Anticipation: When the Impossible Becomes the Possible

Anticipation is a great trait of any effective presentation. This rhetorical technique can be found in many places. One that excited me was the announcement  on May 6, 1954, that Roger Bannister had broken the four-minute mile record. Here is the way Neil Bascomb, author  of  “The Perfect Mile,” recounted the public announcement that the record had been broken:

“Ladies and gentlemen, here is the result of Event Number Nine, the One Mile:

First, Number Forty-One, R. G. Bannister, of the Amateur Athletic Association and formerly of Exeter and Merton Colleges, with a time which is a new meeting and track record, and which subject to ratification will be a new English Native, British National, British All-Comers, European, British Empire and WORLD’S RECORD, the time is THREE…”

The actual time of 3:59.4 was drowned out by the joyous cries of the crowd.