Rhetoric – The Public Speaking Game™

I am pleased and excited to announce Rhetoric – The Public Speaking Game™, the brainchild of my friend, Florian Mueck, and me.

Florian and I have a passion for good public speaking. Yet we know that for many people, the mere thought of it can get their hearts pounding. So we set out to create a game that would help players improve their public speaking skills and have fun in the process. The result is Rhetoric – The Public Speaking Game™.

We have designed RHETORIC to be a simple, engaging and educational board game for four to eight people. Players step onto the stage and embark on a rhetorical journey during which they encounter different speech tasks.

In each round, players roll the die and move their figures to the corresponding space where a one-minute speaking task awaits them. There are four types of tasks:

Topic – Players draw a card with a single word on it. They must speak about the topic.

Challenge – Players draw a card that has a challenging question or instruction. Challenges have been designed to stretch comfort zones!

Question – Any player can ask the speaker a spontaneous question on any topic.

Reflection – Players must share an insight or anecdote about public speaking with their fellow players. For example, they could share a personal public speaking experience, or suggest a presentation tip, or talk about a speaker whom they admire and why.

For Topics and Questions, players also spin one of two wheels that determine an aspect of delivery on which to focus or the manner in which the speech must be structured.

The game can be played competitively or non-competitively. If the former, each player receives a rating sheet. Throughout the game, everyone rates the speeches given by their fellow players. Players are thus competitors and judges at the same time.

Here’s the trailer for the game.

The first, limited edition of RHETORIC will be available to the public in the fall of 2012. For updates and more information, please visit www.rhetoricgame.com.

When we pretested the game, Florian and I were overwhelmed with the positive response. We are convinced that RHETORIC will help you improve your public speaking skills and that you will have a lot of fun in the process.

Rhetoric – The Public Speaking Game™. Learning, laughter and applause are guaranteed!


This version of RHETORIC is now sold out. The second edition of the board game is available, as is the app for RHETORIC which will allow you to play the game in different languages. For more details, check out this post.



About John Zimmer

International speaker, presentation skills expert, lawyer, improv performer
This entry was posted in Rhetoric and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to Rhetoric – The Public Speaking Game™

  1. Pingback: Association of Speakers Clubs Conference in Edinburgh - Manner of SpeakingManner of Speaking

  2. Pingback: 1,000 downloads! | Manner of Speaking

  3. Pingback: New Business Theme Added to Rhetoric – The Public Speaking Game™ | Manner of Speaking

  4. Pingback: Rhetoric – The Public Speaking Game™ featured in Toastmaster Magazine | Manner of Speaking

  5. Dan says:

    Hello, I am a devoted Toastmaster and I also study Allgemeine Rhetorik in Germany.
    Could you please ship me the game to Czech Republic, heart of Europe?

    • John Zimmer says:

      Hi Dan. I can certainly ship the game to you in the Czech Republic. If you would please send us an email at rhetoricgame@gmail.com, and include your full shipping address, we will get back to you with details about payment and shipment.

      Thanks for your interest.

  6. Pingback: Days 2 and 3 at Agile 2014

  7. Ewa says:

    Hi John. I am intrigued by your game too. Could I order one with you?


    • John Zimmer says:

      Hi Ewa. The first edition of the game sold out. We are in the process of updating it for the second edition. We hope that it will be available in the fall. When it is, you can certainly get a copy. We will post all of the details about how to order the game on http://www.rhetoricgame.com.

      Many thanks for your interest.


  8. Pingback: Gamification, serious games of gewoon een spel spelen? » Door: Jimmy van Zaanen -

  9. And I love the way you wrote up the Al Pacino ‘Any Given Sunday’ speech.

  10. John I am intrigued by your game, can I order one with you?
    Robert Wolfe
    Storytelling coach

    • John Zimmer says:

      Hi Robert. Many thanks for the message. Yes, you can order a game from me. I will contact you by email in the next day or two with the details.


