Contemporary Methods


Output 2

Training Module

Contemporary methods of teaching rhetoric

It includes recommendations for developing and improving the skills of pronouncing a speech, preparing one’s voice, maintaining control during the presentation, participating in dialogic formats, etc.

  • Traditions in rhetoric education

  • Contemporary methods of teaching rhetoric

  • Forming, developing and refining one’s voice

  • Formation, development and improvement of non-linguistic means

  • Summary and recommendations

  • Online resources and oratory and bibliography

Options for teaching rhetoric in the 21st century

There are different traditions in the study of rhetoric in different countries and universities. In some of them, the teaching of rhetoric and public speaking is not only about teaching speaking. Some educators seek a more complex view.

The teaching of oratory involves the use of specific genres and techniques, and these are represented in the history of rhetorical education. Imitation is a stage in the development of oratory skills for delivering speeches in the native/mother tongue and in foreign languages. In the 21st century, new approaches are also being sought while considering the changed educational, socio-cultural, virtual and technological environment. Rhetoric in academic education is presented as knowledge adapted to different disciplines. There is an orientation towards the pragmatic presentation of basic rhetorical concepts and towards the formation of skills for communication in different spheres: business, media, politics, education, etc.

Here are some suggestions.

  • First option

  • Start with an introduction to the traditions.

  • To find texts of speeches of which there are no audio or video recordings. These texts are read by the students or spoken as the learning progresses. In this way there is exposure to the oratorical heritage and pronunciation skills are developed.

  • See the end of this section for websites where texts of such speeches can be found. Students can also find speeches by other orators from different fields and eras.

Second option

  • Listen to audio recordings, either from archives or phonograph libraries, or from online resources. The texts of these speeches are read in translation or in the original.

  • The student then reads and delivers the speech, with the choice of either imitating and mimicking the original speaker or presenting their own version.

Third option

  • Original speeches are found, e.g. King George’s Speech, as audio recording and text and the speech from the film The King’s Speech, and comparisons are made between the two versions using rhetorical terms in the voice formation and non-linguistic means/paralinguistic means sections.

  • The Real King’s Speech – King George VI – September 3, 1939 –

The King’s Speech (2010) Official Trailer #1 – Geoffrey Rush Movie HD –

This approach has been used to train students from NATFA and Sofia University.

These can be both original speeches and film speeches.

For example:

– The speech from the film “The Great Dictator” – Charlie Chaplin’s performance.

Original. Charlie Chaplin – Final Speech from The Great Dictator –

  • Речта от филма „Всяка една неделя” изпълнението на Ал Пачино.

Al Pacino „Inches” Speech, Any Given Sunday (1999) –

Al Pacino’s Inspirational Speech – Any Given Sunday (1999) – Clip HD –

  • Речта от филма „Усещане за жена” изпълнението на Ал Пачино.

Scent of a Woman | “I’ll Show You Out of Order!” –

  • The site, called American Rhetoric, contains video recordings of speeches by politicians, statesmen, businessmen, diplomats, as well as the texts to them, which is a very good basis for students to select speeches. Speechbank –

  • 100 Top Speeches –

Murder Board

The term will be used as it is spelled in English or Cyrillic without translation due to its specificity and different interpretations, uses, organization, and conduct. With no claim to comprehensiveness as an adapted and innovative method, only some explanations and resources for self-study are provided.

It is necessary to specify that this method is suitable in order to organize and conduct more comprehensive training and preparation for participation in media broadcasts, debates, disputations, discussions, roundtables, video conferences, webinars, interrogations, job interviews, project defenses and reports, business and political negotiations. The aim is to prepare and shape the behaviour of the participant in different dialogic formats. The participant will be able to develop skills at several levels:

– Behaviour from a psychological point of view: self-control, mastery, maintaining composure, speed of thought, strong memory, etc.

– Behaviour for effective participation in dialogue: promptness in giving answers, formulating accurate answers, providing information and indicating sources, not substituting thesis; asking counter-questions, etc.

– Conduct from an argumentative point of view: finding the right arguments, structuring and restructuring arguments, giving counter-arguments.

Online resources for further preparation on the murder board method.

What is a murder board? Scope Training. last accessed 12.09.2021.

– Murder Board Method of Project Selection. last accessed 12.09.2021.

– What is MURDER BOARD? What does MURDER BOARD mean? MURDER BOARD meaning & explanation. 8.10.2018. Retrieved on 14.08.2021.

– How to create a murder board. 08.02.2016. last accessed on 14.08.2021.

In Bulgarian, a useful source is the article by Neli Stefanova and Yana Sabeva:

– Стефанова, Н., Събева, Я. „Мърдърборд” и тренингите по реторика. Реторика и комуникации, бр. 23, юли, 2016. последно посещение на 14.08.2021.

Stefanova, N., Sabeva, Ya. „Murder board” and rhetoric trainings. Rhetoric and Communication, no. 23, July, 2016. Retrieved on 14.08.2021.

Presentation skills training

Ivanka Mavrodieva in the book “How to present successfully?” presents in a tabular form criteria and stages for diagnosis, evaluation and final assessment in the formation of presentation skills (Mavrodieva 2007: 201-211).

Мавродиева, И. (2007). Как да презентираме успешно? София: Кота7.

– Mavrodieva, I. (2007). How to present successfully? Sofia: Kota7.

Daniela Ilieva outlines a model for assessing individual presentation skills based on research, training experience and the establishment of good practice.

Илиева-Колева, Д. (2015). Модел за оценка на индивидуални презентационни умения. Реторика и комуникации, бр. 19, юли, 2015. последно посещение на 14.08.2021.

Ilieva-Koleva, D. (2015). A model for assessing individual presentation skills. Rhetoric and Communication, No. 19, July, 2015. Retrieved on 14.08.2021.

Preparation and training of the court speaker

Judicial rhetoric is part of the rhetorical heritage. More information can be found in Marietta Boteva’s article and in her book, Judicial Argumentation, published in 2021.

– Ботева, М. (2020). Обучението на съдебния оратор ‒ традиции и новаторство. Реторика и комуникации, бр. 45: 82-90,, последно посещение на 12.09.2021.

Boteva, M. (2020). The training of the court orator – traditions and innovation. Rhetoric and Communications, No. 45: 82-90,, Retrieved on 12.09.2021.

Preparation and training in academic communication

Good practices for training in academic communication and developing research skills are presented by Maya Ruseva in an article.

– Русева, М. (2020). Академична дейност и комуникация в Работилница по феноменология на политиката ARS. Реторика и комуникации, бр. 45: 91-105,, последно посещение на 12.09.2021.

Ruseva, M. (2020). Academic activity and communication in ARS Workshop on Phenomenology of Politics. Rhetoric and Communication, Issue 45: 91-105,, last accessed 12.09.2021.

Preparation and training in argumentation in schools

Of interest is the article by Fotini Egglezou, which shares experiences of using rhetorical heritage to teach students about argumentative writing.

Egglezou, F. (2015). A metaphorical structural model for teaching argumentative writing in a Greek elementary school. Rhetoric and Communication, No. 19, last accessed 12.09.2021.

Project RHEFINE – Rhetoric for Innovative Education, Number 2020-1-PL01-KA203-082274, Erasmus+ Programme, Key Action 2, Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices – Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education.


University of Warsaw – Poland – coordinator

Institute of Rhetoric and Communication – Bulgaria

University of Zagreb – Croatia