Wednesday, 29 July 2015

the language of money... the language of religion... the language of love...

This is an important section from the Lord's Prayer:
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us.

'And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.

Most Bible translations use the word "debts" in the Lord's Prayer, so why do we say "forgive us our trespasses"? | Catholic Answers

In other words, the language of debt is mixed up with the language of religion:

The Theology of Debt

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Anthropologist David Graeber explores the theology of debt.
The Bible is peppered with the language of debt. Sin, forgiveness, reckoning, redemption - all of these words actually derive from the language of ancient finance. What's more, this seems to be true in all the great religious traditions - not just Judaism and Christianity, but Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Islam - all of their texts are filled with financial metaphors, many of which relate to issues surrounding debt.
We tend to think of these religions as teaching us that we must repay our debts. But the truth is that the financial metaphors in religious texts are oddly ambivalent. The original translation of the Lord's Prayer from 1381 reads "Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors". But do we forgive our debtors? Actually, most of us don't.
David Graeber explains that the great religions talk about the forgiveness of debt more than the repayment of debt and that the deeper teachings they offer is that it is the annihilation of debt which is ultimately divine. To understand why all the religious texts discuss the forgiveness of debt with such frequency, David examines the historical context of when these works were written and reveals that, in the ancient world, the institutionalised forgiveness of debts was commonplace.

▶ BBC Radio 4 - Promises, Promises: A History of Debt, The Theology of Debt
Debt: The First 5000 Years - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

How about some Shakespeare.
The Merchant of Venice | Royal Shakespeare Company | Theatre
The Merchant of Venice 2004 - YouTube

With a nice little summary here:
The Merchant of Venice Summary by Shmoop - YouTube

