‘Tis the season to be jolly and in good spirits. There are those who like to drink socially because it relaxes them – especially when on a first date or some other situation that can make you anxious. However, most of us know that to drink “nervously” (a lot downed very quickly) can make social situations worse. Like a firework rocket – you’re fantastic …. for a short time before you’re played out. The same applies to Public Speaking. Quite a few speakers I know in the UK will sip half a glass wine and water to calm their nerves beforehand, but in the USA this is a no, no. Giles Brandreth, who, back in the day, I booked to talk at a dinner at the Dorchester, never touches a drop of alcohol before he speaks – and he’s a great entertainer. No matter how drunk your audience may be, they won’t appreciate your being drunk – especially if they’ve paid to hear you speak. Best Men and Women at Weddings may think they’re funnier when they’re drunk, but in reality (and don’t we all know it) they can be tedious beyond boring. So the rule is less alcohol is best before speaking in public and if you’re not sure – nothing at all. Go through your Max Your Voice check list before speaking – and the words will flow anyway. Click on the photo below and find out which country you are from – booze wise.
Jeremy Corbyn did say that under his leadership of the Labour Party, there would be differences and internal debate. It was fitting therefore that when Hilary Benn stood up to deliver his speech on the Syrian War, he started by saying that Jeremy Corbyn was honest, principled, decent and a good man. Are we edging back into a realm of real politics and great speeches?
Hilary Benn’s speech highlighted the importance of Human Rights over all else. When we consider the really great speeches of recent and historical memory, the ones that have been remembered have at their core, the value of Human Rights.
Sir Robert Walpole, February 1741
“Have gentlemen produced one instance of the influence which I extend to all parts of the nation; of the tyranny with which I oppress those who oppose, and the liberality with which I reward those who support me?
George Washington, September 1796
“The unity of government which constitutes you one people is now dear to you. It is justly so, for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquillity at home, your peace abroad, of your safety, of your prosperity, of that very liberty which you so highly prize.”
Mahatma Gandhi, March 1922
“Little do they realise that the government established by law in British India is carried on for this exploitation of the masses. No sophistry, no jugglery in figures can explain away the evidence. I have no doubt whatsoever that both England and the town dwellers of India will have to answer , if there is a God above, for this crime against humanity.”
Nelson Mandela, April 1964
“Our fight is against real and not imaginary hardships. …We fight against two features that are the hallmarks of African life in South Africa, which are entrenched by legislation, which we seek to have repealed. These features are poverty and a lack of human dignity, and we do not need Communists, or so-called ‘agitators’, to teach us about these things.”