Opinion / Public Speaking and Speechwriting

What a Mug! Speeches for Leaders

Just to say that THIS was a v welcome and unexpected Christmas gift: You can get such clever customised mugs from the Literary Gift Company (sometimes). Plus of course the real thing is here: Stock up now for next Christmas. Or give yourself a New Year vital public speaking boost.

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Public Speaking: Surprise!

A reader reasonably asks about this: How to give a great speech/presentation, or at least a damn good one? That usually means thinking hard about what this audience needs and wants and expects – and then doing something else. The underlying idea here is the central importance of Surprise in […]

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So, Farewell Then Fidel Castro

While basking on the sunny South Carolina beaches I took time out to write a piece for National Interest on the death of Fidel Castro and how different world leaders drafted their respective statements: The Castro case is unusually tricky. There’s no denying that he was a person of international […]

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Crawford on Delingpole

Back from our USA summer holiday. While I was away my podcast discussion with turbo-polemicist James Delingpole appeared. Here it is. Or via iTunes. James is good at being beyond provocative. Here is his book Watermelons (Green on the outside, Red on the inside haha) attacking all sorts of different […]

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Women and Public Speaking

Here’s a question. In fact two questions. Do women qua women face specific public speaking problems? And if so, what’s the best way to tackle them? Plenty of people make the case that yes, women DO face public speaking problems/challenges that men don’t face. This piece proclaims itself as offering […]

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FCO Remembers 2016

Back to the Foreign Office for the annual Memorial gathering to remember colleagues who fell in the line of duty. 2015 here. This year Boris Johnson led the ceremony at the foot of the Grand Staircase for his first time. He gave a nicely worked speech – he has a […]

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Public Speaking: From Good to Amazing

So here I was in hot Abu Dhabi explaining some finer points of public speaking technique to the excellent colleagues of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy: Nice body language, intensity and eye contact haha. The chart behind me is intended to convey the Core Idea of my approach. In looking at […]

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To Tajikistan and Back Again

Back again from my sundry peregrinations of recent weeks, from Vienna to Gdansk to Warsaw to Prague to Dushanbe to Abu Dhabi to Zvolen (Slovakia), with odd groggy moments at home in between. This has been the longest gap in postings here since the blog started. But somehow I just […]

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Helen Clark: The ‘Official’ Version?

One of the things I urge wannabe speechwriters to consider is this: what is the ‘official’ version of any serious speech? It turns out that this is not so easy to answer as you might think. The classic answer is ‘the version on the website – that’s what they want […]

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Summerising Public Speaking

Becalmed in Olympic Glory and mulling over a gruelling September that might include a passing visit to Tajikistan. Contact established with Helen Sewell at Simply Speaking. Helen looks at public speaking with the keen eye of journalism and science – a mighty combination. Here she analyses the performance of UK […]

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