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THE POWER OF WORDS

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  • “But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” George Orwell
  • Jean-Paul Sartre said, « Words are loaded pistols. »

In the following video, a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt reads, “A good leader inspires people to have confidence in their leader. A great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves.” The quote is a good reminder that leaders must be careful with their words—words can either hurt or heal. Words can inflame hatred or raise spirits. Used wisely, words can unleash the best in others

VIDEO: Leaders Who Master The Power Of Words Inspire Change

The video highlights historical and contemporary leaders whose powerful and inspiring voices triggered movements and inspired change.

Many speeches are available on You Tube, and I would recommend the following to illustrate the power of specch: Washington’s farewell, Lincoln at Gettysburg, Winston Churchill’s ‘We Shall Fight,’ Kennedy’s and Obama’s inaugural addresses, and also powerful speeches performed by young teens : Malala, Naomie Wadler, Severn Cullis

It is interesting to study what these speeches have in common to understand what made them so powerful.  Aristotle’ s rhethoric on the art of persuasion:

Pathos (appeal to emotions)
Logos (appeal to logical reasoning)
Ethos (credibility)
NOTIONS : Seats and forms of power, Idea of Progress, Myths and heroes
Questions around the power of words:
Do words have the power to change our lives?
How do great leaders inspire action?
Words can unite but also divide-
You may also want to use a quote to start your oral presentation (see quotes above) –
In this post, we have studied the power of words through speeches, but since words are everywhere you may want to tackle the topic through another angle : the power of songs (see previous post), the power of the press and how it uses words to catch the reader’ s attention and distort information, the power of commercials, the power of tweets etc…

 

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