I Decide to Learn Oratory
And seek the public speaking route
I’ve recently had the urge to learn public speaking. I even came across a $6 tripod for smartphone in a dollar shop, and saw this as a sign.
Scottish-born David McCrae knows all about it. He’s a writer, speaker and podcaster on the international circuit. One of the first lessons I imbibed was to recognize the 4 main types of speakers today. In appropriating these, I have named them: The Classic, The Lover, The Alpha, and The Thespian.
The Classical Speaker has a direct link to the Greek Lyceum frequented by Plato and Socrates, my all-time favorite philosophers. If you remember Nelson Mandela’s educated, measured and thoughtful mode of speaking, when he addressed an audience, you will have an idea of what it entails. Academics often strive to speak like this.
The Lover is a contrasting style of oratory. A warm and comforting voice that pulls you in, just like the New Zealand Prime Minister’s, Lucinda Adern’s, and sets her apart from some of the other more forceful voices. Gandhi was an oficionado or devotee of this oratory style.
The Alpha speaker is the “King of Persuasion”, the great salesman of the world. He rules in the USA with speakers like Tony Robbins; in Sweden with Greta Thornberg; and, historically, in the UK with Margaret Thatcher. Underlying his powerful voice, is the motivation to convince followers to take up the challenge, hopefully on an ethical pathway to “the truth”.
The Thespian is the emotive, cheerful entertainer, who is present in the standup comic. Muhammad Ali was a master of thespian techniques. He knew how to pull an audience in and keep them entranced. He also spoke “the truth” for many of his devotees. “No Vietcong ever called me nigger”.(1968)
What I also learnt from David is that an experienced speaker can borrow from more than one style of speaking. For example, a Classical speaker might throw jokes or conceits into the mix, borrowing from the Thespians, in order to entertain the audience, as well as to inform them.
Which one do you naturally fit into? Could you flirt with any of the others?