Monday, September 21, 2009

Bournemouth, again

I am still living there, using the images to remember Saturday, and my notes to bring back all I have learned at the interesting conference organized by Brian Jenner.

This lady, first told me "No, do not take a photo of me" and this is the photo when you can see it telling me, also I like it better then the next one I took of her, after she explained me where to walk on the seaside, and about the white cliffs hidden in mist that morning. After we spoke, she consented to have her image taken, but I was this time the one confused and the portrait came out blurred.

Surprise, can be good or can give bad images too, or bad speeches. One has to be prepared, but most of all have self confidence, with both.

I was stunned to hear the MP's have to give Maiden Speeches. Maiden! And that first time they speak, no one interrupts them, told us Tobias Ellwood, MP from Bournemouth East. He also explained me, when they address, later their colleagues, interrupting me, so unlike for me then in the French Parlement, they do so addressing the Speaker, not the MP they are interrupting.

He also told us how important (as me too) finds the Pause, and how much better is to speak without notes. And a very funny personal story about someone walking left and right having stuck small notes all over on the benches behind which he walked. How important a memorable on line can be. And so much more!

He finished by remembering us that we could take a situation and making most of it, using it and bending it as much as possible in the direction we need it.

Then, Mat Atkinson, speechwriter and coach, "coached" us about some very important speech elements. Reminding first the big differences between written and spoken language. "It is only some 4000 years ago we write..."

How much CONTRAST used in a phrase makes us remember it: to be or not to be of Shakespeare, and lots of other great examples. I was pleased, most of those examples, I did knew already.

Add POETIC ELEMENT, that is metaphors, alliterations, stories, and here again, it is only Tony Blair "the people's princess" that I have not heard yet. The importance of repetitions and puzzles and pause.

The RULE OF THREE - he told us to observe we do expect them so much even in conversation, that when we stop at only two, people waits for us to finish, and when we want to give four, we are often interrupted after the third. To try on someone!

The most effective, is to combine those different techniques in some way. For exemple, three then a contrast for surprise.
UK Speachwriters Guild Conf.-7
Dr. Johan Siebers, opened a Curse of Rhetoric at Lancaster University. He told us that finally the way they spoke in Roman and Greek towns did not change so much till today, and all we could learn from them. He has a module of Rhetoric of Narrative and Image devices and Storytelling. As nowadays, because of the web, we are used to be more directly involved, not only spoken into.

He has great ideas and if I was young, I would hurry to take his class!

Martin Shovel and Martha Leyton then told us about the importance of words, the body language and voice variety being so important, after them mostly when one speaks about our feelings. The most important I got out of his speech is the personality coming out "keep it authentic" and the huge importance nowadays to be able to find so many speeches and their transcript on the web.

After a buffet lunch and possibility to speak to each others, Dr Susan Jones spoke about "a great British speech", she does examine speeches AND the audience reaction to them. She also reminded the importance of "good old storytelling" not only telling anecdotes.

I have to admit, I am still pondering on the differences between those two.

She also reminded me, the importance of mentioning people by their names, show we care. and tell our feelings, passion. She was the one who admitted it is not so easy to decide what we "really want" to tell, what is our deep meaning. But so important! Then we are genuine too.

Then it was Phil Collins tour, what a great speaker he also is, I'll write a whole note about him, tomorrow. Finished, our conference with Phillip Khan-Panni, who told us important things too, but I did hear him already talking about them in his workshop in Croydon.

It was a great conference, and it will help me speak better Saturday, I'll try to address more of the Area's Club members, personally, for example, and finish more forcefully.

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