WHAT MAKES A GOOD SPEAKER?

Just got back from three wonderful weeks in British Columbia. While there, I was invited to speak at the Rotary Club of Trail, BC.

My subject was the art and science of public speaking. As most Rotary Clubs invite speakers on a regular basis, I figured that their members would all have their own views, so I phrased my title as a question: “What makes a good speaker?”

I included two of my favourite quotes on the topic:

On the importance of having a passion (or at least some enthusiasm!) for your subject: “Most people will forget what you say and even what you do. But they will not forget how you made them feel.”

On the importance of being clear why you are making the presentation: “When Aeschylus speaks, we say: ‘how well he speaks.’ But when Demosthenes speaks, we say: ‘let us march against Philip.'”

I enjoyed it greatly. More importantly, as far as I could tell nobody fell asleep.

It was also a useful dry-run for a talk I’m giving on the same subject next month, at the Rotary Club of Bristol Bridge (UK). Looking forward to that!

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