‘Indispensable’ Financial Times




Inside front cover

Seventh Edition

With expanded Compendium of Retellable Tales


foreword by RT. HON. MICHAEL MARTIN MP Speaker of the House of Commons

First published by Thorogood May 2003. Reprinted December 2003 Thorogood, 10-12 Rivington Street London EC2A 3DU Telephone: 020 7749 4748 Fax: 020 7729 6110 Email: info@thorogood.ws Web: www.thorogood.ws Thorogood is a publishing division of Acorn Magazines

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In loving memory of

who for forty-one years endured so many of my speeches with critical affection – and for our children and grandchildren


of the National Union of Mineworkers – and of the Magic Circle and the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Details from: Paul Secher. fax: 020 8371 7001. communication skills and winning pitches and ‘beauty contests’. Himself an eminent and experienced speaker. He was elevated to the House of Lords – as Lord Janner of Braunstone – in 1997.secher@jsb. He was Chairman of the Select Committee on Employment and specialised in employment and foreign affairs issues.com. he is Founder President of the JSB Group and a former non-executive director of Ladbroke plc. He speaks nine languages and his books have been widely translated. JSB Group. Greville Janner is author of over 60 books. rehearsal and preparation.The Author Greville Janner was a Member of Parliament from 1970 until 1997. Arcadia Avenue. Dove House. London N3 2JU. e-mail: paul. a member of the National Union of Journalists. Managing Director.uk. He and his colleagues have trained many thousands – including readers of previous editions of this book – in speechmaking. Tel: 020 8371 7000. . handling meetings.

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Contents Foreword Introduction BOOK ONE Part One ONE TWO THREE FOUR FIVE 1 2 5 7 8 13 16 21 23 25 26 29 36 38 40 44 50 54 57 62 65 68 70 SPEECHMAKING Preparation Thinking on your feet – and how to prepare The Skeleton of a Speech In the beginning... prompts – and reading Timing Style Wit and Humour Overstatement and repetition Tact and sensitivity Quotes and statistics Credits Part Two SIX SEVEN EIGHT NINE TEN ELEVEN TWELVE THIRTEEN FOURTEEN FIFTEEN SIXTEEN SEVENTEEN EIGHTEEN . and at the end Ideas and ‘mine’ file Training in speechmaking Delivery Nerve control Appearance. cards. body language and authority – on the platform or in the media Be yourself Produce and project your voice – pause – and lift The pause Notes.

Part Three NINETEEN TWENTY TWENTY ONE TWENTY TWO TWENTY THREE Language Certainty. grammar and brevity Actually. conferences and seminars Foreign languages – and interpreters After dinner Votes of thanks Presentations and awards – as giver and receiver Family and other celebrations and commemorations Appeals and fundraising Panels In the open While others speak Impromptu The media – access and handling Radio – the sightless wonder TV – your head on the box 73 75 76 79 82 85 87 88 92 99 101 105 106 109 113 118 121 124 129 134 138 140 142 144 146 155 159 Part Four TWENTY FOUR TWENTY FIVE TWENTY SIX TWENTY SEVEN Part five TWENTY EIGHT TWENTY NINE THIRTY THIRTY ONE THIRTY TWO THIRTY THREE THIRTY FOUR THIRTY FIVE THIRTY SIX THIRTY SEVEN THIRTY EIGHT THIRTY NINE FORTY FORTY ONE FORTY TWO . and – I think Clichés and pomposities ‘I’ – the vertical pronoun Jargon. essentially… kinda… sorta… like… Practicalities Preparing your venue – and your audience Visual aids Ceremonial and commercial Microphones Occasions Pitching – and ‘beauty contests’ Meetings. uncertainty. basically. platitudes.

tears and sweat’ – 1940 Jawaharlal Nehru: ‘A glory has departed’ Harold Macmillan: ‘The winds of change’ Martin Luther King: ‘I have a dream’ Hugh Gaitskell: ‘Fight and fight and fight again’ Aneurin Bevan: ‘Socialism unbeaten’ Tony Blair: ‘The conflict in Afghanistan’ SIXTY SIXTY ONE SIXTY TWO SIXTY THREE SIXTY FOUR SIXTY FIVE . greetings and thanks 165 166 171 177 179 182 185 187 189 193 194 201 203 207 208 216 217 218 225 231 243 244 246 249 250 252 254 256 Part Seven FIFTY ONE FIFTY TWO FIFTY THREE Part Eight FIFTY FOUR FIFTY FIVE BOOK TWO FIFTY SIX FIFTY SEVEN FIFTY EIGHT BOOK THREE CLASSIC SPEECHES FIFTY NINE Winston Churchill: ‘Blood.Part Six FORTY THREE FORTY FOUR FORTY FIVE FORTY SIX FORTY SEVEN FORTY EIGHT FORTY NINE FIFTY Handling your audience problems and solutions Handling large audiences Questions and hostility Interruptions Sensitivities Persuading – the art of advocacy Defamation – speaking ill of others Coping with disaster Coping with attack Chairing Winning from the Chair The Chair as compere Debates and procedures – the formalities Tricks of the trade Top tips and techniques Finally… MODEL SPEECHES Openings Business speeches Introductions. toil.

proverbs and laws Insults Finance and insolvency Business and professions. marriage and family Food.BOOK FOUR COMPENDIUM OF RETELLABLE TALES Introduction to the Compendium of Retellable Tales 259 260 262 269 287 295 299 310 326 331 340 346 357 360 366 SIXTY SIX SIXTY SEVEN SIXTY EIGHT SIXTY NINE SEVENTY Presentations. religion and ethics Sex. crimes and courts Faith. drink and travel Health and hospitals Age. and employment Politics. speeches and stories Epigrams and definitions. industry. death – and the end SEVENTY ONE SEVENTY TWO SEVENTY THREE SEVENTY FOUR SEVENTY FIVE SEVENTY SIX SEVENTY SEVEN SEVENTY EIGHT Index Index to Retellable Tales 377 386 . companies. politicians and government Overseas – and diplomatic Law and lawyers. love.

Humour is the spice of oratory and quotation from others is totally acceptable. Hon. you will save yourself much effort and your audiences much misery. speechmaking is an essential art.Foreword This book provides precisely what its title offers – a complete guide to speechmaking. Whether you address audiences large or small. The Rt. socially or in business or in politics. If more of my parliamentary colleagues had done so. Like all others. I have enjoyed reading this book. The ‘Retellable Tales’ are a goldmine of appropriate quotes. I suspect that my job would often be less onerous. If you absorb the advice in this book. Michael Martin MP Speaker of the House of Commons FOREWORD 1 . there are techniques and skills to learn and to develop. I especially recommend the ‘Retellable Tales’.

technical aids – in short. with new chapters. audiences and occasions. of shareholders in the UK or of stockholders in the USA. I hope this new edition will help to keep you upright. to the very top of commercial and public life. on media handling. BOOK ONE describes the basic arts of speechmaking: construction and delivery. at every level. Whether you are addressing a meeting of colleagues or of employees at work. Jokes become untopical or unfunny. so this book needs another new edition. articulate and successful in speech by showing you how best to think on your feet. of family 2 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . like its predecessors. This new edition. the complete range of basic knowledge and guidance which is the essential equipment of the skilled speechmaker. As a teacher of presentation and of speechmaking. and revised and rewritten guidance on the speaker’s art. as my trainer colleagues and I have developed them. is based on a lifetime’s experience of hugely varied audiences and of oratorical and presentational occasions in many parts of the world – from weddings and funerals to business and political events. In business or in social life. Disaster on your feet lands you on your back. from small groups of clients or customers to mass audiences. competent speechmaking leads to success. Existing wisdom must be polished and burnished and much introduced that is new. My special thanks to Philip Parry for updating the advice on the use of PowerPoint and other modern and hi-tech aids. Here is advice on nerve control and relaxation. new ideas and new material. I am always learning. So I hope that this book will provide you with the maximum of practical help with the minimum of misery. so they must be replaced.Introduction As style changes and technology advances and humour evolves. The book divides conveniently into four sections. And of training communicators. So here are the latest techniques and tips.

jokes and epigrams which shine with wit or with vivid language. I cover the rules on good chairing. I offer a newly culled and updated compendium of my own choice. which made me or others laugh. Book One deals with them all. In the same Book. Finally. Please note that many of these tips are embedded in other chapters or parts. Their application varies and is vital. Scan Part 7 for your speechmaking problem and for my suggested answers. whether you are making a presentation to commercial prospects or presenting a guest to an audience or prizes at a school. as major as a mass gathering or as minor as a company or social or charity committee. in BOOK FOUR. Here are my favourites: stories. Adapt them to your own style and requirements. rejoice or just contemplate. and above all. Retellable Tales. INTRODUCTION 3 . BOOK THREE consists of classic oratorical gems.or of voters. too many of them excruciatingly boring. I have used them all – for laughter. which have delighted audiences. You may have to chair a meeting. Put my Retellable Tales (if you will forgive the modest comparison!) before different people or varied audiences – or even the same people or audience in a different mood – and they will change their reflection in the mirror or the mood of that moment. Once again. I have carefully accumulated an array of over 500 gems. They should help you to make the best of your speechmaking opportunities and to minimise the prospect of tongue-tied collapse. or proposing or responding to a toast at a wedding or a dinner. BOOK TWO contains models – a selection of draft speeches for varying occasions. dawn breaking over the Palace of Westminster. Watch moonlight on the Taj Mahal. effect or emotional impact. the techniques are essentially the same. I have brought together an array of ‘Top Tips and Techniques’. Forced to listen to literally thousands of speeches. Or check the index. or the play and change of light over any other great building: it never appears the same twice. Use Part 2 as your checklist. Go back to your Bible and re-read your favourite tales and the words will achieve new form and meaning.

the Seventh Edition. I wish an overflow of those marvellous occasions when you return home from speechmaking. elated. Abigail Husbands. Michael Martin MP. With a modicum of that good fortune that every speaker always needs. Leslie Benson. Follow the rules and use the material and you will maximise your prospects of oratorical success. Don’t let your nerves get you down – practise ‘the confidence trick’. Philip Parry. Viscount Tonypandy. Hon. Jonathan Josephs. The great Speaker. To you. and in particular: Joe Falter. and to thank him for contributing the generous Foreword to this. And to Adam Boulton. wrote the Foreword to the First Edition. To Neville Conrad for some marvellous Tales. if you can. for his invaluable help on the media chapter. My thanks again to Bob Monkhouse. George Thomas. knowing that the job was well done. and rehearse. Harvey Connell and his colleagues in Video Systems Hire. my fondest appreciation to my respected parliamentary colleague. Rt. My warmest thanks to those who have so readily helped me so much with this new edition. Julian Morris. my readers. Take training. And my thanks to my partners in the business of training and coaching in speechmaking and presentation. And then pray for that good fortune which all performers need in order to excel.Select and adapt those that suit you and your style as well as your audiences and their reactions. Above all. but which is granted only on unpredictable and joyful occasions. A separate index to the Tales follows the main index. Prunella Scales and other great performers and friends. who has endured much of this rewrite. and especially Gideon Falter. GREVILLE JANNER London. and to all our colleague trainers. It is an honour to salute his distinguished successor. the message duly delivered and the audience captivated and content. the Speaker of the House of Commons. 2003 4 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Paul Secher. Gideon Wittenberg. Doug Cameron. these tales should provide you with a treasure house of spice for the seasoning of your speeches. from whom I have learned and quoted so much.


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Part One Preparation .

This includes constructing the skeleton. knowing who they are and what they will buy? 4 HOW? What special techniques should you use? This includes notes. and then acquiring it. Thinking on your feet means being totally alert and able to use all parts of your body and brain at the same time. thinking and reacting. You must operate your mind and your tongue in tandem. Once settled into the job. To feel confident. 8 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . As a start. with your body upright. you must combine style and content – performing. and who makes the decisions? 2 3 WHAT? What do they want to hear from you? And only then: WHY? Why are you there? What is your message? What ideas. amplification and visual aids. of eye contact and of deliberate movement and gesture. you must look good. Ask ‘the Four Questions’: 1 WHO? Who are your audience – how many and where and in what environment. Should you stand or sit – and where? Then comes the structure of the speech itself. plus the art of the ‘sound bite’ – condensing your message into a few sentences.ONE Thinking on your feet – and how to prepare To succeed in speechmaking. products or services do you really wish to sell them. You must know the arts of body language. harnessing and controlling your nerves. This is – ‘the confidence trick’ – showing confidence when you do not feel it. this means recognising. documentation. you must think on your feet. Good speeches must be properly heard – which requires voice production and projection.

once you know how (Chapter 8). • It is easier to use short words. most of these techniques are easier to acquire than you may think. changing your words.Then you need to think about the techniques of delivery. practise them. needs techniques. and your audience time to absorb our message. your approach or your theme.. instead of pompous. get into the habit of looking at your audience – and react to them. then. to give yourself time to think what you are going to say. To learn them may not be easy. use them and you will be amazed how quickly you’ll absorb them. I shall explain the rules. Instead. or to stand with one foot in front of the other and your head up and shoulders back. relaxed. • It is easier to sit back. to speak slowly. Curiously. In Part I. speech punctuated and paragraphed like writing. than it is to slouch.. Speak the easy way. jargonised language. For instance: • Be yourself. ONE THINKING ON YOUR FEET – AND HOW TO PREPARE 9 . It is also better for your back (Chapter 7). Each becomes someone else. Most people who are lively. But everyone can do it. crisp sentences. than to fill up the spaces with ‘ums’ or with largely meaningless ‘um words’. in mighty never-ending sentences (Chapter 22). Try them. as necessary (Chapter 7). articulate and animated in private conversation freeze when they go before an audience. ponderous. ‘basically’ ‘essentially’. • You may look at the ceiling or the floor. • It is better to pause. It is easier to be yourself and not to change. Thinking on your feet. ‘really’ or ‘in fact’ (Chapter 9). like ‘actually’. while you think.

Personalising your approach will help reduce your tension. ‘But I don’t think you know who I am. and then to hold them firmly in your sights.’ he said. part of the question ‘WHO?’ is to spot who is in charge of the butter and to find out whatever you can about them.To think clearly. Preparing to make a speech means answering those four questions. find out which individuals will make it. where the waiter handed round a basketful of rolls. If your speech is designed to bring results and you will need a decision. start with research. Next.’ the waiter replied. in more detail: 1. you must prepare well. To get at least a general idea of your audience. sir. Who are you?’ The waiter paused and drew himself up to his full height: ‘I am the waiter.’ ‘No. to recognise who you are aiming at. WHO? Who are your prospective audience? How many of them and in what sort of environment or atmosphere? Step One to success in any speech must be to target your audience. Find out everything you can about the people you will be speaking to.’ asked the eminent guest.’ ‘Do you know who I am. I do sir. as part of WHO? 10 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Your aim will be better and it will be appreciated that you have taken pains. ‘It’s one roll and one pat of butter for each diner.’ the waiter replied. placing a roll and a wrapped piece of butter on each person’s plate. the Minister asked the waiter for a second pat of butter. Not unreasonably. to spot your quarry. A senior Government Minister attended a City lunch. ‘I’m very sorry. I don’t. served with an elegant pair of tongs. ‘Yes. So let’s look at them again. ‘in charge of the butter!’ When you make important speeches.

Another may be special people listening to you. Only when you have targeted your audience and their requirements do you move to Question Three. Anyway. ONE THINKING ON YOUR FEET – AND HOW TO PREPARE 11 . Address their wishes. For instance: You are speaking at a wedding or a birthday. Ask them. there is one very simple rule: Ask them what they want you to say and they will tell you – and then say it. How can you best prepare your venue? What visual aids and documentation should you provide. nobody matters except the family. 2. The more relaxed your presentation. to ignore? What anecdotes they wish you to tell – and are there any which you have in mind which just might cause offence? At a funeral or memorial meeting or service. WHAT? Then comes the second question: WHAT? What do they want? Your task is to satisfy your audience. If they are important. the more likely it is to succeed. Ignore them at your vain peril. And if you say what the key people want to hear. or in praise of a host or in memory of a deceased. One ‘they’ is your audience at large. their needs and their preferences or you will lose. and how and when? Who – if anyone – should join you on the rostrum or platform. in advance and at the time. Try to find out their requirements. Ask the family and the friends what aspects of the individual’s life they would like you to emphasise – or. then you are on the road to success.WHERE? Study and if possible prepare your venue (Chapter 24) and make the best of your physical situation. or in presenting your case? (See Part 4). Follow their wishes and your speech will succeed. it’s always best to do what is easy. possibly.

Spell it out from your early words and leave it well sunk into your audience as you depart. read on.. HOW? What techniques will you use.3. as on many social occasions. Whatever the occasion. to plant your ideas or your message or. 12 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER .. 4.. WHY? Why are you making the speech at all? What is your message? Work out that message in advance. knowing who your audience will be. what they want and what your message will be? Most of the rest of this book is about those techniques.. to make the best of your message. plan to use it for your purpose. simply to provide pleasure. So.

Some brilliant minds can capture and hold an audience with a rambling. So here are the rules on forming a well-built talk. the structure of the speech is very important. Any speech may conveniently be divided into three parts – the opening. poorly formed oration. TWO THE SKELETON OF A SPEECH 13 . the body and the closing. Catch the interest of your audience from the start and send them away satisfied at the end. to the business executive who wishes to make a speech in a businesslike way. flourish and be much admired even when the human body is frail. spend time on ‘topping and tailing’. ugly or misshapen. the entire speech is liable to collapse.TWO The Skeleton of a Speech Structure matters – so: Say what you’re going to say. Create the skeleton. But without a healthy skeleton. The first and last sentences of the body of a speech are crucial. When building your skeleton. forced into public speechmaking. Say it. But to the amateur who wishes to speak like a professional. Take them in turn. or to the poor or timorous orator. to the average speaker who wishes to put on an above-average performance. The importance of a clear. and all that remains is to deliver it. clothe it with sensible thought. resounding and striking first sentence and a well-rounded peroration cannot be overemphasised. Meaning and sincerity shine through and all is forgiven. Then say what you’ve said The human spirit can live.

‘Good morning. The flow of ideas needs rhythm. 14 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . smiling.Many skilled speakers write out their opening and closing sentences. fractured theories: these are the hallmarks of a poor speech. congratulating them on their successes. not one. Three words. introductory witticisms and greetings to old friends. Just as each bone of the human body is attached to its fellow. Each idea should then be taken in sequence and lead on logically to the next. so that one flows to the next.’ Wish them a good day. chapter or article. looking round your audience and saying: ‘Ladies and Gentlemen. Pause. Start slowly and smile. the best ending. personal remarks. You begin in the usual way by asking for silence. so the ideas in a speech should be jointed. Tell them a joke or a story. Do not begin with ‘Thank you for coming along’. for instance. Say what you’re going to say. The best beginning is a summary of your message. Say it. That will please the individuals and the audience and give you time to settle in. Perhaps you have led in with your thanks for the invitation to speak. a climactic restatement of that same message. so you have established a relationship with your audience. It must flow. So jot down the points you wish to make. especially if they had no alternative! Start with a warm up. sales staff of the X Company… It is a pleasure to see you here today. Suppose. Say: ‘Ladies… and… Gentlemen. Then say what you’ve said. most fine speeches start their substance with a general introductory paragraph which sums up what is to come. in spite of our reluctance to deprive the company’s customers of your services…’ Refer to Mr Y and Ms Z by name. Now comes the substance of the speech. Then set them out in logical order.’ Not – ladiesandgentlemen. Then launch into your theme. catches the attention of the audience and indicates the run of the speaker’s thought. Disjointed ideas. and mean it. Put your audience at ease. topical references. Connect them up with a theme. point by point. dislocated thoughts. Like a first-class book. that you are explaining the virtues of a new product to your own sales staff. Start with the theme – and then elaborate.

’ (There it is. If possible. TWO THE SKELETON OF A SPEECH 15 . Whether you are pronouncing a funeral oration over a deceased colleague or congratulating an employee on completing many years’ service. Then say what you’ve said. onto the interests of each person in your audience – ‘You’ – not ‘I’. You will have samples by… I wish you the very best of good fortune. Then take its selling features. First. And remember that the most important word in the English language has only three letters – YOU! That is the hook. Ladies and Gentlemen. maintain logical sequence. Now you must sell it. we have our new product – and you are the first to see it. If you understand and exploit its full potential. in a sentence. Next. We will supply you with full sales literature within the next week. if its skeleton is sound and solid. PowerPoint or computer graphics. Or at least use diagrams or models. then even if the body is not as strong as it might be. Whet their appetites for the substance to come. Ignore the skeleton and your speech will prove a rambling disaster. making an after-dinner speech or haranguing a group of contributors to your charity or supporters of your political party or organisation.) ‘So there. name and describe the product in broad terms. Say it. one by one: ‘The following features are entirely new…’ Spell them out and explain them. the audience may not notice.. Give your audience true incentive to listen.‘I have called you together today to introduce our new product. describe the product in detail. Ladies… and… Gentlemen…’ Then (yet again): Say what you’re going to say. you will not only benefit the company.) ‘Our research department has produced it. ‘But we have retained these other features – too valuable to lose…’ (Once again. transparencies or slides.. Now for the speech proper.’ Apply precisely the same rules of construction to any other discourse. To summarise: introduce yourself and warm the audience… ‘Good Evening. whatever the circumstances of the speech. show and explain it. but you should also multiply your own earnings.’ Personalise your message.

Do not rush them. Authors or journalists will tell you that they may spend as long on preparing the first sentence of a chapter or of an article as on the rest of the piece. ‘Ladies’… pause… ‘and’… pause ‘Gentlemen’. their minds on your words. written or oral. Latch on to some aspect of the introduction you have just received..’ Smile. a topical allusion. At the start.’ What a marvellous first sentence. this means: A story. speechmakers have the starting benefit of a few formal words to get used to the acoustics and to settle into their audience. in the world’s best-selling book! Pick up any national newspaper. excite your interest and make you want to read on. Wait. They have opening gambits of their own. Listen to experienced speakers. an ice breaker. a reference to the introduction. set light to its interest and summarise your theme. you create your atmosphere. 16 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . God created the heavens and the earth. So: ‘Ladies and Gentlemen. It will also encapsulate the theme. At the end. Look at them. Mean it. And you will find a batch of my favourite standbys at the start of the Retellable Tales. warm up your audience. you build up your climax and leave your message clear in their minds. ‘In the beginning. For a longer presentation. or to a topical matter of particular interest to your listeners. Read the first sentence in any news story and it should grab your attention. a joke. Unlike the writer. Good morning. Wish them a good morning.THREE In the beginning.. A good opening is crucial to any presentation. Next. create rapport. and at the end No parts of a presentation are more important than its beginning and its end. Look around and allow your audience to fix their attention on you.

THREE IN THE BEGINNING. AND AT THE END 17 . ‘You kindly said that I was the leader of a company.’ Look round you for other. I must talk to you about what is happening now. • Or a classic joke: ‘Before our Chairman asked me to speak. Summarise your message. Where we are and why that movement has halted. immediate opening gambits. I once spoke in a place called the Canterbury Rooms. We like and recommend that approach. for instance. The opening to your theme should always take the same form: Say what you’re going to say. it went well. We were and I hope that we will be – regrettably. windowless room? ‘I welcome you to this replica of the Mayflower’ pleased my American audience. hopefully only for the moment. or shall we let them go on enjoying themselves a little longer?”’ Or: ‘I thank the toastmaster for his friendly greeting. the sight of your audience and the feel of the venue.. moving swiftly ahead. he said to me: “Would you like to speak now. getting used to the sound of your voice. ‘My wife and I have much enjoyed your hospitality. Like: • The name of the venue. which rivets an audience but which had better go right. for more). It reminded me of that other time when the toastmaster cried out: “Pray for the silence of Greville Janner!”’ (see Retellable Tales. but because of its immediacy. It cannot go wrong.At a dinner. Thank you for asking us. ‘I wonder what Chaucer would have thought of this banquet… and of the bawdy speech that we have just heard from…’ That may not have been the most ingenious of openings. narrow. You can sometimes produce a useful combination of the two methods by referring back to the way that you were introduced. The alternative is the shock or surprise opening. • Anything unusual about the room itself? A clock that has stopped? A low slung ceiling? A long. You play yourself in.. And thank you for feeding a fellow company director/an accountant/a lawyer…’ Start by poking fun at yourself and you are well away. a word of thanks. This is the easy take-off.

You end up. • • • • Today marks our tenth anniversary. My task is to describe how my business has managed to move forward. And I shall share with you some of our secrets.’ an American scientist claimed yesterday. create your atmosphere and set out your theme. which I hope may be of use to you. • Tonight. despite difficult times. the climax. Now. Then we come to the high point. attract your interest and lead you forward into the detail. 18 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Did you know that…? We’ve come together because… It is essential for our industry/organisation that we should recognise that… • As our local/trade newspaper announced on its front page today… So you warm up your audience. He will talk to us about… • Our industry is holding up well under the weight of recession. • The United States has introduced new responses to terrorism… The first sentence should sum up the story. the final curtain. I salute you all. Some examples from recent front pages: • The Prime Minister will return tonight from his overseas visit to find his government in visible disarray over its controversial decision to… • ‘Eating fatty junk foods might reduce the risk of strokes. You have played yourself in and have begun well.Look at the start of any well written piece in any newspaper. Methods – in Chapter 2 . you ‘say it’. You set out your speech in a clear and sensible structure. it’s my pleasure to introduce to you… Roy Black.

vibrant. for money or for new ideas? Whatever you want. Of course. in people’s minds. on a climax. You should leave your message. like this: ‘So that’s all I have to say to you and now I’ll hand you over to the next speaker..Not for you the anticlimax. Listen. you wait. AND AT THE END 19 . but rising to a crescendo.. ladies and gentlemen – your turn to ask questions. And after the last words. Then it will probably end where it began. I’ll let you go to tea. Summarise and return to the theme with which you began. lengthening and repeating until they reach up to that final moment when the cymbals clash. so without further ado.’ What you never do is to end down. too. you must decide: What is your message? Are you calling for action or for help or for guidance? Are you looking for support. You nod slightly. The composer doesn’t flash a sign on a screen saying: ‘I’m coming to the end. to the use of silence.’ Or: ‘I’ve told you everything I want to say and now I’ll answer your questions. But doing so… with pauses. pace and colour. So a fine ending means using the right words to convey your ultimate message.’ Instead. the sound clearly sinks and the conductor rises to receive the applause. It will probably start with the main theme. the voice down and then the body down with a limp ‘thank you very much’ or ‘thanks for inviting me’ or ‘without further ado. you build up to your memorable and soft landing. end on it. Thank you.’ THREE IN THE BEGINNING. Say what you’ve said. Like much that is best in life itself. I’ll hand over to…’ Instead. to acknowledge the applause. Joe. By far the simplest way is to revert to your opening. the head down. you guys. introduce secondary themes. it will end up. he’ll introduce pauses. go for it. weave the themes together. Listen to any piece of classical music. The end of any presentation should be memorable because it should contain whatever you want your audience to remember. or say: ‘Right. changing tone.’ Or: ‘I know that you’ve heard enough from me. ask for it.

‘He’s batting. Would you like to hold on?’ Let your audience hold on. please remember the three essentials… first… second. as they also say in cricket. Do the same with your easy opening. You take your time… and your audience… will be glad that they have given you… theirs. ‘I’m sorry. You keep your eye contact – and you wait. rise up to a worthy and distinguished climax. the building. You pause… and lift your voice. ‘Can I please speak to Nasser Hussein?’ asked the voice. and above all. • ‘So… it is with the greatest of pleasure that I present to you… our guest of honour… Roger Brown!’ • ‘So when you consider how to cope with this crisis. The telephone rang in the pavilion. Hussein knows enough to play himself in at the start. at Lords’ cricket ground..’ You end… up.Instead. To get used to the light. Then. third… that…’ • ‘So – I’m proud to be at your service. 20 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . in your time. keep your end… up.. the pitch. You resume your seat or your place when you have finished.’ Hussein’s mate replied.

thesaurus. What do you want to say about it? Think of your audience. Keep them. which leads to the next point: FOUR IDEAS AND ‘MINE’ FILE 21 . When you are preparing a speech (Chapters 1-3). So why not take a leaf out of their book? Then there are the speeches themselves.’ All the rest are adaptations. You are there to convey a message. but do not lose them. What do you want to tell them? Jot down your ideas and your key points. photographs and ideas. President Richard Nixon said: ‘No politician has more than half a dozen speeches. cuttings. Journalists often keep their own careful and usually computerised files. do not be daunted because you are making a speech. Adapt them and improve them. Other sources: • Ask your hosts or your guests what they want you to talk about and to say. Clippings. my Retellable Tales… You will not only get direct quotes. all brought together to be incorporated into articles. You may spend hours or days preparing a speech. a view or a perception. features or books. sigh with relief and toss away the notes? Don’t. So keep and file your speeches when you make them. look for ideas. but good ideas. Think of your subject.FOUR Ideas and ‘mine’ file How do you get ideas for your speeches? How do you find the information you want? As a start. So ask yourself my third question: WHY are you doing it? What is your message? Try keeping an ideas file. You make it. quotations. • Consult reference books – your dictionary.

tapes. So you have got your ideas and your idea files. What of jokes? People say to me: ‘How do you remember them?’ It’s easy. PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON ‘‘ use them. Then others will give your research even more praise than it deserves. palm-held computers.• Think laterally. I put it into my file. When I hear one that I like. So plagiarise your own ideas and other people’s. Keep the products on file. Plagiarism is when you copy from one source. • Wander – around a shop. Use past work for future success. your garden – and see what ideas get triggered off. Do not repeat the drudgery. jot them down. They are your permanent memory. computer hard disk or even the old fashioned filing cabinet. Make them and ‘‘ 22 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER NO POLITICIAN HAS MORE THAN HALF A DOZEN SPEECHES. then it goes into the next edition of ‘Retellable Tales’. What associations come into your mind when you consider the main topic of your speech? When those ideas come. not in a systematic. You may use loose-leaf notebooks. Or wander again through other people’s ideas and see what you can pick up. . I write it down. ‘logical’ way. The object is to minimise your homework. I try it out a few times and if it goes down well. If I go on liking it. Files are idea mines. a museum. word processors. Research is when you copy from several.

Or your appearance as a guest speaker. of course. orating in public does not. still less. The same principles apply to courses in speechmaking and presentation for your staff or your executives. If you suffer from any form of speech impediment. promoted to a position of prominence where selfexpression becomes crucial.FIVE Training in speechmaking Speechmaking is not an amateur art. and turn criticism into compliments. no level of teaching can produce outstanding results. needing guidance in techniques and practice in their use – get help. but it has no place in the curriculum of school. whether on a business. Without the appropriate flair. Speaking in private may come naturally. Nor does skilled presentation of (for instance) your company’s results to analysts or institutions – nor. There is. Given even moderate material. rather than from your own – then take lessons. students learn to read. college or university. but with an experienced and critical audience. political or cultural occasion. But few take lessons in speechmaking or in presentation. an inexperienced performer. All require training and experience. At school. If public speaking is a burden on you or on your listeners. neither educational rhyme nor reasonable logic behind this curious approach. the skilled teacher can produce marvellous change. those daunting appearances as (for instance) bride. a good speech therapist should help you to avoid oratorical misery. Without training. Too many believe that you can master it through a combination of heredity and superior education. if you need to practise in private. spell and count. Which explains why so many so often do both so badly. public speaking is likely to be a burden not only for speakers. Whether you are an experienced speaker and in need of polish. bridegroom or best man. So do not despise the lesson. a presenter of your company’s products or services. but more especially for their unfortunate audiences. FIVE TRAINING IN SPEECHMAKING 23 . if you are prepared to learn from other people’s mistakes.

or from other experienced trainers. tenders and quotations. from my organisation*. but get what you want. on promotions and on product launches. on induction and promotional training. on employing consultants to advise you on everything from organisation and methods. teacher or trainer? As usual. together with the feedback. or on your business binge. The more the training is angled at the needs of the individual. Tel: 020 8371 7000. fax: 030 8371 7001. vision and the criticism of others – outsiders and. on family feast or wedding. the greater its potential. If you are prepared to lavish resources on estimates. listeners would have a far more rewarding and enjoyable experience – and the speakers would be far more likely to be invited back. recommendation is best. London N3 2JU. to time and staff management – why.com 24 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Experience. on PR for your professional skills or for your political party or beliefs. then. e-mail: enquiries@JSBtrainingandconsulting.How do you find your coach. Even two hours is better than nothing. FOOTNOTE * JSB. Arcadia Avenue. Experiment. coupled with a video camera and monitor screen – those are our partners in perfection. Dove House. do you underestimate the need to train for prowess in the marvellous art of the skilled speechmaker and the polished presenter? If more speakers had more training. your own colleagues learning together with you – produces dramatic results in (we find) no more than two days. if you wish. The combination of seeing and criticising yourself.

Part Two Delivery .

Answering those four questions: Who? What? Why? And How? (Chapter 1). You harvest the hay. dry the hay. Know inside yourself that you are prepared for battle and you will have the confidence to win. 26 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . I asked my friend Sebastian Coe. bale the hay and get it into the barn and then you can relax. PERM.’ Preparation Preparation means getting the hay in the barn. you’ll be all right. He taught me that if you get the hay in the barn. Those who come into battle unprepared deserve their nerves. that great Olympic runner – then a fellow MP and now a fellow peer: ‘How did you cope with nerves when you were approaching a key Olympic event?’ He replied: ‘My Dad was a farmer.SIX Nerve control Here are the four essentials for nerve control: 1 2 3 4 Preparation Expectation Relaxation. and Mantra.

then comes: Relaxation. to stir up the adrenaline… to sharpen your brain… to temper your steel. I was frightened. which is an extremely poor pre-speech routine! SIX NERVE CONTROL 27 . if you wish – but not too often or too fast or you will hyperventilate. ‘When you were an actress. But how do you control them? If your Preparation and your Expectation are in place. If you are prepared. Recognise that you need to be nervous. ‘Aren’t you scared?’ I asked her. ‘Of course I was. expect your pre-speech nerves.’ she said. Recognise and welcome them because they set the adrenaline coursing through your brain. Count: one… two… three… four… Then hold your breath for the same length of time. then you need not fear your nerves.Expectation During my last months in the Commons. I drew lucky for Prime Minister’s Questions. ‘The times that I was worried were when I was not nervous. One… two… three… four… Then. You’ve oxygenated your blood. Sit back. Relaxation There are many relaxation exercises but the one I use is the simplest. One… two… three… four… That’s it. Glenda Jackson. Do it again.’ However skilled you are. Even after a quarter of a century in that place. You’ve controlled your mind. Close your lips. Very slowly. were you nervous before you came on stage?’ She looked round at me. draw in a deep breath through your nose. ‘Of course I am. let your breath out through your mouth – again. She had the question after mine and looked icy cold. coolly. I was sitting next to that formidable actress and Oscar winner.’ she replied. slow and controlled.

’ Great performers all have their own mantras. before Question Time?’ ‘I certainly am. “I want it… I want it…” and not let anything get in the way. like PERM. however long or however short. always repeat it. an interviewer asked Margaret Thatcher: ‘Surely you aren’t frightened.” ‘ After her Olympic figure skating victory.So that’s Preparation. How did you control your nerves?’ Lipinski replied: ‘You have to think. They are jellified. “Nothing else matters”. 28 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Expectation and Relaxation. but you get out on the track and your legs won’t work. Whenever in any presentation or speech you give a list. What do you do then?’ He replied: ‘I repeat to myself: “Today’s your day… today’s your day…” ‘ Harold Macmillan advised: ‘Before you get up. the press asked fifteen year-old Tara Lipinski: ‘You must have been very frightened. After a decade as Prime Minister. say to yourself. Choose the one that suits you best. Mantra I said to Sebastian Coe: ‘Fine – so you’ve got your hay in the barn. Finally: the Mantra. Listeners need lists – especially when you give them really useful mnemonics. Choose it and use it. Final tip. So I repeat: Nerve control requires the PERM – Preparation… Expectation… Relaxation… and the Mantra.’ ‘So what do you do about it?’ ‘I say to myself as I get up: “Come on dearie – concentrate.’ That was his mantra and it is now mine.

Start with the overall effect of your visible presentation. Do you cultivate polished head or bushed hair? Do you groom your crowning glory or allow it to dominate you? Do you let your hair turn grey or white (most men) or enjoy retaining or even enhancing its youthful blaze (most women)? Do you wear your uniform – suit and tie or slacks and open necked shirt? At home or on holiday. Relaxed and informal? Then wear light-coloured. take special care with your voice. If your presentation is disembodied.SEVEN Appearance. then you must make your body language count. distinguished. you woo the public – so present yourself with care. loose-fitting clothing. sound and sensible? Then wear darker clothes. appearances matter little. body language and authority – on the platform or in the media A survey asked the question: ‘What makes you believe a speaker?’ The answer was extraordinary: • • • Body language 76% Style 12% Content 12% If self-presentation is an essential for your self-preservation and your selfesteem. shirts. but make up your own mind. but when you appear in public. then avoid herringbone suits. dresses or sweaters with narrow stripes or ties with tight patterns – they SEVEN APPEARANCE. BODY LANGUAGE AND AUTHORITY… 29 . How do you want to appear? Authoritative. If your speech may appear on television. Start at the top and work down. The choice is yours. The advertising persuaders may try to influence your decision. because it is via telephone or radio.

not detract from their meaning. ‘How do you know when the President is telling the truth?’ asked an opponent.‘strobe’. Instead. ‘you know he’s telling the truth. and your speeches should gain an extra dimension of excellence. ‘When he does this…’. no matter where you are looking.’ bringing his hands together and clenching them and frowning furiously. And learn to watch the rest of the audience out of the corners of your eyes. a few seconds later. choose plain and preferably pastel shades – black or dark blue tend to make a hole in the screen. to draw the eyes of your audience up towards your expression. sensational ties – they may attract attention to your body but they will distract from your face and from your presentation. Use gestures sparingly. turn your head and look to the right or to the left – then. ‘you know he’s telling the truth. Remember that story about President Nixon. Study Desmond Morris’s classic. discreetly wipe your head with a piece of chamois leather. ‘you know he’s telling the truth. Now… when he opens his mouth…!’ 30 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Women: avoid sparkling jewellery or swinging earrings. or strength of unity – or even determination. Wear nothing that distracts attention from your face and your eyes. and how you can avoid doing the same. Top tip: a few minutes before you start. try a white collar or white necklace. You will learn how animals give themselves away through bodily indications. For instance: use your fingers to count numbers: ‘First… second… third…’ Or to show levels of authority – or to illustrate breadth of access.’ contorting his face and spreading his arms wide. But make your gestures sincere. Make eye contact. turn your head or your eyes again to the other side – always with purpose. When he does this. Then. always deliberately. When he does this. The colours move and mix. If you are balding and will be speaking under bright lights – whether TV or any other – watch out for your head reflections. The Naked Ape. Instead. after a few more seconds. clenching both fists. to emphasise your words. Add a touch of witch hazel to the leather and you will stay dry for several hours. Men: avoid bright.

Do not be afraid of movement. do. The more economical your movements. the better.. Keep your body. Or stand behind a chair and let your fingertips just touch the top of its back. the opposite is true. You can run. You must stand or sit high – wearing your invisible crown (page 35). with less clarity and distinction. Nelson Mandela writes: ‘Just as there is a way to walk into a room in order to make yourselves stand out. or perch on the edge of a table.. Introducing a guest.’ As a speechmaker. but not stand still? Then get a high (or bar or draughtsman’s) stool. grasp it with the other and keep your elbows into your sides. perhaps? Then turn around. ‘A Long Walk to Freedom’. Follow another of Harold Macmillan’s great rules. You may have back trouble. SEVEN APPEARANCE. extend your arm and then say. jump or climb. Adapt your body language to the occasion. I spoke more softly. Metronomes have none. BODY LANGUAGE AND AUTHORITY… 31 . A shrug or an occasional accusing finger. ‘When underground. Pause. Hold your note cards firmly and calmly in front of you. Sit still and upright. And make sure that your gesture precedes your words. with your bottom tucked into the angle between the seat and the back of your chair. Gesture. with grace: ‘Welcome… John Brown…’ If you want to move around. your chin. there’s a way of walking and behaving which makes you inconspicuous. relax your presentation or move to your flip chart. Then speak. I did not walk as tall or stand as straight. your eyes and your voice up. The only rule: whatever you do must be deliberate. rest your fingertips on the edge of the table. But walk as you talk – deliberately. always make it from the shoulder. If you stand and have trouble with your hands. a reference to the heavens or a hand pointing to the sky – all have their place in the repertoire of the skilled speaker. as an outlaw. Don’t jab your forearm. If the wrist holding them shakes. you are both conspicuous and obtrusive. Do not lean on them. If you are going to make a gesture. Stand proud. Involve your audience. one often seeks prominence. In his remarkable book. As a leader.

Say not one word until your feet are firmly in place. rise before you shine. your clothing and your notes arranged to your satisfaction.’ said he. Now for some more about standing. I carry spares with me. Get your optician to put an anti-reflective coating on to all your spectacles. Darkened spectacles look sinister. you may need a second pair for speechmaking. To emphasise a point. Be sure that your eyes appear in the centre of your spectacles and that your eye contact is not spoiled because the top of the frame interferes with your sight. Now. speakers should use their tongues. To pause before you start 32 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . standing at the Despatch Box. But do not fiddle with them. quickly and deliberately. their audiences would listen far more attentively. Gestures must add to words and meaning. If you need spectacles to read. If more speechmakers would stand with authority and determination. not detract or distract. their faces and their minds. not their feet. for platforms and (especially) for television work. Do not fear poor eyesight. learning how to put on her spectacles when she needed to read and then how best and most deliberately to remove them. hold them still in your hand. when TV was first introduced into Parliament. Brandish your glasses and then return them to your nose and your speech to its theme. but do not like wearing them when speaking.You wear spectacles? Then use them as an occasional weapon. for talking and for eye contact. their listeners may take to their heels. she is a real pro. I once watched from a discreet distance as then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was being trained in the Commons Chamber. And avoid frames that reflect the light. refusing to budge. Remember Martin Luther: ‘Here stand I. you can turn it to good effect. Otherwise. put them on deliberately for reading. their arms or their fingers. She spent over half an hour. remove them. Like other defects. bend forward and glare at your audience. If your spectacles darken under bright light. though. I can do no other. remove them. As a start and at the start. your audience held with your eye. Generally.

If you are reading from a chart.. You do not need the training or the talent of a great singer if your words are to live. If. Do not turn your back on your audience. Watch any accomplished opera singer. BODY LANGUAGE AND AUTHORITY… 33 . but by not dying. Then and only then. stand. amplified and magnified. If you want to achieve success through your words and to avoid oratorical death.. Watch them and their reactions. for instance. remember the three Ts – Touch. Relax the body and you can then concentrate on balance in speech. stand at ease. if necessary. and point to the words. move on and away. Do not talk whilst your back is turned on your listeners. Never talk to your audience unless your eyes are on them. stand up for your case. If that is impossible. talk to them. Like Woody Allen. you may want to achieve immortality not through your work. Forget the modern marvels. from the shoulder. I mean those who have been taught to produce fine and varied sound by using their God-given instruments. you can produce sound with the least effort and to maximum effect. you automatically dominate. rooted to one spot. To stand with ease. Keep your head up – wear your invisible crown. Given an audience of even moderate size and the choice between sitting and standing. You are not a tree. With your chest upright and forward. but is an absolute essential if you do not wish your opening to fall flat. Then turn round and face your audience. then lift up your arm. microphone to mouth. Because you are upright. Always move – your words and your body – deliberately and with purpose. Turn…Talk… Which means: Touch the wording to which you are going to refer. change course or content. they do not smile at your wit or they laugh when you are serious. deliberately. That is an all too common discourtesy. and then stay silent until you turn to face your listeners. legs apart and one foot slightly in front of the other. Then move. SEVEN APPEARANCE. except for the occasional moment when writing on flip charts. a slide or a projection. Go back on your heels. But you cannot project your voice without using your chest as a sound box.takes confidence and skill. so that you can.

Body up. chin up. is to induce your audience to believe you. Once again: start with a smile. of course. Relaxation and Mantra. The problem for speechmakers is: How do you appear to have it when you haven’t? PERM. Lift your chin up. People say of prospective leaders in every sphere: ‘He’ll never have the weight to do the job. fling yourself nowhere. (Chapter 6). move yourself around it. Stand up – go back on your heels. To win real authority. you need two ingredients – liking and authority. But if you are trying to present a case to listeners whom you wish to carry with you. Or. Use your charm. the lectern or the desk. 34 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . the possession of office gives both the appearance and the reality of gravitas. Give yourself the appearance of authority and you will win gravitas. your listeners are far more willing to accept your sincerity than if you appear aggressive and unlikeable. You may prefer to sit behind your desk while a recalcitrant employee stands in front of it. Preparation. eyes up. flung himself up on his horse and rode madly off in all directions!’ When you stand and think on your feet. more likely. So keep everything up. you say your piece. then shift the table. If you appear friendly and likeable. wrote of a speaker: ‘He said nothing. and direct your words and your body in the required direction only. you must appear already to have it. If the lectern has a microphone attached to it. Perch relaxed on the edge or speak from the side. Sit up and back. head up. To do that. Appear confident and you will become confident – that’s the ‘confidence trick’. Woo your audience. Actual authority carries its own aura. detach it or get a clip-on or a roving mike (Chapter 27). Stephen Leacock. The Canadian humorist. Expectation. he flung himself from the room.To create and to maintain intimacy with your audience. Even half an inch will give you dignity. The object of all this. remove physical barriers where you can.’ But when someone gets the job.

BODY LANGUAGE AND AUTHORITY… 35 . when you are obviously under great stress?’ She replied: ‘I wear my invisible crown. Eleanor. was once asked: ‘How do you manage to look so serene. proudly. She replied: ‘It’s a little like having a seven-pound salmon on your head!’ Salmon or crown – wear it. dressed and ready for the occasion. your body language. together. your style and your words will combine to give you weight. I once asked Queen Elizabeth II what it felt like to wear the Crown of State.’ You cannot wear a crown unless you keep your head up. SEVEN APPEARANCE.President Roosevelt’s wife. And your spirits and your voice will lift. Prepared. Pause and make eye contact with your audience before you start.

their fingers twist. My colleagues and I teach and train all levels of business people and professionals. as they are churned up mentally. They look at floor or ceiling. they rattle coins or worse. • Speakers avoid eye contact. • They sit forward. the moment they go public? Or even when they are faced with an important. even if they stay seated? The symptoms of this personality change are almost invariable. • They stand. private meeting? Why. do their backbones wobble and their knees knock. but one they think appropriate to making a formal presentation. remote and friendless. punctuating their normal language with ‘ums’ and ‘ers’. appearing shifty and dishonest – instead of turning their heads. or anywhere other than at their audience. ‘basicallys’ and ‘essentiallys’ – plus perhaps the occasional ‘to be honest’ or ‘frankly speaking’. their hands gyrate and their bodies jerk. Hands in pockets. they adopt an unreal persona – not their own. they scratch their crotches. up to the very top and even some distinguished political and 36 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Or: ‘As I have already made quite clear…’ Or: ‘I feel… I think… I believe…’ (Chapter 23). when the presentation is formal. and we’ve seen most of them already. relaxed English. friendly and articulate in private conversation become wooden and charmless.EIGHT Be yourself Why is it that some people who are charming. • They speak fast. • Above all. elbows on table. They swivel their eyes. with ‘actuallys’. tongue-tied and wordless. gabbling and rushing towards the end. with their heads sunk forward and their eyes downcast. instead of speaking ordinary. hunched and hostile and as visibly screwed up physically.

my erstwhile House of Commons colleague. One person is a god fearing pillar of the church. And I sentence both of you to the same period of imprisonment!’ I sentence you to be one person – yourself.communal leaders.’ is too common a complaint. he said: ‘I have listened with great care to what your Counsel has argued about your being two persons. law abiding servant of the community – a founder of the Cooperative movement and a diligent Member of Parliament. or to your board. but also retain the flexibility of deliberate forward movements.’ And so on… When the Judge came to pronounce sentence. he was looking over my shoulder. Do you sit back in your chair. Do not lose eye contact with your audience because the moment or the occasion is formal. it’s much easier that way. If you are talking to one person. relaxed and obviously at ease when at home? Then do not lean forward when you talk to your colleagues. or to your customers or clients. Once you know how. with John Stonehouse standing before him. EIGHT BE YOURSELF 37 . You will not only show relaxed authority if you sit back. You are two persons. After he was convicted of fraud. Our single most important and often most difficult task? To induce them to be themselves. his Counsel allegedly addressed the court thus: ‘My client is two persons. your eyes should maintain contact. The other is an adulterer. eyeball to eyeball. One person is an honest. One person is a loving husband and father. ‘Most of the time while he was talking to me. I never forget the sad case of John Stonehouse. The other person has been found to be a danger to society. actual or potential. Appear to be – and then become – yourself. The jury has found the other person to be guilty of immoral offences. I agree.

Address the people in the back row. vary tone. As a stringed instrument gains its volume through the resonance of its sound chamber. you do not need to shout at them. Take special care not to drop your voice at the end of a sentence. To get an uncooperative nation or brigand band to do what you want – including negotiating a peace settlement – you generally have to remain in communication with it. but if you saw how many top people speak like ventriloquists’ dummies. you would be amazed. Imagine they are deaf – one or more may be. To avoid monotony. nor words through shut mouths. not fade with the final breath of a phrase. Vary and change the volume and tone of your speech. To eat. put your hand on your chest and sigh out the word until you can feel the vibration. but always within the hearing range of your listeners. The voice should reverberate and carry. People do not walk through closed doors. Try saying the word ‘war’. speed and volume. Deep and resonant sound reverberates an idea to immense effect. Now take a deep breath. The opposite also applies. it produces a puny sound. A whisper can produce intense and dramatic effect. To attract and hold the attention of an audience. You may not consider this an especially brilliant observation. Words do not emerge from closed mouths. Provided that it can be clearly heard. Thoughts should rise to a climax. you must open your mouth. so the human voice should resonate through the chest. 38 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER .NINE Produce and project your voice – pause – and lift The human chest is a sound box. Through your nose and voice alone.

‘That… is the best way… to satisfy…’ pause.Take this book to a mirror. then please open it. Pause… and lift… Examples: ‘It is my pleasure to introduce…’ pause and then lift. and most important – know when to keep silent. Finally. Wait. he would keep it closed and talk through gritted teeth. Then modulate your voice. the only way she gets some colour in her face is to stick her tongue out. the better it will be for both of us when we meet. ‘this company. lift. as naturally as you can. Is your mouth opening? Are your words coming out. ‘of you.’ It was said of one politician that he ‘only opens his mouth when he has nothing to say’. Then lift your voice. The magic pause gives emphasis to the words that follow. ‘expenditure’. and when to lift your voice. ‘unnecessary and unwanted and exceptional…’ pause. Mind you. loud. together and vertically. at the end of the sentence or so as to emphasise the key words. He needed a shoehorn to make a speech. Always use this technique at the end of a speech. but in her case I will make an exception. There is only one thing wrong with her faces – they stick out of her dress. crisp and clear? When you talk. and all’… pause. or even of an intervention at a meeting. Anyway. Success will not go to your head until it has gone to your mouth. It may be true that the best way to get some people to agree with you is to keep your mouth shut. of a presentation. I never forget a face. lift. Then repeat it several times. Perhaps not: I’ll remember both of them. lift. Watch. ‘John Jones…’ ‘We must avoid…’ pause. Read out a short sentence. So stop. lift. When he wanted to say something. Groucho Marx said of a well-known woman: ‘The sooner I never see her face again.’ Now… read on… NINE PRODUCE AND PROJECT YOUR VOICE – PAUSE – AND LIFT 39 . you should be able to put two fingers into your mouth. But if you are forced to speak.

Harold Macmillan described the pause as ‘the most important trick… if you can do it…’ You pause – for effect. Volume You raise your voice. You must know how and when to vary volume. you pause. Intelligent people have quick minds and their words cannot keep up with their thoughts. In speech. And in a large audience – and sometimes even in a small one – people (including some who do not have hearing difficulties) may lose the sound. At the end of a sentence. you underline. Pausing Much more important is – the pause. to underline the key words. In speech. Or you lower your voice into a confidential whisper. you emphasise through volume and through pausing.TEN The pause In writing. Danger: histrionics and apparent insincerity. Danger: too theatrical. Note: you vary the pitch. In writing. not the volume. Emphasise by pausing before and lifting the tone. Do not drop your voice at a climax. you use italics or bold type. And to pause. you punctuate with dots and dashes and commas and paragraphs. In print. Do you think that pausing shows hesitation and lack of confidence? No… 40 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . They have to force themselves to speak slowly. you pause – and lift your voice.

‘If we do not take the steps I have suggested. but of the speaker’s powerful and confident technique – and one that the inexperienced speechmaker uses too little. they destroy the pause. When used as they should be. Practise it in your everyday speech until it comes easily. At the start of your speech. they underline and stress. To overdramatise is as bad as to underplay. Pause. Just as brevity in a pause may show lack of confidence and cause it to lose its effect. A pause is not a sign of indecision or of weakness. Only TEN THE PAUSE 41 . whenever possible keep silent until you have the full attention of your audience. It is not hard for the bright amateur to handle words. The pause before a crucial word is the orator’s most superb trick. more insidiously. Examples of ‘um words’ Actually… essentially… basically… in fact… you know… Or: Let me start at once by saying that… May I take this opportunity to… It so happens that I am… I have to tell you that… Worse: To be quite honest… to be frank with you… to tell you the truth – which all suggest to the seasoned listener that you are either about to lie or have just stopped lying! So remember The pause gives poise. If you are interrupted – whether by the drop of a window. naturally and without effort. so too long a pause may appear as ‘ham’. Or. or by laughter or applause – wait again for silence before you proceed. I foresee only one result’ – pause – look around – wait: ‘Disaster’.it is the key technique of the self-assured. the intervention of a colleague. talk or intervention. Of course. the pause must not be too long. Using silence is the mark of the professional. Most of these have perfectly good meanings. the roar of a passing jet. Do not fill the silences with ‘ums’ or ‘ers’. with ‘umwords’. When used carelessly.

Then make the same speech on the important occasion and get someone to time you. perhaps to look down at. you rest. Thus: ‘To reach up to your climax.‘that this modest organisation’ – pause – ‘will continue to flourish. or to sort out. • • In mid-sentence: to emphasise a vital point.’ Pause. 42 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . it gives you time to work out the next words you need. I ask you once more to support your Board’ – pause – ‘so as to ensure’ – pause. The most vital pausing times: • The opening: make sure that your audience have settled down and are ready to hear you. or to think about the next theme. major or minor. or advance the PowerPoint or to sip your glass of water.’ Pause… lift. Do not be afraid of the pause. • After an interruption: once again. Don’t rush. pause – then lift your voice. rehearse it and time yourself on a stopwatch. The pause is a mental comma or dash. pause longer. you come to a full stop. for questions and for space. Look around at those from whom you expect applause. • Before your last few words: ‘And now. Ladies and Gentlemen. Prepare an important speech. When you stop completely. Then sit down. don’t overdo it. If in doubt. Prune. pause… then lift… your voice – up. your notes or change the video. Too much material creates unnecessary pressure. At the end of important sentences. Silence is a weapon as valuable as speech itself. When you reach the end of the theme. Period. you’ll find it makes speaking much easier. After all. That is the vocal equivalent of a paragraph. But like every other technique. Only practice can show the maximum period for the best effect. or simply to move around.experience can teach you how long to pause. So prepare less material. It will take longer. And once you master the technique. your audience must settle in to hear you. and leave time for interruptions.

On television. then. the pause is visible and therefore acceptable. and free from the irritating distractions of ‘ers’ and ‘ums’. You may sip from your glass of water… take off your spectacles… frown in thought… and then speak. Pause – and lift – up to your climax. Use whatever method suits you best on that occasion. Finally. so with the radio – you cannot pause too much or the audience will think that you’ve gone dry. Once again: Do not end with a limp ‘thank you’.’ Sidney Smith commented on the boredom of a conversation with Macaulay. Methods and timing vary. so in speech. basically and essentially – of ‘um words’! ‘‘ THE MOST IMPORTANT TRICK… IF YOU CAN DO IT… HAROLD MACMILLAN. pause before your final words. But the pause – if you can do it – was. Punctuate. well timed. Give your audience space and yourself time to think. then your silences should be deliberate. Thomas Hardy remarked: ‘That man’s silence is wonderful to listen to. adapt the techniques of pausing for the circumstances. observing that it was his ‘occasional flashes of silence that make his conversation perfectly delightful’! If you want your talk to be appreciated. Instead. As with the telephone. though. Or – actually. DESCRIBING THE PAUSE TEN THE PAUSE ‘‘ 43 .As on paper. as vital for the speechmaker as it is for the negotiator. is and will remain.