Why the Merchant of Venice is on the money

In a time of anxiety about debt, the latest RSC production about to be screened in cinemas strikes a nerve. Yet the play also warns against the language of money infecting our lives and loves
 Cheap talk … Al Pacino as Shylock (left) and Jeremy Irons as Antonio (far right) in the 2004 film adaptation of The Merchant of Venice. Photograph: Allstar/Sony Pictures
As a tale of debt mercilessly pursued, The Merchant of Venice, it seems, will always be topical. In planning new productions at the Globe in the spring and theRSC this summer – the latter to be broadcast live in cinemas on 22 July – theatrical producers didn’t necessarily have the battle between Greece and the EU in mind. But they did know the UK was going to have a general election that would largely focus on the right way to manage the country’s money. Shakespeare’s play, of course, is all about money. But more specifically, it is all about the danger of allowing ideas associated with money to reign over our non-economic lives.
A few years ago, I saw Al Pacino playing Shylock in an open-air production in New York’s Central Park. The scenery-chewing eccentricity of Pacino’s performance turned out to be a compelling match for his outcast character, but the production’s most striking aspect was the ironic weight the actors gave to all the financial metaphors that Shakespeare deploys in the love plot. Bassanio’s pursuit of Portia is first announced as his scheme “to get clear of all the debts I owe”, because Portia is rich. He refers to Portia’s famed “worth”, and calls her a “rich” “gem”. He marvels: “Look on beauty, / And you shall see ’tis purchas’d by the weight.” And while Shylock demands the fulfilment of the “bond” that Antonio signed, the pledged lovers twitter happily about “love’s bonds”, and Graziano speaks of the “bargain” of their faith. At the end, Portia tells Antonio that he is going to be Bassanio’s “surety”, to guarantee his faithfulness.
Patsy Ferran And Nadia Albina in The Merchant of Venice. Photograph: Hugo Glendinning
 Nadia Albina and Patsy Ferran in the RSC’s Merchant of Venice. Photograph: Hugo Glendinning
It seemed obvious, in that production’s aftermath, that Shakespeare was satirising the commercialisation of love relations, the infection of ordinary life by money-talk. Yet most critics – including the editor of the Arden Shakespeare edition, John Russell Brown – have assumed that the Portia story represents a redemptive and happy version of finance, shown to be harmonious with true love. There seems an awful lot of room to doubt this interpretation. For example, Portia promises to pay off Antonio’s debt and then says: “Since you are dear bought, I will love you dear.” Alexander Pope thought this line unworthy of Shakespeare, but Brown calls it “a joyful acknowledgement of the pleasures of giving for love”. Yet it’s surely a deliberately uncomfortable echo of Shylock’s reference, in the trial scene, to his “dearly bought” pound of flesh.
After the game of rings in the play, the Arden editor concludes: “Love is not like merchandise; it is not simply a question of possessor and possessed.” This is nice to think, but it sounds more like Brown’s uplifting moral than Shakespeare’s. At the outset, Bassanio has announced his scheme to marry Portia with the words: “I have a mind presages me such thrift / That I should questionless be fortunate.” Thrift means mercenary profit in particular (Shylock refers to his own “well-won thrift”) as well as success more generally; while Bassanio’s “fortunate” is the kind of pun a man makes with dollar signs in his eyes.
Not only romantic love but friendship, too, is metaphorically securitised in this play, as when Bassanio says: “to you Antonio / I owe the most in money and in love”. (Note that the cash debt is mentioned before the love debt.) For his part, Antonio says to Salarino: “Your worth is very dear in my regard.” There does not seem sufficient rhetorical quarantine established between these usages and Shylock’s naked announcement of a deliberate trade (“To buy his favour, I extend this friendship”) to keep the former as innocent as a sunnily redemptive interpretation of the play would wish.
The Merchant of Venice also plays on the semantic doublings (relatively recent at the time) of terms such as “interest” and “credit”. “Interest” was curiosity, or a legal claim to something, before it became the mechanism by which money breeds more money, and “credit” was belief. And so, for instance, Bassanio’s greeting, “Lorenzo and Salerio, welcome hither, / If that the youth of my new int’rest here / Have power to bid you welcome” is sardonically echoed by Shylock, referring to “my well-won thrift, / Which he [Antonio] calls interest”. And Antonio’s announcement that he will “go forth / Try what my credit can in Venice do … ” is mirrored by Portia’s instruction to Bassanio to “swear by your double self, / And there’s an oath of credit”.
The historian Quentin Skinner argues, in his classic 1974 essay “Some Problems in the Analysis of Political Thought and Action”, that the emerging merchant class deliberately adopted such virtuous terms to describe their own activities. And this has had long and arguably noxious effects ever since. In Hamlet, the hero expresses his ennui at one point by declaring: “How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable seem to me all the uses of this world … ” The word “profitable” meant advantageous in a general sense before it acquired its financial meaning of “lucrative”, about 100 years later. (The root, “profit”, is from the Latin for progress or benefit.) When Hamlet says the uses of the world seem “unprofitable” to him, he is not complaining that he can’t figure out a way to get rich quick. But once the term “profitable” was adopted for the meaning of “offering financial gain”, it tended to imply something that we might not want to take for granted: that only what is “profitable” in the monetary sense is “profitable” in the general sense of useful or beneficial.
Centuries later, our ordinary language today is shot through with economic metaphor. And the effect might be to encourage our thoughts to run along certain rails rather than others. For an exclusively economic definition of the good is often built into our speech. Take, for instance, the term “investment”. This originally meant simply the putting on of clothes, or the clothes themselves. But then it acquired a financial sense, in the dealings of the East India company in the 17th century. And now “investment” is one of those primarily financial terms that is also morally inflected in a positive way: “investment” is distinguished from “speculation”, which is supposed to be mere reckless gambling; it is prudent and wise and good for everyone. (In fact, “speculation” itself meant scientific observation or hypothetical reasoning before it acquired a disapproving financial sense in the late 18th century.)
We also, after all, use the term “investment” today when we’re not talking about money. We might say something is a good “investment” of time, or energy. But the financial crisis has reminded us that, as they say in the small print, the value of your investment can go down as well as up. And anyway, isn’t it strange, when you think about it, to speak of investing time? When you invest time in something, you don’t get that time back at a later date, with added interest. The time is gone, whatever you did with it.
Instead we sometimes talk about “spending” time. (In Merchant, Antonio mildly rebukes Bassanio thus: “You know me well, and herein spend but time / To wind about my love with circumstance.”) But still, as with investing time, “spending” time conceives of time as a currency. The implication that mere moment-to-moment existence is a transaction, and that you expect to get something from it, might imply a strange way to live.
Another metaphorical currency in our language is attention. “Pay attention.” All right, perhaps I’ll “pay” attention, but I’m going to want something in return. The danger is that conceiving of matters of the intellect as transactions might lead to a certain impatience, a sense of entitlement, or even a more general instrumentalisation of reason. If education, for example, has no “payoff” – if it’s not going to be “profitable” in the commercial sense – why should anyone pursue it?
When we talk meanwhile about the “payoff” of a piece of writing or a work of art, we’re implicitly constraining the field of our evaluation to the instant effect, the immediate reaction. That way, we risk elevating the merely sensational over the more ambiguous or deep. This seems to be clear if we imagine asking the question: “So, what’s the payoff of virtue ethics; what’s the payoff of Beethoven’s Ninth or The Tempest?” Just to ask the question seems a little … well, cheap.
“Cheap”, of course, is another economic metaphor that we often use in an unexamined way. To equate an intellectually unrigorous idea or a morally shabby act – “what you did was really cheap”, or “that was a cheap shot” – with a commodity whose price is low certainly works to the benefit of people who want to sell us commodities at high prices. As Skinner points out, the term “commodity” itself meant convenience or benefit before it was hijacked to describe a thing to be bought and sold. Hence another pun in The Merchant of Venice, where Antonio warns: “For the commodity that strangers have / With us in Venice, if it be denied, / Will much impeach the justice of the state”.
We are now plainly living in what the writer FS Michaels calls an “economic monoculture”, where an economic definition of success is the dominant “story” – it’s what rules our lives, not just at work but in our relationships, and our ideas of education, health, and so forth. The economic metaphors of our everyday conversation are part of the invisible substructure of this monoculture, and tend to undermine attempts to rewrite the dominant story.
English, they say, is fast becoming or has already become the global lingua franca. And English is infested with ossified metaphors from finance. Embedded within our language are innumerable attitudes to money and work that are at the very least arguable, or ought to be argued for explicitly. If we wish to rethink our political economy in whole or in part, it will help to make sure that our language is not betraying us as we speak.
 The RSC production of The Merchant of Venice is broadcast live in cinemas on 22 July.

