1. 396. IN ORATORY.
The introduction in oratory is called the exordium. It is of more importance here than in any branch of composition, and requires more careful handling. Its object may be stated as follows: To prepare the hearer to listen readily to what is to be said by seeking to gain his good-will, his attention, and the desire to further information. (De Mille)
2. 1. Design of an Introduction.
An introduction is not an essential part of a composition. Its very name implies that it is preparatory to something else, which is complete in itself, but needs to be brought into relation with the time and occasion. Hence Cicero's rule was, to compose the introduction after he had finished the composition. Mere generalities are thus avoided, and introduction is made truly subservient to its end. Although the 'attention' needs to be stimulated less than at any other part of a discourse, since all attend to the first few words, it is desirable to arouse 'interest' by the character of the introduction. (Hill)
2. 2. Kinds of Introduction.
Adaptation to its purpose requires that the introduction vary with. the character of the composition. A few varieties are enumerated by Dr. Whately which readily suggest others.
(1) Inquisitive.- The inquisitive introduction aims to arouse interest by asking some question, or showing the importance of what is to be treated.
(2) Paradoxical. - When one is perfectly sure of his proofs, it may stimulate interest to state the conclusion to be reached in some paradoxical way, or to represent it as strange or unusual.
(3) Corrective. - It may be well to show that the subject has been misunderstood, neglected, or misrepresented, and should therefore engage the attention. This may be called the corrective introduction. It is particularly appropriate if the subject be a trite one.
(4) Preparatory.- It is sometimes necessary to guard against some mistake, explain some peculiarity in the discussion, or account for some deficiency. This has been called the preparatory introduction.
(5) Narrative. - It is often desirable to inform the reader or hearer of some event, of to describe some state of affairs, necessary to be known for the comprehension of what is to follow. All historical questions require all information of this kind. This is the narrative introduction.
Two or more of these forms may be combined. (Hill)
3. 1. The Introduction, or Exordium, is one of the most important and one of the most difficult parts of discourse. Its object is to render the hearers well disposed, attentive, and open to persuasion. IT should be easy and natural, accurate, calm, and modest; further, it should not be anticipate any of the main points of the discourse. (Waddy)