CHAMPION STRATEGIES – PUBLIC SPEAKING WORKSHOP – NOVEMBER 28, 2021
Public Speaking and the Holidays
The paid public speaking business is a notoriously seasonal one, with peaks in the spring and fall, and valleys in the winter and summer. That means that the holidays are a great time for public speakers to catch up with themselves, refresh their messages (and slides if you use them) and make resolutions for better public speaking next year.
Depending on the circles you travel in, you may be called upon to give one of those curious relics from former times, the after-dinner toast or short speech on a festive occasion. In the Victorian age, the after-dinner toast was a serious test of a public person. At the great dinner parties of the well to do and the politically connected, the heroes of the age, whether literary, political, or military, were expected to expound on a subject at astonishing length without notes.
Charles Dickens, the most popular author of the age, was a master of these after-dinner speeches, and his secret was the Ancient Greek method of dividing his talk up into sections, and then remembering each section by mentally attaching it to a room in his house. Then, as he spoke, he would take an imaginary tour of his abode, and cover the “heads” of his talk by finding them in one room after another. He often spoke in this way for two hours or more. Recall that the mother of the ancient muses was the uber-muse of memory; lengthy speeches were considered a good thing. Her name was Mnemnosyne, she was a Titan, and she slept with Zeus for nine consecutive nights to produce the nine (lesser) muses.
The Holidays are a time to celebrate the many joys of the season and to enjoy the company of those you cherish. In addition to my wonderful family, relatives and friends, I am grateful for my colleagues and clients and the many new connections that I’ve made this year through my blog.
So I’d like to say thank you to YOU, our wonderful readers, and give you the gift of our first “blog carnival.” Below you will find thirteen blog posts by an outstanding group of public speakers. They have shared their thoughts, tips and musings on the theme of Public Speaking and The Holidays.
I offer my sincere thanks to our contributors for their participation and I look forward to making this blog carnival a continuing feature for you all to enjoy.
Nowadays, mercifully, we like much shorter speeches. If called upon to give a toast or after-dinner speech, remember President Reagan’s excellent advice — keep it to less than 12 minutes, and shorter still if alcohol has been consumed. Be positive, speak ill of no one, and sit down before your audience stands up to leave. Happy holidays.