Why the Merchant of Venice is on the money | Stage | The Guardian

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

the purpose of education: from china to prussia to the united states

The purpose of education has always been moral:

Maintaining Classroom Discipline by using Democratic Methods - YouTube

Let's Be Good American Citizens at School - 1953 Educational Documentary - Ella73TV - YouTube

However, recently, moral panic has swept the West:

Pisa full results graphic - amended

Jay Doubleyou: panic in the west over educational achievements in the far east

But should these comparisons be made?

In fact, it was Europe and not China which developed modern technology:
BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, The Needham Question
Great Divergence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The "Golden Mean" Doctrine in the Chinese cultural tradition is not conducive to the cultivation of innovative scientists.
Why can’t China win the Nobel Prize?

Because, it could be said, the education system in China and the East Asia tends to produce students of a certain type:

Be Glad for Our Failure to Catch Up with China in Education | Psychology Today

But hold on: things aren't that great in 'the West' either...

Despite more and more money going into schools, literacy rates have collapsed in the West:

According to John Taylor Gatto, once a New York Teacher of the Year, military applicants in the 1930s tested 98 percent literate.  During World War II our soldiers’ literacy rate was 96 percent.  In 1950 only 81 percent of Korean war enlistees passed literacy tests, and by the 1970s, during the Vietnam war, the percent was down to 73.
Maybe that drop can be explained by an army recruited increasingly from the unprivileged.  But Gatto points out that in 1940 the general white population tested four percent illiterate and blacks 20 percent.  Now the numbers are 17 and 44 percent.  Black illiteracy has doubled, white has quadrupled.

What's Wrong With the Schools? - The Donella Meadows Institute
Everything We Think About Schooling Is Wrong! 

Here is John Taylor Gatto:

Mini-Documentary - John Taylor Gatto - MUST SEE! - "Classrooms of the Heart" - YouTube
Jay Doubleyou: john taylor gatto - best teacher ever

And here is his explanation for why 'education standards' have been declining:

... you shouldn’t be fooled any more than Charles Francis Adams was fooled when he observed in 1880 that what was being cooked up for kids unlucky enough to be snared by the newly proposed institutional school net combined characteristics of the cotton mill and the railroad with those of a state prison.
Forced schooling was the medicine to bring the whole continental population into conformity with these plans so that it might be regarded as a “human resource” and managed as a “workforce.” No more Ben Franklins or Tom Edisons could be allowed; they set a bad example. One way to manage this was to see to it that individuals were prevented from taking up their working lives until an advanced age when the ardor of youth and its insufferable self-confidence had cooled.
From the beginning, there was purpose behind forced schooling, purpose which had nothing to do with what parents, kids, or communities wanted. Instead, this grand purpose was forged out of what a highly centralized corporate economy and system of finance bent on internationalizing itself was thought to need; that, and what a strong, centralized political state needed, too. School was looked upon from the first decade of the twentieth century as a branch of industry and a tool of governance.
Schooling an Industrial Proletariat : The Freeman : Foundation for Economic Education

