Chreia Persuasive Presentation


Inspirational executives, leaders, scholars, inventors, artists, authors and other successful people are often admired and emulated for wisdom, work philosophies, or inspiring life stories behind their success.  There is much to be learned from successful people who live meaningful lives.  Some influential people offer us memorable quotes to shape our own thoughts or behavior.  The ancient Greek rhetoricians called these types of sayings “Chreias.”  Chreias are brilliant tools for persuasion.

Goal:  In this assignment, you will take on the role of an Executive Coach to your Potential Executive/Manager classmates and persuade them to subscribe to a particular piece of advice shared from a quotation (Chreia) you select.

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Task:  In a thoughtful, well-planned, and well-rehearsed 4-5-minute inspiring presentation do the following:

*Step One:

  • Select a quotation that demonstrates inspiration, wisdom, or a philosophy worthy to teach others.
  • Using one PowerPoint slide, show us your quotation and its source (the author).


*Step Two:

  • Write an introductory sentence that calls for the praise of the author.
  • Add three praises (not just facts, but explanations of specific virtues and accomplishments).
  • Include a few facts about the author of the quote; i.e. time and place of birth, chosen career.
  • End with telling us how the author lived life according to the quote.

*Step Three:

Paraphrase the quote – one short sentence.  Begins with a phrase like, “This saying teaches that…”

*Step Four:

Tell us a general story that shows good results when this Chreia is followed.

*Step Five:

Tell us a general story that shows bad results when this Chreia is not followed.

*Step Six:

Tell us an analogy to help us understand this quote; i.e.  “As running around a brick wall won’t kill someone, in the same way, patience results in success.”

*Step Seven:

Testimony:  Tell us how the quotation’s message can apply to your classmates’ experience and help them succeed.  This might include an example of something that actually happened linked to advice for the future.  Why should they remember and follow the message offered in your Chreia?

*Step Eight:

  • In a conclusion, circle back to your quotation and its author, ending with a final “clincher.”
  • At this point, hand out to the members of your audience a small memento that represents the point you have been making. It could be a business card, a piece of candy or a cookie (wrapped), a small picture, a trinket, etc.  Use your imagination!

NOTE:  In preparing for your presentation, practice your timing and your delivery using PitchVantage.  Tape at least three practice sessions and upload your best one for review.  Remember that your oral presentation is worth a possible 100 points.  You will be graded on content, delivery (verbal and non-verbal), and timing.  Speaking less than four minutes or more than five minutes will cause a reduction of points.