Speak Easy, by LRV

The emergency management meeting is moving right along. A special “thank you” was given to a retiring officer who had done a superb job. New action plans were presented and deliberated. While you may have had ideas, information, and experiences on the topics, all which were worthy of sharing, you remained silent. Perhaps you thought that after the meeting you would speak to just one person and contribute your ideas then.

Public Speaking Is Challenge For Many

Public speaking is a challenge for many people and pushes them way beyond their comfort zone. Many people are more afraid of speaking in public than they are of death. As the comedian Jerry Seinfeld quipped, “People at a funeral would rather be in the casket than standing over it giving the eulogy.” Aside from an innate shyness, most of the pressure associated with public speaking is a lack of training or perhaps, poor training.

People will often look back with resentment or embarrassment at the times that, as preschoolers, they had to repeat a poem for company. Or, in the early school years, having to do “show and tell” when it seemed as though the child before you always had a fantastic item to show. Then, of course, there were all the years that followed where you memorized a two-minute speech. Never however, were students taught how to prepare a speech or how to make a spontaneous speech.

Leaders Are Excellent Public Speakers

All leaders are excellent public speakers. Their message may be flawed. Yet, they are convincing, and people listen to them. A powerful speaker can control his audience through emotion. They can elicit the positive emotions of hope, charity, and faith. They can also create the negative emotions of hate, anger, and revenge. However, there is the speaker who, through reason and logic, can impart to the listener the information they need to make an informed decision. Notice who becomes leaders of clubs and committees. It is always the person who is excellent at addressing the group. This is unfortunate for the silent person who would like to participate but fails because he or she lacks public speaking skills. Unfortunately, the group is denied this knowledge and experience.

Abraham Lincoln– A Gifted and Skilled Orator

President Abraham Lincoln was a gifted and skilled orator. The book Abraham Lincoln and The Structure of Reason by David Hirsch and Dan Van Haften (2010) is a study of the public speaking technique of President Lincoln. Why is it called the “Structure of Reason”? Geometry is based on reason and logic. Transferring that reason and logic to speech making promotes the audience to employ logic and reason into their decision-making process. How did President Lincoln apply Euclidean geometry to speech making and how can one learn to apply it?

Application of Geometry

In geometry a proposition is made. Then one states what is given, what one is seeking, does the construction, presents the proof, and draws the conclusion.

For example:

  1. Proposition: To prove that the exterior angle of a triangle is equal to the sum of the two opposite and interior angles of the triangle.
  2. Given: Triangle ABC in which A is the top angle and B and C are the base angles. The base is BC is extended beyond C to form the exterior angle D.
  3. Seeking: To prove that angle D is equal to the sum of interior and opposite angles A and B.
  4. Construction: Draw triangle ABC and extend the base BC to form angle D.
  5. Proof:
    1. Since A + B + C = 180
    2. And C + D = 180
    3. Therefore A + B = D = 180
  6. Conclusion: The exterior angle of a triangle is equal to the sum of the two interior and opposite angles.

This method can be applied to public speaking. However, it requires training and practice. Presented are three examples showing the outline for a speech.

Example One

The first example follows:

Proposition: To show how to use a fire extinguisher.

Given: An ABC home fire extinguisher.

Seeking: How to use the fire extinguisher to put out a home fire.


  1. Describe, explain, and show the different parts.
  2. Explain the different fires it is capable of extinguishing.
  3. Read the label.
  4. Describe how to maintain and store it.
  5. Demonstrate how to hold and operate it.
  6. Have the person hold it and repeat the steps of operation.

Proof: A person actually operates the fire extinguisher.

Conclusion: The person is confident and knowledgeable about the fire extinguisher.

Example Two

Proposition: To recognize and thank the president of a local emergency management organization who is resigning after two years of service.

Given: All members are present and would like to show their appreciation.

Seeking: Why has our president been so successful in leading our group.

Construction: Personal anecdotes to be added.