John Taylor Gatto has had a lot more to say about education:
Jay Doubleyou: john taylor gatto - best teacher ever

We might well praise the achievements of the German education system:
Jay Doubleyou: neets - again
'The best engineers come from Germany' - BBC News

However, this is what Gatto has to say about the foundations of that system:

The Prussian Connection to American Schooling (Part 1), by John Taylor Gatto - YouTube
Prussian education system - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Full text of "John Taylor Gatto The Underground History Of American Education Book"

And here he makes it clear, in his opinion at least, what 'the purpose of education' is:

John Taylor Gatto - The Purpose Of Schooling - YouTube

With the full text here:
John Taylor Gatto – The Purpose of SchoolingTruth versus Disinformation . . . Everything You Know is Wrong About Schooling

Here's an overview:
Human Resources: Gatto explains the seedy origin of public education-indoctrination - YouTube

This is John Taylor Gatto's own life experience:
The Hall of Mirrors by John Taylor Gatto - Life Learning Magazine

But it's not just Gatto who has pronounced on these things:

H. L. Mencken, who wrote in The American Mercury for April 1924 that the aim of public education is not ‘to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence. ... Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim ... is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States... and that is its aim everywhere else.’

Woodrow Wilson, then president of Princeton University, said the following to the New York City School Teachers Association in 1909: "We want one class of persons to have a liberal education, and we want another class of persons, a very much larger class, of necessity, in every society, to forgo the privileges of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks."

In the 1934 edition of his once well-known book Public Education in the United States, Ellwood P. Cubberley detailed and praised the way the strategy of successive school enlargements had extended childhood by two to six years, and forced schooling was at that point still quite new. This same Cubberley - who was dean of Stanford's School of Education - had written the following in the 1922 edition of his book Public School Administration: "Our schools are ...factories in which the raw products (children) are to be shaped and fashioned .... And it is the business of the school to build its pupils according to the specifications laid down."

Against School, by John Taylor Gatto
Jay Doubleyou: dumbing us down

Ivan Illich, another 'radical' educator had this to say:

Scary School Nightmare - YouTube
Deschooling Society - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jay Doubleyou: deschooling society

Which leads us to some 'solutions'...

Don't go to school:

Do we really need school? I don't mean education, just forced schooling: six classes a day, five days a week, nine months a year, for twelve years. Is this deadly routine really necessary? And if so, for what? Don't hide behind reading, writing, and arithmetic as a rationale, because 2 million happy homeschoolers have surely put that banal justification to rest. Even if they hadn't, a considerable number of well-known Americans never went through the twelve-year wringer our kids currently go through, and they turned out all right. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln? Someone taught them, to be sure, but they were not products of a school system, and not one of them was ever 'graduated" from a secondary school. Throughout most of American history, kids generally didn't go to high school, yet the unschooled rose to be admirals, like Farragut; inventors, like Edison; captains of industry, like Carnegie and Rockefeller; writers, like Melville and Twain and Contad; and even scholars, like Margaret Mead.

How could penniless elementary school dropout Edison grow up on his own in a working-class environment, invent the electric light, the phonograph, win 1,003 patents, and build General Electric? Edison had contempt for college graduates and discriminated against them in hiring all his life. 


Try home-schooling:
Jay Doubleyou: explaining how your country's education system works

“Now for the good news… School trains children to be employees and consumers; teach your own to be leaders and adventurers. School trains children to obey reflexively; teach your own to think critically and independently. Well-schooled kids have a low threshold for boredom; help your own to develop an inner life so that they’ll never be bored. Urge them to take on the serious material, the grown-up material, in history, literature, philosophy, music, art, economics, theology – all the stuff schoolteachers know well enough to avoid. Challenge your kids with plenty of solitude so that they can learn to enjoy their own company, to conduct inner dialogues. Well-schooled people are conditioned to dread being alone, and they seek constant companionship through the TV, the computer, the cell phone, and through shallow friendships quickly acquired and quickly abandoned. Your children should have a more meaningful life, and they can.
First, though, we must wake up to what our schools really are: laboratories of experimentation on young minds, drill centers for the habits and attitudes that corporate society demands. Mandatory education serves children only incidentally; its real purpose is to turn them into servants. Don’t let your own have their childhoods extended, not even for a day. If David Farragut could take command of a captured British warship as a preteen, if Thomas Edison could publish a broadsheet at the age of twelve, if Ben Franklin could apprentice himself to a printer at the same age (then put himself through a course of study that would choke a Yale senior today), there’s no telling what your own kids could do. After a long life, and thirty years in the public school trenches, I’ve concluded that genius is as common as dirt. We suppress our genius only because we haven’t yet figured out how to manage a population of educated men and women. The solution, I think, is simple and glorious. Let them manage themselves.”
John Taylor Gatto: Why Public Education Cripples Our Kids | COMMON CORE

