Speak for Yourself

Claire Duffy's blog about public speaking and communication (in real life). Speak well, do well!

“He is all of them. And he is one of us”. Keating’s eulogy for The Unknown Soldier.

This Armistice Day is the 95th anniversary of the end of the Great War. Great statesmen have  made many great speeches to honour and mourn those dead, but Australian Prime … Continue reading

11/11/2013 · Leave a comment

5 fear busters for speaking in public

I have to admit that until I read the article below, in HuffPo, I had never heard of Nikki Stone.  So in case you haven’t either, she is   America’s first-ever … Continue reading

28/10/2013 · 1 Comment

Aristotle’s Rhetorical Situation

Before you let the title of this post put you off, let me explain what it’s doing  here. Lately I have been part of a  discussion about whether we should … Continue reading

02/09/2013 · Leave a comment

Malala Yousafzai addresses the United Nations

Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai  addressed the United Nations today, on her 16th birthday. It was her first public appearance since  being shot by the Taliban  on her way to school … Continue reading

15/07/2013 · Leave a comment

Public speaking for academics – 10 tips

Academics (and experts more widely) are often challenged as public speakers, finding it difficult to release themselves from  imparting information (like a dripfeed), and switching to consciously communicating, by which I mean … Continue reading

05/06/2013 · Leave a comment

A tribute to Helen

A little over two years ago my friend Helen Pedersen asked for help preparing a speech. The title was ‘Not dead yet. What are you going to do?’   She … Continue reading

22/05/2013 · 5 Comments

Speak now or forever hold your peace: five reasons to make a speech today.

Whatever kind of speaker you are, chances are from time to time you’re going to run out of occasions to speak.  School’s out, so high school debaters will rust up. … Continue reading

29/04/2013 · Leave a comment

How to write an ANZAC day speech

I love the Parliamentary Library. It is a goldmine of briefings, information, summaries and analysis of all sorts of public policy issues, freely available online. It is a quiet testament … Continue reading

23/04/2013 · Leave a comment

Lovely Voices: Billy Collins, the power of understatement.

When you describe  Billy Collins  you have to use words that don’t normally go  together: contemporary best-selling poet.  He gets (it’s rumoured) huge advances for his books and his readings … Continue reading

08/04/2013 · 4 Comments

Lovely Voices: Edward Tufte, the Chart Master

“Good information design  is clear thinking made visible” said Edward Tufte,  who wrote (and self-published)  The Visual Display of Quantitiative Information back in 1982. Tufte has been  a  statistician and professor emeritus of political science, statistics, and computer science at Yale … Continue reading

14/03/2013 · 2 Comments

The Big Finish, or how to end a speech with oomph.

We know that the audience’s attention is highest at the start of a speech, so you need to get their attention then, and keep it. Here is where you use … Continue reading

14/02/2013 · Leave a comment

Lovely Voices: David Attenborough, natural wonder.

David Attenborough’s conspiratorial whisper has made him the most trusted person in Britain, according to a recent Readers’ Digest poll. Attenborough is a magician.  He entrances and  intrigues us.  Fuelled by … Continue reading

10/02/2013 · Leave a comment

I’m Jo and I’m an introvert. Here’s my speaking story.

So here’s the thing: you  have been working seriously in your chosen profession for over 20 years. You have  some credibility: diplomas, degrees, served on committees, taught, organised, managed…all that … Continue reading

29/01/2013 · 1 Comment

Lovely Voices: David Tennant, pitch perfect.

If you know David Tennant from his  smash hit role as Doctor Who you  may not  be aware that his real voice is clipped and Scottish. There’s even a gag exploiting … Continue reading

24/01/2013 · Leave a comment

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