  1. Positive and encouraging
  2. Kept the budget balanced
  3. Punctual in conducting meetings and in returning emails and phone calls.
  4. Stayed informed on the progress of projects and was always willing to help out.
  5. Worked quickly and employed innovative solutions to problems.


  1. Many projects supporting emergency management were accomplished efficiently.
  2. The group is focused and works well together.
  3. Membership has increased.

Conclusion: We thank you and appreciate your tireless efforts in leading this group through so many successful emergency management projects.

Example Three.

Example Three follows:

Proposition: To present a plan for accommodating forest fire refugees in a small town.

Given: This is a small town of 4000 people. We are expecting hundreds of evacuees.

Seeking: We need to plan an orderly accommodation for them.


  1. Townspeople will fill out a form listing those family and friends who can reside with them.
  2. Other residents will list specifically whom they will accept into their home. This list will include how many, what age and sex, pets, and habits. They will also list the responsibilities of the evacuees while living in their home. Homeowners will be assured that if they have any feelings of discomfort or weariness that they can report to the town and have the evacuees relocated without justifying their request.
  3. Evacuees who have recreational camping vehicles will be directed to large parking areas.
  4. Evacuees who have camping gear will be directed to large indoor areas such as arenas and gymnasiums. These areas will be marked off into family or individual sites and a sheltered outdoor cooking area will be set up.
  5. All others will be sent to indoor areas such as meeting halls and will be provided with cots.

Proof: This plan ensures that an orderly system of accommodation exists. The financial burden to the taxpayer is low as many evacuees will be self sufficient.

Conclusion: This plan allows for as much independence and self reliance for the evacuees as possible.

Responsibility to Share Knowledge

We all have a responsibility to share our knowledge. Knowledge does not “belong” to any one person, group, or profession. We each have training in various skills, often developed over a period of years. We also have single and multiple experiences both positive and negative. Accumulated knowledge, skills and experience are valuable and should be shared so that others can learn, adapt and increase their abilities. Most of our transfer of information is verbal. Being able to orally communicate effectively is a benefit to the communicator and recipient. Prepare yourself. It’s time to speak up and “speak easy”!

The Gettysburg Address

“The Gettysburg Address” has been immortalized as one of the greatest speeches in the history of America and is carved in the Lincoln Memorial. The address is a perfect example of the implementation of Euclidean geometry in speech-making as applied by President Abraham Lincoln:

Gettysburg Address Geometry

The geometry format of the Gettysburg Address is as follows:

Proposition: The Gettysburg Address

Given: “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, …….

Seeking: “…. testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation may live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

Construction: “But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate – we cannot consecrate – we cannot hallow – this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but I can never forget what they did here.

Proof: “It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion in that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain

Conclusion: “….. that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

This has been another entry for Round 75 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  7. Two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value), and
  8. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Second Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
  4. A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
  5. A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
  6. A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
  7. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  5. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
  6. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).

Round 75 ends on March 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.


  1. I agree with a great deal of what you have written here. Being able to clearly and persuasively express the ideas and actions that need to be enacted can be very important in many scenarios.
    However, I believe that your statement that all leaders are excellent public speakers is either overly broad or subscribes to a very narrow definition of what a leader is.
    The finest and most respected leaders I have been blessed to know have led with few words. They instead led by letting themselves become the standard by which those following them measured their own motivation, discipline, courage, faith and passion.
    Life is a Hollywood movie. Men won’t be willing to stand in the gap for the Colonel who gave the flowery, motivational pep talk and then sent them toward the wall. Men stand in the gap in order to cover the flank of the NCO who trained them, led them to the wall and took his place at the center of the gap. . . with very few words.

  2. Unless you are a gifted public speaker (rare), the one sure way to become a terrific public speaker is practice, practice, practice (and good eye contact).

  3. At the root of many of our problems is that leaders/politicians are often selected directly or indirectly because of things like this, i.e. speaking ability, looks, family name, etc. I inherently do not trust people who are too slick.

