A week ago today, Viola Davis spoke before a large crowd at the Women’s March 2018 in LA’s Pershing Square. So much can change in a year, and so much remains the same old story, women fighting for their rights. Fighting against assault, poverty and injustice, against shame, fear and self-loathing. Time and time again, […]

A festive treat today in the form of a guest blog from my friend and colleague Guy Doza. Guy is an experienced speechwriter and consultant with a Master’s degree in rhetoric from Royal Holloway’s Centre of Oratory and Rhetoric. His research focusses on the application of classical rhetoric in the modern day. Guy’s post today […]

How can you persuade people that your cause is not only just and right, but necessary? Necessary even for the future of humanity? This sounds melodramatic, the argument of a teenager intent on saving the wretched und unfair world over the dinner table. But there are times when such arguments are not only necessary but, […]

Part 2: The Magic of Connection In part 2 of this theme, I’m taking a wider look the telling of fables, how they promote connection within communities and how this sense of connection can be abused. We’re going to stray away from the European territories of the Grimm brothers and widen our perspective to look […]

Part 1: Darkness, Truth and Magic This is the first of two blog posts on this theme. In this first introductory post, I’m looking at how fables  can help us in our quest for a new kind of rhetoric and public discourse. And the second post (published next week), I’m going to delve deeper into […]

Dolores Ibárruri in 1936 – photo by Mikhail Koltsov (via WikiCommons) Something a bit different for this post. Last week in Charlottesville, Virginia, Heather Heyer died peacefully protesting against the kind of hateful and violent nationalism that should have long ago been consigned to history. Although this speech is from a very different time and context, I thought that […]

I am your voice … Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it. –  Candidate Trump, Republican National Cleveland, Ohio, 16th August 2016 At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we […]

Chancellor Helmut Kohl delivered this speech in front of the ruins of the Frauenkirche, Dresden on 19th December 1989, five weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall. On 28th November 1989, Chancellor Kohl had presented his 10-point plan for German reunification, though he gave no timetable. This was a period of intense demonstrations against […]

This is a speech about sight. Whereas Professor Beard’s speech took a long, expanse look at the complex subject of female silence in the public sphere, Professor Fei-Fei Li’s speech takes an intimate look at an equally complex but completely different subject: how she and her colleagues are using machine learning to teach computers to […]

How can we use language to persuade people? This is a question that anyone working in public communications faces on a daily basis. But implied in the word persuasion is the word trust. It is difficult to persuade people when they do not trust you. It is clear that we live in an age of mistrust. Politicians are […]