So consider: 1 How do you train your memory and your tongue.ELEVEN Notes. I put that card on one side – perhaps on a convenient glass or cup. Use plain postcards. simply from the fear that you may do just that? 2 If you must read your speech. Use bullet points. then put that name in very large letters on a separate card. large writing. you should see your way at a glance. If you consult them. you should use notes as pointers and not as crutches. 44 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . especially for names. and banish the fear that you will get lost or go dry. They will show the way. stimulate the memory and the tongue. If you are introducing someone or if a key name is crucial to your talk. concise. brief phrases. held vertically. what are the top techniques? Taking the first point and assuming that you are not reading your speech. So keep your notes clear. to discard as you proceed. These are simple to shuffle before you speak. cards. Forget people’s names and they will not forgive you. Well. to follow one on the other? How do you avoid missing essential points? How do you avoid ‘drying up’. prompts – and reading You should never have to read your speech. hardly ever – and then only when every word counts and it is as much for the record as for your audience. Few words. brief and visible. and they present less temptation to write lines of script.

depending on how the audience reacts and how the stories and themes go down. Never start speaking again until you have looked up and re-established eye contact with your audience. plain cards handy. which must be exact. my Lords. For after-dinner speeches. Ladies and Gentlemen – (or whatever). You should be looking for and jotting down ideas right up to the moment that you start speaking. ‘Surely you should be able to cope with the Loyal Toast by now. because if you use cards you are not tied to a script – you retain your flexibility. the toastmaster bungled my introduction and I was thrown. • Quotations and/or figures. do so. ‘Just in case…’ I answered. If you need to read out a quotation. I was right. I was proposing the Loyal Toast at a Guildhall banquet. PROMPTS – AND READING 45 . Just in case.’ My wife saw the card. which you should write out in full: • Your introduction – your first words: Chairman. as Churchill used to say: ‘If you’re going to read from notes. then lift up your notes – or.’ Well mannered people do not speak with their mouths full. I automatically stood up but my mind went blank. ELEVEN NOTES. President. I wrote on a card: ‘Lord Mayor. I picked up my note. Do not look at your notes and talk at the same time. Welltrained speakers to not speak with their eyes on their notes. Keep some extra. CARDS. idea or story should be on a separate card. read it – put it down. pause. When using notes. and then spoke. stop speaking – then look at your notes. Mr. then brandish them. Each theme. Ladies and Gentlemen – the Queen. without writing it down?’ she chided me. I usually spread my cards in front of me on the table and then use or discard them. There were hundreds of white-shirted penguins looking up at me. Notes are your fail-safe device. They look at their audience when they address them – especially at the start and at the end of sentences. All was well.Exceptions to the bullet point rules.

perhaps by a question or by an interruption. in case you drop them. Mark pauses. heavy or unattractive when spoken. put an upward arrow above the key word or words at the end of your paragraph or presentation. Number your pages.Once you start talking. the next. your sentences and your paragraphs. Chop out any pointless words – any that are long. Never allow a sentence to run over from one page to the next. And then the fourth one starts again on the far left. First: make the reading as easy as possible for yourself. But if you are thrown off course. You may never need to look at your cards. of manoeuvre and of speech.’ Grab your audience from an interesting beginning to a climax at the end. You watch your audience and respond to their reactions and to their mood. if you want to make sure that you do not forget a key point. about an inch from the margin. cull your speech. stop talking and look at your cards. Underline or highlight key words. You will need to learn how to look and sound impromptu. your ideas should flow. Start your first sentence on the left-hand side of the page. Use large typescript and short sentences. if you need absolute precision – then pause. If you have to deliver a presentation where every word must be right and a wrong one could be disastrous. Keep your forefinger on that place. A former Parliamentary Private Secretary to Winston Churchill taught me the great man’s method – a special layout. If you have trouble with the ‘pause… lift…’ (Chapter 10). Then. Notes give you freedom of movement. which Churchill called ‘stanzas’ and which we renamed ‘columnar script’. Finally. Stagger your sentences so that you can lift your eyes at the end of each and automatically lower them to the right place. Mark up the script. eyes up and speak again. you may have to read aloud. 46 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Make sure you are happy with the balance of your words. To quote Harold Macmillan: ‘When you make a speech you are not reading out an economic essay. the one after that about an inch further over.

Curiously. he looked down at what appeared to be notes. I once introduced him to a major audience. Lift your eyes – and speak.Read your script out loud. where possible adjust its height and angle to suit your height and your view of your audience. do not let your body or your face get rigid. pause. Pause – and look down again before the end of the sentence. speaking into a microphone. On closer examination. Then lift your eyes and speak. The more familiar the script. Do not be afraid to leave your script. so that you do not have to ad lib more than necessary. He stepped behind a lectern. so how do you appear natural when you read? How can you fool your audience into believing that you are not reading? The key is eye contact. then (preferably) with an expert or with a concerned colleague. Leave it to the operator to keep up with you. From time to time. Absorb the first few words. not one. PROMPTS – AND READING 47 . you should be able to read even the completely unfamiliar words as if you were just using notes. Then look up and finish it. use autocue or teleprompt. first on your own. Eyes down again to the next words. Israel’s former Foreign Minister. CARDS. always keeping your forefinger on the place and your eyes half a dozen words ahead of your voice. Rehearse. above all. Ensure that you have the level right and. Pause. Words sound different when they are read. Where ELEVEN NOTES. smile at the start and at the finish. worthy of the expense. Pause. used by the accordionist who preceded him on the platform! On key occasions. and again at its end. You need easy eye contact. they turned out to be the music. Top tips: Chat. If you use a lectern. And never do so from a TV script or teleprompt. if the spirit or the occasion or an interruption moves you. use two projectors and screens. one of the world’s greatest orators in the English language was not an Englishman but Abba Eban. You may want to give the appearance of using notes when you have none. take your own time. But once you get the hang of this technique. Look down at your script. Lift your eyes to your audience at the start of a sentence. Make your speed. animate – smile and frown – talk normally. the easier your task. Where possible.

Pauses are easy – leave spaces. your eye will automatically go from one sentence to the next. This applies in a lecture hall or on a platform. to move to the front of the stage – and to have direct. Eyes up – and project the first few words. to imprint the sentence on your mind. Always keep your eyes three or four words ahead of your voice. This becomes easy if you get into the habit of following these rules: 1 Set out the sentences in staggered columns – ‘columnar’ or Churchillian layout. Turn your eyes down. to read the rest of the sentence – but when approaching the end 5 Eyes up – and usually.I am forced to put my notes on a lectern. to take my notes in my hand. especially when answering questions. you should do so as unobtrusively as possible. (b) stresses or emphasis. 3 Words which you find difficult or which are likely to trip you up. Instead. mass Trafalgar Square rally. It impedes empathy and human contact. you can underline or highlight with a coloured pen. A lectern is a block between the audience and yourself. 48 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . either avoid altogether or spell out syllables. voice up – for the last few words. Let’s recap the rules: 1 2 3 4 Keep your eyes up before you start a sentence. With a little practice. Stress or for emphasis. 2 Mark on your text: (a) pauses. Write unfamiliar names as their owners wish them to sound. I was the only speaker to spurn the lectern. you can keep your eyes up and enjoy looking at your audience – and pausing. unimpeded contact with my audience. At a recent. especially at the start and at the finish of each sentence. Eye contact is vital to any successful speech. I move round to the side. And will save you those moments which you would otherwise spend looking for the place. Which means that if you must read. Move your eyes down.

5 Check out your venue. For columnar layout. do not allow your script to rob you of spontaneity or of immediate reaction. 6 Except when reading for radio or TV. Knowing that you have done so will give you confidence. these methods soon become easy and natural. ELEVEN NOTES. to cope with your nerves. 7 Number the pages of your script. Give a spare copy of your script to your secretary. your lectern and your notes. With practice. Try not to let your audience know that you are reading. You need to respond to your introduction… to make jokes. your equipment. The purpose of these rules on reading is to keep your presentation personal and to avoid the parrot-puppet syndrome. Avoid holding the sheets together by stapling them or by putting holes in the top corner or united with string clips. And not only will you avoid last minute problems but you will have that inner confidence that you need. for playback and for criticism – by others and especially by yourself. If there are words that don’t fit or sound clumsy or ‘aren’t you’. to bring with – and/or keep one in your pocket or case. ask the producers in advance to provide you with a recording – they will almost always happily agree. 8 Whenever possible.4 Prepare. record your speeches on video or audio. PROMPTS – AND READING 49 . If you broadcast. Then do not make it obvious when you turn to your script. use A4 and never small sheets. then change or omit them. or to something about your host that you have just been told. CARDS. Read and re-read your scripts out loud – then re-read it again. Make sure that you are comfortable with it. your assistant or your partner. or references to the venue.

I debated at the famous Norfolk Penal Colony. hours and days are notched up on the wall. with strict rules on timing. Last year. ‘Not at all. ‘I could have gone on listening to him for hours’ is a rare tribute. ‘Did I speak too long?’ enquired the managing director. Our opponents were Bill Flynn. they ignore both the minutes and the agony of their audience.’ his host responded. How much more common is its converse: ‘I thought he would never stop…’? As a post-graduate student at Harvard.TWELVE Timing Time is the enemy. in for manslaughter. your object is to capture. Judge and use it well. ‘You helped shorten the winter!’ Whether you are making a speech or a presentation. ‘that in this place time is served. We were briefed by Flynn: ‘Remember. not enjoyed! Minutes. if you overrun a sensible time you will empty the chamber. “to address a captive audience!” Maybe. American debating is a tough art. “It is a joy.’ he said. except when they are on their feet. and Buzzy Mulligan. But it’s no fun being one!’ Respect your audience and its immobility. to captivate and to convince your audience. To antagonise any other audience – especially 50 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . we welcomed two debaters from your Cambridge Union. Your audience is sensitive. please. and judged by both content and presentation. keeping only those who are themselves waiting to speak.” he said. Aloft in their private joy. This means keeping it alive. In Parliament. not boring it to death. The opener did not start off very well. My partner was Anthony Lloyd. Experienced business people are expert in time management. forger. now a distinguished Law Lord.

to listen. Concentrating on your subject and your audience. he followed the prayer book to the letter and included a splendid half-hour sermon. to invite and to answer questions. With grim determination. Get there in plenty of time and you can prepare yourself and. for your own sake. ‘Even if there is only one cow in the field. I once heard that brilliant US presidential candidate. ‘But you don’t have to give her the whole load of hay!’ In general.one that is either standing. When all was over. of course. If you are preparing a half-hour presentation. It is the only commodity that can never be recovered. Why not use the time to communicate. TWELVE TIMING 51 . and keep in touch with them while you speak.’ Anyway. You have enough stress to contend with without worrying about turning up late. five minutes left. Work out your timing in advance. to establish and to keep rapport? Your object is to win friends and to influence opinion or business? Then do your audience the courtesy of including their wishes in your time calculations. the smaller your audience.’ ‘Indeed she must. There is no greater thief than a man who steals the time of another. Adlai Stevenson. ‘she must still be fed. Do not wait for the gavel to descend or the light to flash or the next speaker to fidget. adapt it to your audience. apologising for turning up late at an election rally. you should arrive early. the shorter you should keep your speech or your presentation. it races for the speaker. If you are making a speech. Start by arriving on time. the vicar shook the sole listener’s hand most warmly. say. you will not notice the passing minutes.’ he said. You can always use any balance for questions. then ask the Chair – or even a colleague or confederate in the front row of your audience – to give you a signal when you have. Again. Plan the timing of your speech.’ replied the parishioner. A vicar found only one parishioner at his evensong service. Recognise that while time creeps slowly for the prisoner. or seated in discomfort – all you have to do is to speak too long. then plan for 20 minutes. always overestimate the time you need and you will seldom be wrong. warm up your audience. ‘I am deeply sorry.

and for its wish to breathe. you must consult the time with cunning. The skilled operator does not admit defeat by time. The next speaker whispered to the Chairman: ‘Can’t you stop him?’ The Chairman lifted his gavel but it slipped from his hand and hit his neighbour on the head. Remove the need for rush. There are questions to answer. Allow for audience participation and interruption. the audience should not know it. well within view? I use a watch with an alarm and set it for five minutes after my speech is due to end. like your drinks. someone else is added to the programme. If your watch or clock is not well within sight. I am happy that it has yet to sound off. When a professional runs out of time. Queen Elizabeth II has elevated the art of surreptitious watch-watching to its ultimate. What are the techniques to use if you find that – in spite of your efforts – time does run out. interruptions to cope with. (And only mix your metaphors. facing inwards. I’ll have to leave out a lot of what I had intended to tell you…’ • • Increase speed and race towards your end.A well-known politician hideously overran his time at a dinner. The amateur rushes. apologises and panics. the rule is inevitable – time runs out faster than you thought it would. Perhaps the previous speaker has gone on for too long. after due consideration!) 52 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Your glance at your wristwatch will be noted by your audience – which is at least less disconcerting than your audience looking at theirs. to shift around. Take the pressure and pace off yourself. to lift her cup or even in a simple gesture – time appears before her eyes – as it should before yours. As the poor man slid under the table he was heard to exclaim: ‘Hit me again! Hit me again! I can still hear him!’ Why not prop up your watch. Try to pack your misjudged quart into the pint of time left to you. and repetition for results? Whatever the reason. and to pause. I’ve run out of time. or you misjudged your own timing? DO NOT: • Say: ‘I’m sorry. She wears hers on her right wrist. When she holds out her arm – whether to shake hands.

you do finish early. If by some miracle. end ‘up’ – on a climax. If they do say ‘Wish he’d gone on longer’. You will probably need every extra minute. Above all. your surprised audience will rarely complain. • Then. that is a tribute which too few speechmakers ever receive! Enjoy! TWELVE TIMING 53 . however brief. prepare your speech for not more than three quarters of your allotted time – at the most.Instead DO: • • Sum up whatever you have said and then add: ‘Which leaves me with… and…’ Then summarise each remaining topic in a few moments (see Chapter 3).

Presenting yourself to the public does take courage and is certainly an acquired skill. foot-in-the-mouth. for instance – a crucial weapon in the armoury of timing (see Chapter 10). when their money can buy them time and tuition.’ he replied. style and success are synonymous. The space between words. the top. curtly. I do the work!’ What he really meant was: ‘I’m afraid of opening my mouth while I’m on my feet in case I make a fool of myself. and rules are made to be understood. especially endemic among people at or near. ‘Sorry.’ An education does no one any harm and many top people who missed it in their youth are unashamed to learn. and then only broken on purpose. I leave speeches to you fellows with the education. Your style should be unique. Take the orator’s pause.’ Another told me: ‘I came up the hard way. ‘Nice of you to ask. I invited a brilliant business tycoon to address a private dinner. So is the converse – the chip-on-the-shoulder. But the common idea that style will suffice without taught techniques is arrogant and ridiculous. But if you have that intangible. divine! 54 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . inexplicable magic – that style of your own – you should not fear its public display. sentences or thoughts should not be blurred by that most awful of sounds – ‘er’. To ‘err’ (or to ‘um’) is human – to pause. Printers and potters produce identical replicas. You and your friends in Parliament do the speaking. inferiority complex approach to public speaking in any form.THIRTEEN Style For the speechmaker. good or bad.

Say: ‘The Managing Director told us’ and not ‘We were told by the Managing Director’. then it will take me at least two hours…’ Stylists are as brief as their impact and their message permits.) It follows that you should use the services of speechwriters only with great care. direct and lucid in conversation should allow their speeches to deteriorate into longwinded and indirect blather. to comprehend and to accept your words and their intent. ‘We received from him…’ The active voice places the emphasis on those who are being active. but knock it into your own shape. in football or in philosophy or politics – so those who seek success as speakers will project their personal individuality. for that matter. Plus the use of humour. Or: ‘He gave us…’ and not. Be yourself (Chapter 8). extend and improve your own style.’ he rumbled.The art of successful speaking is to know the case you wish to present. to understand and to use the basic skills which will enable your audience to hear. from the skills of the construction of a speech or presentation. Another technique of good style is to use the active and not the passive voice. you are probably better off with a researcher. Just as there is no one successful style in business – or. True education and the best training teach students – however mighty – to make the best of their talents. Remember another of Churchill’s dicta: ‘If I have to make a two hour speech. Unless you can find a writer who can step into your style as well as your mind. ‘I can prepare it in ten minutes. Use a ferret to produce your raw material. If the speech or presentation is worth your while to make. to the art of the destruction of the arguments of others. Every would-be excellent speaker needs education in the basic skills of speechmaking and presentation. (See Chapter 1 for the Four Questions. Training in the use of these skills should expand. the moment they climb to their feet. They range from voice production to microphone technique. their individual personality. in athletics or in art. If it is a ten minute speech. THIRTEEN STYLE 55 . and to stamp the process with your own particularity. There is no reason why people who are blunt. it is also worth your own time to prepare (Chapter 1). They are universal.

’ says Polonius in Hamlet. ‘This above all. And once you know how and get used to it. ‘to thine own self be true…’ If truth is the life of style.No presenter of ideas or maker of speeches has ever excelled Shakespeare. Without them. being yourself is easier. Enthusiasm and Excitement. With any one of them. 56 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Remember what we call the Three E’s: Energy. insincerity is its death. you are almost sure to fail. you should succeed.

Do the same when you are on your feet. If you do not think that your wit is amusing.FOURTEEN Wit and Humour* Everyone loves a story. do you? Then apply the same rule in public. Make sure that your humour suits you and your style. avoid the offensive. a drink or a chat with friends. you will tell stories in your own way – and that fit that way. when you are joking in private. puns or word play. You will relax and laugh together. you adapt your humour to them. to your audience and to the occasion. Bob Monkhouse: • • • • Use stories. Again. when you are with friends. So target your audience and do the same for them in public. FOURTEEN WIT AND HUMOUR 57 . Finally and most importantly: when you tailor your humour to yourself. a good raconteur. If you are enjoying a cup of tea. jokes or wit that you think are funny. You may enjoy epigrams. do not offend them. Equally. Use humour that suits you. page 260. And anyone can be or become. business companions or strangers. to their mood and to their interests. Above all. Or you may be a good mimic or a specialist in dialects. you will tell them tales. Just remember the four rules of that brilliant comedian. then you cannot hope to pass on pleasure that you yourself do not feel. Match your humour to your audience – amuse them. FOOTNOTE * See Introduction to Retellable Tales. you don’t tell funny stories unless you yourself enjoy them. In private.

said the caller. For example. acquired over centuries of persecution. Charles Brown. So if you are a lawyer. but are rarely amused when the same tales are told by others. start with one against your own side and then those you prod at your opponents will be acceptable. Poles. with the rare exception of known friends like Bob Monkhouse. It’s part of our armour. with a mixed audience. Jews. but if you introduce the blue or risqué tale into solemn or sombre occasions or. If in doubt. infinitely adaptable tale. take the following. Scotsmen. He’s left the bank. you will soon find that we poke merciless fun at our own foibles. Newfoundlanders. I do not usually like them being told by other people. poke fun at commercial oddities. I have a vast selection of Jewish stories. Americans. I’m sorry sir.’ he asked. if you are in business. generally.’ 58 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Arabs or Greeks – each may delight in telling stories about themselves. We cause no injury to ourselves when we make jokes at our own expense. if you are an accountant. the manager. But. Mr Brown left here about two weeks ago. If you enjoy the friendship of Jewish people.’ ‘Thank you’. and if you want to tell political tales. keep it clean. To exaggerate the accent of your own nation or ethnic group may be fine. please?’ Operator: ‘Mr Brown isn’t the manager any more. the same voice: ‘Can I speak to Mr Charles Brown. tell legal jokes. Irishmen.An off-colour story may suit the stag dinner. A few minutes later. which I tell with relish. The operator replied: ‘Oh. you invite that awful moment of embarrassed silence which we all recognise in the speeches of others and must try to avoid for ourselves. Be especially careful with any race or ethnic minority story. To copy someone else’s is almost always a mistake. ‘Can I speak to the manager. A man phoned his bank. take legal jokes and adapt them for accountants.

Pretend it wasn’t intended to be funny. when you know that you’re going to get the same answer?’ Caller: ‘Oh. appear confident. it’s because I so enjoy hearing the answer!’ Now I’ve heard that one used about the person phoning No. Never say: ‘Which reminds me of the old story about…’ Instead: ‘Isn’t that just like the classic tale about…’ You’ll not find TV announcements inviting you to watch ‘an old film’. even in the face of defeat. and carry on. or from the urgent and the topical. 11 Downing Street. show confidence and retain it. If a joke falls flat. the occasion and your own race. Or face up to the situation and say: ‘Sorry… I thought it was funny…’ FOURTEEN WIT AND HUMOUR 59 . How do you put your humour across to your audience? First. to ask the same question?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘If you don’t mind my asking. sir. Believe in the comedy or you will never induce your audience to do so. asking to speak to a recently departed Prime Minister… No.’ Operator: ‘Aren’t you the same gentleman who’s phoned up twice in the last half hour. never mind. Adapt the joke to fit yourself and your style. why do you keep phoning up to ask the same question. colour or creed – and to your audience – and poke the fun at yourself. 10 Downing Street. to speak to a recently replaced Chancellor of the Exchequer… It is usually best to use it against someone in your own profession. Don’t say: ‘I was going to tell you the story about…’ and then tell it. The best humour is immediate. the same voice: ‘I’d like to speak to the manager. Think on your feet. It will always be: ‘Another chance to see that great classic…’ And be careful not to spoil a joke by starting with the punchline. I am. half apologetically. So be confident. Extract it from the surroundings and the people present. please.‘Thank you very much.’ Five minutes later. Mr Charles Brown.

the witticism or the humorous thrust. I sat at the feet of Mr Justice Frankfurter. ‘I just say to them: “I’m sorry you didn’t like that one. He arrived late. As a young student at Harvard. Listen to first-class comedians at work. Timing. They know when to wait… and when to rush forward. You can even borrow their jokes. As a scriptwriter told me: ‘God gave you eyes? Then plagiarise!’ The best stories have at least one sting in their tails. I once asked that famous comedian. humorous ideas should emerge as you speak. He replied: ‘Three things. But never panic. Otherwise. If you cannot think of. 60 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . The formal tale has its place. the witty aside. You have a key occasion coming up? Mull over my ‘Retellable Tales’. ‘What are you doing. had you lightened its dullness with shafts of light and wit. or find a funny story for your needs. Change course. Max Bygraves. This means that the joke. My hostess said that she had found him sitting in his car outside. that’s easy. But it also means using the pause (see Chapter 10). If the first climax draws laughter and turns out to be merely a prelude.– or ‘What is the problem? Your sense of humour or mine?’ Or: ‘Sorry about that – I’ll do better next time. please make sure that your speech is shorter than it would have been. the colourful remark – they are more important. but don’t give up. Now I’ll tell you another one you won’t like!” ‘ So timing is all important. never mind. Timing. Use and adapt them to yourself. perhaps. then when the real punchline hits you’ll know that the story has been a success. must be well placed in relation to the speech and the mood of the audience.’ Use whatever method suits your style. But the bright phrase.’ he replied. Then we met at a party. And timing. Felix?’ she enquired. your occasion and your audience.’ I then asked him: ‘What do you do when one of your jokes falls flat?’ ‘Oh. The laughter should build up and the audience expect the laughs. Or go serious. what marks out the really professional entertainer from the amateur. They get their effect through timing. So learn from them and copy.

Please do not think that because a joke or a story. If it’s your style. All the rest are variations. they will reject it. Conversation and humour – jokes and ideas – prepare and adapt them for your audience. in Washington the next. Should you laugh at your own jokes? That depends on your style. or by joke sheets. One day you hear a joke in London’s Parliament. A comedian suggested that there are only two basic themes for humour – the banana skin and the mother-in-law. or text. FOURTEEN WIT AND HUMOUR 61 . a Senator says: ‘Did you hear the one about…?’ – which is miraculously the same. ‘I was only joking… please don’t be offended… I never thought you’d take it seriously…’ Straight-faced humour has its place. or they may take you seriously. Which can be disastrous. You should certainly let your audience know that you are joking. The miracle is often produced by the internet. the great man replied. happens to be known to your audience. The speed at which jokes and stories cross the world is that of transmitted sound. or e-mail. sent out by the dozen at the press of a key.‘Just preparing my conversation’.

like drugs. Over-indulgence may cause death. Otherwise. 62 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . About the only time that deliberate exaggeration helps the presentation of a serious case is when that case is thin. but should be deliberate. ‘Brutus is an honourable man…’ Or remember Martin Luther King’s great speech. ‘I have a dream…’ (Chapter 61). you can always sing it. ‘If something is too silly to say.’ said Sir Robert Menzies. ‘then it’s just possible that if you shout loud enough. Repetition is vital (Chapter 2). thump the table with sufficient force.’ announces the operatic librettist. may be highly beneficial in the correct quantity and dosage. then Prime Minister of Australia. but a matchstick man. a fat head on a puny frame – that’s different. your exaggerations are likely to boomerang. but I shall love her till I die. exaggerate sufficiently. • Reference to the speech immediately preceding: ‘That magnificent and moving oration that we have just heard… that tugged at our heart strings and must now open our purses…’ Words. a creation of skin and bone.’ says the skilled speaker. you may numb the minds of your audience. Horrible examples: • ‘I only saw her passing by. ‘If logic and argument are surplus. There is nothing funny about a thin man.FIFTEEN Overstatement and repetition Hyperbole means exaggeration for effect. Shakespeare did it best. enthusing at a dinner in honour of the Queen.’ This type of behaviour is the last resort of the advocate and should only be used in extremis. to make people laugh at you and to ruin such case as you have.

always repeat. First. you give an Example. above all…’ English is a rich language.Repeating other people’s points is usually a mistake: ‘Mr Jones has put all the arguments which I had wished to put forward…’ Try instead: ‘Mr Jones has put forward his case with immense skill. They supplement sound with vision (see Chapter 23). signs of speeches made without thought. it’s a list. you state your Position. Then there are speakers who repeat their points in the same words. But there are several aspects of his remarks which. consult a thesaurus – all speakers should have one on their desks or bookshelves. I think. ‘To summarise. The right gestures add variety and meaning. never repeat lines. Most well-constructed speeches should begin with a summary of what is coming. When you speak. Do always repeat lists. Visual aids are a different form of repetition. boring clichés. If you must repeat yourself. need further emphasis. If you cannot think of synonyms. First… second… third… and. Use your fingers to demonstrate. When you write. Prepare your PREP in advance. combining mixed metaphor with cliché. and I commend it to the meeting. That sort of introduction. Third. followed by a full-blooded exposition of those points in the body of the speech and another brief summary at the end. at least try not to do so in current.’ ‘I will not bore you by reploughing the furrows so thoroughly covered by Mr Jones. we must take the following steps. then: if we are to achieve success. if you remember the key mnemonic – you do your PREP. Then you give your Reason. FIFTEEN OVERSTATEMENT AND REPETITION 63 . When you give your PREP. Your listeners will not absorb them first time round. Fourth and finally. you repeat your Position.’ Watch out. You can use it at the start and at the end of your presentation. Boredom is on its way. Leave the meeting if you can. ‘So I repeat – first… second… and third…’ To summarise your message into what is known as a ‘sound bite’ is simple. is a sure sign of impending audience distress.

but let me repeat it for you…’ Instead. follow that if you can… Joe has said everything that I intended to say. 64 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . use deliberate repetition: ‘Thank you.Never start by saying: ‘Well. Let me summarise your key points…’ All top speechmakers repeat themselves – and sometimes. Joe. other people – but only deliberately.

sensitivity is the key to stylish success. convince them with their themes. After all. take care never to demean them. unexplained terminology and unnecessary complications – especially in territory well known to you. enthuse them with their message. • Assist in recognising those people who would like to ask questions but are shy to do so. Mr X may be new to his department or Ms Y who should have prepared the ground before your talk. • Enable you to invite audience intervention or participation and make the best use of it. may not have done so. to flatter them – if only by asking: ‘Have I covered the points that you want?’ Or: ‘How would you deal with this in your organisation?’ Or: ‘Is there anything that you would like to add. because they are afraid of appearing ignorant. coax them into concentration. From the moment you enter the room. respect them. Just as any politicians worth their salt welcome hecklers. for instance: • Guide you to the top people – so that you greet them. and. where possible. or presentation in the direction you wish – especially if it has veered on to an unexpected and unwanted course. • Help you to avoid jargon. SIXTEEN TACT AND SENSITIVITY 65 . Do not presume that others have too much knowledge. Watch for indications of bewilderment.SIXTEEN Tact and sensitivity First-class presenters react to their audience. They often have the most to offer. Bring out the best from the reticent. It will. They watch them with care. but not to any or all of your listeners. so speakers should be pleased with interventions which enliven their task and reveal their listeners’ interests and anxieties. Chairman?’ • Help you to steer the conversation. discussion.

• Help you to know when your audience are getting restless or inattentive. the company. or ‘Janner of Brimstone’. ‘that we are approaching our time limit. and theme… or change of rhythm or style. introduce a story or a joke. or simply say: ‘Have you any questions on anything I’ve explained so far?’ • Sharpen your tact – so that. but thinking towards your next sentence. I’m pleased to expand on that important concept. Be prepared to move ahead on your notes.’ Take the blame. if someone asks a question which shows that he or she was not listening. for instance. Make sure that you write down any names which you may have to quote – the Chair. you say: ‘I’m sorry. I expect: ‘Jenner of Branston’.’ you might say. ask them how they would like their names pronounced. As Lord Janner of Braunstone. Many people are very touchy about their names. An apology tells recipients that they were right and you wrong. My fault. Use your notes (Chapter 11). You will know that their time is on their minds. ‘Granville’ and even ‘Gretzel’. the guest – and that you spell and pronounce them correctly (Chapter 11). so that you can alter course. or ‘My fault. idea. Let me show you on a chart…’. and either advance to your close or involve the timewatcher (Chapter 12). ‘I am sorry Mr Brown. apologise. If you go wrong and cause unintentional offence. If in doubt. style or speed. the managing director. Let me try to explain again’. to discard cards. Thank you for that question. but I was glad that ‘Janner of Brainstorm’ was a deliberate insult by a friend! Train yourself to think ahead. or ‘It’s a very complicated concept and I am so sorry that I did not succeed in explaining it clearly. so that you are not only watching your audience’s reaction to what you are saying at the time. invite your listeners to ask questions. It raises them in their own estimation and does you no harm. If your listeners look at their watches. I’m used to ‘Grenville’. But are there any other points which you would like me to deal with?’ 66 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . watch yours.

Otherwise do not blame them if they take as little interest in you and your message as you do in them and their reactions. then do inject enthusiasm into your words and make them as infectious as possible. I could see his listeners saying to themselves: ‘I wonder whether I would be one of the staff that would go. ‘We could help you to reduce your staff by 20 per cent if you buy one of our computers.’ He lost the contract. and its absence an insurmountable obstacle to success. the greater the temptation to treat them as remote. But when you are eyeball-to-eyeball.’ he announced.I once heard a computer salesman explaining to a major company in a depressed area why they should spend money on his equipment. sensitivity is the presenter’s top asset. These sensitivities apply to private as well as to public presentations – from person to person to a platform address. Sensitivity matters. If the essence of a fine presentation lies in self-control leading into control of your audience. eye contact is usually both easier and relaxed (Chapter 7). If the intent of your presentation is to enthuse. The larger your audience. SIXTEEN TACT AND SENSITIVITY 67 . but the greater your need to relate your sensitivities to those of individual listeners.

attributed to Mr Gorbachev. from the careless mouths of your opponents. Mr Jones!’ 68 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . but you may still pepper your speech with apt quotations from the thoughts of others. You compound that error when you are not even reading your own original thoughts. To read someone else’s words at length is rarely a good alternative to putting thoughts and ideas into your own words. the statement is not one worthy of. the person on whom you have fathered it! In some instances though. ‘Today. of course. Mr Jones condemns amalgamation. Use quotes only if they are thoroughly apt. you can seldom go wrong with: ‘I once heard Tony Blair remark on television that…’ or. You are not engaged in stage soliloquy. Keep quotations short. The best quotations come. that…’ Who is to prove you wrong – unless. or appropriate for. it is sometimes better to adopt the arguments without stating their origin. of course. It is usually a mistake to read speeches – or even lengthy parts of them (Chapter 11). For instance. when trying to convince a British audience to adopt a foreign practice. you could try: ‘Was it George Bernard Shaw who said…?’ Or if the attribution is to someone in your lifetime.SEVENTEEN Quotes and statistics Your audience have come to hear you. We cannot survive as a small independent unit”? None other than my friend. If in doubt. just two years ago – and I quote: “Our future depends on achieving amalgamation. your speech will not be strengthened by putting the statement in quotation marks and as coming from the particular author. But who was it who said. ‘Did you read the saying. To quote at length from memory is showing off. if you can. Attribute a quotation to its true author.

as well as their origin. guv. visual aids (Chapter 25). do ensure that your documentation is itself clear and full. So steer your way between the cardinal sins of talking down to your audience on the one hand and attributing undue knowledge on the other. A queue of graduates applied for a job with a firm of city accountants. sir?’ He got the job. Recognising that some human beings absorb by ear and others by eye. Mind how you use statistics.’ The accountant replied: ‘How does that figure compare with your requirement in the previous year?’ Do not presume that others are as conversant with figures or accounts as you are yourself. six months ago. before. to stay alive. The best you can do is to make that insinuation. consider whether to provide all or any part of it. If you are including quotations. If you have something to say today. Finally. then set out their dates and details.’ Until one applicant replied: ‘What number did you have in mind. Each was asked: ‘What is twice one?’ Each replied: ‘Two. where appropriate.Avoid quotations from yourself: ‘Did I not say. The more detail you put into the notes. or understand a profit and loss account. An amazing number of business people cannot even read a balance sheet. your figures must at least appear to be accurate. ‘I need a fiver a day. but most require a combination of both. that…?’ Or ‘May I repeat what I said at our trade conference last month. A beggar asked a passing accountant for a hand-out. supplement your words with paper and use figures or graphs – and. explain. the less you should need to include in your presentation. to your wisdom before the event. If your presentation is to succeed. and accepting also that your audience is far more likely to be innumerate than illiterate. SEVENTEEN QUOTES AND STATISTICS 69 . to your status as a person whose advice should be taken. Let someone else point to your marvellous consistency.’ Self-quotation is generally pompous and egotistical (Chapter 21). As with all other documentation. during or after your presentation – which is an important component of Question 4 – How? (Chapter 1). Everyone knows that they are in the same category as lies and damned lies. say it. If in doubt.

If it were not for Mr Brown. I thank all of you for giving them the support. It is always hard to criticise or to attack a speaker who treats you with courtesy. is a sample. then. But most of us get upset if our merit is not recognised or if thanks are withheld – especially if credit due to us goes to others. ‘First. this gathering would never have been organised at all. even when it is not strictly due.’ 70 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . the help and the backing without which they could not have put forward this constructive project. Here. If not for Mr White. it is hardly surprising that it has gathered momentum. And now it is up to us to help them by applying our constructive minds to the scheme that they have created. my thanks. Or: ‘Under the guidance of Mr Green. this project has made great headway.EIGHTEEN Credits Few speechmakers object to being thanked or resent receiving credit. the company would be in grave difficulty. In paying tribute to them.’ ‘Now. If not for Ms Black. With Mr Brown as treasurer and Ms Blue as honorary secretary. So good speakers are as liberal with their praise of others as they are parsimonious with their praise of themselves. Listeners who feel that you recognise and are prepared publicly to laud their worth are more likely to be receptive to the excellence of your arguments. the scheme we are about to discuss would never have been born. respect and appreciation. generalised opening (see also Chapter 3). let’s look at the project.’ Your audience is softened up. They are ready to listen to constructive criticism from you.

the work has been done. to the modest mind that ‘wishes to remain anonymous but must not go without being thanked… Those of us who are lucky enough to realise just how and by whom. It is worth more to them than the advertisement that their clients had to pay for. who only want the scheme to succeed. or the praise of a product in the general pages of a newspaper. thanks.’ An editorial mention. tact – and all designed to prepare the ground for your message. and there is no shame in a swift strike from the rear. the creator whose idea. the occasional éminences grises – the spectral backroom people who take as much pride in praise going to others whom they have built up as does the father who basks in the reflected glory of his child’s exploits. the doer of good deeds who goes unrecognised. But even they usually appreciate the oblique reference to the power that made the throne secure. And the ‘plug’ in the course of a speech and as part of it is often more valuable to the maker and more appreciated by its subject than the formal and expected vote of thanks. EIGHTEEN CREDITS 71 . It is not only armies that often do best when they advance from the side.’ Flattery? Certainly – but legitimate. coming from people like us. But even that is a weapon not to be despised in the campaign to get your own way. are public relations people’s delight. listen to someone who ignores them. We all appreciate that their enthusiasm is increased by suggestions. and with every appearance of sincerity. Beware the benefactor scorned. of course. Praise? Yes. There exist. indeed. To test the importance of these rules. salute our silent and modest friends – we are grateful to them.‘I know they welcome criticism designed to advance their work. I am sure that they will give careful consideration to our suggestions. Credit. invention or brainchild is attributed to another.

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Part Three Language .

What not to get wrong. Now. So – let’s begin with: Certainty. and – I think. You might think about returning the book to the shop. This section – new to this Seventh Edition – provides you with a selection of avoidable horrors. without doubt. That I should have done some thinking in advance but had not. I explain how to get your speechmaking and media presentations correct by saying and doing what is right.In most of this book. suppose that I were to say to you: ‘I think we’ll start with… ‘ Or ‘I think it would be best for the first chapter to be… ‘ Or ‘I think we’ll start – now’ – you would. Identifying common traps and explaining how to avoid or weave around them. shelf or library. 74 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . But above all: here are the world’s worst and most common words and phrases – with acceptable alternatives. rightly come to the conclusion that I was uncertain. uncertainty.

I now turn to… NINETEEN CERTAINLY. then you show confidence. then you would know and not merely believe. Now listen to any programme on any channel on radio or TV and hear how the words ‘think’ and ‘believe’ are misused.’ ‘I think that you should… What is your view?’ Or: ‘I believe in one God.NINETEEN Certainty. Whatever does not. you use. you ditch. AND – I THINK 75 . uncertainty. Father Almighty… ‘ You may believe in the policies of your company… the tenets of your faith… the aims of your political party. Start with body language (Chapter 7). of course. Anything that adds to that perception. If you were. proper circumstances for the use of both ‘think’ and ‘believe’. Again: ‘I believe that… ‘ This is your belief but you are not sure about it. There are. You sit back… stand back on your heels… keep your head and chin up and watch your eye contact. If you say: ‘I am confident that… ‘ Or ‘We know that… ‘Or ‘There is no doubt that… ‘. Next come the words. Fair enough. you are impliedly saying: ‘I am not sure… ‘ You immediately indicate the lack of certainty. and – I think A prime purpose of any serious presentation is to convince. But if you start with: ‘I think… ‘. UNCERTAINTY. which I noted in just a few minutes of listening and viewing: • • • • ‘I think that they think that if I do this we will understand…’ ‘I think the point is that…’ ‘I think it is interesting that…’ ‘I think that because people will think that…’ Without further ado. You may say: ‘I think that the best step for our company would be… but I will understand if you do not agree. Here are some horrible examples. To convince your audience of your authority and sincerity.

You must not.TWENTY Clichés and pomposities The following is a collection of words. I am not able to find alternatives to the subject premises… Thereupon and subsequent on that. If you are guilty of using any of the following abominations. but it is my belief that the unfortunate juxtaposition of certain unrelated circumstances has caused manifold problems in our operation which meant that we were unable to preclude the possibility of the leakage of potentially confidential information. without delay. You will thereby not only improve your own image but do a great kindness to your listeners. one has endeavoured. inflicted on undeserving audiences by speakers who should have known better but did not. please excise them from your speeches and vocabulary. Some of them have already appeared in earlier chapters. to achieve an alteration in the specification… • The reason being that we have knowledge of skills of which he is deficient… • It is my belief that the unfortunate juxtaposition of certain unrelated circumstances has caused manifold problems in the Stock Exchange… • • We must push forward the frontiers of… Currently. as you will doubtless be aware. Thank you for coming along. I am happy to repeat them. with potentially grave and unwarranted consequences… • • • We are going to let you go because of capacity under-utilisation… Currently. I know that you have been under-communicated with in the past. • LadiesandGentlemen. at the moment and here and now – in other words. at this point in time… 76 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER .

we have… In a number of instances. • • • Previously to be used for… Subsequently. as the case may be… I have to tell you that we have a policy that… The times that we are presently in… TWENTY CLICHÉS AND POMPOSITIES 77 . we are unable to preclude the possibility of… To be honest. we were concerned that the exterior of subject premises were… • We are endeavouring to accomplish the task. having regard to the consequences of… Subsequent to that. however. • • • • • • • We are increasing our share in the vacancy market… Currently. but we do not have the criteria with which to perform. I must tell you therefore… Frankly.• • • In the short passage of time… She is enabling to keep… I do not believe that I am in the full extent of knowledge on the holiday market. one will endeavour to… As you will doubtless be aware. consequently required to purchase… We have under-managed the utilisation of resources… We are of the belief that… Let me come to where we are coming from… The fact of the matter is that I have to say that… I thought it important to tell you where we are coming from so that you may know where we are coming from… • • • • The position is now as I understand it at the moment that… I think that before we come to… or not. we availed ourselves of the opportunity to… Following upon the restructuring and rationalisation of our work force… • • • • • • We are.

I’ll hand over to someone who knows far more about the matter than I do… Thank you… Thank you very much.• • • • I have the desire to… I am not privy to that information. I would like to state finally that. so without further ado. it’s approximately… Our anticipation is that… • • The matter under discussion today is… In conclusion. 78 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . By way of illustration… Nevertheless. having regard to the consequences of… • • • Finally and in conclusion. we will increase the head count of our sales force… Currently. therefore. I would like to state that… I have saved my final words for the end… You’ve heard enough from me.

‘Fall in love with yourself and you are in for a lifetime of romance!’ Fine. I repeat. and are asked to give your impressions. ‘I once met… in New York’. offices or workshops similar to your own. And they restrain their use of the first person singular. and if TWENTY ONE I’ – THE VERTICAL PRONOUN 79 . But you do not need to alert your listeners to your excellence any more than you should to your failures. if you wish to lighten the darkness of some drab subject with a personal anecdote – then go ahead. perhaps. These categories sub-divide. anecdotes and tales from their own experience. Oscar Wilde once remarked. but do not do your courting in public. Firstclass speakers treat the sound of their own voices as a drug to be taken in moderation. of your board. at home or abroad. They tell stories. Do not push your luck too far by telling what you are. If you are asked to give advice. Fail to do so and they may think up the idea for themselves. factories. rather than what you know. do you really need to praise your own success? To tell tales of the trade. if you have done the rounds of businesses. To do so for yourself is to court ridicule. So let’s start with the most important pronoun – ‘I’. you must draw on your own experience and a joke against yourself may be highly successful. Leave it to your introducer to sing your praises.TWENTY ONE ‘I’ – the vertical pronoun Language matters. ‘These are my views. If you have been invited to speak in the hope that you will have something interesting to tell. then you are lucky. your partners or colleagues. You have probably been asked to address a particular audience for one of two reasons. Naturally. if you wish to express views and to make it clear that they are yours and not those of your organisation or. but they use ‘you’s instead of ‘I’s. ‘I was told the tale of…’. Either the people wanted to hear you or they thought they ought to want to do so. Do so and they will not believe you.

But unless you are very great. A friend once said to that famous TV presenter. Chairman. you are on show. ‘So I asked myself: “My God. Or try: ‘After all those kind words. your services or your backing. ‘I fully appreciate that your intention is. to honour my company/ my organisation/my entire Board (or as the case may be). but when I was spending a weekend recently with Lord and Lady Smith in their country estate…’ sound terrible. you will know where to place the responsibility. I don’t like to drop names. through me.’ All fair. We are deeply grateful to you. Whatever the reason. ‘That’s just what the Queen Mum said to me last week!’ The remarkable Lord Montgomery of Alamein’s first-person anecdotes were accepted because of his undoubted greatness. Robin Day: ‘You know.’ he said. your support. Play up to it.” came the answer from above. Maybe your hosts want your money. ‘I could not decide what to do next. you must be the worst name dropper in the world. Help to keep it that way by making your speech extremely modest. Or even: ‘Was it not I who said…?’ But ‘When I last saw the Prime Minister…’. what is to be done now?” “General. people do like to be given inside information.’ ‘I’m afraid you’re right.’ you might continue.they turn out to be wrong. Be grateful that you are to be honoured and not reviled. do don the cloak of apparent modesty.’ he replied. you might never give. I can hardly wait to hear myself speak!’ Or: ‘Many thanks. or ‘Now. in a less cordial or obligated moment. Maybe they are simply hoping to lubricate you enough to extract useful information which.’ 80 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . I heard him describing his battle tactics to an army audience. for that wonderful obituary!’ ‘It is very good of you to honour me in this way. “You decide.” So I did!’ Of course. As a young soldier. I have every confidence in you. Mr Chairman. All this becomes even more important when you are a guest of honour – which is not necessarily the same as an honoured guest.

famous for her good deeds. instead of the complete egotist some had thought you were. and always on happy occasions. Give them as much inside information as you decently can. tell them about the work your organisation is doing. If you are being honoured for long service. tonight and always.’ Turn to the Chair. often. And may this organisation/company/ institute (etc. TWENTY ONE I’ – THE VERTICAL PRONOUN 81 . Everyone honourably mentioned is flattered. Your hearers will tell you so – and mean it. then reminisce. If you mention individuals in your audience. ‘You are lucky to have in your active ranks. acknowledge your audience… You have produced a resounding ending to a good speech. Mrs Jewel. Poke fun at yourself and no one will be offended (see Chapter 14). But those unmentioned may be offended. I have enjoyed being with you. You must achieve that all-important informal touch.) flourish for many years to come – under your leadership. In parliamentary language.’ The guest who gives honour will receive it. ‘I thank you again for the great kindness and generosity you have shown me. I hope that we shall meet again.In the body of the speech. To sum up: substitute the most vital word in the English language – ‘you’ – for the vertical pronoun. The ice is melted and you are revealed as one of the people. Your audience are your friends. ‘The ‘you’s have it’! And the best route to joyful acceptance is self-deprecatory humour. Mr Reginald Property… Mr James Industry… and that lady. beware of those you omit.

true. which can cloak even the most uninspiring and unoriginal thoughts. Your jargon is my cliché. or ‘basically’ or ‘actually’ (Chapter 23) or cliché or jargon .TWENTY TWO Jargon. grammar and brevity My shorthand is your jargon. Recognise your own jargon. you could harness that flexibility of language. use it only among your colleagues or with others afflicted by the same verbiage. Consult any thesaurus and you will find that there is no need to use the ‘common. And translate unfamiliar acronyms. I recommend a penalty of £1 for every ‘um’ or ‘er’. Clitch after clitch after clitch!’ Drive your clitches out of your spitches! English is a rich language. 82 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . hackneyed. was asked about someone’s speech. chide. When Labour Leader. Can your partner recognise your jargon. Clichés are once-sparkling expressions or bright truths repeated to the brink of boredom. sage. that charm and originality. Unlike your secretary. he would often reply: ‘Boring. platitudes. reprove and help you to avoid it? Or employ your older children in the hunt for the unacceptably obtuse. Whenever sentiments expressed may be ‘wise. understood by insiders. Do not inflict it on those who are strange to it. admitted. Avoid both. You might even consider a modest payment. Few of us notices the familiar because habit dulls recognition. Ernest Bevin. Jargon is specialised speech. received. they are likely to be jargonfree. recognised’. Here’s an area in which your spouse or partner may be more useful than your secretary. point it out. Once you have noticed it. trite or commonplace’.

labour. ‘Blood. Given the choice between two words. one long and the other short. Brown and me were most impressed with our welcome. your paragraphs and your speeches short. Or: ‘Thank you on behalf of Mr White and I for your kindness’ cannot be correct when you leave out Mr White. my lord.Now apply these rules to some clichés particularly prevalent in the business world.’ he replied. TWENTY TWO JARGON. crisp word is almost always better than the cumbersome alternative. Try starting a separate sentence with ‘And’. Keep your sentences.’ If this sort of problem worries you. If in doubt. PLATITUDES. try instead: ‘Me must go’ – and the error becomes obvious. The Judge asked the convicted villain: ‘Have you anything to say before I pronounce sentence?’ ‘Yes. the soul of success. pray?). If you are inclined to say: ‘You and me must go’. GRAMMAR AND BREVITY 83 . keep it short!’ Keep your sentences short. Break them up. toil. as you steer it through troubled economic waters.’ Likewise. change the sentences around and you will soon find whether your usage is or is not correct. ‘Between you and I’ is wrong. and even more important the ‘in addition tos’. discuss it with a friend whose grammar is impeccable. If you are not sure about the precise meaning of a word. tears and sweat…’ – not. ‘For Gawd’s sake. the ‘howevers’ and the ‘consequentlys’. The brief. The next essential is brevity. Get rid of the ‘ands’ and the ‘buts’. choose the shorter. either avoid it or consult a dictionary. So is ‘Dr. ‘But’ or ‘So’. ‘haemorrhages. What about grammar? The most common grammatical error is misuse of the first person. ‘On my own behalf… on my behalf… on behalf of Mr White’ – but obviously not ‘on behalf of I’. Churchill was the master of brevity. and who ‘heads up’ your department? (It’s head down. lachrymosity and perspiration…’!(Chapter 59). Take the ‘track record’ of your company or firm (what ‘track’. when you are at the helm of your ship of state.) The best way to avoid jargon and clichés is to choose the best words. ‘You and me must give some careful thought to this problem.

‘Talked to Death!’ was the caption. his manager snapped back.Punctuate your speeches through pauses and emphasis. remember the classic cartoon of the politician being carried out of the US Senate on a stretcher. A management trainee was asked whether he needed help with a job. He replied: ‘I believe that I am perfectly capable of carrying out this operation without assistance from others. anywhere in the business. As for the speech itself.’ ‘Just say “I can do it on my own”’. President Roosevelt once complained bitterly about a sign in the wartime White House: ‘Upon departing. 84 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . kindly extinguish all lights when vacating the premises’. Give yourself and your audience time to think. The corpse might as easily be emerging from any one of those daily thousands of meetings. He ordered the signs changed to: ‘Please switch off all lights when you leave’. political or social world.

in place of silence – has robbed the words of their significance.TWENTY THREE Actually. The most intrusive. basically and essentially. I make no apology for including this chapter with some additions and reminders. the ‘um’ is its top enemy. we actually want to move this project forward… ‘ Even a series of ‘ums’ are better than that. And the insertion of ‘ums’ is a vast temptation – lately too often overtaken by ‘um words’. we are trying to transform the company. ‘We actually came to the conclusion that if we actually want to do this. But lazy use – usually. Because so many people repeat so often so many of the unacceptable sounds and phrases. essentially… kinda… sorta… like… So let’s recap on some of the horrors mentioned in this Part. then we would actually need to transform the company…’ Then there’s: ‘basically’. you’ll hear them used together: ‘Basically and essentially. BASICALLY. that’s what it’s about. Harold Macmillan described ‘the pause’ as ‘the single greatest art’ in speechmaking (Chapter 10). All three were once words with useful meaning. If you want to emphasise the fact that you turned up.’ You either are or are not trying to transform it. Conversely. then you can use the pause and the lift. You will often hear ‘actually’ used twice or more in a sentence. Silence is harder to handle than words. ‘Essentially’. Again: ‘Essentially’ adds no more than basically. Then ‘basically’ you want to explain what you are doing. basically. TWENTY THREE ACTUALLY. Instead of saying: ‘We came’. ESSENTIALLY… KINDA… SORTA… LIKE… 85 . you will hear: ‘We actually came’. Often. ‘So – we came’. ‘Basically. Either you came or you did not. meaningless and hideous are: actually.

and get partners or children to fine you each time they catch you saying the awful words and phrases. You will soon adapt your speech to your pocket. kinda sorta quickly! 86 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . play back the tape. Later. Always: ‘no problem’. yeh?’ Sadly. I have run many successful campaigns. your child or your assistant. Especially amongst younger people. It doesn’t mean much. Do you really mean it? Well. It just so happens. there’s no end to them. there are three more horrors. you’ll sort of get the hang of it.’ It’s too often: ‘ Absolutely’. yeh?’ ‘You have to satisfy your colleagues. So. hope actually breathes eternal in the human breast. people don’t say: ‘Yes. Or. sometimes as a statement and sometimes as a question. a pound for each time that he or she catches you using any of these words (page 82). ‘They try to trip you up. Essentially. No ‘with pleasure… ‘ or ‘delighted to help…’ or even ‘yes. Still. like…’ Which is ‘sorta’ irritating… Or: ending each sentence with ‘yeh’. not really.’ Or ‘with pleasure’ or ‘certainly. if you are actually. I am not prepared to give up. basically or essentially misusing and abusing the splendour of the English language in that way. how can you know? Try recording a conversation. ‘So she said. First: ‘Like’. worse: ‘No problem’. like… go to the theatre. yeh? The fact of the matter is that I have failed with others and hope not to do so with you. When you tell them. that I have succeeded with many leading personalities and I have to tell you that if you try hard enough. of course’. then? Nowadays. I know it’s hopeless. Forget about the machine. Basically.The real problem: People do not know when they are using the words. they’re surprised. But my effort to ban the use of these three words – spearheaded as it was by a letter in The Times – has been a total failure. But what the hell… Then there’s ‘really’. does it? What about ‘absolutely’. Better still: give your partner or your companion. You will be astonished by your own ‘um words’. like… that she wanted to.

Part Four Practicalities .

TWENTY FOUR Preparing your venue – and your audience Preparation is the key to making the best of your venue and of your audience. they can stand around the side. the more separated your audience. and come earlier next time. the more arduous your task. The fuller the venue. They know that there is nothing worse in show business than to play to an empty house. For instance. The emptier the room or the hall. Do arrive early. after-dinner speeches are hard enough to make (Chapter 31). far apart – that is the worst. you may be able to choose your place in the queue. students… to old people’s homes… to anyone who will make an otherwise empty place seem full. so as to counter arguments. firemen. Last is generally best. move the troops up to the front. choose a room with a few less seats than the audience you expect. If you are being introduced. without mobility. the higher the ceiling. It’s cabaret. They give free seats to teachers. So. the most important rule is to pack people in. To speak to an audience across a dance floor. If you get more. explaining what you would like to be emphasised or omitted. If you are one of a list of speakers. the same applies to speakers. If there are fewer. then you can brief the introducer. with first the next choice – unless you want to speak after a particular person. If the choice is yours. around tables. If you can choose the place where you make your speech. Speechmaking is a branch of show business. 88 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Advance planning wins battles or at least minimises the chances of defeat. Get the feel of the place and check out the venue – especially position and acoustics. Theatre owners ‘paper the house’. the warmer the atmosphere. or unless the final speaker will be called so late that the audience will either be falling asleep or drifting homeward.

whether you would like to sit in a particular position… well. Suggest to the organisers that they ask everyone to come right up to the front. and especially so that you can best perform the ‘confidence trick’ (Chapter 1). then you may at least be able to ask your hosts to cater for your requirements. but at least some of them will turn their chairs around to make eye contact with you. Will you need a microphone. and if so. will it be the type you want and in the best position (Chapter 27)? Will you have the right people at your side. When preparing your venue. or handed out during the meeting. where you want to sit and with whom. for example: • Access: how convenient is the venue for public transport. the better to make their exit if they get bored. whether or not you require a table or a high stool. raised platform set up at one side. Check if the organisers have considered. when talking – with your back to the wall. people in wheelchairs? • Facilities: is there a bar. comfortable. to give you advice or guidance? Will you need a table or lectern. You will not only keep your victims to the front. preferring to tuck themselves away near the door. do not panic (for apologies to guest speakers for small audiences. visual aids or documentation? Preparation is vital for its own sake and for yours. you will not be able to blame them if they do not look after you. see Chapter 58). check the acoustics. car parking. prestigious? If you do find yourself with a sparse audience. clean. People hate being at the front.If necessary. sufficient toilets – not least for wheelchair-users? • The ‘feel good’ factor: is the venue attractive. If you do not choose the venue. If they do not know what microphone you prefer. so that you can see all the people you address. Other factors will influence the choice of venue to assure its suitability. and it is not only speakers TWENTY FOUR PREPARING YOUR VENUE – AND YOUR AUDIENCE 89 . Or try to arrange that you are seated – and will stand. what documentation you will want put out before. a large enough cloakroom (or even coat rails). use a small.

