Friday 2 March 2018

Review: The Gift of the Gab: How Eloquence Works

The Gift of the Gab: How Eloquence Works The Gift of the Gab: How Eloquence Works by David Crystal
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.

We have all been in situations where someone has just stood up to speak and by the third sentence in, your eyes are drooping and after five minutes their droning noise is only just louder than your snoring… And yet there are others who can stand up and speak for 30 or 40 minutes and whose every word is captivating and interesting, leaving you wanting to hear more.

So how do these people do it?

The man best placed to answer this is the linguist David Crystal. Using the electrifying “Yes we can” speech of 2008 by Barack Obama he analyses the essential elements of public speaking, from the pitch to the pace and rhythm, when to make a joke and when to interject a dramatic pause, the best technologies to use and that fine line between eloquence and verbosity.

Whilst most people who pick this up are not going to be speaking to millions, there is something in here for anyone who has to do any form of public speaking, for those that have to speak to colleagues, peer groups and at family gatherings. The little interludes between the chapters are amusing, offering a little light relief in between the detailed breakdown of the best way to enhance your public speaking.

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