weight on the other side. This technique is more formally known as parallel structure.

Shakespeare’s used this teeter-totter, harmony technique in Shylock’s speech in The Merchant of Venice (Act III, Scene 1):

If you prick us, do we not bleed?
If you tickle us, do we not laugh?
If you poison us, do we not die?
And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?

Here is another example of harmony adapted from Super Bowl winning Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy in 2006.

Talent is God-given. Be helpful.
Praise is Man-given. Be thankful.
Conceit is Self-given. Be mindful.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Marxist-Leninist

a revolutionary communist website

Yanis Varoufakis

THOUGHTS FOR THE POST-2008 WORLD

21centurymanifesto

For working class political power and revolutionary culture, news and analysis from Britain

The Secret Fairy Society

Get the news from the Glen

the dirty hippie & the bohemian girl

an eco-aware, flower power, neo-hippie, vegan blog

My Blog

This WordPress.com site is the cat’s pajamas

Omegawidowgirl's Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

Young Professionals of Baltimore

Just another WordPress.com site

newtstakeaway

Just another WordPress.com site

whatstheturningpoint

Just another WordPress.com site

cafeboudoir

Just another WordPress.com site

cookingadventisasters

Just another WordPress.com site

southcountychamber

Just another WordPress.com site

Thoroughly Furnished

Equipping God's people for all good works.

littlemiracleshappeneveryday

A great WordPress.com site

elliotdlassonphd

Observations and Opinions About Work

kreegerconsulting

This WordPress.com site is the cat’s pajamas

%d bloggers like this: