INSPIRE weekend for speakers

INSPIRE weekend for speakers


Just had the most amazing weekend of speechmaking and Barbershop singing.

It started with a day at the annual Conference (INSPIRE) of the Professional Speaking Association, which I co-founded in 1999. It was the first time I had been given a speaking slot at the annual gathering, and used my 20 minutes to talk about “What does your speech say about you?”

I offered them five little questions to focus their minds, as speakers, on their true purpose: Why? Why not? What? So what? And What next? Went well, I thought.

Later in the day I delivered four sessions of “Meet the Experts” – as one of the experts – when my topic was “Tell the right story and tell it well.” Not sure it was the most compelling title, although the sessions seemed well received. It’s never easy to forecast what people are expecting on such occasions.

The problem may have been that some thought it was about story telling. It was not. The “story” is what a professional speech or business presentation is about. Obviously the title I chose for my session did not properly convey what I intended. Oh well, another lesson learned.

Irish harmony at Cork

A quick flight from Birmingham to Cork that same evening, and I was on-stage next morning at 10, in the first of my singing events, the National Male Chorus Competition. We (Sea Sharps) won silver, but could have done so much better.

In the afternoon I sang with the National Male Chorus, Harmony Federation, in the International Chorus Competition (didn’t win). The programme ended with some amazing performances, most especially the Champion International (Inter-galactic?) Youth Barbershop Quartet. Those youngsters are staggeringly talented!

When I quit the craic at midnight, I was told, “You’ve obviously never been to an Irish Convention before!” I gather some of them turned in at 5:00 a.m.!

Maths is logic

Came across this little mathematical puzzle by Quora on Facebook. I’ll write it out as I’m not sure if the superscript (as in 2 squared) will work.

If 2 to the power of 10 plus 2 to the power of 10 equals 2 to the power of x, what is x?

It has been many a year since my last maths class, so I decided to approach it logically.

2 to the power of 10 means 2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2 (10 of them). The puzzle asks you to add the same value, i.e. double it. To double it, just add one more x2, i.e. times 2. That makes it 2 to the power of 11. Therefore x is 11.

Do you agree?

Finally …

This week marks China’s Double Ten celebration (10th day of the 10th month).

It’s the anniversary of the Wuchang Uprising in 1911, when China became a republic. The Chinese love numbers and for them the 10-10 is especially significant.

My own (wedding) anniversary is five days later.


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