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Blogging Irishman

Ramblings from a happily exiled Irishman who earns a crust as a Motivational Humorous Business & Healthcare Speaker

Did Mark Twain Know Kellyanne Conway or Robbie Mook??

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Did Mark Twain Know Kellyanne Conway or Robbie Mook??

Mark Twain railed against what he saw as the lack of integrity and honesty in politics. (And you thought this was a new phenomenon!)

In his 1907 book Christian Science, Twain doesn’t hold back on his views of party politics and its practitioners. Lord alone knows what he would think of what is going on today! His comments below brought to mind spin merchants Kellyanne Conway and Robbie Mook.

Man may soil his honor

“It is an accepted law of public life that in it a man may soil his honor in the interest of party expediency—must do it when party expediency requires it. In private life those men would bitterly resent—and justly—any insinuation that it would not be safe to leave unwatched money within their reach; yet you could not wound their feelings by reminding them that every time they vote ten dollars to the pension appropriation nine of it is stolen money and they the marauders.

They have filched the money to take care of the party; they believe it was right to do it; they do not see how their private honor is affected; therefore their consciences are clear and at rest.

By vote they do wrongful things every day, in the party interest, which they could not be persuaded to do in private life. In the interest of party expediency they give solemn pledges, they make solemn compacts; in the interest of party expediency they repudiate them without a blush. They would not dream of committing these strange crimes in private life.”

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twain-front-180-10-27Keynote speaker Conor Cunneen is author Suppose You Were An Idiot… Mark Twain on Politics and PoliticiansTwain once wrote “Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Congressman. But I repeat myself.”

 

“Whiskey is taken into the committee rooms in demijohns and carried out in demagogues.”

Mark Twain Notebook

Conor Cunneen is also author

What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speakin’

“When I say I’ll learn (‘Teach’ is not in the river vocabulary) a man the river, I mean it. And you can depend on it, I’ll learn him or kill him.” Life on the Mississippi  – Mark Twain

Utilizing a unique and memorable MARK TWAIN acronym, author Conor Cunneen demonstrates what the Dean of American Humorists learned him bout public speakin !

Message preparation

Audience research and knowledge

Relate to audience

Know your objective

Ryan Lochte and Choosing Attitude in Tough Times

“Honest, Maw, it was only a little fib!”

You’re right, Ryan, especially considering the level of “embroidering” we get from all political parties. You’re now paying a heavy price for a drunken, silly escapade that results (at time of writing) the loss of endorsements from Speedo and Ralph Lauren and more importantly your reputation.

In the greater scheme of things, Lochte’s infractions are minor and thus should allow for rehabilitation. Think Bill Clinton, Robert Downey, Brian Williams, Charlie Sheen. The list could be never ending. In the meantime, there is one question that can truly help Lochte get through what must be a pretty miserable (self-inflicted) mess.

What do I want my Attitude to be?

In his wonderful book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl wrote that everything can be taken from a person, except the ability to choose your attitude in even the worst circumstances.

Whether we like it or not, we all hit pot holes and speed bumps. When we hit those speed bumps and potholes, the question that will help you, the question that helps me regularly is “What do I want my Attitude to be?”

The question is powerful, because when you ask that question, you are unlikely to say, “I want to be angry, I want to be annoyed, I want to be upset. ”

No, when you ask “What do I want my attitude to be?” you are much more likely to respond, “I don’t want to be angry, I don’t want to be upset, I don’t want to be annoyed” and having answered the question that way, you will make some effort not to be angry, not to be annoyed, not to be upset.

“What do I want my attitude to be?”  does work. Even when stopped by Illinois’ finest as this little clip demonstrates!!!

Keep on keepin’ on, good people!

Mark Twain, Truth and Ryan Lochte

humorous inspirational chicago speaker on mark twain

Original illustration for Conor’s book What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speakin’

“If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.”

Swimmer Ryan Lochte doesn’t strike me as a guy who spends too much time reading, but he (and all of us) could benefit from Mark Twain words in 1894 when he famously wrote “If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.”

Twain was probably speaking from some experience because he did admit to telling a few “stretchers” during his long, creative life.

