Speak for Yourself

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

Doris Lessing: On not winning the Nobel Prize

Doris Lessing, who has died aged 94, was  not impressed  when she got the news she’d won the Nobel Prize in 2007, as the very entertaining video below will show … Continue reading

18/11/2013 · 1 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

‘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

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

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

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

Lovely voices: James Earl Jones. Boomy, smoky, master of the pause.

A voice is like a paintbrush for words. You can use it to underline and emphasise, to show light and shade. You can vary the type of language you use, the … Continue reading

10/01/2013 · Leave a comment

A VERY unexpected journey

In case you missed it….(though I have no idea how that could be possible), The Hobbit has just opened  in Australian cinemas, and it’s the holidays (rerun time) so I’m … Continue reading

26/12/2012 · Leave a comment

Heppy Christmas, to you end your femmily

Let’s take a look  the public speaker who possibly has the biggest audience in the world. The Queen’s Christmas message is almost a religious ceremony  in some households. At 3pm  GMT, British  families (and … Continue reading

20/12/2012 · Leave a comment

The Redfern Speech at 20. Turning point or high water mark?

The Redfern speech is one of the most controversial and important speeches in Australian history. A landmark, it was the first time a Prime Minister spoke about the injustices done … Continue reading

13/12/2012 · Leave a comment

Keys to unlocking your charisma

All good performers have it. So do the best politicians, business people, and teachers. “It” is presence, or charisma, the ability to command attention, to influence, and connect. We used to … Continue reading

10/12/2012 · Leave a comment

Telling Stories Like Ira Glass

I love hearing an expert explain their work.  Ira Glass is a master of modern storytelling. With 17 years on air, his radio show,  This American Life  is a phenomenon, a weekly … Continue reading

07/12/2012 · 1 Comment

How to handle hecklers and interrupters

When I ask trainees to voice their concerns, the top one is ‘nerves’. Their next worry is dealing with a difficult person, especially  someone who interrupts, is overpowering or confrontational. … Continue reading

04/12/2012 · 2 Comments

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