Look at how 'elite' private schools prepare children to face the world:

John Taylor Gatto 14 Principles of an Elite Boarding School Curriculum Build a better you - YouTube
Elite Boarding Schools' Curriculum - Mark D. Carlson
John Taylor Gatto’s 14 Themes of the Elite Private School Curriculum

See also:
Jay Doubleyou: socratic method
Jay Doubleyou: socratic method pt 2

Jay Doubleyou: questioning and problem-solving

Jay Doubleyou: teaching the teachers: the future of education

Human Resources - YouTube
Taylorism on ABC World Report - YouTube
The Scientific Management of Children - John Taylor Gatto - YouTube

But not quite:
David Graeber interview: ‘So many people spend their working lives doing jobs they think are unnecessary’ | Books | The Guardian

Monday, 20 July 2015

the fad for teach-yourself

There has been quite a tradition in Britain for 'teach yourself':
Teach Yourself - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Teach Yourself Store: Books: Languages, Travel & Holiday, Books for Study & More

But could you ever get up to this level?
Jay Doubleyou: 10 tips and tricks to pick up any language
Jay Doubleyou: polyglots

Here is a very entertaining programme on the subject
- start at the beginning, or a little in, at 2:10;
- or with the bit about Linguaphone at 7:15:

How to Make an Archive on 4

Listen in pop-out player

Ever wondered how to make an Archive on 4? Here's your chance to find out!
Alan Dein enters the strange world of instructional records where you can teach yourself just about anything - from yodelling to training your budgie to talk.
It all started in 1901 when Polish émigré Jacques Roston harnessed the new technology of sound recording to teach foreign languages, signing up such luminaries as George Bernard Shaw and JRR Tolkien to lend their support.
By the 50s and 60s you could buy LPs on how to do just about anything - from keep fit to playing a musical instrument, relaxation and passing your driving test.
Perhaps the most surprising are those which help you to train your pet budgerigar to talk - with help from Sparkie, Britain's favourite budgie, who supposedly had a vocabulary of over 500 words.
With help from Sparkie, Alan Dein tells the story of instructional records and, along the way, reveals a few of the secrets of how to make an Archive on 4.

BBC Radio 4 - Archive on 4, How to Make an Archive on 4


What is the purpose of school?

Ivan Illich:
Jay Doubleyou: deschooling society

John Taylor Gatto:
Jay Doubleyou: dumbing us down
Jay Doubleyou: john taylor gatto - best teacher ever

And the result is:

A 'permanent underclass':
Jay Doubleyou: neets
Jay Doubleyou: neets - again

Moral panic:
Jay Doubleyou: panic in the west over educational achievements in the far east
Jay Doubleyou: education in the uk - high university intake - low literacy rates

What do you know about the British school system?

Public schools and home-schooling:
Jay Doubleyou: explaining how your country's education system works

Are there alternatives?
Jay Doubleyou: socratic method
Jay Doubleyou: socratic method pt 2
Jay Doubleyou: questioning and problem-solving

Sugata Mitra:
Jay Doubleyou: teaching the teachers: the future of education

the man who sold his wife

This is, apparently, an 'English custom':
Wife selling (English custom) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Man Who Sold His Wife for a Shilling

This story became the basis for Thomas Hardy's famous novel:

El alcalde de Casterbridge The Mayor of Casterbridge Episodio 1/2 subtitulado español - YouTube

Here's another version (without Spanish subtitles):

And here is part of the opening chapter:

"For my part I don't see why men who have got wives and don't want 'em, shouldn't get rid of 'em as these gipsy fellows do their old horses," said the man in the tent. "Why shouldn't they put 'em up and sell 'em by auction to men who are in need of such articles? Hey? Why, begad, I'd sell mine this minute if anybody would buy her!"

The Mayor of Casterbridge, by Thomas Hardy

Sunday, 12 July 2015

how to give a 3 minute presentation

It's not easy to make all the important points in a short period.

