The joys and terrors of public speaking

PUBLISHED: 10:33 08 April 2014 | UPDATED: 10:33 08 April 2014

David Scott

David Scott


A Devon man has published his a part humorous, part serious book aimed at anyone called upon to speak at a Rotary Club or WI meeting, a conference or wedding

The Joys and Terrors of Public Speaking by David ScottThe Joys and Terrors of Public Speaking by David Scott

David Scott, who runs his own journalism training and media consultancy, has written The Terrors and Joys of Public Speaking with the help of more than 30 contributions from regional newspaper editors, ex-editors and journalists who have been called on to speak in public in their careers, including Andy Cooper, Editor of Devon Life, and Deputy Editor Owen Jones.

David has also spoken to 20 Parliamentary candidates, church ministers and speaker-finders who have written about some of their experiences, both good and bad, when facing all kinds of audiences.

Outlining the reasons for writing the book, David explains: “The mere thought of standing up and speaking in front of an audience of any kind fills many people with dread.

“This book is not about the experiences of professional speakers but a collection of stories written by ordinary people. “

David has called upon his own experience of public speaking which started when he was 18 years old and a cub reporter on the Barnoldswick and Earby Times: “If you were the only local reporter you were expected to stand up in front of your Rotary Club and entertain them for 45 minutes, no matter how young you were.

“It was good training for when I became a councillor in Maldon, Essex, then the town’s Mayor and editor of the Romford Observer, Banbury Guardian and Birmingham Daily News. I have been fortunate in seeing the eccentric British public at its best.”

The book offers guidance to those taking their first tentative steps into the world of public speaking and ends with two chapters of jokes which can be told on any occasion.

It is a useful guide to what anyone might expect when leaving the comfort of their warm homes or offices for draughty village halls and sometimes unforgiving audiences.

David, who lives in Torquay, is a regular speaker at meetings of clubs and organisations throughout the county. He talks about Life on a Local Newspaper, Was the First World War Inevitable? And The Falklands after the 1982 War.

The Terrors and Joys of Public Speaking is available now via

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