In Italy. Few have the courage to speak their minds openly in the face of a vociferous majority. If the formal gathering has failed to draw in the crowds. then at least ensure that you have an informal chat. If it is too cold. then at least you will be getting acclimatised to the place and to its atmosphere. then (having obtained permission) you can ask your audience to ‘gather round’. They want to follow the flock. then (as a claque man recently remarked). It can do no harm to ensure that you get off to a good start. come down to your audience. at the right time. It is often better to abandon the platform. ‘What’s the good of it?’ they say – not realising 90 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . If the room is too hot. especially in public. at least your audience will know that you are thinking of their comfort. than to an empty room. If any star sees fit not to pay. so that your audience go home satisfied with their session. If you fail. move to the front of the table. opera singers employ paid claques. a capable Chair can wheedle most people into ‘helping our distinguished speaker’. who then ensure appropriate (or even inappropriate) applause. Most people are like proverbial sheep. you must feel in command of the battlefield. Your audience will bless you. ask someone to use influence or pressure to get silence for you. Someone overestimated the audience and created your sad situation. ‘We are quite capable of whistling and cat-calling instead. If there are aircraft noises overhead or an ambulance howls by.who are sometimes shy. draw the stage curtains. or that your words appear to be treated with such delight that (with luck) your opponents may prefer to stay silent. Still. Then wait. To command your troops successfully.’ Those who speak in public may also have a claque – paid or unpaid. Check the air-conditioning. So sort out your venue as best you can. If he or she is inexperienced. It is most unlikely that they will be satisfied if you regale them from above with an oration more suitable to a packed and cheering hall. If a carpenter is banging next door. To plough on regardless is a sure sign of inexperience. stop and ask for a window or a door to be opened. stop… wait. speak to the organisers and see whether they can warm the place. If they cannot. Make the best of it.

the more relaxed and effortless the style. the greater the elbow grease. Do your best to sound out your audience. Of course. If you have a resolution to propose. Wise lawyers soon learn to laugh at judges’ jokes. The higher the polish. They might discover that the noise-makers were in reality no more than a loud-mouthed minority. One reason why inexperienced speakers often take too little care in preparing material is that they have seen how easy the experienced speaker makes it all seem. hears”. TWENTY FOUR PREPARING YOUR VENUE – AND YOUR AUDIENCE 91 . the more careful the preparation. Maybe you employ them. this preparation should not show. Be not deceived. Again: ‘I am going to tell the story about the… so please laugh!’ You may carry your claque along with you because they are under some obligation. if they did only speak they might win. Advance ‘softening up’ may go far deeper than this. Good speakers prepare not only their case.’ Or: ‘This is going to be a difficult audience to warm up. I refuse to be shot at on my own. ‘If you do not give me some loud “hear. but also their audience and the supporters. I shall stop trying. Please start the clapping when I’m called to speak.’ It only takes one or two people to clap the speaker for the rest to join in.that. make sure that you have a seconder. The most inoffensive type of claque-work is easily organised. ‘Please show me some support. or are the kind benefactor on whom they rely.’ you say to your friends.

If you must use cartoons. But so can using them unsuccessfully! Now consider carefully whether visual aids will enlighten or encumber your presentation. you should use – and if so. and/or b) illustrate and explain. Humour is much better presented orally. • Beware of ‘funnies’. and which ones. graphic humour. Using appropriate visual aids effectively can produce memorable results for the audience.TWENTY FIVE Visual aids There is an art to excellence – not least. do not allow them to replace. through graphs. your verbal message. concepts and/or detail which cannot be described simply and/or adequately and/or swiftly. so as to attract the eye and direct the mind. Remember: • Keep the contents of all visual aids – especially of PowerPoint (page 93) and other hi-tech aids – to a sensible minimum. Whatever visual aids you use. enhancing. So why is this use so seldom taught? Visual aids can be an essential element of your presentation. • Visual aids should stimulate interest and not simply provide a technical message. if only because you can quickly move on and away from a failed joke. in other ways. clarifying and reinforcing your spoken message. in the use of visual aids. Divide a mass of hard-to-assimilate material between two or more slides. how. Visual aids should: a) provide the skeleton for your presentation. or later to revive the memory. then make sure it is thoroughly professional. if any. or to obscure. 92 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . caricatures or illustrative.

Afterwards. Also. or increase your impact by making them as you go along. it’s a stack of blank newsprint sheets attached to a board. for results. over-use of graphics to the point where they become rather patronising. flip attachments. Be careful to keep the caps on your pens or they will go dry. But PowerPoint is often used as a crutch for the presenter. on the screen came a picture of a cup of coffee! The same rules apply to PowerPoint as with any other visual aid – KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid! PowerPoint is flexible. you can leave out slides during the presentation (as long as you know the number of the slide – key in the number and press ‘enter’). you no longer have to dim lights to get a good image on the screen.e. First: choose which visual aids to use. uncluttered and either framed or with plastic. prepare carefully. Flip chart The old fashioned but worthy flip chart will never go out of fashion. You may save time by preparing charts in advance. At its simplest. Use abbreviations and symbols to summarise and to emphasise. Or one I saw recently when the speaker announced that it was the coffee break. Overhead projector The overhead projector and ‘acetates’ or ‘transparencies’.As always. TWENTY FIVE VISUAL AIDS 93 . just in case we don’t know what is meant by international. These should be concise. Use artwork sparingly. then flip over or tear off the sheets. ‘we are international’ accompanied by a map of the world.g. And you can solicit and incorporate participants’ views on to the sheets. Projectors are now more powerful. You illustrate or emphasise your words with felt-tip pens. i. you may put some or all of the sheets on the wall for continued reference. e. PowerPoint PowerPoint or similar systems are increasingly used in presentations. The technology is now far simpler and more flexible. too many slides which show wordfor-word the speakers’ presentation. not effects. compact.

flexibility – you can alter the order as you go along and use or not use as you wish. remind the graphics department or other visual aid makers to use backgrounds that are clear and light. Blue and green are good background colours with white or yellow lettering. or green on red. not those that require spirit for removal. stand impaled on the microphone on the lectern. illustrated by speech. Make sure the lettering is large enough to be seen from the back of the room. except for photographs. Whatever method of showing slides you choose. use water-based pens which can be rubbed out with a damp cloth. so that you do not lose your personality and message in the process. creating a barrier between your audience and yourself. not obscure and dark. much can go wrong. And you need not turn down the house lights. Whether you are using an overhead projector or PowerPoint. Remove all unnecessary words. so it is even more important to arrive early to check out the equipment. Their main drawback is inflexibility. But please do not put yourself behind a lectern. especially at a distance. 35mm slides 35mm slides are rarely used today. illustrated by slides. green or black lettering. The disadvantages are that they look less impressive and are rarely appropriate for larger audiences. WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF OVERHEADS AND TRANSPARENCIES? First. You are making a speech. not putting on a slide show. or red on yellow and the results may be artistic but will be indecipherable. or orange on black. 94 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . The organisers will have to turn down the house lights and either put you in the spotlight. If you draw on transparencies.Remember. or remove you from view. then put yourself and the house into darkness and talk to the slides. But use red on green. A white background also works well with blue. use judicially.

Computers linked to projectors ‘PowerPoint’ in particular. The slides are created by a software package. TWENTY FIVE VISUAL AIDS 95 . Do not fall foul of the laws on copyright. If you want to use someone else’s work. But be careful. They will probably charge you for the privilege. • Check that the video you intend to use is suitable for use with British video machines – ie PAL. Choose your video or video extracts with care in order to stimulate thought. Remember: • Using video or DVD should not be a passive option – for presenter or audience. not NTSC as used in America. • Consider whether you are infringing copyright. if you are doing a presentation about management skills. It is very unlikely that you will be able to find a video all of which perfectly illustrates your presentation. unless you go to the expense of making one yourself. a complex flow-chart or financial report. get their permission to copy. • You do not have to show a complete video or DVD. PowerPoint has become a sophisticated and increasingly common visual aid – a laptop computer linked to a projector.Video presentations Videos and DVD can be an accessible and effective visual aid. This type of visual aid is particularly useful in building up stage by stage. You can control the projected visuals by a remote mouse. • Make sure that you are completely familiar with the remote control. For example. Use well-chosen excerpts to illustrate points. • You do not have to use custom-made videos or DVD. you can have multi-media presentations. and consult the distributor and/or a lawyer if in doubt. and with the addition of CD ROM. it may be more effective to use an excerpt from a television drama than to show an ‘official’ management training video. not sleep.

Don’t. or turn the light on when the slides or videos are off. or advancing your PowerPoint. A copy of the slides on acetate can be very useful. • Do not talk while changing transparencies or slides. • Try not to keep the room in permanent gloom while you talk – unless you would prefer not to know when your audience slide off into slumber. do not distract from the content. ‘virtual reality’ – may lead to a total simulation of a presentation without your even troubling to be there. then move the viewer or the screen.Common faults are: too many slides (the slides being the speaker’s notes). do not turn your back on your audience or put your face down to the machine. • Talk to your audience. 96 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . filling in the detail with your further projections. computer shows. • Minimise your own movement and that of the visual aids. being too clever with the font. Maybe you can place yourself to one side or under a spotlight. If anyone cannot. your summary of top tips: • Ensure that all the audience can see. The higher the tech. Always arrive early to make sure everything works and have Plan B ready in case your equipment fails. interactive videos. That might reduce your stage fright but it will certainly remove the impact of your personality and individual message. the greater the temptation to overload. cluttered slides with meaningless graphics. Instead remember KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid). • The first transparency or slide should generally provide an overall summary – to which you can return. not to the OHP or laptop – and even if you are reading out what is on the screen. and using different transitions from one slide to the next. Hi-tech products – electronic print boards. Finally. multi-media usage (CD ROM).

and/or – Use a masking sheet to cover up that part of the transparency that you do not require the audience to see – and then move it. and practise until you can put the replacement into a firm. all in one movement. and turn sideways when writing. remove the existing transparency with your left. To recognise a transparency. with the title of each sticking out above or below the next. as required: – Put your pencil or pen down on the transparency. Hold the replacement in your right hand. Use the masking technique sparingly: it irritates audiences who find themselves wondering what is hidden. put its title on the frame. It is much better to use a pointer or finger on the screen itself. never turning their back more or longer than absolutely necessary. – Use the pointer or finger on the screen itself – but beware of casting the shadow of your body on to the screen at the same time. • • Be deliberate – do not jog. They will ask their audience questions while they write. It is generally better to use two or more separate transparencies. then lay out all of them on your table. TWENTY FIVE VISUAL AIDS 97 . you must have a stick or other pointer. you have three possibilities. never remove their eyes from the class for more than a few seconds. or the slightest jiggle or movement will create a major flicker on to the screen. Changes of transparency should be slick. Do not hold it. ready to use. jolt or jiggle an item on the screen. For PowerPoint or similar.• Watch good teachers and trainers using blackboards and white boards. which can be used in combination. then transfer the techniques to your visual aids. • If you need to point at a slide. for variety. rather than thinking about what is revealed. avoid using a laser pointer or arrow. and put the new one into its place. central position without fiddling. • For a transparency.

so as not to have to twist your body and turn your back on the audience. provide copies of visual aids for your audience. use your nearer hand or arm. Visual aids should aid and assist. They must attract. as at a transparency. in case something goes wrong. The more economical the visual aids and their use.• When pointing at a flip chart. That will cut down considerably the amount of writing they will have to do whilst you are talking to them. And it will mean that they can concentrate much more on what you are telling them. not distract or detract. Never let special effects take over from your speech. 98 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . for advice on computers linked to projectors. or back-up. Use them skilfully and sparingly. Visual aids are meant to aid and not to supplant. see page 95. available. Finally. the better you will supplement your words with vision. • Wherever appropriate. So ensure that your audience leaves with your words out front in their minds. • Try to have an alternative.

proclaim the company’s successes. flash the name and logo of the company. and present greetings. Properly prepared and well delivered. many an excellent speech has been ruined by inadequate. one host executive at each. We endured a series of speeches. put on by a famous firm of City accountants. read by the Chair and two of his colleagues. logoed visuals. Our hosts should have asked themselves our classic four questions (Chapter 1): 1 2 3 4 Who are our audience? What do they want from us? Why are we here? What is our message? How do we best put that message across? TWENTY SIX CEREMONIAL AND COMMERCIAL 99 . salutations and gifts to the worthy. against a background of lush. acclaim winners of awards. the Chair marches to the centre of the platform. The presentation was horrific. professionally produced and royally rendered. Speaking from invisible notes on the autocue. Behind. its deficiencies are exaggerated by their unhappy contrast with the brilliant audiovisual effects. The opening cocktail reception went well. by over-amplification or too obtrusive music. I once joined over a hundred colleague MPs at a dinner. unsuitable or inappropriate slides. audio-visual experiences. The rest is vivid illustration. We victims were then duly herded into the dining room and seated at tables. the speech is the centre of the message. These expensive flourishes turn prosaic conferences into modern spectaculars. executives tell their story.TWENTY SIX Ceremonial and commercial With a roll of drums and a fanfare of trumpets. Conversely. high on a screen in the darkened room. or by visuals that are intended to aid but in fact hinder. If it is delivered in an embarrassed monotone.

the monumental architecture of their new premises. Instead. 100 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . flashes of hotels – all were there. The combination of classic speechmaking and technological miracles can produce high impact. then field them with skill and authority. the growth in turnover. was to tune in on our hosts’ view of the market. to ask what questions we wanted answered. and how to attract us. Misused. So they wasted both the opportunity and their firm’s money. They had answered question one: they knew who we were. Both speakers were spotlighted. They had decided to spread their message orally. to a background of well-produced irrelevancies. name and logo. they killed off their own occasion.They had answered question three. Excitement and Enthusiasm. even if they went unasked. we were served a droning monotony of voice. their visions of the future. They wanted to show us the size. it can destroy. By contrast. voices and eyes raised. What we really wanted. fanfare. by modern techniques – question four. strength and structure of their set-up – to convince us of its heritage of excellence. along with a succulent buffet. Drum rolls. Question two – what we wanted – they had ignored. their explanation of past events. I enjoyed a brisk presentation by an hotel company. why would such a large number of people wish to spend an evening with them? We would all enjoy a good meal and most would happily swallow a few drinks. The Minister of Tourism spoke briefly and clearly. they spoke well. ‘The three E’s’ flowed through the event – Energy. We wanted our questions answered. and visually. Our City hosts would have done much better to stand on the stage. Never let the special effects overshadow the speech. He presented flags to the hotel managers. After all. though. Not one of us cared about their pyramid of management strength. Instead. by their top people.

unless you deliberately want to increase or lower the volume – be careful when turning your head away from the mike. Wear or carry a radio mike and you can move around. then. • You must keep your mouth – and hence your voice – at the same distance from the microphone. or the volume will change. the general rules of microphone technique. The problem with neck and clip mikes. call out: ‘Volume down. please…’ TWENTY SEVEN MICROPHONES 101 . The best way is to produce and project your voice loud and clearly (Chapter 10). The explosion comes when you ‘pop’ – when you use explosive syllables. keep it well away from your face – below and pointed towards you. black box…’ • If the noise is too high. • • Keep your head up. ‘the population of Beijing…’. • You will soon know if you are too near to the mike because it will either (a) scream or (b) explode – or both. The radio or clip mike will do this for you. If there’s a technician around. is that they are stuck in position and you have no control over their sound. ever. take the mike further away. ‘the big. it is your powerful ally. ‘Peter piper picked a peck…’. Misuse it – as many people do – and it can destroy your presentation. Use a fixed mike and you must keep your own distance. otherwise. Whether you hold the microphone by hand or use it on a stand. The mike scream is an horrendous sound. but always with the mike neither nearer nor further away from your mouth.TWENTY SEVEN Microphones A speechmaker must be heard. B and P. Never. you will need to use a microphone. of course. If you know how to use a mike. lower your mouth towards the mike. First.

Except in the rarest of circumstances. And if you want to switch hands. that too is easy. You use your arm instead of the stand. You can turn your head and will not lose your sound. A microphone on a stand is an acceptable ally. A lectern is a barrier between you and your audience. up it goes. If you are a person of normal height. and not a speaking robot. Then try to forget about the mike. Holding a mike in your hand is easy. You could move to the side of the lectern and rest your notes on it. But (as we’ve seen) you must keep your distance. so that you are not impaled on and behind your lectern. Precisely because I like to be free to move. But make sure that the mike is about six inches below the level of your mouth and pointing at it. opposite your breastbone. So mind how you move your body. about six inches down from your mouth – and still.So. transfixed by a piece of equipment on a stem. Then I can move freely. Insist on a detachable mike. get used to your sound amplifier and concentrate on your presentation. But do not allow it to block your body from your audience. If you are a giant. 102 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . be careful not to trip over that cord. And it creates just that informality that other speakers will probably not know how to use. get rid of it. I almost always detach the mike from its stand. around or even off the platform and into the audience. not least if you are called to speak when I have just finished. or at least one on a stand. Good presenters remove barriers. but the microphone is attached to it by your arm. you may have to raise the object. It gives me the chance to be myself. I almost always have to unscrew the ring on the stand and lower and re-adjust the microphone. once you know how. You keep your elbow into your side and the mike in the centre. First: The fixed mike on the lectern. You move your body. for your desired sound level. If you are forced to use an old fashioned mike with a cord. keep your head up and the right distance from your mike. Now for the types of microphone. In all other cases. Modern mikes on stands are not directional. As a human shrimp.

You may or may not be able to switch it off. That didn’t come over very well. it is always your potential enemy. Now for a coffee and a woman!’ A pert stewardess ran up the gangway towards the cockpit. I said to the other barrister on the case: ‘Look at the time. Provided that you keep it the same distance from your mouth. Someone had forgotten to throw the appropriate switch and my words went out to the commiserating listeners. President Reagan did not even learn from that one. did it?’ He held a finger to his lips. you will not notice it. Which includes handling visual aids. Which means: Mind what you say. ‘Wait. I did an early morning broadcast. The pilot intoned his usual ‘Welcome to J F Kennedy Airport. When the chat finished and the commercials emerged into the studio. But if you are wise. I was not on form. He once spoke jokingly into a live mike about his proposals for bombing Moscow! Which only leaves the day when microphones were first installed into the High Court. you can do almost anything. To use that most boring of modern clichés: ‘No problem’. Finally: While the microphone should be your friend. Not long ago. Looking at my watch. I was very tired. ‘Give him time to have his coffee!’ Sadly. though. It could have been worse. I just tuck the mike under my armpit. I said to my friend and interviewer.Once you get used to carrying a mike around with you. An El Al plane landed at New York. Thank you for travelling El Al’ and so on. darling. Doug Cameron: ‘I’m sorry. Then he failed properly to switch off. keeping my mouth the same distance from it and then use both hands for the PowerPoint or other aid. to restrain her.’ she said. and sighed and said: ‘Wonderful. An elderly lady put out her hand. And he was right. The old bastard’s late!’ TWENTY SEVEN MICROPHONES 103 . you will treat it as permanently alive.

And say nothing in its presence that you may later regret. 104 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER .A few moments later. So treat every microphone as a live object. sat – and then leaned forward towards me. ‘The old bastard has arrived.’ he said. bowed. the Judge came into the court. smiling grimly.

Part Five Occasions .

your product or service and – always – yourself. To do that. They cover everything from preparation to presentation. practise and excel at the art of ‘pitching’ – often in what are now known as ‘beauty contests’ or ‘beauty parades’. Let’s examine the main ones. Cost and quality are. That means convincing prospective customers or clients.TWENTY EIGHT Pitching – and ‘beauty contests’ Winning business against competition means beating your competitors. the company and the individuals. At one time you could perhaps have sat back and waited for business to flow to you. But what are their special requirements? 106 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . you must study. still crucial. of course. or both. you must present your company. Find out everything you can about the organisation. whom they trust and who have the required skills. are better. Which (as always) leads to Question two: What? What do they want? Obviously. that your products or services. the more personal or individual the service you are offering must appear to be. to best effect. Today you must go out and get it. ask the usual questions. from using visual aids with skill and economy to aiming your speeches at the right targets. But the less the difference between yours and those of your competitors. First of all. starting with: Who? Who are your audience? Whom are you addressing? Who will decide whether or not to reward your speech with a contract? Do your research. To win. more cost-effective and more attractive than those offered by your competitors. they want people whom they like and to whom they relate. The secrets of winning ‘beauty contests’ are spread out in this book.

as well as key words. introduce the presentation and his or her colleagues. for copies of any visual aids which you may use (Chapter 25) – and/or deliver documentation after the presentation is over? Finally: what else do you need? Visual aids – trimmed to an economic minimum? Preliminary phone calls. The leader’s role is crucial. it’s the senior and most experienced person.When you know as much as you can about who they are and what they want. TWENTY EIGHT PITCHING – AND ‘BEAUTY CONTESTS’ 107 . Then you hope for the best. no matter. who will then say: ‘If we get the job. present them whilst you are speaking – best. Only when you have answered the first three questions – who? what? why? (and note the repetition – always repeat lists. If you are not asked the questions. who should chair it? Usually. incidentally. You research the politics within their set-up. in a spoken presentation ) – then comes Question four: How? First: who will make the presentation? Who are the best people for that job? Who has the range of experience required? Who will impress those potential clients or customers? Second: if it’s a team presentation. I will personally be responsible to you…’ That senior person will chair the session. meetings or arrangements? So you recognise and adjust the chemistry between you and your targets. You will both feel and look confident. then consider Question three: Why? Why are you doing it? What is your message? What have you got that your competitors lack? Conversely: what are your shortcomings? Work out the twenty questions you would least like to be asked and then sort out the best answers to them. Third: what preparation will you need? Research… rehearsal… timing…? Fourth: what documentation should you produce. and when? Should you send documents before the pitch. and decide which of the team will answer the questions. You prepare yourself and your colleagues.

Never forget the ‘doughnut’ – the area around the speaker. They must not: • Put their heads down into their notes. shake their heads or frown. • Nor. if he or she makes an obvious mistake. • Let their attention wander. agreeing. listening. showing how worried they are about their own turn. smirk. above all. showing disagreement with their colleagues’ words – or pleasure. Whoever is talking. the others are on stage. They must play up to the speaker. all the time. supporting. paying attention. showing how uninterested they are in their colleagues’ presentation. 108 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER .

Why and How (Chapter 1). Do you bring the people onto your territory. then plan carefully. If you invite a hundred people. Put five people in a room which seats twenty and have an excess – if only seventeen turn up. it’s still full. then the atmosphere for your speech is bound to be poor. so that you can aim the target and score the maximum bulls eyes. then have some folding chairs available for the late arrivals. If you have a hand in the organisation. and if so what. If you are the speaker. as well as to the subject and to you. what size room should you book? You’ll probably be lucky if sixty accept and forty turn up? Prepare for the best and for the worst. refreshments. the place is the key. then can you follow the show business precedent of ‘papering the house’ – filling empty places with your staff or your supporters. But ‘How’ becomes the key essential – atmosphere. covers a multitude of occasions – from ‘one-to-one’ to major events. CONFERENCES AND SEMINARS 109 . What should you do? Ask the audience to come TWENTY NINE MEETINGS. What. Often. your family or friends? If the place is half empty. and your fellow speakers? If your meeting is for any other than a small group. prepare by following the usual route. to put and to keep your victims in the right mood? Will they be attracted to the place. conferences and seminars The word ‘meeting’. remember that it is usually far easier to get the right atmosphere when the room is packed. or will you do better if you move into theirs? Do you need any. If the place is fuller than you expect. fire the four questions: Who.TWENTY NINE Meetings. If numbers are disappointing. If others are planning the meeting. Put the same number of people into a room that holds fifty and you are courting failure. then you find out as much as you can in advance.

That so many conferences are dull and disastrous is a denunciation both of those who organise and of those who address them. To this there is also an art. communicate with and according to their audience. so that it can be presented as a conference paper. In particular.up to the front and sit close. a promotional exercise. 110 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Whether dealing with a small-scale teaching seminar or a larger assembly or conference. especially if they were preparing a possible escape. Excitement and Enthusiasm. If you charm and press them. the best speakers respect their audience. There is no excuse for a dreary conference. People at the back probably won’t like that too much. What areas are other speakers covering? How long should you speak? For a seminar workshop: is it a lecture to a smaller audience or are you simply facilitating a discussion? If the latter. get off it. too! Business and professional people are often dragooned. Is yours. Individual speakers should follow the usual rules of good presentation. And ask for the style of amplification that you require (Chapter 27). Also check if the organisers want your speech written up. at conferences or seminars. it can be enlivened by visual aids (Chapter 25). However dull the subject. If there’s a stage or a platform. speak with style and demonstrate with skill. Check with the conference organisers whether you are speaking at a plenary session or leading a seminar. be sure to prepare stimulating questions for the group. designed to introduce new clients or customers or to stiffen the loyalty of old ones? Do delegates come to learn from those who are trained and qualified to teach? Either way you are in show business. for instance. even if you wish that they were – and that you were. If they wish to be invited back. they will also entertain them. they should know and prepare their material. The organisers not only harm their own cause. Come down into your audience and chat with them. Your approach to success depends on the purpose of the occasion. Make them feel at home. they will probably oblige. relaxed by wit (Chapter 14) and brought to life by those three E’s: Energy. shamed or enticed into presenting themselves and their wares.

Otherwise. Hence the modern and musical disease of ‘conference syncopation’ – staggering from bar to bar! The speechmaker’s success depends to a vast extent on the conditions created by the conference or seminar organisers. will you be able to remove. CONFERENCES AND SEMINARS 111 . if (for instance) the room is vast and the audience small. your audience and your audibility. then how will you find out what you are owed. or intermission tea or coffee. Check these in advance. how can you make the best of them? For instance. In particular: • • Are the stage. preferably before you agree to speak. TWENTY NINE MEETINGS. arrive early enough to check your atmosphere and your apparatus. lectern and/or table as you like or need them? Stuck as you now are with the amplification arrangements as they are. platform. or is it fixed – and if so. recorded or confirmed in writing. bonus or other basis that depends on the success of the event. Once again. then do not attach your good name to their poor arrangements. to premeal drinks. conference delegates can opt for the bar. and in any event.but they also spoil the market. They forget that while schoolchildren are tied to their desks and to their classrooms. is it at your height (Chapter 27)? • Is the overhead projector. video or other equipment for your visual aids in proper order and position? If you need assistance. and followed through? If these are to any extent on a commission. • If you are to be paid a fee for your speech – or to receive expenses – are the arrangements clear. is it available (Chapter 25)? • If you need arrangements for your comfort and convenience. the acoustics echoing and the amplification minimal. will you get them? These may range from water for a dry throat. before and after breaks? Separate reception and coffee rooms will help. and will you need to send an account or an invoice? • Will you avoid interruptions from the clatter of crockery and cutlery. but thin partitions destroy the best of plans. adjust and/or stroll with the microphone. or the delegates crowded and unhappy and the food inedible.

so that your delegates/ audience will leave on a happy note? A good conference is like a good speech. It begins and ends well and leaves its audience satisfied.• If you are to be introduced. has the introducer adequate and correct details of what you would like him or her to say about you? Who will introduce or sell your products or services? Have you made arrangements for details. samples or goods – or order forms. 112 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . brochures or other documents – to be properly and prominently displayed? • How will you achieve a climax at the end. writ large.

to a French or to a German. speaking to a group of overseas visitors in the UK. And end with ‘Jai Hind’ (India) or ‘Shalom’ (Israel) – or whatever fits. Always find out whether you are going to need an interpreter. They will be complimented and probably surprised that you have taken the trouble to try. Even English speakers can find English challenging: Glaswegians talking to a Cornish audience need to make sure they are not only heard but also understood. or to an Arab or Muslim audience. All you need is the opening salutation. which comes from a speech I once made in Paris.THIRTY Foreign languages – and interpreters There will be times when you will address people whose first language is not English – whether when you are travelling abroad. then you are better off on your own. and ‘rubbers’ in the United States are ‘condoms’ in both countries. Madame. Finally. I translate it into the relevant language if I can cope. watch out for words with different meanings. I often use (adapted where necessary) the following story. It matters not that you mispronounce or misuse their words. If your audience understand English. But do (again) speak especially slowly and clearly. THIRTY FOREIGN LANGUAGES – AND INTERPRETERS 113 . or talking within your local community. But please forgive me. Joke about yourself and you will never offend your victim (Chapter 14). Start and finish with words in the listeners’ own tongue. Don’t worry – just plan. are you English?” I replied: “Yes. as I came in: “Monsieur Janner. ‘Mes Chers Amis’ or ‘Meine Liebe Damen und Herren’ or ‘Asalamu Aleikum Warahmat Ullah wa Barakatu’. What the Americans call ‘erasers’ are ‘rubbers’ in Britain. It is not my fault!’ Self denigration is the key to acceptance by an audience. or otherwise tell it in English: ‘One of you ladies said to me.

he believes. always records interviews with journalists. Those abilities vary. you cannot guarantee that your words will be translated with the nuance. the fact that his interviewers know that he has the evidence makes them much more careful about the words that they put into his mouth.’ I answered. If you are speaking through a skilled interpreter you may properly expect your intent. or even the meaning. Do not presume that your interpreters – nor. Tony Benn. 114 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER .’ ‘I don’t. but.’ Which I did – in an election which I lost magnificently! If your audience will have to tune its ears to your tongue. to be appropriately translated. Instead. Equally. even in his own language. you can either interrupt and say: ‘I don’t think that’s exactly what I meant. those supplied by others – are making or remaking your speech because of the time they take in translation. is it?’ Or you can make sure by repeating your statement or opinion in other words. don’t change your own accent. How can you check on an interpreter’s efforts? • If you have some knowledge of the other language. that you intended. in the vast majority of cases. get a colleague or a friend who has a command of both languages. to check for you. so as to clarify or emphasise your meaning. indeed. listen carefully to the translation and if in doubt. To avoid mistranslation or misquoting. that canny and experienced politician. assume that interpreters are doing their job honestly and to the best of their abilities. or the views that they attribute to him. You can. Not only can he prove what he said and what he did not say. ‘Why do you ask?’ ‘Because it says in Who’s Who that in 1955 you contested Wimbledon. as well as your words. • Put both your speech and the translation ‘on the record’ – using a tape recorder. recognise them.An American research assistant once said to me: ‘I didn’t know that you played tennis. speak clearly. That’s evidence. • If possible.

avoid your errors. too. and invariably impossible to translate. your own nationality. THIRTY FOREIGN LANGUAGES – AND INTERPRETERS 115 . The interpreter’s translation lasted ten seconds. Stop after every two or three sentences. The speaker later asked the interpreter how he managed to condense his message so successfully. Do not allow your speeches to deteriorate into alternate mighty swathes of incomprehensible sound. use whimsical. and on future occasions. so you should always prepare for less time than you have. Translations other than those that are instantaneous double the time and are at least ten times as boring for those who have to hear and understand the same tune sung twice over. doubly difficult in anyone else’s. Which is hard enough in your own language. The interpreter replied: ‘Oh. good-natured stories or anecdotes (Chapter 14). ironic. As always. Humour requires special attention. Most presentations take longer than you expect. brevity means sanity.Another advantage of the tape recorder is that you can (as Benn does) play back your speech. Keep it doubly short. stop more often. The audience clapped. So don’t overload. A speaker rambled on breathlessly for five minutes. Instead. your gaffes and the arguments that fell flat. Most jokes are what the French call ‘jeux de mots’ – plays on words. community or religious group. Mind how you tread on other people’s sensitivities. Remember. if you are at a translator’s mercy. without pausing for translation. So do not tie up your interpreter by playing with words. listen to those parts that went well. Disadvantage: it destroys the informality of the occasion and tenses up the interviewer. poke fun at yourself. I just said to them: Please applaud now!’ In any presentation. Timing Translation takes time. If in doubt. to allow breaks for non-instantaneous translation.

The chairman protested to the Head of Delegation. it may be enough for your translator to summarise your theme. Your words are on the record. they are often recorded. halve your speed. You follow it with a sombre sentence. because you did not leave enough pause between your changes of mood. Then your audience laughs. double your care. 116 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Sometimes. please. If. and whether you know it or not. they found a microphone. Your fault. One-to-one or in small groups? Then you will probably have to put up with the interpreter translating as you go along. No reaction. It may be. most of your audience speak English. some or all of your audience will be wearing earphones. At least let us ensure that we are accurate!’ Tapes like that get translated later. Britain was plastered with posters. their eyes will be on you.If you are blessed with simultaneous translation. your argument or your words. Simultaneous translation. You tell a story. Treat every microphone as if it is alive. for instance. Large groups in modern settings provided by well-heeled companies or organisations? Then the simultaneous translators work busily in their booths or sometimes beside you. Under the table of the Polish delegation. claiming: ‘Careless Words Cost Lives’. nothing is effectively off the record. During the Second World War.’ said the Pole. but their reactions will follow some seconds behind your words. and multiply your chances of success. When talking to those whose language is not your own. ‘You know that we have to report back on what goes on here. the organisers ‘swept’ for bugs. and your unguarded frankness may be translated into four languages. this burden can be reduced. Remember that at any major gathering. During the lunch-hour break in a European Conference. of course. is the modern art of the international conference. during the icy days of the Cold War. Do not forget to turn on the microphones and to talk into them – slowly. ‘Oh come.

Details from Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) at: 19-23 Featherstone Street. These may be anything from a portable loop system to a Sign Language Interpreter. learn the techniques (Chapter 11). London EC1Y 8SL.I have a reasonable grasp of many foreign languages – at least sufficient to be misunderstood in each. Finally. THIRTY FOREIGN LANGUAGES – AND INTERPRETERS 117 . you might consider using special communication services. to make your speech fully accessible to deaf and hard of hearing people. Speaking to an audience in one of those languages. The old political saying: ‘I’d rather be red than dead’. Tel: 020 7296 8066/8000.’ But if a speech must be read out. can be translated for international speeches: ‘A read speech pronounces a sentence of death on your relationship with your audience. I try to avoid an interpreter by occasionally translating myself into English – and always doing so when I have the least doubt as to whether I have expressed myself accurately.

should be an orator’s joy. if they would only follow a few basic rules. wait for silence. She has such a long tongue. look around amiably and begin: ‘Ladies… and… Gentlemen…’ or as the case may be. Which is unnecessary. or to the headline in the evening papers (those of the audience who have read it are delighted to be in on the joke). You discover that you have not lost your voice at all. who said to him: “Mr Jones… that was a terrible speech!” He composed himself as best he could – and was then greeted by another woman who said: “I’m awfully sorry about Mrs Smith. Those few relaxed words are useful. First. the Chair turned to me and said: “Would you like to speak now – or shall we let them go on enjoying themselves a little longer?”’ • ‘Not long ago.”’ 118 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Your audience (at that stage at least) is ready to listen – and to be entertained. There are many good opening gambits such as: • ‘A few moments ago. However heavy the dinner or the company. a witticism. or to the restaurant. She hasn’t got a mind of her own – she only repeats what she hears other people saying. the food.THIRTY ONE After dinner A captive audience. however important the occasion or mighty the listeners. So even if you have an important message to convey. The best jokes are usually impromptu: a friendly reference to the Chair. more often than not speakers are too apprehensive to enjoy the food and instead make a meal of their speeches. perhaps. and she’s such an idiot. When you have it. no one wants a dry lecture on top of a wet repast. a story. do your audience the courtesy of exercising patience. Unfortunately. Start with a joke. an after-dinner speaker was greeted by a woman. well wined and amply dined. at the evening’s end.

you are on your way to establishing a rapport with your audience. If you are responding to a toast. I invite you to rise and drink with me a toast to the continued success and prosperity of… to the health and happiness of…’ or as the case may be. if you are making the toast – do so. remember what it is you have been called upon to do. once again. Watch your audience. They will settle back into their chairs. More important. If they drop off to sleep. wind up your oration. dry the humour or wet the joke.However weak the wit. but do not forget it. or at least a friendly smile. kindly rise and drink with me…’ That is your job. But all this is in private. or the dinner table in particular. It needs a flow of ideas as well as of words. If you want to be asked again. As you approach your end. you should start by thanking the person who made it and complimenting him or her on its wit and wisdom. The after-dinner speech requires the same careful construction as any other. Nothing is more discomforting than for the Chair to have to say: ‘And now. relaxed – and either be receptive to a continuation of merriment or. provided that you put it across with verve and courage. If they jiggle the cutlery. The standard formula? ‘Ladies and Gentlemen. or exhibit superb salesmanship by making it clear that you are not going to leave until you get what you want. Enter into the public arena in general. the greater the premium on brevity. do not outstay your welcome. the more likely that their wisdom will strike home. stifle your competitors by talking them into the ground. Finish where you began – by rehearsing. Now launch into the speech. By all means vary it. Do it. at worst. either tell them a joke or sit down. your delight at having been asked… your pleasure at the privilege of responding to the toast… and your good wishes to the person or organisation which has asked you. better braced for the message you decide to give. The more the words are laced with wit. The lower down you come in the toast list. So why do so many of the most nervous speakers find it necessary to be the most long-winded? Do they think they can make up with length for their lack of wit. and you must be brief (see also Chapter 12 on time management ). THIRTY ONE AFTER DINNER 119 . their terror or their dearth of wise words? You may argue your bank manager into submission. Keep it short.

royal privileges and the like. Alas! If you are expected to deliver a series of jokes and you find that your first few fall flat. Talk to those at the back and at the sides. This explains why some hosts call on proposers of these toasts when the waiters are collecting the soup. extolling the beauty and majesty of the monarch – still less a defence of hereditary peerages. discard the rest. then do so – in those words. Cut your words short.One toast which should never be varied is that to: ‘The Queen’. reserve your eulogy for some proper occasion. to the head of his or her state – but unless this is one of the non-formal variety. No one wants a speech from you. The presence of an ambassador calls for a toast. 120 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Have some alternative material ready. If you are privileged to propose the loyal toast. or they will not invite you back. And join the gang – you’ve learned that there’s no audience as fickle and no task as unpredictable as those that face the after dinner speaker. so you must embrace them all with your presence. Make sure that everyone hears you. No one should smoke until after the loyal toast and others of the formal. Better luck next time! Your final and ultimate problem? Your audience will be spread out. national variety.

THIRTY TWO Votes of thanks The formal vote of thanks to the speaker is a mark of courtesy. You may not have enjoyed your meal. they may be believed. it is normal to make some payment or to give gifts to speakers. The guest speakers receive appreciative thanks. or business or charitable organisations. The company may have been excruciatingly dull. You will even thank the fabled hostess who made her guests feel at home even when she fervently and obviously wished that they were. In the United States. Anyway. they probably mean: ‘I wish I had thought of some way to refuse your invitation to trek up to your God-forsaken. So it is with guest speakers. In the UK. the audience considers that it is doing speakers a favour by listening to them. as necessary as the word of gratitude to the hostess at the end of the evening. But to beg for and receive the benefit of the time of busy speakers and then to expect them to pay their own fares or accommodation is a typically British stupidity. friendly societies. Have you remembered to offer to pay your speaking guests’ expenses? They would probably be too embarrassed to ask and may even refuse your offer. When they do so entirely at their own expense. in tangible form. in money as well as in time. they must be given. well-chosen guests. and no doubt compliment her warmly on the excellence of her cooking and the pleasure you have had in the company of her other. THIRTY TWO VOTES OF THANKS 121 . peaceful Highland resort’. even at Rotary Clubs. Because the compliments are apparently unrehearsed. barren development area slum!’ So at least bathe them in the warmth of your thanks. All speakers know the wretchedness of being dragged many miles for a few minutes of speech to a minute audience. When your guests say: ‘It was very kind of you to invite me to this splendid. That is one of the hazards of the trade. their irritation is understandable. Arctic. They must be thanked.

error and experience. We have much to think about as a result.’ Pause for applause. 122 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Refer to their wit and wisdom… to the full and frank way in which they dealt with the subject… to the particular interest that you had in that portion of the talks which each dealt with… Elaborate on a point or two.’ This is terrible – not worth the paper it was written on. We know and understand the effort that it has cost her. ‘We listened with great interest to Monica’s views on… I was especially impressed with the concept of… If my own company does not take steps to put this system into effect. nor any failing on the part of our distinguished speaker. it will not be through any lack of enthusiasm on my part. to show that you have really taken them in – or that you have been taken in. If you rush on your audience will not know what is expected of them. votes of thanks head the list. We realise and appreciate how far she has come. The general rules apply.’ the speaker reads from a typed card. ‘We have all been extremely impressed with the wise words of Mr Stout. A vote of thanks is a mini-speech. Of all the speeches that should never be written out in advance. She has paid us the compliment of laying out before us in the clearest terms the essence of the organisational method which she has distilled through years of trial. then. Your job is to thank. Write out your first sentence and the skeleton of the speech (Chapter 2). There will be a few embarrassed hand-claps and the speaker will not be complimented. ‘He gave us a very clear exposition of the subject. To have the whole speech written in advance is a travesty. Your skeleton might run as follows: ‘We are very honoured to have had Monica Smith with us this evening. And I know that I am expressing the feelings of everyone here when I tell her how deeply grateful we are to her. Do it. as the case may be. Do not use the occasion to launch into a tirade of your own. of the vote of thanks itself? How should you put it across? Once again. in abbreviated form. To achieve it in a vote of thanks depends on a genuine (if possible) and topical (certainly) assessment of the positive and helpful aspects of the visitors’ speeches. the key is sincerity.What.

Thank you. their trust was not misplaced. I hope that we shall have an early opportunity of hearing her again. Finally. obviously prepared before you had even heard the speaker. for a terse. I repeat – never ever.’ Thank you. Or maybe they knew all the time. or her views. ‘Perhaps our greatest delight has been in the way in which Monica has succeeded in bringing her subject to life. in thanking Monica for her good words this evening. You are thanking him or her for a speech heard. too. She has enlivened our evening with wit and humour. She has proved that to tell a tale of… need not be dull. which is why they asked you to do it. indeed. and not for what you expected to hear.‘The greatest tribute we can pay to her will be to adopt her ideas. In that case. appropriate. very much indeed. Just think that the audience inwardly groaned when you were called upon to speak. THIRTY TWO VOTES OF THANKS 123 . worrying in case you were about to make the late hour even later. read a vote of thanks. Monica. ‘And so. embarrass them by saying what they really thought about their guests. Thank you. friendly and well constructed vote of thanks.’ All speakers like to feel that they have sown good seed on fertile ground. sincere. that you would perform this under-rated chore with aplomb. So they were pleasantly surprised and are likely to invite you to perform the same service again. understood and appreciated. Treat their words as pearls and they will not think of you as the proverbial swine. possibly. or to lose the services of their aggravated drivers – or. cause them to miss the last bus or train. We wish her every success.

ensuring that his business is tough and competitive. Not even his mother… Compare this: ‘On the one hand. ‘Mr X is the most brilliant businessman. He must strike the hard bargain. enabling the enterprise to flourish. Smith has preserved both the good name of the company and its good relations with its suppliers. with its customers and competitors and with its own staff. in either case. in spite of his bias. No one will believe it – not even Mr X. that he promoted the economic welfare of the business without demoting or undervaluing the honour and integrity of the Board. straightforward. ‘Mr. the bitter and fierce rivalries within the trade. Mr Smith has been the head of a large and successful commercial concern. the keynote of the speech is sincerity and that the words should indeed be ‘few’. Flattery given freely and wholeheartedly is always welcome – but in moderation. Everyone likes to be honoured. whatever the economic circumstances. The art of the well-turned compliment is appreciated more than almost any other. He has had to see that his business became and remained thoroughly competitive.THIRTY THREE Presentations and awards – as giver and receiver Presentation or award speeches may come at you from two angles – that of the giver or of the receiver. a paragon of commercial virtue…’ Rubbish. In either event ‘a few words’ will be expected of you. believable and sweet-tempered. that he has earned such a warm regard not only for the company 124 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . ‘That he has succeeded in building up the business without destroying the foundations of goodwill. or the battle for skilled staff and for shrinking markets.

but for himself – those are the reasons why we are so delighted to honour him this evening. affection and esteem in which we all hold him. bound to be appreciated by the colleague. sincere and sensible words. They will always have the warmest of welcomes from all of us. Just straightforward. knowing that they would not wish to offend the recipient by their absence. that it will remind him – and his wife and family – of the appreciation. and his delightful. No ‘schmaltz’. Sometimes the presentation of an award is really an excuse to encourage people to come to a dinner or other function. ‘It is also given with the salutations and goodwill of his fellow members of staff. They have contributed towards it and I know they hope. THIRTY THREE PRESENTATIONS AND AWARDS – AS GIVER AND RECEIVER 125 . No flowery insincerities. a long and happy retirement. as much as I do. his colleagues and their friends. or receiving an award for distinguished.’ Note: murdered people are always ‘innocent’ and wives ‘charming’. So we felt that this… would be more appropriate and much more useful. If this public relations vehicle comes your way be prepared to steer it. This sort of excuse for an oratorical jamboree is becoming increasingly common. It comes with the deep thanks and admiration of the company. long-term conduct. ‘We were thinking of presenting Mr Jones with a watch. the foreman or the operative leaving after long service. And we hope that they will visit us often. no overdone compliments.’ Or take the manager. and long suffering wife Linda. and why we are so sad at his impending retirement. and of our thanks to him for his loyal service. Jones. Try to find fresh adjectives. But our colleague does not want to know the time just when it has become less important to him. together and always blessed with the very best of health. With this sort of award or presentation it is expected that the toast to the recipient will be coupled with a eulogy of the organisation he or she represents – and/or of the virtues represented by the organisation conferring the award. ‘We all wish Mr.

the less deserving the recipient. How do you cope with it? 126 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . the bigger the publicity hoped for. the more your sincerity becomes vital – if the occasion is not to deteriorate into sickening slush. A few. Remember the wise advice of that eminent actress and teacher. This dinner is in honour of Mr Finn. This is only a mild exaggeration of the sort of award occasion that occurs somewhere. ‘What better occasion could there be than this to launch the great new drive for British-built saunas? We shall create a home demand so as to build up an economic export potential… And we wish to express our admiration and thanks to our honoured guest. By avoiding exaggeration. to whom I am delighted to present this gold pin. theatricals. wise and unique man. wise and unique man.‘In the new and expanding sauna industry. the more fatuous the occasion. Cameras flash. every day. How do you appear sincere.’ Cheers.’ Hear. Close on the heels of the central-heating boom has come the realisation that sauna treatments bring health and true family relaxation. ‘I am so moved that I can scarcely speak…’ Then don’t. hear! ‘Mr Finn has helped to put our industry on to the British map. tears in the eyes or choking in the throat. By excluding melodrama.’ Not: ‘He is a brilliant. even when you are not? By playing down. The audience rises. If you are the presenter. in the shape of a sauna. magnificent…’ Superlatives are seldom either sincere or accurate. untapped demand for them in the larger private homes throughout the country. fantastic.’ With luck. there is an immense. not adjectives. While no public authority should be without one. an award. Mr Finn. ‘Ms Jones is fabulous. you may be at the receiving end of an honour. whom we are all delighted to welcome to England. Prunella Scales: If you want to be believed always emphasise nouns. Thus: ‘Our guest is a brilliant. Praise may be heaped on your receptive shoulders. quiet words of praise are worth paeans of adulation. as a token of our respect and gratitude. we are proud of our pioneers. a presentation or a toast.

for the very generous way in which you have referred to my organisation and to myself. and a funeral oration. there is one listener who is ready to believe in the truth of all that was said. It would be ungracious and insincere to say: ‘It’s all untrue… you shouldn’t have said those things…’ Yet you could hardly say: ‘Every word is an understatement…’ Then return the compliment by speaking well of the individual or organisation that has had the good sense to honour you.’ Just as it is vital for the speechmaker who praises to be patently sincere. Israel’s first President. THIRTY THREE PRESENTATIONS AND AWARDS – AS GIVER AND RECEIVER 127 . We shall do our best to live up to your high regard. most of the virtues that he was kind enough to attribute to me were in fact his own.’ More common: ‘I would first like to thank Mr. As everyone here knows me so well. I should in fact have been making a presentation to the organisation.‘I am very grateful to Mr Smith for his most generous obituary. In the former case. I shall try to redress the balance a little by saying why I regard the work of this organisation as having such enormous significance. said: ‘There is one difference between a speech of this kind heaping praise on the living. but not the latter. extolling the dead. especially in the present state of…’ Or: ‘It was very good of Mr. We are deeply grateful – and only wish that my half of it were true. Chaim Weizmann. very often…’ Or: ‘Whilst this fraternal organisation has been good enough to make an award to me.’ Or: ‘I am grateful to you. Chairman. ‘I have been very lucky to serve this company over so many years… It has been a privilege to work with you all… I shall miss you… I hope that we shall meet again. so the recipient must be clothed in decent modesty. The honours are flowing in the wrong direction. This company is fortunate to be led by a man of his calibre…’ Sincerity and the nicely turned compliment should not be the sole prerogative of the giver. Green for his very kind references to my wife and myself.’ said Adlai Stevenson. Smith to speak so well of me.

I thank you all for the compliment you have paid to me – and through me to my organisation. Thank you. my colleagues. End.Finally. Good luck to you all. tales with a moral – all of which go down so well in this sort of situation – these are all rounded off with a final word of thanks. 128 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Mr Smith.’ Or: ‘And so.’ The sentimental anecdotes you have slipped into the body of your speech. for your goodness to me – and for your most generous gift. in accepting this award. Our thanks to all of you. My colleagues and I are all happy to have been able to carry out our work – and we undertake to attempt in the future to exceed our past achievements which have caused you to honour us in the present. once again for your very kind words. with your gratitude. Thank you. My wife and I will treasure it always – as we shall the memories of our association with you. where you began. It has been a fine occasion – and an excellent speech. memories. the conclusion. the reminiscences. ‘And so my speech – like my time with the company – has drawn to a close.

In his wedding speech. who needs no introduction… Mr Gretsel Jenner!’ And Arthur Scargill was kind enough. consummated on the golf course!’ Ow! THIRTY FOUR FAMILY AND OTHER CELEBRATIONS AND COMMEMORATIONS 129 . and what won’t. who may forgive all. the rest will treasure memories of your mistakes and miseries for ever. With politicians. With the exception of mother. Expectation. be especially careful with names. whether the one you’re in or (still worse) the one you are joining – is a fiendish oratorical menace. But humiliate other members of your Mafia and they will take their revenge. before you speak on a family occasion. I was introduced as: ‘The man you all know… our MP. Jack. In answering the Four Questions for preparation (Chapter 1). But the family take a different and more forthright view of the offence of careless speaking. Ask how people pronounce them and do it their way. As always. to pleasant foibles and to past fun – but not so as to hurt. Find them out if you’re not sure. that doesn’t matter. Refer to assets and attributes. reduce those nerves through Preparation. find out what will please them. Tease if you and they wish. Jack referred to ‘this splendid marriage of ours.THIRTY FOUR Family and other celebrations and commemorations The family – any family. Relaxation and the Mantra (Chapter 6). write them down and keep them boldly before you when you speak. At a Leicester working men’s club. to praise the work of that well-known left-wing activist. So you have every right to be nervous. at the l993 Labour Party Conference. Granville Jagger. As the object is to please. As long as they mention you and vote for you. were great golfers. Ask your victims or those who are close to them. that’s fine. Above all. Both my Aunt Edith and her bridegroom.

Everything he does. has said that he was “not losing a daughter but gaining a son”. She simply goes her own way and I go hers.’ 130 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . I would have said he was not losing a daughter but gaining a bathroom. That got me really worried. to find some that suit the people and the occasion.’ • ‘As we all know. We had given her a set of bed sheets. He loses his notes… makes jokes in poor taste… and ums and ers incessantly. silence and obedience. for success. do buy or borrow that classic video of Rowan Atkinson. Perhaps that’s why the note sent to my wife and to me said that it was “just what she’d wanted and she’d use them every time she entertained friends”. Whether your job is to congratulate the bride or the groom.For the greatest take off of such marvellous moments. So my advice to my friend. He is part-Muslim. you avoid. to welcome the guests. part-Jewish and partCatholic. to adapt the jokes to the people and the circumstances. which may give you some ideas: • ‘What a beautiful wedding ceremony that was.’ • ‘Our host today. Here are some wedding gems. decide on your message and structure your words. Three times a day he kneels towards Mecca and sings “Oy Vay Maria”!’ • ‘As all our friends here know. this is a mixed marriage – but we are all sure that it will be a very happy one. making his ‘best man speech’. the groom – start as you intend to continue – by going the bride’s way. wasn’t it? I really enjoyed being John’s best man and seeing him taking his three marriage vows – love. my wife and I never disagree. the bride’s father. and then to let the speech flow out from them. for laughs. There were so many that the notes were fairly standard. appropriate and inappropriate. So prepare and structure your speech. My favourite method is to mull through jokes and stories.’ • ‘The already written thank you notes to almost all the people who sent her wedding presents. to praise the parents or to respond to a toast. I know a man of mixed parentage and of mixed religious loyalties.

she’s bought something really expensive. my father said: “I celebrate 25 years of my wife being able to see right through me. I pay the tribute of us all to… We do miss him don’t we?’ THIRTY FOUR FAMILY AND OTHER CELEBRATIONS AND COMMEMORATIONS 131 . the widow or the widower. choose short. the key rules are: • From the start and to the end. George.”’ • ‘On my parents’ silver wedding. I want to know what she sees in him. When she’s really contrite. at or after funerals. you must neither lose your composure nor break down under the weight of emotion. ‘With sadness but with pride. Start. remember that the people who matter most are the immediate family. So ask the family what they wish you to say. be immensely relaxed together. clearly. parents and children. Speak slowly. Say what you are going to say. simple words.’ • ‘I learned long ago that when (naming the bride) tells me that she has “made an investment”. Start by addressing the family by name: ‘Mary. far behind. Not like the wife I know who called in a private detective and told him: “I want you to trail my husband’s mistress. Instead. But there is no more worthy duty in the eyes of God or of man. and say it.’ Now for speeches of farewell. Avoid pompous and insincere language. Richard – family and friends… We have all come here today because we loved…’ Keep your speech structured and brief. or of tribute at memorial meetings – in prospect. • • Do not declaim. than a salute to the departed. You must achieve detachment. • As for content. simply. all are a considerable ordeal. she says she “got it in a sale at Marks & Spencer”. If you face this responsibility. I am sure.• ‘Our bride and groom will.” So – my wife and I also will have no secrets. Friends come next.

‘And so we shall remember… with affection. the Rabbi asked: ‘Who will perform this holy duty? I cannot do so because unfortunately I can think of nothing good to say about poor David. ‘We are also here because of our affection for… We admire them for their… We love them because they… We are with them in their grief. Avoid platitudes and clichés. but they must have none visible. faced the audience.’ said Sam. smiling recollection of a joy brought into your life by your friend… Finally.’ Silence. ‘I beg you… someone…’ ‘I’ll do it. 132 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . now they are gone. A whimsical.Then say it. and with thanksgiving. And if a touch of humour fits. which we share. We shall miss him. as you remember him or her and as their family would wish you to. ‘Please someone must find something to praise. ‘His brother was worse!’ If you must pay your respects to the departed. with joy. Then the family itself.’ In your few moments. use it. and said. in David’s life?’ Silence. Set out your points in order.’ Then say what you have said. Try to catch the essence of the person. remember that people eulogised may have had faults while alive. you will certainly be able to do better than that. So after David Cohen had been buried. He came to the front. because we enjoyed and shared in the warmth of his friendship. There is an ancient Jewish tradition that someone must say good words at a funeral. you must try to conjure up the happiest of memories of the deceased. Sum up your message.

Only too often. barmitzvahs and first communions. Check on your key listeners and find out what they would like you to say – what would make them happy and satisfied. Births and baptisms. If you can. weddings. have some serious material in reserve. there are far more joyful occasions than sad ones. THIRTY FOUR FAMILY AND OTHER CELEBRATIONS AND COMMEMORATIONS 133 . Whatever the occasion and the audience. christenings. engagements. And in case the best jokes fall flat. anniversaries and birthdays: each is the occasion for a word of congratulation at the start of a meeting or speech – or for a celebration which demands an appropriate speech. prepare with care. confirmations. identify their sensitivities and avoid offence.Happily. you will need it. whilst every lifetime contains the seeds of its own sorrow. Prepare… do your homework… and hope for the best.

