Tough Talk | Speaker Training for Activists


This is the recording of a live Zoom session with activists looking to improve their already impressive speaking skills. The text below gives timecodes for specific parts of the recording.

00:00 Starts

01:17 Where Participants On This Training Are Based
Zambia Germany Nigeria Uganda Kenya Hungary Kosovo Slovenia Georgia Sweden (and more!)

01:55 Participants’ Wide Experience
Advocacy training, Acting, Speaking to UN Security Council / African Union heads of state, State debating champion, Media interviews, Local communities, Keynote speeches, Speaker training, Podcasting, University conferences, Addressing government, Youth groups, Women’s groups, Simultaneous interpreting at major events (and more!)

04:02 A Speaker Tries To Understand This Audience
(in this case, me)

04:44 What Participants On This Training Want To Achieve
Narrative communication, Persuasion, Sticking to script / being spontaneous, Training others in civil society, Speaking to a global audience, mixed ages, Move the audience, Using facts data and research, Share ideas with each other / build ties, Create positivity, Enhance career prospects, Gain confidence, Reach different parts of society, Use non-verbal communication, Connect in virtual spaces, Make complex ideas simple – and to Practise!

07:12 Every Talk is Different
(because every audience is different)

08:55 Your Talk Starts Long Before The Event
(and continues long afterwards)

09:49 A Spectrum of Communication
(from broadcasting to aliens to candle-lit dinners)

11:48 How I Smuggled A Serious Message Into Something Light
(my book about making clothes was really about climate crisis)

13:00 How A Book Led To Speaking Opportunities
(it was called How To Change The World. You can watch one talk, and download the transcript.)

13:40 And Now I Share Something Personal
(I had a breakdown, and went into psychiatric hospital)

14:25 A Meeting At 10 Downing Street
My friend Tazeen Ahmad recognised me across the room…

16:45 A Book About Making Speeches
(It’s called A Modest Book About How To Make An Adequate Speech)

18:50 Rhetoric Part 1: “Invention”
Why Who What Where When and How.

23:55 Rhetoric Part 2: “Arrangement”
Ethos, Logos and Pathos (aka credentials, reasoning and emotion)

29:18 What If You Don’t Know Your Audience?

32:00 How To Be Passionate Without Being Cheesy or Corny?

34:45 What Are The Other Parts of Rhetoric?
The five parts are: Invention, Arrangement, Style, Memory and Delivery
I have created an 8-page PDF covering the first four. The section on Style includes clickable links taking you to further information about various figures of speech.

37:10 What About Rhetoric 5. “Delivery”?
In Brussels and online, we will use training exercises from theatrical improvisation.
This means participants will leave ready for public speaking in two different ways:
- Ready because you have prepared carefully
- Ready for anything, if you have to be spontaneous

40:00 Imagine A Speech You Would Love To Deliver
Who would you speak to, about what?

Thank you for watching!
John-Paul