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Speaking for Myself – Robin Day


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Condition: Good.
First Edition, Ebury Press, 1999, Hardback with removable protective plastic wrap – Speeches- 272pp. ISBN 9780091867966.

Reporter, commentator and pundit Sir Robin Day is also, famously, an engaging and entertaining public speaker; like many of his grander contemporaries–Sir Edward Heath, for example –he was president of the Oxford Union and his relaxed, self-indulgent style is very much the one he learned there.

This is a collection of his speeches down the years–it is almost a shame that we do not have any of his undergraduate ones for comparison … some of them are speeches for public occasions–benefits where his ability to entertain is being used to raise money for good causes; some of them are more or less public tributes to men he admires– the party for the 40th anniversary of Heath’s arrival in the House of Commons.

And perhaps the most charming and heartfelt are those in which he pays tribute to dead friends like Ivan Yates, or celebrates the coming of age of a new generation of the gifted. His brief notes at the end on mistakes to be avoided make explicit what this book is for–it offers hints to aspiring speakers on how a good non-political speaker works and examples of what a good public performance is. –Roz Kaveney

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