Tell them so – by implication. There are those who work hard for a charity – and others who may contribute money earned while not striving for good causes. now. May I make a special appeal to you? Give us the means and we will do the job. Others find it impossible to do so. So. ‘I ask you to give as an expression of gratitude for the fact that you do not need to make use of this great trade charity for yourself. There are those who give out of pure kindness of heart. I hope that none 134 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Guilt and self-interest are more powerful motives. or even for some less obviously altruistic outlet. the sick or the needy – and you are young. ‘Some of us are in the happy position of being able to spare time to work for this important charity. they can do as much for the needy as their more apparently energetic colleagues.THIRTY FIVE Appeals and fundraising The art of extracting money from listeners requires skilled cunning. maybe the company will not be in a position to pay it. of enlightened self-interest? Maybe it’s a question of insurance. In their own way. when you are in a position to assure your own future. then. but at least he can enforce his financial requirements. for a trade or industrial benevolent fund. This charity deals with the aged. It is a job that desperately needs every pound that you can spare – and more…’ What. or middle-aged or at least fit? That’s now. please do so. or it won’t be enough for the needs of your bereaved spouse or partner. the infirm. must win the cash. The Chancellor of the Exchequer may have political problems. How? That depends on the audience and the cause. What happens if you get dumped on the scrap heap… sacked… struck down by some fell disease? You have a pension? Well. Speechmakers trying to raise funds for a favourite charity.

of us will need at any time to occupy a bed in this convalescent home; to receive a payment from this fund; to rely on the benevolence of others in the industry… But who knows?’ Pause, significantly. ‘And even if, as we all hope, we escape the need for help of this sort, we can be proud that those who do require it can look to us. They have given good service; they have earned every penny that comes to them; they have been smitten by the ill-fortune that we have been lucky enough to avoid…’ Most people spend money on insurance, don’t they? Well, this is a healthy and helpful form of outlet for the same intelligent response to potential misfortune. Consider always the best way to confer a bargain. This is generally done with the kind aid of the Inland Revenue. If business people feel that they can lawfully and properly give more by paying less, you are far more likely to get your money, to have a bed endowed in the trade home, to acquire your ‘Smith House’ or ‘Jones Hall’. So check on current covenant schemes, charitable trusts, and tax-deductible donations. ‘Think of it, Ladies and Gentlemen. All those who pay income tax at the current standard rate can confer a benefit on this charity out of all proportion to the amount which they have to give up from their own spending. Here are some examples…’ Then say how much a gift of £X or $Y per year will mean, gross, to the charity. You might remind your audience that when a charity receives covenants, these can provide good security for loans, if it needs the money at once. It is sometimes possible to get people to give a lump sum on the basis that it will be grossed up for tax purposes over the years. The charity’s accountants will know the rules. Then, remember that lawful extortion is the charitable fundraiser’s most potent weapon. You phone your supplier. ‘Jimmy,’ you say, ‘we’ve had such a tremendous call on our benevolent fund that we simply have to raise an extra £50,000. Can I count on you for five thousand?’



Jimmy groans inwardly. ‘Certainly, Bill,’ he smiles. ‘Can I place an advertisement in the next brochure?’ Use the same tactic in public speech. Look at Jimmy when you ask for funds. He may turn away his gaze, but he may not dare to keep his cheque book closed. After all, when he came to the function or the meeting, he realised that the skinning knives would be unsheathed. Or, even better, corner him in advance. Find out how much he is willing to give. With his consent, announce it – as a bait for others, or to shame them into raising their donations to an appropriately announceable level. If you have goodwill, then use it for the benefit of the less privileged. It’s all in a good cause, isn’t it? Of course, whether you can use this sort of direct attack or whether you have to be more subtle; whether you can announce donations at the meeting, or have to let the word go round from mouth-to-mouth; whether you conduct a charity auction at inflated prices, a raffle, or a tombola – all depends on particular factors in each case. But one rule applies to nearly all: you cannot afford to be bashful, or to worry about rebuffs, if you are looking for money from the pockets of others. Anyway, why should you be embarrassed? You are not asking for yourself. The best time to attack is when the mind is weak through the stomach being overloaded, or the heart is touched by your words. If you have people in a happy, receptive and giving mood, then (literally) cash in. Either ask them for their donation at the time – and pass round the appropriate banker’s or covenant forms – or at least write to them the very next day saying: ‘It was very good to see you last night… I enclose a covenant form… I am sure that I can count on your support…’ I reproduce with appreciation an interview in which a successful appealmaker gave away some of his secrets: ‘I know plenty of people who can make an excellent speech, but not an appeal. The technique is quite different. The man or woman who makes a speech can create the right atmosphere for someone to follow on. The appeal-maker must not waste time making speeches. He or she needs a couple of minutes to say what it is all about. And, of course, appeal-makers must never be satisfied with their audience. Whatever they say, they must have the people



in a frame of mind in which they want to give. And the appeal-makers must know when to stop.’ An audience, should be ‘like a juicy orange – you squeeze, but not until the pips pop out. When you stop is a matter of psychology or intuition.’ When you have finished your appeal, can you tell whether the audience is still with you? ‘If they applaud you as loudly when you sit down as when you got up, you can be happy with the job done. ‘Appeal-makers must never read their speeches. What they have to say must be spontaneous. It must come from the heart. They must never embarrass people but always make them feel happy about their giving and leave them in a good frame of mind, appreciating a successful job. People recognise the sincerity of the appeal-maker. An appeal-maker must be somebody who sincerely believes in the cause that he or she puts forward… Finally, the appeal-maker must set an example in giving. Give and the world gives with you… The mean person is not an appealing figure, in any sense of the word.





Curiously, even prominent people are prepared to take part in panels. The audience gets at least two views for the price of one evening. Speakers – who might otherwise resent the competition and the feeling that the audience really should be satisfied with an evening of one of them – agree to participate out of delight at not having to prepare any lengthy set speech. Some or all of the speakers are often fooled into accepting because they think that the others on the panel have already done so, or they turn up because they have been asked by someone whom they cannot refuse. Whatever the circumstances, many speakers at some time or another have to perform at panels or ‘brains trusts’. The organisers should provide each speaker with a pencil and pad. Too often, they don’t. Never arrive at any meeting without pen and paper, least of all for a panel discussion. When asked a question, jot it down. Alongside, put your random ideas. If you have none, indicate to the Chair that one of your colleagues should open the batting. Something will come to your mind while your colleague answers. If it does not, then say: ‘I agree’, or ‘No comment on this one, thank you.’ There are questions that may provoke all sorts of possible answers, none of which you wish to give. Do not be browbeaten into words you may later regret, especially if the press are there. Each answer you do give should be a small, neat speech. It should have a beginning, a body and an end. Do your PREP – Position, Reason, Example, Position (Chapter 15). It must be concise; and precisely because it is off the cuff, you may find it considerably more difficult than the ordinary, set effort.



You may have to cope with interruptions from your colleagues or from the chair. Take them in your stride. React to the informality of the occasion. Do not be afraid to break your train of thought – or, if you cannot return to it, say: ‘Now where was I, before Mr. Brown’s happy intervention?’ Someone will remind you (Chapter 45). Conversational informality is the key to successful panelling. Imagine that you are performing at a dinner party, with an audience to play up to. Make use of your powers of showmanship. React to your audience. Fish for applause and laughter. Relax and enjoy yourself and your audience will do the same. Well-chosen panels include people with different backgrounds, viewpoints and ideas. Friendly teasing or gentle gibes go down well. Smart retorts to points made by other speakers seldom go astray. Insults are resented, by victims and audience alike. The tradition is that of the dinner party and not of the political tub-thump. So avoid aggressive and unfriendly rejoinders, rude or unkind rebuttals, personal remarks to, or about, other speakers which hurt, whether or not they are calculated to do so. The object is to demonstrate your brains, not to tear out those of the other panellists.




In the open

You may have to make an open-air speech at some trade show or speaking event. Perhaps it’s only a vote of thanks at the local sports day or a talk or lecture on site; or maybe a political speech at a rally, or at your local war memorial? Wherever the place and whatever the circumstances, there are basic rules on open-air oratory that should help you succeed out of doors. Human voices carry poorly in the open air. So the prime essential for the outdoor speaker is to be heard. If you have a microphone (Chapter 27), use it. The chances of outdoor amplifying equipment going wrong are far greater than with their indoor brethren. The variety that hooks on to a car battery is especially vulnerable. Listen to the politicians next election time. Pity their attempts to be heard – especially when a crowd is all around them and the amplifying equipment points only to the front. If you do use a microphone, remember its outdoor limitations. For instance, if ever you have to speak in a moving vehicle – perhaps from the front of a car or the back of a truck – talk very slowly and distinctly and urge the driver to move as slowly as possible. People like to hear what is being cried out at them from a moving object and they get aggravated when it darts past without giving them the chance to pick up the words – however banal or trite those words may be. Usually, there is time for a slogan only. ‘Today’s the day… Come to the carnival… 12.15pm at the park…’ Then you are gone. Most outdoor speaking is stationary. Mike or no mike, many of the indoor rules go out of the window. For instance: • • The outdoor speaker can be far freer with movement and gesture. Old-fashioned oratory – rabble-rousing – is more effective and appears less insincere when out of doors.



Instead of having an audience ready-made, you may have to collect it. Indoors, there is no point in speaking to yourself; outdoors you may have no alternative, so the louder and more provocatively you rant, the greater your chances of an eventual audience.

Some rules of indoor speaking require special emphasis out of doors. For instance: • Do not be afraid to pause… to wait… to give every possible indication of complete calm and confidence. • Never panic, no matter what may be thrown at you – even if this is more than mere words. Remember always, that the speaker has the microphone and has a vast advantage over the audience. If they are firm and unruffled, they should win. • Make certain that your voice carries. If you use a battery-operated hand megaphone, pull the trigger tight. As my Harvard professor used to say: ‘Take your voice and throw it against the back wall and make it bounce off.’ If you get hoarse as a result, do not worry. You have joined the professionals. Lose your voice and it will come back. Lose your audience, and it is gone forever.




While others speak

Part of the price of the pleasure of hearing your own voice is the need to endure the speeches of others. You may, of course, be lucky. If you are the sole guest speaker you will have only the introduction and vote of thanks to sit through. During the former you will think of your speech and – if you take the advice given in this book to heart – try to find something in the words of your introducer to quote, adapt or answer, and so establish a rapport with your audience. During your vote of thanks, just try to believe that the words spoken of you are true. Inevitably unlucky are after-dinner speakers, no matter what their places are in the toast list. The Chair of a committee may be able to regulate the speeches of others, but the rest must put up with them. If you happen to be a Member of Parliament, you may be able to escape from the function after you have spoken, perhaps blessed with a three-line whip – an order to be present to vote, underlined three times, which means that you must be there. My wife used to whisper to me, during dull speeches: ‘Come on darling, can’t you grow a three liner?’ Then the Chairman will say: ‘Our guest must now return to his Parliamentary duties. We appreciate all the more that he has spared time to be with us.’ Heaven help anyone else who leaves before the other speeches are complete. So – cultivate the art of enjoyable listening. In private, the good listener is generally credited with fine powers of perception, intelligence and even eloquence. In public, to fall asleep whilst others speak is the height of bad manners. How to avoid it? Every practised speaker is a skilled doodler. One handwriting expert is alleged to make his living largely by interpreting the doodles of the famous. A more constructive way of staying awake? The discreet writing of those neglected letters.



If you hear a good story. and you can fight off slumber no longer. brochure or agenda are in front of you so that it may (with luck) appear that you are reading – or at least engaged in deep thought. If all else fails. My relatives always know when I have been cursed with dull speeches to hear. Spare a thought for diplomats and royals. Most of us must be content with the head rested on the hand. who dreamed that he was speaking in the House of Lords. Of course. You must try to get your neighbours to talk about their speciality and you may find that they are more interesting than you had presumed. you could instead be jotting down notes for current work. write it down. Take out a pen and write your correspondence. In the unlikely event of the speaker sparking off a constructive chain of thought. Look up every now and again at the speaker. who must do it all the time. They receive missives on agendas. they will. The after-dinner speeches are a misery? Then use the back of the menu. toast list. minutes. No one – least of all the speakers – will suspect that you are doing anything other than paying them the compliment of noting their words. Alternatively. make a note of the idea before it flees forever. the elbow on the table. without any appearance of flagging attention or lagging concentration. guest list or brochure. through long years of practice. pads… anything that happens to be handy. together with you.The dinner is dull? Too bad. I have a friend who. then you must give the same courtesy to other speakers – especially if they are on the top table or platform. THIRTY EIGHT WHILE OTHERS SPEAK 143 . He woke up and found that he was! If you are the speaker and you want your audience to pay attention to you. And remember that politicians have been defined as ‘people who speak while others sleep…’ Then there was the peer. then you must do your best to organise your forty winks so as to attract the least possible suspicion. Speakers should learn to amuse themselves during the unamusing speeches of others. has learned to sleep whilst sitting bolt upright and with his eyes open. Look up and play up to them as you would wish them to do for you and if you are lucky. the head droops forward and the notes.

‘Of course I’ll be pleased to speak to you. persuading or even denouncing – plus one key point. when hosts. Write down the absolute essentials. But may I make a phone call first. won’t you?’ Here’s how you do it.THIRTY NINE Impromptu The greatest horror for every speechmaker? Those impromptu. Just give me a moment to collect my thoughts…’ Or: ‘I think that we should hear first from Jess and Bob. Or: proposal impossible because… Or: Jack the Giant Killer… Or whatever it’s about. So how do the professionals cope. I’m just getting the children ready for school… I’ve just got out of the bath… Let me just finish my breakfast and I’ll call you back…’ If you cannot plausibly delay your few words. Take a very deep breath. Take your time – as much as possible of it and try to get more. Remember: a few words should be just that.’ they say to the journalist. if you speak unwarned. Not a lengthy. ‘But you’ll have to give me a few minutes. unstructured. just to tell Betty I’ll be late…’ Or: ‘Of course I’ll say a few words about Joe. So jot down: charming colleague. But some well chosen phrases. Then of course I’ll be glad to speak…’ It’s the speechmakers’ version of the tactics used by politicians. Say that you’d just like time to finish your drink. These include: names – especially of the person whom you are thanking or praising. unprepared ramble. Few speeches should contain more and certainly your audience will only expect one. please. smile. bosses or friends say: ‘Now. or. Find pen and paper. inescapable ‘few words’. off the cuff. perhaps. ‘I’ll speak with pleasure. when they get a phone call from the media and want time to consider. I’m sure that you’ll say just a few words. 144 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER .

as he most certainly should not do. your message or your response to Joe’s very kind suggestion that you should add your greeting… Finally. When you start. Do not rush. Wear your invisible crown. ‘Ladies and Gentlemen… Colleagues… Mary and Jack…’ Please do not say: ‘It’s a great surprise to be asked to speak.’ Even if Joe starts. You’ll forgive me if I get incoherent. you’ll certainly have time for the key relaxation procedure. • Do not blame someone else. Pause. above all. Keep your head up. Then plunge in with those few sentences which sum up your opinions. I’ve not had time to prepare. two other major do nots. Smile. ‘I’m really cross with Paul for not giving me time to prepare this speech…’ • Do not. Good luck! THIRTY NINE IMPROMPTU 145 . by saying: ‘Arthur has asked to say something to you…’ – even then start as if you were used to it. lose eye contact or slouch. Instead. Take a deep breath – in through your nose – hold it – then let out the breath slowly through your mouth. I’m not used to speaking at all and I wish Joe hadn’t insisted. use your introduction as a warm up. gabble. Look around. use measured speech. show any of those tell-tale signs of the amateur.Before you get up.

So here are key rules on how to access – and then how to handle – the media. As in politics. If you have nothing to offer that at least appears new or attractive. unless you face microphones. or it will not listen. As a start. bearing in mind its target. 2 WHAT do they want? Answer: news… a story… something different. you then set out to snare your prey. Or how to deal with the press. or theirs.FORTY The media – access and handling It’s useless knowing how to handle TV if you do not get your head on the box. your product or yourself? 4 HOW? How can you best get your message across. what they want and your message. because each is different. And within that market or audience. 146 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Or how to cope with radio interviews. don’t waste your time. As always. There are many methods. ask the four questions: 1 WHO are they? As in business. you must identify your market. if they are not interested in you or your efforts. well and swiftly. so with the media. you must try to work out who is most likely to accept your bid for precious time or space. 3 WHY? What is your purpose in seeking publicity for your message. you must identify your audience. and your purpose? Which of the media is best for you and yours? Which is the most likely to be prepared to listen? When and only when you have answered the four questions. you could contact the Press Association (PA) or other agencies and send them a press release. which you can provide.

Use the classic structure of the presentation – say what you are going to say. or may not.Your release should say what you would like others to read or hear about your services. pithy and to the point. say it. Attach any enclosures. and on your company or firm’s notepaper and with ‘News Release’ at the top. when and the message you want to convey. Put your release into journalists’ language. Date it. they have their job to do. address and/or telephone number for the contact from whom further information is available. Make sure that when you speak you follow the script or otherwise carefully inform the media who have already received it. are either too busy or too lazy to take note. Phone them and sell your proposal. With only the rarest of disreputable exceptions. It is John Brown. or your project or idea. Elaborate it in the middle. You FORTY THE MEDIA – ACCESS AND HANDLING 147 . of any deviation from it. decide to whom you should send it. and then say what you’ve said. And recognising that many of the people who receive the story that way. be especially careful with the embargo. Headline your message at the start. You may need separate releases for different markets. from the news-desk of a national paper. For example: the telephone rings. journalists will honour ‘off the record’ communications. Repeat it at the end. Highlight key passages which you hope will be prominent if reproduced. He asks for a comment on a problem concerning one of your clients. That means. If you do not want it to go out too early. then make a dead set at each of the media. Always put them out professionally. And add the name. wish to answer. it may be too late. Even if they are your personal friends. mark it at the top with an ‘Embargo’ and release date and time. If you decide to send out the wording of a speech or presentation in advance. As always. correspondence or other documents to which the release refers. Select your recipients and your message with care or you will waste resources or misjudge your market. Treat journalists and interviewers with respect. if the matter is important enough to you. customers or constituents. they are free to ask questions which you may. if you are prepared to talk to them. before preparing the document. By the time your tale goes out on the wires. Keep it brief.

‘off the record’ you can normally expect confidence to be honoured. But it is probably worth using the chance to put your spin on the story. depending on the story. please. I can tell you…’ Then you say what you are prepared to have quoted. start with newspapers. No guarantee. be positive. Get your secretary or assistant to telephone the news desks or foreign desks. Brown: ‘And off the record?’ You can then give the background. refused to comment.could refuse to say anything. and your chances of success are much less than if they introduce you. you should know that editorial content is far better advertising for you and your message than any that you can pay for – provided that it is what you want. Equally. local party or whatever) have a considerable involvement in it/know a lot about it. Whatever the medium.’ Much better to say: ‘Do you want to talk to me on or off the record?’ Brown: ‘On the record. Now. the reporter may need you again. the company’s accountant (or whatever). Bill Green. ‘I have a very interesting story for you…’ Or: ‘Are you running anything about…? It’s quite a story and I (or: my company. the explanation or the information you wish so that the journalist will understand the situation as you see it. it depends on the goodwill of its victims. in which case the paper will be entitled to publish: ‘When challenged.’ ‘Well. But leave it to a junior person to read over the press statement or to explain what the story is about. We have just had word from… Would you be interested in a comment? Would you like some more details?’ 148 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . on the record. After all. Sell. Provided you have made it plain that you are giving unquotable background. firm. When you yourself get through.

You makes your effort and you takes your chance… Naturally. you have a much better chance of a hearing if you grab them then than at other times. For instance. Can I put you through to… who is just writing the story and will take a quote from you. my comments on it were pushed out. the media were full of stories about actual or potential attempts to bomb aircraft out of the sky… the continuing Afghanistan aftermath of September 11th… and the threat of war between two great nuclear powers. when you have none. Do not waste their time or they will not give it to you again. Christmas 2001. you take your chance. Never tell someone you have a story. the person will say: ‘Yes. But not always. Usually. India and Pakistan. So Israel’s refusal to allow Arafat to attend Christmas Eve services in Bethlehem was pushed back – and. those chances of success are greatly increased if you know your quarry personally. FORTY THE MEDIA – ACCESS AND HANDLING 149 . Phone up your friendly journalist and ask: ‘Is this the sort of story you are likely to run? Is it worth having a word with somebody in your outfit?’ Your reputation is important. with only a few exceptions.’ Or: ‘Would you be free to come to the studio. Much depends on what other news stories are breaking. it’s best to communicate your message to each of the media and hope for the best. Never try to fool your quarries. soon after the news?’ Or you may dictate your own release and hope for the best. because they all have memories. Christmas and Easter – ‘silly seasons’. Never serve out rubbish. not to leave it too late. Early in the morning is best for evening papers and early afternoon for the dailies.If you are lucky. later today. though. they call holiday periods – August. Be sure. You take your chance. You may give your quote to eight papers and it will appear in five – or in none. Anyway. for example. so that we can interview you. Usually. too. you never know. With TV or radio.

So this chapter is for public speakers – the speechmakers 150 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . they prefer you to go to their studio. As with business. then you must have an especially useful angle or they will prefer to interview a victim.Conversely: If you have a good story. they will usually send a car to collect you and bring you back to your home or base. they may send a television crew or radio van to your home or office. check with the journalists whom you most hope will attend to make sure that it suits them. Your problem may then be: Do we give it to everyone or give someone an exclusive? For example: if you want to get on to the BBC Today programme. The media are hungry for stories but are chronically short of space in which to publish them. So try to get the arrangements to suit you. so with selling stories – you have to balance supply with demand. Then hope for the best. Never invite the media to receive hard news at your conference and then give one of them the jump on the rest. Or make it available at the time. they will do their best to make sure that they get you. Or they may interview you by telephone – ‘down the line’. Keep press conferences short. if you want to comment on a foreign story. So hope that you will not be ousted by some more pungent story or scandal. If the media want you. Always do a follow-up – a telephone call or a further meeting. If it’s television or radio. and if you ask. your words may be quoted. on the spot. If they want you enough. Honour embargoes. Then hope that the competition for space that day will not be too great. Consider preparing a press kit and sending it out in advance. Provide modest hospitality and sustenance. But remember that modern technology means that it has become much easier for them to attract and use victims than it ever was. But even then. or their own correspondent. with everyone of importance to whom you have made your presentation. they will probably only take your story if no one else uses it before you go on the air. Others may not mind. as you expect others to do. You may make your speeches to visible audiences. use it. For instance. When fixing that time.

or that you can prove that you have been. Remember that dinner party when the French Ambassador described Israel as a ‘shitty little State’. Or choose a particular outlet and give them an ‘exclusive’. then record the interview. To plant or to place an article or story. but at least they maximise their chances. current story. If they don’t or can’t. Learn how to do a better job next time. must beware of and will do best if they know how to handle. be especially careful. the media. or with a telephone call. If that interview is to be broadcast. you must know your market and who controls it. Listen or watch. launching a new product. If you want to be sure that you will not be misquoted. organising a new service for your clients. Treat journalists as enemies and they will respond accordingly. He was widely quoted and the fact FORTY THE MEDIA – ACCESS AND HANDLING 151 . Recognise your mistakes and try not to make them again. or preparing or unveiling a research project. Perhaps you should start with a letter. offering the idea.’ Correct. If anyone from the media is present at a private gathering. ask the producer to send you a tape or video. they should not blame the BBC or others for their own shortcomings.whose words have public interest and who should use. ‘It is Ministers’ responsibility to prepare themselves sufficiently to deal with them. Who are the people you really want to reach? Which media are most likely to take what story? Which editor or reporter has a personal interest in the particular theme or idea? You are opening a new office. As a start. Reporters and editors usually respond well to goodwill and to frankness. Study your markets. They may fail. The Mail on Sunday commented on moans about the mauling of Ministers by the BBC’s ‘Today’ Programme. lunch or a drink? Or maybe you can respond to an important. and realise what you got wrong. do unto the media as you would have them do unto you. of public interest? Then try a press conference to promote the news. real or apparent. When it arrives as it almost always will. they must know how to set about getting it. play it. And if speechmakers want a good press.

their object? • Why are you willing to be interviewed? What is your message? What do you want to put across? • How ? What method should you use to explain your case? Once you have answered the four questions. but I can’t at the moment because I’m just going into a conference with a client. Remember that journalists are busy people. What if they are after you? In biblical words: ‘Respect and suspect’. Respect them because they have power which can be used for or against you. What do they want from you? What is their angle. before you decide whether or not to respond? If you do decide to respond. suspect them. all prefer to get better results with less work. Where are they from? Why are they interested in the information sought? What are they prepared to tell you about what they know. and if so what. or whether you are prepared to deal with the matter by telephone. Instead. Would you like to call back this afternoon?’ Then. then how? It is always better not to say ‘No’. A journalist’s duty is to extract as much information as possible from you. • • Who are they? Identify the newspaper and individual reporter. So much for your chasing the press. when his words appeared in print. Then start by listening to them. because it is their duty to report. whether it would be better to organise a quiet lunch or drink. armed with as much information as you can get. documentation. prepare – by asking the same four questions that you use in preparing any presentation. or at all. much harm. you can consider whether to invite the journalist in to see you. He qualified as one of the world’s most undiplomatic diplomats and was soon moved away from Britain’s shores. on your ground. You can consult with your colleagues and decide whether (for instance) you should provide any. their purpose. try: ‘I’ll be pleased to speak to you. and they may do you or your clients.that the occasion was private did not reduce his embarrassment. 152 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER .

keep quiet. Again. He smiled and said: ‘Wallow in it. then do not expose yourself to the media. I wallowed in silence and hoped for the best. that will give everyone a peg and the story will be carried much more widely. FORTY THE MEDIA – ACCESS AND HANDLING 153 .’ Silence should kill off an unwanted story far swifter than words.’ • • • Reason – ‘Because…’ Example – ‘For instance. if dead fish are floating in the canal outside your works. there will be occasions when you would not want anything published at all. For instance. I have been able to…’ Then back to the Position – ‘So we shall expand this service. Inevitably. I moaned to a close friend who was on its board at the time. in the form most likely to be published in the way that you want. precious seconds. say nothing. To quote from a distinguished TV broadcaster and friend: ‘If you don’t want to talk about something. If your silence fails and you do get unwanted publicity. Now suppose that you have to deal with a television or radio story that you do wish to promote. there is no point in holding a news conference about your latest sales figures. The chances are that you will have a few. If you have something you do not want to talk about. It’s a compact. my boy! It’s made your name!’ In that case.and some are lazy. Make no comment. So feed through your material or your message. he was probably right. to cover…’ In radio or television terms. If so do your PREP (Chapter 15). Media which follow the story that is troubling you will have to content themselves with allegations. remember that before long people will remember that they have seen your name but will forget the context. they call it a ‘sound bite’. structured and concise summary of what you want to get across. If you confirm the story. • State your Position – ‘Our firm is providing a new service for its clients. I was once under bitter attack from British Gas.

complain courteously but bluntly and frankly. reading: ‘Since Mr Russell is dead. then provide the media with a story and warn them in advance. in some cases. you may even get an apology. you could go direct to the paper’s editor. the press tried to interview him.If the media do the dirty on you. A resentful Japanese newspaper reported that he had died and refused to retract the story. If you are lucky and the editor is fair. what can you do? As a start. Speeches made in ‘private meetings’ are a great source of public disasters. You could try the Press Council. in general. Philosopher Bertrand Russell refused to grant interviews after he had been seriously ill in China. they will probe until they consider that they have received a fair answer or. If you do not want to be quoted. do not make speeches. If you do want publicity. especially if there has been any improper invasion of privacy. Not everyone would agree. I would say that it trembles on the brink of obscenity!’ Which brings us back to the ‘suspect’ principle. It is the job of journalists to ferret out the truth. But this is a last resort. are friendly sources. Or you could take your revenge by refusing to deal with the individual journalist or with the paper. If they feel that you are evading or dodging a question. They are entitled and bound to ask the appropriate questions. In the words of the late Lord Longford: ‘On the whole. I would not say that our press is obscene. His secretary handed out printed slips to each reporter. your staff . he cannot be interviewed!’ Newspapers take live stories and. of the way that you. Make a speech worth quoting and you may be lucky. the answer they want. 154 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . even when he telephoned them. When Russell was passing through Japan on his way home. colleagues or clients have been treated.

‘You can dub in the reporter’s voice when she turns up!’ To my delight. The best. and to give myself the most brilliant answers. I made my revolutionary proposal to the man in charge: ‘Let me interview myself !’ I promised to ask myself only the nastiest and most probing questions. And no one noticed. The ultimate in reporters’ lateness provided me with one of my few and cherished chances to enter the Guinness Book of Records. like most actors or politicians – especially trained and experienced politicians – because they are skilled at making up their own scripts as they go along. If you are late. how can you avoid joining the ranks of the awful? Here is your victim’s guide. she duly dubbed her voice into the question. which are the best and which the worst categories of performer. I had arrived my customary few minutes early for a local radio recording session. you will either miss the show or never be asked back. So if you must make a radio appearance.FORTY ONE Radio – the sightless wonder Ask any experienced radio producer or interviewer. Arrive early. ‘basically’ and ‘essentially’ and prevaricate and make the worst of themselves and of their case. of course to supply succinct and appropriate replies. they mumble and ramble and ‘um’ and ‘er’ and use ‘um words’ like ‘actually’. When the interviewer arrived. The worst? Executives – industrialists and business people. with the judicious use of the razor blade. are professionals. After half-an-hour of waiting. Believing that their success in commerce qualifies them to harness sound without sight. being sure. The reporter was late. FORTY ONE RADIO – THE SIGHTLESS WONDER 155 . he agreed. I carried out the interview with immaculate courtesy. but dug away at my own weak points. they will agree. Certainly you will not have the time to compose yourself.

complain. accurately and to the questioner’s point. They will not hold that against you.’ said the President. If you do not get fairness. ‘I’ll repeat that. 156 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . say so. So concentrate. Concentrate on the interviewer and forget your audience.Approach radio with a touch of paranoia.’ Then do – and leave it to the interviewer. They have too many miseries of their own to correct and they are professionals. If your piece is recorded. news flashes on a monitor screen.’ you say. the studio had already been linked up to loudspeakers in the White House and Press Room. Be concise and relevant. Sincerity is vital. A good interviewer asks questions and lets the victim get on with answering them. The producer said to him: ‘Now Mr President. President Reagan was to make a crucial ‘State of the Nation’ broadcast. ‘that our economy is in one hell of a mess!’ Unfortunately for him. ask to have it repeated. unless you are certain that your words will not be broadcast. Answer the questions you are asked – briefly. Whether you are asked questions by telephone (‘down the line’) or in the studio. Do not be bullied. to slice out your initial and muddled effort. take care. Then elaborate or qualify your reply. to the huge delight of all those who take pleasure in someone else’s awful error. ‘Sorry. Allow your mind to move off your subject and you are in trouble. Tell us what you think about our United States economy?’ ‘I must tell the nation. with no one else listening. please will you say something so that we can have some sound level. Brighten your broadcast with stories and analogies. Ignore the interviewer sipping coffee. do not worry if you ‘fluff’. Talk to the interviewer as though you were engaging in ordinary chat. Only your voice can convey it. If you cannot properly reply. If you need time to think out the answer to a question. his words were beamed around the world. Despite the frantic efforts of the President’s advisers. or editor. people gesticulating through the glass in the control room or busy ‘cutting’ tapes in the next studio.

in which case your ‘fluffs’ can be removed but also your best arguments edited out? Or will you go out ‘live’. but first consider how…’ or ‘I agree. try threatening to ‘dry’ if your interrogator is unfair. Remember. Mother Nature can destroy the best of presentations. but it is also inedible. Avoid noisy bangles.Take care what you wear. ensure that you are thoroughly indigestible. keep cool. and make it. If you work from a script or from notes on separate sheets. courteous and as friendly as possible. Is it to be pre-recorded. do not rattle paper. Many careers have been ruined by that most hazardous marriage of broadcast and booze. But remain cool. don your armour. A young woman deafened listeners with a crackling roar. make sure that you get your point across. Always try to commandeer the ending. Above all. Avoid drinking too much ‘hospitality coffee’ before committing yourself on air for any length of time. Keep off alcohol. but before we look at… you must accept that…’ or ‘A very good question – but a better one is…’ FORTY ONE RADIO – THE SIGHTLESS WONDER 157 . If they want to turn you into a human sacrifice. If your interviewer gets nasty. So if you suspect trouble. You lose control of yourself and of your audience at the same moment. If you are faced with guest opponents. Nothing is more daunting in prospect. Find out in advance how long your piece will last. every time she breathed. beads or leather jackets. The sensitive directional mike picked up and magnified the rustle of her new dress. A hedgehog may be unattractive. Do not click ball-point pens or fiddle with paper clips. so that your errors cannot be erased? Whatever questions you are asked. Lift each gingerly and silently from the pile. otherwise you will make the sound of radio thunder. an interviewer’s job is to produce good radio. more challenging in reality or more lasting in memory than a broadcast confrontation. for the sound it can make. Lose command of yourself and you cannot command the argument. do not turn them over. Work out that point in advance. Radio broadcasters are heard and not seen. Thus: ‘Yes. If they wish to make a meal of you. battle for your fair share of precious time.

Keep awake and take care.If offered an invitation to speak ill of some other person. Concentrate until you are sure that you can no longer be heard. Finally. remember that broadcast defamation is libel (Chapter 48). make sure you are off the air before you relax and speak your mind. 158 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . as opposed to criticising their opinions.

shirts or ties are the major culprits. but you must adjust your own clothing. • Avoid flashy or gaudy jewellery and other distractions.FORTY TWO TV – your head on the box Television is every other sort of presentation writ large. suits. • Dress in clothes that fit the image you wish to present and in colours and patterns that do not move. plus: • The make-up person will take charge of your face. Every peril in radio presentation is concentrated. Every TV second counts and must be cherished. rucked jacket or dress. Add the dimension of sight to sound and errors pile high. It is the ultimate challenge for the speechmaker or other presenter. Best colours: pastel shades. Checks or narrow stripes on jackets or (especially) dresses. say. • If you are an unbearded man. white and bright red. a 10-second ‘plug’ on commercial radio against the same time on TV. drooping socks. dandruff on the shoulders. white label sticking up from the back of dark jacket. Worst: black. condensed and made visible. The higher cost of television reflects its potential power and impact. Remember that the box magnifies the most minor blemishes: tie askew. your company or your cause on the TV. I keep an electric razor handy. FORTY TWO TV – YOUR HEAD ON THE BOX 159 . Compare the cost of buying. shimmer or ‘strobe’ on the screen. and your presentation is in the afternoon or evening – shave again – five o’clock shadow shows. with (in general) a maximum audience for exploitation and error alike. follow the same rules as for radio. such as swinging earrings. or a bright handkerchief in the pocket of a dark suit. Politicians and business people are made and broken by the box. So if you have the chance to project yourself.

• When using gestures with open palms. • If you are interviewed in a separate place or studio from your interviewer. The rarer and the more sparing. lip-lickers and nose-pickers. If you move your eyes only. Turn your head and partially your upper body. • TV is a medium of close-ups. Watch amateurs on the screen – the unconscious scratchers. Immediately. by chance or by malicious design. Eye control. but also metallic (or gold) frames – they glitter. Only show how you feel if that would be appropriate. Copy the professionals and keep still. Do not tighten your jaws – that shows tension. • If you are not on screen alone. Don’t point. the fingerwaggers. • Keep your eyes on the interviewer or on your fellow gladiator. Victims who surreptitiously swivel their eyes – perhaps for a glimpse of the audience or the clock. smile – and look at your interviewer. cunning and insincere. twitchers. use a pair that is high above the eyes – your eyes must appear through the centre of the glass and never be hidden by the top of your frame. That reflects restlessness. • Be careful if you are not speaking but may be (even partially) on screen. eye contact and facial expression are crucial for confidence and sincerity. • At the start of the interview do not smirk or frown. Avoid not only those that are dark or which darken under the light. Use vivid facial expressions. or a peep at the monitor screen – all are done for. Smile. Do not close your lips firmly – or lick them with your tongue. Lift your eyebrows. arm-wavers and (even more disastrous) pounders of fists and strummers of fingers. And don’t move your arms or hands towards the camera.• Spectacles – if you need these. In a 160 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . the greater the effect. • Keep gestures to the minimum. thrown into the same ring for the pleasure of the public. ask for an ‘eye-line’. the camera switches to them and they look shifty. avoid spreading your fingers. you will look shifty. Find out where to look so that you appear to be fixing your eyes in line with your interrogator. Instead. maintain eye contact with others sitting in different directions.

Then speak. Pause. • • Do not speak while looking at notes. for confidential words. Nixon kept nodding agreement with Kennedy’s words.famous Nixon-Kennedy confrontation. Animation should come from your face. Keep points to the minimum. Do not look at the clock. Sit up and keep still. Don’t worry. Reason. open. or when the interviewer says ‘we must stop there’. FORTY TWO TV – YOUR HEAD ON THE BOX 161 . • Appear comfortable. Use short. If standing. Do not lean to one side. and then contradicting them.g. Position. Not pompous. not from your body. Take your time and don’t be afraid of silence. they may return the compliment. or should be. Hold still. hostile. brief extract – e. Appear reasonable to viewers in their homes. People don’t like incivility in their own homes. informal. place one foot slightly ahead of the other and shoulders back. Then you won’t sway. go ahead – courteously but firmly. as they themselves are probably human. • If you read from a prepared script. • Sum up – provide a ready-made. Only lean forward into camera deliberately and for emphasis. • The time to dive in with your capture-the-last word summary is when the ‘come to a close’ hand windmill signal starts. • Everyone is. with care not to go off camera. The studio manager will stand within view of the interviewer and relay time signals. • Move naturally – forward. sideways. severe. Don’t rush. Look up. • Posture matters. It is controlled by the performer and the operator will go at your speed. • Treat your interviewers with kindness and. And handle interruptions with charm and courtesy. Don’t show it – by wavering or shaking notes. especially if reaching down for notes. Above all: pause. defensive. nervous. Be yourself. you will be helped by a ‘teleprompter’. If it means interrupting someone else. • • Smoking will be forbidden in the studio. eyes and speech. by PREP: Position. short paragraphs. Example. involved and firm. ‘plain English’ words – short sentences.

unhesitatingly. ‘Where am I. It is brief.’ he replied. say: ‘May I finish my sentence please…’ or ‘If you don’t mind. Prepare.’ replied the Minister ‘is a perfect parliamentary answer. ‘That. that apply to personal presentations. have it repeated if you do not understand – or if you want extra time to think. Listen to the question. He stopped at a village and wound down his window.To succeed on the screen. So how to achieve these evidently desirable aims? Take training. Then add whatever you wish. In a confrontation or debate. ‘You are in your car. accurate – and adds nothing whatever to the sum total of human knowledge!’ So try to add a touch of information. A Cabinet Minister was lost while driving through the countryside. confidence without appearing smug or superior. If interrupted. a spice of wit or a modicum of common sense. or your TV presentation is hardly likely to sparkle. announce that you will fight back. and sincerity without gush: the same qualities. not to some other one that you would have preferred to hear. keep calm. then reply to that question. ‘The answer to your question is… But perhaps we could ask a different question?’ Or: ‘The answer is yes – but please remember that…’ First answer. 162 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . I’ll just finish this point then give way…’ Then wrap up your argument as swiftly as you can. then add. you must project your personality. Watch yourself on a video screen. please?’ he asked a passer-by. But do so by addition. Practise. radiating relaxation without relaxing. sir. hoping that it does not matter. Or flick away the defeat like a fly from your shoulder. in fact. Lose your self-control and you lose all. Do not underestimate your opponent. If you are defeated.

Think. and if you mess up your performance then at least it may be someone else’s fault! The joy of television is that everyone both hears and sees you and trouble can only be a fraction of an error away. FORTY TWO TV – YOUR HEAD ON THE BOX 163 . And hope for the best.’ Forget the millions of viewers. Pause. and make them. A moment’s distraction may spell disaster.Above all and again – concentrate. So sit back. nothing else matters. In Harold Macmillan’s words: ‘Say to yourself. Finally. Say it. Say what you are going to say. Follow instructions. Decide what points you need to make. Use your chosen mantra (Chapter 6). prepare your agenda and do not let the interviewer force you to follow his or hers. Then say what you’ve said.

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Part Six Handling your audience problems and solutions .

Even in the most hostile gathering. through widening your eye contact and projecting your voice.FORTY THREE Handling large audiences Many articulate people. are only a mite better than those who keep their heads lowered and mumble into notes. Speakers who look over the top of their audiences. Audiences are people. persuasive and authoritative with small groups. There’s no need to be. Speak to them. So start talking to the friendly face. indulging in soliloquy. India’s leaders must be prepared to speak to audiences of any size. Simply treat them as a small audience. famous for 166 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Grab. Look at them. up to tens of thousands. If you can cope with the few. and at intervals of about five seconds. I asked Prime Minister Atal Behar Vajpayee. then keep. Target your audience (Part 1). They have come out of interest or curiosity or duty. their interest by talking to them – and not over their heads. are terrified of large audiences. Experienced speakers look around for kindly faces. you’ll usually find someone with a friendly or tolerant smile. Deliberately. Essential rules: • • • • Do not change your style Do not change your personality Do not try to be someone else (Chapter 8) Just be yourself – but project yourself outwards. the many are much easier. Then turn your head and your eyes on to others. writ large. They want to be entertained. friend or relative in a good position. out into space. or all three. literally or metaphorically. Or you could plant a colleague.

the market for speaking would not be spoiled. if you are talking to yourself. stop. Give your audience the chance to relax and then to resettle. likely to be friendly or hostile? If you are working on a private business deal. Combine heart and mind. well versed in your topic or new to it. watch them while you speak. One of the speaker’s problems is where to look. People would attend meetings. And speakers would be much more successful than most of them are. Sort through your notes. It is different. of course. See whether they are concentrating. Take a sip from your glass of water. restore your hold on it. Why? Know the reason and the problem becomes easier to beat. toss in a joke. Only common-sense? Well. you tailor your talk to the nature. or shifting around in their seats. How does he keep such huge crowds gripped by his words and style. personality. Ignore this rule and you soon will be. If your audience is restless when you want it to be still. simple or learned. Facing your audience and fixing them with your eye is a problem. interests and sensitivity of your listener.his oratorical skill. Pause. If you have been serious. If you have been speaking at high volume. If you have held them still for some time. There is no more important rule for speakers than to keep a hawk-like watch on their listeners. Ask: Are they skilled or unskilled. then switch to a confidential tone. Consider two other paragraphs in Desmond Morris’s The Naked Ape. If nothing works. instead of preferring their TVs. FORTY THREE HANDLING LARGE AUDIENCES 167 . for his secret. Discover where their hearts lie and talk to them from your heart to theirs.’ So identify your listeners. No one can concentrate for more than two or three minutes without a break. Whatever and whoever your audience may be. He replied: ‘Speak from your heart to their hearts. then wind up – either permanently or for an extended question time. if more speakers would apply that same sense to their audiences. It is not enough to stimulate their intellects. a story or an anecdote.

you can always ask them: ‘How many of you are company directors… lawyers… members of… ? Please would you raise your hands if you are? Thank you. Insert the hook and keep it tight. How many of you have never seen a serious accident on the road? Is there anyone? Please put up your hand. Think and talk about ‘You’. however huge. or out towards the side or back of the hall. If you want to lift your head above the crowd. They are ours… yours… mine. Now consider: how does this problem affect each of you. Even though he is in such a dominant position. down at the rostrum. accidents are not other people’s problems. instead of over their heads. First and most important: ask questions. 168 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . aggressive. that he experiences a basic and initially uncontrollable fear of them. Only after a great deal of practice can this be overcome. Learn to look right back. ‘This simple. isn’t it?’ So you began with the real. He has all his intellectual anxieties about the qualities of his performance and its reception. If you want your audience to be hooked onto your theme and to accept your message. Identify the individuals and their interests with your words.‘A professional lecturer takes some time to train himself to look directly at the members of his audience. then involve it – from the start. but the massed threat of all those people is an additional and more fundamental hazard. And it’s up to us to try to prevent them. all staring (from the safety of their seats). and you ended with the rhetorical – questions that people are meant to ask themselves but are not expected to supply an answer for. These may be either real or rhetorical (see also next chapter). physical act of being stared at by a large group of people is also the cause of the fluttering “butterflies” in the actor’s stomach before he makes his entrance on to the stage. We fear those who stare at us. of course. you must expect people to stare at it. if you never have? Not many… So whether on the roads or at work. individually?’ Or: ‘So we’re talking about the law on health and safety. When you address an audience.’ There it is. through audience involvement techniques. there are so many of them.

When lecturing on the law on dismissals, this is how I often began: ‘You have been sent here by your companies, your organisations, or your businesses – at minimal expense – so that you may learn how to dismiss lawfully, fairly and at minimal cost. That’s why you’ve been sent. ‘Now, why have you come? It’s so that you can learn how you can get the most money out of your employers, when you are dismissed from your job! Knowing one or two of you as I do, you had better pay attention, hadn’t you?’ If you want to rivet your audience from the start, that’s the way to do it. ‘ – Use ‘You’s’ – plus questions. You are articulate and you know your subject or you would not be making the speech. So why not stop after each area or theme or part of your talk and say: ‘Now, have I made that clear?’ Or: ‘Has anyone any questions on what I’ve covered so far?’ Even if no one answers, everyone will be pleased to have been asked. And anyway, you’ve used audience involvement to break up your talk and to lighten the darkness. Next: personal allusions. Refer and sometimes defer to individuals in your audience. Thus: ‘Mr Brown, you’re Chairman of this Company. What do you think about that suggestion?’ ‘Mrs Brown, you had a case like that, didn’t you? What happened was that…’ ‘The real problem has been how to get others to follow the route so well and carefully laid out by Tom…’ ‘We salute Jane, John and Albert, for the way that they have…’ There’s no end to the possibilities. Just be careful not to offend, either directly, by allusions that will upset those individuals, or indirectly, by referring to some, who will be flattered, at the expense of others whom you do not mention and who will be upset. As usual, pre-plan. Next: you can often involve individuals by asking them to make specific contributions to the discussion. ‘Mr Green, you’ve handled this sort of problem. How did you cope with it?’



Or you can bring people into the laughter, by gentle teasing. If you know the audience, that’s easy. If you do not, then ask someone who knows, in advance: ‘Who’s a good sport? Who’ll join in with a laugh?’ As a speechmaker, you have (by definition) a live audience. Keep them living by involving them, using them, enlivening your talk with their concerns, their interests and their voices. Be sensitive about time. If your listeners look at their watches, watch yours. You will know that time is on their minds. So move on… discard cards… move to your close. Or perhaps involve the time watcher: ‘I’m sorry… but we are coming up to our time limit. Mr White, are there any other points which you would like me to deal with?’ So, do your research. Keep your personality and your style. Understand and defer to the sensitivities of your audience. Make friends with them and all should be well. Do not go all pompous because there are lots of them. Enjoy dealing with many people as you would with a few and you’ll find that it can be easier to talk to a large audience than to a small one. The fewer the people, the nearer they are to you…




Questions and hostility

Afraid of questions? Worried about hostile interrogation? Then recognise a few truths, follow some basic rules, study some special techniques – and relax. Recognise first that it is usually far easier to respond to questions than it is to grip an audience with a set piece. So, do not say: ‘I’m going to talk to you for twenty minutes and then I’ll answer your questions.’ Instead: ‘I’m going to talk to you about… I’ll be glad to answer your questions as we go along or at the end. But please do not hesitate to interrupt.’ Dangerous, you ask? No – and here’s the real key – if you know your subject. If you are properly fully prepared (Chapters 1 and 24), you should have no problems. If you are not prepared, then – emergencies apart – you should not be making the presentation. Special tip: if you are likely to be questioned, work out in advance those questions which you find most difficult to answer. Or get a colleague, or a friend, to do so for you. Then sort out the best replies – always with a careful eye on the four questions (Chapter 1): Who are your audience? What do they want? Why are you speaking – what’s your message? So: How should you respond to their queries? There are twin joys to this approach. If you are asked questions, you will know the answers. And if you are not asked, so much the better. Knowing that you can cope with the interrogation, if you get it, will help give you that confidence, so vital to calm your nerves (Chapter 1 on the ‘Confidence Trick’). Your problem as a speechmaker is not how to answer questions, but how to capture and hold the interest of your audience. Consider: If you are having a discussion with colleagues or friends, or a business or a social argument, you will know how to ask and how to answer. Then why should it be more difficult, when you are faced with a larger audience?




So instead of avoiding questions, invite them. Use real questions: ‘Can anyone here tell me…’ ‘Please raise your hands if you have been involved in… ?’ ‘Any questions on that?’ Or rhetorical questions: ‘I don’t suppose anyone here has come across… have you?’ Or, ‘We all enjoy a happy occasion, don’t we?’ You expect no answer. If you get your questions, answer them. Whether you are in a private meeting or on a public platform… in a court or in a tribunal… or even in private conversation, the central rules are the same: • Think before you speak. Take your time. Most people believe that to hesitate is to lose. On the contrary: the thoughtful pause not only shows confidence but also respect for the question – and for the questioner. • To gain time, use the professional’s tricks. Sip at your glass of water… deliberately remove your spectacles… deliberately change your position. Deliberately – that’s the key. Use silence as deliberately before you answer questions as you do the pause, when speaking. • The more difficult the question, the slower and the more careful should be your reply. If you need time to think, don’t ‘um’ or ‘er’ or use ‘um’ phrases, like: ‘Now, that’s a very interesting question that certainly deserves an answer. So may I say right from the beginning that basically…’ • Try to answer the question you are asked and then qualify the answer, if you wish. Try those unfamiliar words: ‘Yes’ or ‘no’. Then say: ‘But please remember that…’ Or, ‘But, there are some special complications.’ Straight questions deserve straight answers. • If you do not know the answer, you could say so. Or try this technique: ‘That’s an important question. I wonder whether any of you have come across the answer?’ If anyone has, then ask: ‘What did you find?’ Or, ‘What was your solution?’ Then you’ve dug the answer out of your audience. If no one responds, then say: ‘Now, it’s a fair and interesting question and no one here knows the answer. I don’t either. But I’ll find out for you and let you know.’ Shared ignorance is much more acceptable. Of course, you can’t use that trick more than once in any session.



Finally, keep your composure when asked and answering questions. Think of body language… eye contact… pause and pace – and keep your head and voice up.

A ‘gentleman’ is a man who is never unintentionally rude. Mature speakers never unintentionally lose their temper. They also try to cause offence only by design. Outside politics, most wounds are both regrettable and regretted. In one off-guard moment, you may acquire an enemy for life, unnecessarily. Now, five basic rules for coping if your audience does get enraged: • • • • • Listen – don’t argue. Keep calm Empathise – and apologise Look for common ground Offer alternatives Follow up

Never argue with an angry person. The angrier the protagonist, the less you should argue. Instead: listen. Give the complainant a hearing. Communicate your understanding through your silence. If the person is normally passive, listen with abnormal care. Beware the anger of a patient person. When the volcano has blown itself out, show and express your understanding. Think how you would feel if you had been in the same position. Even if the entire misery is based on misunderstanding… is not your fault… is open to explanation or even to challenge – wait. Your time will come. Meanwhile, try a variant on the following: • • • • ‘You are right. I know exactly how you feel.’ ‘I am so sorry. I do understand.’ ‘Yes, it should not have happened. I am very sorry.’ ‘If that had happened to me, I would feel exactly as you do. I am sorry.’ Then the follow-up: • ‘I know it’s not the same, but I wonder if it would help to…’




‘Look, I know that nothing can replace your time lost, but we would be very glad if you would be our guest at… accept a complimentary copy of/session at…’

‘Let me try to fix an alternative which will be at least as good/better in the long run – and which I will make sure will cost you less/will not cost you more.’

‘Let me try and put things right for you. May I suggest… How about… Perhaps you would like to… Why not try… Maybe it would help to… ?’

‘Let’s postpone the decision until next week… set up a special committee to deal with it…’

It follows that, the laws of defamation apart, it is best to keep discussions on ideas, not personalities. If you do attack opponents, be sure of your ground. Make certain that their discomfiture is intended and that it has a reasonable chance of leading to the results you seek. Whether you are speaking at a comparatively small meeting or a mighty gathering, be careful. You are not alone. If your attack is ill-chosen, you may turn your supporters against you. If you must attack a personality, then prepare your case well. Gather your documentation: letters, quotations, firm facts and witnesses. The more bitter your resentment, the quieter and the more apparently reasonable your tone should appear. Lose control of yourself and you will probably, and deservedly, also lose control of both situation and audience. Find out in advance whether your words are likely to be well received. There is no worse time to be shouted at, or voted down, than during a personal attack. If the moment arrives for a personal vendetta, select your time and place with care. By launching an attack, you invite a counterattack. By mentioning the names of your opponents you may give them the publicity that they seek plus – in the eyes of those who believe in fair play – the moral right to reply. Instead of being in sole occupation of the platform, you may have to surrender it to an opponent whom you would prefer to lurk unseen and unheard.



If your opponents descend to personal attack, it is rarely wise to lower yourself to their level. Your object, after all, is to win your case – to convince your audience of your rectitude, of the usefulness of your activities, of the excellence of the way in which you are running the business – or, conversely, of your opponent’s error. The sharp intellect is a better weapon than the rough tongue. When the theme is laced with incivility, the audience may suspect a lack of factual backing or of self-control – or both. Delaying tactics can sometimes be appropriate: • ‘That’s a good point. Let’s discuss it later… Are you free for a drink after the meeting?’ • ‘Let’s discuss that. But before we do, shouldn’t we look at… or… and…?’ In other words: create diversions – or as magicians call it, misdirection. Finally: follow up. You have staved off the confrontation or even won your way? You have won agreement to resolve the disagreement? Then confirm it in writing – and reaffirm it by carrying out any duties or obligations, which you may have yourself accepted. Psychiatrists, psychologists, skilled cross-examiners – all will tell you that unless you wish to provoke greater hostility, you must meet aggression with calm and with understanding. Relate… empathise… apologise, even if you have no real cause. Then offer your alternatives. One or more may be acceptable. Then check up to ensure that an accepted offer turns into reality. Hostility breeds hostility and an aggressive approach invites an aggressive response. Surprise your critics with your moderation, your understanding and your sensitivity, and by listening with care and respect. They may mellow or moderate their views. Anyway, that approach is more likely to succeed than frontal counter-attack. If you must lose your temper, then do so with deliberation. Choose your moment and your words with equal care. If you must tear at your opponent, do it successfully.




If you must face potentially hostile questioning in public, whether at a meeting or (especially) on radio or TV (Chapters 41 and 42), prepare, rehearse and train. If you are at the receiving end of public attack, especially in or by the media, there are three general rules for response: • • • Don’t be defensive Don’t sue – unless grossly provoked, and Don’t read, watch or listen to the media.

Let it flow over you. Tomorrow it will be someone else’s turn. Your ordeal will be forgotten, remarkably soon – by everyone other than you.



at worst. Make quiet but firm appeals for a fair hearing. Handled properly. this will bring calm. your hecklers can rouse your audience and put them on your side. If you cannot think on your feet. To reap the benefit of useful interruption. Take the shareholder who comes to a company meeting to criticise. the Chair should not intervene.’ If the speaker’s coping. The unexpected break should add variety to a dull occasion. you must be alert. Consider some common examples. At best. How do you deal with him? Maintain your dignity. you would be doing all of us a favour. sir. He shouts interruptions. Still. a wide-awake speaker can usually keep the audience in reasonably good humour and win a hearing without the use of force. the speaker has a total advantage. please have the courtesy to listen. Tied to a script – written or memorised – you will be thrown off balance. From the platform or top table. ‘I appreciate that you have a point of view to express and you will have your chance to do so.’ If the moment has come to attack. If the meeting gets out of hand.’ Or: ‘I ask you to give my viewpoint the same fair hearing that I have given to yours. stay seated.FORTY FIVE Interruptions Interruptions are to the skilled speaker as raids to the commando – a challenge to draw on resources and to test the mettle.’ You could try: ‘If you would be good enough to listen to what the Board has achieved and is now proposing in the present difficult circumstances. then he or she must do so. try: ‘If you would listen to me. you will learn something to your benefit. Please accord the same courtesy to mine. the interrupters will be asked to leave.’ Or: ‘I listened to your case without interrupting. Meanwhile. FORTY FIVE INTERRUPTIONS 177 . instead of to yourself.

as well as giving you the opportunity you may in any event need to sort yourself out. to vary the pace of your talk. the wittier the retort. Humorists’ outcries can often be turned against themselves. The scream of a jet engine overhead may drown you for the moment.Some interruptions are healthy and helpful – whether or not this was their intent. Lose control of yourself and all is lost. You must show self-confidence and self-command. but gives you the opportunity to draw some moral about the point you are making. Do not let interrupters put you off your stroke. or to give your audience the chance to relax for a moment. the speedier the counter-attack. Go to first-class political meetings and watch accomplished politicians at work. the more disconcerting the interruption. A few inefficient hecklers will do their work for them. Even a friendly remark addressed to a member of your audience arriving late may save you both from embarrassment. Observe as they prompt their audience to turn on the interrupters. bring the uncommitted to their side and enliven what might otherwise be a dreary occasion. Use them – to your advantage. The more spontaneous the reply. A weak riposte now is better than the brilliant barb that you afterwards wish you had thought of at the time. 178 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . the more important it is for you to demonstrate to your audience that you will not be thrown off your balance. Listen to them provoking then downing their hecklers. rouse their supporters. The rowdier the meeting. to shift about in their seats and to prepare for the rest of your speech. If you are needled by interrupters and tempted to panic – pause. the more aggravating the break in your train of thought. the more effective the speaker and the speech. to achieve command of the situation and of your audience. smile and retain control.