  11. Pingback: Behind Every Champion | Manner of Speaking

  12. Hi John … the game sounds incredible! I’m a personal branding coach, and public speaking is always a skill needed in communicating your unique promise of value!

    Is there a way I can order it online? I doubt you guys ship to Lebanon, but I’m hoping you do ship to France!

    • John Zimmer says:

      Hi John,

      Thanks for the message and the interest in the game. I will contact you by email concerning shipping possibilites.

      All the best,


  13. I am so excited for this game! I am a speech/debate coach…and a public speaking teacher…this game might become a staple in my classroom, as well as at my home. When will it be available?

    • John Zimmer says:

      Thank you, Bethany. We appreciate the support. We are currently in production and hope to have our first limited run by the end of next month. There is a waiting list for those interested on our Facebook page and I see that you have signed up. Thanks again for the support!

  14. michaelplatania says:

    What a great idea. Sounds fun and educational – can’t wait to see it in action!

  15. Cathy says:

    I am very excited to try this game. What is the age range for Rhetoric. I could definitely see even younger enjoying this game. Even in kindergarten children give little mini speeches with 3 or 4 sentences. Certainly children from 6-12yrs old would benefit from this game. Especially if some the topics were a little silly. So when I get the adult version, I’ll be waiting for the 2nd edition to be a kids version:)

    Well done guys!

    • John Zimmer says:

      Thanks very much, Cathy. Based on the structure of the game and the questions on the cards, we estimated the ideal age range for the game as 14 or over. However, we very much believe that the game could be adapted for a younger audience and are working on that as well.

      Thank you for the support!


  16. Hi John,

    That sounds exciting. What a great idea to get people to get up and speak. I am looking forward to playing a round with you. How about before or after one of the upcoming conferences?

    Best wishes,


  17. Phyllis Zimmer says:

    Congratulations John. Looking forward to everyone here in Canada playing it. Maybe I can be your sales rep. over here???



  18. Way Beyond Ordinary says:

    Congratulations! This is great. What an awesome way to engage a group of trainers, employees, speakers, students, etc.


  19. Pingback: Rhetoric – The Public Speaking Game™ | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it

  20. This is an AMAZING concept John! I would love to have this game and will try to talk to my fellow Toastmasters as well. Good luck on your project!

  21. John, I’m intrigued by this project! I would love to know more about the game, in particular how it might be used in a class or workshop setting for undergraduates. I am working on some ideas on how to incorporate more leadership and personal development topics into the curricula of the Bachelor programs at Frankfurt School and this looks like a pretty good fit. Please keep me posted.

    • John Zimmer says:

      Thanks, Matthias. When we pretested the game, it took about 1:45 to play with six people. Now, that was in a social setting with drinks after a nice dinner. The atmosphere was very relaxed and we played competitively, which adds a bit of time. However, the time and game play could be adjusted for a classroom exercise. We are hopeful that RHETORIC will find a home in schools and businesses as well as in the home. Watch for developments on our Facebook page.


  22. Claire Duffy says:

    Looks terrific – congratulations on a big and worthwhile job. I’ll try it out with my students, but John, you need to correct the typo in the post title (!)

    • John Zimmer says:

      Thank you very much, Claire! You know, sometimes you can proofread until the cows come home and something like that still slips through! Typo corrected.


  23. Mark Worthy says:

    This is a wonderful tool! I have already incorporated your concept in my lesson plan. Additionally, I am coaching a group of students who are required to present their research material for a conference at UC Berkeley. They must also engage in a 5-minute Q & A session in order to defend their research. Thank you very much for sharing!

  24. Fantastic!

    Such a fabulous idea that I wish I’d thought of it! Will see if I can get my TM club to get this…looks fun!


    • John Zimmer says:

      Thanks, Akash. It has been a lot of work to get it to this stage, and the game has evolved significantly, but we have had a lot of fun bringing it together. And I know that I am biased, but it really is good fun to play!



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.