Let’s get rhetorical part 1

If you’re new to the ICA, you’ll have missed the start of this series on persuasion. You can catch up starting here.

Today’s episode is about the single most important tool in the copywriting industry (and the most misunderstood).

We’re talking RHETORIC. Here’s the definition in 3 bullet points:

1. Rhetoric is the study of using language effectively and persuasively to communicate ideas, opinions, or information to an audience.

2. It involves the use of various techniques and devices to craft effective written or spoken communication that can influence or persuade the audience.

3. These techniques can include the use of figurative language, rhetorical questions, repetition, and other persuasive strategies.

In other words, if you want to persuade anyone to do anything, you need to learn how to use rhetoric.

Aristotle, the ancient Greek wrote the first book on rhetoric over 2000 years ago.

It’s evolved a lot since then, but its heart beats stronger than ever.

Every successful politician has used it to gain and stay in power ever since (and if they aren’t at the top of the persuasion industry, I don’t know who is).

But it’s not because they spent a lifetime studying rhetoric, it’s because they employ the best writers on the planet.

I’m not talking about TV or film script writers here, I’m talking about writers who understand rhetoric and its ability to persuade people to move in whatever direction they want.


That’s real power.

Let’s take an example.

Ever heard of the phrase: dirimens copulatio?

(it may sound a bit edgy, but trust me, it has everything to do with persuasion)

The literal translation is: “a joining together that interrupts”.

What it means from a rhetorical perspective is this: “a conjunction of two opposing clauses”.

Here’s a couple of famous examples from JFK of its use (I’ve paraphrased the second one):

1) “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”

2) “We choose to go to the Moon, not because it is easy, but because it is hard.”

They both helped put mankind on the moon.

Of course, we’ve all heard these phrases and understand their power, but very few of us ever think to use them in our own writing.

We assume we need to be some kind of genius writer to create great sentences like these.

We assume these writers use some kind of trickery or magic.

And we assume that for the rest of us, we just have to make do with being ordinary.

Not so.

We are just missing the tools and framework.

And that’s where the ICA comes in.

I’ll show you through the new ICA course, The Elements of Persuasion, everything you need to know.

From each tool’s name, to what it means, to how it can be used.

Here’s the enrolment link.

Next up: Let’s get rhetorical part 2