’ FORTY SIX SENSITIVITIES 179 . If you want to save it (your professional or commercial skin. how much are you proposing to charge us for this work?’ • Green: ‘That will depend entirely on the nature of the job and how much time is spent on it and by whom. if necessary. of your case or of your audience.’ Green: ‘Not at this stage.’ Green: ‘That really depends. But tell me what your hourly rate is.’ Janner: ‘On what? Why are you being so coy about it?’ Green. you can extract it with the least possible pain. The encounter went like this: • Janner: ‘Now Mr Green. I took the role of the interviewer and questioned one of their top partners about the professionals’ least-loved subject.’ Janner: ‘Is that negotiable? It seems very high to me.’ Janner: ‘What is your hourly rate. especially.’ Janner: ‘Of course I see that. two hundred and fifty pounds an hour. An example: I was teaching accountants how to pitch for a major job. then?’ Green: ‘That depends on who’s doing the job. and. and learn how.FORTY SIX Sensitivities Your sensitivities lie very close to your skin.’ • • • • • • • • • Janner: ‘But you must be able to give us some sort of idea. without losing control of yourself. their fees. that is) you must know how to recognise where you will least like the needle to be inserted. But we do charge at an hourly rate. reluctantly: ‘Probably.

’ I hope so. That will give you confidence.’ he said. Preparation is essential for ‘the confidence trick’. ‘But you were right to make me do it and I’ve learned my lesson. after long pause: ‘Really? I thought you wanted to know how to make presentations under pressure. you will know how to deal with them. 4 The more hostile the question. 2 List the sensitivities. I’ve just put you under that pressure. Give yourself time to think. then at least you will have entered battle with your nerves under better control.• Green. If they do not. of course) shook my hand warmly.’ • Janner. pinpoint and target weaknesses. explosion and all. Mr Green (not his real name. exploding: ‘I didn’t come here to be cross-examined about our fees. discuss them and decide how best to handle questions about them. lean back. 1 Recognise. And then we went through the routines of how to control anger in public. their weakness was their sensitivity about their charges. ‘Sorry I lost my temper. 3 If you are hit with unpleasant questions. 180 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . This is not what this course is about. On the way out of that notable session. Do not argue with an angry client or customer. pause and take a breath. because you cannot win pitches or beauty contests if you cannot handle questions about your fees or charges (Chapter 28). Respond to hostility and aggression with calm and cool. perhaps a little unfairly – but now look and see how you reacted to it…’ We played back the exchange. If the nasties do arise. Yours may be something quite different – anything from your relationship with colleagues to some theoretically lawful behaviour which you would still rather not find highlighted on the front pages of the newspapers. Keep your self-control or you will lose control of your audience. bring them out into the open. then apologise. If your interviewer leans forward. In our clients’ case. the more collected your answer. If you do get angry and you regret it.

choose your words with special care. or in a tight corner. no life without its problems. What do you do? You can surrender by making no mention of the parents. not only in spirit… He would have been proud and happy today… How pleased we are that our groom’s parents are both so well – and here. are out for the count. united in his happiness and good fortune…’ (More on weddings in Chapter 34) If you are sensitive to other people’s concerns. or duck smartly under your opponent’s fist and leap nimbly away. Say you are proposing a toast to the bride and groom. The bride’s father is dead and the groom’s parents are divorced. Ladies and Gentlemen – no occasion is completely perfect. This is abject cowardice. To borrow from the world of boxing – if you have been hit below the belt. and generally so regarded. you have three alternatives: you can throw in the sponge. there’s a reasonable chance that they will at least listen to yours. How sad we are that the bride’s father is not here… but we admire her mother doubly for the fortitude with which she bore her loss and especially for the courageous and splendid way in which she brought up the bride… The extent of her triumph is revealed by the radiance of our bride. together with us all. and then extend it into the appropriate eulogy: ‘Let us face the blunt truth. FORTY SIX SENSITIVITIES 181 . trade blow for blow. You may neatly duck the situation with a few carefully chosen sentences: ‘The bride’s father… We wish he were here. for this grand celebration…’ Or you can start with the same sort of comment.If in trouble. We rejoice too that the bridegroom’s parents sit joyfully together with him.

182 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . to the partners of a firm. professional or any other people may be forced to propound or to defend public policies or decisions with which. There is little art in persuading the convinced. It is not only the Cabinet that must stand by majority decisions. if necessary. Business. Either you accept democracy – allowing your views to be overruled when the majority of your colleagues are against them – or you resign. or keeping your team behind you when they all agree with your views or policies. the Swift aphorism is too good to forget. Business people attack lawyers and politicians as sophists and word-twisters. in private. preaching to the converted. Advocacy is an art: deception an evil. they disagree.FORTY SEVEN Persuading – the art of advocacy ‘Barristers’. If you remain in office. speaking against the interests of their clients. Still. then you must stand by your colleagues. This may mean engaging in their public defence. The same normally applies to the board of a company. He left out of account. drilling his sales force about an unpopular (and perhaps not very satisfactory) product. of course. So advocates may have to propound not only views that are unpopular with their audience. are ‘bred up in the art of proving that white is black and black is white. the ethics of today’s legal profession. To argue a difficult case – or even one that seems impossible – is a far greater challenge. said Dean Jonathan Swift. which requires its members to keep faith with the Court. or to the committee of an organisation. by acting and. but even some that they themselves dislike. You may take many a lead from the brief of the skilful lawyer-advocate. according as they are paid’. But just listen to that executive trying to make the creditors’ meeting ‘see sense’… the chairman trying to get himself (and possibly the company secretary) out of trouble… the sales director.

the greater the importance of moderation – especially in your opening. Here are some well-tried gambits. While many of the attacks have apparent validity. Thus: • ‘Could it conceivably be in the long-term interest of this organisation to follow the line proposed by Mr W?’ Shouts of ‘Yes!’ FORTY SEVEN PERSUADING – THE ART OF ADVOCACY 183 . I am confident that you will be as convinced as I am that…’ • ‘Mr. as briefly as possible.Start with the quiet. I shall put mine. But there is another side to the picture. when you go beneath the surface. the arm-waver. I am certain that you would wish to hear both sides of the story fully explained…’ • ‘Many of us were saddened to hear the vehemence and even the venom with which the case for… has been put. but the studied lack of histrionics lies at the root of the modern persuader’s art. I am sure that this committee/organisation/meeting would not wish to take any decision on such a very important matter without having had both points of view put before it. Before coming to a decision. all is not as some of our friends have suggested. Black. the loud shouter. is an experienced advocate and has presented the case against… with skill and eloquence. Theatrical tuggers at the strings of the heart may still have their place in a revivalist meeting or chapel. The more your audience starts against you. but I would be grateful for your patience if I take a little time to explain my case…’ Now for some traps to be avoided: • ‘Does anyone really think Mr Y has cheated the company?’ Cries of ‘Certainly…’ In these circumstances. rhetorical questions are a menace. when you are in a minority: • ‘I fully appreciate the difficulty of my task in convincing you that… but if you will be good enough to give my case a fair and full hearing. Gone are the days of the ranter. sincere but firm approach. but they are strangers to the court of law – and should be equally so to the company or organisational meeting. Call it ‘the soft sell’ if you like. who has just addressed you.

misleading. Try: ‘If this decision is to be made. but there are occasions when there is no decent alternative. Shouts of ‘No. The dramatic exit may be required for the diplomat whose country is publicly attacked in his or her presence.• ‘Does anyone really think that I do not know my job after all these years?’ Loud cries of ‘Yes’ – and laughter. then I shall resign. no…’ The pause is a vital weapon – but watch where you place it. ‘I could weep when I hear such extravagant attacks.’ They all know that tears are not in your line – so away with the crocodiles. Or. Avoid: ‘If you do not change your minds. at least.’ This sort of attack – especially by someone in a minority – can only lead to vituperation. If you leave.’ 184 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . You have less chance of winning from without. and defeat. Otherwise. then do not offer to provide satisfaction. please do give me a fair hearing for the other point of view. • ‘You may think that the statements you have just heard from Mr Z are about as untrue. I would not wish to sever my ties nor to be forced into a position where I would have no alternative but to do so. ill-conceived and plain stupid as one could ever envisage. I would put it like this…’ You should get that fair hearing. It must not be misused or over-employed. The threat of resignation is a powerful and sometimes valid weapon. It is nearly always a mistake to walk out of a meeting. If decisions are taken that you regard as illegal. dishonest or so contrary to the welfare of the body concerned that you must dissociate yourself publicly from them. you are not likely to be invited back.’ Or: ‘I have worked for this organisation for many years and am anxious to continue to do so in the future. • ‘I am… a man…’ pause. but it is seldom an answer for the spurned orator.’ You invite the retort: ‘Go ahead. I hope it will not be taken amiss if I say that I shall have no alternative other than to reconsider my membership. then you may have to leave. than of working your colleagues or audience round to your way of thinking from within. If your colleagues or the meeting would be happy to see you go. stay and fight. • • ‘I am furious…’ Then do not show it. I do beg you to reconsider.

You cannot get Legal Aid for defamation actions. you may take legal action against them. There are other problems: • The defamatory statement must have been ‘published’ – not simply spoken or written to the person defamed. what are the chances of your being sued – successfully. whilst they may successfully sue for libel whether or not they have suffered actual damage as a result. the chances of success are uncertain. the law gives defamers a number of useful defences. if the claim is for slander they have to show that they have suffered actual damage. The people defamed could sue you. Key defences include: • Justification – the plaintiff may prove that the words said were substantially true. In addition. they will be warned that the cost of bringing a claim is likely to be very high. for many reasons: • If people whom you have defamed seek legal advice. • Above all. • Defamation actions are not only expensive but the greatest of all legal lotteries. orally. and however impecunious they may be. If you defame someone in your speech. or in some other permanent form. Either way. claiming damages.FORTY EIGHT Defamation – speaking ill of others Defamation means: saying something about others which would ‘tend to lower them in the eyes of right thinking people’. and it’s ‘libel’. it’s ‘slander’. it could lead you into trouble with the law. or at all? Not great. The trouble with this defence is that if it fails the damages will increase. FORTY EIGHT DEFAMATION – SPEAKING ILL OF OTHERS 185 . Conversely. if others speak ill of you. Do so in writing.

• Fair comment – if you express a defamatory opinion on a matter of public interest. If you are sued. consult your solicitor. or an apology. The apology itself will probably reduce the damages. May these times be rare for you. though: the defences of ‘fair comment’ or ‘qualified privilege’ will not be upheld if the person defamed proves the statement was ‘actuated by malice’ – that is. Note. fast.’ But that depends on what they are saying about you… Sometimes. Get to your solicitors. then the law will protect them. by the desire to harm the person referred to. and bring you the reward that your suffering and your risk have so well earned. and that is not being talked about. then you have no alternative. you should get away with it. think many times and check your lawyers’ fees and your bank balance. Oscar Wilde wrote: ‘There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about. My advice about defamation is simple – neither be a suer nor sued. you may have to sue for defamation. You’re almost certainly best to let the misery flow over you. Or it may be ‘qualified’ – if the defamer had a duty to make a statement to others who have a direct interest in receiving it. If you do run into defamation problems. Examples: most defamatory statements made in references or in medical opinions. 186 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER .• Privilege – which may be ‘absolute’ – you can never successfully sue people for what they have said in court or in Parliament. then provided that your statement is recognisable as an expression of opinion rather than as a statement of fact. If you are tempted to sue a speechmaker who defames you. You may be advised to make an offer ‘to make amends’ or to publish a correction.

as some day it will. recognise that it happens to us all. or of you are very brave. Jokes which go down a treat one night. you could use the Max Bygraves line: ‘Sorry you didn’t like that one. go serious. fall flat the next. You are suffering with the professionals. It’s bad and sad but it happens to us all. So if it happens to you. be not downhearted. But you have to be very audacious and probably foolhardy – to risk that one. who has not suffered the misery of a speech gone wrong. FORTY NINE COPING WITH DISASTER 187 . Meanwhile. • If you have unwittingly caused hurt or offence. Now I’ll tell you another one you won’t like…’ (Chapter 14). • Change tack.FORTY NINE Coping with disaster Follow every rule in this book and your speech may still fall flat. apologise. you must try to mitigate the misery. how do you cope? What should you do? How do you make the best of a bad reception? First. Pick yourself up and move on. Stories which bring nods of approval one day are frowned at the day after. There is no speaker. always have a serious. Either seriously. Here are some possible ways to do so. however skilled or experienced. If it does. even with a similar audience. If your jokes fall flat. Even if you are giving an after dinner speech which is intended to be light and laughing. fall back theme.

personal or political. appreciation for hosts. Move away… • If all else fails. Shift attention and emphasis away from yourself and your theme. commiserate or identify with an individual or an issue. important to your audience. Find a way to refer to the news story of the day… to a current and important event… to a triumph of one of your audience… Congratulate. Stop talking. Or tell them a story.• Learn from magicians and use misdirection. no one can win them all…’ 188 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . then cut your speech short. End with confidence or flattery. current or communal. Distract. Just say to yourself: ‘Well. Divert attention. affectionate words with which even your most critical listener will not disagree.

Use a spokesperson. to say anything to anyone. for staying silent is when almost anything you say is likely to be wrong. but it is a compromise between total silence and exposing yourself to questioning which could do you harm. or if they are on the trail of what they regard as a scandal. stressful or worrying the story. sometimes the law forbids you to do so. remember that it is unlikely to be reproduced in full. sleaze or hot story. remember the biblical injunction: ‘Respect and suspect’. An alternative: let someone speak for you. especially if they take a different political or business line to yours.FIFTY Coping with attack When you deal with the media. The more perilous. then do so. context. Thus: ‘A spokesman for… told us today that…’ Or: ‘Mr. Indeed. the more carefully you should think before you go public – and if so. of course. it will probably be someone else’s turn (Chapter 40). Any sentence in it may be quoted out of. Respect them for their power which can be used for or against you. but a spokesman for his company said today…’ Not ideal. as well as in. Suspect them. especially if you want the story to go away. You are not bound. legally or morally. then how. If the matter you are asked about is the subject of current criminal proceedings against someone else. FIFTY COPING WITH ATTACK 189 . Even if you make a statement which you have carefully considered in advance. under no obligation to respond. If the media are after you and you prefer to keep away. You can simply let the misery flow over you. because it is their duty to report and they may do you or your case much harm. Blue was not available for comment. The more common reason. it would probably be a ‘contempt of court’ to comment. You are. So silence is often the best answer. though. Tomorrow.

the more vital the preparation. Always remember that it is the job of journalists to ferret out the truth – or at least material to back up their approach to the story. do not be defensive. So. how can you respond? As a start. I then offered to put my apology into writing and he replied: ‘There’s no need. and then to ask. Complain courteously but bluntly and frankly of the way that you or your staff. ‘I have learned through hard experience that…’ Or: ‘Don’t believe the doubters… I can confirm to you with absolute certainty that…’ If the media do the dirty on you. they will probe until they consider that they have received a fair answer or. then do not make it by telephone or on e-mail. you may even get an apology. But I should have expected it. I once apologised to the editor of a provincial newspaper for a public statement that I had made and regretted. or clients have been treated.Even in ordinary circumstances. He thanked me. If you do speak. I’ve recorded it. If you are open to cross-examination. if you do not want to be quoted. the answer they want. Let them help you figure out the best answers to those questions. Avoid phrases like: ‘I’m sure you’ll forgive me if…’ Or: ‘I think I can’t avoid dealing with… mentioning that… responding to…’ Instead. shut up. If they feel that you are evading or dodging questions. The rule is: If you want a statement to be private. The greater the difficulty and the stress. or their attitude to that truth. But always remember that your conversation is likely to be recorded. you could go direct to the editor of the paper or programme. attack or counter-attack. 190 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Preparation is the key to success.’ Immoral? Perhaps. in some difficult cases. And do not believe that any occasion is private. especially if you are under attack. If you are lucky and the editor is fair and regards your case as reasonable. before the enemy is let loose upon you. or colleagues. the ten questions you least want to answer. They are entitled and bound to ask questions which they consider appropriate. then bring skilled colleagues around you to work out. it may be wise to rehearse your statement or appearance.

what. and maybe if you speak by telephone. why. Fortune is fickle. Consider possible documentation. in advance or at the time. Where necessary. prepare. keep records. All prefer to get better results with less work. And some are very lazy. So if the material is fed through in advance. Beware. how? (Chapter 1).If you feel you must. make sure it is in the form most likely to be published in the way you want. You may even be luckier than you deserve. you can try to protect yourself through documentation. Ask the four questions – who. Again: Remember that journalists are busy people. FIFTY COPING WITH ATTACK 191 . So before you seek out publicly or submit yourself to the media. then emphasise the purpose of the occasion before you make your statement and hope for the best. be careful and be protected. Just as you will be recorded if you appear on radio or television.

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Part Seven Chairing .

and if so. You decide not only whether or not you speak. so with its individual parts. Start with preparation. You must decide on the order of business. Here are the basic rules. So how do you get your way when you are in charge? Chairing meetings is both a science and an art. the success or failure of the meeting will depend largely on you. when you hope that the participants will reach agreement. formalised into the agenda. and accept responsibility for the operation of the agenda. or coping with clients or with creditors. another must leave early… one item must be reached. to suit your purpose. as you do for the meeting itself. You are both master of ceremonies and compere. and when and for how long. about what – but also who else speaks.FIFTY ONE Winning from the Chair Speechmakers must know and practise the techniques of chairing. In practice. As with the meeting as a whole. Whether you are controlling a meeting of colleagues. One participant arrives late. deviations may be essential. employees or partners. so as to get away? • What is your time balance? Have you too much business for the time available – or so little that there is not enough meat for the meeting? • Does the order of business suit your convenience and that of your allies? Or does it suit your opponents? 194 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Consider: • Which are likely to be troublesome? Do you put them at the beginning to get them out of the way – or at the end. another could be left… Explain the structure to the participants and you can reasonably hope for their cooperation. based on their consent. Your meeting should be based on a carefully plotted plan.

clearly and objectively. and get your team into order. target your allies and discuss tactics and strategies with them. Then: in the Chair. recognise and advocate sensible solutions. speak clearly. Next: to control others first requires self-control. colleague or other ally is beside you. FIFTY ONE WINNING FROM THE CHAIR 195 . There will be many occasions when you will feel anger. do. You are in the Chair.Next: collect. Assess the problem and decide whether to act. As with all other presentations. The more turbulent the gathering. You wish to steer the meeting away from a point? Stand back. you must appear and then be confident – which is only possible if you are thoroughly briefed. The Chair must be fair. assistant. or to avoid acting. When you intervene. decide on the results that you wish to achieve. As a Chief Executive once began: ‘I will now give you the benefit of my well-considered bias!’ Fairness includes: • • • Giving all points of view a fair hearing. So your meeting begins. and few when it will be appropriate and helpful to show it. the more urgent the circumstances. but without the participants feeling that they are rubber-stamping. Only lose your temper deliberately. you must react swiftly. Concentrate – all the time. What qualities should you cultivate and show? Fairness. And once you have spotted the key problems and solutions. the more poignant the attack. which means: Calling on those who disagree with you and giving them fair time. Most major decisions at wellrun meetings are taken before they begin. with the agenda before you. burrow into the depths of an argument and find the real issues – sort out. target them. Sift out the reality of a problem. the more difficult the problem. If you can get others to put forward your viewpoint. You look at contentious issues. the greater the stress. Make sure that you yourself are fully briefed on all issues. inform and prepare your allies. the greater must be your calm. Listening to others who disagree with you – they may be right. Your company secretary. appropriate partner.

Contestants who believe that they have been granted a fair fight may not begrudge an adverse decision. Thomas Hughes wrote: ‘He never wants anything but what’s right and fair. It is better to compromise your argument than yourself. Where your object is to reach a decision acceptable to the gathering. If there is a middle ground.’ Acceptable compromise is usually the prime objective of the Chair. it’s everything that he wants and nothing that you want. the rules and the occasion. Only when you come to settle what’s right and fair. a goal often difficult to reach without much patience and bargaining. And do not hesitate to back down if you have little to gain but much to lose through confrontation. start by listening. or even over a long series of meetings. or your authority. As usual. Edmund Burke once said: ‘All government – indeed every human benefit and enjoyment. Give me the Brown compromise when I’m on his side. sometimes during a speech or a debate. their meeting well run. And that’s his idea of a compromise. firm. Anyone in the Chair who loses the consent of the meeting may forfeit the right to govern that assembly. without doubt or movement. to achieve agreement in the centre – that is the ordinary route to negotiated settlement. For this purpose. But first listen to those of others. To do so with grace is the mark of an experienced and sensible Chair.Next: The Chair is in charge of compromise. Retreat and compromise are partners in discretion. you are referee or umpire. they may consider their time well spent. You offer alternatives which move back and forth. The US Declaration of Independence proclaims that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. even virtue. But compromise – each giving ground at the side. and if they can save at least part of their case from the wreckage. Depending on the organisation. you must steer the meeting towards consensus. you may be entitled or even expected to put your own view. Few climb down unheard. It may be that the decision must be specific. your position.’ 196 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . In Tom Brown’s Schooldays. search until you find it. and every prudent act – is founded on compromise and barter.

you may create an unquenchable thirst for revenge. At best. They will support you if you chide or reprove the individuals or eventually tell them to belt up. insult for insult. style and potential. people will resort to mischief for the fun of it. join in the fun. How do you deal with them? When deciding how to handle a meeting. There are exceptions. They want the meeting to get on with its business. The alternative: provide ladders to climb down. Steer your meetings into the centre. you must be able. on the basis of their particular objectives. General Eisenhower liked to say that decent people travel in the centre of the road because there’s a gutter on either side. FIFTY ONE WINNING FROM THE CHAIR 197 . especially if either the Chair or the occasion. On either side there lurks ill will. Most of us have a touch of mischief in our nature and taking it out on the Chair may be an acceptable pastime. treat them as individuals.Real compromise means flexibility. buy or sell a part. If your good nature becomes too stretched. are dull. they will return to argue another day. the Chair should provide a decent chance to save face. When it comes to deciding whether or not you dissolve a business or an organisation. give notice. That is the loser’s price for total victory. not dismiss summarily. Most people who come to meetings want the Chair to succeed. apparent and real. where necessary. Treat the mischief-makers with their own medicine. The Chair is in charge of firm resolve as well as collective compromise. Sometimes. Keep cool and smiling. When the other side yields. When planning how to cope with potential troublemakers. thrust for thrust. instead of the whole. the answer may have to be yes or no. Only if you wish to get rid of them forever should you see contestants ground down and out. to buy or to sell. Even then. perhaps you should dissolve only part of the set-up. hire fewer. If dignity is preserved and humiliation avoided. Exchange quip for quip. adjourn not destroy. assess your audience. the audience will probably by then be on your side. In the process. Equally. or both. to hire or to fire. not none. to lead your meeting into taking an unequivocal and even brave decision.

Watch out for operators trying to twist the meeting. or any. That’s enough!’ ‘I am sure that you do not intend to be discourteous. try: • • • ‘Please speak through the Chair. Experienced speakers may actually welcome heckling. Some opponents try to take control by bending the rules – raising endless points of order or using some abstract procedure. that requires far more firmness from the Chair. 198 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . assert the authority that your colleagues or audience have given you – or which you have assumed because of your position. expected and respected. In general. or intending to reach an item lower down the agenda. or to interrupt. of the following: • To avoid discussion of later items by provoking prolonged argument over earlier ones. if necessary. Your sense of humour may be your greatest asset. perhaps. Otherwise. Democracy requires firmness from the Chair.’ ‘I am sorry. or the speaker. • Conversely. but it must be backed by the meeting’s knowledge that you will. Do not allow mischief-makers to take over your meeting by direct or indirect attack.’ This acceptance of responsibility by the Chair is itself responsible. hoping it would slide by in the home straight. Let them get on with their own defence. I am responsible.The same people may try to achieve the same disruption by attacking your colleagues – the company secretary. • To induce you to call on people on their side. but I cannot permit attacks on a member of our staff. with little or no discussion – either so as to win on that matter itself. you may have to accept it. to rush important but controversial items through. via the Chair. or silence their opponents. especially if you are Chair of the organisation and you operate on the basis that those in office carry all political cans. Their efforts and stratagems may be aimed at all. Even where the fault is not yours. perhaps one which you had placed at the end.

there may be some requirement about when the meeting ends. if they expect defeat. So over-estimate the time you’ll need. You can usually reckon that the audience are as anxious as you are to complete the business. you must know the procedures of the organisation and how they are by rule or by tradition. FIFTY ONE WINNING FROM THE CHAIR 199 . speak clearly and deliberately. and to get off to work or play. so as to destroy the effectiveness of the meeting. The final item of control from the Chair – time management: controlling the time that the meeting takes. operated and made acceptable. In parliamentary terms. especially if they are prescribed by law.• To force a vote they believe they will win – or to avoid one. thoroughly and on time. if they can. Watch your audience. Indeed. it’s for the Chair to apply the guillotine. And follow from the Chair the same basic rules of presentational skills as you would if you were trying to win meetings from a platform or a lectern. Your participants will expect you to get through the business of the meeting. Most of them will help your timekeeping. That includes setting deadlines on the meeting itself and sometimes on items within that meeting. Dealing with an insolvency or other special meeting? Then study the rules. swiftly and efficiently and to get them out and away on time. and the time that individuals are allowed to take within that meeting. you need to look to its rules and procedures. Among those rules. Pause and use silence. Use humour. Leave plenty for discussion. • To fill the sea of discussion with red herrings. either wind up or change tack or momentum. when chairing a meeting of any organisation. If it becomes restless. To cope and to control. make and keep eye contact. or from a chair at the side or the back. How do you learn and develop the talents you need for successful chairing? Practice is fine – but to learn by trial and error means that the errors will be yours and the trials those of your victims. for argument – and for calling on participants who may have much to contribute but be too shy to volunteer.

200 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . • • Fairness – give at least the appearance of an equal hearing for all. Flexibility. authority and humour – these are the ultimate keys to your success. • Time management – your responsibility. Know the issues.To summarise: • Preparation – work out the order of business and possible deviations. Calmness and compromise – remain alert – to potential solutions of disagreement and resent. Identify your likely allies and opponents. Always over-estimate. Look for the middle ground and steer towards it. Both meetings and items are likely to take longer than you expect.

ask what they think. • Do not allow yourself to get aggravated. But as for yourself – talk only when you must. Try to pay your colleagues or your audience. You are the compere. aggravated. Spare a few minutes beforehand.FIFTY TWO The Chair as compere When you chair a meeting – any meeting – you set the tone. the life and soul of the gathering – or of its death and decay. who are not bound to stay. the meeting will be of good cheer. do not ignore people who arrive late. holding the show together. Introduce them. If you are dull. the meeting will be boring. You dare not be off your guard. tactless or unkind. ‘Good evening. will disappear. If you are in lively or contented mood.’ But do try to let others do as much of the talking as you can. members of the audience. The more difficult the gathering. • If the meeting is a small one. the compliment of arriving early – and certainly on time. Here are some suggestions on how to keep a meeting in good humour. The compere is the link. invite them to speak. Or at least smile your welcome. If you are long-winded. FIFTY TWO THE CHAIR AS COMPÉRE 201 . • Set the tone before the meeting begins. speak up and shut up. If you are angry. Consider the ordinary variety programme. this will soon be reflected in the atmosphere. • There is no need to take too literally the old warning: ‘Stand up. the more important it is for you to keep your self-control and your pleasant manner. The same applies to anyone in the chair. Link the speakers together and provide the channel through which they communicate. Thank you for coming’: worthwhile words to make a guilty latecomer feel at ease – and obliged to you. to iron out difficulties and to prevent personal affronts.

massage. listen. together with your preparation. Let the others put their views before the gathering. and given the chance. Try not to choke off discussion. At major meetings. • Cajole your speakers into brevity and (usually) into agreeing to answer questions. judge your volume so that you are heard at the back. cool and smiling. skill and talent. Sit back and be constantly alert. So keep calm. • Above all. even by people who are hard of hearing. they’ll not be back. get it. for instance – the same principle is even more vital. Watch others chairing and learn from them – both from their skills and from their fumbles. you are the pilot and the master of your ship… the conductor of your orchestra… the compere of your show. encourage and promote the interests of those whom you wish to win. Watch your audience. should guarantee success. Treat participants as a bunch of rubber stamps. Harness. React to suggestions and ideas. • Where the session is a small one – a committee or board meeting. Their desire for the success of the meeting. And if you need training. Study the techniques and the cultivation of that confidence which brings style and control in its wake. Remember: in the Chair. 202 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . The audience that has its questions answered is almost always satisfied. Keep your voice up.• Let your audience feel that they have had their say. Wait until you get the feeling from the meeting that the time has come for the particular debate or argument to be wound up. use a microphone – and learn how to do it professionally. Do your best to allow time for adequate questions.

Exception: when several items are inter-related and can more conveniently be discussed together. For instance. but you may vary it. You are entitled to speak whenever you wish and to prevent anyone else from doing so unless you wish. Most of it is shorthand and you can grasp all of it very quickly. either by getting a skilled meetings-monger to explain it to you. or by rapping your gavel and demanding silence. Do not let procedural jargon faze you. or by picking it up as you go along – or both. When you stand. You have been elected or appointed to your position. If there are steps to be taken – or even if it is to be resolved to take no action – a resolution or motion will be ‘put’. You prepare the agenda. everyone else is expected to sit and be silent. Normally.FIFTY THREE Debates and procedures – the formalities Before you take the Chair. You will soon know the use and misuse of (for instance) ‘points of order’ and (the nearly extinct) ‘points of information’. When you are in the Chair. you may have to resort to cunning tactics. each item of business should be discussed separately. You are not a dictator. so as to follow them or to evade them. If most people object to the change. revert to the original order. you are in charge. Chair and speakers must know the rules. and you are expected to guide and control the meeting. Always try to rule by consent. explain your reasons. FIFTY THREE DEBATES AND PROCEDURES – THE FORMALITIES 203 . if you decide to change the order of business. If you cannot get order by tapping the table or a glass. to adjourning the meeting. ranging from calling pre-primed speakers. This can be done informally. Your duty is to enforce them. Forget this and expect rebellion. study the rules of debate.

After discussion the proposer will normally exercise the right of reply. The length and number of speeches will depend on the Chair. It is often better not to reveal the split in the ranks. The Chair is in a bad way if he or she has to put a resolution into words that can be written into the minutes. Where the meeting is formal. and of course. The Chair will call on people to speak on both sides. Or all sides may prefer to avoid a vote that no one is confident of winning. If the Chair is in doubt as to whether or not the debate should be closed – or if it would appear partisan to terminate it – then it is easy to test the feeling of the meeting. A show of hands will indicate whether those present have had enough of the subject or whether they wish to debate the matter further. It is not only the Chair who can terminate the proceedings. If discussion does not lead to agreement. no vote is taken.where there is either no opposition or a general consensus. Some organisations allow the moving of ‘the previous question’. If this is passed. But anyone may ‘move the closure’. it means that the discussion on the current topic terminates and no reference to it is included in the minutes. 204 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . there should be a vote – or a postponement. there may be debate on the motion to adjourn. a motion will be proposed and seconded. which even the proposer has not put into sensible English. If it is agreed that the question ‘be now put’ – then that is what happens. The meeting votes on the motion. If those present at the meeting wish to put an end to it. If the motion or resolution is not on the agenda. then no vote is taken. someone may move that the entire meeting be adjourned. Then comes the vote. if necessary by asking whether anyone wishes ‘to move the closure’. It will then be thrown open to the meeting for discussion. If a motion is carried that the meeting move on to ‘next business’. before it goes forward for debate. The motion should be clearly stated either by the proposer or by the Chair. the proposer should be asked to phrase it as concisely and as clearly as possible. they may normally do so. Again. But.

Too often. If accepted (whether or not after a vote) they become incorporated into the original motion. An amended motion. which must then be put. the Chair may rule it out of order and require the proposer of the amendment to put forward his or her views in opposition to the substantive motion. In general. No one should stray away to deal with side issues or use the occasion to deal with substantive issues. The speaker must ‘obey the Chair’s ruling’. which (in theory at least) concerns the order or conduct. If an amendment is really an effort to kill the resolution. FIFTY THREE DEBATES AND PROCEDURES – THE FORMALITIES 205 . One common device is the ‘point of order’. often disguise disruptive attacks as ‘points of order’. what the speaker is saying. Skilled interrupters. so as to incorporate the amendment. The Chair cannot force them to give way if they refuse to do so. The Chair is entitled not only to select the speakers but also to sort out the resolution and the amendments. A peaceful meeting is a Chair’s delight. participants may interrupt. a skilled Chair can induce the mover of a resolution to vary or extend its terms. the job of the Chair would be moderately easy. A participant is only free to query whether the procedure in hand. If all motions were proposed. can then be the subject of further amendment. seconded. In some meetings. as amended. motions to amend a resolution must (if seconded) be allowed. If rejected. They should be considered individually and voted on if necessary. there are amendments. though. so that the feelings of the meeting may be tested in the fairest way. once put. is ‘in order’. or the Chair’s ruling. and so insinuate extra speeches where none would otherwise be allowed. of the meeting. No one who ‘has the floor’ may occupy it in the teeth of objection from the Chair. Anyone is entitled at any time to raise a point. but should not allow a minority to dominate. opposed and voted on as they stood. Often.While a debate goes on. they die. it is a matter for them (the speakers themselves) to decide. with the procedure as before. The Chair must ensure that all participants are given a reasonable chance to express their views. the custom is for speakers to give way on ‘points of information’ – but generally.

the Chair may – with the consent of the meeting – close the debate and put the motion to the vote. or inserted into (as the case may be) the motion or resolution. accept (or speak on) the amendments proposed by others. Meetings are usually governed by consent and common sense. unless you have shown yourself unwilling to act impartially. • Once a motion has been defeated. of course. • No one has any right to speak more than once on any motion or amendment – although the proposer of an original motion (but not usually of an amendment) will generally be given the right to reply. Speakers should help you. • No amendment can be proposed after the original motion has been passed or rejected. • An amendment cannot be proposed or seconded by those who performed that service for the original motion. you deserve trouble.Once the meeting has had a reasonable opportunity to express its view. usually the best way is to move that the words you have in mind be added to. omitted from. you can accept them orally and then write them down. it should not be allowed back under some other guise. In that case. Additional points: • Unless a Company’s Articles (or the constitution of the organisation) require motions to be seconded and/or submitted in writing. Keep your head and never panic. but they can. • If you wish to frame an amendment. 206 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER .

Part Eight Tricks of the trade .

Problem: How do you get off to a good start? Solution: Body language – head up. Study PERM (Chapter 6). As a proud member of both the Magic Circle and of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Most of these tricks need practice before you operate them in public. Problem: How do you appear confident when you are not? How do you control your nerves? Solution: The Confidence Trick. 208 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Even in the most hostile audience. Smile before you start. Turn your head – do not swivel your eyes. your presentation and your personality blend to produce the illusion – and then. Some you will recognise from other chapters in this book. chin up. of knowledge and of persuasion. I can tell you that most magic is a combination and mixture of sleights.FIFTY FOUR Top tips and techniques Every profession and occupation has its own special and specialised techniques. misdirections and illusions. sit up… stand back on your heels… wear your invisible crown (Chapter 7). And it’s all magic. you are in show business. Some you can only practise on your victims. Look them in the eye. But they create a reality. you’ll find someone with a friendly face. Others are new. the reality – of authority. Preparation – so that you know inside you that you have nothing to fear (Chapter 1). If you are not sure that there will be one. Your words. So this is a collection of the speechmaker’s miracle techniques. When you make speeches. Use them and they will help you to win. if you are lucky. plant one. So now let’s bring together some top tricks of the speechmaker’s trade.

Your audience must instinctively know where you are going. divert their interests elsewhere. especially if you haven’t enough? Solution: Use silence. Pause. Be yourself. No audience can concentrate for more than two or three minutes at a time. FIFTY FOUR TOP TIPS AND TECHNIQUES 209 . Do not gabble. Do not overload. Make one point. ‘I’m coming to that problem shortly…’ ‘Hang on. Use silence (Chapter 10). Wait. Problem: How do you convince your audience that you are right? Solution: A speech is not an essay.Take your time. the more nervous you are. Problem: How can you convey authority. Do not start until you are ready. Try not to say no – instead. especially by your body language (Chapter 7). or handling children. Problem: How do you beat stiffness of speech? How can you learn to relax when on your feet? Solution: Involve your audience. threaded through in a structured speech. Pause. Then. Talk to them and not at them. Problem: How can you build variety into speeches? Solution: Vary your pitch and your pace. Real questions: ‘Which of you have been to… have seen… have had… ?’ Ask rhetorical questions: ‘I don’t suppose any of you have had this sort of problem. of course – but it is one point. Ask them questions. I have…’ Then chat. please – first let me tell you about…’ ‘Yes. So tell them stories… use visual aids… use change to hold their attention. not words. an important point. It is like magic. Let’s look at it when we deal with…’ Problem: What to do if you cannot answer the question you are asked and do not want to admit it. the slower you go. Illustrate it. have you? Well. Impose your authority. Problem: How can you squirm out of trouble? Solution: Try misdirection.

You haven’t and I haven’t. How did you handle it?’ If no one answers.Solution: Say: ‘Now. ‘Brutus was an honourable man… Brutus was an honourable man…’ ‘I had a dream… I had a dream…’ (Chapter 15). if junior. you must repeat. please. I’ll find out the answer and let you know. for effect and for memory. ‘There are three reasons why we… The first is… the second is… So that’s the first and the second… And the third is… So that’s first… second… third…’ If you are working with visual aids. ‘Tell us. you do not repeat because your reader can re-read. the future of our business…’ ‘Isn’t it amazing… absolutely amazing…?’ Above all: Never – never ever – give a list. ‘The future… yes. Problem: Someone asks a question that shows either ignorance or failure to pay attention to what you have said. You do not want to humiliate them.’ Do not use this more than once in any session! Problem: How do you emphasise your words and your message? Solution: Use repetition. How should you handle it? Solution: Use those magic words: ‘My fault!’ ‘Sorry. you’re probably saved. When you write. without repeating it. If the person is senior to you. then discourteous and wrong. that would be disastrous. Every good speaker repeats words and phrases. I should have explained more fully…’ 210 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . then use them to emphasise and repeat your words. then say: ‘Now. When you speak. And I suppose it’s surprising that none of us has come across it. Or repeat words. my fault. I wonder whether anyone here has come across the answer?’ If anyone has. it’s an important question.

’ Again: Not – ‘Isn’t Jane a charming. unbeatable product. FIFTY FOUR TOP TIPS AND TECHNIQUES 211 . She taught me that technique. of course. or one which may lead to severe criticism? Solution: Never be defensive. But when you come to the vital words.’ Avoid defensive words and phrases. So please would you have a word with me afterwards?’ It probably was your fault. like: ‘I believe… I think… I feel… In my view… I think you should consider…’ Problem: How do you appear honest. praise the questioner. no recipient will turn it away. We haven’t time during the session. I should have realised that you needed more information about this. Instead say: ‘Let me put the contrary view. Thus: You do not say – ‘This is a fantastic. loyalest and best of friends – Prunella Scales. and beautiful bride?’ But: ‘Isn’t Jane a charming. brilliant.‘My fault. gracious and beautiful bride?’ My loving thanks to that kindest. when I most needed it. that is an important question…’ ‘Well done. gracious. You’ve spotted a subject on which I should elaborate in much more detail …’ ‘You are right. unbeatable product. I should have explained that slide more fully. emphasise nouns. ‘Now. not adjectives. shouldn’t I?’ However undeserved the praise. I presumed that you would all know the background… Let me go over it again…’ ‘My fault.’ Instead: ‘This is a fantastic. Don’t just blame yourself. brilliant. Do not apologise. when you are putting forward a tough proposition. Problem: What is the most important rule. wasn’t it? The converse is also useful. Thank you. sincere and believable? Solution: Eye contact.

whether you are speaking from the Chair or as a participant? Solution: Control. on the nature. prime colleagues to make the speeches and suggestions for you – and/or to come to your defence. Do not try to be someone else or you will fail.’ ‘Meanwhile. You have underestimated how long it will take for you to make your speech or presentation.Problem: How can you best influence a meeting and get your way. choose your timing with care. Above all (as always) use maximum eye contact. with more people. Remember – once you get used to them. Problem: If you are comfortable speaking to a small group. Obviously. you must spread your eye contact more widely and project your voice more firmly. Demand attention – as best you can and depending. type. Almost all of them are further away from you. and criticism is more dispersed. In other words: relax and enjoy. they cover up. Then use body as well as word language. culture and environment of the meeting. I’ve dealt with… and… and… That leaves… and… and… They are for another time – or you can ask about them. In particular: do not change your style nor (especially) your personality. the rules are the same. Problem: You are running out of time. Do not apologise for misjudging time. What should you do? Solution: Do not be defensive. To make your interventions count. how do you transfer that skill to a large meeting? Solution: Never forget that a large meeting is simply a small one. of course. Self-control and then control of others. Professionals do not make that mistake – or if they do. if you like. like this: ‘Well. Lean forward. Especially if you are chairing. if others attack your views. Be yourself. my message to you is…’ 212 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . But otherwise. Watch… listen… and then speak. large audiences are easier to handle than small ones. at the end of this session.

Or maybe you could consider using contact lenses? FIFTY FOUR TOP TIPS AND TECHNIQUES 213 . If you must wear spectacles. then keep them on or leave them off. If you must. Thick or dark lenses make you look sinister. shall I pass you a note?’ Most will agree. But it is usually best to draw the minimum of attention to them. get a spare pair for presentations. Put them on when you read. perhaps only for reading. If they do. You want them to speak for 15 minutes? Then ask them for ‘10 minutes. or – special danger when seated – twiddle them in your fingers. than in rehearsal. say.Or: ‘Well. Do not keep taking them off and putting them on again. try shuffling in your chair and looking miserable – you’ll probably fail. If you use the type that darken in the light. Above all. For instance. Problem: You wear spectacles. You may. three minutes of your time. I could tell you about… and… and… Or I can deal with it in answer to your questions. And so on. please – and anyway. pro rata. Say to speakers in advance: ‘If you get within. And get an anti-reflective coating on all your spectacles. Try to have thin lenses. if you wish. How do you cope with them? Solution: First. choose your specs with care.’ Of course. I’ve had some glorious minutes to introduce you to… I hope that I have whetted your appetite for more detail. not underestimating time would have been a much better arrangement. if you wish. Which leads to… Problem: You are chairing a session and in charge of guest speakers. then pass it. They will speak for 15. then do it deliberately. another time. If they don’t. do not fiddle with them. Avoid gold. Do not twirl them by an arm. pointing them at some victim of your wrath. wouldn’t it? You can always reckon that your efforts will take at least a third longer on the night. not more than 12’. How do you prevent them from over-running their time? Solution: Always ask them to speak for a time at least 25% shorter than you are prepared to accept. silver or other shiny rims or corners that attract the light and distract from your eyes. perhaps all the time. Take them off when you speak. use them deliberately as a weapon.

do not get too close or you will make it ‘scream’ or ‘pop’. Or you can jump slides by keying in the number of the slide and pressing Enter. PowerPoint is the current favourite. With the addition of CD ROM you can have multimedia presentations. use radio or clip mikes. Put them on firmly. With any other microphone. 214 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . You can control the slide by the arrow keys on the laptop. Imagine trying to memorise all that text. Mark it with dashes for pauses. Problem: How and when do you best use computers linked to projectors – ‘PowerPoint’ in particular? Solution: An increasingly common visual aid is – a laptop linked to a projector. If the occasion is important. not a handicap. Most systems will not underline. The operator will follow you. but often turn people into zombies? Solution: Prepare your material carefully and rehearse it. It is an asset. keep your head up and do not change your distance from the mike. And do not be scared of an autocue. Treat any microphone as ‘live’. the mouse or remote mouse. then train and rehearse. Problem: How do you achieve that self-control which is vital if you are to control your audience? Solution: You win control through learning the techniques and applying them. or to take it off notes. Slides are created by a software package. With it. you will win inner self-confidence. with the battery in your back pocket or on your belt – then forget about them (see Chapter 27). Problem: How do you handle autocue or any of those other reading devices which are meant to make life easy. Be yourself – relax and animate and chat. Above all.Problem: Large audiences mean microphones. take the text at your own speed. and with capital letters. Above all. Preparation is essential. It may be. What are the best rules for coping with them? Solution: Where possible. when you dare not make mistakes.

’ Or. ‘That leaves…’ Outline other relevant points. Problem: How do you control your pre-speech nerves? Solution: Almost everyone is nervous before a major speech or presentation. First appear and then become confident in yourself. React to them. Involve individuals and. individually and collectively.’ Skilled. Like this: ‘So I’ve covered for you the main issues…’ Then outline them. Then you control your audience.. do talk to me privately afterwards and I will gladly go through them with you. It is unworthy of their experience. but I’ve only been given 20 minutes. we are back to the four questions: WHO are they? WHAT do they want? WHY are you doing it? HOW will you achieve the results you want? Problem: You are running out of time. so I’ll have to leave out a lot of what I had intended to say.Then: Relaxation – through breathing and simple exercises. Appear to have control and you will swiftly acquire it. Watch them. FIFTY FOUR TOP TIPS AND TECHNIQUES 215 . cunning and experienced speechmakers do not admit this sort of mistake. So take hold of yourself… stand or sit upright… look your audience in the eye… and perform ‘the confidence trick’. ‘I will be very happy. Apply them and with reasonable luck you will win and keep control. Prove to your audience that you are on top of your subject and very swiftly you will be in control of them. Ignore them at your peril. to deal with these in answer to your questions…’ Or: ‘If any of these points are specially important to you.. if you wish. simply: ‘So those are issues which I shall deal with in my next talk… I look forward to your inviting me back!’ Never admit that you have run out of time. The key rules are the same. worse: ‘There’s no time left. Never say: ‘I’m sorry. generally. so I’ll have to stop now… Or. What should you do? Solution: Make a virtue out of your oratorical necessity. This applies whether you are a speaker or in the Chair (Chapter 51). So. question them and invite them to question you.

For you to do the same in a presentation.FIFTY FIVE Finally… Finally. But he was just building up to that final crash of the cymbals. They are a limp apology for slovenly preparation. Which brings me finally.’ Or: ‘Finally.’ End up. pauses and signals of the impending demise of a symphony. I hope that you enjoy this book. to tell you how intensely irritating these repeated signals of departure are to any audience. simply tells your audience that you keep forgetting what you had wanted to say. with system and with success. Now I’ll take your questions. I remind you that you should always end up on a climax. to end. Nod. that it will help you to communicate with skill. 216 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . It was fine for old Beethoven to produce false climaxes. Or worse: ‘I have saved my last words for the end. thought and words. don’t say: ‘Thank you. Leave your message alive in the minds of your audience. pause. especially if they are in a hurry and you are not. ladies and gentlemen. Then ask for questions. So. in conclusion. and in ending. And I hope that you will have all that good fortune which you wish for yourself. So my last words in this section of the book are: Don’t end with a trite ‘thank you’. I conclude by reminding you that…’ If you want questions.


Either way. or because of a mixture of all of them. Mr… He tells me that the preparations for today’s gathering have been carried out swiftly. which you must carefully distinguish from each other – the formal opening and the keynote speech. Some ancient peoples had disgusting habits – like examining the entrails of animals to see whether the auguries were satisfactory for some proposed enterprise. and likely to provoke thought or action. rather than an atmosphere of generalised goodwill. from new premises to the same old annual garden fete run by the local church. you must do a good job this time. plus skeletons of keynote speeches. The opening pronouncement may be one of two varieties. or the trade benevolent society. By their nature. though. 218 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Opening a trade fair Ladies and Gentlemen. If you want to be asked again. in harmony and without a whiff of industrial ill will.FIFTY SIX Openings Prominent people are often invited to declare functions or occasions open – from trade exhibitions or fairs. these presentations are expected to be longer and fuller. and that we are expecting one of the biggest gatherings in the history of the trade. to sales conferences. I have taken a much shorter and pleasanter route – to the greater oracle of this organisation. you may be asked to speak because of your eminence. The following are examples of brief openers. your past usefulness or benevolence. that advance orders already total half as much again as those received at this stage last year. or in hope of future service or cash.

Second. Its success depends on orders and cheques. We will not smash and spill good champagne on the side of our machines (or furniture or equipment – or as the case may be). we salute the health of those whose efforts have created this exhibition – from our chairman/chief executive/organiser (etc. First. then. On your behalf as well as my own. I thank our organisers. the importance and the success of this year’s vital exhibition. for me to sound the tocsin and to proclaim in advance the value. Now – in anticipation of good companionship.What a delight it is. Third. then. we salute the prosperity of our trade/industry/company. Our warmest thanks to them all. If the arrangements look smooth and simple. Opening an industrial exhibition Mrs Brown. to the carpenters.) at the top of our respective trees. Mr… and Mrs… and Miss…. It is designed to exhibit products – and to help design exhibits. Symbolically only. we will use the wine to drink a series of toasts. it is because the organisers have worked so hard. Instead. By its end. the electricians and the cleaners who have firmed down the roots. I am proud to launch this exhibition. top sales and a continuation and ending to the fair which will be as successful as its inception – I have the greatest pleasure in declaring the fair – open. Ladies and Gentlemen. We are not as wasteful in this industry as our colleagues who build ships. Ladies and Gentlemen – I am delighted to declare the exhibition open. FIFTY SIX OPENINGS 219 . the… (here give details). This is an exhibition of machinery/equipment/furniture (or as the case may be). not on words – however warm or well meant. Today’s effort is of vast importance to it and so to us all. I hope that at dinner tonight we shall drink a toast to the beginning of a new era of prosperity for our trade/industry/company. as well as… and their staff. we salute the future of our fine new product.

It is therefore with delight that I can declare this new building open. Like most of us here. and to all of us who are a proud part of our enterprise. the steel – all is in place. At the top were those where neither knew the other. Think what we can now do. successful but hideously cramped. drink a cup of coffee without worrying whether we have swallowed our neighbour’s sustenance. and inevitably. mine or anyone else’s. turn around in our chairs without being accused of sexual harassment. Opening an old age home Friends. cabined and confined years in our old premises. I thank those who have organised this reception and. cribbed. We must now build the business – and have done with the words. Certainly we shall be able to do our work not only with greater economy and speed but also in greater comfort – and that is important because the environment of our workforce has taken priority in the plans for our new structure. This old people’s 220 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . the cement. I survived many happy. I thank all of you for putting up with the inevitable discomfort involved in the move. Ladies and Gentlemen – this is a time for building. Each of us can swing as many cats as we wish. the mortar. We hope that we will pack our custom-built building with more and more satisfied customers. customers. to our shareholders. I thank the architects. A sage once divided charity into categories of merit. The bricks. in particular. our own Miss… I most happily declare this new building – open. our profits – so bringing delight to our bank manager. At the bottom came gifts where the donor was known to the recipient and the recipient to the donor. We can now expand our business.Opening a new building Ladies and Gentlemen. I hope. Messrs….

we must now service and expand the home. Our special gratitude to… and… and… Second. With hundreds in need. they are too often years of loneliness and poverty. isn’t there? Autumn years… senior citizens… well earned years of pleasurable rest… Well. We close one era when we open another. We have enough to keep the place going for… months. So my function is twofold. in thanking you all for your kindness and generosity… for your presence here today and for your presents to this home in the past – I ask for your support in the future. relaxation in the gardens. peace when they want it but kindly supervision and help when they need it. firms and companies – each giving so that others may enjoy their old age. Your committee has had more trouble in selecting residents than it has had even in the raising of the money for the building. that’s how they should be. companionship in the communal rooms. But not for the residents of this home. FIFTY SIX OPENINGS 221 .home has been created by the generosity of the trade/industry – individuals. He replied: ‘How are you going to run it… to staff it… to pay for it once it is opened? I am tired of giving buildings and then having the same people come back to me and saying: “What’s the good of giving the building without the running costs?” ‘ Well. There is far too much claptrap talked about old age. Here they will have privacy in their own rooms. how do we select the tens who get help? Who are we to select who are to live here in happiness and who to cope alone? All have served the trade/industry. we have the building – given not by one person but by many – our thanks to them all. I once went to a very rich man and asked him for the money to create a building for a certain charity. First I join you in looking back with pride and thankfulness to what has been achieved – and in thanking those responsible. Did you know that it costs about… to pay for each resident for each year? So. Unfortunately. all deserve service from us.

Good luck to you all. not only the conference. describe and explain product/service.It is with the greatest of pride – and in hope and confidence that this home will provide a great comfort and joy to its residents – that I declare the building – open. lies in expanding our territory and our sales – but with the help of our new lines/products/equipment. I am happy to introduce to you. On behalf of your board/director/chairman. I am happy to declare this conference duly opened. but also our new season’s range/tremendously successful line/new equipment. My introduction marks the beginning of two/three days/weeks of intensive discussion/ instruction/conference – which I am confident will herald the start of a year of distinction and prosperity. This conference has been carefully designed to help us all in our work. The conference will also enable us to get to know each other socially and to enjoy that good companionship that is so much part of the atmosphere of this organisation.) The key to this conference. then. We are part of the same enterprise. etc. Keynote – sales conference This company lives through sales – and we all live through the company. 222 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . It is by building the sales that we can ensure a prosperous future not only for the organisation but also for each of us here. I wish you good days and fruitful discussions – followed by brisk and burgeoning sales and continuing success for the company and for all of you. specially designed for our market by… (or as the case may be.

Many years ago. He claimed that £500 was reasonable and right and what the picture was worth. FIFTY SIX OPENINGS 223 . No matter. Counsel cross-examined him on behalf of the client. I am sure. He had not agreed a price with his client. ‘I am claiming £500 for a lifetime of work which enabled me to paint this portrait in three days. so he sued for what lawyers call a quantum meruit. One half sets out the work of Martha Smith. ‘how long did it take you to paint this portrait?’ ‘Three days.’ retorted the painter. The shapes are glorious and the colours superb.’ he said.Opening an exhibition We are honoured to be holding in our shop/factory an exhibition of paintings by Martha Smith and sculpture by Roger Jones. though. commissioned by a client. ‘Mr Whistler. but the spirit. You will all have seen the brochure/catalogue. be as delighted as I was to learn that each of the artists has offered to donate one work to our trade charity. It is not the time that matters. ‘So are you asking my client to pay £500 for three days’ work?’ ‘No. You will. the painter Rex Whistler claimed £500 for a portrait in oils. who draw their inspiration from our trade/industry. This is immensely kind of them and we are very grateful.’ the artist replied. when a pound was twenty shillings and worth a sovereign of gold. I am told it took Martha Smith about a week to create each painting and Roger Jones took more than a year with his large sculptures.’ He won his money. I know that our two guest artists will not be offended if I say that the hanging committee felt a little like the brochure – not quite sure which way up to hang some of the pictures or to stand some of the sculptures. designed by our own Walter Brown. the other half lists the sculpture of Roger Jones.

A cynic remarked: ‘He who can. he who can’t teaches.’ We might say: ‘He who can’t visits exhibitions and admires those who can. There may be some of you who are capable artists – I have trouble in drawing a circle using a compass. for each of us to browse. then. On behalf of all of us – I thank you both.It was not the time that was taken by our generous artists which is the dominant matter – it is their lifetimes of skill which have made them predominant in their own sphere. They are giving us of their own best works.’ I thank the artists for bringing that collection together and for enabling us to enjoy it at our leisure. I have much pleasure in declaring this exhibition – open. The time has now come. does. to look and to learn. 224 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER .

the dangers. We face increased competition from countries where employees are paid miserably low wages. Add to these overseas miseries. We are against unfair competition… unfair imports… improper dumping… wilful subsidy by others. But we are becoming extremely. And no UK government appears ready to help us to meet this unfair competition. We know that if we place undue restriction on our imports. the weakness of our economy. We recognise the need of others to sell. First. unmatched by governmental aid to our ailing industry. And we must export to live. They are many. We are against neither competition nor imports. over which we have no control whatever. We have honourably adhered to governmental guidelines and advice. and dangerously.FIFTY SEVEN Business speeches State of the industry I am happy to have this chance to review the state of our industry – and to appeal on behalf of all of us for government understanding and help. lawfully or otherwise – are heavily subsidised by their governments. FIFTY SEVEN BUSINESS SPEECHES 225 . We contend with the dumping of goods by suppliers who – directly or indirectly. We have – as Ministers have sometimes unhappily put it – cut away the fat. then we must expect the same treatment from others to whom we must export. the results of our own recession. the problems of overseas demand matched by the collapse of our market – and the reasons for my anxiety are clear. the state of the currency. lean.