In his autobiography, he recounts his mother being asked “”Do you ever believe anything that that boy says?” to which she rather colorfully responded “”He is a well spring of truth, but you can’t bring up the whole well with one bucket. I know his average, therefore he never deceives me. I discount him thirty per cent for embroidery, and what is left is perfect and priceless truth, without a flaw in it anywhere.”

Given that quote, it seems rather ironic that it is Lochte’s mother (who apparently first publicized the story) wasn’t aware for her son’s penchant for embroidery. I do have some sympathy for Lochte that a simple “stretcher” that he surely never even needed to say to his mother now comes back to haunt him. But given what precipitated the incident, maybe Karma is kicking in.

The Problem with “Stretchers” and Speech Embroidery!

Apart from you and me, dear reader, there isn’t a person alive that hasn’t “embroidered” at some stage (a sentence that probably does involve some embroidery!)

As Lochte, Brian Williams and others can testify in today’s media-mad world, Twain’s advice of “When in doubt, tell the truth” is good advice, although in a 1906 speech the great humorist did qualify this a little saying “When in doubt, tell the truth. That maxim I did invent, but never expected it to be applied to me. I did say, ‘When you are in doubt,’ but when I am in doubt myself I use more sagacity!”

Assuming that it is “only” pride and truth that are casualties here, I do wish Lochte and the rest of his buddies – who must surely want to send him on a slow boat to China – the very best as this is likely to be one very expensive mistake for him in terms of endorsements.

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Chicago Leadership and Presentation Skills Speaker Conor Cunneen on Mark Twain Presentation Speaking Tips

Conor Cunneen is a Chicago based professional speaker and business consultant whose mission is to Improve People, Performance and Productivity. This Irishman is authorWhat Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speakin’

 

Humorous Motivational Speaker Chicago on Mark Twain

Buy today. Enjoy and Learn Forever!

How Mark Twain Used Today’s Evocative Word – PENITENTIARY – to get ’em evocating!

How Mark Twain Used Today’s Evocative Word – PENITENTIARY – to get ’em evocating!

“There are many Senators whom I hold in a certain respect and would not think of declining to meet socially, if I believed it was the will of God. We have lately sent a United States Senator to the penitentiary, but I am quite well aware that of those who have escaped this promotion there are several who are in some regards guiltless of crime–not guiltless of all crimes, for that cannot be said of any United States Senator, I think, but guiltless of some kinds of crime.”

humorous inspirational speakers chicago

Original illustration by Mark Anderson for Conor’s book – What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout public Speakin’

Published in   What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speakin’  by Conor Cunneen

Original SOURCE: Mark Twain Autobiography      

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Conor Cunneen is author of What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speakin’ 

Order a copy today and help Conor keep corned beef and cabbage on the table! 

How Mark Twain Used Today’s Evocative Word – ENCHANTING on his 67th Birthday

How Mark Twain Used Today’s Evocative Word – ENCHANTING  to get ’em evocatin’

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Original illustration by Mark Anderson for Conor’s book – What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout public Speakin’

“It was a heartbreaking delight, full of pathos, laughter, and tears, all mixed together; and we called the roll of the boys and girls that we picnicked and sweet-hearted with so many years ago, and there were hardly half a dozen of them left; the rest were in their graves; and we went up there on the summit of that hill, a treasured place in my memory, the summit of Holiday’s Hill, and looked out again over that magnificent panorama of the Mississippi River, sweeping along league after league, a level green paradise on one side, and retreating capes and promontories as far as you could see on the other, fading away in the soft, rich lights of the remote distance.

I recognized then that I was seeing now the most    ENCHANTING   river view the planet could furnish. I never knew it when I was a boy; it took an educated eye that had travelled over the globe to know and appreciate it; and John said, “Can you point out the place where Bear Creek used to be before the railroad came?” I said, “Yes, it ran along yonder.” “And can you point out the swimming-hole?” “Yes, out there.” And he said, “Can you point out the place where we stole the skiff?” Well, I didn’t know which one he meant.

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Published in   What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speakin’  by Conor Cunneen.

Chapter III : Relate to your Audience

Original SOURCE: Mark Twain Speeches: Sixty-Seventh Birthday

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This website is hosted by keynote speaker, consultant and author Conor Cunneen – IrishmanSpeaks. Conor is author of What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speakin’ 

Chicago based inspirational humorous speaker

Conor Cunneen – IrishmanSpeaks

Order a copy today and help Conor keep corned beef and cabbage on the table!