Here's one way to do it:

Published on Mar 13, 2014
For those prepping for their SBA, IB or any other presentation, Talis Wong from Empowering Education gives some tips and pointers on how to make the best of your talk.

Learn how to give a 3 minute presentation in under 3 minutes - YouTube

With more ideas here:
How to Write a 3 Minute Speech - YouTube Search

Are these good 3-minute presentations?
Three Minute Thesis (3MT) 2011 Winner - Matthew Thompson - YouTube
2012 Three Minute Thesis Winner - Sumaiya Ahmed - YouTube

Here's another approach:

A short speech – create a 3 minute speech that rocks

I’m in the Charles Pearson Theatre at the University of Melbourne, watching 12 short speeches. It’s a 3 minute speech competition called the 3 minute Thesis.
These annual, 3 minute speech competitions challenge Ph.D and Masters students to effectively communicate 3-1/2 years’ of technical research into a short speech. Their task is to convey only the most important ideas and findings to a non-technical audience – and with only a single slide.

A short speech is a great test

As you’d imagine, it can be difficult to condense all that research and knowledge into a 3 minute speech, yet still convey all the pertinent information.
But that’s exactly why it’s such a great exercise for all speakers.
That’s because, in order to be effective, your ideas must be able to be communicated in the most brief, simple and clear manner possible. You need them to stick in the listener’s mind.
Not everyone is good at this skill – indeed, few people are. But you need to be if you want other to see the value of your ideas.
By the way, if you think giving a good 3 minute speech is hard, try doing one in just 5 words! That’s what they do at the Webby awards.

What did the winning speakers do right?

Despite giving a short speech on very different topics, there were some common practices I noticed about the winning speakers.
  1. They presented an exceptionally clear message.
  2. They included a “top and tail” element.
  3. They made use of metaphor and other verbal illustrations to simplify a complex idea.
  4. They spoke like they were having a conversation with their audience – not ‘giving a formal speech’.
The losing speakers, by contrast, were more forced. Some were so unnatural they seemed to be giving a pantomime a speech for an audience of children. The engagement of conversation was missing. We’ve talked before about the importance of an unforced, natural style.

How to create a short speech.

1. Use a simple structure.

Start by clearly saying the ‘headline’ and key idea underpinning your speech in simple, everyday language, and follow with a simple structure supporting your main point.
Here are some examples:

A: Headline and 3 supporting reasons:

With this approach, follow your “headline” statement with 3 simple supporting reasons. State each reason clearly, and explain how each one helps achieve or support the objective.
“We must change the way we work – for 3 important reasons:
  1. Thwack…,
  2. Kapow…,
  3. Whamm.

B: Problem – solution:

This is a simple structure of only 2 parts. It’s an easy yet powerful way to capture people’s attention and interest when done well. But you’ll want to avoid the trap of rushing through the problem, and spending too much time on your brilliant solution.
If you really want to hook people, take some time to paint a vivid picture of the problem first. Your audience will then be clambering for a solution with both ears open.

C: Timeline:

In this type of short speech, you might cover:
  • The history of the issue …
  • The current situation …
  • What might happen in the future …
  • And the ramifications of agreeing (or disagreeing) with your main argument.

D: Metaphor/Top & Tail:

To “top and tail” simply means starting with a story/quote that hints at your message. At the end, you recall that story and link it to your message.
This short speech from a 3 minute speech competition makes excellent use of this approach.
Start your speech (“the top”) with a compelling metaphor to make a memorable point, and end the speech (“the tail”) with the same metaphor — but adjusted to show the benefit of adopting your central argument.

2: End with a memorable message:

Just as important as how you begin and structure your speech, is how you end it.
Consider the same techniques at the end of your speech. A metaphor that links back to your original premise, or finishing with a thought-provoking question, are two ways to burnish your speech in your listener’s mind.
These videos of the 1st and 2nd place winners of a 3 minute speech competition show how effective these closing techniques can be:


People worry that time limitations mean they have to ‘dumb down’ their valuable research — this is not the case!
A vivid message and a compelling short speech can become a window to the depth of your research, and give clarity to the value of your ideas.
A 3 minute speech gives you a huge amount of time to do this – if you use the time wisely and structure your speech to maximum effect.

A short speech. How to create a 3 minute speech that rocks

Here are some general tips:
Public Speaking |

And what about this:
How to Give an Awesome (PowerPoint) Presentation (Whiteboard Animation Explainer Video). - YouTube