Posted by: magnussonllc | August 10, 2009

Pimp My Presentation – Alliterations

Alliteration is a literary or rhetorical stylistic device that consists in repeating the same consonant sound at the beginning of several words in close succession. The term “alliteratio” was coined by Giovanni Pontano in 1519. An example is the Mother Goose tongue-Alliterationtwister, “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers …”. Like rhyme, alliteration is a great help to memory.  It is the alliteration which makes us remember such phrases as: “sink or swim,” “do or die,” “fuss and feathers,” “the more the merrier,” “watchful waiting,” “poor but proud,” “hale and hearty,” “green as grass,” “live and learn”.

Alliteration can help move the reader along in the text, convey the importance of specific ideas, make a text more interesting, and help the reader to remember key ideas. In presentations, especially it can add to the strong rhythm that the best speakers develop, used sparingly, it can add punch and drive to what might otherwise be a slow-moving passage.

By incorporating alliterations in your presentations, you points will come across with a bigger impact.

Check out the example used by Barack Obama from a speech delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church.

 “We can no longer afford to traffic in lies or fear or hate. It is the poison that we must purge from our politics, the wall that we must tear down before the hour grows too late. But if changing our hearts and our minds is the first critical step, we cannot stop there. It’s not enough to bemoan the plight of the poor in this country and remain unwilling to push our elected officials to provide the resources to fix our schools.”


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