You want to learn how to make a good presentation?


Who better than Cicero himself could teach you?

Here is the recipe of Chef Cicero, the master of Rhetoric in Ancient Rome:

Presentation "a la Cicero

Serves a small meeting as well as a thousand people conference. Adapt the length of the cooking to the length of the speech. Now and then, stir the pot. Adapt the cooking temperature and seasoning (delivery, especially) to the type of audience and the result expected…

First find the ingredients  (inventio):

  • Fresh and juicy ArgumentsMediterranean food
  • Piquant and sharp Counter-arguments
  • Toothsome Ideas
  • Scrumptious Examples
  • Sweet Anecdotes
  • Spicy Stories
  • Mouth watering Savory metaphors
  • Peppery Data
  • Gustatory Images

Arrange the ingredients in logical order, by importance and opportunity (dispositio)

Then, dress up these ideas and embellish them with style (elocutio)

Make sure you make them tasty and memorable (memoria)

Finally, serve and deliver with art of grace, dignity, gesture, modulation of voice and face (actio).

(Cicero denounces Cataline)

This recipe has crossed thousands of years and you can find it applied today, in 2010 in politics of course and courtrooms, but also in the corporate world, at the work place every where, every day, all across the world.

Every time you prepare a speech, a presentation, a mission statement, a  sales or marketing pitch, a web seminar, a tele class, a job interview, an elevator speech etc…, you benefit from Cicero's 5 canons of classical rhetoric, whether you're conscious of it or not!

5 Key Steps in Cicero's recipe to make a presentation

  • Invention : brainstorming and “playing devil’s advocate”, determining major topics, arguments and counter-arguments.The danger here might be to muse endlessly and collect a bountiful amount of ingredients, not all relevant .You can also use whatever you happen to have in your cupboard, fridge, cellar, kitchen garden,stock of previous presentations…Or you can combine the two and search and purchase exactly what you need, according to your core message, your intention and your audience.

  • Arrangement : it must include  an introduction, a statement of
    facts, a division between ideas (if appropriate), proof or evidence
    supporting all ideas, refutation of ideas, an optional digression, and
    a conclusion.It refers to structure and logic.

  • Style: Invention and arrangement are concerned more with what is being said, style is concerned with how it is being said. L'Art et la Manière…Your Style! It may include metaphors, ethos and pathos to  persuade , convey emotions and have a great impact. (we'll see that in other posts)

  • Memory: you need to have an innate knowledge of your topic, be able to memorize it and also enhance some of the most convincing aspects. You want to be prepared to deal with interruptions,feedback, questions and still stay on your track.It refers to learning and anticipation for an interactive presentation.

  • Delivery : like style, delivery focuses on how it is being said, all the non-verbal aspect of your presentation (voice,smile, eye-contact,gestures,posture,breathing, rythm, pauses, intonation, volume, etc…). You will adapt your delivery according to your audience and to the desired outcome of your speech.

In order to make Your Next Presentation a Success, you need to follow these simple steps, work hard and get yourself a seasoned presentation skills coach.

Contact me at Geronimo Leadership Coaching

One-on-one presentation coaching on content, design and delivery

email me :  tel 00(33)6 73 70 53 09

Sign up for my new product, offering the best of blended learning on YOUR desktop!

You can learn to present the classical way, and you can also learn to cook the Roman way, as if you were living in Cicero's Rome, 55 BC!

Can’t resist including this boar recipe, in hommage to Asterix
and Obelix!

Roast Wild Boar

"Aper ita conditur: spogiatur, et sic aspergitur ei sal et
cuminum frictum, et sic manet. Alia die mittitur in furnum. Cum coctus fuerit
perfundutur piper tritum, condimentum aprunum, mel, liquamen, caroenum et

"Boar is cooked like this: sponge it clean and sprinkle with
salt and roast cumin. Leave to stand. The following day, roast it in the oven.
When it is done, scatter with ground pepper and pour on the juice of the boar,
honey, liquamen, caroenum, and passum."
(Apicius, 330)

For this you would need a very large oven, or a very small
boar, but the recipe is equally successful with the boar jointed. Remove the
bristles and skin, then scatter over it plenty of sea salt, crushed pepper and
coarsely ground roasted cumin. Leave it in the refrigerator for 2-3 days,
turning it occasionally.
Wild boar can be dry, so wrap it in slices of bacon before you
roast it. At the very least wrap it in pork caul. Then put it into the oven at
its highest setting and allow it to brown for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven
temperature to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4, and continue to roast for 2 hours per kg,
basting regularly.
Meanwhile prepare the sauce. To make caroenum, reduce
500ml wine to 200ml. Add 2 tablespoons of honey, 100ml passum, or
dessert wine, and salt or garum to taste. Take the meat out of the
oven and leave it to rest while you finish the sauce. Pour off the fat from the
roasting tin, then deglaze it with the wine and the honey mixture. Pour this
into a saucepan, add the roasting juices, and fat to taste.
Carve the boar into thin slices at the table, and serve the
sweet sauce separately."

 "Around the Roman Table
Food and Feasting in Ancient Rome
"by Patrick Faas

Around a Roman Table P. Faas

Now, you just need to find a boar…


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