Event report

Conference 2009: Hugo Summerson: ‘Public Speaking – how to do it really well’

Report published 19 July 2009

Event took place on 19 July 2009 - read event entry »

Panel members

Jenny Haddon and Hugo Summerson

Hugo Summerson’s talk on Public Speaking - How to do it Really Well was the best proof possible that his methods do indeed work. Everyone was swept along by Hugo’s enthusiasm, to the extent that all those who heard him were convinced that they could address a crowd too and enjoy the experience.

From ensuring that the top was put back on the bottle after pouring out a glass of water, to checking on the expertise and expectations of the audience, to planning out the key points for delivery using concrete examples - working in anecdote and humour - Hugo showed how ‘Help, what shall I say?’ could be transformed into ‘This is going to be fun!’

Hugo’s emphasis on reducing the material to ‘the tastiest sauce’ truly whetted the appetite for more. His engaging presentation was made a visual treat by his dynamic delivery. (No one doodled!) Aspects that made a strong impression were his mnemonic for remembering the order of points (the sequential pictographs for each station on the Victoria line!), and his use of props to instantly engage interest (a pair of Victorian open-crotched drawers grabbed the attention of youths at a tough Islington School, apparently, while the Bedfordshire Farmers’ Union was captivated by a cabbage!)

After endeavouring to find our ribs in order to monitor whether we were breathing properly, we were all left feeling thoroughly involved, and grateful for the invaluable tips Hugo gave us.
Bravo Hugo! An immensely enjoyable talk.

Report by Jenny Barden

It's a fact

Women are more likely than men to read in the bath, while men are more likely to read in the loo.