Sunday, December 13, 2015

Promotional Post and Review: It's Not What You Say, It's The Way You Say It by Michael Parker

Today I'm bringing you a very different kind of read from my normal every day read. When I received this in the mail I honestly wasn't very interested in it, I mean, I don't read this genre, so I wasn't even sure why it was sent to me but, curiosity got the better of me and I started to flip through it.

I have to say, I found this really interesting. There were cute little illustrations that went along with the writing and overall, this was kind of a fun read and very much informative. I think for anyone interested in this type of thing, they would really enjoy it and find some very helpful tips and hints.

So, today, I'm going to share an excerpt with you and maybe, just maybe you will take the time to pick this up too and see what it has to offer as well. 

Published By: Vermillion (December 4, 2014)

Book Description:

No matter what your speaking challenge is, this inspirational, cleverly illustrated book will ensure you perform with passion, power and persuasion; at your very best.

Whether you are chasing a job, planning a pitch, giving a speech at a wedding, presenting to one or one thousand people, you’ll discover how to:

-Use the rule of three to win any audience over

-Prepare so you can be yourself – but better

-Embrace the unknown and conquer any fear

Capturing a life time’s work in the art of persuasive communication, this powerful book reveals the principles, tools and tricks to help you become a courageous, memorable, stand-out speaker.


Michael Parker is the author of IT’S NOT WHAT YOU SAY: How to Sell Your Message When It Matters Most and a former Vice-Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi London, who now coaches private clients on their pitches ( He has taken part in, lead or coached over 1000 pitches, and currently lives in England.


Rhetoric can be defined as the art of persuasion, influencing with words rather than force. Arguably the greatest masters of this art were ancient writers Aristotle, Cicero and Quintilian. And it was Quintilian, the Roman rhetorician from Spain, who said:

“The whole art of oratory, as the most and greatest writers have taught, consists of five parts: invention, arrangement, style, memory and delivery.”

Each of these elements is as valuable today in creating effective communication as when it was first taught over 2,000 years ago.

1. INVENTIO (invention)

This is the stage of exploring all the possible avenues of what you might say about your subject, keeping the interests of your audience in mind.

From the Latin, invenire (to come upon) and the Greek heuristic (to discover), this phase calls for research and imagination.

The goal is to find an idea that will be the framework of all that follows— an idea that provokes a:


2. DISPOSITIO (arrangement)

This is the process of organizing your arguments for maximum impact. In Greek, the word is taxis—to arrange troops for battle.

There are six main parts of a speech:

i. Exordium, “to prepare the audience in such a way that they will be disposed to lend a ready ear to the rest of the speech.”


ii. Narration, where you set out your issue or your proposition.

iii. Partition, where you summarize the arguments you are about to make. (You’re telling the audience what to expect, making it easier to follow.)

iv. Proof, the arguments in full.

v. Refutation, the destruction of any opposing arguments.

vi. Peroration, a summary of your key points, leading to a forceful conclusion, with an emotional appeal as the lasting impression.

3. ELOCUTIO (style)

This is all about making your audience want to listen to your ideas and your argument. It is about how you do it—the way you come across.

Style is often described as the extraordinary use of language. It should be based in correctness, clarity and appropriateness but enlivened through ornament— an unusual use of language.

Rhetorical questions, clever turns of phrase and surprising figures of speech are all part of this.

Above all, your style must be one that is just right for your audience. You must be seen to speak “their” language (see page 77).

4. MEMORIA (memory)

This is the process of learning and memorizing your speech so you can deliver it without the use of notes. As notepaper was rare, the ancient orators had to memorize their speeches as they held forth in the forum.

Spontaneity, apparent or real, added to their authority, as it does today. Rather than memorizing or reading from a script, the best “spontaneous” solution is to prepare notes to refer to. Assuming you have a reasonable grasp of your content, these need only contain the key headings and signpost words that will keep you on track.

These same signposts, together with considered pauses, will help make you more memorable to your audience, the other aspect of memoria.

5. ACTIO (delivery)

Apparently when Cicero finished speaking, the people said, “How well he spoke,” but when Demosthenes finished they said, “Let’s march!”

When asked what was the most important component in oratory, Demosthenes replied “DELIVERY.” Asked what was second, he responded, “DELIVERY” and, third, “DELIVERY.”

Excerpted from IT’S NOT WHAT YOU SAY: How to Sell Your Message When It Matters Most by Michael Parker© 2015 by Michael Parker. Tarcher Perigee, Penguin Group USA, Penguin Random House.


  1. Very informative! Thanks for sharing. :)

  2. Nice to see you taking a chance on something outside your zone and that it paid off.

  3. Interesting! In the last year or so I became a lot more interested in self-help type of nonfiction. :)

  4. Sometimes it's nice to read something we usually wouldn't. Sounds interesting.

  5. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing websites that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. It is the old what goes around comes around routine.
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  6. It's always the books that are outside our normal genre that surprises us the most. I used to dislike anything nonfiction, but I find myself seeking it out every now and then. It's good to go outside, you find interesting things that way. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Books like these can be really helpful. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I think this is a great read! Everyone can improve on these skills and apply them in all aspects of life.

    1. Really good point Tyler and I couldn't agree more!

  9. There are so many non fiction books I WANT to want to read but when I try I just want to read books for fun. I want to learn but maybe I do better with that with watching stuff. This one does sound interesting though!

    1. I completely understand Candace, I'm the same way most of the time as well. ;)

  10. This sounds really informative. Public speaking is scary. I don't even like to talk in front of a group of 3 or more lol!!