Boris Johnson’s Party Conference Speech: why it’s important and what to expect

Britain is on the brink of leaving the European Union and Boris Johnson finds himself on the front line. On all sides he faces forces that work against him day and night to weaken his position as Prime Minister and hamper his efforts to take Britain out of the European Union.

Boris Johnson’s speech at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester may well be a defining moment in his ‘Battle for Brexit’. He has to unite a broken party, inspire a disillusioned nation and send a strong message that will thunder its way across the political chambers of Europe. The question is, will he manage? Continue reading “Boris Johnson’s Party Conference Speech: why it’s important and what to expect”

The Rhetoric of Donald Trump on Twitter

I think it is safe to say that if you have done something that evokes an angry tweet from Donald Trump you’re winning at life. His tweets are famous for their manner, their meaning and their outright chutzpah!

Some people laugh at his tweets, others praise him for his frankness, and some are outright horrified by what he has to say. Whatever your views are, it is impossible to deny that he is a colossal figure and what he says matters.

But politics aside, the rhetoric behind his tweets are fascinating. Before I go on, I will quickly mention that it is easy to think that rhetoric is only found in grandiloquent speeches delivered by eloquent speakers and that it isn’t used in the realm of twitter. But that would be wrong. On the contrary, rhetoric is used everywhere, and by everyone – and that certainly includes Donald Trump on twitter. Continue reading “The Rhetoric of Donald Trump on Twitter”

Rhetoric and the confusio linguarum

I recently gave a TEDx Talk all about rhetoric at the University of Cambridge and a member of the audience approached me with a very interesting question. He said, ‘I am Turkish. Are all of these rhetorical devices you talk about applicable in Turkish as they are in English?’.

Whilst I must admit that I am not too well versed in the intricacies of the Turkish language, I told him that I am sure that most of the rhetorical devices I spoke of in my speech are transferable – for example, the rule of three (tricolon) tends to be universally applicable across most languages. Continue reading “Rhetoric and the confusio linguarum”

A write up of what went down at ESN Cambridge

Last week Cambridge hosted what was the largest gathering of speechwriters Europe has ever seen. Traveling from all over world speechwriters came to King’s College for a two and a half day conference which was organised by the European Speechwriter Network.

As well as attracting the largest number of delegates the conference also attracted the best line up of speakers I’ve ever seen at such a gathering. On the first day delegates could choose from one of three day long training workshops. Continue reading “A write up of what went down at ESN Cambridge”

The Fallacy Fallacy

The fallacy fallacy, so nice they named it twice! Aside from having a slightly silly name, what is the fallacy fallacy? The fallacy fallacy is simply is when you assume that something is untrue because it has been poorly argued (i.e. you assume that an argument is a fallacy because someone else has presented it fallaciously). For example…

John: Punching a cow in the face is bad because every time you punch a cow in the face a magical pixie fairy dies.

Harriet: This is ridiculous. Everyone knows that magical pixie fairies don’t exist. Therefore your argument is wrong and it is ok to punch a cow in the face

*Harriet then proceeds to punch a cow in the face*

Continue reading “The Fallacy Fallacy”