ENGINEERING PERSUASION: TEACHING RHETORICAL SAVVY FOR ENGINEERING LEADERSHIP
AbstractThis paper presents the concept of rhetorical savvy as being a valuable ability for engineering students to acquire. Rhetorical savvy is defined in terms of the broader concepts of rhetoric, including two key ideas of
“techné” and exigence, to create an understanding of the complex nature of developing rhetorical knowledge. These concepts are used to present an analysis of a course that directly teaches the students to develop their
rhetorical savvy by developing 1) a foundational understanding of their worldview, 2) an analytical understanding of rhetorical approaches, and 3) a
generative understanding of using rhetoric to create responses to rhetorical situations.
The concepts are connected to leadership by suggesting the inherently rhetorical nature of leadership, making rhetorical savvy an obvious asset.