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This week we’ve struck gold with a guest article by none other than Simon Gibson, founder of World Speech Day. I’ve known Simon for some time now, I am the Irish ambassador for World Speech Day and can confidently say he is one of the most inspiring, driven people I’ve met. His dedication to and advocacy for public speaking led him to create World Speech Day, an annual, global event that encompasses individuals and organizations worldwide, encouraging and supporting them in harnessing the power of public speaking. It’s moving and empowering to read his message about the importance of spreading that power beyond just a perceived elite to people at all socio-economic levels. As Simon himself says, “Good ideas don’t come with post codes.”

– Richard

World Speech Day: ideas for world citizens

Guest article by Simon Gibson, founder of World Speech Day

The next World Speech Day (WSD) takes place on March 15th 2019. It will be a day to celebrate speeches and speech-making through live public speaking events across the globe. Indeed, some 100 nations are set to be involved. Anyone can host a WSD event and anyone can speak: our aim is to reach out to new voices everywhere. We believe that progress is never linear; that only by reaching out to unexpected voices across society can we solve our most pressing problems at local, national and even international levels.

In just four years, World Speech Day has grown from an idea to a multitude of events across the world. Its success is partly due to the fact that it is open, free, locally managed and owned by each individual event organizer, and also to the fact that it has enabled a diversity of speakers and audiences to thrive.

There are events from the dreaming spires of the Oxford Union, to a corrugated iron hall in Papua New Guinea. Speakers’ clubs and university debaters, community groups and schools all get involved. Above all, WSD has proved that public speaking is not only for the well-educated and privileged; it is a common skill and capacity that reaches across all communities, all societies, in all parts of the earth.

Furthermore, there is a definite bias in so much of public speaking towards seeing it as an elite activity; in other words, there can be a perception that to speak is to be part of an elite. What WSD has found is that good and radical ideas come from all social levels: from rural women’s groups in Vietnam sharing ideas for local businesses, to schools in Lagos with suggestions on town management and “Ideas for a better Lagos”, to Urban Debate League students in the US giving their views on immigration. Good ideas don’t come with post codes.

One of the other lessons of World Speech Day is that public speaking isn’t just for “young people”. Of course, we are hugely proud of the number of schools from around the world who take part in WSD; we believe that public speaking skills can be learned and can play a profound role in shaping and securing a better career. But we have also seen that great ideas are not simply from diverse social backgrounds, but also from all ages. As the flip side to believing that to speak is to be part of an elite, there is also the silent assumption that to have real social impact, ideas can only come from the young (the ‘tech bias’). In countless events across the world, we have experienced the opposite. One example is the Soroptimists International organization in Germany. This society consists of middle-aged and older women, many of whom had never spoken in public before, but who came forward with a whole range of exciting events in 2018 and shared their ideas for women in the community. Speaking is for the innocent and the experienced.

Indeed, it is through the very act of public speaking that ideas are crystallized and opinions formed. Public speaking unlocks good ideas simply by encouraging people of all ages and all backgrounds to speak. That’s why we have World Speech Day.

To join World Speech Day, go to www.worldspeechday.com, or email simon@worldspeechday.com.

  • Simon Gibson, founder, World Speech Day




Voxgig Podcast

Coming Soon… 

I am delighted to announce that  voxgig is starting a podcast series! The title of the series is ‘Fireside with voxgig’. In each podcast, I’ll be interviewing leading experts from the events industry.  The aim is to deliver high quality insights, valuable public speaking tips and enjoyable personal success stories, all in a relaxed, informal and chatty style. Keep an eye out here for the first podcast in the series, coming soon. 

Speaker Profile

image of Jill Bolte Taylor holding a human brain

My stroke of insight
Jill Bolte Taylor

Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had an opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: one morning, she realized she was having a massive stroke. As it happened—as she felt her brain functions slip away one by one: speech, movement, understanding—she studied and remembered every moment. This is a powerful story about how our brains define us and connect us to the world and to one another.

Learn from the Best

Image of Jane Fonda on stage

Life’s third act
Jane FondaThe time to start looking forward to life’s third act is now. We are living an average of 30 years longer than our grandparents. With the right attitude and healthy habits those years can be the best years.

Tell me…

What is your biggest challenge as an event speaker?

This newsletter is for you. I want it to resonate with you.

So go ahead, hit reply, and tell me what you want to read about. Or email me at richard@voxgig.com. You can tweet too: @voxgig.

I’ll address the most pressing issues in each edition.

Blog Post

A TED speaker coach shares 11 tips for right before you go on stage

“The weekend before a TED conference, each speaker rehearses their talk in the TED theater. It’s a chance for the speakers to get to know the space, for our curators to give last-minute suggestions on talk content, and for our speaker coaches to give advice to help each speaker feel their absolute best the day of their talk. During this time, we overheard speaker coaches Gina Barnett, Michael Weitz and Abigail Tenenbaum give some helpful tips that we’d never heard before.”

Three Conferences

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Strata Data conference

March 25 – 28 2019


San Francisco


Strata Data conference is where cutting-edge science and new business fundamentals intersect and merge. It’s a deep dive into emerging techniques and technologies. You’ll dissect case studies, develop new skills through in-depth tutorials, share emerging best practices in data science, and imagine the future.

PyCaribbean 2019 logo

February 16 – 17 2019

Santo Domingo

Free Conference

PyCaribbean is the first Python Conference of its kind on the region of the Caribbean. Their goal is to connect the North American and European developer communities with the Hispanic and Caribbean communities.

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Distributed Systems conference

February 16

Pune, India

CFP closing date November 30


DSConf is conference of dedicated, eminent academicians who have spent years researching data systems problems. At this conference, they share their thoughts and approaches with you. The conference also features distinguished engineers who have built some large-scale distributed systems, talking about practical aspects of distributed systems. The talks are curated in a way to stimulate deep thinking as well as a practical approach to distributed systems.

Upcoming CFP Deadlines

DevOps Days, Salt Lake City, January 07, Conference date May 14 – 15

Dynamics 365 Conference, Columbo, Sri Lanka, CFP December 15, Conference, January 2

Devfest, St. Louis, Missouri, CFP December 2, Conference, January 26




Speaker Training

Speaker training is an essential investment for every business.  If you would like to discuss your corporate training needs, you can email richard@voxgig.com.  We will arrange training to suit your business.

A favour…

Can I ask you for a favour? If you enjoy this newsletter, and if you find it useful, please consider recommending it to a friend who is learning to give technical talks, or who aspires to do so. I meet so many cool programmers who have brilliant things to share with the world—that’s you!

Please help me to improve this newsletter – I’d love to hear your suggestions! You can email me directly at richard@voxgig.com. You can tweet too: @voxgig. Thank you so much for reading!

A special thanks and shout out to Cora,  for helping to make this newsletter even better!


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