The Ancient Greek Speech Structure For Your Speeches and Presentations

How to structure your speech to make a mighty impression
Ancient structuring formula for speeches and presentation

Ancient speech structure


The ancient greek speech structure is probably the oldest structuring formula for speeches. It dates back to antiquity. And it still works today for speeches and presentations. Learn how to convince classically.

Back to the roots: The ancient Greek speech structure


The Greeks and Romans cultivated the art of oratory. It had a quite high reputation in these cultures. Aristotle already knew that the speaker’s credibility, i.e. his ethos, was particularly important. And there are other things we can learn from this heyday of rhetoric. For example, in building up convincing speeches and presentations.




The structure of ancient Greek speech, step by step


Probably the oldest structure formula for speeches dates back to antiquity; the ancient Greek. It is particularly suitable for more extensive speeches. The structure is very well-thought-out and effective. Speeches are structured with it as follows:

Ancient Speech Structure

1. First, win benevolence


Prepare the audience to listen to the speaker’s point of view at all.




2. Describe the actual situation


Describe the previous development and the current status without evaluation. This prepares the ground for the next steps.




3. Point out alternatives.


What other possibilities exist?




4. Justify your recommendations and discuss their advantages.


Why do you prefer your recommendation?




5. Disprove possible counterarguments


What counterarguments could there be and how do you refute them?




6. Summarize your most important words


Summarize your words and come to a conclusion.




7. Inspire your audience


Get the audience moving.




8. Call for action


What should the audience do now?






Steps 6 to 8 are called conclusions (conclusio) in the classical form.



Is that enough theory? You can find out more about the practical use of ancient rhetoric in Presentations Skills Training III, without the need for ancient Greek or Latin.

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Great Ideas Need Wings As Well As Landing Gear And...

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: March 6, 2015
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: August 15, 2019
Translation: August 15, 2019
German version: