• File photo | Credit

An Overview of the Canon of Delivery

Delivery, the last canon in the Five Canons of RhetoricOpens in new window, like the Canon of StyleOpens in new window, is concerned with how something is said; as opposed to what is said (which is concerned with the Canon of InventionOpens in new window).

Delivery involves how a speaker used his body language and hand gestures and how he changed his tone of voice during his oration — the questions of accent, posture, gesture, tone of voice, and so forth, have a profound effect on how a speech is received.

Practical Examples of Delivery
  • As she delivers her speech, a political candidate shows energy by speaking in a loud voice and pounding the podium with her fist.
  • At an academic conference, a student walks around the room as he delivers his paper instead of standing behind the podium the whole time.
  • During her closing argument, a defense attorney makes direct eye contact with each juror.

The examples have been adapted for use here, courtesy of University of Arkansas, Sam M Walton, College of Business

In antiquity the way a speech was delivered was considered a crucial determinant of its meaning or effect, especially since delivery made use of the powerful persuasive appeal of pathos.

  • Share

Recommended Books to Flex Your Knowledge