The time for cutting each other’s industrial throats has passed. my colleagues and I are proposing the following specific steps. First… Second… Third… I commend these proposals to you. debates at universities and conferences of trade unions – nearly always because the speakers indicated that they regarded the audience as inferior. hope and confidence. to draw our plight to the Government’s attention and to take constructive help for our problems – not least in preserving employment in this key area of our industry. equals. company occasions. nearly all the most successful speeches shine because the listeners are treated as colleagues. partners. So. I have watched speeches collapse into ruin at school prize-givings. organise and lobby. Remedies The diagnosis for our trade is clear. Conversely. let us plan and plot. recognising that collapse for one is a signal of tempest for all. which we have now united together to provide. The cure requires capital and investment – but above all. 226 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . I ask you to accept them unanimously.So. Let us learn from the unions that individually we are weak. but if we fight and use our unity. then these times of trouble will have brought great lessons for us all. Never talk down to anyone – least of all to trade unions or to your colleagues or workforce. We must now work together for the survival of… . work together for the preservation of our industry. We need more confidence and you need leadership.

Provided that their accounts will not reach the eyes of their creditors. very briefly. accounts emerge. Roger White – who is. even when it is in reality a mask for shyness or apprehension. after providing for the pension reserve fund and other receptacles for profits that are better unseen. with sincerity and frankness. So the key to a successful speech to employees – and especially to those with the combined strength provided by a well-run union – is: the sharing of information. I would like to explain to you. Roger will be glad to join me in answering your questions about these accounts. the position of the company. They give your management a guide to liability and prospects. if you do not also let them benefit in times of profit. And they will give you an indication of the state of the business which. Thank you for agreeing to meet me today. You only fool your unions once. of course. But in days of gloom. anxieties and hopes. employers are always glad to explain bad news to their workforce. Nor will they accept your invitation to share with them the miseries. Or to use a useful American phrase: ‘Level with them…’ Disclosure Chairman. I have provided a summary for each of you. Then I shall be glad to answer your questions. provides a livelihood for us all. and our plans and hopes for the future. here with me – has just provided your Board with our latest figures. of course. FIFTY SEVEN BUSINESS SPEECHES 227 . and when I have concluded this introduction.Trade unions are especially sensitive to apparent condescension. Our company secretary. They will not trust you again. Ladies and Gentlemen.

Remembering that the period covered is the year/six months/three months from… to … . and from industrial action rose/fell from… to… 4 And do please treat this information as entirely confidential – in broad terms.. If redundancies become inevitable – and I repeat that we hope and believe that this will not occur – we shall consult with all unions concerned. (Pause). let me summarise for you: 1 2 3 The turnover during this period increased/decreased from… to… Our workforce grew/diminished from… to… Working days lost through illness rose/fell from… to… . 228 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . We can now see confidently ahead only until. at the start of this period we had enough orders on our books to keep us busy/on full-time working for a period of… weeks/months. Anyway. Our plans for the future are as follows: We shall do our very best to retain our present workforce.. We believe that together – all of us together – we can survive this miserable recession. If unfortunately we do have to reduce numbers. I repeat that it is certainly the determination of your board and of all our management team to scour the country/the world for orders and to take any steps within our power to keep our organisation – with all its skills. frankly and in the confidence that you recognise that we are all working – together – for the future of this. we hope. we shall try to do so through natural wastage. Now please do ask your questions. We know that you know the problems – and how much we appreciate your partnership and help. We shall try to answer them all. experience and comradeship – together. and we shall try to arrange redundancies with the minimum of hardship – all voluntary. our works/business/undertaking.

If you have any alternative joy to offer. Our proposals are: 1… 2… 3… 4… FIFTY SEVEN BUSINESS SPEECHES 229 . But it is essential that we confer together on how to meet the current emergency/make the best of the present opportunity/ avoid (or as the case may be). of course. I know how far some of you have had to travel and the difficulty that some of you have had in leaving your work/departments. should not be used unless that misery is at least in prospect. as in the following example. First let me refer to the background paper which has been provided to you all. I must emphasise the following points: 1… 2… 3… 4… The members of your Board consider that we should now take the following steps – but before making any irrevocable decision. we are seeking your views. if redundancies really do become inevitable.The redundancy section of this speech sets the tone of misery and. you could use the redundancy section to form a major part of an even more unhappy speech. Alternatively. then by all means do so. Similar principles apply to speeches to management. To management colleagues I appreciate greatly your coming together today.

Sales team talk I have asked you – our sales team – to join me today so that together we can plan for the future of the entire business.I look forward to hearing your comments and any alternative proposals. to present to you our new product – which will lie at the centre of our effort for the coming year. Failure is unthinkable – for the company. and (c) feeding other people’s talents into your talk. and justify the skill. as a supplement to speech (Chapter 25). They are indispensable in (a) explaining complicated ideas or machinery. Note: Visual aids are vital. In these times. provide the basis for discussion. brilliance and the enterprise of our colleagues in research and development? How do we make the most of this great new opportunity? If we succeed. We shall value your constructive criticism and your ideas – as we do your comradeship.) Now you have seen the product and you know the plans. (Mr Black then introduces and explains the product – with appropriate diagrams. will avoid waste of time. 230 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . customers have come to us. prepared carefully in advance. and reduce the length of your speech. A background paper or some other document. (b) punctuating a lengthy speech or brightening a shorter one. In the past. and for us all. your partnership and your assistance – without which this business could not survive in such excellent shape. I shall now ask our colleague. Bill Black. then the company will flourish. sell well. So how do we beat the competition. charts and/or visual aids. we must go to them – and arrive well ahead of our competitors.

and will not then resent a reminder. in large letters. • Find out in advance as much as you can about the speaker. The best hosts recognise people and even remember where they last met. Ask them whether they would like to be reminded when they are a few minutes away from the appointed end. be careful not to interrupt too often. If they are to go into a programme. • Remember to say thank you – and to write and repeat your thanks afterwards. Do this without pre-arrangement and you may upset them (Chapter 12). check the spelling. but mainly because they do their homework. if appropriate. where possible. provided that you sound and appear sincere. • Prime your speakers on the length of time you want them to speak. Competent speakers can handle their own audiences and prefer. ask. This is partly because they are blessed with good memories. push a note in front of the speaker. with ‘5 minutes please’. then. GREETINGS AND THANKS 231 . and keep it in front of you on a card. • While trying to ensure that the speaker gets a fair hearing. greetings and thanks When you introduce: • If you are not sure how your guests pronounce their names. Many people are very sensitive about their names. Then write them out. If necessary. toast list.FIFTY EIGHT Introductions. always giving them less time than you are prepared to accept. to do so. phonetically. FIFTY EIGHT INTRODUCTIONS. Most speakers will gladly agree. • If they have incurred expenses. The Chair should exercise authority with moderation. ask them to let you know. clearly visible at all times. You can never express gratitude too often. brochure or other document. The surest way to antagonise them is to be indifferent to them and to their past achievements. The best way to flatter your speakers is to remember all about them.

Minister for joining our family (or the family of our trade. 232 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Introducing guest or speaker Most introductions are made from the Chair. all encapsulated in a way that expresses the feelings of the audience.) So. democracy is in danger. deprivation and disease (or unemployment. I once asked a friend who is a safety officer how he defined his job. Minister for giving this event the accolade of your lively presence – and I ask you. ladies and gentlemen. He replied. the Minister is in charge of illness. or as the case may be). This time. We are all very grateful to you. He deals with our problems and his own with admirable calm – and. For our part. Brevity. structure and explanation. but the fact that you are with us today.To the Minister Secretary of State. once again. we recognise the acute dangers created for our society by any condition of unrest. to join me in expressing our warmest appreciation. Ladies and Gentlemen. which fosters relations between his and other communities. for the sake of us all. ‘I’m in charge of accidents!’ By that token. it worked. we wish him success. (Then refer to one or two points made by the guest. I thank you. We are glad that there are live statesmen like our guest. When people regard all politicians with equal distaste. But some are not – like the presentation of an award to the distinguished Muslim who founded the Calumus organisation. We appreciate not only what you have said. industry or as the case may be) when you could so easily and comfortably have been with your own. I introduced Risal Risaluddin. concerned with the affairs of our land.

• If possible. How do you handle the situation? • Make your apologies as best you can – relying on the foul weather. All of us. Risal was a father and founder of them all. while a small crowd is lost in a huge hall. apparent trade disputes or any other excuse that seems reasonable. • Adapt your introduction to the occasion.Risal Risaluddin is a most remarkable man. It was designed to bring Muslims together with others. unexpectedly small audience. we honour you. your colleagues and your friends. membership or club and then to find that – for whatever reason – the audience is pathetically small. which too often had been strangers. Risal founded the Calumus organisation. GREETINGS AND THANKS 233 . Your family. Apologies for a small audience* There is nothing in the speaker’s world more embarrassing than bringing a prominent guest to address your organisation. The Calumus organisation was the model for the Maimonides Foundation. which introduces the Muslim and Jewish worlds. transfer to a smaller room: a few people in a small room make a fine audience. Calumus and Maimonides organisations gave birth to Alif-Aleph. on handling your own. FIFTY EIGHT INTRODUCTIONS. Risal – we are here because we are proud of you… We love you… And tonight. Thus (see over): FOOTNOTE * See advice in Chapter 24. a group of eminent Muslim and Jewish business people.

we debate and we dispute.) Ladies and Gentlemen. We argue. 234 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . I thank him for the kindly way in which he has referred to me. We have gathered here because we know of the work of our guest – and on behalf of us all. We are to have the treat. we know that we will receive the same unassuming. But we are united in our admiration for Mr… Let me list some of his achievements during the past… (expand on those achievements). Most of us here are forthright individualists – or we would not be doing this job. Colleagues and Friends. We are the fortunate few. He has been warm. We may disagree as to the best way to serve our customers/clients/ firm’s business interest. In the past… months/years. I welcome him to… (Then give details of the guest’s work. It will seem strange to attend a meeting of the… without Arthur Jones presiding over it. Ladies and Gentlemen. he has established himself as the epitome of all that is best in our trade/industry/organisation. kindly and affectionate welcome – and the same help – from him as a fellow member of our… as we did when he held the highest office and honour that we could give him.Distinguished Guest. I present Mr… Retirement Mr Chairman. generous – and accurate… I can therefore say with equal accuracy that his qualities of… and… have enlightened his period of office and helped him to create a vibrant organisation. We welcome here among us some of the most distinguished members/some of our top industrialists/some of the most famous executives in our trade/ industry. I know that we will all be sorry that the weather (industrial action or as the case may be) has kept so many people away. And now that his period of office is over.

I have been asked on behalf of the guests to thank our hosts for the splendid austerity lunch (e. When justice and money come together on the same platform. We have listened with immense care to their speeches – and I can assure them that we are happy to associate ourselves with their work. We thank him – and we wish him well. In particular. Arthur Jones has enjoyed his very crowded hour – and he has put glorious life into our proceedings/company/organisation. FIFTY EIGHT INTRODUCTIONS. the other is a financier. GREETINGS AND THANKS 235 . I would wish this sort of austerity on all business people everywhere. then indeed we have found common cause. Distinguished guests In the unavoidable absence of our President. sound the clarion. We are involved – and we are all grateful to our guests for increasing that involvement.’ Our friend. (Then a few sentences about that work). We look forward to seeing our guests back with us again very soon – and next time for a much longer stay. and mentor. I thank our two guests for joining us – and for their enthusiastic words. How they adjust – physically and mentally – to their eternal round of the world is a mystery.g. Maybe it is due to the sustenance provided by the international smoked salmon sandwich. smoked salmon sandwiches or whatever). fill the fife Throughout the sensual world proclaim One crowded hour of glorious life Is worth an age without a name. One of our guests is a lawyer.Thomas Mordaunt wrote: ‘Sound.

You have a right to develop your talents to the full – and I congratulate the committee and organisers of this club for the work they have done to enable the members to enjoy their lives. we all have different talents. yellow. 236 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . I spent the first half hour trying to assemble a lock and the second a bicycle pump. my closest friend was Dick. I failed totally on both. Dick performed all 10 puzzles swiftly and without difficulty. they are necessarily less happy. the organisers. I am at your service and proud to be here among you. Thank you. Whatever our intellectual or mental ability. talk to the youngsters. I found the verbal reasoning and intelligence test easy. The very best of luck to you all. for inviting me to be your guest of honour. The first question sticks in my mind: ‘The sun is blue. I congratulate you all on the measure of happiness which this organisation brings not only to its members but also to those who love and care for them. When I went into the Army. You must always decide to whom you are going to speak.’ Dick managed the first couple of dozen questions without too much difficulty. I thank you. This place is full of happiness. your committee and your members. Next came technical aptitude. never mind the parents. Note: This speech is aimed primarily at the organisers. a young labourer.To people with learning difficulties Our object must be to enable each member of our society to make the best of his or her assets. His vocabulary was limited. then. If you are addressing a school audience. many years ago. to themselves. and the handiwork done by members of this club and on exhibition here today shows how much pleasure they can give to others – and at the same time. green – cross out the answers which do not apply. but he then came to a dead halt. We sat our aptitude tests together. isn’t it? People have the odd idea that where human beings are not blessed with the same degree of mental aptitude as themselves.

the pupils. Why. Unlike the Governor of a prison who is top boss. It is still there. lift off the lid of his coffin. Charles II definitely did dig him up. Sidney Sussex College in Cambridge. GREETINGS AND THANKS 237 . speared the cat and grasped old Cromwell’s head. A huge cat ran out of the crypt. The next part is true. it dripped blood on to the flagstones. Someone took the head up to Cromwell’s alma mater. FIFTY EIGHT INTRODUCTIONS. to make the most of your time here. Then one night there was a terrible storm and the head blew down with a horrible thud. didn’t he? I say to you – as he said to each of his wives in turn: ‘I shall not keep you long!’ Didn’t he say that? Unfortunately many of the best historical tales are not necessarily accurate. Ladies and Gentlemen. chop off his head and put it on a pike on the roof of Westminster Hall where it stayed for six years – that is in the ancient Hall of the Palace of Westminster. a Governor of this school is only one of a group – all of whom work together with the Head and the staff to help you. is this school different from others? Why should my fellow Governors and I be proud to be associated with it? 1… 2… 3… Well. and buried it in one of the walls. I expect you know the story of Henry VIII – and what a happy time he had. I am here as a Governor of the school. the only part of Parliament’s buildings which is still standing almost as it was when it was first built. grabbed the head in its teeth and was rushing off towards the door when the Sergeant-at-Arms – our sort of Head Prefect – drew his sword. Parents. Like the one about Oliver Cromwell. then. What I cannot prove is the classic story that when the head was on the pike on the roof of the Hall.School celebration Teachers.

When you start your new school. head of the school. before my blood is spilled for taking up too much of your time. Do by all means remember the children who get no prizes. Prize-giving At prize-givings. If you look carefully enough. no sooner do we reach one pinnacle – no sooner do we get to the top of one mountain – than we slide right down again and. Unfortunately. Good luck to you all.I do not recommend that you use that story in your history essays – but I do hope that someone will take you to Westminster Hall one day. Parents. a prefect or a monitor. looked up to by the new pupils. they will not believe it. Anyway. avoid telling children how badly you did when you were young – even if it was true. become new boys and new girls – ‘freshers’ as they call them in college. 238 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Note: An imaginative tale enlivens any speech. You are a senior character. I will wish you well… congratulate you all on a tremendous year of success… wish you happiness for the holidays… (or as the case may be). you might even find Oliver Cromwell’s blood still on the flagstones. Boys and Girls. Skip the tale of how dreadfully Winston Churchill did as a boy and try something like this: Mrs Green. university or college – or your work – you will be back down at the bottom again. Draw from your own experience or from anyone else’s – but do not talk down to your audience. All you leavers will be feeling a bit nostalgic today. It’s marvellous being top of the class. whatever its age. once more. isn’t it? Even being in top form gives you status.

I hope that your ambitions will be fulfilled. Just think of all the successful politicians and scientists – and teachers – whom everybody congratulated and who won all the rich prizes in civilisation. Well. any of you. Still. Ten years later. Next year. are you? Apart from presenting your prizes. and even to a few who are staying still. some of you will reach the top. where are they? Where is the businessman… the captain of industry… the big boss…? They retire and are forgotten about and that’s the end of them. it is my task to wish you all well – wherever you are going. you are not retiring. Jimmy Durante. Never mind. As for those of you who remain – I hope that you will have very happy times ahead. whatever you do. once remarked: ‘Be nice to people you pass on your way up because you will pass them again on your way down!’ To all of you who are going up or down. which I shall look forward to doing. those of you who have won prizes today – and I congratulate you all – will treasure them as mementos of a happy and successful occasion. isn’t it? Many people here. Enjoy it. the very best of luck to you – and thank you for inviting me to be with you today. GREETINGS AND THANKS 239 . you will be no higher on the ladder than those of your friends who will be joining you at your work without prizes. I know. Your turn will come.Naturally. have worked very hard and done extremely well but are not getting rewarded. the famous American comedian. FIFTY EIGHT INTRODUCTIONS. In many ways. it’s a pity that we have to have prizes at all.

because they are on no register. to walk down among them. the dignities and proprieties have to be maintained. to help those in homes to put down their roots and to cope. Isn’t it scandalous that so many people are so shockingly housed? I am delighted to be with you today because you are working to provide roofs for the homeless – and more.Note: Never mind the parents. 240 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . They will enjoy your talking to the students. maybe you can climb off the stage. First. You may be elevated on to a platform. there’s the physical worry of providing a place for people to live in decent happiness and contentment. They are inarticulate. Those are the twin challenges. Some regard homes as chattels to be bought and sold. Indeed. A child can see through pomposity or insincerity far better than an adult. I try to perch on the edge of a table. but pretend that you are in and amongst them. Chat to them as if they were your own. even when they do have a home to live in. It is this second category that provides so many of our most underprivileged and deprived. Second. But when talking to young people. Others – including everybody here – consider a home to be part of a person’s entitlement. On great state occasions. they have no Members of Parliament. A charitable occasion Ladies and Gentlemen. there are many in our civilisation who cannot cope with life. or even to remove my jacket and hang it on the back of a chair – that almost always breaks the ice. Adapt your words according to the age of the youngsters. they drift rootless through a world that prefers to disregard them.

we are delighted to be associated with your work. My colleagues and I are honoured to be part of your work. The association has great plans… (outline them). in our great industry. I know some people here who have fought their way back to the top. after slithering into great difficulty. we shall be pleased. To this organisation and all who struggle for it – and to those whom it seeks to help – my warm and affectionate greetings. This benevolent association of ours is designed to help those who have not been fortunate enough to make success a permanence – who need broad shoulders to lean on. Meanwhile. I am delighted to be your guest/Chair – and I can assure you that I will do everything in my power to help. FIFTY EIGHT INTRODUCTIONS. • • • This organisation… (set out its objectives). has it? We can all remember difficult days when we might have been toppled into trouble. This gathering today is designed to… (set out objectives of meeting).Just as those who know no medicine tell the chronically depressed to ‘snap out of it’. This organisation… (set out its remaining problems and how people can help to solve them). The association has many achievements… (outline them). Trade association It has not all been smooth sailing. There but for the Grace of God goes any of us. so those who are able to cope with life too often do not comprehend the troubles of those who are inadequate. usually through no fault of their own. This organisation… (set out its successes). If my colleagues and I can be of help to you. GREETINGS AND THANKS 241 .

Use rhetorical questions. Do not talk at your audience. do not appear condescending. don’t show it. move on and be serious. your audience. And be flexible – refer to individuals… to events that day… to the venue… • Relax. family parties and informal office gatherings. as above. • Talk to. Or real ones. However apprehensive you may be. make sure that everyone knows who they are – and that no one is offended. make sure that you mention the key guests or listeners – but do not leave out those who will resent not being mentioned. • Read this book and especially the chapters that tell you how to stand. The great art is to chat with people. family occasions – weddings. where to look and how to think on your feet. Bring them with you. Chat with them. the less the speech should appear like a rehearsed production. informal. pretend that it’s informal. If you have learned it by heart. Use notes but if at all possible avoid reading your speech. And if your jokes fall flat. patronising or pompous – especially if your audience are younger than you are. The occasions are so different that instead of a model speech. Which leaves – personal. The more informal the gathering. I offer you some suggested hints for success: • In your introduction. • If you are going to tell stories about personalities. Above all. and not at. then just start with: ‘My very dear family… friends… colleagues…’. You will need it! 242 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . or as the case may be. All that remains is to wish you the very best of luck. Each occasion will be different and the art is to direct your introduction or speech at the particular audience. If you cannot find a balance.Note: Do always involve your audience.


’ We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. toil. 244 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . all allowance. such as have been indicated by my Hon. victory in spite of all terror. there is no survival. lamentable catalogue of human crime. victory however long and hard the road may be. land and air. who are affected by the political reconstruction. by sea. I hope that any of my friends and colleagues. Friend below the Gangway. for without victory. will make allowances. have to be made here at home. for any lack of ceremony with which it has been necessary to act. That this House welcomes the formation of a Government representing the united and inflexible resolve of the nation to prosecute the war with Germany to a victorious conclusion. with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us. tears and sweat’ – 1940 I beg to move. That is our policy. victory at all cost. that we are in action at many other points in Norway and in Holland. what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory. It must be remembered that we are in the preliminary stage of one of the greatest battles in history. as I said to those who have joined this Government: ‘I have nothing to offer but blood. You ask.FIFTY NINE Winston Churchill: ‘Blood. many long months of struggle and of suffering. or former colleagues. to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark. We have before us many. tears and sweat. that we have to be prepared in the Mediterranean. In this crisis I hope I may be pardoned if I do not address the House at any length today. toil. I would say to the House. You ask. what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war. that the air battle is continuous and that many preparations.

But I take my task with buoyancy and hope. from Hansard. I feel sure that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men. issue No.’ (Reprinted by kind permission of HMSO. volume 360. that mankind will move forward towards its goal.) FIFTY NINE WINSTON CHURCHILL 245 . and I say: ‘Come then. 1501 to col. col. 13 May 1940. let us go forward together. no survival for all that the British Empire has stood for. At this time I feel entitled to claim the aid of all. 1502.1096. no survival for the British Empire. with our united strength.Let that be realised. Fifth Series. no survival for the urge and impulse of the ages.

not so dark certainly because when we look into our hearts we still find the living flame which he lighted there. first Prime Minister of independent India. all we know is that for the moment there is darkness. It will judge of the successes and the failures – we are too near it to be proper judges and to understand what has happened and what has not happened. What then can we say about him except to feel humble on this occasion? To praise him we are not worthy – to praise him whom we could not follow adequately and sufficiently. It is almost doing him an injustice just to pass him by with words when he demanded work and labour and sacrifice from us. Yet ultimately things happened which no doubt made him suffer tremendously though his tender face never lost its smile and he never spoke a harsh word to anyone. Long ages afterwards history will judge of this period that we have passed through.SIXTY Jawaharlal Nehru: ‘A glory has departed’ Nehru. with our effort. during the last thirty years or more. remembering him and 246 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Yet he must have suffered – suffered for the failing of this generation whom he had trained. in a large measure he made this country. And if those living flames exist. All we know is that there was a glory and that it is no more. suffered because we went away from the path that he had shown us. He succeeded in that. there will not be darkness in this land and we shall be able. attain heights of sacrifice which in that particular domain have never been equalled elsewhere. And ultimately the hand of a child of his – for he after all is as much a child of his as any other Indian – a hand of a child of his struck him down. addressing the Constituent Assembly at New Delhi on 2 February 1948. three days after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.

but this man of divine fire managed in his lifetime to become enshrined in millions and millions of hearts so that all of us become somewhat of the stuff that he was made of. A glory has departed and the sun that warmed and brightened our lives has set and we shiver in the cold and dark. but still with the fire that he instilled into us. however small. changed us also – and such as we are. and out of that divine fire many of us also took a small spark which strengthened and made us work to some extent on the lines that he fashioned. He spread out in this way all over India not in palaces only. Great and eminent men have monuments in bronze and marble set up for them. small as we are. of the India of the future. could also follow his path and tread the holy ground where his feet had been. I do believe that perhaps this period will pass soon enough. After all. to some extent we also praise ourselves. And so if we praise him. people will think of this generation when this man of God trod on earth and will think of us who. that glory that we saw for all these years. or in select places or in SIXTY JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 247 . We stand on this perilous edge of the present between the past and the future to be and we face all manner of perils and the greatest peril is sometimes the lack of faith which comes to us. we have been moulded by him during these years. he would not have us feel this way. to illumine this land again. Yet. He was perhaps the greatest symbol of the India of the past. Let us be worthy of him. In ages to come. that man with the divine fire. and all over India there is a feeling of having been left desolate and forlorn. He has gone. our words seem rather small and if we praise him. and yet together with that feeling there is also a feeling of proud thankfulness that it has been given to us of this generation to be associated with this mighty person. the sense of frustration that comes to us. when we see the great things that we talked about somehow pass into empty words and life taking a different course. and may I say. centuries and maybe millennia after us.following his path. though to an infinitely lesser degree. Yet. that we could have had. and I do not know when we shall be able to get rid of it. the sinking of the heart and of the spirit that comes to us when we see ideals go overboard. All of us sense that feeling.

) 248 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Copeland and L.assemblies but in every hamlet and hut of the lowly and those who suffer. from The World’s Greatest Speeches [second revised edition]. (Reprinted by kind permission of Dover Publications. New York. Larner. edited by L. He lives in the hearts of millions and he will live for immemorial ages.

keen feeling of nationalism. Fifteen years ago this movement spread through Asia. as I expected. and especially since the end of the war. but all have been inspired by a deep. I understand and sympathise with your interest in these events. and your anxiety about them. In the twentieth century. from Pointing the Way 1959-61. this growth of national consciousness is a political fact. We must all accept it as a fact and our national policies must take account of it… (Reprinted by kind permission of Macmillan London Ltd. We have seen the awakening of national consciousness in peoples who have for centuries lived in dependence upon some other power. Prime Minister Macmillan opened his speech as follows. The wind of change is blowing through this continent and whether we like it or not. Sir. which has grown as the nations have grown. Volume 5 of Macmillan’s Autobiography. Ever since the break-up of the Roman Empire one of the constant facts of political life in Europe has been the emergence of independent nations.) SIXTY ONE HAROLD MACMILLAN 249 . as I have travelled round the Union I have found everywhere. Many countries there of different races and civilisations pressed their claim to an independent national life. the processes which gave birth to the nation states of Europe have been repeated all over the world. with different kinds of government.SIXTY ONE Harold Macmillan: ‘The winds of change’ Addressing the South African Parliament in 1960 on the theme of emerging. They have come into existence over the centuries in different forms. Today the same thing is happening in Africa and the most striking of all the impressions I have formed since I left London a month ago is of the strength of this African national consciousness. In different places it takes different forms but it is happening everywhere. a deep preoccupation with what is happening in the rest of the African continent. third-world nationalism.

I have a dream today. the rough places will be made plain. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama. whose governor’s lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character. to struggle together. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted. to go to jail together. With this faith we will be able to work together. will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.SIXTY TWO Martin Luther King: ‘I have a dream’ Martin Luther King’s evocative masterpiece of hope – 1963. and the crooked places will be made straight. a stone of hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair. This is our hope. and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed. every hill and mountain shall be made low. knowing that we will be free one day. to pray together. to stand up for freedom together. and all flesh shall see it together. 250 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER .

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning. When we let freedom ring. Jews and Gentiles. land of the pilgrim’s pride. when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet. Land where my fathers died. Bennet. ‘Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty. let freedom ring. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire! Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York! Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California! But not only that. black men and white men. from every mountainside. we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children. ‘My country ‘tis of thee.) SIXTY TWO MARTIN LUTHER KING 251 . sweet land of liberty. let freedom ring.’ And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. from What Manner of Man: A Biography of Martin Luther King by L. From every mountainside. will be able to join hands and sing in the words of that old Negro spiritual. we are free at last!’ (Reprinted by kind permission of George Allen & Unwin Ltd. let freedom ring from the Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from every hill and mole hill of Mississippi. Protestants and Catholics. from every state and every city. of thee I sing.

I agree with him. is if. in order to get rid of a man. 1960. and would not be forgiven. who you think perhaps is not a good Leader. you supported a policy in which you did not wholeheartedly believe.SIXTY THREE Hugh Gaitskell: ‘Fight and fight and fight again’ Speech delivered at the 57th Annual Conference of the Labour Party. to try to get rid of a man you do not agree with. The place to decide the leadership of this Party is not here but in the Parliamentary Party. Supposing all of us. It is not the end of the problem because Labour Members of Parliament will have to consider what they do in the House of Commons. Let me repeat what Manny Shinwell said. were to follow the policies of unilateralism and neutralism. So what do you expect them to do? Change their minds overnight? To go back on the pledges they gave to the people who elected them from their constituencies? And supposing they did do that. It is not in dispute that the vast majority of Labour Members of Parliament are utterly opposed to unilateralism and neutralism. Scarborough. allow me a last word. Frank Cousins has said that this is not the end of the problem. what kind of impression would that make upon the British people? You do not seem to be clear in your minds about it. …There is one other possibility to which I must make reference because I have read so much about it – that the issue here is not really defence at all but the leadership of this Party. like well-behaved sheep. What would be wrong. It is perfectly reasonable to try to get rid of somebody. a policy which. as far as the resolution is concerned. I would not wish for one day to remain a Leader who had lost the confidence of his colleagues in Parliament. is not clear. but I will tell you this. in my opinion. Before you take the vote on this momentous occasion. What do you expect of them? You know how they voted in June overwhelmingly for the policy statement. But there are ways of doing this. 252 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER .

I do not believe they will do this. frankly. and to reject what I regard as the suicidal path of unilateral disarmament which will leave our country defenceless and alone. steadfast men. In a few minutes the Conference will make its decision. I say this to you: we may lose the vote today and the result may deal this Party a grave blow. People of the so-called Right and so-called Centre have every justification for having a conscience. We know how it comes about. who will not believe that such an end is inevitable. experienced men. We will fight and fight and fight again to bring back sanity and honesty and dignity. It may not be possible to prevent it. Mr Chairman. loyal men. in the Party who share our convictions. There are some of us. I sometimes think. I know. There are other people too.) SIXTY THREE HUGH GAITSKELL 253 . which yet could so easily have united the great Party of ours. is not really a very wise one or a good one. to support what I believe to be a realistic policy on defence. are predetermined and we have been told what is likely to happen. unilateralists and fellow travellers that other people are? How wrong can you be? As wrong as you are about the attitude of the British people. (Reprinted by kind permission from the Labour Party Report of the 57th Annual Conference. as well as people of the so-called Left. Perhaps in a calmer moment this situation could be looked at. so that our Party with its great past may retain its glory and its greatness. with a lifetime of service to the Labour Movement. that the system we have. but I think there are many of us who will not accept that this blow need be mortal. who will fight and fight and fight again to save the Party we love. by which great unions decide their policy before even their conferences can consider the Executive recommendation.I do not believe that the Labour Members of Parliament are prepared to act as time servers. Most of the votes. I do not think they will do this because they are honest men. What sort of people do you think they are? What sort of people do you think we are? Do you think we can simply accept a decision of this kind? Do you think that we can become overnight the pacifists. not in Parliament. and I will tell you why – because they are men of conscience and honour. It is in that spirit that I ask delegates who are still free to decide how they vote.

Denis. What are we going to say. that the principles of democratic Socialism 254 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . and therefore. and not only to them. which is the father and mother of modern democracy and modern Socialism. I was rather depressed by what Denis Healey said. I have a lot of respect for him. You cannot do it! You cannot mix them. I hope we are going to send from this Conference a message of hope. to the youth and to the rest of the world that is listening very carefully to what we are saying. The sacrifices are too much. unless we have something really serious in mind. and we should say to India and we should say to Africa and Indonesia. a message of encouragement.SIXTY FOUR Aneurin Bevan: ‘Socialism unbeaten’ Extract from Bevan’s speech to the Labour Party Conference following Macmillan’s General Election victory of 1959. but you know. You cannot do it! Nor can you inject the principles of ethical Socialism into an economy based upon private greed. comrades? Are we going to accept the defeat? Are we going to say to India. that the British Labour movement has dropped Socialism here? What are we going to say to the rest of the world? Are we going to send a message from this great Labour movement. I have found in my life that the burdens of public life are too great to be borne for trivial ends. and therefore I beg and pray that we should wind this Conference up this time on a message of hope. that we in Blackpool in 1959 have turned our backs on our principles because of a temporary unpopularity in a temporarily affluent society? Let me give you a personal confession of faith. but we should say to China and we should say to Russia. where Socialism has been adopted as the official policy despite all the difficulties facing the Indian community. you are not going to be able to help the Africans if the levers of power are left in the hands of their enemies in Britain.

and we will give all the help and encouragement that we can. comrades. go in and start now! Go back home and start them. We have never suffered from too much vitality. we have suffered from too little. And we are going to get the youth! Let them start. we are going to fight them in the constituencies and inside the trade unions. SIXTY FOUR ANEURIN BEVAN 255 . That is why I say that we are going to go from this Conference a united Party. You cannot give me a single illustration in the Western world where Fascism conquered because Socialism was too violent. But we are not only going to fight them there. We are going to go back to the House of Commons. parliamentary institutions have not been destroyed because the Left wing was too vigorous. they have been destroyed because the Left was too inert. and we are going to fight the Tories. for God’s sake! Start getting your youth clubs. You cannot give me a single illustration where representative government has been undermined because the representatives of the people asked for too much. Do not let them wait for the Executive.have not been extinguished by a temporary defeat at the hands of the Tories a few weeks ago! You know. But I can give you instance after instance such as that we are faced with today where representative government has been rendered helpless because the representatives of the people did not ask enough.

Those responsible were the Al Qaida network reared by Osama Bin Laden. 256 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . significant when I first drew attention to it on 3 October. on the conflict in Afghanistan. That too. I said a few days ago that now would be the testing time. dictatorial and oppressive. That is a fact barely disputed by anyone. strong enough to have doubts raised even at a time of war and wise enough to be able to respond to them. Incidentally. That is a fact. But let us go back to why we are in this conflict. On 11 September. They want them as fast as possible. is now a flood. they are virtually a merged organisation. They worry about civilian casualties. People want results. We are a democracy. All these concerns deserve to be answered. They realise the formidable challenges posed by any action in Afghanistan. They wonder what comes after the conflict. Indeed.SIXTY FIVE Tony Blair: ‘The conflict in Afghanistan’ Extract from Tony Blair’s speech to the Welsh Assembly on 30th October 2001. causing four-and-a-half million refugees to be on the move before 11 September. They are anxious about the refugee crisis as winter approaches. is a fact. The Taliban regime are cruel. thousands of people were killed in cold blood in the worst terrorist attacks the world has ever seen. That is a fact. according to the latest evidence we have. the intelligence evidence. The Taliban regime in Afghanistan protect Al Qaida and help them. No one who raises doubts is an appeaser or a faint heart. confirming guilt.

benign towards different races and cultures. then falter. They mistake our desire for a comfortable life. Christians and any Moslems who don’t share their perverse view of Islam. It is not decadence. In every part. there may be setbacks from time to time.Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaida have said they consider it their duty to commit further terrorist acts. These are also facts. the killing of all Jews and the setting up of fundamentalist states in all parts of the Arab and Moslem world. conviction. They refuse to yield to justice. We will not stop until our mission is complete. And they have one hope: that we are decadent. So: we have a group of people in Afghanistan who are the sworn enemies of everything the civilised world stands for. also inescapable. We will not fail and we will do it all because we believe in our values of justice. tolerance and respect for all regardless of race. that we will start. We won’t falter. that they intend to commit more atrocities unless we yield to their demands which include the eradication of Israel. living in peace. the Taliban will have sheltered them. We will have done nothing despite the fact. religion or creed just as passionately as they believe in fanatical hatred of Jews. we will lose our nerve. for decadence. Al Qaida will have perpetrated this atrocity. They lead to one inescapable conclusion: that if we do not act against Al Qaida and the Taliban. SIXTY FIVE TONY BLAIR 257 . it is progress and we will fight to maintain it… … Every part of this is difficult. that we might begin but we won’t finish. They can’t be negotiated with. They are wrong. who have killed once on a vast scale and will kill again unless stopped. We will not flinch from doing what is necessary to complete it. hard work. They refused. Every part requires courage. that we lack the moral fibre or will or courage to take them on. We gave the Taliban an ultimatum to deliver up Osama Bin Laden. and we will have done nothing. that when the first setbacks occur.

Never forget the menace of Osama Bin Laden in his propaganda video. He did not just hijack planes. Christian. fanatical view of the world.But in every part. and a strategy to deliver. whatever their faith. Never forget the guts of the fire-fighters and police who died trying to save others. who does not share their maniacal. Our determination is no less resolute that it was on the day military action began. Never forget that they were of all faiths and none. and it is being done and will be seen through to the end. criminal activity. We have a job to do. 258 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Now he would like to hijack a religion. and this is a principled conflict. many Moslems. It is important we never forget why we are doing it. He has hijacked a country from which he runs his terrorist. Never forget that too long a list of countries who lost sons and daughters. Important we never forget how we felt watching the planes fly into the twin towers. It is Al Qaida and the Taliban who are at war with anyone. September 11 is no less appalling today than it was on September 11. we have justice and right on our side. Never forget how we felt imagining how mothers told children they were about to die. Never forget those answering machine messages. and hijack the Palestinian cause too. We are a principled nation. for it is not us who are at war with Islam. Jew and Moslem.


each is appreciated by every audience. Each tale – whether a joke. a flash of humour. As I have sat through millennial miseries of meetings and dinners. The best tales are like wine. the index should help. I have jotted down on menus. Everyone likes a good story – whatever his. rejected some tales. A tale is only as good as its teller. Still.Introduction to the Compendium of Retellable Tales A lively story is to a good speech as spice to a fine meal. 260 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . an aphorism. I have raided piles of files. deciphered scrawl and shorthand. poor comedians their scriptwriters. Use them in good health. To create this section of the book. an illustration. notepads and scraps of assorted paper the best of the story-teller’s crop. a shaft of light. too blue or too terrible to retell – and brought together the mixture that now follows – updated. Some of these ‘Retellable Tales’ will suit you. A touch of wit. in good voice. to suit both user and occasion. tools and scripts must be selected with care. Or maybe you will just enjoy browsing your way through some 500 tales which – told or retold – have brought me much pleasure. They mature with the years. with careful timing – and with that good fortune that is the essential prerequisite and precursor of every standing ovation. Bad workmen blame their tools. I have sorted the accumulation into rough sections – although many stories could fit just as well into several of my groupings. others will not. a wisecrack or an unwise gaffe – has been well-used and much appreciated. re-culled and expanded. Most can be adapted. her or its age. Anyway. if you wish to pick out a story for a special purpose. many of them extremely boring.

261 . Finally. in brackets or footnotes.Sometimes. You will not find that all are suited to your temperament. A tale which is tellable is also retellable. It starts on page 386. And avoid the racist or the pornographic (see Chapter 14). But not necessarily. familiarity may breed contempt. fathered on us by affectionate quoters – ‘Was it not I. Please note: This section has its own Index. “If you can keep your head when all about you…”’ Or there is the French story: ‘If my aunt had wheels. These ‘Retellable Tales’ are all part of my repertoire and I have used them to good and often frequent effect. you will find some basic rules on the use of humour. Take care not to hurt without cause and intent. Please use it. it is unhelpful to misattribute a quotation. though we may all be prepared to accept the paternity of wise words. Do not hesitate yourself to change the material to suit your occasion or your audience. or marriages and partnerships would be even more fragile than they are. Naturally. she would be a bicycle!’ (‘Si ma tante avait des roues ce serait une bicyclette’ – in case you use it to an audience which Canadians call ‘Francophone’ – which is not always the same as Anglophile! The British equivalent is: ‘If my aunt had balls. she would be my uncle!’) In Chapter 14. The best way? Tell jokes against yourself – tease your own profession or business. not other people’s. I have suggested possible changes. nationality or religion. who said… ?’ ‘As Kipling long ago claimed. style or taste – but many should be. to help you to find the most appropriate tale for your task.

speeches and stories Opening gambits • As Henry VIII said to each of his wives in turn: ‘I shall not keep you long…’ Lord (Barnett) Janner (Update with dictators and their generals or Prime Ministers or Presidents with members of their Cabinet.) • A toastmaster once introduced me by saying: ‘Ladies and Gentlemen… Pray for the silence of Greville Janner…’ (Use your own name! ) • The last time our chairman introduced me and was told to be brief. it is.’ Well. Thank you… 262 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . the better…’ (again. for me. • Your Chair has just said to me: ‘Would you like to speak now – or shall we let them go on enjoying themselves a little longer?’ • • • After that splendid introduction. use your own name). I cannot wait to hear myself speak… Thank you for that marvellous obituary… Groucho Marx once said: ‘I have had a wonderful evening but this is not it.SIXTY SIX Presentations. A great evening. he began: ‘The less said about Lord Janner.

) SIXTY SIX PRESENTATIONS.Foot in mouth • Conservative MP Andrew Mackay tells of his introduction by the chairperson at a local Tory women’s meeting. I am only sorry that neither of my parents are present to hear it.’ You have given me enough compliments for several years. I’m leaving in five minutes.’ Déjà entendu • I have delivered this speech twice before. broken down by age and sex – and he replied: ‘Yes. My father would have enjoyed it. since he has refused to accept any payment for his appearance. I apologise… Audience • I asked your chairman for details of the people I would be speaking to today – numbers. Once was to the local Chamber of Commerce and once to inmates in Wormwood Scrubbs (or Alcatraz or your local prison). they are…’ Introductory thanks • Thank you for that very kind introduction. If any of you were there on either occasion. SPEECHES AND STORIES 263 . This means the next time we will be able to afford a proper speaker!’ Short cut • Guest speaker to Chair: ‘How long should I speak?’ Chair: ‘As long as you like. Compliments • Mark Twain once said: ‘I can live for two months on a good compliment. (Useful response to flattering introduction. ‘We offer an especially warm welcome to Mr Mackay tonight. And my mother would have believed it.

Oratorical dangers • It is not only an honour to speak to you tonight. I shall entertain you for 10 minutes and my preparation has lasted a lifetime. I so seldom have to introduce myself – they all seem to know who I am!’ Fairy tales • ‘Mummy. Father tells ones which usually begin with: “Sorry I’m late love. Then they get wise and learn when not to make them. darling. I remarked that it must be a strain meeting so many strangers all at one time. 264 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . It is also bloody dangerous… Distinguished company • I think I am about the only person here whom I haven’t heard of… (or recognised) Royal introductions • Presenting a stream of notables to the Queen at a reception. why do fairy tales always start: “Once upon a time”?’ ‘Not always. ‘You see. I got tied up at the office…” ‘ Be prepared • Winston Churchill always said that for a 10 minute speech he would prepare for 2 hours – but for a 2 hour speech. 10 minutes was enough. ‘It is not as difficult as it might seem.’ came Her Majesty’s deadpan reply. Golden silence • Business people must first learn when to make speeches.

Substitutes Delayed? The following stories may help.’ Executive: ‘Then how about making one at our annual staff dinner?’ • ‘Darling. ‘That we cannot promise. do you believe in free love?’ ‘Have I ever sent you an invoice?’ Keeping in touch • To a violinist: ‘We cannot expect you to be with us all the time. but could you please find us someone who is. But I think I could discover two people who would come in my place and each of them is a half wit…’ Free speech – and love • Executive to celebrity: ‘Do you believe in free speech?’ Celebrity: ‘Of course. ‘But we confidently expect God to be there. like you. SPEECHES AND STORIES 265 . but perhaps you would be good enough to keep in touch now and again!’ Sir Thomas Beecham (A super one to direct at a listener whose attention has wandered. ‘Will their Royal Highnesses be in Church this Sunday?’ the voice enquired. ‘As Sir Thomas Beecham said to a player.’ replied the vicar. where the Royal Family were on holiday. and we hope that will be incentive enough for a reasonably large attendance!’ • Take the politician who had to cancel his appointment as after dinner speaker. • A visiting American telephoned the parish church in Sandringham. off key…’) SIXTY SIX PRESENTATIONS. His host wrote: ‘We would be prepared to accept a substitute. a wit?’ He replied: ‘I’m afraid that I cannot find a substitute who is a wit.

the senior churchwarden dropped off to sleep. hated formalities. Israel’s first Prime Minister.’ ‘I have a special dispensation from Winston Churchill. Before Israel’s creation.Jackets off • David Ben Gurion. He removed his jacket. That’s all right when you’re dining with the High Commissioner. but it does set a very bad example when my senior churchwarden sleeps during the sermon. ‘How come?’ ‘Well. He noticed with dismay that each week during his sermon. this. He said to me: “You mustn’t take your jacket off here. Or to reassure them. Mr Ben Gurion. But when you lift it up to your ear and shake it…!’ 266 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . if you want to give your guests the option of removing their jackets at a dinner party on a formal but hot evening. in Palestine!”’ (A useful one. ‘On these important occasions.) Sleep • A new pastor arrived in a country parish. ‘It just shows that I trust you!’ (Useful if a colleague yawns or nods off whilst you are speaking). we wear our jackets. he attended a dinner at the home of the British High Commissioner – in effect. After the service he went up to him and said very gently: ‘I am sorry to mention this. He put up with this until one week the man snored. The H/C’s personal assistant chided him. I dined with him in London with my jacket off.’ he replied.’ ‘Not at all.’ replied the Elder. Time watchers • Vicar to parishioner: ‘I don’t mind you looking at your watch during my sermon. if they do so without prior consent. the Governor of Palestine. including jackets and ties.

) SIXTY SIX PRESENTATIONS. he said. I don’t know where to begin…’ The Chairman replied: ‘Then I suggest that you start at the end…’ (Useful as a beginning. he would not be the person required to give the vote of thanks. when you want to indicate that you will not be speaking for long. if they clap during your speech. he apologised. Vote of thanks • At least Macbeth knew that when the dreadful banquet was over.’ Robert (now Lord) Armstrong. that is faith. • The classic euphemism? When Winston Churchill was reprimanded in the Commons for saying that a colleague had lied. if they clap at the end.Lies • ‘I admit that I have been economical with the truth. Even the journalists put down their pencils and listened…’ Applause • If they clap before you speak. that is charity! Speaking time • A speaker who was likely to be boring asked the Chairman: ‘How long shall I speak? There’s so much to say. Off the record? • ‘How did your speech go?’ ‘Marvellous. SPEECHES AND STORIES 267 . then Secretary of the Cabinet. It was ‘a terminological inexactitude’. that is hope.

’) Brevity • ‘Please forgive the length of this letter. he finished a long time ago. you stand up. you shut up. but he is still speaking. if you want to be heard. Appreciation • King Constantine of the Hellenes told an audience: ‘My father always used to say that if you want to be seen.’ Invitation • If I were them. you speak up. except kissing a girl leaning away from you. and if you want to be appreciated. Food and Drink • Churchill once said that there is nothing more difficult than holding up a wall leaning towards you.) 268 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . I wouldn’t have invited me either. (Continue: ‘I have greatly enjoyed your hospitality… the drink as well as the food… and am happy to be totally upright – in all respects.In conclusion • ‘Has he finished?’ ‘Yes. but I did not have time to write a short one…’ Oscar Wilde (Adapt to length of speech – no time to prepare a short one. to loud applause.’ He sat down.

) Appeasement • ‘Hoping that the crocodile will eat you last.SIXTY SEVEN Epigrams and definitions.’ Lord Northcliffe Apologies • Better the President late than the late President. • ‘News is what somebody somewhere wants to suppress.’ Winston Churchill Argument • ‘My father told me never to argue with an angry man. PROVERBS AND LAWS 269 . (Or Chief Executive.’ Nahum Goldmann Anger • A sage who is angry ceases to be a sage. With shattering accuracy. caterer – or whoever. proverbs and laws Advertisements • A good advertisement is like a good sermon – comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable. Talmud Average • A defendant in a negligence action pleaded that ‘anyone with average intelligence’ would not have suffered damage. the judge replied: ‘You should perhaps bear in mind that something like one half of the people in this country are below average intelligence!’ (See also Public opinion) SIXTY SEVEN EPIGRAMS AND DEFINITIONS. all the rest is advertising. partner.

Better world • His idea of a better world is a world that’s better for him (or her).Balance • People in our industry are well balanced – we have a chip on each shoulder! One chip is provided by the Revenue and the tax man… the other by (the Government. Complication • ‘Let no one say that a subject is too complicated to explain. Customs & Excise – or what have you). sir. Brevity • We no longer know how to be brief. For instance: the Lord’s Prayer consists of 56 words. Capitalism and bankruptcy • Capitalism without bankruptcy is like Christianity without hell. A diner complained to the head waiter: ‘I can’t taste the chicken. • A famous West End hotel which caters for Middle Eastern trade served a new dish: chicken and camel stew. Chief Executive of a company in liquidation Company • A man is known by the company which he thinks no one knows he is keeping. ‘One chicken. and the EU Convention on the Importation of Caramel – 26. if he does. the Ten Commandments 297 words.’ ‘I do assure you that it is camel and chicken stew. the United States Declaration of Independence 300 words. one camel…’ Now that’s balance.’ replied the waiter. that means that he does not understand it.911 words.’ Sir Isaiah Berlin 270 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER .

Would you like to hold on?’ Consensus • ‘Consensus means a lot of people saying collectively what nobody believes individually. he’s just gone to bat.Confidence • Cricketer Learie Constantine told how he was once walking down the steps of a pavilion on his way to bat when he heard the following telephone conversation. SIXTY SEVEN EPIGRAMS AND DEFINITIONS. ‘You want to speak to Learie Constantine? Oh I’m sorry.) You’ll think of many others as you go along… Contribution – or commitment • What is the difference between a contribution to a cause and a total commitment? It’s like bacon and egg – the chicken has made a contribution.’ Abba Eban Consultation – and education • ‘Consultation is education. not other people’s. PROVERBS AND LAWS 271 . then Chairman of the Health and Safety Commission Contradiction in terms • The two most famous contradictions in terms? ‘Military intelligence’… and ‘socialist lawyer’… But you could also try anything that you fancy – civil service… good meal at the – Hotel… a juvenile magistrate… an honest estate agent/car salesman/lawyer… open government… an effective local authority… united Cabinet… malleable adolescents… respected politician… beloved undertaker… loveable VAT man… (Please use about your own profession.’ Dr John Cullen. but the pig is totally committed.

• God gave you eyes? So plagiarise! Corroboration • ‘Never lie alone.’ Abba Eban 272 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . willingness to use it. It defends itself. until it succeeds. Criticism • ‘To be criticised is not necessarily to be wrong.’ Janner’s Law Deterrence • ‘Deterrence requires existence of power.Copyright – and plagiarism • Copy from one book and that is ‘plagiarism’ or breach of copyright.’ Mark Twain Credit • There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he does not mind who gets the credit. and knowledge by the adversary that it will.’ Anthony Eden Defence • This animal is dangerous.’ Janner’s Law Cranks • ‘Crank – a man with a new idea. be used. if necessary. Democracy • ‘Democracy – national or corporate – requires the enlightened balance of satisfied self-interest. Copy from two or more books and that is ‘research’.

Kennedy Evil • ‘All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.’ Edmund Burke Excuses • Two wrongs don’t make a right – but they do make a good excuse. Disaster • The company (government/chairman) does not recognise the road to disaster. so good…’ Education – and training • The difference between education and training? If your daughter comes home and says she has been having sex education at school.Diplomacy • Great diplomacy is when the Austrians convince you that Mozart was an Austrian and Hitler a German. Like the man falling from the top of the skyscraper who passes the 25th floor and says: ‘So far. But if she says that she has been having sex training. you would have due cause for alarm. SIXTY SEVEN EPIGRAMS AND DEFINITIONS. • ‘Forgive your enemies – but never forget them. you will doubtless rejoice. Make sure that they are important. Your importance depends upon theirs. PROVERBS AND LAWS 273 . • Diplomacy is lying in state.’ John F. Enemies • Choose your enemies with care.

provided that you don’t inhale. (Adapt for example to chief executive visiting all the company’s successful subsidiaries worldwide.Executive • A big gun who has managed not to be fired.’ Winston Churchill Flattery • Flattery is splendid. Zen proverb Failure • Nothing fails like failure. Experience • ‘You do not have to eat a sheep in order to write about sheep. Fanatic • ‘Fanatic – one who won’t change his mind and can’t change the subject. once they have exhausted all the other alternatives. Friends • The Prime Minister left tonight for a tour of all our friendly European countries.’ • Somerset Maugham ‘My experience teaches me that men and nations sometimes behave wisely.’ Abba Eban Exposure • The frog that opens his mouth reveals his whole body. He will be back within a couple of hours.) 274 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . It is enough to eat a lamb chop.

PROVERBS AND LAWS 275 . Holes • ‘First law on holes – when you’re in one.Friendship • The Greeks say of a true friend: ‘I have taken bread and salt with him. The more I practise.’ Napoleon Bonaparte Golf – and luck • ‘Golf is a game of luck.’ • The nice thing about X is – that he’s always around when he needs me. so you must listen very carefully to what she says the first time. the better my luck becomes. Glory and obscurity • ‘Glory is fleeting but obscurity is for ever. SIXTY SEVEN EPIGRAMS AND DEFINITIONS.’ Mae West Gossip • She never repeats gossip. stop digging!’ Denis Healey Hope • The story of Jonah confirms that you cannot keep a good man down.’ Ben Hogan Good things • ‘Too much of a good thing is just wonderful.

’ Indecision • ‘My indecision is final. Chaim Weizmann. I do not want to forget it.) Isolationism • A man once sat in a boat. ‘Don’t worry. What do you do?’ Einstein replied: ‘I do not understand your question. I have only had two or three good ideas in my life. boring a hole under his seat.’ he said to his fellow travellers. In-laws – and outlaws • What is the difference between an in-law and an outlaw? Outlaws are wanted! Intolerance • ‘We should not endure intolerance: but we must not endure tolerance. first President of Israel (See also: Tolerance. shipmates.’ Sam Goldwyn Inflation • A monetary change that allows you to live in a more expensive neighbourhood without moving. So I keep a notebook by my bed. ‘It’s only under my seat.Ideas • A friend once said to Einstein: ‘When I have a good idea. not yours…’ Talmud 276 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER .

’ Zsa Zsa Gabor – quoted by Michael Foot. October 1983 SIXTY SEVEN EPIGRAMS AND DEFINITIONS. you need any two out of the three essential “Ws” – Wisdom.’ Woody Allen Litigation • ‘Litigants fight cases – lawyers win them. and if I do not know anything that you do not know. Men • ‘Men who try too much to be macho do not amount to mucho.’ Rabbi Hugo Gryn Life • Confucius says: ‘I am asked why I buy rice and flowers? I reply: I buy rice to live and flowers so that I have something to live for.’ • Lord Mancroft If I know something you do not know.Knowledge • ‘Everything I know about this subject would fit into a nutshell and still leave plenty of room for the nut. you will not want to hear me anyway! Leadership • ‘To be a leader. PROVERBS AND LAWS 277 .’ Janner’s Law Managers • People who take responsibility when things go right. Work and Wealth. with reference to Dr (now Lord) David Owen. then you know that I cannot tell you. but the lamb won’t get much sleep.’ Lion and lamb • ‘The lion will lie down with the lamb.

278 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . But I don’t agree with them. ‘Yes. I have my own opinions. of course I do.’) Opinions • An Iraqi Kurd (or any other downtrodden citizen) was arrested by the police and asked whether he didn’t have any mind of his own on political affairs.’ Samuel Johnson (Quoted by former Speaker. check newspaper headlines from the same date 100 years before – and you will probably find little has changed.’ Henry Kissinger Parents • A parent’s place is in the wrong. Lord Wetherill – who commented: ‘When making a speech or presentation. Paranoid? ‘Just because I’m paranoid don’t mean that I ain’t got enemies.Non-executive director • A person willing to do an honest day’s work for a full week’s pay.’ Optimism • An optimist says that the bottle is half full – a pessimist that it is half empty. Nothing changes • ‘All men need to be reminded more than they need to be informed. He replied.

Pleasure • There are times when it’s not only your duty to speak your mind but a pleasure.Peace • • It takes only one to make war but at least two to make peace. Arab proverbs People • ‘To a scriptwriter. (See also: Resolutions). Politicians • People who will always be there when they need you. there is no such person as an ordinary one. PROVERBS AND LAWS 279 . Absolute power is absolutely wonderful. SIXTY SEVEN EPIGRAMS AND DEFINITIONS.’ Lord (Ted) Willis Photographs • The road to political oblivion is paved with good photographs. Stop anyone and listen and you will get a story. One hand alone cannot clap. Power • Power is wonderful. His opponents defined that as: ‘A press run freely by his relatives’. Press – and freedom • A well-known despotic ruler proclaimed that his country had a ‘relatively free press’. Planning • Politicians and businessmen alike do not plan to fail – they fail to plan.

