On February 23d we had TEAM Talk #30: Rhetoric, or the science of persuasion. Soft skills in the IT field are as important as technical knowledge. The ability to deliver important information and be heard by your audience – team members, team leads, or product owners – is an integral part of the project’s success.
Our guest speaker was Natalia Popova, Candidate of Philosophy, Associate Professor of the Department of Theoretical and Practical Philosophy of Kharkiv National Karazin University. She illustrated the ways rhetoric teaches us to pick the right words (“clues”): some words give power, while others disarm.
Natalia taught us to work with the audience and get ready to public performances; to pick words correctly to win the audience and grab its attention. She explained what things we may appeal to in order to convey one’s thoughts and perspective, and what techniques to use to deliver the convincing statement. Yet, we learned and practiced rhetorical techniques such as “hyperbaton” and “parcellation.”
Rhetoric proved useful for public speaking, mentoring, and negotiating. These soft skills are invaluable for IT professionals who plan on truly excelling in the field.