I seem to have been sucked in to answering questions on Quora. Many about public speaking in all its forms. But other stuff too. Oddly addictive.

I’ve been asked by someone to help with a couple of significant speeches. Apart from the squalid business of the fee *coughs* there is the much deeper issue of how I as me might help her express herself. How frank does she want to be with audiences? It’s always powerful when a speaker goes for it in revealing himself/herself in a non-sentimental thematic way. But is it wise?

This got me thinking about the tone of a speech. In terms of food.

Think of some of the options:

Juicy hamburger and chips

Basic but tasty. Good central philosophical contrast

Diplomatic buffet

Lots going on. One or two good bits. Mostly bland

Japanese dinner

Subtle flavours – emphasis on presentation and stylistic balance

English breakfast

Hearty unsubtle fare that warms you up but in excessive quantities


A lump of splodge that you really want at the time, but ultimately disappointing

3-course business lunch

Predictable structure – maybe even with a dab of faux-style

Nouvelle cuisine

Fluid structure. Unexpected combinations. Surprising combinations. Explosions of intense taste. Presented beautifully

Italian lunch

Simple but bold/colourful. Tasty. Inclusive

Vegan bean broth

Earnestly boringly good for you, especially if you want bubbling bowels

Polish barszcz soup

Bold and direct in a beetrooty way. Maybe too Polish?

Mars bar

Grossly sweet. Makes your teeth ache


You don’t like it. But you need to swallow it

Speeches are like food. They create a mood and tone.

Some speeches are stodgy. Some satisfying. Some challenging. Some tediously healthy.

But the best food? Like the best speeches.

Delicious. Interesting. Just the right quantities and balance. Presented beautifully with the audience in mind. Touches of surprise. Leaves you wanting More.