Last week, we have introduced to you the structure of study E.N.A.P and the art of learning. Today we will continue with E.N.A.P. – the art of speaking and see how European rhetoricians followed a specific structural with a general guideline concerning the crafting, proper arrangement and delivery of speeches, that by organising the arguments into an effective discourse, would guarantee the presentation of any given subject to be a convincing, captivating and memorable experience.

Whether at celebrations, in political assemblies or when appearing in court, the goal of speaking and a good speech was – and presumably still is – to leave a lasting impression on the audience long after the final word is spoken. Indeed, an influential speech can be judged in terms of whether or not the public remembers it. Consequently, a good speaker, as well as providing factual information and compelling arguments, should also know how to entertain his audience in order to attract its undivided attention.

Ascending the Latter

For this purpose, European rhetoricians followed a specific structural principle called E.N.A.P. – a general guideline concerning the crafting, proper arrangement and delivery of speeches, that by organising the arguments into an effective discourse, would guarantee the presentation of any given subject to be a convincing, captivating and memorable experience. Now, the acronym E.N.A.P stands for Latin exordium, narratio, argumentatio, peroratio, denoting the four parts of a classical speech: introduction, narration, argumentation, conclusion. These four parts can best be understood as an ascending flight of stairs. Step by step, the performance works up to a climax, gradually preparing the audience for the final conclusion.

The 4 Parts in Detail

In the introduction, the speaker establishes the significance of his issue in a tangible and delightful way, seeking to win over the general goodwill of his audience. The next step, the narration, deals with the statement of the case. Relevant facts, persons, issues and interesting circumstances are presented in an appropriate way, by using digressions, side notes and illustrative examples to round out the matter. Together with the narration, the argumentation forms the main part of the speech. Here, the speaker outlines the major points in his argument and draws sober conclusions to make his issue plausible. At this stage it is best to let the arguments speak for themselves. The conclusion is the crowning culmination of the whole speech. At this point, all the threads come together and the speaker makes every effort to ultimately convince his audience. There are many ways to motivate a certain attitude, but one definitely has to address and mobilise certain emotions with the intention of arousing strong feelings and passions.

Ars Bene Dicendi – Speaking and Teaching

From the compelling introduction to the instructive middle section up to the moving final, each step corresponds to a certain mode of persuasion, the balance of which is a delicate matter. To employ the four part sequential structure in communication in general allows the rhetorically skilled to address all human faculties: sensation, imagination, intellect, emotion and humour. In this way, the E.N.A.P. principle, as developed in the production sites of Western classical rhetoric, works like a key that opens up all the communication channels – making it the ideal blueprint for the didactic design of our learning environment.

Studies on the Culture of Europe

Now that we’ve learned how the European rhetoricians followed the E.N.A.P. principle and thus guaranteed the presentation to be a convincing, captivating and memorable experience, we will continue next Monday with our final MNEMONICS VIII. It focuses on Illuminate Learning and depicts how the power of imagination is a significant facet of memory.

MNEMONICS I: Introducing the first multi-blog series on Mnemonics

MNEMONICS II: The Mnemocity

MNEMONICS III: Focus on Memory – Treasury of Eloquence

MNEMONICS IV: The Art of Memory

MNEMONICS V: Memory and Architecture

MNEMONICS VI: E.N.A.P. – The Art of Learning

MNEMONICS VII: E.N.A.P. – The Art of Speaking 

MNEMONICS VIII: Illuminate Learning