Speak for Yourself

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

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

Analogies, the wonder tool for making sense.

Delivering a speech or making a presentation  is  asking  your audience to go somewhere with you.  Maybe it’s to agree with you, hire you,  vote for you, support your cause….We’ve … Continue reading

15/04/2013 · 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

Full Body Chairing. How to stay in charge of your panel.

A while back, I offered you this post about how to manage a panel event, and this one on handling hecklers and interrupters.  These are common challenges, but the commonest … Continue reading

02/04/2013 · Leave a comment

Special Occasion Speaking

First time speakers are often squaring up to taking the mike at a special occasion.  Maybe it’s your mate’s  21st or wedding,  someone has a birthday with a zero in … Continue reading

28/03/2013 · Leave a comment

Catching the waves of feminism

Shortly before  PM Julia Gillard’s  Misogyny Speech went viral, feminist  author and journalist Anne Summers  made her ‘Newcastle Speech’, arguing that  the extreme sexist and discriminatory  abuse Gillard was  subject to  breached federal … Continue reading

25/03/2013 · 4 Comments

‘Nuclear Weapons are Morally Indefensible’.

A question is asked, at length,  and an answer demanded. “And I’m going to give it to you!” retorts New Zealand Prime Minister David Lange,  “If you hold your breath … Continue reading

18/03/2013 · 1 Comment

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

It’s not write to attack Kate

“WRITER Hilary Mantel went from comparative obscurity to public enemy No1 last week.  It wasn’t an unguarded Facebook post, an ill-judged tweet or even a spur-of-the-moment insult. It was a … Continue reading

04/03/2013 · Leave a comment

The science of convincing others to say “yes”

In 1984, Robert Cialdini, Regents’ Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University published “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.”  It’s a classic that every good communicator should read. Cialdini … Continue reading

21/02/2013 · Leave a comment

What DID Abraham Lincoln’s Voice Sound Like ?

Re-creating the voice of someone you’ve never  heard must be pretty daunting. Daniel Day Lewis’s  light squeak in the role of Abe Lincoln  has not made all movie goers happy, though … Continue reading

18/02/2013 · Leave a comment

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

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