Fellow public speakers,
I was at the Glasgow Speakers’ Club last night.
As usual it was rare fun.
I even managed to win the topics trophy for the evening – an even rarer treat!
The club is the oldest surviving in the UK and the first member of the Association of Speakers’ Clubs (ASC) – it is 80 years old this year.
It is also a fine place of learning: talent abounds. Glasgow is a city of speakers, debaters, and rich political ferment.
Like all clubs it has its rules and one of the most important is that there is no talk of politics, sex or religion.
The focus is on craft skills and creating an environment supportive of that.
But one of the key parts of speaking is a command of English language and the use of rhetorical tools and figures of speech. These elements are, at best, glossed over within the speaking club community.
And yet, even a basic knowledge of these elements can help to transform an ordinary speech.
No sex, No politics, No religion.
Non, Non, Non.
Education, Education, and Education.
Three examples of the same thing: anaphora, the use of a repeated word or phrase at the beginning of a series of clauses.
The great thing is, there are hundreds of figures of speech. Some are commonly known like metaphors, similes, and alliteration. Others like anaphora are known far less so but the idea of repetition is easily understood.
Making a speech should be fun.
Learning a new figure of speech every day is not that onerous a task.
But when you begin to play with these figures of speech something great begins to happen – a fresher, more professional sounding future speech emerges.
All you have to do is explore what rhetoric and the figures of speech have to offer you.
And it is a lot more than No sex, No politics, and No religion.
Every great speaker (or their speechwriter) understood rhetoric: Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Rev Martin Luther King Jr and Barack Obama to name but a limited few.
It is time you understood it too.
And if you want to know more simply get in touch with me.
Have a great week ahead folks,