#2 I’M A PITCH, CAN YOU MAKE ME
A Continuation from You Beautiful Pitch #1, how to make your pitch sound beautiful…..
A word or phrase repeated after a brief interruption of one or two words. For example ‘Bond, James Bond.’ I use a diacope in this this book when I write ‘Needy, Never Needy’. Google famously said ‘do no evil’, which could have perhaps caught more attention if they said ‘evil, never do evil’.
Bond, James Bond: Diacope
This is when you end a sentence, phrase of paragraph with the same word or phrase.
For example, in the film Lock, stock and Two Smoking Barrels: ‘If you hold anything back I’ll kill you. If you bend the truth or I think you are bending the truth, I’ll kill you. If you forget anything, I’ll kill you. In fact you are going to have to work very hard to stay alive, Nick. Now, do you understand everything I have said? Because if you don’t, I’ll kill you.
Barack Obama made the phrase ‘yes we can’ famous by employing these words as an epistrophe. Here’s an extract from the speech he made…….
And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in America – the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes, we can.
At a time when women’s voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes, we can.
When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes, we can.
When the bombs fell on our harbour and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes, we can.
She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that “we shall overcome”. Yes, we can.
A man touched down on the Moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes, we can.”
“Yes we can!”
A particular favourite of mine sometimes referred to as ‘the power of three’, tricolon is a series of three parallel words, phrases, or clauses. It is more effective than using two of the same as the brain always makes a connection between two things, but as soon as it sees three it sees a pattern.
For example, Rum and Coke, eat and drink, we build a direct link, we assume they go together. But with a tricolon we build up a pattern that we can break. For example, ‘The Good, The Bad & The Ugly’, as soon as we read the first two words we expect the third word to carry on in the same vein, for example ‘ The good, the bad and the evil’ but instead we break this expectation.
Good, Bad, Ugly
The tricolon is enhanced when the third word sounds longer, for example ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ or ‘friends, Romans, countrymen.’
You do not need to break the pattern you can have all three words, phrases or clauses pointing in the same direction ‘all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world’.