PROFESSIONAL SEMINARS, WORKSHOPS, LECTURES, AND CLASSES DEVELOPED AND PRESENTED BY ALAN PERLMAN
Alan Perlman, a former university professor shares his practical knowledge of language in seminars, workshops, and other presentations.
Business Communications: Theory and Practice (Wayne State University, Detroit MI; Oakland University, Rochester MI); 1979-80.
“Speechwriting in the Corporate Context,” Public Relations Update, Detroit MI, 1982.
Fundamentals of Public Speaking; Executive Communications: Speech and Writing (D’Etre University, Grosse Pointe MI); 1982-83.
Business Writing (Burroughs Corp. After-Hours Education Program); 1981-83.
“Jobs Without Experience, Experience Without Jobs: Breaking the Vicious Cycle,” Communications ’83 (careers conference).
“Sounds in Space — A Seminar in Effective Oral Presentation,” Detroit Chapter, International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), November, 1983.
“Preparing Humanities Students for Business Careers: What Liberal-Arts Faculty Can Do” (Keynote Address, to faculty); “Business Careers for Liberal-Arts Graduates: Improving Your Chances (speech to students), Liberal Arts Careers Seminar, Bowling Green State University, April, 1985.
“Writing for the Tongue,” IABC District 7 Conference, November, 1985.
“Employment Opportunities Outside the Classroom,” Michigan College English Association, Annual Meeting, October, 1985.
“Speeches That Sing, Speeches That Sell: Insights into the Craft,” National Association for Corporate Speaker Activities (NACSA), April, 1987.
“Tips on Effective Speechwriting,” IABC/Detroit, March, 1989.
“The Instant Expert: Mastering the Technical Speech,” NACSA, September, 1989.
“Words, Words, Words: Some Basic Truths About Symbols and Things,” Keynote Address, Toastmasters International, November, 1989.
“Writing for the Big Guns,” Detroit Producers Association, May, 1990.
“Power on the Podium: Coaching the Executive Speaker,” Metro Detroit Speechwriters’ Forum, June, 1990.
“Those Troublesome Ceremonial Speeches: the Toast, the Dedication, the Introduction, and the Acceptance,” Third, Fourth, Fifth Annual Speechwriters Conferences, November, 1990, 1991, 1992.
“How to Write a Speech,” Ragan Communication Seminars (various cities), April-June, 1991.
“The Speech as an Instrument of Policy,” Keynote Panel, Fourth Annual Speechwriters Conference, November, 1991.
“Soft Words for Hard Times: The Function of Euphemism in Corporate Communication,” Panel Remarks, Corporate Communicators’ Conference, May, 1992.
“The Year’s Ten Worst Speeches — And What We Can Learn from Them,” Fifth Annual Speechwriters Conference, November, 1992.
“Style: You’ve Either Got It or You Don’t — and How to Get It,” Chicago Speechwriters Forum, October, 1993.
“Speechwriters of the World, You’re Needed!”, Sixth Annual Speechwriters Conference, November, 1993.(with Jerry Tarver) “How to Write Speeches that Motivate,” Sixth Annual Speechwriters Conference, November, 1993.
“To P.C. or Not P.C.,” Public Relations Society of America, Greater O’Hare Chapter, February, 1994.
“In Pursuit of the Optimal Interview,” Chicago Speechwriters Forum, Nov. 1, 1994.
“The Power and the Gory: Words Do Mean Something — Don’t They?”, Chicago Speechwriters Forum, June, 1995.
“Some Components of ‘Cogent’ and ‘Memorable,'” Chicago Speechwriters Forum, January, 1996.
“On Libertarian Rhetoric,” Chicago Speechwriters Forum, October, 1996.
“Creativity on Cue,” Chicago Speechwriters Forum, July 7, 1998.
“Acquiring Quick Credibility,” Chicago Speechwriters Forum, October 6, 1998.
“Language Variation and Change: A Speechwriter’s Primer,” Chicago Speechwriters Forum, March 3, 1999.
“And Bingo Was Its Name-Oh: Buzzword Bingo and its Implications for Speechwriters,” Chicago Speechwriters Forum, August 3, 1999.