..Procrastination • A visitor to Ireland asked a professor: ‘What is the Gaelic for mañana?’ The professor replied: ‘I regret that we do not have any word in the Irish language that conveys quite the same sense of urgency!’ Public opinion • There was once a Russian doctor who bustled into the ward and said: ‘I’m in a terrible hurry. because then we know that we will get prompt and intelligent answers! Lord Denning Quietude • Chinese proverb: May we live in uninteresting times. depression is when you are out of work.) Recession – depression – and recovery • Recession is when your neighbour is out of work. 280 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Please give me the average temperature of all the patients…’ Shimon Peres (Useful when asked: ‘What is the feeling in the UK about…?) Questions – and answers • ‘So I asked myself the question – we judges always ask ourselves questions. (May be applied to most of its kind. recovery is when the Government is out of work. Quotes • UN Resolution 242 is like most sacred texts – more often quoted than read.

‘Rules for active success in older years? Remember that life is short – there’s no time for trifles. Look forward. You don’t have to change your mind. And never resign – if you do. A repossession. of your choice). in Hampstead? A bistro. (See also Photographs. isn’t it? If he wants to be wrong – that is his privilege. Right • ‘There are some advantages to being right. PROVERBS AND LAWS 281 . you’ll die. What do you call a restaurant with tables and chairs outside.) Restaurants • What do you call a restaurant with tables and chairs outside. Revenge • ‘An eye for an eye means everybody is blind.’ Martin Luther King Riding • The art of keeping a horse between yourself and the ground. it’s a free country.Resignation • • Never resign – unless a better job awaits. in Liverpool? (or some other less advantageous place. not back.’ J K Galbraith Right – and wrong • About someone who disagrees with you: ‘Well.’ Shimon Peres Resolutions • The road to political ruin is paved with excellent resolutions.’ SIXTY SEVEN EPIGRAMS AND DEFINITIONS. Focus on the future.

‘If you want to preserve your secret. if you talk to the dead. you are a spiritualist.’ Samuel Johnson • • • If you want to preserve your secret.’ Martin Luther King Risks • A ‘calculated risk’ was defined by an airline pilot as ‘when the engineers on the ground make the calculations and the pilots take the risk’. you have schizophrenia. 282 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . He replied: ‘Oh. Secrets • ‘The vanity of being known to be entrusted with a secret is generally one of the chief motives to disclose it. If the dead talk to you. Why don’t you come along? You know what a fascinating country Norway is and how everything happens there. wrap it up in frankness. they declined. you are praying. (Adapt for any situation where others make the calculation but the risk is yours. ‘What are you going to be doing in Norway?’ they asked him. So why don’t you join us?’ Unanimously. having chats with politicians. Moral: One way to keep a secret is to pretend you haven’t got one.) Schizophrenia and spiritualism • If you talk to God.Riots • ‘A riot is at bottom the language of the unheard. you are a schizophrenic. if God talks to you.’ Seneca When Shimon Peres was about to start the peace process in Oslo – one of the most sensational stories of all time – he kept the press away by inviting them to come. keep it to yourself.

cleans the bird and eats it. former US Senator Silent diplomacy • A little bird freezes on a cold day and falls to the ground. hears the chirping. When you do. More important: If you are in deep shit. A fox appears.Shouting • ‘Do not shout. revived by the warmth.’ Mahatma Gandhi Silence • ‘Silence is the best substitute for brains ever invented. A passing cow drops a cow pat on it. Moral: Not everyone who covers you with manure is your enemy and not everyone who cleans you off is your friend.’ Henry Ashurst.’ Sir Thomas Beecham Statesman • A dead politician. don’t make a sound! Speeches • ‘There are two golden rules for an orchestra: to start together and to finish together. you can hear no voice other than your own. The public doesn’t give a damn what goes on in between. PROVERBS AND LAWS 283 . SIXTY SEVEN EPIGRAMS AND DEFINITIONS. begins to chirp. The bird.

Success • Mark Twain bemoaned that he had not seen the Niagara Falls.’ Spanish-Jewish Sage. nothing fails like success. Bachya Time limits • ‘No man can enjoy the sunset for more than 15 minutes. so they made up a special party to take him there. write on them that which you want to be remembered. Survival • The porcupine may be less attractive than the rabbit but it has a greater chance of survival and much less chance of being digested.’ Winston Churchill In terms of public support. • • ‘Success is never final.’ Goethe 284 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER .’ he said. Time – and life -and death • ‘Days are scrolls. Systems • A system is only as good as those who attempt to deceive it. Afterwards his hosts said: ‘What did you think of it?’ Mark Twain paused: ‘It’s certainly a success. Successors • Nothing succeeds like a successor. Temptation • Do not blame the mouse – blame the hole in the wall.

with all the differences intact. Two sides • Since the coin was invented. or for anyone else. from. held together by a load of dough. (See also: Intolerance. Unity – differences – and democracy • ‘The problem is how to unite. To walk is to vegetate. to stroll is to live.) Walking – and strolling • ‘Strolling is the gastronomy of the eye.’ Balzac War • ‘War has devastating results.’ Tagore Upper crust • A load of crumbs. PROVERBS AND LAWS 285 .’ as Lenin said. sport or other competitive ventures.Tolerance • Tolerance is the ability to put up with contrary opinions which bother us little. Victory • ‘In war.’ General MacArthur (This can be applied to business. there is no substitute for victory.) Tradition • It is a long-established tradition… as our MD (or anyone else you wish to name) always says when he has a new idea. nearly everything has two sides. politics. And it would be true even had he not said it… (Translatable to.) SIXTY SEVEN EPIGRAMS AND DEFINITIONS.

Weight – and money • The difference between weight and money? Money is hard to get and easy to lose. • Indian proverb Any fool can throw a stone into a lake.’ Sir Thomas Beecham Yes – and no • Stalin used to say that it is a lie that he is surrounded by yes men. ‘Whenever I say no. everyone says no!’ 286 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . but a hundred wise men cannot get it out. Wisdom • Just as the bee gathers honey from all flowers. Weight is easy to acquire but hard to lose. Wickedness • A man who steals from his mother-in-law cannot be all bad. Greek proverb Wit • ‘Wit is folly unless a wise man hath the keeping of it. so the wise man gathers knowledge from all men.

’ Terms of business • A Labour MP. in town for the Law Society’s Conference… a banker. The MP whistled. Sir Stafford Cripps: ‘There but for the grace of God goes God. arrived at 11 o’clock at night at one of the top hotels.’ the receptionist answered. provided that it is in Britain!) SIXTY EIGHT INSULTS 287 . I take it.off!’ (You can translate that for a lawyer. ‘Haven’t you any special terms for Labour MPs?’ he enquired. ‘How much will that cost?’ ‘£140. We’ve one left.’ Sir Winston Churchill Churchill described Prime Minister Attlee as: ‘A sheep in sheep’s clothing’.’ replied the man behind the reception desk. ‘Yes sir.SIXTY EIGHT Insults Churchillian • • ‘I don’t just give offence. and said of Christian Socialist Chancellor of the Exchequer. who was attending his Party Conference in Blackpool.’ the man replied. please?’ ‘Yes sir. At reception he asked: ‘Have you a single room for tonight. looking for accommodation for some financial gathering… or whatever you will. ‘F.

Erratic leadership
• The following is a useful analogy, when explaining why the Prime Minister, president, managing director or other adversary is likely to perform some unpredictable and dangerous act: Mr Green is like the cross-eyed javelin thrower who does not break any records, but who certainly keeps the audience on its toes!

Gross insult
• How do you define a gross of incompetence? 144 politicians. (Or lawyers… or whatever.)

• Herbert Morrison was once quoted as saying that he was his own worst enemy. ‘Not while I’m alive, he ain’t,’ Ernest Bevin retorted.

• ‘Being attacked by Geoffrey Howe is like being savaged by a dead sheep.’ Denis Healey

Disaster – and calamity
• ‘If Gladstone fell into the Thames, that would be a misfortune; and if anybody pulled him out, that, I suppose, would be a calamity.’ Disraeli (This one is capable of innumerable variations directed towards your current pet hate. Thus: ‘If the Prime Minister/Leader of the Opposition/ managing director of our main competitors were to fall out of an aircraft, that would be a misfortune. If his parachute were to open – that would be a calamity.’)



• ‘I do not accuse Mrs Thatcher of lying. She merely has what psychologists call “selective amnesia”.’ Denis Healey

• ‘When I sit beside Mr Gladstone, I think that he is the cleverest man in the world. When I sit beside Mr Disraeli, I think that I am the cleverest woman in the world.’ Queen Victoria

• Of a Cabinet Minister: ‘It’s not that he has enemies. It’s just that his friends cannot stand him!’ (This marvellous insult can, of course, be aimed at any worthy opponent!)

• Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher decided to cheer up her Cabinet by taking them out to dinner at a restaurant. The waiter came over with the menu and said: ‘Good evening. What will you have, Prime Minister?’ ‘I’ll have a steak, please.’ ‘And the vegetables?’ She looked at her colleagues. ‘They’ll have the same,’ she said.

• I always smile at Mr Green’s jokes. First at their elegant wit, and then again with nostalgia.

• … We were all glad to hear his speech again.



• The brain is a wonderful organ that never stops functioning from the moment of birth until you rise to speak in public.

• Mr Smith’s speeches always do the audience some good; they either go away stimulated or wake up refreshed.

Libraries – and an ignoramus
• Mr Green’s library was burned down. Both books were destroyed. And one of them he had not even finished colouring.

Independence – and eccentricity
• I am independent of mind; he is eccentric; you are round the twist.

• A man warmly greets a second-hand car dealer (or accountant, estate agent, lawyer…). ‘I’ve heard so much about you,’ he said. He replied: ‘You can’t prove a thing!’

• Husband: ‘You are a spendthrift.’ Wife: ‘All right. So I like spending money. But name one other extravagance!’

• Best man: I have been intimate with the bride for many years and a finer woman never walked the streets.



• ‘She has lost the art of communication – but not, alas, the gift of speech.’ Shelley – about his mother-in-law

• I cannot make a ‘come-back’, because I have never been anywhere!

Brain power
• I think he has the brain of a flea – and no one has a higher opinion of him than I have!

• ‘His name is a household word – in his own household!’ Daniel Janner

• You always know where you are with him. He will always let you down…

• People take an instant dislike to him – which saves them a lot of time.

• He is very difficult to forget – but it is well worth the effort.



• Sir Moses Montefiore was at a dinner party, seated beside an antisemitic peer. ‘I am just back from Japan,’ said his lordship. ‘It is a most delightful country. It has neither pigs nor Jews.’ ‘Remarkable,’ said Montefiore. ‘I suggest that you and I should travel there together and it will then have a sample of each.’ • Montefiore was walking along a pavement in Berlin when a passer-by shoved him on to the street. ‘Schweinhund!’ shouted his assailant. Sir Moses bowed courteously. ‘Montefiore,’ he replied.

Chattering tongues
• My mother-in-law talks so much that when she went on holiday to Majorca, she returned home with a sunburned tongue.

• ‘I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is. I only know people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat…’ Rebecca West, 1913

Book reviews
• ‘From the moment I picked up your book until I laid it down I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it.’ Groucho Marx • An author wrote to the perpetrator of a fiercely offensive review: ‘I am sitting in the smallest room in the house. Your review is before me. It will soon be behind me.’ • ‘Your manuscript is both good and original; the part that is good is not original and the part that is original is not good.’ Samuel Johnson



• ‘It is the sort of document that is so dull that when you put it down it is difficult to pick it up again.’ Sir Malcolm Rifkind

Miracle worker
• My secretary (or receptionist or driver or whoever) is a miracle worker. It’s a miracle if he/she works!

Political enemies
• ‘It is an accursed doctrine that makes a difference of opinion a matter for personal hatred.’ • Lord Acton

Someone said of a well known but unlovely politician: ‘He has the perfect face… for radio!’

And of another, very ugly one: ‘I wonder what our John will do, when he loses his good looks?’

• Buyer, examining a horse: ‘He looks a decent animal, but is he well bred?’ ‘Well bred? Do you know, that animal is so well bred that if he could talk he wouldn’t speak to either of us!’

• ‘The Irish are a fair-minded people. They never speak well of each other.’ Samuel Johnson

(This quip can be used to explain internal disputes or ill will within your own or any other organisation.)

• ‘If I never see her again, it will be too soon.’ Groucho Marx



• An elderly man who was losing his brain power visited a transplant surgeon in Harley Street. ‘I’d like a brain transplant,’ he announced. The surgeon nodded. ‘I can do that for you, sir,’ he said. ‘But it will be expensive, because we don’t do that sort of work on the National Health Service.’ ‘Fine. But what will it cost?’ ‘Well, you can have a doctor’s brain for about £1000. An accountant’s brain would cost you £2000 and a lawyer’s brain, £5000. If you want a politician’s brain, that, I’m afraid, will cost you half a million pounds.’ ‘I don’t understand. Why can I get the brains of a doctor, an accountant or a lawyer comparatively cheaply, but a politician’s brain is so expensive?’ ‘Because the politician’s brain has scarcely been used,’ the surgeon replied. (Adapt to whatever occupation you wish to insult.)

Open minded
• If you are too open-minded, your brains will fall out.

• I would gladly recommend him – for any other job.

• ‘To be popular is a sign of mediocrity.’ Oscar Wilde

Ability – and stupidity
• ‘God placed limits to man’s ability – but none to his stupidity.’ Konrad Adenauer




Finance and insolvency

• Fred won a million pounds in the National Lottery. His wife said to him: ‘What shall we do about all the begging letters?’ ‘Just keep sending them!’ Fred replied.

Millionaires – and beggars
• A bedraggled beggar wheedled a dollar out of Rockefeller, outside his Manhattan apartment block. After handing over the money, the millionaire enquired: ‘Why don’t you invest in some clean clothing, young man?’ ‘I appreciate the suggestion,’ the beggar replied. ‘But if you don’t mind my asking, do I try to teach you your business?’

Fellow feeling
• A burglar was caught in the garden of a millionaire’s mansion, a stolen Walkman in his pocket. ‘What do you want us to do with him?’ asked the police. ‘Let him go,’ answered the millionaire. ‘We all started small.’

Oil wealth
• ‘It’s not clever just to have oil, you know. Sardines have oil and they are really stupid. They even get inside the tin and leave the key on the outside.’ Bob Monkhouse



This means that we pay when we wish to… Capital • ‘Capital as such is not evil. 296 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Please would you buy me out?’ Cash management • We have just created a new cash flow management programme. you are a beggar.’ Mahatma Gandhi Capital – and settlement • ‘Where is the capital of Saudi Arabia? ‘A third in Switzerland. you are in business.’ he said. lad. ‘There you are.Speculation • ‘There are two times in life when a man should not speculate – when he can afford it and when he cannot afford it. and the rest in Germany and the USA. If you owe £5000. Dad. It is its wrong use that is evil. ‘Anything else I can do for you?’ The son-in-law replied: ‘Yes. If you owe £500 billion.’ Mark Twain Wedding present • A father-in-law gave his son-in-law 5000 shares in his business. a third in London.’ This story is matched by one I was told in Canada: ‘What was the first Polish settlement in the Province of Ontario?’ ‘30 cents in the dollar!’ Debtors • If you owe £50. then you are Chancellor of the Exchequer (or Minister of Finance).

’ Spike Milligan Money – and poverty • Every Finance Minister knows that ‘money is better than poverty.000 in credit. Lend us a quid. mate. And how does that compare with the same period last year?’ Money – and enemies • ‘Money can’t buy friends.Banker bit • Early one Monday morning. You’re skint!’ • Jack went bankrupt so often that he even put his tombstone into his wife’s name. what was the state of my account on the first Monday of last month?’ ‘You were £50.’ ‘Really.’ replied the businessman.’ ‘And did I phone you?’ Accountants • Tramp to accountant: ‘Please help me. brother. ‘At the start of today’s trading. a businessman received a call from his banker. I haven’t had anything decent to eat for the last three days. ‘your personal account was overdrawn by £40. but you can get a better class of enemy.’ ‘You mean that the bank owed me £50.000.’ said the banker. ‘And do you have your computer print-out for previous weeks? If so.000?’ ‘Correct. SIXTY NINE FINANCE AND INSOLVENCY 297 .’ Accountant: ‘I see. if only for financial reasons…’ Woody Allen Bankrupt? • ‘Nothing in your deposit box? Nothing in your wife’s name? Nothing dug into the ground? – You’re not bankrupt.

the ship’s sinking!’ (Suitable for comment on invitation to join political party currently in eclipse. You have more but it’s worth less. they would not reach a conclusion.’ Edward Gibbon Inflation • When you married your wife. 298 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Voice on the intercom says: ‘Come up quickly.Liquidation • Noah was the bravest man in history. what did she weigh? 130 lbs? And now what does she weigh? 230 lbs So that’s inflation. Recession • A deep-sea diver feels a tug on his rope. He floated his company when the rest of the world was in liquidation.’ George Bernard Shaw (Or: If all the girls in my village were laid end to end. Fines – and taxes • A fine is a tax you pay for doing wrong. I would not be at all surprised!) Ruin • ‘It is better to be humbled than ruined.) • Recession – when even the people who have no intention of paying stop buying. A tax is a fine you pay for doing all right. Taxing sports • Income tax has made more liars out of British people than golf or fishing. Economists • ‘If all economists were laid end to end.

handsome young accountant. SEVENTY BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONS. ‘Forty-two. Peter. industry. AND EMPLOYMENT 299 . my boy?’ asked St. don’t you think?’ Peter shook his head. ‘Why don’t you give it a kiss?’ asked her friend. ‘And how old are you. ‘I’ve been looking through your time sheets and according to them.’ it said.’ Don Hanson. you should be 89!’ Supply – and demand • Two fine looking women were walking along the street when a frog hopped up to them. and employment Auditors • ‘An auditor is an accountant who comes on to the field after the battle is over and bayonets the wounded. and I’ll turn into a tall. ‘Please pick me up. companies. Arthur Andersen Accountancy • ‘If someone asks me: “What is two and two?” I answer: “Are you buying or selling?”’ Lord Grade Accountants • An accountant arrived at the gates of Heaven. INDUSTRY.’ One of the women bent down. ‘How odd.SEVENTY Business and professions. COMPANIES. picked up the frog and popped it into her handbag. ‘And much too young to have died.’ he said. ‘Kiss me.’ said the man.

‘Because. The next day the teacher set the boys another essay on the police. told a distinguished and private dinner of top lawyers and business executives that they could measure their success by winning or losing cases and by their balance sheets (respectively).’ Police • A teacher in a local school required his class to write an essay on the police.’ The teacher told the police the comment.) Civil servants • A civil servant – one who has a valid objection to any possible solution. Oxford and London someone asked: ‘So many doctorates? What does he write? Books?’ The reply: ‘No – cheques. Martin wrote: ‘Them police are bastards. ‘The success of a civil servant can only be judged by the absence of obvious failure!’ Honorary Doctorate • When a wealthy philanthropist was awarded Honorary Doctorates at Glasgow. Success – and failure • The then head of the Civil Service. ‘there are plenty of tall handsome young accountants. doctor or whoever. Sir Douglas Wass. ‘We have no such basis to judge ours. They invited Martin to the station and gave him the most marvellous day of his life. Martin wrote: ‘Them police are cunning bastards!’ 300 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . But who’s got a talking frog?’ (Adapt for lawyer.’ she replied.’ he said.

Comment: ‘That is what public relations can do for a river!’ Henry Kissinger Doctors and architects • ‘A doctor can bury his mistakes. Insurance • Insurance people present plans to keep you poor while you are alive so that you may die rich. When she was finally calmed. INDUSTRY. she blurted out: ‘I don’t like it… I don’t like it… I don’t want uncle to set light to Harry like he did to the warehouse…!’ Optimist • An optimist is a manager (or anyone else in a hard-hit profession or business) who irons five shirts on a Sunday evening. The bride burst into tears. Commercial progression. the fabled River Jordan is nothing more than a trickle. AND EMPLOYMENT 301 .Public relations • Fact: In places. honours – and honesty • A businessman gets on… then he gets honest… then he gets honoured… SEVENTY BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONS. COMPANIES. • The favourite uncle at a wedding dinner announced that he was going to give the bridegroom a life insurance policy.’ Frank Lloyd Wright Developers • The government has now developed a neutron mortgage: it wipes out the developer but leaves the buildings intact. An architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.

’ Edgar Bronfman Opportunities – lost • That company never misses a chance to lose an opportunity.Negotiation – and contracts • ‘I knew a President of MGM who regarded a contract as a basis for negotiation. ‘What are you doing?’ he asked. ‘I thought we were partners!’ 302 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER .) Company – and God • Lawyer to judge. One asked: ‘How do you spell “unanimously”?’ The other: ‘I am not surprised that you can’t spell it. limited liability company. well known for his puritanical views and as a pillar of the Church: ‘I appear for the plaintiffs – a God-fearing. he pounced. (Adapt to suit circumstances/nation/government/situation. When he saw the barman putting an entire £1 into his wallet. It’s only a miracle that you can pronounce the word…’ Partners? • The owner of a hotel quietly watched as his barman put 50p in his own pocket out of every £1 he took from a customer.’ Corporations • ‘A corporation has no body to be burned and no soul to be damned…’ Lord Thurloe Unanimity • Two directors were doing a crossword.

’ Aneurin Bevan SEVENTY BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONS. INDUSTRY. AND EMPLOYMENT 303 . ‘I’d say about half!’ Employee involvement • President Kennedy asked a floor sweeper at Cape Canaveral (as it then was): ‘What are you doing?’ The man replied: ‘I’m helping put a man on the moon.’ Blame • An Ordinary Seaman wrote an examination for promotion. ‘Well.’ He wrote: ‘It was not me what done it. He was asked to correct the following statement: ‘It was me what done it.’ he drawled. COMPANIES. thoughtfully.’ (Legend has it that he was immediately promoted to Rear Admiral!) Trade unions • ‘A trade union is an island of anarchy in a sea of chaos.Perks • Our staff reckon that they can only take the company’s property off our premises at certain times… • On ‘cabbage’ (the rag trade term for material off-cuts): ‘We usually sell cabbage to our staff – if they don’t nick it first…’ Short-time? • Employer: ‘Did you work a full week last week?’ Employee: ‘Yes – but I don’t want any publicity…’ Work • I asked the owner of a business: ‘How many people work here?’ He paused.

Meanwhile. Shadow Cabinet. The other is when you wait to see where people are going and then run round to the front and take over. boardroom – where you will. I intend to use it to best effect on your behalf. Resignation • Frederick the Great intended to dismiss one of his Generals. The General wrote to him: ‘After the battle. that is an ‘anomaly’. (Also useful to describe feelings in the Cabinet. Management – and industrial disputes • The latest argument at a works renowned for its management problems got senior executives so upset that they began to stab each other in the front. If you earn more than I do.) ‘Differentials’ – and ‘anomalies’ • If I earn more than you do. One is when you go in front and lead from there. my head is yours.’ 304 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER .Industrial relations • Industrial relations are like sexual relations. They should be between two consenting parties. that is a ‘differential’. Leadership • There are two types of leadership.

’ SEVENTY BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONS. regarded it as a chore. AND EMPLOYMENT 305 .’ they said. His shop steward begged the employers to give him a second chance.Supervisors – and sex • Two foremen were arguing over whether sex was a pleasure or a chore. you guys would make me do it for you!’ Fingered • A worker removed the guard from a machine and lost the first two fingers on his right hand. a married man with eight children. INDUSTRY. To settle their argument. the apprentice. COMPANIES. The second. ‘So you tell us. The first. thought it was the greatest delight in his life. ‘Is sex a chore or a pleasure?’ ‘It must be a pleasure. The farther the better.’ said the lad. He only noticed his loss when he said goodnight to the foreman! Failure • A man was sacked for trying to kill his foreman. a bachelor. for any other job…’ or ‘I am pleased to provide him with a reference for any other job…’ or ‘He was fired with enthusiasm…’ or ‘I wouldn’t waste any time in interviewing this man…’ or ‘This man should go far. ‘Why?’ ‘Because if it was a chore. References • ‘I am pleased to recommend him. Fred. they called over young Fred.

one by one. Musicians are decomposed.Dismissal • The chairman of a large company called in his directors.’ Sacking • English is a curious language.’ ‘Are you sure?’ ‘Absolutely. Priests are defrocked. Bill. Miss Jones?’ Bill: ‘Certainly not. When his turn came. Eventually. Chairman: ‘Bill. Psychiatrists are deranged. Then you sack her.’ ‘Very well. Nurses are deregistered. Dai enters and says to the constable on duty: ‘I’m applying for the job!’ 306 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . And prostitutes are delaid. have you been having an affair with my secretary. Presumably. only the newest and most junior director was left outside the chairman’s office. he found his colleagues sitting round a table. Electricians are delighted. Heavy drinkers are delivered. Barristers are debarred. Job applications • Sign in police station: WELSHMAN WANTED FOR MURDER. Politicians are deflated. Consider the words used to take away people’s livelihoods.’ ‘You’re telling me the truth?’ ‘Of course I am. clerks are defiled. I’ve never laid a hand on her.

So I’ll have his room!’ Disaster • None of the US foreign policy disasters would have occurred if Warren Christopher had been alive. ‘Sorry. His father asked: ‘When is pay day?’ The son replied: ‘I don’t know. Christopher was US Secretary of State. ‘but we are fully booked. You can adapt it for any current conceived political disaster. yes. Are you saying that you would not find a room for him?’ ‘I expect we’d find a room for Prince Philip. sons – loans and workers • A son asked his father for a loan until pay day. COMPANIES. Prince Philip is not coming. You tell me.’ said the receptionist.Fathers. INDUSTRY. ‘I’ve got news for you. ‘suppose that Prince Philip were to turn up at the hotel now.’ Anita Roddick (But it is dangerous to drive a car without a clear view to the rear!) SEVENTY BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONS. (This wicked joke was current when Mr. and to any politician or Chief Executive in charge.’ ‘Tell me. You’re the one who’s working…’ Hotels • Harry arrived at a well-known hotel and asked for accommodation for the night.) Market research • ‘Running a company on market research is like driving while looking in the rear view mirror. sir. AND EMPLOYMENT 307 .’ said Harry.’ said Harry.’ ‘Well. national or commercial.

you tell her. ‘I’m sorry to disturb you. this big. Morgan the Tailor and Evan the Bookie went to the races. ‘Excuse me. Evan. But are you Widow Jones?’ ‘There’s no Widow Jones here.’ Woody Allen Tact – and gaming • Jones the Bread. Jones?’ Morgan said: ‘I’m only a tailor. exclaimed: ‘One more such victory and we are lost’.’ said Evan. They fired him.Technology • ‘My father worked in the same firm for 12 years. I have no tact. Morgan and Evan considered the problem: ‘Who should tell Mrs. A lady came to the door. ‘Do you want to make a bet?’ asked Evan. madam. It does everything that my father does. You’re a bookie. They replaced him with a tiny gadget. Pyrrhus. A horse leapt over the rails and smashed into poor Jones. The depressing thing is that my mother ran out and bought one. knocking him down and killing him. Victory – but pyrrhic • After the battle of Asculum. only much better.’ William Wrigley 308 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER .’ she replied. (Like where you beat off hostile take-over bids but your company founders – or you succeed in a take-over battle and you cannot turn the company round…) Agreement • ‘When two men in business together always agree. King of Epirus. one of them is unnecessary. so you know how to explain losses…’ So Evan went to the village and knocked on the door of the Jones’s terraced home.

• ‘When you don’t want to do anything, meetings are indispensable.’ John Kenneth Galbraith

New Friendship
• A man who was setting out to explore the Amazon, took advice from an expert, who told him about one special danger. ‘Snake… very small… green, so that it is difficult to spot in the jungle. Very poisonous. If that snake bites you, the poison must be sucked out within 40 seconds, otherwise you die.’ ‘But what if it bites me in my rear end?’ ‘Ah… then you’ll find out who your friends are.’ (In business or in politics, it is when you get bitten in the rear that you discover your true friends!)

• He’s a man of simple wants – he just wants to be Chief Executive/ Prime Minister (or whatever).




Politics, politicians and government

• ‘Parliamentary democracy is the worst form of government – until you look at all the others.’ Winston Churchill

• Politics is the art of looking for trouble; of finding it, even if there is none; of making the wrong diagnosis; and of prescribing the wrong cure.

Political prophecy
• • Prime Minister Harold Wilson said: ‘A week is a long time in politics.’ The Japanese say: ‘In politics, one inch ahead is darkness.’

Peaceful solution
• We are prepared to solve any industrial relations problem peacefully if no other solution is available. (Adapt to suit your circumstances – government, company, committee, organisation or whatever.)

Differences of opinion
• ‘We specialise in harmonising contrariness.’ Sir Shridath (Sonny) Ramphal, then Secretary General of the Commonwealth



The choice before us
• Vicar, blessing all parties before a British election: ‘We shall have three hymns today. In honour of the Labour Party: “Now Thank We All Our God”… In honour of the Conservatives: “Oh God Our Help In Ages Past”… And in honour of the Liberal Democrats: “God Moves in a Mysterious Way”…’

• ‘It is very difficult to avoid making party political statements when you talk about almost anything. Sometimes, I fall into great elephant traps and no one notices. Other times, I trip into a very small trap – and all hell breaks loose…’ Prince Charles

Political party
• ‘If what you are interested in is purity and impotence, join a monastery, not a political party.’ Aneurin Bevan

• ‘Sunlight is the most effective of all disinfectants…’ US Supreme Court Justice Brandeis

• • If Moses had been a committee, the Israelites would still be in Egypt. A parliamentary committee is a cul-de-sac into which ideas are lured, there to be quietly strangled to death… • • A camel is a horse invented by a committee. Every committee must be made up of an odd number of people. Three is too many.



• When Harold Wilson handed over the premiership to James Callaghan, he is said to have left three envelopes in a drawer. They were to be opened in turn, in times of disaster. Opening the first envelope, after the first disaster, Callaghan read: ‘Blame your predecessor.’ After the second, he read: ‘Sack your assistant.’ After the third: ‘Prepare three envelopes…’ (Adapt for Chief Executives, Chairpersons and other leaders.)

• If you do not know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else…

• ‘If you are travelling in a rocky ship and feel seasick, it is quite understandable that you would wish to throw the navigator overboard.’ Denis Healey, then Chancellor of the Exchequer

Security – and values
• ‘A state which has security but lacks moral values is like a ship without a rudder. But a state with moral values and no security is like a rudder without a ship.’ Henry Kissinger



• The Captain of Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore was asked whether he was ever sick at sea. He replied: ‘Never.’ ‘What, never?’ chorused the sailors. ‘No, never.’ ‘What, never?’ the sailors insisted. ‘Well… hardly ever…’ the Captain admitted. (Similarly: the Government – or the Opposition, or the company, or you – may hardly ever be mistaken, out of step, cheating…)

• To be in Opposition is no disgrace. In fact, it is an honour. It is the only honour which politicians do not actively seek.

• ‘We specialise in defusing banana skins…’ Lord (then Sir Robert) Armstrong, Secretary to the Cabinet

Diplomatic dance
• George Brown, then Labour Foreign Minister, is said to have been at a diplomatic function when the orchestra struck up. As the senior Minister present, he decided to start the dancing. Spotting a likely prey, he said to her: ‘Madam, will you do me the honour of this waltz?’ ‘Certainly not,’ came the reply. ‘For three reasons. First, you’re drunk. Second, this is not a waltz, but the Venezuelan National Anthem. Third, I am the Papal Nuncio.’



Racial prejudice
• ‘Racial prejudice is like a hair across your cheek. You can’t see it; you can’t find it with your fingers; but you keep brushing at it, because the feel of it is irritating.’ Marian Anderson

The dream
• ‘I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character.’ (See page 250 for more of this great speech.) Martin Luther King

• ‘Never do good by stealth!’ Lord Bernard Braine

The limit
• Daughter, to adoring Mum: ‘I’m getting engaged.’ Mum: ‘Well, that’s marvellous. Who is he?’ Daughter: ‘Oh, he’s very nice. I hope you won’t mind, though – he’s a Catholic.’ Mum: ‘Of course I don’t mind. Religion is not important.’ Daughter: ‘I hope you also won’t mind that he’s black.’ Mother: ‘Of course I don’t. You know I’m not a racist.’ Daughter: ‘I’m afraid he’s also disabled. He’s got one eye, a hunchback and no hair.’ Mother: ‘That’s all right, darling, whatever makes you happy is fine by me.’ Daughter: ‘One final thing I should tell you. His father’s a Labour MP.’ Mother throws herself out of the window. (As usual, adapt to suit your audience and circumstances. The joke must be on you.)

• ‘A politician is a person who approaches every problem with an open mouth.’ Adlai Stevenson

• ‘Those who are prominent in political life are objectively described only in their own memoirs.’ Abba Eban

• Experience tells us that politicians do not always mean the opposite of what they say.

Principles – and expediency
• ‘I am a man of principle – but one of my principles is expediency.’ Lloyd George

• Winston Churchill was asked why he spent time on lecturing and journalism, instead of devoting himself entirely to his political work. He explained that he needed the money. ‘I live from mouth to hand,’ he said.

The truth
• An opponent said: ‘How do you know when President Nixon is lying? When he spreads his hands out, he’s telling the truth… When he wags his finger, he’s telling the truth… When he shakes his fist, he’s telling the truth… But when he opens his mouth…’ (Adapt for any current liar…)

Advance – and status quo
• Politician in power: ‘I see the status quo as the way forward.’



Political return
• Pedro returns from the war and starts cleaning his rifle. Wife: ‘Pedro – please don’t go back to your political work!’

The oldest profession
• Some say gardening is the oldest profession because Adam was the first man on earth. But the Bible tells us that before the world was created, all was chaos and confusion. And you all know who created that… politicians!

• Two tourists were standing in the central lobby in the House of Commons when the division bell rang. ‘What’s that?’ one visitor asked the other. ‘I don’t know,’ he replied. ‘I suppose one of them must have escaped…’

What’s worse?
• A well-known politician greeted every disaster with the words, ‘It could have been worse.’ One day, a friend said: ‘I came home and found my wife in bed with Ramirez.’ Politician: ‘It could have been worse.’ ‘So I shot them both.’ ‘It could have been worse.’ ‘How could it have been worse? I don’t understand.’ ‘If you’d come a day earlier, you’d have found me there!’



‘Dai will be home at any moment!’ Spot the wise man • Bush. And my problem is that I cannot tell which one. I have 18 guards. in its own way.’ said Blair. ‘I have a problem.’ Dai retorted. Dai. ‘I need your help. And so it went on with everyone he met. the attendant said: ‘Good Evening.New Councillor • Dai Jones is elected a Councillor for the first time. of course. if you please. One of them is an Iraqi agent. ‘Your usual. he goes to the pub to celebrate. When he went to collect his coat in the cloakroom. POLITICIANS AND GOVERNMENT 317 . ‘I have 18 mistresses. Delighted. if you please. be adapted to whichever Cabinet. One of them is very clever…’ (This happy tale. ‘Then you’d better hurry up. may. SEVENTY ONE POLITICS. One of them is unfaithful to me.’ he replied.’ ‘My problem is worst of all.’ said Chirac. And when he got home. there is a good chance that the other half will follow. They supplied each rider with only one spur on the principle that if you can get half the horse to go. is even worse. ‘I have 26 people in my Cabinet.’ he replied. if you please.’ said Bush. And I cannot find out which one it is!’ ‘I have a problem that. he heard his wife’s voice from upstairs: ‘Is that you Dai?’ ‘Councillor Dai. Dai?’ asks the barman. committee or other national or organised leadership you may desire to defame. Chirac and Blair met at a conference. ‘Councillor Dai.) Economy • A politician who claimed that it would be possible to get much the same results with half the expenditure illustrated his case with the tale of a Scottish riding school.’ his wife called out.’ ‘Councillor Dai.

unadulterated ambition. ‘I’m looking to see where I am now!’ Substitute? • An MP died. I certainly have none!’ 318 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER .) Diaries • My late father. the third maintained that his vice was worse than either of theirs. I’ll give it to you. they shared indiscretions.) Politics. Barney? Looking to see where you are going next?’ ‘Certainly not. too.’ he said.’ Secrets • Three MPs were on a trip abroad. ‘Pure.’ (Use for your Chairman – or whomever. Watching him at a meeting.’ he replied. a young hopeful telephoned the national agent.’ he said. ‘I am a gossip. The first admitted that he was a secret womaniser.Free speech • As Mrs Thatcher used to say to her Cabinet: ‘When I want your opinion. Lord Barnett Janner. ‘and I cannot wait to get back to the smoking room in the House to pass on the news that you have just given to me!’ (Ideal for business trips. Pure.’ ‘Then why did you stay in politics?’ ‘Anger.’ he replied. a colleague said: ‘What are you doing. packed his diary with intricate scrawl. ambition – and anger • Churchill was asked: Why did you go into politics? ‘Ambition. Within a day. the second that he had severe problems with alcohol. After a liquid dinner. ‘I hope it’s not too soon. ‘but I’m wondering whether I might not take the place of the deceased…’ The National Agent replied: ‘If the undertaker has no objection. unadulterated anger.

One day you are distinguished.Alas! • There is nothing so ‘ex’ as an ex-ambassador. (The same applies to people who topple off – or retire from – any top job.’ Abba Eban SEVENTY ONE POLITICS. POLITICIANS AND GOVERNMENT 319 .) Campaigning – and governing • ‘You campaign in poetry but you govern in prose. when you are defending a foreign government that has made a serious error. doesn’t it?) Democracy • ‘Who invented democracy? It’s so tiring…’ Shimon Peres Chairman Arafat to Mistakes • The only government that makes no mistakes is our own. (Very useful.’ Mario Cuomo – quoted by Tony Blair Power – and alcohol • It’s alcoholics who give alcohol its bad name. Decisions • ‘Governments too often take their decisions in the name of selfinterest and explain those decisions in the name of morality and law. The next you are extinguished.

Chief Executive of a company in deep trouble. 320 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . When they are good. you should enjoy but not swallow.) Polls • ‘Polls are like French perfume. You can’t be both.’ Shimon Peres Diplomacy. “Vietnam!” If you exclude both compromise and resistance from your diplomatic armoury. actor. Sound – and light • Parliament (or the boardroom – or wherever) is the only place where sound travels faster than light. perhaps. if you take over as. they will cry. youth leader – or whoever). can I be a politician? Father: ‘No. compromise – and resistance • ‘The disease of analogy: If you solve a problem by compromise. Politicians • Child: When I’m grown up. people will cry: “Munich!” If you solve it by resistance.’ Abba Eban Ignorance – or apathy • Questioner: Is your Government making such a mess over this matter because of ignorance or apathy? Minister: I don’t know and I don’t care.’ (Or – a teacher.Winning • ‘The trouble with getting to Washington is that I have found that things are as bad as I said they were!’ President Kennedy (Very good quote. you don’t have much left.

‘I wonder what was his motive!’ he exclaimed. Second. Metternich was informed that the Russian ambassador had died. my dear girl. then you can always write a book.) Politics – and books • ‘Politics is not a bad profession.’ Margaret Thatcher Consensus – and leadership • ‘Consensus is the negation of leadership. POLITICIANS AND GOVERNMENT 321 .’ Margaret Thatcher Objections • ‘Nothing will be attempted if all possible objections must be overcome first. (Or: Government supporter or Lib Dem.Ambassadors – and death • During the Congress of Vienna. there are many rewards.’ Samuel Johnson Optimist – and humourist • Nowadays. civil servant or happy train traveller… or whatever. If you succeed. If you disgrace yourself.’ She replied: ‘First.’ President Ronald Reagan SEVENTY ONE POLITICS. you are sitting on my seat!’ Control • ‘I don’t mind how much my ministers talk as long as they do what I say. Goddess • Lady Thatcher died and went up to heaven where she was greeted by God: ‘Welcome. you must be an optimist to be a Tory – and a humourist to stay one. I am not your dear girl.

Negotiation • ‘You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist. and I pray for the poor bloody country!’ Politics – and magic • Politics and magic have a great deal in common.’ Indira Gandhi Love and life • ‘No greater love hath any man than he lays down his friends for his life. but you cannot quite put your finger on it! Diplomacy • The art of letting someone else have your way. Then I look at the Members. 322 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER .’ Claude Heffer Prayer and politics • A former Chaplain to the House of Commons was asked: ‘What do you do when you lead the prayers at the start of each day’s session?’ He replied: ‘I look up to God and I pray for the Members. But everyone trusts an unidentified source.Political appointment ‘A lot of politicians make the mistake of forgetting that they have been appointed and thinking they have been anointed.’ Jeremy Thorpe of Harold Macmillan Trust – sources • Nobody believes an official spokesman. In each case. you know that something sneaky is going on.

Who gave you this power? What did you do to get this power? What are you going to do with this power? Whom are you giving power to? And how can we get rid of you?’ Tony Benn Bad times • ‘We are here to do good things in bad times. remember. POLITICIANS AND GOVERNMENT 323 .’ Talal of Jordan Prince Hassan bin Crisis • There cannot be a crisis this week. SEVENTY ONE POLITICS.Freedom – an unpopularity • ‘My definition of a free society is a society in which it is safe to be unpopular. once they have exhausted all the other alternatives.’ Adlai Stevenson Decisions • Governments too often take their decisions in the name of self-interest and explain those decisions in the name of morality and law. My diary is already full. Power • ‘Whenever I see someone in power I ask myself five questions. Under attack • If you are attacked by the media. Experience • Experience teaches us that men and nations sometimes behave wisely. They only throw stones at trees that bear fruit.

A politician can drink for two weeks without working. Power • ‘Power is an illusion. Someone stole his lantern. freedom of the press means freedom to print such of the proprietor’s prejudices as the advertisers do not object to.’ the child replied.’ Shimon Peres Hopeless • ‘A Romanian philosopher took up his lantern and went out into the dark night to search for the truth. ‘But they are now all Labour supporters. ‘They’re fine. They’ve opened their eyes!’ (Adapt against your own party or business or profession. the teacher asked the child how the kittens were doing.’ Willie Brandt Diplomats • What is the difference between a politician and a camel? A camel can work for two weeks without drinking.Press freedom • ‘In Britain. There is nothing less powerful than power.’ Shimon Peres – on Middle East Peace Process New supporters • A child told his teacher that the family cat had produced six small kittens – all of them Tory supporters.’ Hannen Swaffer History • ‘No people can escape from their history.) 324 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . A week later.

He woke up and found that he was. POLITICIANS AND GOVERNMENT 325 . I demand an immediate apology…’ Reply: ‘My Dear Earl. • Drunk as a lord? ‘I prefer a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy!’ • Peer receives letter from colleague: ‘I understand that you have been having an affair with my wife.g. and the other members in bed with flu. etc.Committees • ‘The ideal committee is one with me as chairman. Chief Executive who dreamed he was speaking at a company meeting etc. Thank you for your circular letter…’ • An elderly peer dreamed that he was speaking in the House of Lords. (Especially adaptable to e.) SEVENTY ONE POLITICS.’ Lord Milverton Lordly humour The House of Lords – in which I have been privileged to serve since 1997 – is a hotbed of good humour – enjoyable in itself but eminently adaptable.

’ Sir Henry Wootton (The first quote. ‘Why do you say that?’ ‘Because we keep getting outvoted!’ Diplomats v.SEVENTY TWO Overseas – and diplomatic Foreign Office • A tourist asked a policeman in Whitehall: ‘Which side is the Foreign Office on?’ He replied: ‘It’s supposed to be on our side – but I do sometimes wonder…’ Ambassadors – and journalists • ‘An ambassador is a man of virtue sent to lie abroad for his country. A newswriter is a man without virtue who lies at home for himself. written in 1604.) Democracy? • Lord Ivor Richard. ‘Undemocratic?’ he replied. diplomats speak well of each other in public and are rude in private. politicians are rude to each other in public. was asked by an American friend why the United Nations is so undemocratic. Politicians • What is the difference between a diplomat and a politician? In civilised diplomacy. is well known. 326 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . but are friends in private. former British Ambassador to the UN. In civilised politics. Wootton added the second part later when a journalist teased him about the lack of diplomacy inherent in his first definition.

then the decision does not represent “world conscience”. Haiti or Portugal to either side and it becomes world conscience. the Caliph only offered him the command of the troops in Egypt. with the memorable phrase: “Why should I hold the cow’s horns. ‘It’s not bad. Bessie. while another man became governor.Antiques • An American and his wife were in Portobello Road. whilst someone else milks her?”’ Anwar Sadat SEVENTY TWO OVERSEAS – AND DIPLOMATIC 327 . Dean Acheson: ‘When the United Nations is divided by 50/50. (Or the UK – or anywhere else. Luke and John.’ Idealism • Yes.) United Nations – and majorities • Former Secretary of State. it is good enough for us!’ (Adapt for anyone who complains that you cannot speak his or her language.) Control – and profit • ‘The Arab general who conquered Egypt some 1300 years ago expected the Caliph of Arabia to appoint him governor of the country. Mark. do they?’ Language • Many years ago.’ he said. an Anglophone Canadian MP replied to a suggestion that their proceedings ought to be held from time to time in French saying: ‘If the English language was good enough for Matthew. ‘The general refused this command. In fact. Add Yemen. India is a country with great ideals – but it is peopled entirely by human beings. ‘But they don’t make antiques like they used to.

the reasonableness of the French… But we do have the sheer hard work and culinary art of the British… United Kingdom • We are proud of the inhabitants of our islands.European Union • What we need are all the attributes of our colleagues in the European Union. who will die for what they believe in. After a long wait. the Welsh. the Irish. There are the Scots who take themselves seriously – as well as anything else they can lay their hands on. the even temper of the Italians. thereby absolving the Lord from a heavy burden. who pray on their knees and on each other. who proclaim that they are self-made men. and the English. he received the following reply: ‘The Aga Khan is believed to be a direct descendant of God. We should have the sovereignty of Luxembourg. English Dukes take precedence…’ Ignorance • About the policies and motives of Saddam Hussein (or whomever) there is no knowledge – only varying degrees of ignorance. even if they do not know what that is. the flexibility of the Dutch. the initiative of the Belgians. the host wrote to the Garter King of Arms on the question of precedence. 328 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . the good nature of the Germans. Precedence – and peers • When the late Aga Khan was due to be a guest at a luncheon in the House of Lords.

He stopped a passer-by and said: ‘Sir. But how did you know my name?’ SEVENTY TWO OVERSEAS – AND DIPLOMATIC 329 . Is this river pronounced “Thems” or “Tems”?’ ‘Thems.’ answered the man. I’m surprised. I’m German. could you please tell me.Moscow morale • A man phoned his friend in Baghdad: ‘How are you.) Norwegian politician Pronunciation • An American tourist was crossing Westminster Bridge. Ahmed?’ he asked. ‘Fantastic… marvellous… unbelievable… fabulous…’ ‘OK. Are you quite sure?’ ‘Yeth. I’ll phone you back later…’ (Transpose this one to any current autocracy of your choice. The first: ‘Are you a pole vaulter?’ The other: ‘No. before an international event.) The English • ‘We do not regard Englishmen as foreigners. ‘I see you’ve got someone with you. ‘I always thought it was pronounced “Tems”.’ the man replied. ‘Gee. We look on them only as rather mad Norwegians!’ (Transpose for any nations.’ said his friend. ‘I’m thertain!’ Names • Two athletes chatting in the changing rooms.’ said the American.

then Archbishop of Canterbury Friends and enemies • Shimon Peres: ‘In Israel we are surrounded by enemies. without progress!) Double crossing • ‘I once travelled from Amman in Jordan to Damascus in Syria and back again in a day. that your company – or someone else’s – has had 40 years of change. without change. “Double crossing only permitted for diplomats and for certain priests. if appropriate.’ Prince Hassan of Jordan: ‘You think you have problems.’ Abba Eban 330 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . I was somewhat surprised to find a large sign at the frontier.”’ Lord Robert Runcie.’ (You could add on to this.Progress – and change • A Saudi politician proclaimed: ‘We have had 40 years of progress. We are surrounded by friends!’ National suicide • ‘National suicide is not an international obligation by any charter.

crimes and courts Speed • An American criminal complained that in Chicago you are liable to get mugged between the time that you rob the bank and the time that you reach the getaway car. CRIMES AND COURTS 331 . the assistant said: ‘I suppose you mean a hold-up?’ ‘No.SEVENTY THREE Law and lawyers. factory inspectors or other public officials.’ he said. Time – to insure • Client to insurance agent. trying to sell him a new policy: ‘How much would we get if the factory burned down this evening?’ Agent: ‘About three years!’ Hold up? • A masked man ran into a bank and held up his forefinger at the counter clerk. I left the gun in the car!’ Corruption • Never offer gifts or meals to tax officials. ‘Do not feed the hand that bites you…’ SEVENTY THREE LAW AND LAWYERS. ‘This is a f–up!’ Calmly. ‘Hand over the money. I mean a f–up.

put it on the back seat of your car.’ He called his system: ‘Hinkie Pinky!’ Rubbish • ‘To get rid of rubbish nowadays. I am taking you to the police station where you will have to stay the night. and some silly sod will steal it. now retired. explaining the inaccessibility of justice 332 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER .) ‘You cannot always see racism but you can usually smell it.’ Lord Barnett Janner Wrong-doing • When my wife and I were visiting Egypt.Bribery and racism • Lord Goddard once remarked: ‘Bribery is like a sausage – difficult to describe but easy enough to smell!’ (Use also for anti-semitism or other racism. All part of the service. one of our guides explained his modus operandi. Equality of opportunity • ‘The courts of this country are like the Waldorf Hotel – open to all!’ High Court Judge. ‘you must know the right way to do it.’ Bob Monkhouse No charge • PC to tramp: ‘You are under arrest. became known at the Bar as the ‘din of inequity’. sir. all you have to do is to wrap it in silver paper.’ he said. ‘If you have to do wrong.’ Chancery • The court of a well-known Chancery judge.’ ‘And what’s the charge?’ ‘No charge.

The unfortunate truth • A famous Judge. was addressed by a young lawyer: ‘My unfortunate client. there is no evidence that he took part in the affray. the other man hit him first. So far as you have proceeded hitherto. my Lord. Lord Ellenborough. ‘My unfortunate client…’ ‘Yes. The Lord is my defender.’ Unwise counsel • Counsel: ‘I hope that you are following me…’ Judge: ‘Yes – but where are you going?’ Answer • Lawyer to witness: ‘Did you get the letter?’ Witness (contemplating whether he should answer yes or no – and after a long pause): ‘Not necessarily.’ he began. that there is no evidence that any such affray took place. ‘Do please proceed. If he was there. And in any case. the Court agrees with you!’ Evidence • Lawyer defending his client on charge of causing grievous bodily harm: ‘It is our case. yes.’ Magistrate: ‘I think that you would be better off to have someone to defend you who is better known in this part of the world…’ SEVENTY THREE LAW AND LAWYERS. If it did.’ said the Judge. we shall prove that my client was not there.’ Those who know not the Lord • Magistrate to prisoner in dock: ‘Would you like a lawyer to defend you?’ Prisoner: ‘There’s no need. CRIMES AND COURTS 333 .

Clarence Darrow. told the story about how easy it is for a lawyer to ask one question too many. it would have been 60!’ 334 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . hammer on the law… if neither is on your side.’ • A Glasgow Baillie sentenced a criminal to 30 days without the option of a fine. the genial Lord Elwyn Jones. he went on in triumph: ‘So how can you testify that my client bit off the victim’s ear?’ ‘Because I saw him spit it out!’ The truth • There are three stories in any lawsuit: the plaintiff’s.’ Instead of stopping there.Question too many • The famous American lawyer. sir. why should I tell you!’ Justice • Former Lord Chancellor. A man was accused of biting off another man’s ear. and the truth. But they are not too dogmatic about it. Conducting a case • If the facts are on your side. ‘And count yourself lucky. hammer on the table… Knowledge • Clerk of Court to accused: ‘Are you guilty or not guilty?’ Accused: ‘If you don’t know. His lawyer cross-examined the witness: ‘Did you see my client biting off the victim’s ear?’ ‘No.’ he said. the defendant’s. hammer on the facts… if the law is on your side. often said: ‘Welsh juries believe in justice. ‘If there had been a shred of evidence against you.

I asked him what he would like me to say for him. ‘Just be careful.’ he would say. I always dress this way for work. I shall get a long one…’ Banks – and logic • A bank robber came up for sentence. ‘Why do you keep robbing banks?’ the judge asked him.’ he replied. what is your name?’ Witness: ‘Oral.Sentencing • Before making a plea in mitigation on behalf of a convicted client. I was shot somewhere between the fracas and the navel.’ Cross-examination • Counsel: ‘When I ask you a question. Now. It was his fifth conviction for the same offence and he had been in and out of prison for years. your answer must be oral.’ • Counsel: ‘Is your appearance here as a result of a subpoena served on you?’ Witness: ‘No.’ Forgiving • An old Cockney usher used to take visitors to the Lord Chief Justice’s Court when Lord Goddard presided: ‘Lord Goddard. ‘is famous as a forgiving judge.’ he replied. Very forgiving. ‘If you get a short sentence wrong. Body language • Lawyer to witness: ‘Were you shot in the fracas?’ Witness: ‘No. For giving five years… ten years… life…’ SEVENTY THREE LAW AND LAWYERS. ‘Because that is where the money is. CRIMES AND COURTS 335 .

’ Justice • ‘When I was a puisne judge – sitting on my own. hardfought trial. I just develop it…’ 336 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . to inform him of the result. ‘I’ll never finish it. ‘Never mind.’ the man moaned. ‘Just do the best you can…’ Appeal • A businessman had to leave court before the end of the long. But now I sit in the Court of Appeal with two brother judges.’ he read. Lord Denning was asked whether it was not correct that he bent the law in order to do justice.The end • A Judge passed a sentence of eight years’ imprisonment on an old villain. gently. He left word for a telegram to be sent to him. At the end of the case. in my own court – I could be sure that justice would be done in that court. The client immediately sent a reply: ‘Appeal at once.’ said the Judge. the odds against justice being done in my court are two to one!’ • Lord Denning Interviewed on his 81st birthday. the lawyer sent a telegram as arranged: ‘Justice has been done. He replied: ‘Certainly not.

Denning turned to him and said: ‘Well John. no one is thinking!’ SEVENTY THREE LAW AND LAWYERS. He tugs the gown of his advocate: ‘How are you going to manage?’ he says. his opponent has both a junior and a leader.Dissenting voices • Lord Donaldson tells of an occasion when he sat in the Court of Appeal with his predecessor. ‘The other side have a QC and a junior…’ ‘I’m as good as any two of them. the client again tugs the barrister’s gown. ‘but I agree with John. Tom. ‘the two of you will just have to deliver dissenting judgements!’ Single-handed • A man asked to be recommended to a one-armed lawyer. The appeal must be dismissed.’ he replied. CRIMES AND COURTS 337 .” ‘ Thinking • Litigant arrives at court to find that whilst he is represented by junior counsel only. the barrister behind him is thinking. I think we must allow this appeal. ‘I’m worried.’ said Lord Denning. Lord Denning. But when you are talking. It must be dismissed. At the end of a case.’ he says. When asked why.’ replies the junior. he replied. ‘I’ve noticed that when the QC is talking.’ Denning turned to the third judge: ‘What do you say?’ he asked. ‘I’m sorry. ‘I’m sick of being told: “On the one hand this – and on the other hand that.’ ‘In that case. A few minutes later. don’t you?’ Donaldson replied: ‘No.

‘I never knew that in England you buried two people in the same grave!’ Mindless • ‘What do you call someone who has half a mind to become a lawyer?’ ‘Over-qualified.Respected professionals • A foreigner was being shown around Westminster Abbey. His guide pointed to a splendid monument: ‘There lies a great and honest man and a most distinguished lawyer. • • A lawyer helps you get what is coming to him. substitute politicians. It is unfair to believe everything you hear about lawyers.) Lawyers – and God • What is the difference between God and a lawyer? God does not think he is a lawyer. Some of it may be untrue.) Lawyers • It’s untrue that lawyers do nothing. They just get together and decide that nothing can be done. or your own occupation in any of the above.’ (Or doctor or accountant… use your own profession or business. • What do you need if you see five lawyers up to their neck in concrete? More concrete. ‘That’s interesting.’ read the inscription. • Waste – a coach load of lawyers going over a cliff with three empty seats. psychiatrists.’ the foreigner replied. (Substitute your own profession or business for lawyer. (For lawyers.) 338 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER .

