In Plato’s Gorgias, Socrates makes pronounced use of ‘rhetorical’ means. While this has often been pointed out, it has rarely been asked which constitutive features are shared by Socrates’ and Gorgias’ discursive practices. This article tackles this question based on the notion of logos that emerges in Gorgias’ Encomium of Helen. It is claimed that Gorgias was not concerned with a rhetorical technique but in fact with a practice of ethical formation. In this practice, or culture of speech, speakers bring virtue to bear by displaying virtuous ways of speaking. Socratic dialectic, as presented in the Gorgias, can be interpreted as bringing this discursive practice to perfection.