PROFESSIONAL SEMINARS, WORKSHOPS, LECTURES, AND CLASSES DEVELOPED AND PRESENTED BY ALAN PERLMAN
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.
- Words, maps, territories, and the political abuse of language - The truth is what most people believe. And they believe that which is repeated most often. Paul Josef Goebbels Here is the text of a letter I sent to the Manchester NH Union-Leader (published 6/21/19): March 19, 2019 Dear Editor, Let me add my voice to the chorus of people outraged by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s... Read more »
- The Babel problem and the dangers of multilingualism - And they said, “Come, let us build us a city, and a tower with its top in the sky, to make a name for ourselves; else we shall be scattered all over the world.” The Lord came down to look at the city and tower that man had built, and the Lord said, “If, as... Read more »
- Who’s got the sexiest accent? Not me. - I just read an article on “who’s got the sexiest accent?’, and when I Googled the article, I discovered that “sexiest accent” generates over four million hits. As Trump said about health care, who knew there were so many surveys? The ones I skimmed through seemed mostly intended as tourism boosters, at least for the... Read more »
- The difference between code-switching and pandering (pay attention, Hillary) - “…style is intrinsic and private, like…voice or gesture, partly a matter of inheritance, partly of cultivation. It is more than a pattern of expression. It is the pattern of the soul.” -Maurice Valency Think of language as haberdashery: you have a closet full of clothes for every occasion. Your clothing choice expresses yourself in a... Read more »
- Biden’s plagiarism alone disqualifies him - Don’t forget why God made your eyes — plagiarize! Tom Lehrer, “Lobachevsky” I’m involved in a fair number of plagiarism cases. In non-fiction allegations, I typically represent a student who has omitted quotations marks, possibly because he/she was lifting what appeared to be basic background information. There are very few ways of saying... Read more »
- Political language 2019: simpler but no less devious - Definitions of “politician”: An eel in the fundamental mud upon which the superstructure of organized society is reared. Ambrose Bierce (One who) divides mankind into two classes: tools and enemies. That means he knows only one class: enemies. Friedrich Nietzsche [Someone] who identifies the sound of his own voice with the infallible voice of the... Read more »
- “You have the right to remain silent…”: On understanding the Miranda warning (it’s not so easy) - 1. You have the right to remain silent. 2. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. 3. You have the right to talk to a lawyer and have him present with you while you are being questioned. 4. If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, one... Read more »
- Examples from the Forensic (Linguistic) Files - At various places on this site, you’ll find somewhat abstract descriptions of the services I offer. But what kinds of cases do I actually get involved in? Examples follow (current cases excluded; cases involving forensic stylistics are highlighted). In three of my specialties, I’m about equally divided between Plaintiff and Defendant. In cases... Read more »
- Language and the “Catfish” Scam (“It’s the Grammar!”) - The tongue of man is a twisty thing There are plenty of words there Of every kind The range of words is wide And their variance — Homer, Iliad If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success. — Confucius. I’ve spent a lifetime learning about... Read more »
- RIP Philip Roth, prophet of political correctness - One of my favorite authors, Philip Roth, died recently, leaving a magnificent body of work. Unlike other personal faves, Saul Bellow and Bernard Malamud, who composed mostly in the key of J (for “Jewish”; Malamud’s The Natural is an exception), Roth’s versatility was truly impressive. In Indignation (2008), a young man bucks the system of... Read more »