This fall, I am teaching a 3rd year university course, as I have for a few years. In “Oral Rhetoric”, I get the students to focus on their formal and informal speaking skills. I use two books as my most important resources:
- Thank You for Arguing, What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion by Jay Heinrichs; and
- Talking From 9 to 5 by Deborah Tannen.
Both are excellent and very reader-friendly. Heinrichs’ book, gives us both classical rhetoric and insight into how it works in today’s world. Tannen’s shows us how what we say to each other can be misunderstood if we have different conversational habits. I recommend both for anyone wanting to improve their conversational and persuasive skills.