Sunday, October 18, 2009

Angelou: Speaking with hope, humor

Maya Angelou's a staple on the college campus lecture circuit, and in this article she describes how she calibrates her speeches by thinking about the mood of the audience as well as what she can bring that will inspire them, something every thoughtful speaker should do. From the interview:
  • "I speak quite a lot on courage, because I think it is the most important of all the virtues...Without courage you can't practice any of the other virtues consistently."
  • "[I]f people are too dour, I speak on humor, because I never trust people who don't laugh!"
  • "If there has been some unfair play, if someone has been mishandled, and there is some reason for outcry, I try to speak to that."

(Photo of Angelou speaking at Wake Forest University from Flickr by wacko_-)