BY Russell Wardrop

DATE: 18 JUN 2012


It seems in starting a blog now I am up to a decade late. I’m not an early adopter, which is no surprise. The iPad was anathema until recently but is now my constant companion, tweets were for twits before Christmas and the true extent of Jedward’s skills only became obvious to me at Eurovision 2012.

This blog is about my passion: oral communication. I am a student of the good, the bad and the ugly of public speaking. So, principally, it’s about oratory on political big beasts such as David Cameron, Alex Salmond and Barack Obama, as well as occasional references to the likes of JFK, MLK and Churchill. There will also be trenchant comment on, for example, Alex Ferguson, Wayne Rooney and Charlie Sheen and my thoughts on politicians are not exclusive to when they are behind a lectern, as Gordon Brown’s You Tube Disaster shows.

I regularly speak for up to three hours to big audiences. The more I do it the more I realise that public speaking is unnatural behaviour. At any rate no more natural than playing saxophone: even the most confident of us would not risk strapping one of those around their neck and giving it large without some practise, yet many do just that when tasked with public speaking. Bizarre eh?

I confess that as a short, broad Glaswegian who gets to do what he loves every day there is sometimes  a sceptical version of me at the back of the room, arms folded, wondering what the hell I am doing up there. But it’s what I do for a living, it’s my lifelong passion, and I have lots to say about what is a very important leadership skill.

And though not an early adopter, when I decide to go for it there are no half measures. Think of me as a bit like Jedward at Eurovision 2012, but without the big hair, make-up and silver suits (though that does not apply if you have any photos of me as an architecture student from the 1980s). It has to be worth checking in for the ride even if, like Eurovision, you are occasionally behind the sofa, looking at what is unfolding on the screen through your fingers.

Every week you will get my provocative invective, and I’d love it if you join in the conversation…


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about the author

Russell Wardrop is our Chief Executive. If you would like to know more about this subject, drop him an email and we will be in touch.

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