How to go from never having given a public speech to getting a standing ovation

In the 1980s, Max Atkinson revolutionised understanding of political speech making which his classic work, Our Masters’ Voices: The Language and Body Language of Politics.

It’s still an excellent read (and you can still grab a copy from independent booksellers or Amazon*). It also spawned a classic TV documentary in which Max Atkinson coached someone who had never made a public speech before through to getting a standing ovation speaking at an SDP event.

Here’s that documentary to enjoy, and learn from:

Those of us interesting in how to chair meetings or debates can also benefit from paying close attention to how Shirley Williams chairs the event at the end of the documentary. It’s a deft mix of firmness, flexibility and charm.


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