“Writing Great Speeches,” Toastmasters International Conference, Chicago, IL, August 19, 1999.
“The Visible Ghost: Speechwriting in the Corporate Context,” Department of Communication Studies, West Chester University, West Chester, PA, October, 25, 1999.
“Reflect Your Speaker’s Personality in Your Speeches,” Ragan Communications Speechwriting Conference, Washington, DC, Feb. 9, 2000.
“Writing Great Speeches,” Diplomatic Toastmasters #4378, District 30, 10th Anniversary Celebration, Evanston, IL, March 19, 2001.
“World English: How to Communicate with an International Audience,” International Association of Business Communicators, International Conference, Chicago, IL, June 11, 2002.
“The Language of Music and the Music of Language,” Chicago Speechwriters Forum, September 9, 2003.
“When a Lawyer Needs a Linguist,” Association of Forensic Document Examiners, Milwaukee, WI, Nov. 8, 2009.
- Latest language abuse: “deprogramming Trump supporters” - To hear this even once is unsettling. To hear it from multiple talking heads is criminal and dehumanizing. It says that certain others, millions of them in fact, clinging to their Bibles and guns (Obama’s most memorable phrase, despite all the eloquent blathering he did), are not entitled to their views. This from people who... Read more »
- Latest language abuse: “deprogramming Trump supporters” - Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies. — Nietzsche We are so constituted that we believe the most incredible things; and once they are engraved upon the memory, woe to him who would endeavor to erase them. — Goethe To believe with certainty we must begin with doubting. — Stanislaus I of Poland... Read more »
- American chaos: Did Trump incite? - Where the laws are not supreme, there demagogues spring up. — Aristotle, 4th c. BCE The people are capable of good judgment when they do not listen to demagogues. — Napoleon I (1814-5) Demagogy enters at the moment when, for want of a common denominator, the principle of equality degenerates into a principle of... Read more »
- Riots in DC: the power of conflicting narratives - On Jan. 27, 1838, Abraham Lincoln spoke before the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois, about “the perpetuation of our political institutions.” During that address, he said: “At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot... Read more »
- P.c. atrocities roll on; linguists still silent - Amen. < Old English, from ecclesiastical Latin, from Greek amēn, from Hebrew ‘āmēn ‘truth, certainty’, used adverbially as expression of agreement, and adopted in the Septuagint as a solemn expression of belief or affirmation. [The version I learned in Hebrew School:] The Talmud teaches homiletically that the word amen is an acronym for אל מלך נאמן (ʾEl melekh... Read more »
- Christmas message: On the emptiness of vague “hope” - “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick.” — Proverbs 13:12 “He that lives upon hope will die fasting” — Benjamin Franklin “The reason of idleness and crime is the deferring of our hopes.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson “There is nothing so well known as that we should not expect something for nothing – but we do... Read more »
- UNIFORMITY = DIVERSITY: Modern Newspeak hits Orwellian rock-bottom - “There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.” “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In... Read more »
- On titles, respect, and doctor-flaunting: who’s a “doctor”? - “Titles are but nicknames, and every nickname is a title.” Thomas Paine I admit, they had me. I really thought that Jill Biden was an MD. It’s not implausible that such a high-level official as the VP would have a high-achieving wife. But then the truth came out, and I realized I’d fallen for... Read more »
- On slogans — especially the one that dominates our lives - “Man is a creature who lives not upon bread alone, but primarily by catchwords” -Robert Louis Stevenson (NOTE: a catch-word is technically what we today would call a “pull-out quote”; I’m using it in a broader sense here, to refer to slogans, mottoes, taglines, and catch-words.) I keep quoting Stevenson because his observation... Read more »
- The welcome end of Presidential tweeting - “Nothing is so unbelievable that oratory cannot make it acceptable.” — Socrates “It is terrible to speak well and be wrong.” — Sophocles Those of us who have worked first-hand at speechwriting (my experience was corporate, not political) understand what goes into a CEO/senior management speech, how it is assembled, how it must... Read more »