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.
- Gender-neutral “they”: Let it start here - Many languages. . .have no gendered pronouns. English needs a gender-neutral singular pronoun, and as Winston Churchill said about democracy as a form of government, “they” is the worst option, except for all the others. -Anne Fadiman, Harper’s, August 2020 Language changes, perhaps in response to social pressure or a communicative need... Read more »
- Political correctness — ubiquitous and relentless - “The truth is what most people believe. And they believe that which is repeated most often.” -Josef Goebbels “[The English language] becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts… if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” George... Read more »
- Language change — up close - “Language change is not a disease, any more than adolescence, or autumn are illnesses.” ― Jean Aitchison, Language Change: Progress or Decay? “It’s hard to see what the problem is. Language speakers and writers have always been inventive, and texting is just one further example of human creativity. As David Crystal has expressed it: ‘it..is the... Read more »
- Warning: political correctness is an attempt to control you - “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.” — Lewis Carroll “Offending and being offended are now... Read more »
- Can’t handle homonyms: the difference between a virus and a beer - Being inoffensive and being offended are now the twin addictions of our society. Martin Amis Corona beer? Coronavirus? What do they have to do with each other? Absolutely nothing. They’re homonyms – multiple meanings for the same sequence of sounds. The English language is full of them, but only a few cause trouble, by which... Read more »
- Pronouns and gender politics - Tens of thousands of years have elapsed since we shed our tails, but we are still communicating with a medium developed to meet the needs of arboreal man. . . We may smile at the linguistic illusions of primitive man, but may we forget that the verbal machinery on which we so readily rely, and... Read more »
- Overwhelmed by political BS - Politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds. Henry Adams, 1907 The politician is an acrobat. He keeps his balance by saying the opposite of what he does. Maurice Barres (1896-1923) Political BS, a noxious blend of mendacity, manipulation, and meaninglessnss, is all around us, as it has... Read more »
- On the retarded “retard” taboo - When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less. ‘ ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things. … ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master... Read more »
- Apostrophe warrior lays down his sword - Athen’s Pizza (Sign on restaurant in Jaffrey, NH) Former copy editor John Richards has decided to surrender in his 20-year quest to promote correct (i.e., prescribed/codified) apostrophe usage. Richards and like-minded crusaders are enraged by (i) use of the apostrophe in plurals and (ii) in possessive it’s (which I’ve seen many times... Read more »
- Stop the pronoun craziness - This is a message that the p.c. crowd — in the media, in the universities – needs to hear again and again, because they don’t get it, especially when a Presidential candidate (Warren) announces “her” pronouns on the debate stage, and a teacher is fired for not using the student’s preferred pronouns. It is not... Read more »