Writing for the Eye: Pictures, Visions, and PowerPoint

Jens E. Kjeldsen, Amos Kiewe, Marie Lund, Jette Barnholdt Hansen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter


This chapter explains the importance of visual rhetoric in speechwriting and discusses the power of the visual. Time and again, the ancient rhetoricians encourage us to put events vividly in front of the audience so that they experience them as if they see them with their own eyes. The advice is equally valid today. We show how good speechwriters draw pictures with words, and how speakers may use places and props rhetorically. We discuss the use of visual aids such as PowerPoint. Often speeches using slides end up making the speaker reiterate facts instead of communicating vividly, telling stories, and presenting arguments. Used properly, though, slides may be efficient in presenting a case. We explain how slides can benefit, rather than harm the speech.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRhetoric, Politics and Society
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NameRhetoric, Politics and Society
VolumePart F796
ISSN (Print)2947-5147
ISSN (Electronic)2947-5155

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Communication
  • Cultural Studies
  • Political Science and International Relations


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