"It's as though we are imagining the sound of our voice as physical stuff we are manipulating." Listen to Jeremy Fisher, Gillyanne Kayes, and Steven Connor demonstrate and discuss the prosody of a laugh, the distinction between healthy and unhealthy vocal creaking (fry), and the dynamics—and difficulties—of Hillary Clinton's oratory. And if you're so inclined, try out a series of voice training exercises from Fisher's and Kayes' new book, This is a Voice.
What are the secrets of former American President Bill Clinton noted oratory? Is it the writing, the body language or his unique human touch? Whatever it is, his gift for speeches was on full display at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. [more inside]
Photographer Mario Tama positioned himself over Netanyahu's shoulder at the UN General Assembly, and photographed hand-written edits he made to his speech. Here's what he saw. (via The Browser)
How the president-elect tapped into a powerful—and only recently studied—human emotion called "elevation." Dacher Keltner, a professor of psychology at the University of California-Berkeley, studies the emotions of uplift, and he has tried everything from showing subjects vistas of the Grand Canyon to reading them poetry—with little success. But just this week one of his postdocs came in with a great idea: Hook up the subjects, play Barack Obama's victory speech, and record as their autonomic nervous systems go into a swoon....It was while looking through the letters of Thomas Jefferson that Haidt first found a description of elevation. Jefferson wrote of the physical sensation that comes from witnessing goodness in others: It is to "dilate [the] breast and elevate [the] sentiments … and privately covenant to copy the fair example." (via Geek Press) [more inside]
In 63 B.C., Cicero gave his first speech against Catiline. You can hear the opening paragraph read in Latin, or read a translation into English. Though Cicero was a consul denouncing a rebel, the famous opening sentence is now frequently used by those challenging authority (even if it's just the tyranny of Richard Stallman).
In the War Between The States, no finer words were ever spoken than those by Abraham Lincoln on 19 November 1863 at the consecration of a cemetery in rural Pennsylvania for the over 50,000 who died in the three worst days of battle in a wretched civil war. The speech is often included in US history books and collections of influential American speeches as one of the strongest examples of presidential oratory ever given. Is it any wonder, then, that it should inspire modern art?
Bush and Gore’s last speeches of the 2000 campaign are great signposts to how the next administration will run.