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”
In Logic Part 1 I wrote about the use of basic Aristotelian syllogisms and their fallacies. I am now going to talk about propositional hypothetical logic. Sounds scary, right? Don’t worry! As with the basic syllogisms, it’s also pretty easy!
Propositional hypothetical logic
This is it…
If P, then Q
There you have it! If P, then Q, easy-peasy! ‘If P, then Q’ is called a hypothetical proposition.
Continue reading “Logic Part 2: Modus ponens, modus tollens and Chuck Norris”
Imagine it is August 28th 1963 and you have traveled to Washington DC to hear Martin Luther King Speak. He’s 30 minutes into his presentation and he says, ‘now as you can see on section C of slide 37….’ It just wouldn’t be the same. This is because slides ruin good speeches. In fact, countless good speeches have been butchered by the pestilence known as PowerPoint. I’ve sat through many ‘talks’ in which the speaker at some stage or other started reading the illegibly small text from slide 42 with their back facing an unenthused audience who can barely conceal their boredom. Ironically, in most cases, PowerPoint is neither powerful nor to the point. Continue reading “Death by PowerPoint”
I am very privileged to have been asked to chair the next European Speechwriter Network Conference which will be taking place on my home turf in Cambridge at King’s College. The European Speechwriter Network organises a number of high-profile conferences and attracts speakers and delegates from all over the world.
The conference speakers will include the former speechwriter for Barack Obama as well as the speechwriters for the Prime Ministers of the Netherlands and Sweden. You can read more about the conference and the speakers online.
As well as chairing the three day conference I was asked to take part in this promotional video. David Attenborough, eat your heart out…
I was recently crowned the District 71 Champion for the Toastmasters Humorous Speech Contest. District 71 is made up of Scotland, Ireland and the majority of England and Wales.
The objective of the competition is simple: deliver a 5-7 minute humorous speech. Be funny. Make people laugh. Try not to embarrass yourself too much…. Sounds easy, right? Continue reading “Winning the Toastmaster District 71 Humorous Speech Contest”
Logos (logic) is known to many people but understood by few. The danger with logic is that all it takes is a subtle distortion to produce a flawed, but very convincing argument. To understand logic properly we have to go back to the very basics.
Basic logical syllogisms
An argument using logic is often called a logical syllogism. Basic logical syllogisms will have a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion…
Major premise: All A is B
Minor premise: X is A
Conclusion: Therefore, X is B
Continue reading “Logic Part 1: Fun, fallacies and a dead flamingo”