Monthly Archives: November 2009


Fellow Speaker,

When you speak remember this: SILENCE is GOLDEN.

On Remembrance Sunday I attended Newlands South Church in my home town of Glasgow. The minister, Rev. John D Whiteford, conducted the morning service. In addressing the boys and girls of the Scouts and Brownies he explained why we wear a poppy in our lapel for Armistice Day. He told them we observe two minutes of silence and that in the silence we hear so much more than we do in the daily noise of life and thunder of war. He paused for effect giving me (and the congregation) a few seconds to question why this was the case. And in the silence I could hear my own mind working. I was aware of my feelings – the sadness, the anger, the utter waste of life and the fact it was still happening years after “the war to end all wars.” And as a public speaker I was thankful to the Rev. John D Whiteford for his deliberate pause, for reminding me in a very personal way that SILENCE is GOLDEN.

Bobby Livingston
The Speakers College


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