speech

Listening with Someone Else’s Ears

Do you have words that serve as a form of shorthand when used among your family and friends? Yet, heard by those not in-the-know, those words are easily misinterpreted. As fans of Arthur Ransome’s charming book, Swallows and Amazons, our family adopted a sentence that appears early in the story. On summer holiday in the...

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May I Have a Word?

In January 2007, in a dazzling speech at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, Steve Jobs introduced his iPhone with these words, “Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything…”  On June 4th, 1940, Winston Churchill gave a speech warning of a possible Nazi invasion.  This was its climax: “We shall defend...

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Crime Doesn’t Say

On news broadcasts and interviews I have noticed something scary.  Boys involved in violent crime are largely illiterate.  This chilling correlation has been confirmed to me by friends in criminal justice and law enforcement.  You’d think that just by the laws of probability, at least some assailants and murderers when caught would have more to...

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Where Did I Hear That?

“When we were young, we were taught again and again that we shouldn’t get pregnant. Now we can’t!” That plaintive wail from a childless 43 year-old woman caught my attention. Holly Finn describes the mortification and expense of countless in-vitro-fertilization procedures she endured. A little cashmere baby sweater goes everywhere with her; she bought it...

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Say Little and Lead Much

Leaders enjoy many benefits.  People seen as leaders get promoted and opportunities come their way.  Parents whose children respect them as leaders have more functional families.   But how do you begin the process of getting others to see you as a leader? We have all seen leadership in action.  Perhaps one participant at a...

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You’ll Pardon Me, I Hope

You’ll pardon me, but in just the last few days, I have heard the word ‘crap’ used in public as a synonym for feces by the host of a popular television show, by an official of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, and by a CNN news anchor, to name just three.  I am not going...

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Glossophobia – originally posted July 9, 2009

According to the intensive .16 second long research I just did on the web, we humans are full of phobias. Ranking relatively high – though quite below fear of spiders – is glossophobia, fear of public speaking. In general, this one passed me by. While I certainly get nervous before teaching a class or giving...

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