  4. I believe that some of this article is true and useful, however I believe that one very important thing is not addressed. Though powerful words put into a context can often push men to accomplish the impossible, they undoubtedly due so by manipulating emotions, a very dangerous thing. I believe that most folks who are awake to the reality of our current state of affairs would agree with this. I would argue that our emotions are the “most” dangerous thing that humans are innately born with. The news media, the school system, the healthcare industry and yes, our government, all manipulate society with intensionally clever words, purpose driven to strike the deepest chords of emotion within the human brain. Almost daily we (myself included) make our routine decisions based on emotions. Though we know a salad with a grilled chicken breast would be excellent nutrition, we instead choose a fast food burger and fries. Why? Because the burger sounded better, and was definitely more convenient. A decision based solely on emotion, though not correct. I say all this to say, no matter your age, race, or religion, as humans and as those awakened to a deteriorating society, do not allow other people or even circumstances to dictate your emotions. Make an educated decision based on cumulative facts. It may just save your life.

  5. Though I failed to mention this in my previous post, I am a defensive firearms instructor who teaches the principles of a weapon engagement on a daily basis. The number one fundamental is your mindset and the direct ability to control your emotions. I encourage everybody to further research this in your preparedness lifestyle. Just my 2$ worth.

  6. True leaders have something about them that make you want to listen when they talk. I don’t know what it is but there’s something about their way of talking and deliverance that compels a person to pay attention. And even the way they carry themselves draws attention. I’ve also noticed that many male leaders tend to be tall. Many have a deep and resonating voice versus a weak or high pitch voice. There are and have been leaders who hold none of the fore mentioned qualities but these qualities seem to be prevalent in most leaders, at least in my opinion.
    Then you take me. I’m so inept at public speaking that if I have to speak to more than three people I begin to lock up. Triple that number and I actually begin to hyperventilate and I feel like I’m having a heart attack. I completely lose my train of thought and my voice breaks up so bad that I can’t form my words. I’m serious. It’s miserable. There is no way that I could ever be a public speaker and I know it. So I don’t try to do something that I wasn’t meant to do.
    Now what does this whole public speaking have to do with prepping? For me nothing but for a person who is or can be capable of doing such, could rally the troops and lead a bunch of patriots to a given goal. A great speaker coupled with the ability to lead and with the proper knowledge of the prepping arts could mean the difference between victory or outright defeat.
    But to those reading this, if you’re like me don’t despair. I bet that you have skills that many would love to have and you’re participation in a patriot group of folks post SHTF could mean life or death for your group. Do you have medical skills? Are you proficient with firearms? Do you have a green thumb like no other? Are you a walking talking McGeyver? I could go on and on but you get my drift.
    The point is this…..God has blessed us all with talents and if your talent isn’t public speaking or being the General Patton of you’re day don’t worry. Do what you do and do it well. We’re all valuable to the common cause.

  7. Thank you all very much for your comments. Other than Christmas cards I haven’t written anything for half a century. You are better than any English professor I ever had. I learned a lot from you. So, what did I learn?

    The editor added the subtitles. Had I done them I would have written them in as Given, Seeking, Construction, Proof, Conclusion. This is the structure I used in writing it and the one I use when when having a discussion. (Note: the structure of reason doesn’t work with the liberal mindset. It is always followed with a “Yes, but….”)

    I never should have written “All good leaders”. It took a while but I realized this was me using personal experiences and using them broadly. Lesson learned.

    I limited myself to writing about just the system President Lincoln used to write his speeches and I think I was right about that. There are many components to being a good speaker but I wanted to focus just on this one aspect. I should have said that.

    Thank you again for your comments.

  8. I believe there are a whole lot of natural born leaders in the wings…. when the day comes their leadership is needed, they will rise to the top, and many will give the speech of a life time. Watch for the one’s that will be coming from Trump in the next few years… they will be epic. As we will be living an epic story of good verses evil. Nothing new under the sun, but one day there will be the finale. That will be new, though not a surprise.

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