How To Present Your eLearning Product: 6 Pieces Of Advice From Cicero

6 Pieces Of Advice From Cicero On How To Present Your eLearning Product

You are not alone in this kind of situations. For example, one of the best Roman orators, Marcus Tullius Cicero, most known as just Cicero, had faced similar sort of problems a great few times in his life. He also had a need to talk as good as never before to save his career or even life. You might say “Wait a minute, what is the connection of Cicero and business? And why do I need to read his advice?”. Well, actually, Cicero was really involved both in political and social life of Ancient Rome, though there were no such a term as business. And you obviously need to pay attention to the pieces of advice from Cicero because he, like many other great men in history, say Steve Jobs, achieved everything in life just with the help of his quick tongue.

So, let’s get right into it. Here are the best pieces of advice from Cicero for magnificent product presentation:

1. Move From Personal To Common

It is one of the most popular figures of speech in art. For example, I personally often start an article with a phrase like “the problem of … becomes more and more common nowadays”. Also, Cicero likes it when he is defending someone or blowing upon somebody to tell firstly this person’s good or bad streaks and then generalize it to the peculiarities of the whole nation.

You can use it when describing the usage of your product. Tell them that the product has a core audience, and you know it, but that it can eventually be helpful to everybody.

2. Make Your Presentation Variegated

Cicero once said “When somebody gives a speech with a charge against someone, there is nothing more unfair to dwell on the long list of facts that speak against the accused, and to keep silent about the facts that speak in his favor”.

This advice is unusual and even dangerous, because you need to be really cautious when and how you should talk not only about the best things about your product, but also some of the bad ones and only if you have one. People know that nothing can be perfect, and they always look for a catch when the product is described as totally perfect, so you need to highlight and talk about some mistakes in your app or some things that need to be improved on in the goodies. But while saying that, don’t forget to mention that you and your team are working on them right now to bring the highest quality eventually.

3. To Palaver Isn’t Always A Bad Idea

Cicero was famous for his permanent repeats of the already said things. Like in his famous speeches “In Catilinam,” he could in one paragraph say more than 5 times how Catilina is horrible, disgusting, and an impious person. This figure of speech is called amplification; it helps to significantly enhance the expressiveness of the utterance by using synonyms, comparisons, and figurative expressions. For a good speech, don’t be afraid of using repetitions and comparisons; they will increase emotional stress, help with better understanding of your point of view and are able to raise your product higher in the audience’s eyes.

4. Change The Style And Tone Of Speech

The one thing Cicero was also famous for is unexpected transition from a pathetic tone to a simple one, from the seriousness of the presentation to a joke and ridicule. You may ask “Why do I need to turn my presentation into a performance?”. This is because it is a performance, and your main task is to play your best part. And this change of style and tone allows you to pin the public's attention and achieve a strong emotional response. This is also necessary in order not to bore the public too much - "to delight without satiety".

5. Present With Patience And Point Out The Best

Cicero draws attention to the fact that the listener always sympathizes with the emotionally speaking speaker even if he does not say anything remarkable. Therefore, even the most ingenious speech delivered passionately can convince more than a brilliant but indifferent one. So even if your product is not in the best condition or only on the Seed stage of startup lifecycle, you have to bring lots of patience in your speech and investors will definitely pay attention to you.

Cicero said “It is necessary not only to choose the least of evils, but also to extract from them what can be good in them.”

6. Use The Method Of Roman Rooms For Memorizing

Cicero is also famous for never using records in his performances, reproducing from memory a lot of facts, quotes, historical dates, and names. And all this was possible thanks to this method -the method of memorization- invented by him, which is called the method of Roman rooms. The essence of it is that memorable units of information should be mentally placed in a well-known room in strictly defined places. Then all you have to do is just remember this room to reproduce the necessary information. This is exactly what Cicero did when preparing for his performances; he was walking around his house and mentally placing the key moments of his speech in it. If the information is somehow thematically related, then the same room can be used several times rather than looking for a new "supporting" room each time.