This week I picked up a copy of the recently released biography of Patrick Henry entitled Lion of Liberty by Harlow Unger. In the opening chapters, Unger describes the rhetorical skill Henry used in his law practice:
“He used every rhetorical device he could find or invent. On clear days, he embraced the sunshine and lifted jurors hearts; on grey days he pointed to the clouds and rain to provoke tears; and on the darkest days, he saw omens of destruction in the hearers that left jurors cowering in fear as he cited each thunder clap or lighting blot as nothing lest than the ‘wrath of God.’ “
The spoken word is powerful. Sadly, outside of politics and some pulpits, we are losing the art of communicating well.