How Mark Twain Used Today’s Evocative Word – BRAWN to get ’em evocatin’

How Mark Twain Used Today’s Evocative Word – BRAWN  to get ’em evocatin’

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Original illustration by Mark Anderson for Conor’s book – What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout public Speakin’

“What an uprising it was! We did not have to supplicate for soldiers on either side. “We are coming, Father Abraham, three hundred thousand strong!” That was the music North and South. The very choicest young blood and    BRAWN    and brain rose up from Maine to the Gulf and flocked to the standards–just as men always do when in their eyes their cause is great and fine and their hearts are in it; just as men flocked to the Crusades, sacrificing all they possessed to the cause, and entering cheerfully upon hardships which we cannot even imagine in this age, and upon toilsome and wasting journeys which in our time would be the equivalent of circumnavigating the globe five times over.

NEW 35 Mississippi Riverboat6 x10 (1)

Published in   What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speakin’  by Conor Cunneen.

Chapter IV – Know your Objective

Original SOURCE: Mark Twain Speeches: Lincoln Birthday Celebration

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best mark twain speeches

 

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This website is hosted by keynote speaker, consultant and author Conor Cunneen – IrishmanSpeaks. Conor is author of What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speakin’ 

Chicago based inspirational humorous speaker

Conor Cunneen – IrishmanSpeaks

Order a copy today and help Conor keep corned beef and cabbage on the table!

How Mark Twain Used Today’s Evocative Word – REFORMED to get ’em evocatin’

How Mark Twain Used Today’s Evocative Word – REFORMED  to get ’em evocatin’

humorous inspirational speaker chicago

Original illustration by Mark Anderson for Conor’s book – What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout public Speakin’

 

“Stanley apparently carried a book of mine feloniously away to Africa, and I have not a doubt that it had a noble and uplifting influence there in the wilds of Africa—because on his previous journeys he never carried anything to read except Shakespeare and the Bible. I did not know of that circumstance. I did not know that he had carried a book of mine. I only noticed that when he came back he was a    REFORMED    man.

NEW 35 Mississippi Riverboat6 x10 (1)

Published in   What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speakin’  by Conor Cunneen. Chapter V – Titter, Humor and Laughter

Original SOURCE: Mark Twain Speeches: The Savage Club Dinner

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This website is hosted by keynote speaker, consultant and author Conor Cunneen – IrishmanSpeaks. Conor is author of What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speakin’ 

Chicago based inspirational humorous speaker

Conor Cunneen – IrishmanSpeaks

Order a copy today and help Conor keep corned beef and cabbage on the table!

How Mark Twain Used Today’s Evocative Word – SPLENDID to get ’em evocatin’

How Mark Twain Used Today’s Evocative Word – SPLENDID  to get ’em evocatin’

Twain with pen by Mark Anderson

 

And then when I went up to bed she come up with me and fetched her candle, and tucked me in, and mothered me so good I felt mean, and like I couldn’t look her in the face; and she set down on the bed and talked with me a long time, and said what a   SPLENDID    boy Tom was, and didn’t seem to want to ever stop talking about him; and kept asking me every now and then if I reckoned he could a got lost, or hurt, or maybe drownded, and might be laying at this minute somewheres suffering or dead, and she not by him to help him, and so the tears would drip down silent, and I would tell her that Sid was all right, and would be home in the morning, sure; and she would squeeze my hand, or maybe kiss me, and tell me to say it again, and keep on saying it, because it done her good, and she was in so much trouble.  And when she was going away she looked down in my eyes so steady and gentle, and says: 

NEW 35 Mississippi Riverboat6 x10 (1)

Published in   What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speakin’  by Conor Cunneen

Original SOURCE: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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Original illustration by my good buddy Mark Twain appears in What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speakin’

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This website is hosted by keynote speaker, consultant and author Conor Cunneen. Conor is author of What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speakin’ 

Order a copy today and help Conor keep corned beef and cabbage on the table!

Watch this Chicago marketing and sales conference speaker present his powerful and fun message on how Behavior creates Brand

 

When seeking a motivational sales conference or marketing speaker who will have learning, laughing AND leaving with powerful concepts to build business and customer engagement?

