Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!

Rhetoric, the art of writing and speaking persuasively, is an important skill. It’s important in the meeting room when you want to convince your manager to go forward with your project. It’s important in the market when you want to convince consumers to buy your goods or services. It’s important in the bar when you want to convince members of the Libertarian Party that their efforts are being wasted and they would be better off pursuing agorism. However, even though humans have been practicing rhetoric for as long as it has had language, possibly longer, most of us aren’t terribly good at it.

Consider what is likely the earliest form of rhetoric, cavemen grunting at each other and pounded their fists on the ground. Then consider what passes for rhetoric today. Politicians saying nothing intelligible. Political activist with nothing but derogatory terms to wield at their opposition. Sunday preacher who can only threaten their flocks with eternal damnation. As you can see, modern rhetoric isn’t far removed from the rhetoric of cavemen.

Fortunately, modern rhetoric sets the bar so low that almost anybody can surpass it with just a little practice. In the interest of helping people improve their skills, this year AgoraFest will host the Rhetoric Workshop. What is the Rhetoric Workshop? It’s an opportunity for you to practice your persuasive skills and perform a little public speaking.

At the workshop each participant will be given the floor for ten minutes. During this ten minutes the speaker will make a persuasive argument, either off the cuff or prewritten, for whatever topic they please. Perhaps you’re a member of the Libertarian Party who took offense to my above statement and want to explain to everybody why I’m wrong. Perhaps you’re a budding communist who wants to convince our large libertarian audience that their views on private property are horribly wrong. Perhaps you want to argue in favor of recreational nukes. The floor is yours.

Following the speeches we will discuss the importance of rhetoric both as a general skill and specifically as it pertains to gorists and other radicals.

To learn more and to sign up for AgoraFest 2017: