Way back in the early nineteen sixties I began my working life as an actor, and it worked: I lost weight. After a few years of proper jobs I eventually became the General Secretary of the International Wine & Food Society, having to make speeches on a regular basis. The weight returned.
I soon realised — from painful experience — that speechmaking involved more skills than those I had needed as an actor. I became — and remain — an obsessive student of public speaking and communication with audiences of all types. My weekend vice for eight years was producing and presenting a Sunday Arts programme on BBC Radio Suffolk, and I am fairly well known in East Anglia for my theatrical productions.
My passion, and the nearest I usually get to performing, is poetry readings. I regularly punctuate concerts by The Abbot Consort of Voices, East Anglia’s premier chamber choir.
I don’t often deliver speeches nowadays, because I made teaching and coaching my prime focus. If I spoke more I could easily get hung up on my own performance on the speaking platform, whereas I choose to build people in their image, not mine. My speciality is teaching. I have the best job in the world.
Follow Brian’s blog — Rhetauracle.