’ Judge: ‘I don’t think that’s what you mean. Judge: ‘What is your reason?’ Juryman: ‘My Lord. I think what you mean is – that your wife is about to be confined.Friendship • ‘To have a friend one must be a friend. whether I am right or you are right. CRIMES AND COURTS 339 . Jones. my wife is about to conceive.’ Oscar Wilde Misconception • A judge was swearing in a jury in the West Country.’ SEVENTY THREE LAW AND LAWYERS. One of the jurymen asked to be excused from jury duty. I do agree that you should be there. But Mr.

You should say: Shoo… shoo… shoo… ‘Look. just the same!’ 340 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Shoo… shoo… shoo…’ he said to the pigeons. help!’ Fowl language • A man was standing on the steps of St. Paul’s cathedral. Fear not. He looked down 300 feet at the sea and up at heaven and cried out: ‘Is there anyone up there – help!’ And a mighty voice cried out: ‘I am here.SEVENTY FOUR Faith.’ he said. ‘My man. ‘There.’ The priest looked down 300 feet at the raging sea and rocks. They all flew away. ‘you really shouldn’t talk to pigeons like that. The Dean emerged and listened to this performance. Let go of the tree and I will keep you safe. ‘I’ll demonstrate. shooing away the pigeons. religion and ethics Faith • An Italian priest was walking along a cliff top when he slipped and fell – but was caught by a slender sapling growing out of the cliff. Not on the steps of this House of God.’ he said. ‘I told you all you had to say was: Shoo… shoo… shoo… and they’d bugger off. ‘Bugger off… bugger off…’ he said. Then he cried out: ‘Is there anyone else up there – help.’ said the Dean to the visitor.

The Pope urged his flock to repent their sins. RELIGION AND ETHICS 341 . A television station called on leading religious personalities to advise people on how they should react. But I would like to be described as a buttress – supporting you from the outside! (Ideal for speeches in other people’s churches or houses of prayer. the Buddhist monk instructed his people to seek inner peace by searching for their inner selves.’ Whose religion? • Father Brown (Roman Catholic) and the Reverend Green (Anglican) were arguing furiously over a theological matter. let us not quarrel.End of the world • Prominent physicists predicted that a flood would signal the end of the world in three days. We’ve got three days to learn how to swim. ‘You and I are both doing God’s work – you in your way and I in His!’ SEVENTY FOUR FAITH. The priest held up his hand: ‘Come.’ he said. the Rabbi told his followers: ‘OK.’ Outside support • I am afraid that I cannot be called a pillar of your church.) Civilisation • Mahatma Gandhi was asked: ‘What do you think of Western civilisation?’ He replied: ‘I think it would be a very good idea.

‘They have even infiltrated into positions of high power in the Foreign Ministries of the world. Then. its television and its radio. Six black men duly arrived. Henry Kissinger.’ declaimed His Majesty. we welcome warmly – not as a Jew. but as a great human being…’ Secretary Kissinger replied quietly: ‘I thank Your Majesty. its communications and its newspapers. ma’am. ‘Major Rabinowitz never makes mistakes!’ 342 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER .Many of my best friends • When King Khaled of Saudi Arabia first greeted US Secretary of State. he launched into his renowned attack on the Jews and Israel… and how they had taken over the world’s banks and financial institutions. the United States fleet paid a courtesy call in Durban. A society lady who was running a big dance one night asked the American authorities to send half-a-dozen boys along.’ ‘No. Many of my best friends are human beings…’ Apartheid • During the Second World War.’ said the hostess. ‘but I’m afraid that there must be some mistake. but to ensure that they included no Jews. ‘I’m terribly sorry. the King added: ‘But you sir. realising what he had said.’ replied the leader of the party.

you’re not a Jew any more.’ said David.The Messiah – and a permanent job • Teddy Kollek. ‘How do you explain that?’ ‘Well.’ ‘It’s not meat. he called out to him: ‘What are you doing up there?’ ‘Looking out for the Messiah. the local priest wandered into his home to find him eating chicken. ‘David. The following Friday evening. You’re a Catholic. kept seeing a man sitting on the roof of his house.’ said David. But at least the job is permanent!’ No change • David Cohen converted to Catholicism. you’re not a chicken any more. One day. my son. ‘It’s fish. You should not be eating meat on Fridays. former Mayor of Jerusalem. Just a few pence a day…’ ‘That’s pretty poor pay…’ ‘I know.’ said the priest.’ came the reply. RELIGION AND ETHICS 343 . looking up at the sky with binoculars.” So I poured some water over the chicken and said: “Bird. ‘You are a Catholic now. You’re fish!”‘ SEVENTY FOUR FAITH.’ ‘How much?’ ‘Not much. ‘you poured some water over me and said: “David. ‘Why are you doing that?’ ‘I am being paid for it. in the days when good Catholics did not eat meat on Fridays.’ said the Priest.’ ‘It doesn’t look like fish to me.

let us thank God for His blessings. The really large ones. grace before or after meals is generally said by a Rabbi.’ ‘Oh. So they need health. in almost every language. Jewish people.How tall • An Antarctic explorer returned to the igloo.’ said the explorer.’ Lord Jakobovits. ‘No. At one recent gathering. there being no Rabbi here. only about 3 foot 6. 6 inches. Perhaps 3 foot 9…’ ‘Oh God. ‘How tall is a penguin?’ he asked.’ his friend replied.’ Health and life • ‘Non-Jewish people. always say ‘L’hayim’ – to life. Jewish history proclaims the uncertainty of life itself. late at night. ‘Why? Because non-Jewish people treat the continuation of life as a certainty. Perhaps 3 foot. toast each other’s ‘good health’. ‘About 3 foot. in the Hebrew language. the Chairman pronounced as follows: ‘Ladies and gentleman. I mean the Emperor penguins. ‘I’ve shot a nun!’ Thank God • At major Jewish gatherings. former Chief Rabbi 344 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER .

can you tell us whether it is dead or alive. RELIGION AND ETHICS 345 .’ President Dwight Eisenhower Godless • I am an atheist. can you tell us what is in our fists?’ The Rabbi replied: ‘Why my students.’ Speak out – for others • ‘They came for the Jews and I did not speak out… They came for the Communists and I did not speak out… Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak out for me. it is a butterfly. They said to each other: ‘We’ll come to the Rabbi and in our fists we’ll hold a live butterfly and we will say to the Rabbi: “What is in our fists?” If the Rabbi guesses it’s a butterfly we will say to him: “Rabbi. and if he says it’s dead. They thought and thought and thought and they came up with the test. SEVENTY FOUR FAITH.’ The Rabbi looked them straight in the eye and said: ‘My dear pupils. we will release the butterfly.Decisions – in your hands • A Rabbi was famous for his wisdom and for his powers of perception – until his students decided to put him to the test. thank God. we will squash it with our hands and it will be dead.’ The students asked the Rabbi: ‘Rabbi.’ Pastor Niemüller Principles • ‘A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both. is the butterfly alive or dead?” If he says it’s alive.’ So they went to the Rabbi with a live butterfly held in one of their fists and said to the Rabbi: ‘You’re so wise and perceptive. that is in your hands.

’ she said. Dai returns home. ‘So I left her. An elderly lady stretched out her hand and restrained her progress. he added: ‘Now all I need is a nice cup of coffee and a woman. marriage and family Sex – with pleasure • At the end of a long evening of speeches. Time and tide • An El Al plane was landing in New York.’ Then.SEVENTY FIVE Sex. ‘Give him time to have his coffee!’ Uncertain future? • A sex questionnaire to college students included: ‘Are you a virgin?’ One girl replied: ‘Not yet. ‘Wait. ‘If she’s not good enough for the rest of the boys in the village. George Bernard Shaw rose to give a lecture on sex.’ said his mother. forgetting that his loudspeaker was still switched on. ‘I found out that Bridget is a virgin.’ Welsh virgins • The day after his wedding. love. to warn the pilot. ‘What happened?’ asked his mother.’ A stewardess ran up the gangway. ‘It gives me great pleasure…’ he began – and sat down.’ ‘Quite right. we hope that you enjoyed this flight on El Al and that we shall have the pleasure of your company on future flights. why should she be good enough for you?’ 346 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER .’ he said. The pilot announced: ‘Ladies and Gentlemen. darling.

What was her maiden name?’ Managing • A friend asked an 80-year-old man who had just married a young girl: ‘How are you managing?’ ‘Marvellous. ‘We do it nearly every night. The promoter came on stage. mortified. ‘Come and do it at Madison Square Gardens and we’ll both make a fortune. Nearly on Monday… nearly on Tuesday… nearly on Wednesday. Did you?’ ‘I don’t know. MARRIAGE AND FAMILY 347 . LOVE. Oil revenues not being what they were.’ said the Sheikh. ‘I had a rehearsal earlier this evening.Premarital • Two businessmen talking: ‘I never slept with my wife before we married.’ he said. ‘What’s gone wrong?’ he pleaded.’ he replied. After the eighth. The first five women went well. The seventh took 15 minutes. On the great night. ready for action. After the sixth he started panting. ‘I don’t know. and it all went splendidly!’ Late nights • A young woman.. the drums rolled and the curtain rose and there was the Sheikh. overheard talking to a friend: ‘I can’t bear late nights. he gave up. John..’ Rehearsals • A Sheikh boasted to a visiting American promoter that he regularly bedded 20 women in a night. If I go out to dinner and am not in bed by twelve. the Sheikh agreed. I go home!’ SEVENTY FIVE SEX. The promoter was enthralled.

’ The farmer went round the corner and stuffed the chicken into his trousers. but we don’t allow animals in here. It is not your husband. ‘This is the first one I’ve seen that eats crisps!’ 348 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . It was very hot and the chicken became itchy. two women came and sat beside him. Waiting for his train home. He was promised ‘government time’. One woman said to the other: ‘Do you see what I see?’ ‘Certainly I see what you see.’ The second said: ‘You are quite right. The woman at the cash desk said: ‘I’m sorry. If you’ve seen one. you’ve seen them all!’ ‘I’m not sure. he decided to go to the movies. Eventually. The three girls stopped and looked down at him. So the peer wrote to the Lord Chancellor. it’s not my husband. when he saw three beautiful girls coming towards him. sunbathing. But the Queen’s Speech made no mention of his proposal. paid for his ticket and sat down in the stalls. ‘What would you suggest that I do about my Prostitution Bill?’ The Chancellor replied: ‘If I were you. Mary. He returned to the cinema. So he opened up the front of his trousers and the chicken extended its neck. I’d pay it!’ Identification • A man was lying naked on a beach. The first said: ‘Well.’ The third one said: ‘He’s a stranger – he doesn’t live in the village…’ The bird • A farmer came to town and bought a live chicken.’ said Mary. young man. He grabbed the only clothing within reach – his hat – and put it over his face. nor did any of the parliamentary speeches that followed it.Prostitution • A peer decided to bring in a Bill to license prostitutes.

All women do.Wrong-doing • Mabel. I am not blaming anybody! Women and marriage • ‘I married beneath me. The older she gets. LOVE.’ Agatha Christie SEVENTY FIVE SEX.’ Lady Nancy Astor. the more interested he is in her. dear – but you certainly did well!’ Advice • General Mark Clark was asked: ‘What was the best advice you were ever given?’ He replied: ‘To marry my wife. We just happened to meet. first woman MP Husbands • ‘Husbands are like fires. age 18. arrived home at four in the morning. ‘Did I do wrong?’ she asked her mother.’ Blameless • Nobody introduced me to my wife. MARRIAGE AND FAMILY 349 . Mother replied: ‘I don’t know whether you did right or wrong.’ Zsa Zsa Gabor Golden wedding • ‘An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have. They go out if unattended. wearing a mink coat.’ ‘Who gave it?’ ‘She did.

But being wrong isn’t one of them.’ The curse of the Plotnik diamond • A dealer shows a woman a magnificent diamond. is the Plotnik diamond.’ ‘But I haven’t been drinking.A wife in the business • I went into the beer business. But there is a curse which goes with the Plotnik diamond…’ Customer: ‘What curse is that?’ Dealer: ‘Mr Plotnik!’ 350 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . madam. Is it not beautiful? It is one of the largest in the world and is very valuable. But I have!’ Always right • Wife: ‘I have my faults.’ Wife: ‘Couldn’t you get a speaking part?’ Drink • ‘Drink makes you really look beautiful.’ Silent partner • Roger comes home from a rehearsal of his amateur dramatics group and tells his wife: ‘I have a marvellous part in the play. My wife said: ‘I’ll drive the people to drink and you can sell it to them. I am the husband. Charlie.’ ‘I know. Brenda. ‘This.

But you realise that your wife will be wealthier.’ she replied. Coney… Oh. Sam. ‘Why aren’t you wearing anything?’ he asks.’ Joe: ‘That’s fine. My third wish… I want to have a very. a genie appears before him and says: ‘I can give you three wishes but I warn you.’ Joe: ‘OK. ‘I haven’t anything to wear…’ He marches over to the cupboard.’ Identity • ‘I have just heard that my wife is having an affair. your wife will do better.’ Genie: ‘Fine. very mild heart attack…’ Affairs • Smith came home and found his wife in bed with another man. ‘I keep telling you. MARRIAGE AND FAMILY 351 . LOVE. ‘What the hell do you two think you are doing?’ he asked. The wife turned to the other man.Three wishes • Joe is feeling desperately miserable and prays for help. But you realise that your wife will play better than you.’ she replies. Hello. My second request – I want to be extremely rich. ‘There you are. Suddenly.. so who’s catering?’ SEVENTY FIVE SEX. throws open the door and then says: ‘Hello. Mink… Hello.’ ‘Really.’ Genie: ‘Granted. Whatever I grant you..’ Genie: ‘What is your first wish?’ Joe: ‘I want to be a really brilliant golfer. ‘I told you he was stupid!’ Naked truth • Man comes home and finds his wife lying naked on the bed.’ Joe: ‘I agree.

darling.’ Blodwen exclaimed. Bridget.’ ‘Is he.’ replied Mary. She arrived home to find her husband. Blodwen knocked at the door and a woman opened it. I would. darling. ‘And about ruddy time too!’ Love and money • ‘If I lost all my money. John. Eventually she found one: Dr Ralph Vaughan Williams. I’m afraid. ‘I’ve come to see Dr Vaughan Williams.’ ‘You’ll have to wait a few minutes. we could sack the chauffeur!’ Necessity • Mary was on night shift.’ ‘Fair enough. ‘Have you an appointment?’ ‘No. But I’d miss you…’ 352 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . looking for a good Welsh name on the plates.Recession • Times were tough in the Brown family. indeed. Joe. ‘if you would learn to make meals. we could do without the cook. in bed with her best friend.’ she said. She looked down at her sadly and said: ‘Bridget – I have to – but you?’ Musical appointment • Some years ago Blodwen got herself into a certain condition. He’s busy reorchestrating the Men of Harlech. ‘You know what. so she visited the Harley Street area. ‘If you’d learn to make love. She did not feel that she could take medical advice in her Welsh home town. But I’ve come all the way from South Wales and I would be grateful if he could spare me a few moments. would you still love me?’ ‘Of course.’ said Joe to his wife.

at first sight – and time has proved my judgement was correct. of which I was always the object…’ • Albert Camus I fell in love with myself. SEVENTY FIVE SEX. My lover has never let me down… Garlic • The French invented birth control – they call it ‘garlic’. describing the remarriage of a divorced friend: ‘The triumph of hope over experience!’ Jewish divorces • Why do Jewish divorces cost so much? Because they’re worth it.’ Disraeli on John Bright Modesty • ‘I conceived at least one great love in my life.Remarriage • Dr Samuel Johnson. LOVE.’ Oscar Wilde Self-love • ‘He is a self-made man. MARRIAGE AND FAMILY 353 . Romance • ‘Fall in love with yourself and you are in for a lifetime of romance. and he worships his creator.

staring at him.’ she replied.’ the son replied. 354 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . to the Romans.’ said the father to his son. (Adaptable for any other bachelor.) Time – letters – and mums • St Paul received the following letter from his mother: ‘You seem to have plenty of time to write letters to the Corinthians. ‘It’s just that you look like my third husband. So you’ve been married three times?’ ‘No.How many husbands? • A man was sitting on a park bench. on the day before his wedding. to the Ephesians. turning round and coming back for another stare… Eventually he said to her: ‘What’s the problem. ‘I’m not getting married until tomorrow. Only twice!’ Bachelors • Paula Ben Gurion (wife of Israel’s then Prime Minister) asked UN Secretary General Dag Hammerskjöld – a well known bachelor: ‘Why don’t you get married? Then you’d have troubles of your own and would forget about making troubles for us’. to the Galatians. ‘That’s what I meant. Philippians and Thessalonians – but you never have time to write a letter to your old mother!’ Wedding day • ‘This will be the happiest day of your life. madam?’ ‘I’m not sure.’ ‘Really. walking on. A woman kept walking by.’ said his father.

then there’s – thou shalt not kill. MARRIAGE AND FAMILY 355 . A friend said to him: ‘But David. There was the one about thou shalt have only one God. I can’t remember where I left my bicycle.’ ‘Isn’t she a good cook?’ ‘She’s a splendid cook. Sit down and let’s go through this together. And I was trying to think today about the Ten Commandments – I can only remember about six of them. Joe: Well. we all get a bit uptight about that. I don’t want to interrupt. thank you. then – thou shalt not commit adultery. then there’s keeping the Sabbath day holy. (Transferable.) Memory – and adultery • Ted: You know. Now I remember where I left my bicycle! Speaking terms • I haven’t spoken to my mother-in-law for a fortnight.) SEVENTY FIVE SEX. LOVE. Ted: Ah. of course.Political wives • The press announced that a certain MP was about to get divorced.’ ‘Is she good in bed?’ ‘Some say she is… some say she isn’t…!’ (Translate for your own profession. what’s the matter? Isn’t your wife beautiful?’ ‘Very. Let’s start with the Ten Commandments. I’m losing my memory. Come on. to your wife – beware! – or Chief Executive. She’s got diplomas…’ ‘Isn’t she a good political wife? Doesn’t she help you in your constituency?’ ‘She’s been marvellous. secretary – or whatever other loquacious menace plagues your days.

Tom the cat held court. Finally. you need a degree of familiarity. I said to him: ‘Don’t you think that you ought to see my wife first?’ He replied: ‘I have seen her and I still want to marry Philippa!’ 356 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . all of them screeching. The following night. What’s your secret?’ Tom replied: ‘Now I’m a consultant!’ Familiarity – and contempt • Familiarity breeds contempt.Consultant • Every night. ‘We don’t understand. They opened the window and called Tom in.’ said the owner. his owners could stand it no more. outside his owner’s window – surrounded by a bevy of adoring females. the howling suddenly began again. when they had settled down for what they had believed would be their first good night’s sleep for an age. ‘We had you spayed so as to keep the females away – but they still gather round. Happiness • ‘Happiness is one of the few things that doubles every time you share it. post-op. They took him to a vet and had him spayed. Elderly man with a drip in arm lying on bed. ‘When will he be able to sit up and take criticism?’ Mothers-in-law • Joe came and asked me for Philippa’s hand in marriage.’ Sir Harry Lauder Critic • Overheard in a hospital ward. His wife asks the doctor. To breed anything.

) Service • A man came into Grubb’s with an alligator on a leash.’ SEVENTY SIX FOOD. Patience – and head waiters • Inscription on head waiter’s tombstone: God finally caught my eye. I shouldn’t drive if I were you. Methodists. Your face is getting all blurry. He said: ‘Do you serve lawyers here?’ Mr Grubb replied: ‘Of course we do. ‘I’ll have two salt beef sandwiches for me and a lawyer for my alligator…’ (For lawyers. substitute doctors. One says to the other: ‘Look.SEVENTY SIX Food. political…) life has many drawbacks.) Glass houses • Two guests at a cocktail party. drink and travel Food for thought • Business (or: professional. one of which is not malnutrition. DRINK AND TRAVEL 357 .’ said the man.’ ‘In that case. (Alternative: It’s coming. old man. Mongolians – or whatever other profession or community you belong to.

‘I wonder why he did that?’ an astonished onlooker exclaimed. The drinks were on the house. he knelt and kissed the soil.’ Dorothy Parker Drinks • After a party. One day he fell and felt damp around his hip.Blood thicker than whisky… • A Scottish friend of mine always carried a hip flask of whisky. Fred was found wandering on the rooftops. Bookings • Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal maintains that he never has any trouble in getting a table in a Vienna restaurant. All he has to do is to ask the management to page Simon Wiesenthal – and half the diners leave! Welcome • When the Pope landed on a ceremonial visit to the UK.’ he said. ‘My God. The man beside him retorted: ‘You would too. if you’d flown Alitalia and landed safely and on time!’ (Adapt for other airlines and leaders…) 358 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . ‘I hope it’s only blood!’ Drinking ‘ • One more drink and I shall be under the host.

She remained cool and courteous. ‘He is on his way to Chicago. His luggage is heading for Sydney. Australia!’ Atmospherics • Did you hear about the man who opened a restaurant on the moon? Excellent food but no atmosphere! SEVENTY SIX FOOD. When he had gone.Revenge • The traveller at the Hong Kong check-in desk was screaming abuse at the woman behind the counter. the next man in line said to the official: ‘How did you manage to keep your temper.’ she replied. when the man was being so thoroughly offensive?’ ‘No problem. DRINK AND TRAVEL 359 .

then Chairman of the Health and Safety Commission Deafness • Doctor to personnel manager at a very noisy steel works.SEVENTY SEVEN Health and hospitals Exercise • ‘When I get the urge to take exercise.’ (Or could be a reply by a shop steward. The fact is that God has a down on inefficient managers. ‘I don’t know why you don’t just hire deaf people in the first place and then you wouldn’t have to worry…’ • When I asked a steel worker why he was not wearing his ear muffs.) 360 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER .’ Bill Simpson. he replied: ‘I’m already deaf!’ Compensation • Apprentice: ‘What is a cubic foot?’ Foreman: ‘I don’t know – but I will make sure that you get full compensation. I immediately lie down and wait until it passes off!’ Oscar Wilde Accidents at work • ‘There is no such thing as an Act of God when you are dealing with accidents in industry.

’ ‘That’ll do fine…’ So the doctor sewed on the pig’s ears.’ he replied. he managed to clutch hold of a rope about 20 feet from the ground. I can put on a couple of pig’s ears for you. he goes and gets a drink. His friend picked him up and said: ‘Fred. ‘I’m sorry. He was told to go to the local hospital and have it stitched back on.’ he replied. When a Jew is thirsty. ‘How is it working?’ she asked. Later that day. ‘Where is the ear?’ they asked. Self-recognition • A bank clerk had his ear cut off at work. He went to the doctor for a transplant. Joe’s wife came and brought him a Walkman. By good fortune. he let go and fell on his head. he goes to his doctor and asks: ‘Have I got diabetes?’ SEVENTY SEVEN HEALTH AND HOSPITALS 361 .’ said the doctor. ‘It had no pencil behind it!’ Jewish hypochondria • When a non-Jew is thirsty.’ Transplant • Joe lost both his ears in an industrial accident. ‘Why didn’t you bring it with you?’ ‘I couldn’t tell whether it was mine.Fall from grace • Fred fell 80 feet from a scaffold. why did you let go of that rope?’ He replied: ‘I was afraid it was going to break. ‘I’ve a little bit of crackling in my left ear. After a few moments. When he arrived. ‘but I’ve no human ears left. hospital staff discovered he had left the ear behind.

By the end of the six months. lank hair and a sallow face. are we?’ 362 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . The doctor then gave his patient another six months… Nurses • Occupational nurses are a race apart. I get up and look at myself in the mirror and I see bleary eyes. you elevate the bleeding leg.’ Dentistry • Dentist to patient: ‘Now we’re not going to hurt each other. ‘What do you do when you have a patient brought in with a bleeding leg?’ She replied: ‘You bind up the bleeding wound.’ Doctor: ‘There’s nothing wrong with your eyesight.’ The psychiatrist says: ‘Next…’ Eye trouble • Patient to eye specialist: ‘Every morning.Mad? • A man visits a psychiatrist’s office and says: ‘My trouble is that no one listens to me. and you call in the bleeding doctor. I once asked one.’ Medical prophecy • An American doctor gave his patient six months to live – and sent him a bill for $500. the bill was still not paid.

‘Is her stomach condition improving then?’ ‘Yes. Have you any adreno-corticotrophic hormone in aqueous solution?’ Operator: ‘I am sorry. One asked: ‘Why are we all here?’ Another replied: ‘because we’re not all there…’ SEVENTY SEVEN HEALTH AND HOSPITALS 363 . Nobody tells me nothing.’ ‘Is her blood pressure better?’ ‘Yes. The doctor is very pleased with it. I told you everything I know. who is enquiring?’ ‘This is Mrs Goldberg. When I said hello. the caller enquired: ‘How is Mrs Goldberg?’ ‘Doing very well. darling!’ Hospital help • The phone rings and is answered by the night duty operator.’ ‘And how about Mrs Goldberg’s chest. But tell me.’ Psychiatric • Patients in a psychiatric hospital were undergoing group therapy. much better.’ Sister replied. Is the infection clearing well?’ ‘Very well.’ ‘Hello.Communication • The telephone operator at a London hospital received a call asking for the sister in charge of a particular ward. When the sister was put through. ‘Hello.

John produced the pacemaker and the surgeon planted it in his chest and wired him up. ‘Any problems?’ the surgeon asked. the garage door opens!’ Pharmaceutical • Sign over pharmacy: ‘We dispense with accuracy. John returned for a check-up.’ said John.’ Counsel: ‘Did you examine his lungs?’ Witness: ‘No. ‘But I’m afraid it will cost you £5. before you began your autopsy?’ Witness: ‘No. you are an experienced pathologist. ‘I can do the job for you with pleasure. Did you examine this man’s heart.000. ‘If I provide my own pacemaker with his help. Three months later.Limits of DIY • John needed a pacemaker but could not get one swiftly under the National Health Service.’ Counsel: ‘Then why are you sure that he was dead before you began your examination?’ Witness: ‘Because his brain was in a jar. will you do the implant for me?’ The surgeon agreed.’ ‘I have a friend who is brilliant with electronics and gadgets. John replied: ‘Only one.’ Counsel: ‘But at the start of the examination… before you began… are you absolutely certain that the man was dead?’ 364 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER .’ Pathological • Counsel: ‘Now doctor. So he went privately to a distinguished consultant.’ said the surgeon. These gadgets are very expensive. Whenever I get an erection. beside me on the table.

he might have been a lawyer (or a politician.’ WC Fields SEVENTY SEVEN HEALTH AND HOSPITALS 365 .Witness: ‘Well.’ Counsel: ‘Why not?’ Witness: ‘Well.’ Hospital – and nurse • ‘Two days in hospital and I took a turn for the nurse. I can’t be certain. a professor… or whoever).

SEVENTY EIGHT Age. death – and the end Children – and adults • ‘When we are no longer children. we are already dead.” When I stood for the Senate in 2001. I said: “You need a candidate with maturity and experience”!’ Edward Kennedy – quoted by Gordon Brown MP. Chancellor of the Exchequer 366 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . I said: “You need a candidate with youth and fresh ideas.’ Albert Einstein Youth and maturity • ‘When I stood for the Senate in 1962.’ President Truman Teenagers • Remember that as a teenager you are at the last stage of your life when you will be happy to hear that the phone is for you. Youth • ‘The most aggravating thing about the younger generation is that I am no longer part of it.’ Constantin Brancusi Children – and advice • ‘The best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.

be transferred: The Government/Opposition is like a baby…) Pride • Three grandmothers discussing the achievements of their grandsons. and you are old if it is just as difficult to go in either direction. Ronald Knox (This can. or whatever you wish. DEATH – AND THE END 367 . He’s only sixteen. • There are three ages of man – youth… middle-age… and. He graduated with top Honours at Oxford and is already Vice President of a financial institution.’ Second: ‘My grandson’s only twenty-two. You are young if it is as easy to go upstairs as it is to go down.) • ‘Old age is fifteen years older than I am at any particular time. the old look back. He is one of Britain’s top surgeons and he’s only twenty-five. It’s a wise child who knows his fodder. and he’s already been helping the police with their enquiries. First: ‘My grandson’s only twenty-five. you are middle-aged if it is easier to go down than up.Old age • The young look forward.’ Ogden Nash SEVENTY EIGHT AGE. of course.’ Third: ‘My grandson has already carved a career for himself. ‘you haven’t changed at all’ (Alternative: ‘Wow – you do look well!’ I introduce this as a classic House of Lords saying – but you can transfer it to your own business or professional association.’ The fodderless child • ‘Our daily diet grows odder and odder. and the middle-aged look around.’ Bernard Barou Babies • A baby is a loud noise at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.

my 82nd birthday. ‘Father.Birth control • ‘When people talk to me about the need to keep down the number of children. the girth an appearance of prosperity. you need grey hair.’ 368 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . Today is. And I have had it off with five women in the last week. Sexual prowess – undiminished • Joe Cohen knelt at the confessional. Father.’ ‘My son. I am Jewish. thank God. But I do get upset when they say that you are doing your best. ‘I have sinned.’ Fifty • Boss to secretary: ‘I don’t look fifty. a wide girth and piles.’ he said. do I?’ ‘No – but you used to. and the piles a look of anxiety that can easily be mistaken for true concern. on reading a school report: ‘I do not really mind your consistently coming bottom of the class. I remind them that I was the fifth!’ Clarence Darrow Reports • Father to son.’ Loquacity • ‘Am I not running out of time?’ ‘You have trespassed on the very boundaries of eternity…’ Distinction • To appear really distinguished. ‘are you a member of the Holy Catholic Church?’ ‘No. The grey hairs give you an appearance of wisdom.’ said the voice behind the curtain.

’ he said. on his 100th birthday: ‘They say that to have reached the age of 100 is a miracle.’ (It was Glenfiddich. So this joke is eminently usable – in whatever form – at birthday celebrations of those in their golden years. he retaining all his faculties and brilliance. on his 90th birthday: ‘To what do you attribute your longevity?’ Reply: ‘I suppose.’ he replied. ‘Considering the alternative…’ SEVENTY EIGHT AGE.) Alternatives • A distinguished US Senator was asked how he felt on his 80th birthday. to the fact that I ain’t yet died!’ Manny’s doctor • Lord (Manny) Shinwell. His reply was the same as Mr. friends asked him why he was telling them about it. It is an affliction.) Longevity • Interviewer to German Chancellor Adenauer. You may take it from me that it is nothing of the kind. thank you. ‘I’ll give you the name of my whisky. Father? I’m… telling… everyone!’ (A similar story was told of an 85-year-old peer.’ I then asked him the name of the doctor who had produced his marvellous affliction.‘So why are you telling me about your sins?’ ‘Telling you.’ • Reporter to local celebrity. whose wife was still alive. ‘Never mind doctors. DEATH – AND THE END 369 . You look perfectly fit to me. ‘Very well. Chancellor?’ Adenauer: ‘I don’t see why not. Cohen’s. When he boasted about his prowess. on his 80th birthday: ‘And can I expect to interview you again on your 90th birthday.

the other replied: ‘Wouldn’t it be awful if we get to the top and the girls are there!’ Wrinkles • Two old ladies in an old people’s home decide to go streaking. with his hand pushed down the front of her dress. ‘So I looked up “sympathy” in the dictionary and it said: “A little fellow feeling in the bosom… !” ‘ Don’t delay • A streaker ran across Westminster Bridge and passed three elderly ladies. club or other institution.’ After ten floors. it needs ironing!’ (This may be adapted for a named hotel. But on her shoulder sat a tiny. to discuss how she would like the portrait done. The third one did not reach out her hand in time. the painting duly arrived. The lift broke down and they started to climb. So they arranged for a distinguished painter to visit her.Sympathy • Mary Brown was approaching her 90th birthday. ‘You said that you wanted the painting done with sympathy. ‘Who’s that man?’ she protested.) 370 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . She says: ‘Look at those two. What are they wearing?’ ‘I don’t know – but whatever it is. please. Her family decided that the best present they could give her would be – a portrait of herself.’ she said. ‘With sympathy. On her 90th birthday.’ said the painter. elf-like man. One said to the other: ‘Wouldn’t it be awful if we got to the top and found that the girls weren’t there. Two of them immediately had a stroke. A retired sailor is sitting with his wife watching them. It was magnificent. • Two elderly men were visiting a brothel on the top floor of a 20storey block.

the husband reached for his wife’s hand – and held it tenderly. the old gentleman pointed down to the floor with two fingers of his right hand. Every few minutes. aged 75. what were you pointing two fingers at the floor for?’ ‘Oh that. Eventually. DEATH – AND THE END 371 . He boasted to a friend how they had done it six times every night during their honeymoon. On the third night. His children and his grandchildren were gathered round his bed.’ (Conclude story with appropriate gesture!) SEVENTY EIGHT AGE. On their honeymoon night. waiting patiently. he did the same. married a 30-year old. dear. the father rallied and started to chat. she dies!’ Memoirs • ‘Memoirs are where you put down the good things you ought to have done and leave out the bad things that you did do. Mary?’ he asked.’ replied his father. ‘I’m sorry. ‘What’s the matter. the eldest son said: ‘He is trying to tell us that’s where he’s put the money…’ So they started pulling up the floorboards all over the house – but they found nothing. Friend: ‘You can die from this!’ Goldstein: ‘So she dies. ‘I am too tired tonight…’ Happy ending • Goldstein. ‘I was just too weak to point them upwards. but it was not there. That evening. Eventually. the son said to him: ‘Tell me.Pensioners • Two pensioners married. On the next night. he reached out for her hand.’ Will Rodgers Defiance • An old man was dying.’ she replied. father.

’ Winston Churchill Wills • A man climbed to the top of a block of apartments. Relocation • An accountant opened a new office and a client ordered flowers to be sent to him.’ ‘So why are you crying?’ ‘That’s why!’ he replied. ‘Rest in Peace’. As she opened the door. ‘just think of the pleasure that will have been given at the funeral by the card reading. His executors asked their lawyers this question: ‘Are we bound to carry out the testator’s last wish?’ Reason to mourn • A man was sobbing his heart out at a millionaire’s funeral. I remember the story of the old man who was on his death bed.Worries • ‘When I look back on all these worries. “Good luck in your new location!”’ 372 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . most of which never happened. ‘Are you a relative of the deceased?’ someone asked him.’ he said. No one knew who he was. ‘But. he had a heart attack and dropped down dead. ‘No. The friend apologised. The next day a splendid arrangement arrived with a card containing the message. to the home of a well known call-girl. He had had a lot of trouble in his life. The accountant spoke to his friend and told him what had happened.

There were three more packets.000 in cash!’ ‘Really. ‘Your husband was a saint.) Memorial stone • ‘What a lovely man my husband was.Dealing with death • Three mothers talking. Then I can be put through my daughter-in-law’s letter box.’ (For supermarket read Harrods – or wherever. At least let’s do something useful after we’ve gone. Mary: ‘I’m like the Peer who says he wants his body to be fed to the dogs.’ ‘But that wasn’t all.’ Sally: ‘Not me. at the Battersea Dogs’ Home. ‘You know what I found after Fred died? I opened the safe and there was a big package. Addressed to me.000 in cash!’ ‘What a marvellous man he was. And each contained £25. I opened it and it contained £100. polishing a new diamond ring on her cashmere sweater. That would teach her a lesson. Worse than death • ‘There are worse things in life than death. It contained £18.’ said the friend.000 “for a memorial stone” – and what a lovely stone I bought with it!’ she said.’ Janet: ‘I want to be cremated and my ashes scattered in my local supermarket. A small one. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman?’ Woody Allen SEVENTY EIGHT AGE. one addressed to each of the children. DEATH – AND THE END 373 . And then at least I can be sure that my daughter will visit me every now and again. wrapped in brown paper and addressed to me. Really thin.’ ‘And there was even another packet.’ the widow boasted to a friend. I want my body to be run over by a road roller.

and asked about one of his selections.’ she said. ‘And is he composing now?’ ‘No. a lady approached famous pianist. As he put his key in the lock of the front door. (This can. a tile fell on to his head.’ he answered. Throughout the sensual world proclaim One crowded hour of glorious life Is worth an age without a name.) Enjoy • Sound. ‘What a beautiful piece. fill the fife. Henry returned home. ‘I see.’ she said. Thomas Mordaunt (This quotation is especially useful in eulogies – particularly for those who died young. madam. ‘He is decomposing. cremated and the ashes solemnly buried. sound the clarion. be adapted to your – or anyone else’s – current pet hate – as known to your audience. ‘Mary. how will you dispose of her body? I’ll have it embalmed.Certainty • When your mother-in-law dies.’ he said.) At home • After his wife’s funeral. Paderewski. ‘Who composed it?’ ‘Beethoven. He looked up.’ (Useful for speech by a person who has retired from office or work. ‘Are you there already?’ Extinguished • After a concert in a private home. of course. Which reminds me of the story of Paderewski…’) 374 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . I’ll not be taking any chances. ‘I am no longer distinguished… I am extinguished.’ replied Paderewski.

The next day St. a British actuary will tell you how long people will live and when they will die… A Sicilian actuary will give you their names.’ Harold Macmillan. seeking political asylum. DEATH – AND THE END 375 . Yesterday – tomorrow – and today • Yesterday – that’s history. Death – and parting • Whenever we part. I say to myself – what am I here after?’ Retirement • ‘When the curtain falls. Today – that’s a gift. the best thing an actor can do is to go away. we die a little. Hereafter • Two senior citizens talking: ‘Do you give a lot of thought now to the hereafter?’ ‘Yes. Age – and maturity • Age is too high a price to pay for maturity. Make the most of it. Peter answered a knock on the door.) SEVENTY EIGHT AGE.Hell • Stalin died and went below. Tomorrow – that’s mystery. He found the devil outside. Actuary • What is the difference between a British and a Sicilian actuary? Well. Almost every time I go into a room. a good actor should hope to appear in the next. on his retirement from the Commons (Another version: When the curtain falls on one act.

the politics of other countries. now and for ever more?’ ‘Oh.’ he said. He expired while making love. Cicero De Gaulle 376 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . and thought it was a photographer…’ (For ‘Politician’ you can substitute actor. Father. The second was a Frenchman.) Last words • Pat Murphy was dying. ending in shipwreck.) Death • • Life is a great play. ‘Do you renounce the devil.Smiling death • A visitor to a mortuary noticed that three corpses were lying smiling in their coffins. He drowned in a vat of whisky. ‘Pat. Life is a magnificent voyage. He was struck by lightning. ‘this is no time for making enemies – anywhere!’ (This is a marvellous story to tell if you are asked to comment on. chief executive – or whatever you are yourself. He asked the owner: ‘What in heaven’s name made them do that?’ The owner replied: ‘The first one was a Scot.’ the dying man replied. The Priest arrived to administer the last rites. for example. The final act is a tragedy. come. The third was a politician. my son.

objectives alertness. 120 advance planning see preparation advocacy after dinner speeches agitators. Hon. 159-160 60-61 130 appeal-makers’ successes appeals (fund-raising) appearance asides. 59. gaining at meetings 33 194-196 preparation. M. 233-234 136-137 134-137 29-31. Tony 29-30 216 211 114 INDEX 377 . Ludwig van believability. 209 47-48. 167 34. Rt. 58. 89 audiences assessment at meetings convincing ease. 30. 172-173. Woody allies. ‘softening-up’ 167-169 50 65 88-90 10-166 anecdotes see Retellable Tales anger challenging controlling your own coping with apologies 157 179-181 173-176 66. 214 124-128 197 209 14 173-174 166-186 8-12 34-35 167-170 166-170 91 adapting to circumstances 43.. Rowan attack. special rules 140-141 Allen. 180.P. coping with handling with care identification with intimacy with involvement with large questioning as handling tactic respect for sensitivity to sparsity targeting watching as compere after dinner for listeners at meetings for reactions authority. witty and colourful Atkinson. projecting autocue rules awards 202 119 167 198-199 9. 33.Index acoustics 88. maintaining 182-184 118-120 197-198 142-143 alfresco speeches. projecting Benn. offensive guidelines 173-175 baldness Beethoven. setting at enraged.

Gaitskell. 144 44 225-230 60 commercial speeches see business speeches communication see message presentation compere. tactical suggestions 201-202 compliments compromise concentration chairing meetings radio appearances television appearances conference performance 196 155 163 109-112 121 196-197 ceremonial chairing basic rules as compere as referee 99-100 194-200 201-202 196 confidence advance planning a key appearing to have factors influencing and humour at meetings the trick? consent 171 208 8 59 195 34 203. 38-39 138 83. Aneurin (Nye) ‘Socialism Unbeaten’ Bevin. 55. 212 139 135 70-71 see also Bevan. Macmillan. 49 216 credits 378 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . 206 charitable occasions. King. Churchill. 48. Sir Winston L. 83. 238. 119. 30-34. Tears and Sweat’ claques classic speeches 244-245 90 243-258 control broadcasting confrontation commanding the field chairing at meetings self-confidence a key and self-control conversational informality covenants 157 90 203-206 199 178 195. 28 206 13-15. Max 254-255 82 8. 19-20 14.Bevan. Sir Winston L. Sebastian 26. 45-46. 110 Churchill. Sedgemore cliché elimination climaxing closing debates gambits clothes see appearance Coe. Toil. 287 Churchill. speech for 240 checking with organisers 89. Nehru.S. Ernest body language brains trusts brevity bullet points business speeches Bygraves.S. ‘Blood.

thanking documentation doodling drinking 235 152 142 111. ‘Fight and Fight and Fight Again’ gestures grammatical usage 252-253 30-31. procedural formalities deception defamation defending against aggression delaying tactics demeanour dignity disabled people. Hugh T. in moderation foreign audiences fund-raising funerals (respects to the departed) 135 211 37 30 195 129-133 131-133 21-22 79-81 124 113-117 134-137 131-133 dissolution (of an organisation) 197 distinguished guests. 175 30-35. 160 177 236 168 198 83-84 eye contact and appeals and appearing honest and ‘being yourself’ maintaining fairness (when chairing) family occasions farewell speeches files as ‘idea mines’ first-person singular flattery. speech to discomfiture disruption dissociation 80 203-206 182 185-186 175-176 144. 161 82-84 121 80-81 155 editorial content 148 guest speakers guestship (of honour) Guiness Book of Records Eisenhower.Day. 197 Elizabeth II embargoed releases ending see closing enunciation equipment failure ethnic stories. 52 147-150 INDEX 379 . 140 58 125-126 27 121 35. care required eulogising expectation expenses 38 103. General Dwight D. Sir Robin debates. 157 Gaitskell.N.

.. Martin 158. Stephen learning difficulties. Tara listening to others lists logical flow Longford. Martin Luther ‘I Have a Dream’ 62 250-251 ideas for speeches impact impromptu speeches inaugural speeches exhibition (of any kind) industrial exhibition new building old people’s home sales conference trade fair influence. M. handling remembering jokes translating TV presentation at weddings and wit hyperbole 177-178 Jackson C. dealing with humour gentle teasing impromptu.P. Francis A. 185-186 28 142-143 28 14 154 119-120 32 380 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER .heckling. Lord loyal toast. Glenda jargon 27 49 30 170 118 178 22 115 162 129-131 57-61 62 jewellery jokes see humour journalists’ language ‘respect and suspect’ outcries turned to advantage 177 147 152-154 King.E.B.P. speech for people with libel Lipinski. exerting informality Inland Revenue innumeracy insolvency introductions interpretation and interpreters interruptions interruptions (TV appearances) 21-22 99-100 144-145 language handling foreign journalists’ usage 113-117 147 113-114 166-170. Martin Luther King. after dinner interruptions.. the Luther. 212 155 22 182-184 34 236 223-224 219 220 220-221 222 218-219 212 138-139 135 69 199 231-242 113-117 177-178 162-163 large audiences lateness lateral thinking lawyer-advocacy Leacock.

Bernard L.Macmillan. thanks to introducing guests keynote. 1st Viscount 80 Morris. 161 44-46 INDEX 381 . Groucho media handling memorial tributes message presentation advance preparation 11 centrality of speech-making 99-100 at conferences and seminars 109-112 defining the message emphasising pitching for business microphones 21-22 210 106-108 Montgomery of Alamein. 31. 40. 127-128 4. speech to mantras 249 151 229-230 learning difficulty. Harold 28. Earl of Stockton. Richard M. getting them right 129 Nehru. thanks to the opening exhibition (of any kind) industrial exhibition new building old people’s home sales conference trade fair prize-giving remedies for business retirement. notes 26-28 21-22. Harold ‘The Winds of Change’ Mail on Sunday management colleagues. 214 232 197. 57-58 26. 28. thanking a mischief-makers mistranslation model speeches apologies for audience scarcity charitable occasions to disabled people disclosure distinguished guests. 85 Macmillan. 140. sales conference names. Bob 236 229-230 232 223-224 219 220 220-221 222 218-219 238-239 226-227 234-235 230 237-238 225-226 241-242 80. 129. 30. Jawaharlal ‘A Glory has Departed’ 246-248 233-234 240-241 236 227-228 235 231 222 nerve control Nixon. 198 114-115 Minister (government).. 46. 43. 163 151 39 146-154 131-133 market knowledge Marx. 167 204-206 101-104. Desmond ‘The Naked Ape’ motions and resolutions 30. for people with to management colleagues Minister. concerning sales team talk school celebrations state of the industry to trade associations modesty Monkhouse. 34.

symptoms persuasion physical barrier removal pitching for business plagiarism plain speaking 36 preparatory questions (to ask of yourself) 8-12. 153. 138. 183 posture for comfort standing with ease on TV for voice projection practice see preparation 9 32-33 161 38 offensiveness. 129 169 173-174 personalisation see using ‘you’ personality change. 152-153 presentation see message presentation presentations press conferences Press Council prize-giving speech projection see voice projection prompts publicity 124-128 150 154 238-240 44-49 146-154 182-184 34 106-108 22 83-84 points of order (or information) 205 382 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . getting right for nerve control notes and scripts planned timing pitching for business and practice (TV appearances) to use reading devices the venue (and audience) 171 208 61 8-23 194 129 26 44-49 51 106-108 162 214 88-91 26-28.off-the-record 116. 34. 161 preparation 134-135 54 40-43 84 39 9 32-33 115 42 for answering questions as confidence builder for conversation general recommendations for meetings names. 118. 147-148 57-58 140-141 12-18. avoidance open-air speeches opening gambits opening speeches see inaugural speeches overstatement 62-64 praise coping with incoming 126-127 70-71 outgoing panel participation paranoia pausing appealing for funds a crucial weapon for effect for emphasis and lifting your voice and speaking slowly at start for translation vital times for PERM mnemonic (nerve control) personal allusion personal attacks 138-139 156 PREP mnemonic 63.

handling soft selling remedial (business) speech repetition research resignation threats resonance responsibility. 125 129 237-238 45-49 81. Franklin D. 33. William silence. 213-214 speech examples see model speeches INDEX 383 . Bertrand 234-235 127 35 84 154 sound bites sound. dealing with your sensitivity to audiences 222 230 113. Eleanor Roosevelt. utilising self-interest. 52 80 sales conference speech sales team talk salutation Scargill. 55. a key eye contact for at presentations on radio structure important for on screen in votes of thanks slander slides. Russell. handling 32. 169 134 109-112 179-181 65-67 128 56. 210 22.Queen Elizabeth II Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother 35. 154 211 124-128 156 13 162 121-122 185 214 183 153 157 167-168 21-22 see also Index of Retellable Tales retirement. 160. a weapon see also pausing sincerity. 170 184 38 198 129-131. distracting elements sounding out audiences sources spectacles. Ronald relaxation 155-158 44-49 103-156 26-28. 201 225-226 sentimental anecdotes Shakespeare. Arthur school celebratory speech script handling second-person. speech concerning returning the compliment Roosevelt. then adding (TV) 162 from audiences avoiding answering rules for answering quotations 171-176 209 172-173 68-69 handling inappropriate 210-211 radio appearances reading from scripts Reagan. 62 42-43 questioning audiences see sounding out audiences questions answering. enlightened seminar selling sensitivities. taking Retellable Tales 62-64. 106.

169 Thomas. 61 108 182 tough propositions. rules for the raconteur strobing structuring speeches style supporting the speaker Swift. 81. escaping 114 114-117 183-184 209 tact television appearances. John stories. general speech therapy 13-15 23 time-keeping guests over-running at meetings running out of time time sensitivity 213 199 52. 60 119-120 150 196 211 speech writing see writing speeches spontaneity stance see demeanour starting well 208 137 timing speeches toasting Today (BBC) Tom Brown’s Schooldays (Hughes. Margaret H. Adlai stiffness of speech Stonehouse. 55-56 translating intent translation traps (to be avoided) trouble. rules for thanking distinguished guests Ministers of government retiring employees votes of thanks Thatcher M. Thomas) state of an industry speech 225-226 statistics Stevenson. 13-15 54-56. 127 209 37 57 30 8. (Baroness) thinking (on your feet) 65-67 using ‘you’ 159-163 vendetta 235 231 234-235 121-123 venue checking conferences and seminars familiarisation a key visual aids 28. 212-213 170 50-53. speech to a 241-242 training in speechmaking 23-24. 32 8-12 criteria for use flip charts high-tech overhead projectors slides videos 92 93 93-98 93 93-94 95 111 88-89 174 15. Dean 69 51.speech framework. proposing trade association.. George (Lord Tonypandy) 4 384 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER .P.

30. 166. an example 181 weddings (and speech ideas) 129-131 Weizmann. Oscar F. 55-56. 33.voice projection and microphones outdoors techniques votes of thanks 101-102 140-141 38-39 121-123 walking out watching your audience as compere after dinner for listeners at meetings 184 202 119 168 199 to measure reaction 9. wit 127 79. W. 82-84. 170 INDEX 385 . Chaim Azriel Wilde. O’F. 57-64 yourself (importance of being) 36-37. 167 wedding toast. 186 57-61 writing speeches 13-22.

musical argument atmospherics audience details auditors average 360 297. 312 349 358 335 292 358 291 293 268. 318 333 292. 375 319 369 321. 299-300 269 366 351 366-367. 270 332 calamity (and misfortune) campaigning (and governing) capital capital (and settlement) capitalism car dealer 288 319 296 296 270 290 386 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . 326 318 269. 332 327 342 269 336. 337 267 352 269 359 263 299 269 babies bachelors balance bankruptcy banks (and logic) best friends better world the bird birth control blame blamelessness blood (thicker than whiskey) body language book reviews bookings brain power breeding brevity bribery 367 354 270 270 335 342 270 348 353-368 284. 303.Index to Retellable Tales accidents at work accountancy and accountants advertisements advice affairs age alas! alternatives ambassadors ambition anger answer (ambivalent) anti-semitism antiques apartheid apologies appeal applause appointment.

320 268 334 271 271. 326 313 326 273. 375-376 296 319. 321 271 271 271 327 272 302 272 331 317 272 335 350 déjà entendu deafness death debtors decisions defence defiance delay democracy dentistry depression (and recovery) deterrence developers the devil diaries differentials (and anomolies) diplomacy diplomatic dance diplomats vs. 319. 372-373. new cranks cross-examination curses 296 374 332 311 287 300 341 301 311. 307. 288. 342. 323. 312.cash management certainty chancery choice Churchillian insults civil servants civilisation commercial progress committees communication company compensation complication compliments compromise conclusion conducting (a case) confidence consensus consultation contradictions in terms contribution (or commitment) control (and credit) copyright corporations corroboration corruption councillor. 350. 325 291. 316 306 337 368 264 316 364 300 301 330 the dream (Martin Luther King) 314 drink and drinking dullness 268. 285. 322. politicians disaster dismissal dissent distinction distinguished company divisions DIY limits doctorates. 345 272 371 370 272. 310. 311. 363 270 360 270 263 313. 366. 326 362 280 272 301 375-376 318 304 320. 358 293 INDEX TO RETELLABLE TALES 387 . 321. honorary doctors (and architects) double cross 262 360 284.

330. 289. 305 293 264 340 361 291 293. 297 275. 309 273. 376 288 327-329 374 332 328 333-334 273 274 360 274. 278. 354 361 388 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . 293. 318 288 happy ending failure fair-mindedness fairy tales faith fall from grace fame familiarity fellow feeling feminists fifty fingered flattery 274. own worst the English enjoyment equality of opportunity European Union evidence excuses executive exercise experience exposure eye trouble 317 271 273 303 336 fodderless child follow-up food for thought Foreign Office free love free speech friends friendship 367 295 357 326 265 265. 351 274 275. Jewish 371 310 344 375 331 275 301 275 363 307 349. 298. 288-289. 291. 297. 288 harmonisation health and life hell hold up? holes honour hope hospital help hotels husbands hypochondria.economy education (and consultation) education (and training) employee involvement the end (and encouragement) enemies enemy. 300. 315. 356 295. 318 274. 323 274 362 gaming garlic glass houses God (thanking) the Goddess golf good things gossip gross insult 308 353 357 344 321 275. 370 292 368 305 274.

334 middle of the road millionaires (and beggars) language and languages last words late nights 327 376 347 mindless miracle worker modesty money (and enemies) Moscow morale mourning lawyers ` 277. 357. 373 263 276 life insurance (and age) the limit liquidation litigation loans longevity loquacity Lordly nescience love lying 301 314 298 277 307 369 368 333 322. 290 304 304.idealism ideas identification identity ignorance in-laws (and outlaws) incompetence independence industrial disputes industrial relations inflation insurance introductory thanks isolationism 327 275 348 351 320. 298 301. 331. 331. 322. 328. 304. 310 276. 352 289 mad? managers and managing market research 362 277. 321 354 290 267. 300. 304. 276. 372 leadership 277. 328 276 288 270. 284. 344 letters (time and mothers) libraries lies life INDEX TO RETELLABLE TALES 389 . 347 307 371 291 273 289 355 277 277 295 338 293 353 297 329 372 jackets off Jewish divorce job applications journalism justice 266 353 306 315 334-336 memoirs memorability memorial memories memory (and adultery) men knowledge 272. 326 277. 288. 338.

318. 323-324 319 328 324 347 264 324 367 315. 320 302 364 357 307 310 371 279 principles procrastination progress (and change) pronunciation proof prostitution psychiatric public opinion public relations publicity 390 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . 332 294 293 311 310 316 279. 345 280 330 329 290 248 363 280 301 314 objectivity off the record? oil wealth oldest profession open government opening gambits opinions opportunities lost opposition optimism oratorical dangers outside support 315 267 295 316 271 262 278 302 313 278 264 341 political prophecy political return politicians politics polls power power (and alchohol) precedence (and peers) prejudice premarital preparation press freedom pride paranoia parents Parliament partners pathological patience (and head waiters) pay day (and loans) peaceful solution pensioners people 278 278 310.naked truth names necessity negotiation (and contracts) never? (hardly ever) no change no charge non-executive directors nurses 351 329 352 302 313 343 332 278 362 perks permanent job pharmaceutical photographs plagiarism planning police political brains political enemies political party 303 342 364 279 272 279 300. 321-322 320 279. 315. 306. 320 310.

298. 346 368 274. 289. 318 312 353 361 success (and failure) successors supervisors (and sex) supply and demand survival sympathy systems INDEX TO RETELLABLE TALES 391 . 304 281 281-359 281 281. 287-288 263 303 283 264 350 337 266. 356 320 355 267 295 290 283 331 290 317 283 315 285 318 265 284 300 284. golden silent partner single-handed sleep sound (and light) speaking terms speaking time speculation speechmaking speeches speed spendthrift spotting (the wise one) statesman status quo strolling (and walking) substitute? substitutes success sacking schizophrenia seasickness secrets security (and values) self-love self-recognition 306 282 313 282.questions (and answers) quietude quotes 280 280 280 sentencing sex (with pleasure) sexual prowess sheep 335 305. 277. 312 305 299 284 370 284 racial prejudice recession recovery references rehearsals reliability religion (whose?) relocation remarriage repetition reports resignation resolutions revenge riding right (and wrong) riots risks romance Royal introductions rubbish 314 280. 350 282 282 353 264 332 short cut short-time? shouting silence. 352 280 305 347 291 341 372 353 289 368 281.

tact and tactlessness tallness (and identification) taxing sports technology temptation terms of business thinking time tolerance trade unions tradition transplant true. 354 286 358 246 286 350 372 320 286 351 286 355 349 303 341 372 316 370 332. and the truth 263 344 298 308 284 287 337 war weddings 285 290. 331. 346. 291. 346 285 303 285 361 315. three wit wives. 284. 296. 349. 334 unanimity uncertainty unfortunate truth United Kingdom 3 302 346 333 28 work world’s end worries worse? wrinkles wrong-doing United Nations (and majorities) 327 unity unwise counsel 285 333 yes men vegetables victory victory (pyrrhic) vote of thanks 289 285 308 267 286 392 JANNER’S COMPLETE SPEECHMAKER . 349 weight (and money) welcome Welsh virgins wickedness wife in the business wills winning wisdom wishes. political women (and marriage) 266.

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