By Brenda H. Truelove, MA

If public speaking is a challenge for you, then consider the following:

What is the link between the late Sir Winston Churchill, the late King George VI of England, and the quest to “kiss” the Blarney Stone in Dublin, Ireland?

The correlation is the quest for improving one’s speaking eloquence, the “gift of gab”, or oratorical ability.  Like Winston Churchill, King George VI and Blarney Stone “kiss” seekers, many of us are painfully aware of the need to improve our public speaking skills perhaps just not to the extreme of these dear departed cousins across the big, blue water. 

History recounts the battles waged by both Sir Winston Churchill and King George VI against their speaking malady commonly known as stuttering.  Both went to great lengths to overcome their stuttering and the terrifying fear that their speech impediments caused when the need arose for them to speak in or to the public. 

Blarney Blog PhotosFor those who dare to kiss the Blarney Stone, which precariously teeters across a dangerous precipice at the Blarney Castle in Dublin, Ireland, ancient lore says the reward is the “gift of gab”.  Perhaps even Sir Winston and King George considered a trek to the magical green isle for a chance to kiss the Blarney Stone and cure their speaking ails.  Picture in your mind these two giant men of character and strength stooping down for a quick kiss for the magical cure.  No doubt they were well versed in Hippocrates’ Amorphism, now frequently altered and quoted as, “desperate situations call for desperate measures.”

With practice, repetition of speech patterns, sheer determination and perseverance, both Sir Winston and King George successfully overcame their speech problems and their public speaking fears, and so can those of us who are not prime ministers or king of a commonwealth of nations.  While the efforts made by Sir Winston, King George and the person making the trip overseas to the isle of Ireland and the Blarney Castle are commendable, there is a much easier way to improve one’s public speaking skills.  There is no need to book an expensive trip abroad, just plan on attending the Professionally Speaking workshop at The University of Alabama:

If you are thinking to yourself, yes, but I am deathly afraid of public speaking (Glossophobia), you are not alone.  Data from 2016 research from the National Institute of Mental Health reports that 74% of Americans have speech anxiety.  This one-day intensive workshop provides tips and strategies on how to calm your public speaking anxiety while clarifying your message and cultivating new skills for effective professional speaking.  Practice makes perfect and this highly successful, experiential workshop is a good first step toward improvement, and that is no “blarney”!

Photo Sources:
Alexis, Jonas E. Bolshevism and Zionism Are Ideologically Indistinguishable . 24 July 2013. Digital Photograph. 12 April 2017. <>

Deviant Art. King George VI in 1943. n.d. Digital Photograph. 12 April 2017. <>

Unknown. Live Journal. 19 April 2013. Photograph. 12 April 2017. <>


About the Author

Brenda Truelove, MA, serves on the Bama at Work Corporate Engagement team as a Program Manager. She is an alumnus of the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and a Master's degree in Health Studies. Her training and development training portfolio with the College of Continuing Studies includes the manufacturing and technology sectors with special emphasis on Maintenance and Supply Chain Logistics Management for industries and service professionals. Her conference related expertise includes Aging Successfully, Alzheimer's/Dementia, Cyberforce Security, Grief and Bereavement, the University's CISCO Networking Academy, and the 2015 Service Member to Civilian National Summit. She regularly engages with corporations and executives to connect resources from the university at large to business needs. She is currently managing the business acumen portfolio of training workshops that include such topics as: Maintenance Management, Professionally Speaking, Project Management, and Lean Six/Sigma.

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