Phone Conor Cunneen at 630 718 1643 for your next engagement. You will be greeted by a genuine Irish brogue!

or you may prefer to fill in the form below!

How Mark Twain Used Today’s Evocative Word – DIMLY to get ’em evocatin’

How Mark Twain Used Today’s Evocative Word – DIMLY  to get ’em evocatin’

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“I vaguely remember some of the details of that gathering—dimly I can see a hundred people—no, perhaps fifty—shadowy figures sitting at tables feeding, ghosts now to me, and nameless forever more. I don’t know who they were, but I can very distinctly see, seated at the grand table and facing the rest of us, Mr. Emerson, supernaturally grave, unsmiling; Mr. Whittier, grave, lovely, his beautiful spirit shining out of his face; Mr. Longfellow, with his silken white hair and his benignant face; Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, flashing smiles and affection and all good-fellowship everywhere like a rose-diamond whose facets are being turned toward the light first one way and then another—a charming man, and always fascinating, whether he was talking or whether he was sitting still (what he would call still, but what would be more or less motion to other people). I can see those figures with entire distinctness across this abyss of time…………..

Now at that point ends all that was pleasurable about that notable celebration of Mr. Whittier’s seventieth birthday—because I got up at that point and followed (the previous speaker), with what I have no doubt I supposed would be the gem of the evening—the gay oration above quoted from the Boston paper. I had written it all out the day before and had perfectly memorized it, and I stood up there at my genial and happy and self-satisfied ease, and began to deliver it.”

NEW 35 Mississippi Riverboat6 x10 (1)

Published in   What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speakin’  by Conor Cunneen

Original SOURCE: Mark Twain Letter to a fan who recalled the occasion when the great humorist bombed.

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Original illustration by Mark Anderson for "What Mark Twain Learned Me 'bout Public Speakin' "

Original illustration by Mark Anderson for “What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speakin’ “

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This website is hosted by keynote speaker, consultant and author Conor Cunneen. Conor is author of What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speakin’ 

Order a copy today and help Conor keep corned beef and cabbage on the table!

Watch this Chicago sales marketing conference speaker present his powerful and fun message at a Healthcare Conference

When seeking a motivational sales conference or marketing speaker who will have learning, laughing AND leaving with powerful concepts to build business and customer engagement?

Phone Conor Cunneen at 630 718 1643 for your next engagement. You will be greeted by a genuine Irish brogue!

or you may prefer to fill in the form below!

How Mark Twain Used Today’s Evocative Word – PUNCTUATED to get ’em evocatin’

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How Mark Twain Used Today’s Evocative Word – PUNCTUATED  to get ’em evocatin’

Chicago motivational speaker on Mark Twain

” I have suffered since I have been in this town; in the first place, right away, when I came here, from a newsman going around with a great red, highly displayed placard in the place of an apron. He was selling newspapers, and there were two sentences on that placard which would have been all right if they had been    PUNCTUATED    but they ran those two sentences together without a comma or anything, and that would naturally create a wrong impression, because it said, “Mark Twain arrives Ascot Cup stolen.” No doubt many a person was misled by those sentences joined together in that unkind way. I have no doubt my character has suffered from it. I suppose I ought to defend my character, but how can I defend it? I can say here and now—and anybody can see by my face that I am sincere, that I speak the truth—that I have never seen that Cup. I have not got the Cup—I did not have a chance to get it.”

NEW 35 Mississippi Riverboat6 x10 (1)

Published in   What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speakin’  by Conor Cunneen

Original SOURCE: Mark Twain Speeches: Books, Authors and Hats

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Twain in bed II

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This website is hosted by keynote speaker, consultant and author Conor Cunneen. Conor is author of What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speakin’ 

Order a copy today and help Conor keep corned beef and cabbage on the table!

Watch this Chicago sales marketing conference speaker present his powerful and fun message at a Healthcare Conference

 

Seeking a motivational sales conference or marketing speaker who will have your team learning, laughing AND leaving with powerful concepts to build business and customer engagement?

Phone Conor Cunneen at 630 718 1643 for your next engagement. You will be greeted by a genuine Irish brogue!

or you may prefer to fill in the form below!