Die erste Rede: A Crying Man

In unserer Rhetorikklasse müssen wir – über das Sommersemester verteilt – drei Reden halten. Die erste Rede soll eine kommemorative Rede sein: Eine Rede, in der wir einer inspirierenden Person, Buch oder Geschehnis gedenken und hervorbringen, wie es unser Leben beeinflusst hat.

Ich wollte zuerst über mein Lieblingsbuch “Tuesdays with Morrie” referieren. Dann schwenkte ich eher zu meiner persönlichen Vorliebe, am Klo dicke Lexika zu lesen, um – und zu guter Letzt entschloss ich mich, über das Weinen zu sprechen. Ein Mann, der über seinen schwächsten Punkt  vorträgt?

Die Hintergrundgeschichte

Die Struktur der Rede

Ich liebte es im Gymnasium, Reden und Referate zu halten; nun habe ich die Chance, etwas über die Kunst des Redens zu lernen.
Prinzipiell gibt es eine Einleitung, einen Hauptkörper der Rede und einen Abschluss.

Das mag trivial klingen, wird in den meisten Schulreferaten aber nicht berücksichtigt. In der Einleitung beginnt man mit einer Erzählung zu Beginn, die Aufmerksamkeit aller Zuhörer zu gewinnen. Dann kommt die These der Rede und eine kurze Übersicht, über was die Rede handeln wird. Mit einem Brückensatz geht es dann in den Hauptteil der Rede, wo in unserem Fall zwei Hauptpunkte vorkommen, die jeweils durch drei Argumente gestützt werden.
Der Abschluss besteht aus einer Zusammenfassung des Gesagten, einer wiederholten Nennung der Hauptpunkte und (optional) einer Moral.

Zeit für Emotionen

Da wir die Rede schreiben musstet, haben Sie die einmalige Gelegenheit, sie in Ihrem Kopf zu hören. Um die volle Erfahrung zu teilen, stellen Sie sich einfach folgendes vor: Ich stehe vor 36 Studenten und einer Professorin/Flugbegleiterin auf und … anstatt die Rede zu beginnen, frage ich ein Mädchen in der erste Reihe um ihre Wasseflasche. Sie giesst das kühle Nass in meine zu einer Schale geformten Hände und ich klatsche das Wasser in mein Gesicht.
Mit hochrotem, nassen Kopf beginne ich dann die folgende Rede:

A Crying Man

Introduction: When I was 18 years old, I hadn’t cried in five years. I would watch excruciatingly sad movies in order to prove to myself that I hadn’t lost my ability to cry. Apart from a few squeezed tears and a downwards bent mouth, I was not able to put any of my sadness into existence. I was convinced I would never cry again.


General Purpose: Today, I want to commemorate getting fired and the impact this event had on me.

Specific Purpose: I will focus my speech on how I rediscovered the art of showing sadness and the cultural awareness I gained after getting fired.

Central Thesis: I will show you that without the hardship of getting fired I would have never experienced or discovered some of the most beautiful things this world has to offer.

Main Points (two aspects of influence):

Main Point I: One part of the story is that I rediscovered my ability to cry.

Main Point II: The other is th  at I gained cultural awareness and improved my sensitivity for necessary boundaries.

Transitional Sentence: Now you know what I will be talking about. How can you relate to what I say? I am sure you experienced some hardship in your life – the death of someone close to you, a divorce, a friend that moved far away, financial problems or, as in my case, getting fired. This is a special shame to me since I was an unpaid foreign volunteer – and an intense hardship since my whole life in LA depended on this job.


Main Point I: When I got fired, I cried for the first time in five years.

Sub-point A: (Provides an example of the influential aspect): When my boss told me, my internship was terminated, I was not able to cope with the immediate consequences: I had to leave the country within one month, would not see the friends I made for a long time, would be unable to continue my pursuit of discovering another world. I cried so intensively that the stream of tears and snot made it hard to get a word out of my mouth.

Sub-point B: (Tell how this aspect influences you and other people): Even tough I was deeply sorry for myself and embarrassed about my outbreak, I felt a long-awaited relief. The relief that I could be sure I was still able to cry like a little girl. It gave me confidence in my feelings and made me more open to express myself freely instead of holding back and keeping the manly stereotype of being unemotional.

Sub-point C: (Tell how you practice this aspect in your daily life): I obviously don’t cry every day but gained a different perspective on life itself. It is not just okay to cry, it is also an expression of freedom that I am more proud than ashamed of.

Transitional Statement: Apart from wasting the tissues in the office of my boss, I learnt something out of the whole misery.

Main Point II: Namely, that there is a value system attached to every culture, and I have to adapt to this system at least at the workplace.

Sub-point A: (Provides an example of the influential Aspect): I got basically fired for tapping kids’ shoulders, which was interpreted as flirting with underage visitors of the museum I worked at.

Sub-point B: (Tell how this aspect influences you and other people): In Austria, I wouldn’t have got fired for that, but I learnt that I have to accept cultural circumstances in order to explore the world. It made me a better-rounded person.

Sub-point C: (Tell how you practice this aspect in your daily life): This realization helps me coping with the twisting differences that exist between my home and the American culture. I learnt to convert the resulting anger and confusion into interest, passion and tolerance.

Transitional Statement: These experiences I had fit into the bigger picture of my speech:


Restate General Purpose: I wanted to commemorate my firing.

Restate Specific Purpose: It was a very unfortunate event for me, but I don’t see the negative consequences any more.

Restate Central Thesis: Ultimatively, the experience of getting fired reinforced my observation that every negative experience in life is the cause for something much better than I could have ever imagined.

Restate Main Point I: In my case, this was not just the realization that I did not lose my human vulnerability…

Restate Main Point II: … or the gift of appreciating other cultures. If it weren’t for this firing, I would have seen far less of the world and would have never met [my girlfriend] Lorena.

About the Author

Tobias Deml is an Austrian Filmmaker and Visual Artist. 2012 Cinematography Reel: http://vimeo.com/53973421 Tobias Deml ist ein österreichischer Filmstudent und Möchtegernregisseur in Los Angeles. Er arbeitet derzeit als Kameramann in Los Angeles und popelt in seiner Nase.