Opening a collection of speeches what, or perhaps better who, does one expect? Churchill, certainly. Dr. King and Elizabeth I should definitely be there. One doesn’t expect Kermit the Frog or someone called Panti Bliss. And yet here they are, alongside statesmen and -women, queens, activists and even murderers. As a speechwriter and blogger, I […]

The power of the metaphor, as we have already seen in earlier posts, is deeply ambiguous: its interpretation exists in the communicative space between the speaker and the audience. This power can and has been used and abused in rhetoric, especially political rhetoric, since time immemorial. We’ve already looked at how metaphors function in rhetoric; […]

In King’s dream of America: “every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plains, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.” Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have […]

This is an introduction to a series of blog posts about the relationship between metaphor and rhetoric. I’m fascinated by this topic because it leads to discussions not only about culture and language in relation to rhetoric, but also about truth and trust in how we approach our speeches. The Function of the Metaphor in […]

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 […]