Quintilian, and J.S. Watson. Institutes of Oratory. Edited by Lee Honeycutt, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition. Book 11 Chapter 1.
Quintilian starts book XI with the need for the orator to be sensitive to the occasion and audience (Quintilian XI.1.1). Orators wish to accomplih a goal. The effect of oratory is thus important (Quintilian XI.1.2). Stylistic considerations matter a great deal in this. Quintilian goes n to list several ways in which speech must be accessible to the intended audience. Not only the words used, but also the “invention,” is important. By “invention” Quintilian refers to the selection and creation of subjects (Quintilian XI.1.7). An argument which is very fitting to a topic is preferable to one which is only passingly similar (Quintilian XI.1.8).
It is best for the orator to avoid praising himself and his eloquence. We prefer to raise the humble ourselves (Quintilian XI.1.16). The orator who praises himself is often dismissed. Quintilian does, however, illustrate some appropriate and gentle reminders of the orator’s expertise (Quintilian XI.1.25).
The speaker should carry himself respectfully “An impudent, noisy, and angry tone is unbecoming in all speakers, but the more remarkable a speaker is for age, dignity, or experience, the more blamable he is if he adopts it” (Quintilian XI.1.29). At the same time, not all speakers can or should be alike (Quintilian XI.1.31). Attention to the character of the speaker and the hearer is crucial (Quintilian XI.1.43).
The time and setting of a speech are also important. Quintilian notes that what is appropriate at one event may not be at another (Quintilian XI.1.46). He illustrates this at length. The respect shown to persons and settings should not negate the truth. It is appropriate to prase or condemn what is worth of such a response (Quintilian XI.1.73). Though diplomacy is important, the orator must be truthful.