If we look at the history of mankind, there has never been a time when any other form of communication equaled spoken words in terms of their value and importance. If one tracks the development of mankind from what he considers its earliest stage, he will find that the wandering family of savages depended entirely upon what its members said to one another. A little later, when a group of families made a clan or tribe, the individuals still heard the steps of their leaders, or they voided their own opinions in tribal meetings. The spoken words of tribal leaders were viewed with respect and were obeyed without any objections.
Poetry is another form of powerful spoken words that was prevalent in the early societies. Poets used to recite their poems to their audiences, and this was considered a major form of entertainment in the absence of contemporary entertainment means. During battles, poets used their influential words (in the form of poetry) to motivate tribal fighters. The words of wartime poems, along with the beats of drums, had a great effect on raising the morale of fighters. This effect is similar in nature to what we now feel when we hear our national anthem in a soccer match. Drama was another popular form of entertainment, which was a valuable spread of knowledge and religion in all primitive societies. If one analyzes the components of a drama, expressions, spoken words, and the pitch and tone of an actor’;s voice play an integral role in the success of a drama.
Every great epoch of the world’;s progress shows the supreme importance of speech upon human action-individual and collective. In the Roman Forum were made statements that affected the entire ancient world. If we look back at renaissance Italy, imperial Spain, unwieldy Russia, freedom-loving England, and revolutionary France, we will see that all experienced periods when the power of certain men to speak stirred other men into tempestuous action.
The history of the United States may almost be written as the continuous record of the influence of great speakers upon others. The colonists were led to concert action by persuasive speeches. The Colonial Congresses and Constitutional Convention were dominated by powerful orators. The history of the slave problem is mainly the story of famous statements and debts. Most of the active representative Americans have been leaders because of their ability to impress their fellows by their power of expressing sentiments and enthusiasms which all would voice if they could. Presidents have been nominated and candidates elected because of this equipment.
Whether it was a small tribe in the Stone Age or a large nation such as the Roman Empire, speech and spoken words have always played a big role in the individual and collective lives of the people. Wars have been won, blood has been shed, men have sacrificed their lives, and peace agreements have been made because of the magical words of a few who knew how to give life to their words. And this is one thing that has not changed even with the development of various technologies. We are yet to see something as powerful as speech that influences the minds and thoughts of the whole mankind.